Maldives with youngsters: 5 vital inquiries to ask earlier than you e-book | Condé Nast Traveller India | Worldwide
I often get strange looks when I say that in the past six years I have traveled to over 15 islands in the Maldives alone with my son. Although the Maldives are embodied as a honeymoon destination for its breathtaking tropical beauty, they are also the perfect family vacation. With over 150 resorts, choosing the right accommodation is key, especially if you are vacationing with children. Here are some pointers to help you choose a kid-friendly resort in the Maldives:
Seaplane or Speedboat?
Speedboat or seaplane transfers are the norm in the Maldives. Some dock at the jetty, others at a pontoon. Photo: Leonardo Spencer / Getty Images
If you are traveling with a toddler or on multiple flights to reach the capital SmallIt is best to choose a resort that is only a speedboat ride from the airport. Speedboats aren’t particularly bumpy. However, if you plan to visit during the Maldivian monsoons (June to October), check to see if the property has larger speedboats that are more comfortable.
Some more distant resorts are only accessible by seaplane or domestic flights once you arrive in Male. (There may also be a short speedboat transfer from the seaplane to the resort jetty.) This adds to both overall travel time and travel costs.
The tradeoff is that resorts are further away Small will be more secluded with no oil tankers, local boats, and speedboats passing by. In the remote islands, the more likely you are to have the Robinson Crusoe experience you have always dreamed of. And for older children, the thrill of flying over the picturesque islands is an unforgettable experience.
Tip: Choose an island about an hour away by speedboat for the ideal compromise between a secluded island experience and the convenience of the commute.
Maldives with children: beach villa or water villa?
Heritage Aarah, Maldives
The innumerable villa categories with their different views may seem confusing at first. The difference in room classification usually depends on their location:
- Back on the island (garden or island villas) or directly on the beach (beach villas)
- Above the water on the lagoon side of the island with shallow turquoise water (overwater villas) or with a view of the open ocean (ocean villas), which are usually the premium categories
Be sure to check the room descriptions on the hotel website or discuss the options with a knowledgeable agent as each property categorizes rooms in its own way and has its own hierarchy. In some cases, beach villas can intuitively rank higher than water villas.
The experience of a water villa is typically Maldivian and a must, especially if the island has a house reef and your children can snorkel. You can step down straight from the water villa to view stunning marine life – manta rays, turtles, and reef sharks. Some islands in the Maldives are reclaimed or man-made islands and are therefore less likely to spot marine life. Therefore, it is advisable to quickly check whether it is a natural island before booking a water villa.
Water villas have direct access to the island’s lagoon via a narrow staircase, which is a safety risk for young children. The water villas are arranged on either side of a wooden walkway open to the lagoon, so small children need to be supervised when entering the villas. Therefore, most accommodations have a minimum age criterion for water villas. So please confirm this with the property again before booking. There are resorts that are well-equipped with security measures such as proper railings and child safety locks over the deck and villa. This way, children of all ages can sign a waiver. Families with young children will enjoy beach villas with views of shallow island lagoons.
Upgrading to rooms with a better location on the island, with private pools or hot tubs and preferential views (think sunset or sunrise) can change the budget significantly. Remember that too The islands vary widely both in size and in the number of rooms (between 30 and over 200 rooms). A smaller island doesn’t necessarily mean fewer rooms. The premium islands have a lower accommodation density, which means fewer rooms in a certain island area and thus more privacy.
Tip: Sunset Water Villas with Private Pools are our choice if you want the perfect Maldivian experience.
Maldives with children: is there enough for the little ones?
Kareena Kapoor Khan with her son Taimur Ali Khan at Soneva Jani in the Maldives Photo: Alicia Warner
Unlike other vacation destinations in the Maldives, you are limited to your island for activities and entertainment. If you want some time to myself as a parent, choose one of the islands where kids can enjoy their time with the resort staff while indulging in scuba diving, spa treatments, or just a dolcé far niénte in paradise. If you don’t want to spend quiet evenings, there are resorts that offer lively family events like karaoke, live music and club nights, treasure hunts, quiz nights, etc.
Most of the islands have fun activity plans for kids that aren’t limited to indoor kids’ clubs, but include group snorkeling, beach Olympics, scavenger hunts, hermit crab races, and even post-sunset events like campfire and marshmallow nights, movie nights, and PJ parties .
If you want to introduce your children (ages eight and up) to scuba diving, choose an island that offers the PADI Bubblemaker Introductory Scuba Diving Course. For older children, some accommodations even offer climbing, wellness treatments, painting studios, as well as special youth clubs and play centers.
Tip: Choose an island with a coral adoption program or marine discovery center where kids can do their bit for the environment by planting a coral or learning about rehabilitation of sea turtles and other marine animals
Maldives with children: full board or all-inclusive?
Photo: Baby Angels Photography Dubai / Getty
Unlike standard bed and breakfast packages, in the Maldives, given the cost of food and drink, choosing a package with meal inclusions is a wise choice. In the Maldives, your dining options range from buffets to dinners from Michelin-starred chefs. Most of the small islands only have a few restaurants. So, if you have fussy eaters or are restricted by food restrictions, your options should be explored.
Be sure to read the fine print when it comes to meal inclusions as these vary significantly. Full board includes all buffet meals, which are usually limited to the all-day dining restaurant and usually don’t even include soft drinks. After a few days you will long for a change in food as well as a change of landscape. This menu does not include room service or snacks. So it’s a good idea to bring lightly wrapped snacks with you for children’s snacks.
An all-inclusive plan, on the other hand, would include all meals and minibar inclusions. In the evenings, high tea, drinks, even free activities in the kids’ club, non-motorized water sports or spa treatments for kids. That way, you don’t have to worry about all the extras while on vacation. In contrast to the full-board package, these packages also include a la carté meals in specialty restaurants, so you have a more varied choice. Although these were generally only offered at budget resorts; Several luxury all-inclusive resorts have opened in recent years.
Self-catering is not an option, as most standard villas only have a kettle and only larger luxury villas or multi-room private reserves have a kitchenette or full kitchen, usually with a chef.
Tip: Choose an all-inclusive rate on an island that has a variety of dining options with a la carte and buffet options. There are several accommodations where children under the age of 12 can stay and eat for free, and a separate children’s menu. Pay attention to this.
Maldives with Children: What’s the Medical Emergency Plan?
Most resorts have a resident doctor or share one with another resort nearby. However, for a serious injury or illness, it is necessary to walk Smallor to a local hospital in the nearest atoll capital.
Access to even basic medicines is both expensive and difficult. Therefore, ask about the nearest medical facility, travel with health insurance, and carry a range of medications your child may need in an emergency.
However, there are islands with access to state-of-the-art medical facilities such as ultrasound, x-ray machines and a decompression chamber (for divers), nurses and even dentists around the clock. If your child is looking to attend the Bubblemaker or a scuba diving course for the first time, check the facilities available.
The most common risk is long exposure to the sun. Invest in a coral-safe, high-SPF waterproof sunscreen, sun-resistant rash top, or a full-coverage swimsuit and keep kids hydrated!
Tip: In addition to a medical kit for children, there are two simple but important things to pack: snorkel shoes to prevent cuts and bruises from corals and seashells while playing on the beach or while snorkeling, and a natural insect repellent.
Overall, with a little more attention to detail, differentiated questions, and research based on your specific preferences, you can choose the best Maldivian resort for your next family vacation.