Cloud Break

At Fiji’s popular Cloud 9, you’ll find an unexpected treat — delicious wood-fired pizzas — in an exotic locale.

Fiji, Cloud 9
Tender up from your charter yacht to snorkel the reef.Tor Johnson Photography

It’s been a great day of snorkeling and surfing the breaks near Ro Ro Reef in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands. You’re ready for some shade and food, but your yacht is anchored miles away. You jump in your tender and zip over to Cloud 9, a two-story oasis on the water. There’s a fully stocked bar, a wood-fired pizza oven and owner Bar’el Wachtel greeting you with a smile. He comes from the world of house music and events planning, and he set out to make Cloud 9 a destination unto itself. That’s really saying something in a cruising paradise like Fiji.

Fiji, Cloud 9
A refreshing cocktail awaits you at Cloud 9.Tor Johnson Photography

Cloud 9 opened in 2013. Originally, it was a facility for surfers working the nearby break, and then it became popular with day-trippers.

I’ve always thought the ideal club was during the day, and the ideal day club is out at the barrier reef. It sounds crazy, but we thought it was just crazy enough to work.

It’s no secret that we took an existing houseboat and used the hull. Cloud 9 is an architecturally designed day club. We got an interior designer and architect to design the structure, so it was purpose-built to be a day club.

We are a bar. We have a lot of top-shelf alcohol and spirits. Our cocktails are above par for Fiji. They’re world class.

As far as food and beverage go, we like to keep it simple. We only cook pizza out at Cloud 9. It’s an Italian wood-fired pizza. Because we are in such a delicate reef environment, we have to choose a food that respects the environment.

We can serve up to 200 people a day and often do. We have a cutting-edge electronic music policy on board Cloud 9, so when you visit, you can expect to hear really amazing, often underground house [music].

We also have a lot of day-trippers who are there to snorkel the beautiful reef next to us, and they stop in for a pizza and drinks.

Fiji, Cloud 9
Get lost in the Fiji views.Tor Johnson Photography