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“Awsome, simply great holiday, will be back.”

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Malolo Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Malolo Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 February 2008

simply heaven

our little family of 4 (kids 8 months and 3 years) recently stayed for 12 days including the recent Cyclone.

this is our 3rd time in Fiji, and we have stayed at the Shang ri La Fijian, as well as 10 years ago at castaway, Hideaway and a number of others.

It is our second visit to Malolo and it is even better than when we where here last time, the food is simply awesome and I can't believe that they can do such a high standard considering how isolated they are, everything was perfect, clean and tasty even if expensive and they can even make pureed food of your request for the little ones.

The room was good, (not like international 4 star) but great for Fiji, the resort is old but well built and we spend the Cyclone in our rooms for 24 hours, being waited on with amazing food every few hours, including a full roast chicken dinner for tea. (bought to our room).

The chef even was able to make some tuna sashimi up for our 3 year old when it was not on the menu, we just had to wait for the day when the fresh tuna arrived.

the food is not cheap (20-26 FJD for lunches, and more for dinner) unless you are on a meal plan, and then you will find yourself overeating with desert even with lunch. I put the great food down to the head chef and his team of 25, check he is still there, as he has been for the last 3 years. without drinks I imagine you would spend 120-160 per day eating here, so be warned.

The room was clean and made up properly and the babysitting was great value, ($5 FIJI per hour, we had baby sitters every night for 2-3 hours to allow us a relaxed dinner). Grounds great, and enough hammocks for every-one.

Two pools, so the kids have a perfect one, and stay out of the adults one (with swim up bar).

Beach is not fine sand, but a mix of course sand and also some coral, and every morning they had raked it clean of any seaweed if it was washed up by 6am (my kids are early risers. Sunset over the beach with drink in hand is the stuff of postcards.

The only complaint I would have is the cocktails did not live up to the expectation that I had, and where on the pricy side, (FJ16). take your own DF vodka and enjoy their "soft drinks".

Sailing was great, and free, as was the kayaking, and snorkelling.

Seaplane transfers to and from make it quick and you don;t need to overnight on the main land. (though they can get stuck with the weather, they where not flying for about 4 days during the recent Cyclone. (pacific Island seaplanes). The helicopter seemed to be more weather resistant, however Malolo does not have a Helo pad, but Liku Liku does, (owned by the same company and a 1 min boat ride from Malolo.

I also had a behind the scenes tour of Liku Liku and I will not be paying the FJD$1600-2000 per night for the overwater bungalows. There was quite a few unhappy Americans there, (sorry to generalise) who would not have had the experience they had paid for due to the Cyclone, and where leaving early.

I most certainly will be going back to Malolo, and I also took a look (island Hopping) at Castaway, Amanucka, and Mana (what an absolute dive of a place, it was almost unbearable to be left there for 30 min).

Malolo is very intimate, and we mixed with many of the guests, who where a mix of couples and families, as well as one wedding while we where there.

It is perfect, and not as expensive as castaway, certainly worth considering.

Ian - Sydney

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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14  Thank JabiruSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 January 2008

We travelled to Fiji in search of relaxation, sunshine, culture and good food.... all of which we found on Mololo island.
The bures were lovely, the food was excellent and the staff went above and beyond the call of duty. There are many activities to keep you busy and plenty of hammocks and banana lounges if you prefer to stay still.
We cannot fault our experience at Mololo and cannot wait to go back again!!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank olipep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2008

I can't compliment this place enough. We spent a week here with our five kids (4-13) and thoroughly enjoyed it despite some bad weather. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, the location is superb. We had the family Buree which was great. The watersports were good, particularly the diving through subsurface fiji. The instructor (Abi) was one of the best I have met.

You can't but slow down to 'Fiji time' here. The kids club is for younger kids but they loved it. New Years Eve is a great night and there were also a number of other special nights in the restaurant. Food in general was good. If you are not a big eater, the meal plan may not be for you. Be prepared to run up a reasonable drinks bill as the place is warm. However the A/C in the Buree was great.

