Denarau Island was once a swampy mangrove forest but with substantial landfill, reclamation and landscaping, and, more recently, hotel and residential development, it is now a picturesque but heavily manicured environment. The island now boasts large resorts – including global giants Hilton, Sofitel, Westin, Sheraton and Radisson – standing in a line along a sombre grey beach, which in places has been powdered white with imported sand. The beachfront is divided by a rocky point: west beach, facing Malolo Island, has the Sheraton and Radisson resorts and is good for beachcombing, with stronger waves and often littered with driftwood; the north beach faces Nadi Bay, with tranquil views overlooking the Sleeping Giant, a shapely mountain feature separating Nadi and Lautoka. The man-made lakes, canals and inlets of an eighteen-hole championship golf course take up much of the island, with several holes hemmed in either side by hotel apartments and premium residential properties.

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