Andrew Dent kicks off his shoes and relaxes in the luxurious – and great value – Club Med Kani resort
My perception of the Maldives had long been that it was a honeymooners’ paradise. The over-water accommodation, turquoise waters and sandy atolls were simply suited to newlyweds who wanted to lock themselves away.
So, surely these Indian Ocean islands are not a place to bring the kids and have an activity holiday, are they? If you think so, think again – Club Med’s private island paradise of Kani delivers on all fronts.
Kani is a great choice from the off. Many Maldivian resorts require lengthy transfers from Male which, after a 10-hour flight with the kids, is the last thing you need. For Kani, you simply cross the road from the airport building and jump on a water taxi for 35 minutes – the fun begins before you arrive.
Kani itself is a sizeable island for these parts, over half a mile from one end to the other. It is easy to find some peace and quiet, as there are lengthy beaches on both sides of the island – the eastern side was almost deserted the entire time I was there.
The resort accommodation is mainly 4 Trident, according to Club Med’s star system. The majority of the rooms are comfortable and reasonably spacious. All nestle within lush vegetation, and none of them is more than a 20m walk to the sea – it all feels very Robinson Crusoe.
If you’re feeling flush, there are the five Trident Luxury Space Suites. Here, you get the over-the-water experience. The joy of diving straight from your room into the clear water is uniquely satisfying – but it does feel more ‘honeymoony’ in this part of the resort.
In true Club Med style, there are unlimited activities for the whole family – sailing, snorkelling, yoga, kayaking, paddle boarding and kids’ clubs are all included. Kani sits on a world-renowed surfing break, which might interest older kids and cooler parents. There is also fantastic scuba and fishing a short boat ride away (not included).
A fun family activity is parasailing, where the whole family can soar together high above the island – an exhilarating, yet peaceful way of getting a bird’s eye view of the different water colours thrown up by the reefs.
Dining options are varied and flexible in terms of timings and cuisine. There are Indian, Chinese, European and local fish options, and you can either eat healthily or stuff yourself. Opt for the latter and there is always aqua aerobics in the pool at 2pm to burn it off.
Evening entertainment is are again a take-it-or-leave it option. Each evening, the staff, or GOs as they are called, put on a show, which can be local in flavour or West End-type show tunes. Either way, it’s fun for the kids and finished by 9pm. Of course, the (slightly cheesy) disco rages on till the small hours, but by the time you get back to your island room, you will drift o to sleep quickly after your active (or not) day.
All in all, Club Med Kani, is a perfect way to visit the Maldives with the whole family. It has all the Indian Ocean beauty you imagined, but it is steadfastly relaxed and child-friendly. The kids will love the fact they can roam, shoe-free, all day, and you can get some relaxation knowing they are safe and occupied.
Best of all, it is amazing value – who would have thought you could take the whole family to the Maldives for less than £5,000 all in? (Or even less, if you have younger kids, as under-sixes stay for free.) Now is a great time to find out why the Maldives is truly family-friendly.