Teen Club, Conrad Rangali, Maldives
Rangali-Finolhu is the family island at this twin-island resort
Part of a bigger kids’ club complex, the resort’s new Furaavaru Club is found on Rangali-Finolhu island: the larger, family-friendly main island at this twin-island resort. It’s better described as a clubhouse. Big, squishy beanbags fill shaded rooms inspired by Maldivian sea life and off-set with graffitied white walls. Ping-pong and air hockey tables sit ready for tournaments. There’s table football as well as PlayStations, a karaoke machine and an outdoor area – handy for impromptu kick-abouts or tie-dying T-shirts.
Down the corridor, budding chefs can take cooking or mixology classes in a glossy kitchen with counters for all heights and friendly chefs on hand. Then out on the Indian Ocean, there are stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and banana boats.
Rangali-Finolhu Island is made for families © Justin Nicholas
If kids and teens are happy, everyone’s happy
But one of the most sought-after things to do here isn’t even an advertised teen activity.
As your kids get to know the friendly Conrad staff, it won’t be long before you hear whispers of The Football Pitch. That’s right, there’s a full-size, floodlit turf pitch over on the “staff island”. And, occasionally the staff-team invites lucky soccer-loving youngsters over to compete in a staff v guests match.
“The team members have watched our guests’ kids grow up,” says general manager Carla Puverel. “Some of them have been with us for 20 years. And when you sit down to dinner, the first question is always, ‘What do you want to drink, and who’s your team?’”
Carla has been with the resort since 2020. “If kids and teenagers are happy, everyone’s happy,” she says. “The Conrad relies on guests revisiting and some families have returned more than a dozen times. Their kids have grown up with the resort, so we’ve got to keep it relevant for them, so they see a difference every time they come.”
Teen guest diving with sea turtles, Conrad Rangali
The Ocean Centre has extra appeal for eco-conscious kids
For many eco-conscious kids, the biggest difference will be the Ocean Centre. Here, resident marine biologist Filipa Lopes has versions of her talks on whale sharks and coral restoration for all ages, although none are ever patronising or toned-down and her passion is infectious and jokes free-flowing. She runs youth sessions three times a week, many with a conservation slant and there are also diving lessons for kids eight and over.
Twin island Conrad Rangali, Maldives
The new Conrad Rangali teen club is at the heart of family holidays
The new teens’ club isn’t a stopgap for parents to dump kids, Carla insists. Instead it’s at the heart of their holiday, if they want it to be.
On arrival, kids get their own goodie bag with passport to stamp and an age-appropriate agenda for the week, so they can tick off marine biology sessions, group sports and activities, outdoor movie nights or cooking sessions.
On the family-friendly Rangali-Finolhu, there’s an entire spa and several restaurants designed to make children feel comfortable. Parents and kids can head to the Spa Retreat for a joint pampering session. There’s no “getting in the way” or having to awkwardly fit into grown-up settings. On this side of the resort, anything goes.
Beach Villa bedroom, Conrad Rangali, Maldives
Conrad Rangali gives over 14s the independence of their own flats
Parents of teens will win most holiday points for booking one of the newly converted beach villas, designed with them in mind. Set behind the ‘couples’ villas, most family versions have their own palm-shrouded private garden and pool. Steps lead up to a separate air-conditioned unit with twin beds and a bathroom. So parents and teens have their own private space and separate entrances. The 14-18 crowd loves having their own “flat” for the week, says Carla. “That’s another thing that’s changed the dynamic of the resort. It gives them a sense of privacy, space, trust ‒ and gives the parents leeway as well.”
Swimming with whale sharks, Conrad Rangali
Seeing whale sharks beats staring at screens hands down
While privacy is key, being sociable has never been more important than at this moment in time. And there’s something about the back-to-basics beach life, of having nature on your doorstep, that brings screen-focused kids out of their shells.
“If it’s a family with teenagers, the first dinner everyone’s got an iPad or phone in front of them,” Carla observes. “The second breakfast, maybe there’s one. By lunchtime, they’ve been put down.”
Though this is a luxury resort, restaurants here are emphatically unstuffy. There’s sand around your feet even under thatched “indoor” pavilions at Atoll. While at overwater Mandhoo, you can watch stingrays and blacktip sharks swish by between courses.
Going out on a boat in the hopes of seeing one of the area’s most gigantic and awe-inspiring residents, the whale shark, is one of the most profound moments of family bonding. Though family nights at the lobster beach barbecue and live-music-backed Maldivian night are no less popular, says Carla. She sees many families coming for their last holiday before a teen goes to university, or the first break where younger teens want a little independence. It’s easy to see how a range of options and environments fits those shifts in family dynamics, offering as much or as little “together time” as everyone needs. And, if in doubt, you can always catch up at dinner.
How to plan Conrad Rangali Maldives
How to get there
Direct UK flights to the Maldives take from 10 hours
Where to stay
Conrad Rangali Maldives, two-bedroom beach villas, B&B, from £1,326 per night (2 adults, 2 children)