Our on-the-go guy’s personality usually means there’s little time for relaxing on holidays. I often envy those lounging by the pool at a resort, even a day of that would be lovely. When we decided to holiday in Fiji we were determined to balance our experiences to ensure there was some drop and flop time in amongst our adventures. Malamala Beach Club Fiji was recommended to us as one of the more wheelchair accessible island trips from Nadi, so we cruised over for a relaxing day of swimming, water sports and a cocktail or two!
As with most boat trips there are challenges with tides and access to the vessel. I had a little freak out when I saw just how steep the access was but with the Fijian can-do attitude and ample muscle power, we made it on board.
And seeing the clear waters below us on our arrival we had no doubt the effort was going to be worth it.
When reading about Malamala Beach Club in a Fiji Facebook group, there was much talk of the rush to get a good position on the beach. It sounded like an Amazing Race style (TV show) foot race. Knowing we’d be slow getting off with BJ and his wheelchair we enquired with the crew about the situation. To our surprise, and delight, the crew kindly organised a spot under the trees on the beach for us. We were keen to be under the shade on the beach rather than beside the pool so we were very happy.
It didn’t take long before BJ was organising everyone out of the deck chairs and bean bags into the water. AJ’s always happy to paddle board and Hubby was keen to snorkel. With Hubby off snorkelling I was working on getting BJ on a paddle board beside AJ. One of the staff spotted me and came down to help, eventually taking over and taking both the kids for a ride. AJ went along to help BJ balance on the board. The way the Fijian staff just step in to help is wonderful.
After a while Hubby returned and took BJ kayaking so AJ could have a proper stand up paddle board. The wind was fairly strong at times and soon she was disappearing around the corner with a strong wind preventing her from returning. Kicking into superhero mode Hubby and BJ headed off to tow her back, much to BJ’s amusement.
Knowing BJ’s desire to be doing something all the time we took a ball and water gun with us.
In hindsight, a water gun isn’t that relaxing for those trying to chill on the beach, or AJ who was wonderful for target practice. But, BJ had fun!
DINING AT MALAMALA BEACH CLUB FIJI
I’m not sure about the science behind relaxing and appetite but with our crew it seems the less they do the hungrier they are. Fortunately, Malamala Beach Club delivers in this area with a delicious a-la-carte menu from light bites to meals and shared platters. A menu of hand crafted cocktails is also on hand to accompany the delicious food.
Although there’s a beautiful open air restaurant overlooking the water, we chose to picnic under the trees. We ordered at the bar and our food was delivered to us beach side.
You can take a look at the menu on the Malamala Beach Club website.
Although we loved chilling on the beach AJ was keen to spend time in the infinity edge pool.
It’s gorgeous and popular with people enjoying the club style atmosphere close to the bar. This also makes it the most congested area for someone navigating with a wheelchair.
Malamala Beach Club offers guests the opportunity to book a poolside daybed, cabana with private butler service (2 people) or a Grand Cabana with private butler service (8 people). The cost of these is in addition to the day pass to the island and they book out well in advance. If you’re keen to book one of these, I suggest doing it before arriving in Fiji.
Being the inquisitive person I am, as soon as I noticed some of the private cabanas had been vacated, I popped around to check out what we were missing. The private cabanas are not accessible with steps up to them. They are covered so provide plenty of shade, consist of a daybed, chairs and a private change area.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY AT MALAMALA BEACH CLUB FIJI
The boat we travelled on to the island has a larger accessible bathroom on board.
On arrival, a long jetty provides access from the boat to the island where concrete paths assist with easy wheelchair access. The boat crew offered assistance to get BJ off the boat and helped us to our picnic spot under the trees.
The restaurant and pool both have wheelchair friendly access. There is a steep portion just at the entry to the restaurant (see photo below). I couldn’t find a stand alone unisex accessible bathroom in my time there but have to admit to trying to just relax into the day rather than doing a full access audit. It was a holiday after all.
On our return the lower tide meant the gangway wasn’t as steep and it was easier to board the boat.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our day at Malamala Beach Club and we can’t praise the staff enough for making it as easy and as inclusive as possible. BJ had a lovely time but still needs convincing that a full day of relaxing at the beach is a good idea.
You can read more on the Malamala Beach Club website.