Can't help but want to go back!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled with family
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7  Thank TS10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2008

We made trip around the globe with New Zealand as the main target, Since Sweden has 12 hours behind New Zealand, we though we would need a short week to adjust our physical clock - and would could be better than 6 days on Fiji? I spent quite some time surfing the web and visiting a travel fair, before deciding for Malolo. Our children where 7, 12 and 14. We booked two next-door Ocean View Bures. This was our first family trip to a tropical destination. I had previous experience from Jamaica, Florida Keys and Bahamas. I had great expectations on reef snorkeling when I arrived at Malolo. After a couple of days at the resort, we've learned that we had been very lucky in many aspects:

- The resort itself was just a dream for a family. It was enough relaxed/informal but yet breathtakingly beautiful! We happened to for the perfect week: all the trees were read of flowers at the beginning of December, and the resort was just half booked. The day we left, the Christmas Holliday started in Australia, doubling the number of guests.
- You could reach top quality snorkeling (better than Zanzibar) by making a nice walk over a hill to a completely people-free "back yard" beach. There were short boat trips to the unsettled small paradize island "Honey Moon Island" - just 5 minutes by boat. This was our favorite trip. Snorkeling from the shore was amazing. Live, colorful coral reef.
- The staff and service was perfect. Very friendly with an atmosphere of "if show respect you get respect and excellent service"
- The Bures were also perfectly designed. Very nice interior and a bathroom that was beyond expectation
- Unlike other smallar islands, like Treasure Island, Malolo has an interesting nature. There is no "dirty backyard", that I experienced on other close-by single-resort islands we visited on day trips.

Are there no downsides of Malolo? No serious one. The only thing we could have had better was the food. Not that it wasn't well coocked, it was just too british for our taste (basically, there was no taste). We had expected more natively inspired seefood on the menu, The chef was from Australia. I think there was only one native dish on the three restaurangs of the resort. This dish was a dream (fish in a hard-to-describe sauce). The children were very happy with the food (fries, battered fish, hamburgers etc). We went to the exclusive tree-top restaurang one evening. The breakfast was fantastic, though! The setting was worth any shortcomings in the kitchen.

But don't let my food complaints keep you from deciding for Malolo. Two years later, we went to the much more expensive Zanzibar resort named "Breezes". We all agreed Malolo was closer to our harts - much, much better snorkeling, much more possibilities to interact and learn from local people working on the resort (Malolo is managed by a fijian guy).

  • Stayed: December 2004, travelled with family
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7  Thank johaneltes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2008

I almost don't want to write this review, just so we can keep this place to ourselves....

We've travelled far and wide, and typically at 5 star places that are pretty glamorous and don't allow kids. For example, we've ticked off quite a few of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World list.

So, we set our expectations a little lower than normal after reading about "Fiji time" and related service standards, as well as considering the 3ish star look to Malolo Island Resort and the fact that it is family friendly (which always creates visions of screaming children running around on sugar highs to me).

But this truly professionally run, beautifully presented and naturally charismatic place is just pure paradise.

In all, we stayed at 4 places in Fiji over 18 nights - the other 3 were rated higher and were also considerably more expensive (Tokoriki, The Westin and The Radisson). And yet, try as they did to evoke the South Pacific Island magic and atmosphere, Malolo Island Resort achieves it in spades without feeling the least bit contrived.

It is genuinely a wonderful place to go - and having spent 9 nights there, we feel we got a reasonable sample of time to base our review on. Apologies for the length - just never know which bit of info will be handy for your needs.

Special mention to the following "way beyond average" attributes of Malolo Island Resort:

1. the food, glorious food.

Exec Chef Christian (Chris, who conjures images of a very friendly Chopper Reid character) clearly runs a tight ship and it shows in the unparalleled service we recieved. We eat out at least 3 nights a week in some of the best Aussie restaurants on offer across Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth - and apart from Melbourne, the Aussies could learn a few tips in first class service from the Malolo Team.

And he must be passionate about food, because only someone who cares that much about it could create the quality, quantity, presentation and variety we got. Serious 5 star fare in Tree Tops and well above average fare in the other 2 eating venues.

