Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.
Today (May 14, 2018): Top 10 best family-friendly resorts in the Maldives.
The Maldives is widely regarded as one of the world’s ultimate romantic destinations, and for good reason. What’s not to like about its iconic sunsets, sugar white beaches, world-class spa facilities, unparalleled snorkeling and diving, Michelin-starred restaurants, endless vistas over clear lagoons, and stunning overwater villas. It’s no wonder couples flock here in droves. Yet, the Maldives is also a wonderful destination for a family holiday, to relax, unwind and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. In fact, seeing the Maldives with kids can be one of the most amazing travel experiences for families, although some resorts in the Maldives are better suited for families with young kids and teenagers than others. Below, I have listed the 10 best resorts in the archipelago for a stunning family vacation.
There’s more info below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite kid-friendly resort in the Maldives in the comments section, or take my poll below!
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10. NIYAMA PRIVATE ISLAND MALDIVES
An idyllic backdrop (the resort is spread over two isles: family-focused Isle of Play, and romantic honeymooner’s hideaway Isle of Chill) and vast views of the Indian Ocean set the stage for Niyama Maldives, which offers a chilled-out take on tropical-island luxury. The resort serves up one of the best dining scenes in the Maldives with no less than seven restaurants, including four unique options. Niyama offers 134 villas, over water or on the beach, with each villa having a secluded deck that offers pure privacy to luxuriate in al fresco rain showers, moonlit dips, or an intimate afternoon basking in the sun. Set in the heart of the Isle of Play, the resort’s Explorers Kids Club caters to the imaginations of all ages and immerses children in the eye-opening nature and cultural beauty of the islands – from Dhivehi lullabies to dolphin scouting.
- Hotel website: Niyama Private Island Maldives
9. SHANGRI-LA VILLINGILI RESORT & SPA
In a paradise nation where every hotel is located on its own, picture-perfect island, it is difficult to pick a favorite one, but the Shangri-La Villingili is a standout since it is the largest of all Maldivian resort islands. The island, operated by one of Asia’s finest luxury hotel brands, lies in the extreme south of the archipelago in the Addu Atoll, and is a super-de-luxe resort on a grand scale, with 132 impressive overwater and beach villas (that come in 7 categories, in addition to 2 presidential villas) as well as a wealth of facilities from spa to tennis and golf. There are 3 bars and 3 restaurants, and babysitting is provided for those nights when you require some time to yourself. The Shangri-La’s ‘Cool Zone’ welcomes children aged 4 to 12, and provides a range of different facilities such as the Jungle Club where the kids can meet animals and reptiles. There are also a range of games, fitness activities and arts and crafts.
- Hotel website: Shangri-La Villingili
8. JUMEIRAH VITTAVELI
Located a short 20-minute ride onboard a luxurious motorised catamaran from Malé, Jumeirah Vittaveli offers unmatched diversity, subtle luxury and personalised exploration, whether you are seeking a romantic getaway or an exotic destination for your family. The resort comprises 89 villas and suites each with their own swimming pool and direct access to the beach or lagoon. The private and spacious villas are available with one or two bedrooms making them the ideal accommodation for both families and couples. Highlights are the free-standing Ocean Suites, located only a heartbeat away from the main island and accessible by complimentary boat service. The resort has a dedicated TV channels for kids, both indoor and outdoor play equipment, games, a kids club and babysitting service, making it a perfect holiday spot for families with young kids.
- Hotel website: Jumeirah Vittaveli
7. FOUR SEASONS LANDAA GIRAAVARU
With 103 spacious villas spread across a remote jungle wilderness in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru combines impeccable service, five-star facilities and world-class cuisine with a real sense of discovery. There are babysitting services and a kids club for children aged 4-12. Young adults aged between 13-18 can also benefit from an extensive range of activities that are centered around the water. The resort runs a Marine Discovery Centre that is great for both kids and adults to learn about science and marine life in the Maldives. A stay here can be combined with a holiday at its sister property, Kuda Huraa, renowned for its exceptional surf and easy charm. Last year, Four Seasons also opened an ultraluxe private island, called Four Seasons Private Island Maldives at Voavah, a secluded haven that transcends the private island experience for a maximum of 22 guests.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru
- Other accolades: the Four Seasons resorts in the Maldives also feature in my top 10 list of the best Four Seasons hotels & resorts in the world.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, $100 USD spa credit, welcome amenity in room on arrival, and departure gift).
