Following our trip to the Maldives last year when our son was just over two years old, I’ve had lots of people ask me questions about going on a Maldives family holiday. The questions have been very varied: Is it worth the money? Is it worth the long journey? Is it really a family-friendly holiday? But most of all, I’ve been asked “Which are the best family-friendly resorts in the Maldives?” or “Which is the best island for families in the Maldives?”. These are actually hard questions for me alone to answer as I’ve only stayed in one family-friendly Maldives resort (which was very child-friendly and totally worth the money and the long journey as I highlight below!) so I turned to some other family travel bloggers to share their experience of other Maldives family-friendly resorts. This means, in this post you have a pick of some of the best resorts for families in the Maldives. And if you have any other suggestions for family or child-friendly resorts in the Maldives, I’d love to hear them so please do leave a comment – I’m always looking for an excuse to go back…
The Best Family Resorts in the Maldives, Tried and Tested
Some of these reviews are by families with babies or toddlers, and others are about staying in luxury Maldives resorts with teenagers. All of them take into account the variety of facilities on offer for families and they also tackle concerns over long transfers and sea planes. if you would like more advice for specifically travelling to the Maldives with a toddler (based on our Maldives holiday with a two-year-old) here’s where you can find that post. I wanted each family resort listed here to be included because a family had tried and tested it for themselves and could offer honest feedback about why it was so great, rather than compiling a list of the Maldives resorts that claim they are family-friendly but maybe upon arrival you see that their offerings for children (of all ages) were limited, because when you spend the kind of money that a family holiday in the Maldives costs, you want to be sure of what you’re getting.
One of the things that I think makes the Maldives such a good family-friendly holiday for parents when you pick a family resort that is kid-friendly and family-focused is how it is set up to encourage all members of a family to enjoy their time on an island, even if that involves partaking in different activities. When we went to the Maldives, we wanted to spend time playing and swimming with our son, but we were also keen to have downtime, and a few hours a day to relax, where our son wouldn’t just be with a babysitter, but he’d also be getting the run-around, playing time he craves. That’s where things like kids clubs and children’s activities come into their own. And then on top of this when you stay in a Maldives family resort you also feel your family is well catered for, both literally at mealtimes with baby- and child-friendly foods and portion-sizes, but also having all the right gear on hand including cots, high chairs, and kids’ cutlery.
But now onto the tried and tested reviews of the best islands and resorts you should consider for your Maldives family holiday.
The Best Maldives Family Resorts
1. Kandima Maldives
We stayed at the then recently-opened Kandima Maldives resort in late summer 2017. The weather was a bit hit and miss, the three flight journey (including sea plane transfers) were long and tiring, but the family holiday itself was magical. We couldn’t have picked a better resort for our first family trip to the Maldives as it catered perfectly for all our needs, namely those of non-stop fun for our two-year-old, and those more to do with relaxation and indulgence that his parents had in mind.
We stayed at Kandima Maldives for 12 nights in a beach villa with a private pool and loved having beach access – our boy loves sand! – and also our own pool to splash around in though we also spent many an hour down in the huge main pool by one of the buffet restaurant and bar. Our son loved hanging out in the kids club, Kandiland which was then the largest in the whole of the Maldives and when we booked a babysitter for him to spend some time there on his own – and for us to enjoy a little downtime or gym-time or spa-time – he was always very happy at both drop-off and pick-up time.
We were staying at Kandima on a half-board basis meaning two of our daily meals were included in the cost and with all the buffet choices at breakfast, lunch and dinner being vast and varied every day we never went hungry! We also received a discount at the a la carte restaurants for dinner or lunch when we wanted a change, and ALL the restaurants catered for our boy perfectly. There were high chairs everywhere, kids choices of food, and the staff were always keen to interact and play with him. There really wasn’t anywhere on the island where we felt our son wasn’t welcome, or actually, the guest of honour!
There is an adults-only bar on Kandima, and the Chinese restaurant I believe is for over-12s only but we didn’t actually go there by choice (it’s not our favourite kind of food), and I do believe that parties without children would still have a fantastic stay at Kandima Maldives – it’s quite a large island – but that doesn’t eat into the family-friendly atmosphere and facilities that the whole resort provides those with children of all ages. Calling itself a “lifestyle resort” rather than a luxury resort, Kandima is also focused on making the Maldives more accessible to more people, by providing more affordable accommodation options and this absolutely is focused on young families.
