Stepping off a boat onto Malolo Island, greeted by local staff adorning us with shell necklaces and a Welcome acoustic harmony, set the tone for a fulfilling, relaxing and authentically Fijian island holiday.

Malolo Island is a dream.
It is isolated from the hubbub, noise and energy of daily living, and is an ideal destination for families wanting to spend time together, relax and enjoy a little indulgence.

I visited Malolo recently with my nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son. While many single parents feel daunted by a trip overseas with young children, we experienced peace, tranquillity and an opening of our senses.

Malolo is a tropical paradise. Unspoilt and sublime – native rainforest and sapphire, pristine waters.

The resort offered many activities to keep the kids entertained; their Kids Club was unlike others; Daily educational programs were run by a highly trained and experienced educator. We could opt for the morning, afternoon and/or evening sets that were engaging and hands-on. It wasn’t just a babysitting club.

Children’s activities included an excursion in a glass-bottom boat to identify fish and coral; fossicking for shells to make bracelets, and finding flowers in the native bush to make a lei.

The accommodation was exceptional – deluxe beach cottages, each with ocean views, hammocks, comfortable beds and furnishings, and all the trimming of a Five Star hotel – meticulous – without the crowds or frenzy.

There is no WiFi, TV or any electrical devices in the chalets, but it is available in the communal areas. After an initial “horror” moment, we quickly melded into this way of life. We really had space and time to just Be, Together.

There is also an adults-only area, which offers movies, books, and a quiet comfort area, as well as a child-free pool.

I also enjoyed a wonderful massage at Leilani’s Spa.

We feasted on fresh local fruit and seafood, as well as the usual western fare, but in gourmet style – even the burgers and chips were delicious! The menu was spot-on – healthy buffet for the children or ala carte and romantic dining options for the adults.

A highlight of our stay was a personal boat trip to the infamous island which was the setting for Tom Hanks’ blockbuster movie, Castaway.

We snorkelled off the boat into the warm, clear waters – no need for wetsuits or towels – admiring the vibrant colours of the colourful fish and intricate, vivid
coral, and crawled onto the shores of this unspoilt island.

It was a unique experience.

Our guide took us on a tour, climbing a coconut palm and shared the flavours of the different coconut types.

When we’d finished frolicking about on the powder white sand, we donned our fins and swam back to the boat to enjoy a tasty breakfast made just for us – juicy, local fruits, Danish pastries, fresh juice and coffee.

Another high point was an island tour with a local Fijian man who explained the healing properties of the native plants: and learnt how the Noni can help cure mouth and gum infections, TB, sprain, rheumatism and stomach ulcers and hypertension, headaches, fever, and malaria; the Beach Mahogany can treat cuts, burns, sunburn, insect bites, scabies, and eye problems.

Malolo Island was really a very special place to stay as a family and somewhere I’d like to revisit soon.

Staying at Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island is an ideal place to holiday for families. Offspring Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Kate Durack shares her family’s experience at the resort.

On occasion, I’ve taken my kids on a holiday, with Instagram ideals in mind – tropical sunsets, cocktails, reading a magazine by a sparking pool, and feasting on delicious food I haven’t had to cook – but the reality has been far different – think stress and hassle.

Holidays with kids can sometimes be tiresome, especially when traveling with them alone, as I do. A five and a nine-year-old have lots of energy!

However, this is why I loved staying at Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island. I had a holiday too – it was self contained and very relaxing. And, being English speaking and less than a four-hour flight from Sydney made it easy to visit with children.

Radisson Blu Resort Fiji was voted 2017 Number 1 Fiji Resort for families on Trip Advisor.

Many water activities were offered at the beach and the pool. The kids and I really enjoyed the water aerobics and water volleyball sessions, as well as our own fitness session whereby we challenged the five-year-old to swim unassisted to the Swim Up Bar, where they indulged in a slushie, and me, a Pina Colada.

The pool was excellent – sandy and lots of variety, including interesting little streams, waterfalls and a water slide.

We stayed in a One-Bedroom Suite close to the beach, which was supremely comfortable, spacious and fully self-contained (handy as Fiji can be expensive).

The Blu Banana Kids Club was fantastic – the Fijian people are wonderful with children. The kids went rock climbing, built and raced boats and had sandcastle competitions.

The hotel has six restaurants and the food was fantastic. The buffet breakfasts and dinners were very good value and the kids didn’t want to leave the hotel to eat.

I was impressed by the Radisson Blu’s sponsorship program, where they support 14 schools with educational tools such as technology, books, stationary and sporting equipment.

The hotel offers weekly school tours of the schools, which was a highlight of our trip – a great educational experience and exercise in Appreciation.

We gave a full suitcase of new books to the school we visited which seemed to be valued. Their reading resources are minimal compared to what our schools and homes offer.

On the way back to the hotel, we alighted the bus in the district’s main area, Nadi, where we roamed around the markets, before catching a public bus back to the resort. This offered a great insight into perhaps a more authentic Fiji, which further enriched our holiday experience.

Radisson Blu Resort Fiji is a wonderful place to take young families.