A Place to Stay in Suva, Fiji

Whenever I'm in Fiji's capital Suva, I stay at the venerable South Seas Private Hotel. It's on Williamson Road, just above Albert Park and almost within sight of the Fiji Museum. Suva's shopping and nightlife quarters are only 10 minutes away on foot, but you won't be troubled by the noise and bustle of the city.

The South Seas is not for you if you want a private bathroom as only one of the 42 rooms is so equipped. Many of the rooms have been converted into five-bed dormitories where backpackers pay F$16 each. The single/double/triple rooms with shared communal bathroom cost F$28/39/44. These rates are non-commissionable so travel agents won't accept your reservation, but you can book directly through Fiji For Less.

The South Seas Private Hotel is clean and safe, and the staff is friendly and cooperative. All guests have access to a newly renovated kitchen, and it's actually a pleasure to cook your dinner there as you get to meet a lot of people. While researching my guidebooks, I pay my own expenses, and I can't imagine spending 10 times as much at the Holiday Inn down the hill.

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