If you're thinking of a family holiday, it's hard to go past A cheap way to do Fiji
. It's close to Australia, there's a choice of islands and the locals just could be the friendliest people on earth.
Kelly Landry went to the family-owned Malolo Island Resort in Fiji's Mamanuca Group, 45 minutes by boat from Nadi. Many of the staff members come from local villages. It was voted the No.1 family resort in Fiji by readers of TripAdvisor and just listening to and seeing the enjoyment of young guests, it's no wonder.
Accessible by seaplane, private speedboat or a fast catamaran, the resort makes up four hectares of the 800-hectare island and has 49 bures of varying sizes, all with ocean views. It's intimate and rustic with white sandy beaches and lush flora.
Yanu Yanu is a free club for children between four and 12 years of age. It opens every day with a different theme. It's fun and educational, showing island life, local environment, culture and history of the island and Fiji in general. Children love the chance to live like a local for day or two and they are encouraged to keep a diary of their experience, which comes in handy for school projects and show and tell sessions. For those older than 13 years, there is a games room and computer set-up.
There's also plenty of T-shirt and face painting, boat trips to Treasure Island to see the wonderful turtles and a day trip to a wildlife park on a nearby island.
Yanu Yanu is great for parents too. It gives them time to relax together and some that Kelly spoke with said it's not easy to convince their children to leave the club. It's a matter of "please come back later"!
A major refurbishment at the end of 2009 focused on accommodation. Its bright, stylish new look is reminiscent of the colonial era plantation style.
The combination of high, vaulted ceilings and air-conditioning ensure comfort.
The Beach Bar on the water's edge offers casual dining for lunch and dinner, as well as snacks all day with a selection for children. Cocktail hour at sunset has a ritual flare-lighting ceremony to the beat of the lali drum.
Terrace Restaurant has views across the pools and offers all-day alfresco dining. Treetops is above Terrace Restaurant below a canopy of trees. It's for diners 13 years and older and has a Pacific Rim menu with Pacific Island influences.
On Wednesdays there's a poolside barbecue, and traditional lovo and meke entertainment on Saturdays.
There's Leilani's Spa, an entertainment lounge for 13 years and older and two pools, including just for adults with a swim-up bar.
Free fun things include snorkelling, windsurfing, Hobie cats and paddle skis. Other activities include SCUBA diving, island hopping, village and fishing tours.