The Maldives is rapidly gaining a reputation as a family holiday destination. It is becoming popular amongst couples with kids and toddlers who wish to have a piece of island living. The year-round sunshine, warm water, thrilling water sports, dive sites and safe environs are the reasons families are turning to the Maldives for memorable holidays.
Here, we talk about 5 mesmerizing family attractions in the Maldives offering barefoot luxury, time out for adults and plenty of fun for kids and toddlers:
Kanuhura, situated at Lhaviyani Atoll is a slim, oval-shaped island, measuring only 1km x 0.2km, located on the eastern rim of the atoll, which is a 40-minute seaplane ride from Male. It is a little farther from other popular islands but is a big attraction amongst families with kids. Varied leisure facilities such as pool, spa, watersports, dive centre, tennis court and squash court etc. are available keeping in view the interests as per the age groups of the family members. There are 100 villas on the island, each with its own butler so that the guests are looked after properly. There are plenty of activities for kids. There is a Kids Club for 4 to 11 years old that arranges local themed activities and sand sports. Kids can buildsand castles and crab kingdoms, or indulge in fish feeding, dolphin watching, or enjoy swimming and learning water sports which is for kids above 6. Child-sized windsurfers, kayaks and water-skis, banana rides, fun tubes and kneeboards are available at the watersports centre. Catamaran and banana rides are regularly on the Kids Club activity list. For the older children, Club One that entertains kids from 12 to 17 year oldorganizes a variety of activities, sports and excursions for them.
Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, located in North Male Atoll is a 12-acre island at a 25-minute speedboat ride from Male. You get concierge service, four restaurants, a sunset lounge and a bar for absolute family leisure. For kids, there is an infinity pool, children's pool, watersports and dive centre. Fitness facilities including yoga and a spa are available for parents to get pampered, whilst the kids get busy having fun. There are 96 rooms on the island, including some two-bedroom suites ideal for families. The resort has the unique ambience of a magical Maldivian village offering a first class, tropical island experience for families. For Kids Kuda Huraa is an 'active' island where children and their families have the option of participating in everything from surfing, back of house tours, cooking lessons and guided dives. Children's menus are available, rooms can be childproofed and cots are provided. Kuda Mas ("little fish") Kids' Club for 4 to 12 year old is open from 8 am to 6 pm and has a wide range of activities, including crafts, snorkelling and yoga. Children aged 6 and over can have water-skiing and surfing lessons. The Furaavaru Teen Centre for 13 to 18 year old is a place for teens can relax, watch a movie or play video or board games.
Constance Halaveli, which opened in 2009, featured in the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List 2010. Shaped like a curved dhoni (Maldivian boat), this chic and naturally elegant resort is a quick 25-minute hop by seaplane or 1 hour 15 minutes by boat. There are 86 villas on the island, with some 2-bedroom, 2-storey beach villas, ideal for families. This resort is a good choice for families wanting a luxury hideaway and VIP treatment. The beach gently slopes into the sea, making it ideal for younger children. Resort facilities include a main pool, three restaurants and bars, as well as a fitness centre and tennis court. There are also plenty of water sports from waterskiing to diving to keep adults and children occupied. The spa is one of the resort highlights, featuring treatments for men and women, using organic products and local ingredients. Kids menus, cots, baby strollers, nappy bins and high chairs are available along with babysitters if parents want to take some time out. The "Kuda Club" kids club for 4 to12-year-olds is open from 9 am to 10 pm and it has a games room and children's playground. Activities range from building sandcastles, watch sunsets and the stars, and sending balloon wishes high into the sky. Children aged 10 and over can do a PADI scuba diving course and children as young as five can have a diving experience of their own with SASY (Supplied Air Snorkelling for Youth). This means snorkelling with mini scuba gear but staying on top of the water, giving children a taste of diving in complete safety.
Lux* Maldives, located in South Ari Atoll is on a vast, sheltered lagoon, around 25 minutes on a seaplane from Male. It is one of the bigger islands in the Maldives, measuring 4 km wide and 1.8km long, and has 145 villas with 18 interconnecting rooms and three interconnecting water villas, which can be equipped with cots. There are seven restaurants, providing healthy kids' menus, and six bars. The Infinity spa is on its own private island has treatment rooms with glass floors so you can relax whilst watching the fish. There are lots of water-sports, and there are a tennis court and a fitness suite. The Nest kids club for 3 to 12-year-olds has a sleeping room and special dining area so kids can eat at the club with their friends. Activities include Bodu Beru dancing and Henna painting. There are also puppet shows and yoga classes for children. For Teens, The Place, a sports cafe-style club has a non-alcoholic bar, computer games and table football. Sunset cruises and fishing trips can be arranged and kidscanlearn the art of mixology, creating their favourite 'mocktails'. The Young Environmentalist program enables children to explore the whole island including herb gardens and orchid nursery. Kids eight and over can try out diving with the beginner 'Bubble Maker' and 'Discover Scuba' introductory lessons while the entire family can swim with Whale Sharks. Baby essentials such as nappies and swim nappies can be purchased, whilst sterilizers and baby care kits are available on request. Fresh food can be made to order, or Heinz baby products are available to buy. Babysitters can also be booked and there is also an on-island doctor.
Angsana Velavaru at the remote South Nilhande Atoll is also an island resort which is a 40-minute seaplane journey from Male International Airport. Angsana Velavaru offers unspoilt natural beauty and the best of both worlds for families - underwater adventures for kids and a private retreat for parents. The 60,000-square meter island has 79 individual villas including 32 stand-alone villas located one kilometre from the main island of Velavaru. There are two restaurants, a bar, a spa and a wide range of water sports. Families can indulge in cookery classes and even lessons in cocktail making. The dive sites near the island are strikingly beautiful and full of marine life, making this a sought-after destination for marine enthusiasts. For the sporting guests, the resort's Marine Centre offers a range of recreational pursuits, from snorkelling, scuba diving with an introductory Bubble-maker program for kids and marine biology excursions. The kids club for age 3 to 12 years provides activities ranging from yoga to kite flying and origami. One of the resort's highlights is the Marine Lab, where kids of age 5 years+ can have an interactive experience, going on mini-snorkelling safaris and even planting their own corals. You can also get babysitters. Families can also get involved with the island's Marine Lab, which focuses on protecting sea turtles, as Angsana Velavaru is a known turtle-nesting site, home to two critically endangered species - the Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind if you are planning a vacation in the Maldives with your family and kids. Try to book direct flights. Keep transfer times to a minimum. Try to find a resort near the mainland i.e. Male' airport. Find out if there is a hospital in closest vicinity or a doctor on call on the island. Check if the island resort is offering kids club and swimming pool. Avoid water villas to stay at if you are travelling with infants or younger kids.