He also makes a point of regularly wandering the resort to speak to guests and make sure they're happy and if there's anything more they'd like. John, the Food & Beverage Manager, is clearly also doing a great job as the quality of the ingredients is superb - he's also a very friendly character that we'd encourage you to meet; great sense of humour.

About every 2nd or 3rd night there's a theme or special dinner night. We planned to lose a few kilos while on holidays, and while we got plenty of exercise, the outcome was neutral as we just couldn't resist tucking in to these spreads.

Of particular mention has to be the Christmas Dinner - just outstanding. 4 courses and probably about 10 different items - and despite being filled to the brim, we felt compelled to keep going as it was all delicious and innovative.

Other apparently regular specials nights are also amazing - I'd challenge anyone to even try everything on offer in the buffets, the only regret being tha you can't try it all as there is simply too much. But the main thing I want to stress is the quality - simply outstanding.

We opted not to do the inclusive meal option - from recollection it was $92FJD/day - and that's probably good value, but I'm not one much for breakfast (which is a faily standard hot or continental fare) and we knew we'd be wanting to dine at Tree Tops at least a few times, which draws a surcharge on the meal plan. In the end, we worked out that we spent less than the meal plan - with all non-theme night dinners at Tree Tops and breakfast for me every other day and my fiancee every day. However, if you have kids, the meal plan is probably the way to go.

2. the atmosphere - relaxed and "real"

Everyone will tell you Fijians are very friendly - probably all that sunshine and great surroundings. Indeed they are - everywhere we went we were welcomed with "bula" and smiles etc. But Malolo just seems to have an air of sincerity and genuineousness (ok, I made that word up) that others couldn't replicate.

Within 2 days you're on first name basis with a number of staff (and I recommend you use their names, it seems to be very well recieved and a sign of basic courtesy for people who start to feel like old friends).

Maria was my personal favourite. Within a day she remembered our names, our drink preferences, our room number - great service, but nothing compared to the shiny eyes and genuine warm greeting we'd get everyday. I mentioned to her that she was somewhat of a legend on Trip Advisor, but she is so humble and more interested in our welfare that she was quickly back on to talking about us.

Apart from the staff, the atmosphere also seems to attract and create a certain quality of guests. Normally, after slogging it out in the corporate world, we treat our holidays as a refuge from having to get involved with other people, but I can honestly say that we met a large number of very friendly, intelligent and charming people.

And as for the kids, with a free kids club (what a great idea), they are very well cared for by dedicated Malolo team members and often out of sight off doing fun kiddie things - either in the actual kids club areas or within the immediate surrounds of the resort.

Not one hammock or sun lounger session was interrupted. And I suspect that the daily activities wore most of them out, so that by dinner time they were all very well behaved. In fact, I'd go so far as to say what we did see of the little ones was actually delightful.

As for those of you with children, we witnessed all families at the resort having some true quality time together. The balance of kids being able to roam free in a completely safe and interesting environment, or participate in kids club activities, or spend time with their parents meant that meal times were a time to share their daily experiences. Families seemed to actually talk to each other, and play together duing the day - while at the same time the parents got plenty of "me" or "our" time, without having to worry.

The kids also soon developed natural friendships among each other, proving the comraderie of Malolo is a naturally occuring phenomenon.

3. the activities - knock yourself out doing lots, or nothing at all

I was a little concerned that 9 days on one island would have the 2 type A's of us bored very quickly, so I booked a few things prior to heading off. I really needn't have bothered.

Every night they deliver an activities sheet to your room as part of the turn down service. Some of these are free, some are at a cost. Then there's the regular acitivities on offer at the Beach Bure (waterskiing, island hopping, fishing etc).

We got massages, went on the dolphin safari (blessed with seeing about 70 of them errupt from the ocean), snorkelling at other reefs (Malolo's is good, but there are better ones to visit), the Seaspray day tour (needs to be booked separately), village visit, medicine tour, hike up to the Jonah's look out (go when its cool, such as early morning) and watermelon cracking.

