Six of the best: Family-friendly Fiji resorts

OUTRIGGER FIJI BEACH RESORT

This award-winning Coral Coast resort sprawls across 16 hectares with meandering paths, tall swaying palm trees, a vast lagoon swimming pool that has recently had a makeover, a hilltop spa and five adult-only zones. On offer are contemporary, airconditioned rooms and thatched bures with vaulted masi-lined ceilings and luxurious double hammocks. A "Talai" (butler) service is offered for guests staying in the 47 bures and deluxe ocean-view rooms, while the resort runs an excellent community outreach program. For kids there is the fun Little Riggers and Beach Riggers children's clubs as well as a supervised teens programs, while its trademark Meimei nanny service is available for babies from six months old. A "Follow the Sun" package including four days' nanny service is from $FJ395 ($250) a night for a family of four. See outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/fiji

SHANGRI-LA FIJIAN RESORT AND SPA

Fiji's largest resort, set on 44 hectares of private island with a sandy beach on one side and blue lagoon on the other, is popular with Australians for good reason. There are 442 comfortable rooms, while facilities including the renowned Little Chief's Club, and a stay-and-eat-free program (for two children under 12 per room), make it terrific value. There are loads of activities such as golf, lawn bowls, banana boat rides, scuba diving, crab races and snorkelling in a fish-filled lagoon. Parents will love the swish all-service spa. From $FJ600, see shangri-la.com/yanucaisland/fijianresort

INTERCONTINENTAL FIJI GOLF RESORT AND SPA

Cabana dinners under the stars, cocoon chairs by the infinity pool, magnificent Pacific sunsets, and an exceptional spa are a given at this fabulous five-star resort. The 266 rooms and suites – whether beachfront, lagoon, pool or the club's one and two-bedroom villas – are spacious and terrific for families. Planet Trekkers kids' club runs three sessions a day (free with club accommodation), while kids eat free with parents at all of the resort's five restaurants and bars. There's also four swimming pools, an 18-hole championship golf course, and horse riding along Natadola Beach, the Coral Coast's best stretch of sand. Be sure to dine at the signature Navo restaurant overlooking the lagoon. From $FJ405 for a garden-view room. See fiji.intercontinental.com

See also: Hotel review: InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa

SOFITEL FIJI RESORT AND SPA

Recently celebrating its 10th birthday, this five-star resort on Denarau Island boasts distinctive Fijian architecture, charming staff and 10 hectares of lush tropical gardens. Family rooms come complete with child-friendly design, (optional) bunk rooms, Sony PlayStations and close proximity to the children's pool, water slide (part of the Pacific's largest lagoon-style pool) and Turtle Kids' Club. The kids' club offers three sessions a day, giving mum and dad time to kick back at the hip Waitui Beach Club ($FJ99 a day; subject to availability) or relax at the full-service So Spa. Outdoor movies screen Monday nights complete with bean bags and popcorn, while the resort has easy access to Big Bula Waterpark and Denarau Golf and Racquet Club. From $570 in a family room for four. See sofitel.com/Fiji_Denarau

​See also: Sofitel Fiji adds new adults-only resort and spa

CASTAWAY ISLAND, FIJI RESORT

As you step ashore, your feet sinking into the warm clear waters, you instantly feel at home at this magical island in the Mamanuca group. Recently reopened following Cyclone Winston, Castaway boasts a fresh new look, including 14 chic, redesigned bures complete with daybeds and contemporary interiors. The island offers safe, pristine swimming beaches and coral reefs ideal for snorkelling. Children adore Castaway's kids' club, which although little more than a room offers heaps of fun, outdoor activities including sandcastle building, craft, treasure hunts and more. There's a family and adults' pool, Sundowner Bar, award-winning feet-in-the-sand restaurant, dive centre, coral conservation program and warm Fijian hospitality. From $FJ949 a night for four people. See castawayfiji.com

See also: Hotel review: The island resort Australians love returning to

PLANTATION ISLAND RESORT

This relaxed three-star, three-pool resort built on a former coconut plantation has Fiji time down pat. There are four grades of accommodation, from motel-style units through to spacious louvered beachfront bures, which are comfortable but err on the basic side. Activities from village visits, snorkelling, fire-lighting shows and dancing, plus a complimentary kids' club, keep children entertained morning to night. Parents can flop in one of the hammocks strung between the coconut trees, or swim in the cerulean waters that front the resort. Babysitting and a 24-hour nanny service is available at an additional cost. From $FJ620. See plantationisland.com

Sheriden Rhodes was a guest of Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, Castaway Island, Fiji Resort and the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort.

See also: Twenty reasons to visit Fiji

See also: Travel guide to adults-only resorts in Fiji

The story Six of the best: Family-friendly Fiji resorts first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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