The beaches in The Maldives are some of the best in the world. Powder fine sand, pristine waters, brilliant coral reefs and thriving marine life make for an idyllic family holiday for young and old. Plus the one resort per island philosophy ensures privacy and security so it’s the complete experience for every type of family. Of all the luxury family holidays, this is right up there as one of the best kids holidays ever. Here's the suitcases&strollers travel advisor for how to do The Maldives with kids.
A trip to The Maldives may be the only holiday you can afford to do for a very long time, but if you can justify the expense, it’s worthwhile. You will rarely find this brilliant combination of perfect beaches, a breath-taking coral ecosystem, luxury facilities and safe, family-friendly atmosphere all wrapped up in one neat, all inclusive family resort. Plus it's one of the few places where there is a very high likelihood of snorkeling or diving with the magnificent and elusive whale sharks.
Even the small things – feeding the fish at sunset, portholes from the floor of a villa directly into the reef, outdoor over-ocean showers – will fascinate the little ones and make parents feel super spoilt.
It’s critical that you select the resort that best suits your family’s needs. For instance, if you prefer a quieter holiday opt for a smaller island – but that does mean there will be fewer water sport and restaurant facilities. If you or your kids are easily bored with the food selection or need lots of activities, then select a larger resort with lots of restaurants, facilities and options for day excursions.
Similarly over water bungalows – the Maldivian signature – may look romantic and tempting online, but in reality can be a safety hazard for younger children. Think about what will work best for your kids.
Most vital is to look at the beach and reef – if you have infants and newborns you might want a beach with still waters and shallow reefs with smaller fish. If you have very active kids the beaches with a little more surf might mean more activity options or more varied coral reef wildlife. [For information about SCUBA diving with kids, see the suitcases&strollers story here.]
One&Only Reethi Rah is one of the largest resorts in The Maldives. This means there is a kids’ club with its own dining area and swimming pool. There are plenty of water and land sport options for both children and adults. There are numerous dining options. The villas are very large and the beach villas have a sizeable beach frontage. It’s also only an hour-long boat ride to the resort from the airport versus some other resorts which will require an additional sea plane or longer boat transfer. All this adds up to several options for family fun together as well as the versatility for parents to indulge in adults only time while the kids interact with new friends.
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a stalwart favourite in The Maldives, not least because it has an amazing underwater restaurant, Ithaa, located 5 metres below the surface of the ocean which kids will love. Do note they only accept children for lunch, not dinner, service.
Depending on the resort, the water may not be safe to drink but check with your accommodation. To be completely sure, only use bottled water for drinking and be wary of children drinking water in the shower or the bath.
For family beach safety tips, see the suitcases&strollers interview with the team from Bondi Rescue here.