By Lata Yaqona
One of the many beauties of Fiji’s first island beach club is that you can do as little or as much as you want with no pressure at all.
It is a short 25-minute boat ride from the Denarau Marina to Malamala Beach Club where the laid back vibe of the island and the friendly but unobtrusive staff, allow you to enjoy the island at leisure.
Since its opening in August 2017, Malamala has amassed a loyal following with international and local guests alike.
“We believe our guests keep coming back because the visitor experience is so good, from the service, to the food and beverage offerings and the excellent facilities,” says Malamala Beach Resort Business Development Manager, Loretta St Julian-Ooms.
The facilities have been designed so that guests can choose between the buzz around the infinity pool or a private beachside cabana. These private bures (bungalows), which cater for two to eight guests, include a private butler service and are dotted around the island.
“Our guests love the atmosphere and the proximity to the mainland – there aren’t many places in the world where you can completely escape to paradise in just a 25-minute boat ride,” says St Julian-Ooms.
Malamala is part of the Mamanuca islands group, and offers a completely unique experience for visitors who want a change from the hotels and resorts of the Coral Coast, Denarau and Nadi.
“Our most loyal customers are the locals on the Malamala Club Membership. Otherwise Denarau tourists take advantage of the proximity of the island to Port Denarau Marina and it has become a day trip of choice,” says St Julian-Ooms. “Hotels are often accused of neglecting local clientele but this is not what Malamala is about. It is as much a place for locals as it is for international visitors, offering locals an annual membership fee of FJ$169 (US$84), which is a steal considering the benefits that go with this.”
So what does a day at Malamala look like? If you are feeling energetic, you can swim, snorkel and kayak. You can take a more gentle exercise and play boules, walk around the island, or simply linger by the pool or beachside with a book and a cocktail.
Malamala Beach Club has also quickly become popular for companies hosting incentive events or conferences in Fiji, who are looking for an island experience or an off-site dinner venue for delegates. The venue can be shared with other leisure guests, or the island can be booked exclusively for special events. “There aren’t many places in the world where you can have an island to yourselves and rebrand it completely,” says St Julian-Ooms. The Club also offers the added convenience of the South Sea Cruise catamaran ferries, and a transfer service from Coral Coast hotels, with the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay being the most popular over the past year.
“We have worked hard to develop a range of event spaces catering for different needs, which can be mixed and matched as required and all our spaces at Malamala Beach Club offer complimentary access to our in-house sound system,” says St Julian-Ooms.
Weddings are currently a big focus for Malamala with the construction of an airconditioned dressing room for brides at The Venue, a covered space with ocean views which is perfect for events of up to 50 guests.
Malamala is also the place for a picture-perfect proposal (heli-proposals are particularly popular at the moment,) hen and stag parties, birthdays and after-wedding functions. The event spaces cater for up to 100 people but you can also go all-out and host a private function for around 400 people. It costs about F$25,000 for the exclusive hire of the island. Nothing rings truer for this idyllic island than the old adage about first impressions being the last. You are sure to leave Malamala already planning your next trip to this gorgeous spot.