Fiji Smugglers Cove Beach Resort

Updated: July 7, 2018

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort – Unpretentious and convenient, popular but noisy.

Squeezed between the ritzy suites at its sister resort (the Ramada) and a backpacker lodge, this mid-range hotel is certainly better than most. All rooms are spacious and comfortable, with some Fijian crafts along the walls, but the furniture looks dated. Rooms in the main building with the lobby have a tropical feel and some boast perfect sea views from a tiny balcony, although they may suffer from the noisy café/bar below. But almost all rooms in the other building alongside face a neighbouring hotel. The pool is close to the bar and gets overcrowded, but features an interesting design, while the beach is grey and fairly unappealing. The key attraction is the location: halfway along the main strip at Wailoaloa Beach, and surrounded by places to eat, drink and shop.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort – The Basics

  • Location: Along Wasawasa Road, the only street in Wailoaloa Beach, on the main island of Viti Levu. About 8km from the airport and 6km from downtown Nadi.
  • Guests: Overwhelmingly popular with young travellers, especially those in groups.
  • Beach: Faces the sea. The entire beach along Wailoaloa is unappealing for swimming or sunbathing, but certainly delightful for walks and sunsets. Also, shallow for kayaking.
  • Views: Only a handful of rooms face the sea, while a few overlook neighbouring hotels, or the village or mountains (both of which are not unattractive).
  • Wi-Fi Internet: Available to anyone in the lobby, bar and restaurant area in the main building. Costs are reasonable for access in the rooms, but won’t work in the adjacent building.
  • Parking: Ask management about secure free parking nearby.
  • Nice Perks: Free rental of kayaks, and complimentary transfers to the airport.
  • Phone: (679) 672 6578
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website:
  • How To Book: will have the best rates. Use the website specific to your language, currency, and home-country for easiest use: UKUSAFrançaisDeutschNederlands.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort – Amenities

  • Pool: Smallish, often crowded, and always noisy.
  • Spa: The large and modern Island Surf Beauty & Spa provides pedicures, facials and waxing, among other treatments, with the traditional bobo massage a speciality.
  • Fitness Center: Guests can use the gym at the sister resort, the Ramada Suites next door, with permission.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided at this mid-range resort.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars:
  • Ghostship Bar & Grill – surprisingly classy, it’s spread between the lobby and beach, with seats in the bar, beside the pool, and metres from the sea. All-day dining and often live music. International selection includes Italian, Indian, Chinese and Fijian.
  • Cove Café – in the adjacent building, but still part of the hotel. For coffee, pastries and sandwiches, but meals come from the Ghostship Bar & Grill next door. Popular beach club vibe, with lounge chairs facing the sea.
  • Breakfast: An unexciting continental breakfast may be included in the rates, but often is not. It’s not worth paying extra for.
  • Room Service: Available during restaurant hours, ie about 10.30am to 9pm

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deluxe Premium Rooms • Oceanfront Balcony Rooms • 1 Family Suite. Unusually, it also offers beds in mixed and female-only dormitories and 1 wheelchair-friendly Room.
  • Smoking Rooms: Smoking is not permitted in any rooms or public areas, but allowed elsewhere.
  • Best Room: Enhanced by the Fijian décor, the Oceanfront Balcony Rooms feature a more tropical feel than the Deluxe Rooms. The sea views are divine, although these rooms can suffer from the fairly constant noise from the pool, café and bar below.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

  • Aquarius on the Beach Restaurant – Fijian and western food, with a different theme most nights, sometimes with dancing and live music. Set-priced meals are good value. About 50m up the street. 1-minute walk.
  • Travellers Beach Café – in the Bamboo backpacker lodge at the northern end of the street, 100m away. Vast menu and a quality expected of an upmarket resort. 2-minute walk.
  • Bitu Café – attached to the above café. Sandwiches and shakes in a pleasant open-air setting.
  • Beach Escape Chinese Restaurant (951 5244) – unpretentious and unwelcoming, but authentic and tasty. Up Bavari Road, an easy-to-find side-street, about 150m away. 2-minute walk.
  • Awesome Grill – friendly, alfresco setting for burgers, pastas and salads. Bring your own booze. At the crossroads to the beach strip, about 250m away. 4-minute walk.
  • Market or Grocery: A well-stocked mini-market is at the shopping centre at the junction leading into Wailoaloa, opposite the Awesome Grill.

Local Transport

    Most tourists use taxis, but find (or order) one with a meter. Public buses and minibuses head to downtown Nadi every 15-30 minutes, via the shops and cafés along Queens Road.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort – The Hotel

The hotel looks ordinary from the outside.

Situated about halfway along the main drag at Wailoaloa Beach, the hotel doesn’t look much from the outside.

Pool is nice but gets noisy due to the bar.

The pool is nice enough, but alongside the bar it is always crowded and noisy.

The pool is popular during sunsets.

Not surprisingly, a popular time to enjoy the pool is during the legendary sunsets.

The resort offers sunbathing areas and free kayak hires.

The hotel provides a raised area of sand with lounge chairs and thatched umbrellas. And the calm waters are perfect for kayaks, which can be rented for free.

Wailoaloa Beach is popular but patchy and unappealing.

Although an increasingly popular tourist hotspot, Wailaloa Beach is fairly disappointing, with grey sand and debris washed ashore after high tide.

Unappealing beach but popular for walks and sunsets.

Although the beach is unappealing and the sea often unsuitable for swimming, the area is lovely for walks, especially along the undeveloped southwestern part.

Wailoaloa Beach is famous for its sunsets.

Wailoaloa is also famous for its sunsets.

Onsite Ghostship Bar is popular during happy hours.

Better-than-average happy hours and the usual array of cocktails can be enjoyed at the Ghostship Bar in the hotel, with air-conditioned comfort inside or on seats among the sand.

Ghostship Bar & Grill serves excellent food.

The excellent Ghostship Bar & Grill in the hotel provides a vast menu, including Italian, Indian and Chinese food, as well as steaks and other grilled meats.

Onsite Cove Cafe serves drinks and light meals.

Drinks and light meals are available at the Cove Café attached to the hotel. A great setting facing the sea.

Happy hours at Cove Cafe are very popular.

The Cove Café is especially popular during the late afternoon for happy hour and the sunset.

Deluxe Rooms are colourful and comfortable.

The Deluxe Rooms are comfortable enough, with some colourful touches in the décor.

Deluxe Rooms are spacious but outdated.

The Deluxe Rooms are spacious but the furniture needs updating.

Deluxe rooms overlook neighbouring hotels.

Many of the Deluxe Rooms are in the adjacent building, with no worthwhile views. In fact, the room may overlook the pool at a neighbouring hotel.

Modern Awesome Grill restaurant serves great burgers and meals.

At the junction into Wailoaloa, about 250m away, Awesome Grill is spacious, modern and friendly, with indoor and alfresco seating for burgers, pastas and salads.

Traveller's Cafe at Bamboo Backpacker Lodge serves great food.

Arguably the finest eatery in the region is attached to the Bamboo backpacker lodge, 100m away along the northern end of the main drag at Wailoaloa.

Beach Escape Chinese Restaurant serves tasty Chinese food.

More for taste than décor, the Beach Escape Chinese Restaurant is authentic. Up a side-street and very close by.

The shopping centre includes a Korean restaurant.

Opposite the Awesome Grill, this tiny shopping centre is home to a mini-market, bottle shop and the Grace Kitchen Korean restaurant.

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