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8 family-friendly luxury resorts in the Maldives

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8 family-friendly luxury resorts in the Maldives
The idyllic island of Maldives isn't always the first place you'd think of bringing your family — but you should, and these top picks that will make travelling with kids a breeze

Sandy white beaches, coconut trees, and clear aquamarine waters frame the perfect getaway, and when it comes to delivering — Maldives does just that and more. While the country — boasting nearly 1,200 islands — tops the bucket list of many honeymoon-goers; times have changed, as the honeymooners of yore now have burgeoning families. While some resorts have evolved and proven themselves worthy of a family getaway, others have been created just for that.

To get the ball rolling, The Luxe Nomad has curated a list of the best 5-star family getaways in the Maldives, for a postcard-worthy holiday to remember.

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1. Anantara Dhigu, South Male Atoll

Anantara Dhigu is straightforward to get to, and is home to 110 beach villas and overwater suites — some with private plunge pools — which are amongst some of the most spacious accommodations in the Maldives. Besides its convenient location, we also love the staff's superb hospitality. They are certain to greet each guest with warm smiles, leave you with a family welcome portrait to remember, and plan little surprises that will have you feeling like royalty throughout your stay.

Family Time: Try your hand at deep sea or handline fishing. For a more relaxed approach, glass bottom boat tours are an option, while thrillseekers can enjoy several other activities like diving with dolphins and the underwater "rocket", which takes you below the water's surface at 20km/h. With endless recreational activities available including tennis, volleyball, pétanque, chess, and even a children's club (3-12 years old), a holiday here is truly time well spent with everyone.

For The Parents: Do a little morning meditation, beachside yoga, or even an overwater spa treatment. Spend time taking cooking lessons or learning about old and new world wines from Anantara's resident wine guru. Plus, there's always the gift boutique for handicrafts and tropical fashion, should you feel the need to shop.

Dining Options: Full breakfast buffet with live cooking stations at Fushi Cafe, casual lunches at Aqua Bar by the infinity pool, and breathtaking evenings dining al fresco at Sea. Fire. Salt., where freshly caught seafood and prime aged steaks are just some of the many options.

Family Perk: Children under 12 years old eat for free throughout.

How To Get Here: 35-minute speed boat ride from Male.

2. One&Only Reethi Rah, North Male Atoll

Located on the largest island in the North Male Atoll, set atop the glittering waters of the Indian Ocean, the award-winning One&Only Reethi Rah sure lives up to its reputation. This elegant and contemporary all-villa resort, featuring some of the largest villas in the world, delivers personalised luxury with villa valet services, alongside rich coral reefs and pristine beaches. We found that even a 7-night stay wasn't enough time to exhaust the plethora of activities here.

Family Time: Experience swimming up close with the world's largest fish, the whale shark, followed by a traditional Dhoni cruise to a desert island. Have some quality time with family spa treatments, rock climbing walls, and encourage creativity by joining an art classes by the resident marine abstract artist. And if you're wanting to socialise and join in on some fun, KidsOnly (4-9 years old), OneTribe (9-11 years old) and ClubOne (12 years old and up) are the resort's children's clubs with age-appropriate fun activities organised by a team of fully-certified counsellors and experts.

For The Parents: After dropping off the kids, relax in the adults-only lap pool with a cocktail. Take part in seaplane excursions or luxury yacht charters, and end with a sunset champagne cruise or a romantic spa escape for two. Be sure to visit their high-end designer boutiques to ensure your island getaway look is always on point.

Dining Options: A unique "garden-to-fork" experience of organic and healthy meals at Botanica, Japanese cuisine with a sophisticated twist and stunning sunset views at Tapasake, Italian flavours at Rabarbaro, and beachside Fanditha to satisfy Middle East cuisine cravings.  

Family Perk: Children under 12 years old eat for free throughout.

How To Get Here: Either a 40 to 50-minute speedboat or luxury yacht transfer, or a 15 to 20-minute seaplane transfer from Male.

3. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, Baa Atoll 

They've got it all, with jaw-dropping views to boot, and pristine waters, sandy beaches and lush forests as your playground. Whether you're part of an active and adventurous brood, or come from a family of wellness devotees, caring conservationists, or just simply seeking the usual family fun, you'll definitely fit right in here. 