6. THE ST REGIS MALDIVES VOMMULI RESORT
A 40-minute seaplane ride southwest from Malé airport, the St Regis hotel is located on a tiny island, surrounded by unspoiled beaches and a secluded lagoon with sparkling turquoise waters. The resort features 77 luxuriously appointed private villas, all with a distinct contemporary design scheme inspired by the island’s natural materials and color palette. Nestled in the island’s lust tropical interiors, you find an impressive children’s club for kids aged 4 to 12, offering yoga classes complete with meditation, cooking courses in the dedicated children’s kitchen, and art classes including origami and painting. There’s also a Socialite Club welcoming teenagers aged 16 years and older to take part in a variety of entertainment options including table tennis, pool, and air hockey as well as video and board games.
- Hotel website: The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
- Other accolades: The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort also features in my lists of the most fabulous luxury resorts in the Maldives, the best overwater villas in the Maldives and the best new luxury hotels of 2016.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, $300 USD food & beverage credit, one Hydrotherapy Blue hole experience, and daily buffet breakfast).
- Review: read my review of the St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort here.
5. CONSTANCE MOOFUSHI
From ecological thatch roofing to crystal clear water, Constance Moofushi is a unique resort with a soul set right at the heart of South Ari Atoll. All villas are decorated with wondrous tones of nature with a hint of Constance chic, and either built on the dazzling white sands or on stilts that float above the turquoise waters. Constance Moofushi Maldives lies on the migration route of various kinds of marine life like whale sharks, dolphins, mantas, and sea eagles, offering superb snorkeling and diving. But the best feature for families is that Constance Moofushi is one of the few resorts in the Maldives that offers an all-inclusive package – from premium drinks, exquisite cuisine to luxurious accommodation. So, growing teens can eat and drink endlessly without their parents having to worry about the bill.
- Hotel website: Constance Moofushi
4. SIX SENSES LAAMU
Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean, requiring a domestic flight and short boat trip to get there. Yin Yang, the Maldives’ most famous surfing wave breaks just offshore. The luxury Maldives resort is a combination of fabulous on-land and over-water villas constructed of sustainable materials and set around the palm-fringed paradise. The house reef that encircles Six Senses Laamu is simply spectacular, with a stunning coral garden where it is very common to see Oriental Sweetlips, parrotfish and even green turtles as you make you way along it. The resort caters very well to families with a kids’ club (albeit a modest one with an arts and crafts room and a sandy playground), marine biologist on site teaching children about all the sealife, and a complimentary ice-cream bar on the jetty.
- Hotel website: Six Senses Laamu
- Other accolades: Six Senses Laamu also features in my top 10 lists of the most fabulous hotels in the Maldives and the best resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, $100 USD food & beverage credit, $100 USD spa credit, and daily buffet breakfast).
3. ANANTARA KIHAVAH VILLAS
Set on one of the most pristine Maldivian islands, the resort is a 30-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport. The 79 spacious ultra-luxurious villas are either poised over the water with sweeping ocean views or nestled along a pristine stretch of private beach. Here, guests are treated to a host of dining options, including an incredible underwater dining experience. The near circular island is completely surrounded by stunning coral reefs that are teeming with colourful sea creatures, offering a surreal underwater world for you to explore. The resort caters to all families with kids, old and young. There is both a kids clubs and cinema in addition to numerous activities for kids so that one thing is sure: you will never hear them say they are bored (if you hear from them at all!).
- Hotel website: Anantara Kihavah Villas
- Other accolades: Anantara Kihavah Villas also features in my top 10 lists of the world’s best underwater hotels, the most fabulous overwater villas in the Maldives, and the best resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, $50 USD spa credit).
