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Funky Fish Surf & Beach Resort 2.5

Malolo Island, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Remote island setting without direct neighbors
  • Daily boat rides to incredible surfing at Cloudbreak
  • All private rooms have patios and mini-fridges 
  • Low-cost dorms with ceiling fans
  • Open-air restaurant and bar; breakfast included
  • Outdoor pool with cushioned daybeds
  • Water sports, hiking, and nightly entertainment
  • Free Wi-Fi in public areas

Cons

  • Mosquitoes can be a problem on Malolo Island
  • Not ideal for beginner surfers (no on-site instruction)
  • Most accommodations don't have AC
  • Guests on longer stays may tire of the one restaurant

Bottom Line

The 20-room Funky Fish is a budget property with a 650-foot beachfront on Malolo Island, located just a 20-minute boat ride from renowned surfing at Crowdbreak. Accommodations include charmingly rustic beach bungalows, more spacious air-conditioned rooms, and low-cost dorms for backpackers. There's an all-day restaurant and bar, and a limited buffet breakfast is included in the rate. Guests also have access to snorkeling, a swimming pool, hammocks, games, and nightly entertainment -- just remember to bring the bug spray. Free Wi-Fi is available in the public spaces. Those who prefer to stay closer to the airport might want to consider sister property Anchorage Beach Resort on Viti Levu.

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Scene

The hotel has a laid-back vibe and primarily attracts international surfers.

Guests arrive by boat to Funky Fish's remote island to see a calm shoreline dotted with kayaks, hammocks, and a scattering of brightly colored tables and chairs. The resort has a laid-back, friendly atmosphere, much like a hostel, that attracts mostly surfers and backpacker types. While Funky Fish has its share of partying, the scene wraps up early, mostly because those surfing need a good night's rest to be at their peak. There are plenty of activities and day trips for non-surfers as well, like going to Cloud 9, a nearby floating restaurant and bar with amazing snorkeling.

Location

Secluded location on Malolo Island, just a half-hour boat ride from Fiji's mainland

Funky Fish is on a secluded section of Malolo Island, which sits off the western coast of Fiji's Viti Levu, also considered the mainland. Guests can contact Funky Fish in advance and arrange pickup from the airport for a reasonable cost. These guests will be shuttled to Vuda Point -- a 20-minute drive from the Nadi International Airport -- where sister property Anchorage Beach Resort is located. From here they can connect to one of the resort's boats for a 30-minute ride to the island. Pickups are also available from Port Denarau's marina. The boat ride from Anchorage usually makes a stop at Port Denarau on the way to Funky Fish, and the captain will give passengers time to run to the grocery store or ATM. 

Rooms

Simple rooms feel a little well-worn, but they're clean.

This resort has a mix of private rooms and budget-friendly dorms. Beachfront Island Bures (10 in total) have charming thatched roofs and porches facing the sea; they have bare-bone furnishings with touches of Fijian textiles, as well as mini-fridges, tea- and coffee-making facilities, umbrellas, ceiling fans, and open-air showers heated from solar panels. The larger One and Two Bedroom Beachfront Bures feel more beachy thanks to bright pops of color, and they include kitchenettes with full-size fridges (though these are not ideal for cooking) and covered ocean-facing decks with picnic tables.

Cloud Break Rooms are in a newer section of the hotel and are the only air-conditioned rooms in the resort; they feature distressed tile floors, tea- and coffee-making facilities, pretty views of the water, and larger bathrooms with double vanity sinks and walk-in showers. The dormitory building has five private rooms (these require key access) with shared bathrooms. There's also a unisex bunk bed area with private lockers, showers, toilets, and sinks.

Features

Swimming pool, restaurant and bar, and surf trips to Cloudbreak

Due to the small number of guests, Funky Fish's 650-foot beachfront area with a natural shoreline is peaceful. It's suitable for swimming, but the white sand has bits of coral that may hurt bare feet. The beach is also shaded from trees, so it's not the best spot for sunbathing, but there are hammocks, a volleyball net, chairs, and tables for lounging. There's also a small, unshaded pool with cushioned daybeds and loungers. Guests can use their laptops or smartphones here, as the free Wi-Fi is reliable in this hub.

Attached to the pool is the bar and restaurant with several wooden tables, lounge areas, and one TV. Prices for drinks are reasonable, and there are happy hour specials, but many guests choose to bring their own booze and stock the mini-fridges. A simple breakfast buffet with fresh fruit is included in the rate, while lunch and dinner offers a selection of a la carte items mixing Western, Asian, and Fijian options. After dinner, there is usually some form of entertainment, such as karaoke, fire shows, kava ceremonies, or live music.  

The friendly staff can help plan surf trips and other activities. There are no surf instructors on-site though, so the renowned waves at Cloudbreak are best for experienced surfers only. Guests can access hiking trails to villages on other parts of the island, or borrow snorkeling gear and hand-line fishing for free. Kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and motorized water sports can be arranged for a fee.

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