There's a dedicated activities manager - Freddy - who should be running his own game show. He included everyone, made the events alot of fun (international hermit crab racing was a particular highlight - I encourage you to bid at the auction), and is clearly proud of traditional Fijian heritage (ask him how much he likes kava and watch the eyes light up to describe its wonders).

We cancelled waterskiing and the banana boat ride, only because we were starting to get on "Fiji time" ourselves and soon found oursleves in the daily ritual of time reading/relaxing in the many hammocks and taking afternoon naps.

Every day there were different guests learning to dive, and although we didn't, our various snorkelling trips (4 different sites) suggested that Fiji would be a wonderful place to do it.

There's no TV, radio, CD player, and internet access is via a communal one in the resort shop - about $8FJD for 10 minutes, no not cheap or particularly private. Mobile access with global roaming can be touchy and you may find yourself ankle deep in that glorious beach trying to get a signal.

Again, we had minor reservations about this, being techno addicts, but within a day we were overjoyed that we could escape the world. It really does add to the experience and lets you enjoy a true time out. My fiancee does recommend for those of you who can't extract yourselves completely, take a Playstation along - he got good use from his.

4. the music - melodic Malolo

Every open space in Fiji where tourists venture seems to have a small ensemble of people playing guitars, ukeleles etc and singing. Even when you arrive at the airport or the Port Denarau boat transfer. That's nice, we thought.

But then we got to Malolo - and can these guys sing! Plus, compared to other places, it seemed to be more because they actually wanted to. Harmonies, sweet voices and ad-libbing to English songs were a significant highlight of our holiday.

The Meke night, where a neighbouring village ensemble performs traditional dance and songs, was one of the best performances we've ever witnessed. Unbelievable talent - and this was free of charge, which stunned us.

Then, on our last night, a small team hustled oursleves and another couple together after dinner and gave us our own mini concert with the traditional Fijian farewell song. We'd heard it before, but this version, sung both with soul and style by people we had come to know, bought real tears to our eyes. Samu - you're an undiscovered Fijian Idol.

And the roving team of 3 or 4 chaps who sang throughout the day helped put me off to sleep in a sun lounger more than once, while at night they made dinners lively. The IPOD was barely touched in preference to the live choir/band.

If they sold CD's, we'd have bought 10 of them.

Tips & Tricks
1. The rooms - basic but fitting and comfortable

Sure, the rooms are a little basic - but completely fitting with a slightly more earthy, genuine beach holiday experience. We were more than comfortable and the lovely ladies who came around twice a day to clean, turn down and ensure you had enough towels, beach towels, moisturiser, shampoo etc were both delightful and generous.

We ended up leaving the Radisson early - even though their rooms are outstanding and on the glammy side, the place just couldn't get the atmosphere happening and the food was, by Malolo standards, pretty awful.

If you're consdiring the merits of mainland vs islands - trust us, the islands win hands down. Use the mainland for landing/departure stays only.

2. Snacks and drinks

There's a fridge, but no mini bar. There's a store in the resort with a range of basics - hats, sunnies, sarongs, water, medicine, sunscreen, chocolate etc. But you will pay more than mainland prices.

We took a few bottles of water and some dips, biscuits, chocolates etc - which was handy for those odd times between meals when you didn't feel like a full course.

We didn't need anywhere near the amount of water we took, as it's served free with every meal. And although you might pay 2 or 3 times mainland prices (I think, $7FJD for 1 and half litre bottle vs $3FJD mainland price), it may not be worth the hassle of the extra weight of your luggage.

In hindsight, we probably would have taken a box of cereal along, as neither of us can take the full buffet breakfasts on a daily basis - and this could save $20FJD (continental) or $26FJD (hot) per person per day. I was glad I took my favourite brand of coffee along (they provide plungers in the room).

The wine list is OK, but being regular imbibers, we were pleased we took our own and then just had a glass from the menu with dinner. If you do like your wine, I strongly suggest taking it along - it could save you alot of money and mean you get to have what you like (from Oz, the limit is 4 litres per person). Otherwise, the cocktails are superb, and they have a daily happy hour at sunset when they also do the torch lighting ceremony.

