A Maldives holiday is the perfect getaway for anyone who's ever dreamed of spiriting loved ones away to a tropical island for Swiss Family Robinson-style adventures. Tourism is carefully regulated throughout the archipelago, which means the white sand beaches are pristine, the coral reefs unspoiled and the marine life awe-inspiring in its abundance and variety.
Activities For Children - Kids Clubs
Apart from swimming in some of the most beautiful pools and lagoons in the world, the Maldives is one of the best places on the planet to learn to dive. Any child who knows the fundamentals of breathing while swimming is probably ready to learn snorkeling basics. Many of the most family-friendly Maldives resorts are associated with fully certified PADI diving centers, which offer scuba courses that are developmentally appropriate for children and teenagers.
The PADI Bubblemaker course, designed for children between 8 and 12 years old, lasts two hours and includes a shallow dive. The PADI Junior Open Water Course is engineered for children over the age of ten. Upon successful completion of this course, children between 10 and 12 are certified to dive down to depths of 12 meters, while children over 12 are certified to dive to depths of 18 meters.
The Kids Clubs in the Maldives are quite unique in the range of activities they offer. Rather than just offering a standard babysitting / childminding service and playground, in the Maldives you will find a whole host of activities for children ranging from surfing lessons to cookery classes with the resort chef, arts and craft sessions using unique local materials, treasure hunts, nature walks and much more, as well as indoor activities such as films and computer games. Opening times can stretch to as late as 9 or 10pm, and childrens meals are sometimes provided allowing the parents a precious chance to eat or have a sunset drink in peace and quiet.
Best Rooms For Children
Due to safety concerns most resorts will either forbid young children from staying in over water villas, or require them to sign an indemnity form before they do so, however we think most parents will find their holiday more relaxed and enjoyable if they opt for a beach villa anyway, allowing the parents to relax on the balcony while watching their children play in the sand out in front of their bungalow.
The Top Child Friendly Resorts In The Maldives
Bandos Island Resort & Spa
Bandos has a reputation as one of the most family-friendly islands in the Maldives. Not only will there be plenty of things for your children to see and do at this well-known resort, there also will be plenty of other kids around for them to see and do those things with. From your children's perspective, that last is very important.
The Bandos Island Resort & Spa has a huge sports complex with tennis, squash and badminton courts. There is also a fully equipped gym although it's probably most suitable for kids over the age of 12 and only if they have their parents' permission. There is also a TV room where kids can watch entertainment channels, or play table tennis and board games.
The Kokko Club, open 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. every day of the week, offers planned, supervised activities for children up to the age of 12. The club is free to resort guests, and Kokko Club staff will also provide babysitting services when the club isn't open.
Older kids will prefer pursuing the many available water sports, such as windsurfing, catamaran sailing, water skiing, parasailing, banana boat riding, fun tubes and canoeing. The Bandos Dive Center is one of the best in the Maldives. In addition to teaching scuba diving, Dive Center professionals also lead snorkeling expeditions through the resort's excellent house reef.
Kanuhura Resort Maldives
Kanuhura is on one of the more remote atolls in the Maldives, which means that children visiting there will be thrown on their own resources a good deal of the time. There are plenty of activities for children on Kanuhura, but they are the types of activities you'll find on a tropical island, not at the local video games arcade.
Kanuhura's Kids Club is called Kids Only, and is designed for children between the ages of 2 and 11. Children under the age of six will need to have a parent on call while they're using Kids Only in case an emergency arises. The Kids Only facility is very large and even has its own swimming pool. Babysitting is available 24 hours a day, and costs approximately five pounds per hour. The resort employs trained nannies as babysitters. Children also have access to their very own kids' restaurant with a barbecue grill for making hamburgers and other grilled treats. Children under five eat for free.
Kanuhura's protected lagoon is a wonderful place for older children and teenagers to pursue water sports like windsurfing, waterskiing, wakeboarding and kite surfing. While Kanuhura has a dive center, it does not have a house reef. The up side to that is that the dive center sponsors frequent expeditions. The nearest dive spot is the site of two shipwrecks, one of which is partly above the waterline. What adventuresome teen hasn't always wanted to explore a shipwreck?
Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Meeru Island Resort and Spa is one of the largest getaways in the Maldives, which means your children will have plenty of opportunities to make new friends. This is always one of a child's favorite activities on vacation.
The resort is structured into three distinct zones, each with its own ambiance. Families generally gravitate to the west side of the resort, facing the atoll. Here you'll find a coffee shop and restaurant as well as a bar, and a kids' pool featuring regular water polo matches.
The beaches are beautiful, and the sea teems with marine life. Accommodations are close to the beach, but not so close that parents have to keep an eye out on their young ones at all times. There is also a games room for kids who want to spend some time inside. A babysitting service is available for couples who want to spend some one-on-one time away from the younger members of their family.
Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa
The Shangri-La Villingili is one of the largest resorts in the Maldives. In fact, it might be more properly described as a village with a transient population than a resort since in addition to villas, it also contains shops, an ecology center, medical facilities, tennis courts and a children's adventure center.
The children's adventure center sponsors a number of organized activities. Young Pirates of Villingili is a treasure hunt that allows kids to explore the island for chests of gold in full pirate regalia. Jungle Discovery introduces kids to geckos, flying foxes and the other unusual animals that live in the Maldives. Kids can also do arts and crafts, race crabs or take cooking classes in the resort's kitchens.
Of course, there are also many water sports for older kids and teens, like fun tubes and banana rides, surfing, kite surfing and paddle boards. Villingili has a fully equipped PADI dive center that offers certification for divers of all experience levels. The resort also has an unusual snorkeling garden close to the shoreline as part of its house reef, which is perfect for youngsters who are snorkeling for the very first time.
Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort
Vilu Reef offers a number of free adventures for parents with children. For example, if a parent books a diving lesson or excursion through the resort's dive center, than the child is eligible to take the PADI Bubblemaker course at no charge. If a parent books a water sport activity, then the whole family gets a free cruise on a catamaran.
The resort also sports a Kids Club, tennis, badminton and beach volleyball courts, as well as a children's playground. Older children will enjoy activities like windsurfing, banana boat riding canoeing and wake board riding. Indoor activities like billiards, table tennis and board games are also available.
Babysitting at reasonable rates is available for children over the age of two. Children under the age of two can stay for free so long the resort does not have to supply extra beds.