2. SONEVA JANI
Inspired by a word that means wisdom in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani – my favorite resort in the Maldives – is located on Medhufaru island, which is part of an uninhabited five-island cluster in the Noonu Atoll. The Maldives’ most exclusive hotel is fringed by pristine beaches, blanketed with lush tropical greenery, and surrounded by a 5.6 km (3,4 mi) lagoon of crystal clear waters with uninterrupted 360° views of the Indian Ocean. Each one of the 24 water villas has a private pool, opens to its own stretch of lagoon, and a retractable roof which slides back at the touch of a button so that guests can lie in bed and stargaze. Although the resort is a favorite among couples (and for good reason), it also offers terrific kids facilities, such a (small) kids club, chocolate and ice cream parlor, overwater cinema, and activities such as treasure and scavenger hunts. The highlight for kids are the water slides going directly from the villas and communal areas into the turquoise lagoon below.
Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at Soneva Jani at the time of booking.
- Hotel website: Soneva Jani
- Other accolades: Soneva Jani also features in my lists of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling, the most fabulous overwater villas in the Maldives, the best new luxury hotels of 2016, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, and my favorite hotels in the world.
- Review: read my review of Sonev Jani here.
1. SONEVA FUSHI
Soneva Fushi Resort, the Maldives’ original desert island hideaway and sister resort of Soneva Kiri, is located in the stunnnig Baa Atoll island archipelago, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Massive, Robinson Crusoe-style, multi-bedroom luxury villas and private residences are hidden among dense tropical foliage with views of the ridiculously clear lagoon. In keeping with the castaway theme, many are built to resemble tree houses. All villas open to their own private stretch of sugar white sands, and most boast their own private seawater swimming pools. Intuitive service is provided by Mr/Ms Friday butlers who know what you want before you want it. The stunning and massive children’s club – called the ‘Den’ – is the largest of its kind in the Maldives and a family’s favorite. The Den is like an amusement water-park, eco-pod and theatre of dreams all rolled into one.
Contact me to receive a complimentary room upgrade at Soneva Fushi at the time of booking.
- Hotel website: Soneva Fushi
- Other accolades: Soneva Fushi also features in my top 10 lists of the best family hotels in the world, the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia, the best resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling, the most fabulous hotels in the Maldives, and the world’s most insanely beautiful hotel beaches.
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, Champagne and Maldivian tapas, original handcrafted arrival and departure mementos, and a complimentary lunch for up to two people).
- Review: read my review of Soneva Fushi here.
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WE NEED RESORT IN ISLAND DOWN FROM AIRPORT FAR AWAY FROM AIRPORT
Please take Shangrali off your top family resorts. The kids club is not acceptable. There is a little room for kids for ages 4 – 12 the size of our bed room with a toddler climbing structure and then there is an outside playground. There is zero thought or programming put into this club. The programs for today Friday feb 14, 2019 are all crafts available in the tiny club house and they do plan to go outside for tree planting at 2:00 – 3:00 but I cannot imagine what that would be like after seeing this place. The grounds of the island and pretty and fun for families but the kids club does nothing to provide any enhancement to the child’s or parent’s or families’ stay. This is an old school kids club and I do not expect this when you reccomended it and when I am paying 1,200 a night for a room. I was looking for marine biologists to take them to see turtles or explain the coral reef, thoughtful programs and not ages 4-12 lumped in a room all day. The dinner dinner I was talked into last night upon arrival was $100 per person for bad service and just okay food. drinks were not even included at that price. I understand a hotel of his level will have bad food but the bad service and food at a 100 per person dinner is ridiculous. I had to walk up to ask for water refills and drinks at dinner. I am scared to try the spa for fear of more disappointment . I should have splurged on the nicer five stars but since this was written up higher on the kids club ranking than the four seasons I trusted your opinion. Now we are stuck here for six days. Do not come to Shangrali and please luxury travel expert get in touch with your audience and provide an accurate review.
…so hold the phone on my last review. I must say since I complained about their lack of quality programming for kids, they immediately took the kids for a tennis lesson and kayaking. … so that is good for service but I do think they should incorporate a permanent plan for programs so guests that are not as vocal as I can rely on their service and programs. My kids love the independence of the kids clubs which is why it was so important to me. For families that don’t care for kids clubs, the island offers a lot of potential for family time together.
These are TOP the most expensive resorts in Maldives, not top of family friendly.