3. Transfers

There's really only one company doing boat transfers (South Sea Cruises), and they do it very well. Opt for the one that goes direct to Malolo, which takes an hour, otherwise you could be sitting on it for up to 3 hours while it drops off to other islands via the alternate routes.

We were amazed we were the only ones who took the "captain's lounge" tickets - an extra $20FJD each way for each of us. Its top deck, airconditioned, and they provide unlimited softdrinks, wine, beer, coffee and snacks. Plus you get to have a chat to the captain, get a dedicated hostess, and the seats are comfortable lounges that you can spread out on. On one of our legs, we were joined by the Paramount Chief of the Mamanuca Islands as a co-traveller - which was worth the extra nominal charge on its own.

There are also sea plane and helicopter options - far more expensive, and not in our opnion worth it considering the guided tour you get on the boat.

Overall

I realise this is a very long review, and to be honest I have never taken the time to complete one for any other hotel or resort. But we really felt compelled to return the favour to the Malolo Island Resort team, as they went to such extraordinary lengths to make sure our holiday was perfect.

We actually got engaged on Tokoriki a few nights after leaving Malolo (New Years Eve), and while we're happy as can be, our only regret is that Malolo wasn't the scene of the momentous occasion.

We've also got a great deal of value from Trip Advisor in the past, and hopefully this makes someones decision a little easier. We did a huge amount of research before choosing Fiji and Malolo, and anyone who has a complaint against the latter quite simply just doesn't get it.

Enjoy!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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38  Thank Loretts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2007

From the moment we stepped off the boat to our departing day my partner and I felt like we were part of the Malolo Family. If you want a relaxed casual island stay close to mainland - without the tourist hoards chasing you down well then this might be your slice of paradise. Phones and internet access is up at the reception only (not in your room) so you are forced to wind down and to get back to a more befitting pace (cocktails and a good book at the ocean bar was a favourite afternoon activity for us). Should you want to up the pace a notch there is plenty of activities to keep you and your family busy (snorkelling, cruises, walks, kayaking etc). Our Deluxe Oceanview Bure was incredible…..well laid out with simple décor and plenty of room for us to throw our bits and pieces around.

Malolo Island Resort simply would not be the incredible laid back resort it is without the personable and relaxed atmosphere the staff has created. You don’t go too far without having a good chat and a laugh with one of the locals.

If quiet time is what you need order a bottle of wine at reception and slink back to your bure for some down time or wander down to the beach (3 ft from our bure) and watch the sun set.

Everyone is very respectful of each other and we never heard the kids except when we walked past the kids club. We don’t have children but noted how attentive and loving the Fijian women in the kids club are. The activities program for the kids was amazing too.

Oh and the food is faultless. We are going back!!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank DanesandSmash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2007

We stayed here in June 2007, and got married on the island, and I couldn't have asked for a better time! everyone who works there are simply wonderful, some of the kindest and warm hearted people I think I will ever meet. Everyone made us feel very much at home, and the wedding couldn't have gone smoother, it was easy, fun and relaxing! perfect really! Wonderful food, drink, accommodation and great beach, relaxing on the beach each morning was just lovely! We took over a group of people (17) and there was no problems in accommodating all of us all of the time! Fantastic! Brilliant diving, a few of us dive and we got out there most days, to 20 odd metre VIS and fish life a plenty! what more could u ask for??? We will be going back!

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank grubbytraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Malolo Island Resort

Address: Mamanuca Islands, 0000, Fiji
Region: Fiji > Mamanuca Islands > Malolo Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Malolo Island
Price Range: £292 - £720 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Malolo Island Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Malolo is an intimate, rustic resort. It's about a bure near the beach, surrounded by the world's friendliest people with a living and authentic culture. You will be served by the descendants of villagers who have lived there for thousands of years, offering true Fijian hospitality. Perfect for families and couples alike, at Malolo, you can fill your day with a myriad of activities or simply unwind and do nothing at all. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Malolo Island Hotel Malolo Island
Fiji Malolo Island Resort

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