It sounds too good to be true – a fabulous bar and pizzeria floating in the middle of the ocean – but Cloud 9 definitely lives up the hype of being the best bar in Fiji.
Drinks Digest booked a visit to the famed bar in late December. It’s set on a crystal-clear lagoon looking out at Fiji’s famous Cloudbreak swell in the Mamanuca archipelago off the coast of Malolo Island.
Cloudbreak is home to some of the best waves in the world and boasts a fast, barrelling break over a shallow reef. It’s fascinating to watch the waves crashing so far out to sea after being accustomed to Australia’s shore breaks.
Cloud 9 is a two-storey, solar-powered bar that sits on top of two pontoons. It’s the brainchild of Australian DJ and surfer Bar’el Wachtel, who opened it in 2013 because he “wanted to have the raddest lounge bar in the world – a meeting place in the middle of the ocean”.
The only way to get to Cloud 9 is via boat transfer for one of the two daily sessions – 10am-2pm or 2pm-6pm. There are shady tables and bar seating, as well as sunbeds and deck chairs. To cool off between drinks, visitors jump from the top deck and swim around the reef. They can also rent snorkelling gear to explore the colourful coral.
Cloud 9 serves delicious wood-fired pizzas, which are hand made and cooked to order by the Fijian chef. Prices start at around $16 for a margarita.
The well-stocked bar is framed by carved poles made from local wood by a Fijian artist, John, and tell the story of Cloud 9’s birth on Roro Reef. It serves a range of beers, mixed drinks, delicious cocktails, mocktails, soft drinks and bottled water for purchase. It features local brands including Fiji Gold, Fiji Bitter and Ratu Rum, plus all your international favourites. Many Australian tipples are available too, ranging from De Bortoli to Tempus Two and Four Pillars Gin.
It’s truly an unforgettable experience to sip a tropical cocktail while gazing out at the turquoise waters surrounding the bar, watching your fellow passengers leap and spiral from the upper deck.
It’s also a fun opportunity to clink glasses with travellers from all over the world and make new friends while soaking up the sun and listening to great music. If you’re lucky there might even be a DJ spinning tunes live during your visit.
Put Cloud 9 on your bucket list, a return trip to the best bar in Fiji is definitely on ours.
Cloud 9, Roro Reef (off Malolo Island), Mamanuca Islands, Fiji; +679 8697947