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Published October 12th 2014
Fiji's best kept secret
Fiji is a popular destination for Australian families wanting a tropical overseas holiday. But If you want a Fiji holiday away from the crowds and the well-known resorts, then Musket Cove Resort is for you.
The resort is located on the island of Malolo Lailai in the Mamanua Group of islands. From Nadi Airport it is a 20 minute drive to Port Denaru and then a 60 minute cruise on the Malolo Cat catamaran (operating 4 return services daily). If you're lucky like we were you can fly in to Nadi on a morning flight and make it to the island that afternoon, thus skipping the usual one night stay on the mainland.
The resort is family owned, staff are all Fijian and this resort offers a genuine Fijian island experience. The island is everything you would expect of a tropical paradise. Palm fringed beaches, crystal clear water, everything operating on "Fiji time".
We chose to stay in a Garden Villa. Set in the resort gardens this villa was split level offering a master suite upstairs, living area & kitchenette on the ground floor and a second bedroom (sleeping 3 singles) and main bathroom downstairs. There was plenty of room for our family of four and we liked having a separate bedroom for the kids. As an added bonus there was also a small spa on the veranda.
Dining Options include Dick's Place Bar & Bistro, light snacks at the Marina Coffee Cove, or you can cook up your own BBQ at the Island Bar. Dick's Place offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and is centrally located at the resort pool. I would also recommend joining in on the theme nights, such as the Fijian Feast night, where a pig is cooked on the spit throughout the day, then served for dinner. It is also accompanied by Fijian cultural singers and dancers and it is a lot of fun.
The resort pool is an oasis within an island paradise. Set just off the beach it is the perfect place to relax, read a book and while away the hours.
Or if you are looking for something a little more active you can join the daily snorkelling trips to the sandbar and reef, kayaks, windsurfing or book in for a Village tour . One of the highlights for us was the visit to the school on the neighbouring island.
You can also hire bikes, book a fishing charter or go island hopping. The neighbouring resort (only a 10 minute walk away) also offers paraflying and golf. (Just as an FYI the beach on the island is tidal, so some water sports and boating activities may be affected by the tides).
If it is pampering you are looking for then you are in luck. The resort is home to Mandara Spa who offer unique and exotic spa treatments that have been infused with the traditions of Fiji to include fresh and natural ingredients and time-honoured traditional techniques.
Musket Cove Resort was the perfect tropical island holiday for us. It felt peaceful & uncrowded and offered cultural experiences such as the Village & school visit, feast night as well as a coconut demonstration. We would definitely recommend Musket Cove Resort to those wanting an authentic Fijian Island experience.