Despite only being open for around two years, the Malamala Beach Club’s (in Fiji) reputation went as viral as that fun (yet extremely catchy) children’s song about a family of sharks – Baby Shark.
You’ve probably heard the buzz: water so clear you could drop a marble and still see it on the bottom, coral that mimics the hues of the Fijian flag, and parrot fish, angel fish, and stingray waiting to play. That’s Malamala Beach Club.
Plus island vibes to rival Ibiza. Wait, what? Ibiza? I’m too old for Ibiza!
The World’s First Island Beach Club
When you hear of a tropical island day club, you can’t help but imagine it full of swimsuit models, party boys, and the cool kids. Check any Instagram influencer’s @malamala tag, and you’ll agree. Beautiful people in beautiful clothes on a beautiful island. I leapt to the only place a past-partying 45-year-old could go: I couldn’t possibly fit in there.
Had I considered my Insta-feed alone, I would have probably skipped Malamala for being too hip. Fortunately, it was a scheduled excursion on the NOWW retreat, with assurances that the vibes were mellow and all were welcome.
I popped on my best not-gonna-be-Instagrammed-in-it bikini, smudged lipstick horizontally, and hoped for the best. Would I be young enough, beautiful enough, or fun enough for Malamala? Did I even need to be any of those things to have an epic time?
The Real Deal
Boarding the South Sea Cruises vessel, I let my belly return to its natural ‘cake baby’ shape. It was a boat filled with peeps from all walks of life, ‘real’ folk if you will.
I chatted to a 60-ish silver fox from Canada, and a rosy-cheeked British lady. I spied Chinese ladies with their drone photographer (hilarious) and heard accents from Japan, Australia, and some far-flung Latino lingo.
Malamala was all-inclusive, just not in the ‘free booze’ way.
The Coast is Clear
The genius and success of Malamala Beach Club is its proximity to the mainland. Only 25 minutes by boat, it’s the full white-sand-turquoise-water experience the Denarau Resorts wish they could offer.
While swimming in Denarau can be more of a post-Tough Mudder bathwater experience, the opposite is true at Malamala. It’s a perfect atoll with a broad sandy beach fringed with palm trees. The water is more inviting than a ticket to a Heidi Klum Halloween party. It took restraint not to run down the boardwalk to be the first on the island (okay, okay, I ran).
The Promised Land
I didn’t need to sprint to the check-in desk though; our group had pre-booked double lounge chairs. That poolside home-for-the-day was the highlife those Instagram influencers had promised.
At FJD$50 for two, it wasn’t only for the rich either – yay! Get a cabana with private butlers for FJD$85 if you want to go full Kardashian.
Whatever Floats Your Boat
While ocean dips and reading can happily fill my day, the inclusion of non-motorised watersports provided the highlight of it. It’s only 10 minutes to walk the island, so a solo kayak adventure offered a no-danger, no-brainer adventure.
On Malamala, it’s oars down not due to arm fatigue but to soak in the bliss. The turquoise waters, vibrant fish and dazzling coral instilled a peaceful, meditative state.
A Taste of Paradise
While the Malamala crew offered a ton of bula spirit, I wasn’t mad that the food was more Fiji-fusion than lovo.
Famed Aussie chef, Lance Seeto, conjured up a creative menu of elevated bar food that is heavy on the coconut. My coconut sugar fries and prawns a welcome refuel after snorkelling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Don’t miss the Drunken Coconut too.
I’m not a fool. I know that Insta-influencers add their ‘pretty’ filter to the experiences they showcase. Yet it created a misconception of what Malamala would have in store for me.
I’m grateful that I was escorted to Malamala to smash those fake Insta-worries. The day not only provided me with the magic of a Fiji island but also taught me that I’m Instagrammable too, just like you.
- READ: Checking into Fiji’s NOWW Retreat
- READ: A night at the 5-star Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji
- READ: Tales of a maiden journey to Fiji’s Savusavu
Have you spent a day at the Malamala Day Club?
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