Sun, sand and our own private cabana: Our perfect day in a Fijian paradise

Fijian paradise

When I think of a tropical Fijian island it conjures up visions of crystal-clear water, white sand, beautiful open buildings and gentle swaying palm trees.

Well, dream no more, because Malamala Beach Club delivers all of this and so much more.

Cruising towards the island in the Mamanuca group just 30 minutes from Port Denarau is a sight to behold. The sand is so bright and the water so clear the island feels like you are arriving into your very own fairy-tale.

We are greeted by the resort manager and staff at the end of the jetty and guided towards the island.

our own private butler Andrew

We are given our own butler, Andrew, who was absolutely lovely, taken to our very own private cabana on the water’s edge. Wake me up, I’m having the best dream of my life!

I quickly found out you can do as much as you want, or as little as you wish. We chose a mixture of both.

Firstly, we wanted to explore the island, sample the food, the cocktails, make the most of our cabana, swim in the water and try some water sports.

What we quickly realised is we should have taken the full day option, not the half day, because trust me, when you get here, you won’t want to leave.

Here’s a snapshot of our day on Malamala
  • Explore the island

We take a stroll from our cabana along the water’s edge around the island. It’s not a long walk, but we stop along the way to admire the view, the new restaurant, the infinity pool overlooking the water, the lounge area scattered with large day beds, hammocks scattered around and past the water sports area, where we decide to head to later in the day (we’ll need to work off our lunch).

  • Indulge in the food

The food here is delicious. I’ll be honest, some islands don’t have the best options, but everything here is fresh, the menu is vast and we decide to share some plates. The fish tacos were a standout. You won’t go away hungry.

  • Try stand-up paddle boarding

We have never laughed so much in our lives. We purposely waited until the end of the day, when most people had left on the first boat back to the mainland. I have to say; I did show the husband up. I took to it like a fish to water (I did not expect this). The paddle boarding definitely gave my stomach muscles a work out, not to mention my legs, which were tight for a few days, but I really enjoyed it. It was a great way to see the island from the water.

  • Rent a cabana

If you are like us, and don’t like crowds and enjoy your piece of paradise to yourself, then this is a great option. Not only do you feel like the island is yours alone, you can lounge around in your swimsuit and not give a toss who is looking. It’s also a great place to have your meals delivered (you get a phone to call your butler) and it’s nice to have a base. Let’s be honest, sitting in your cabana, sipping a cocktail (they have some delicious options) and admiring the view from your private piece of paradise is something to be savoured. I don’t want to leave.

  • Snorkel and/or jump off the jetty

The snorkelling here is fantastic. We saw so many fish, the water is so clear. We also jumped off the jetty – why not! We may be midlife but we’ve still got plenty of life left in us.

  • Enjoy the sunset

The sunset on the cruise back to the main is spectator. It is the perfect way to end our day.

Everybody on the island was so lovely, helpful and happy. We felt extremely welcome. The whole island experience was perfect. A very special mention to our butler Andrew, was brilliant. He helped make our day a wonderful one.

My trip planner

      • Book a cabana – it’s on the quiet side of the island. Otherwise there are daybeds by the pool, but it is busy and there is music, so if you want time out, definitely book a cabana, it’s well worth it. And, you get a butler, so you don’t need to move if you don’t’ want to
      • Take a full day, not half day
      • Make full use of the water sports centre
      • Take a heap of sunscreen and a very large hat
      • Enjoy the food (the ice-cream is locally made – and coconut is sensational)
      • Get in the water, it’s warm, it’s clear and I could have stayed in all day
      • You can do as much or as little as you want
      • You will need a credit card, everything is on a charge back system
      • Pack the reef shoes if you want to walk around the whole island
      • Bring light clothing, it’s 30 degrees and I suggest a coverup to stop you getting burnt
      • Don’t forget your sunnies! It’s very bright

    Would I recommend the expense of this trip and a private cabana? Yes. It is only a day trip, but if you are based on the mainland and want a taste of island life, then yes. Go for it.

    I give this day trip a solid 10/10. Thank you to South Sea Cruises, Malamala Beach Club and Tourism Fiji for what was one of the highlights of our trip.

        • 50 So What were guests of Malamala Beach Club courtesy of Tourism Fiji.
The co-founder of 50SoWhat has been in publishing for most of her working life. She was general manager of successful boutique media publishing house in New Zealand for several years and boasts an impeccable sales, marketing and management background. When she’s not road-testing the latest cosmetic procedures, or investigating the hottest lifestyle, travel, fashion and beauty trends for over 45’s, Jo is often back home catching up with family and friends, or working on her golf swing!


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