The Mamanuca Islands have accommodation options for everyone from backpackers to end visitors craving 5 Star properties. The sweet spot for Mamanuca accommodation are the mid-range resorts.
Castaway Island Resort
Castaway Is on an 174 acre island just to the north of Malolo, one of the largest islands in the Mamanuca Group. It’s a family resort with plenty of kids running around—honeymooners will probably not be happy here. The 4-star resort, Managed by Outrigger, has recently been refurbished and is considered one of the better resorts in the Mamanucas.
They offer sixty-six spacious, thatched Fijian style bures with king size bed and ceilings lined with genuine masi (tapa) cloth. Most include two additional single beds in their configuration, with those bures comfortably sleeping up to four persons. The main buildings have stone terraces and an indoor-outdoor restaurant, sit on a rocky point overlooking the sea.
Prices range from US$482 – US$1,493. Amenities include 2 restaurants; 3 bars; outdoor pool; tennis court; sauna, and free water sports such as snorkeling, water-skiing, sailing, windsurfing and reef fishing. Diving is big at Castaway—they have PADI International Five Star Gold Palm status. There are over 30 dive sites within 20 minutes of Castaway on board our purpose built 8.5 metre, 400hp dive boat ‘Sokia’ accommodating up to 16 fully equipped divers.
Matamanoa is the most distant of Mamanuca resorts from Nadi. This is an adults-oriented property (no kids under 16 ) and is thus better suited to honeymooners or non-honeymooning couples. It’s situated on a tiny island consisting of two steep hills. The resort complex sits in a semi-circle, occupying one end of the island on a stunning white sand beach. There is excellent snorkeling just offshore. A horizon-edge pool overlooks the beach and there is Restaurant; bar; and a tennis court as well.
There are ten beach front villas (accommodating up to 3) twenty spacious two room beachfront bures, with two queen size beds, living room with two sofa beds. In addition there are thirteen (much) smaller “Garden View” rooms with a queen size bed for couples. The local dive concession is run by Deep Blue Diving & Water Sports, a PADI 5 Star operator based on Matamanoa Island Resort. Proximity to diving is a plus here, it’s the nearest of the Mamanuca resorts to the outer reef. Prices range from US$289 – US$661.
One of Mamanuca’s better resorts, Tokoriki is situated a hilly island with a mile-long beach and wonderful snorkeling. The property consists of 34 guest bures and villas. It has all the usual amenities, bar, restaurant, lounge area, swimming pool, and of course, boutique. The resort rests at the foot of a steep hill. The majority of the bungalows run along the beach, adjacent to the main facilities. There are 12 Beachfront Bures, 14 Beachfront Pool Bures and 10 Beachfront Pool Villas. Free activities include sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling equipment, kayaking, tennis, hiking, and table tennis.
It’s civilized and quiet here—there are no (noisy) motorized watersports on Tokoriki. Diving is available. Prices range from US$593 – US$907 . Food is reportedly very good. I’ve heard comments about seaweed washing ashore on the beach but evidently that complaint is overblown. One last note to take into consideration: Fijiguide readers have consistently given this property very high marks. Here’s a recent comment:
Beachcomber Island Resort
Beachcomber is a true Fiji institution aimed primarily at the young and the unattached. However there are now wedding packages. There are four types of accommodations, not including three separate dorms. These include Beachfront Bure Fan Cooled & Air Condition (starting at F$507), Ocean Front Bure Fan Cooled (starting F$398), Ocean Front Room Air Condition (starting F$532), Private Lodge Room Fan Cooled (starting F$240.90) and dorms ranging from F$47.50- $60.50). Mandatory meal plan applies @ $99pp per day.
In short, there are a lot of people packed into a tiny island which certainly lends itself to the possibility of making new friends. The island is a tiny speck of land (you can walk around it in 10 minutes) located only a 45-minute boat ride from the Nadi coast. Here you’ll find an informal atmosphere and plenty of decent food served buffet-style.
Activities include water skiing, jet skiing-parasailing, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, wakeboarding, snorkeling, game fishing, reef fishing, scuba diving and of course lots of partying. Snorkeling equipment is provided free of charge but all other water sports will cost you. Great entertainment and first-class live music are a tradition at Beachcomber. The house band has consistently won top honors in music competitions.
Malolo Island & Likuliku Lagoon Resorts
Malolo Island encompasses two resorts Malolo Island Resort and a sister property, just a few minutes walk away called Likuliku. These have to be some of the best mid-range (or call them upper mid-range) properties in Fiji. Malolo is particularly good for families with children and has five varieties of accommodation. Most of the guest bungalows are well designed duplexes. The majority have separate bedrooms; the others are studios. The units are sterling. The resort spent over US$1 million refurbishing the property. You can get beautiful unit (which accommodates two adults and two children) for around US$375. The larger family bure starts at around US$1000.
This is one of the better Mamanuca accommodation I’ve seen for families. There’s a special kids play center called Tia’s Treehouse to keep the little darlings busy while mom and dad sip tropical drinks. Even at dinner, which hosted on a large deck overlooking the sea, time was devoted (a little too much time perhaps) to enthrall the little ones with a hermit crab race. For the adults there’s a great spa with wonderful massage therapists and three excellent restaurants.
We did have lunch and dinner at Malolo, and both meals were excellent. The chef is not afraid to experiment with any combination of local ingredients and among the products of this alchemy are kava brownies. My colleagues and I enjoyed a great vegetarian curry, an incredibly good salad, an excellent pizza and fresh, locally caught fish. Let’s not forget the nice white sand beach too.
Adults Only Mamanuca Accommodation
If you don’t have kids or don’t want to be around kids on your holiday, Likuliku Lagoon Resort , located just around the headland, is a Mamanuca accommodation strictly for adults. It features the finest array of over the water bungalows I’ve seen this side of Bora Bora. It’s even a bit more posh than Malolo with sparkling rooms and a large covered deck that serves as a dining area. The center of the Resort is designed like a high peaked Fijian canoe house. It’s built with enormous local timber and magimagi (coconut fiber rope) and hand-woven thatch.
Prices at Likuliku are slightly higher than Malolo. These two properties are the best I’ve seen in the Mamanucas and clearly raise the bar for the Mamanuca Islands area by several notches. Prices for various accommodation options range from US$1000 for the Garden Bure to US$1600 for the Over-Water Bure.