Family Time: The family that loves the marine life together, stays together. Enjoy some of the many activities run by the in-house Marine Discovery Centre — Maldives' only full time manta ray research and conservation facility. One of the highlights is their Manta-On-Call service, where you can be contacted immediately when these creatures are sighted. Other notable activities include turtle talks and safaris, as well as night snorkelling. Finally, the Kuda Velaa club (4-12 years old) can keep tots entertained throughout the entire stay if they ever get bored (highly unlikely) .

For The Parents: Have a sunset champagne cruise or a romantic dinner at Blu Beach, or try an Omkaraa tantric ritual for couples to awaken your energy. While the kids are entertained, you also have the option of downtime Ayurvedic immersions and aqua yoga.

Dining Options: Blu restaurant serves up contemporary Italian cuisine while Cafe Landaa offers a delicious take on Asian and regional specialties — both offering children's menus.

Family Perk: Children under 12 years old eat for free throughout.

How to Get Here: 30 to 40-minute seaplane transfer from Male.

 

4. Soneva Jani, Noonu Atoll 

Inspired by the word "wisdom" in Sanskrit, Soneva Jani will teach you just that. Your family will learn to never stay in an ordinary resort ever again. Each of the 24 thoughtfully designed overwater pool villas (the largest in the Maldives) come with a retractable roof for stargazing in bed, a 13-metre private pool, and your very own Mr. Friday — a butler who is at your beck and call throughout your stay. Another highlight? Most villas also have a waterslide that goes straight into the clear waters of the lagoon. Back on land, there are plans to add more villas and facilities, to complement the current watersports centre and Cinema Paradiso. The Soneva group is renowned for their sustainable initiatives, and their latest offering offers all this in a luxe setting that will certainly impress.

Family Time: Here's a way to teach the kids a thing or two about astronomy: Go for a midnight astronomical picnic on the sandbanks or take a dinner cruise on the ocean. Stargaze from the largest overwater observatory, and learn about the secrets of the sky from Soneva's resident experts. Before you go Milky Way spotting, unwind at Cinema Paradiso, the first outdoor silent cinema where Bluetooth headsets are on hand, so as to not disturb the wildlife in the surrounding area.

For The Parents: Have a break at Soneva Spa, cycle around the island, visit the organic gardens, sip on drinks at The Gathering, go snorkelling around an uninhabited island, or lounge around your personal pool, drifting in and out of the ocean as you please.

Dining Options: Combine your astronomical experience at the observatory with So Starstruck, or tickle your tastebuds at Jani's experimental tasting room So Imaginative.

Family Perk: Complimentary all-day, chocolate, ice-cream and cheese rooms.

How To Get Here: 40-minute seaplane transfer from Male.

5. Conrad Rangali Island, South Ari Atoll 

Conrad Rangali aims to inspire their guests, and we love their 1/3/5 experiences concept which allows you curate your time based on a one, three, or five-hour schedule. The resort spreads across two islands connected by a bridge. Rangali Finolhu — the larger island — houses most of the beach villas and majority of the 12 award-winning restaurants and bars, making it ideal for families. The other, more tranquil Rangali Island, is where a majority of the overwater villas reside, enabling a more private and romantic getaway for couples.

Family Time: A variety of watersports activities such as snorkelling, catamaran sailing, windsurfing and wakeboarding can be found here. Alternatively, visit the Ocean Dive Centre to explore the house reef and other areas of the lagoon. Enjoy a whole range of fitness activities from yoga to tennis, and for the kids, the Majaa Kids' Club (3-12 years old) is the way to go.

For The Parents: The Over Water Spa features couple treatment rooms with glass floors for that full Maldivian experience. Take a dip at the adults-only pool, and indulge in Italian designer wear at the in-house boutique. Also experience decadent pairings at The Cheese & Wine Bar.

Dining Options: Have a buffet breakfast at the Atoll Market, the resort's main restaurant, followed by a unique lunch experience 16 feet below sea level at Ithaa Undersea restaurant, where you can dine with the marine life peering at you through the glass walls. To top it off, delight in a 10-course Japanese meal at Koko Grill set on the beach. Other dining options include celebrity Chinese restaurant Ufaa by Chef Jereme Leung and social hub Rangali Bar.

