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.