The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) has acquired three of Fiji’s most iconic and best-known hospitality assets – The Sheraton Fiji Resort, The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa and the Denarau Golf & Racquet Club. The hotels will undergo substantial renovations, including their guest rooms, meeting space, lobbies and other public areas.
FNPF has acquired the assets from Marriott International in a deal brokered by Rob Cross of CBRE Hotels. “This adds to FNPF’s existing impressive stable of hotel assets, which currently includes the recently opened Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay and the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa – home of the Fiji International Golf Tournament.”
Fiji’s popularity as a modern, clean, friendly and safe holiday destination has seen visitor numbers to Fiji boom in recent years, particularly from the Australian market. According to Mr Cross, the future is extremely positive given the country’s stable governance, tropical climate, proximity to Australia and New Zealand, as well as substantial increase in flights in recent years from not only Australia but also Japan, Hong Kong, the US and Singapore.
“The Fiji government has invested significantly in tourism infrastructure, including the substantial upgrade to Nadi’s International Airport Terminal and the recently completed highway direct from the Airport to Denarau,” Mr Cross noted.
FNPF is a major investor in Fiji and one of the country’s largest property owners. The fund also owns majority of shares in Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited, Vodafone Fiji Limited as well as the Home Finance Company Bank.
Viliame Vodonaivalu, Chief Investment Officer for FNPF, confirmed the acquisition and commented, “This is an important acquisition for FNPF on behalf of the people of Fiji. These are very important assets in Fiji’s tourism history and are representative of Fiji’s rich history and culture.”
The assets boast a prime beachfront location on the north-western tip of Denarau Island – Fiji’s premier tourism and leisure destination. Denarau is the most established and high-profile tourism destination in Fiji and benefits greatly from its close proximity to Nadi International Airport and the Denarau Island Convention Centre, the largest conference facility in the country.
The 5-star Sheraton Fiji Resort opened in 1987 and consists of a 300-room resort built around a substantial lagoon pool complex and includes a selection of dining outlets and bars, including one of Denarau’s most popular restaurants – Flying Fish. The property also features numerous retail outlets, six swimming pools, a fitness centre, kids club, business centre and wedding chapel.
Next door is The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa. Opened in 1976, the 276-room resort features many amenities including The Kitchen Grill, a popular wine bar and grill, as well as six tennis courts, four swimming pools, a day spa, fitness centre, bowling green and retail outlets.
The Denarau Golf & Racquet Club encompasses over 110 hectares and includes an 18-hole championship golf course as well as a substantial clubhouse facility, a tennis centre and an abundance of surplus land for future development.
Marriott International will remain as operator of the assets under long-term management agreements, further enhancing the relationship with FNPF. Marriott’s Senior Vice President of Finance, Christina Chan advised, “Marriott is delighted to further our partnership with FNPF in Fiji and looks forward to working with FNPF well into the future with these assets.”
Mr Vodonaivalu commented that, “The Sheraton and Westin, whilst already two of the most popular resorts in Fiji, will be further enhanced with significant refurbishment of both in the near future. FNPF is committed to enhancing these assets to maintain their premier positions in the Fiji tourism market. We have already seen a significant uplift in the performance of the Westin post completion of the refurbishment of Block 7 in 2016 and we look forward to lifting the balance of the hotel to a similar quality of offering.”