The Maldives, once considered a honeymoon destination, is now a haven for family-friendly beach breaks.
The Maldives’ sheer number of island-resorts alone creates a mesmerising choice of activities, adventure and atmosphere.
There are resorts for excitement, relaxation, easygoing beachy fun and high-energy action. Even kids in need of spa treatments can find mini-wellness retreats in this amazing archipelago.
Much-loved by honeymooners and romantics, the Maldives does have some resorts more suited to couples.
But on the whole, most have a barefoot child-friendly attitude which perfectly matches the warm and friendly character of the local people.
And, if a resort is family-friendly, it’s never in name only, so expect to find everything from excellent kids’ clubs and playgrounds to thoughtful menus and high-quality childcare, at the very least.
The Maldives sits in the Indian Ocean off the south coast of India, and has a tropical climate with temperatures between 28°C and 32°C year-round.
Over 1,000 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls make up the archipelago. Only 200 islands are inhabited, and 80 of these are island-resorts.
There are direct flights from London Heathrow and Gatwick to Malé International Airport throughout the year.
Each of the Maldives resorts is an exclusive hotel on its own island. The islands vary in size but, without exception, they’re surrounded by flawless beaches and have their own ‘house reef’ for diving, snorkelling and sheltered swimming. The only locals living on the island-resorts are employees, and everything from restaurants and activities to transport and accommodation is designed to create a perfect holiday.
Sailing trips to the capital, Malé, or to other islands are easy to arrange at resorts, but most visitors find everything they could ever want on their island of choice.
More than 2,000 species of fish swim around the Maldives, and not only is it one of the world’s top diving destinations, most resorts have their own dive schools for beginners and beyond.
Sea temperatures range from 22°C to 28°C year-round.
The resorts invariably feature lush, tropical vegetation and forests of palm trees. Beaches are always pure white sand, and the waters around the Maldives are some of the clearest on earth, thanks to the country’s unique geography.
With over 80 island-resorts to choose from, there are wildly different price ranges and experiences across the Maldives. But if you’re travelling with kids, it’s wise to keep travel and transfer time to a minimum, so choosing a resort quite close to Malé and the airport can be a good idea. Here are three to give you a hint of the astonishing atoll experience.
The island of Kuda Huraa is 12 acres of Four Seasons exclusivity, with a strong family focus, right down to baby-proofing your suite if you so desire. And it’s just 25 minutes from Malé by boat, so won’t tax travel-weary kids more than necessary.
It may be only 40 minutes by seaplane from Malé, but the 14-acre Angsana Velavaru feels like another world entirely. Surrounded by some of the Maldives’ best dive sites, kids can plant coral gardens and voyage out on mini-underwater-safaris. There are Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtle nesting sites nearby, and exciting conservation projects for budding marine biologists are part of a long list of unique experiences.
The twin-island resort of Anantara Dhigu specialises in outdoor, underwater and overwater adventure of all sorts for kids. From beachcombing and fishing to diving, snorkelling, surfing and sailing, the aim here is to educate with fun, and it’s beautifully managed.
Conservation, marine life and the unique environment of the Maldives are just a few of the things kids learn about
naturally just by playing and exploring on any one of the island-resorts. But there are plenty of other fun lessons, too:
Maldivian resorts are measured in acres not kilometres, so travelling is never an issue. Bare feet are the only mode of transport on most islands and boats do the rest for longer journeys. Connections from Malé are usually by seaplane or speedboat, depending on distance. Spending a day out in the capital? Almost everyone opts to get around by cheap and plentiful city taxis.