Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel in Fiji

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Updated: December 7, 2020

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Review of Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel in Fiji.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel – Unpretentious and convenient, and very popular.

Squeezed between the ritzy suites at its sister resort (the Ramada) and a backpacker lodge, this midrange hotel is certainly better than most. All rooms are spacious and comfortable, with some Fijian crafts along the walls. Rooms in the main building with the lobby have a tropical feel and some boast perfect sea views from their balconies, although the café/bar is right below. Almost all rooms in the other building alongside face a neighboring hotel. The pool is close to the bar and popular, and features an interesting design, while the beach is narrow and gray. 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 & Hotel – The Basics

  • Location: Along Wasawasa Road, the only street in Wailoaloa Beach, on the main island of Viti Levu. About 8 km from the airport and 6 km from downtown Nadi.
  • Guests: Overwhelmingly popular with young travelers, especially those in groups.
  • Beach: Faces the sea. The entire beach along Wailoaloa is not for swimming or sunbathing, but certainly delightful for walks and sunsets. Also, the water is shallow for kayaking.
  • Views: Only a handful of rooms face the sea, while a few overlook neighboring hotels, or the village or mountains.
  • WiFi: 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 the management about secure free parking nearby.
  • Nice Perks: Free rental of kayaks and transfers to the airport.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: (679) 672 6578
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: facebook.com/SmugglersCoveFiji

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel – Amenities

  • Pool: Smallish and always popular.
  • Spa: The large and modern Island Surf Beauty & Spa provides pedicures, facials, and waxing, among other treatments, with the traditional bobo massage a specialty.
  • 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 midrange resort.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel – 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 meters from the sea. All-day dining and often live music. International menu includes Italian, Indian, Chinese, and Fijian. • Cove Café – In the adjacent building but still part of the hotel. For coffee, pastries, and sandwiches, though meals come from the Ghostship Bar & Grill next door. Popular beach club vibe, with lounge chairs facing the sea.
  • Breakfast: A continental breakfast may be included in the rates, but often is not.
  • Room Service: Available during restaurant hours, i.e. about 10.30 am to 9 pm.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel – Rooms

  • Room Types: Deluxe Premium Room • Oceanfront Balcony Room • Family Suite (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 noise from the pool, café, and bar below.

Smugglers Cove Beach Resort & Hotel – What’s Nearby?

Best 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.
  • Travellers Beach Café – In the Bamboo backpacker lodge at the northern end of the street, 100m away. Huge menu and a quality expected of an upmarket resort.
  • Bitu Café – Attached to the above café. Sandwiches and shakes in a pleasant open-air setting.
  • Beach Escape Chinese Restaurant (951 5244) – Unpretentious but authentic and tasty. Up Bavari Road, an easy-to-find side street, about 150m away.
  • Awesome Grill – Friendly, alfresco setting for burgers, pastas, and salads. Bring your own booze. At the crossroads to the beach strip, about 250m away.

Nearby Market or Grocery

  • A well-stocked mini-market is at the shopping center 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 & Hotel – 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.

Good 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. It has 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, and have some colorful touches in the décor.

Deluxe Rooms are spacious but outdated.

They are also spacious, though the furniture could be updated.

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 neighboring 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 center is home to a mini-market and bottle shop.

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