Family Perk: Children under 12 years old eat for free from the kids' menu.

How To Get Here: 30-minute seaplane transfer from Male.

6. St. Regis Vommuli, Dhaalu Atoll 

The new St. Regis Vommuli is no exception to the brand's renowned luxury and service. Its 33 beach suites and 44 overwater villas boast exquisite designs, artwork, and that signature St. Regis butler service. And if you have a large group and would prefer a residential approach, the St. Regis is also home to the largest 3-bedroom overwater villa in the Maldives, the John Jacob Astor Estate.

Family Time: Go on a four-hour fishing trip to a secluded Maldivian sandbank via a Dhoni followed by a gourmet barbecue lunch, glass bottom kayak tours, marine life excursions and a movie under the stars. The Children's Club (4-12 years old) offers a variety of activities like yoga and cooking classes, while the older ones can enjoy the Socialite (16 years old and above) where air hockey and video games are on offer.

For The Parents: Couple treatment suites are available at Iridium Spa. The fitness centre and yoga classes are also popular "non-kid" choices, as is a sundowner (or two) at The Whale Bar.

Dining Options: Family-friendly casual dining experiences at Alba's Italian restaurant, and patio-style pizzeria Crust.

Family Perk: Children 11 years old and below eat at half price.

How To Get Here: 45-minute seaplane transfer from Male.

st regis, Maldives, vommuli

7. COMO Maalifushi, Thaa Atoll

The name COMO may sound familiar, as you may have heard of COMO Shambhala Estate, the brand's luxury wellness retreat in Bali. Expect the same signature holistic therapies complemented by the magnificent backdrop of the Maldivian islands at COMO Maalifushi. The resort is the only one to open at the Thaa Atoll, south of Maldives. Although it's known for being a wellness-style retreat, it doesn't alienate, but rather encompasses families looking for this particular kind of getaway.

Family Time: A dolphin cruise with a twist, the whole family can have a thrill searching for these adorable creatures onto the Dhoni's splash net. Spend time on guided kayak tours, whale shark adventures, or on a two-hour local island excursion for a cultural treat. And if you're wanting to explore more, do an island hop to  sister property, COMO Cocoa Island.

For The Parents: Go on a romantic castaway picnic or dinner by the beach, and try yoga and other holistic Asian therapies at the signature COMO Shambhala Spa.

Dining Options: Unique dining experiences such as the family castaway picnic and island barbecue, easy going dishes at Thila, themed cuisines at Madi, and the finest Japanese meals at Tai.

Family Perks: Children under 2 years old eat free, while kids between 2-12 years old eat at half price.

How To Get Here: 60-minute seaplane transfer from Male.

8. Six Senses Laamu, Laamu Atoll 

Six Senses Laamu is the only resort standing in the Laamu Atoll. It's a combination of on-land and overwater villas built from sustainable materials, and the resort houses several restaurants serving mouthwatering greens and fruit harvested from their own organic gardens. Get a taste of the island life with open-air bamboo showers, glass bottom tubs, treetop decks for a surreal panoramic view, and world-class surfing.

Family Time: Six Senses offers a true Robinson Crusoe experience on a private deserted island. Just a 25-minute speedboat ride away, take to the sand and sea as the chefs prepare a light scrumptious meal, served with a bottle of wine — ready for you to enjoy under the shade of coconut trees. Kids can snorkel and explore the marine life, while parents relax on the beach.

For The Parents: Don't miss out on couple spa treatments, where highly skilled therapists use unique Maldivian elements to lull you into pure relaxation. Finish with sunset cocktails and private barbecue dinners on the sandbank or a dinner at the Altitude wine cellar.

Dining Options: Al fresco ice cream parlour and a chilled chocolate studio, open air dining at the overwater restaurant Longitude, and Six Senses' signature restaurant Leaf will surely leave everyone satiated.

Family Perks: Children under 5 years old eat free, while kids between 6-11 years old eat at half price.

How To Get Here: 35-minute seaplane from Male to Laamu domestic airport followed by a 15-minute speedboat to the resort. 

six senses, Maldives

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