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Youth Beat

Finding Budget Bunks in Fiji Islands

January 18, 1987|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

NADI, Fiji — If you stop over while making the long flights to Australia or New Zealand, you can find budget-priced bunk rooms at resorts in this tropical island nation.

Fiji has no official youth hostels. The International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF) recently sent a representative to seek out alternative inexpensive lodgings for members on stopovers. Five locations on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu, were approved as supplementary hostel facilities.

You don't have to be a member of IYHF to use the budget-priced bunk rooms but IYHF members get a 20% discount. Average fee is $5 to $8 (Fiji) (about $4 to $7 U.S.) per night.

An advantage of these accommodations is that often you can use all the regular facilities of hotels or resorts. This might include swimming pool and evening entertainment.

There can be drawbacks. Travelers who must really stretch their funds can find other daily expenses higher than expected. Here's what the representative found when she visited IYHF-approved budget facilities at Hide-A-Way Resort:

Hide-a-Way, on Queen's Road, the Coral Coast, about 80 kilometers from Nadi, is not a budget resort but has 30 beds for budget travelers in three bunk rooms. Maid and linen service is provided. Nightly dormitory rate is $6 (Fiji).

A Good Value

She thought Hide-a-Way offered good value for budget travelers. All guests may use resort facilities, such as swimming pool and table tennis, and every day there was something different to do, such as scuba diving, trips to hot springs and a free hike. At night there was live music.

The drawback was that items such as snorkeling equipment rentals were expensive and although the IYHF reported that prices were modest at the restaurant, she felt meals were expensive for budget visitors. Alternatives were limited. Unlike most IYHF hostels, there was no kitchen in which she could cook her own meals, and town wasn't within walking distance. There was a $2 charge to make a local telephone call to reconfirm flight bookings.

Hide-a-Way Resort is at P.O. Box 233, Sigatoka, Fiji, phone 50-177.

The IYHF also recommends the following budget facilities in Fiji this year:

On Wailoaloa Beach Road, midway between Nadi (closest town to the international airport) and the airport is the Nadi Bay Motel. It has 12 beds in two bunk rooms, kitchen facilities, swimming pool, restaurant, bar and laundry. P.O. Box 1102 Nadi, Fiji, phone 73-319.

Budget Meals, Too

Also midway between Nadi Airport and Nadi at 67 Northern Press Road is the Sunny Holiday Motel. It has 28 beds in bunk rooms; campsites are also available. There are self-cooking and barbecue facilities and guests receive complimentary continental breakfast. Budget meals are available. P.O. Box 9335, Nadi Airport, Fiji, phone 72-844.

At Momi Bay, about 37 kilometers south of Nadi, is the Seashell Cove Resort. There is transportation from the airport to the door. A courtesy car is available by arrangement. There are 24 beds in six bunk rooms and campsites are available. There are no cooking facilities but there is a restaurant, coffee shop, bar and laundry, day trips by bus and boat, and island entertainment is provided Wednesday nights. P.O. Box 9530 Nadi Airport, Fiji, phone 679 50-309.

On Queen's Road overlooking Suva Harbor the President Hotel has 30 beds in five bunk rooms and a restaurant, bar, laundry and swimming pool. There are no cooking facilities. P.O. Box 1351 Suva, Fiji, phone 361033.

If you want to investigate Fiji further, a good investment is "Finding Fiji," $6.95, by David Stanley, 120 pages of details on history, culture, weather, customs, sights, accommodation and budget travel tips. You'll learn where to find popular economical resorts on smaller islands such as Beachcomber, and how to avoid inflated rates such as price hikes on the days that cruise ships call. However, the most recent edition is 1985 so expect listed prices to be higher than reported.

Copies can be ordered from Moon Publications, P.O. Box 1696, Chico, Calif. 95927. Include $3 for first-class or $1.25 for book-rate postage. In California add 6% for sales tax.

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