There are a handful of affordable hotels along the bland and overdeveloped main road between Nadi Airport and Downtown. However, to get a view of the ocean, you need to stay at either Wailoaloa Beach or Denarau Island, off the Queens Rd on Nadi Bay. Wailoaloa Beach, the budget and backpacker centre, is the most central of these and has a laid-back atmosphere with stunning views along the coast, but the greyish beach itself is by no means postcard-worthy. The opulent man-made creation of Denarau Island, 5km west of Downtown, with its five-star resorts, luxury homes and a modern shopping centre has an intuitively hollow, plastic feel. Vuda Point, a 20min drive north of the airport, features a couple of mid-range boutique beach resorts and is closer to Lautoka. For longer stays, try Nadi Beach Homes (672 7999, nadibeach.com), with excellent-value weekly and monthly rates in three-bedroom private holiday homes with swimming pools, modern one- and two-bedroom a/c beach apartments, or studio-style homestays.

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