You can find out more about Kandima Maldives and read more of my review here.
2. Soneva Fushi by Marianne from Mum on the Move
Soneva Fushi is an extremely high-end Maldives resort that represents barefoot luxury at its finest. This is where the rich, successful (and yes sometimes famous!) come to really unwind, unplug and connect with nature, whilst knowing that they are going to still be treated to the finer experiences in life.
Surprisingly, Soneva Fushi is also one of the most family friendly resorts in the Maldives. All villas can cater for families, from the one bedroom Crusoe villa, all the way up to 9-bedroom mansion, with plenty of 2-4 bedroom villas in between.
Anyone who thinks that the Maldives is only for honeymooners hasn’t seen The Den at Soneva Fushi. This is one of the best hotel kids clubs I have ever come across. The Den is huge, with its own swimming pool with water slide, outdoor decking and sunloungers, Lego room, dress-up room, arts & crafts room, music room and loads of games, toys and space to run around. There are loads of fun activities scheduled throughout the week, from movie nights and spa days to surfing lessons, island scavenger hunts, cupcake decorating and pool parties.
Other fun family activities here include snorkeling on the house reef, whizzing down the water slide into the ocean at Out of the Blue restaurant, and fun excursions such as dolphin cruises.
Getting to Soneva Fushi requires hopping on a seaplane from Male airport and this takes around 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a domestic flight to Dharavandhoo airport, which is a 15-minute speedboat ride from Soneva Fushi.
You can read more about Soneva Fushi in Marianne’s review on her blog, and you can follow Mum on the Move’s travels on Facebook.
4. Taj Exotica, Maldives by Shweta from Zest in a Tote
Think blue green waters, orange red skies and white sandy beaches and of course, the Maldives pops up easily in mind. And is there any other set of islands that does luxury as well and as consistently as Maldives? We had high expectations to begin with when we went to Taj Exotica in Maldives, and those expectations were more than met over our week-long holiday, even when travelling with our young baby! And Taj Exotica certainly has to be one of the easiest resorts to get to as the transfer there with a private ferry from Male was very quick and easy.
Be it your dream of ocean villas over crystal clear water or a beach villa, Taj Exotica offers plenty of options for both couples and families. Fabulous water villa with all amenities, restaurant options, a great breakfast spread, an out-of-the-world spa experience in pristine setting, kids’ club, swimming pool (if you prefer that from dip in the ocean) and various water sports on offer, Taj is a good option for families.
We travelled with our 3-month baby and the staff at Taj Exotica couldn’t have been more prompt in figuring the family needs. Though my baby was entirely on my feed at that time, we found out that the chef was more than happy to make food separately for any child on demand. We made use of nanny services when we stepped out for a short water-sports adventure. We went for a boat adventure with our baby where the dolphins delighted us with their acrobatics. But nothing was as magical as the sunset time done right – we enjoyed sitting out in the open as a family having cocktails and food while taking in the the warm colours of the sky, the endless horizon and the balmy winds.
Read more of Shweta’s travels on her blog Zest in a Tote, and see what they’re up to on Facebook.
5. Four Seasons, Landaa Giraavaru by Chontelle from Mum’s Little Explorers
The Four Seasons Resort at Landaa Giraavaru is a fantastic option if you are looking for a luxury family resort in the Maldives. This hotel is on it’s own island and families can enjoy the 35 minute seaplane flight from Male with the most breathtaking views.
Very family friendly, this hotel has a kids club with a shallow pool for younger children, while older kids can take advantage of the main pool, tennis courts or watersports, and activities on the beach. A delicious breakfast is served each morning with anything you could possibly think of! And with fresh seafood caught daily you are spoiled with options for lunch and dinner in their four amazing restaurants. There are lots of options for those who don’t eat seafood, and many kid-friendly meals too. The chefs are quite flexible if you want something specific.
The area is well known for manta rays which are one of the main highlights. Snorkeling and diving in the area is fantastic being surrounded by the mantas along with yellow sharks, sea turtles and tropical fish. We found that young kids will really love the resort’s very own Marine Discovery Centre where they look after injured turtles. You can learn about and get up close to a variety of marine life.
There are different accommodation options including the famous beach huts. We stayed in a beach villa, each of them have their own private pool and look out to the beach which is perfect for keeping an eye on your little ones. It felt like we had the island to ourselves on many occasions as it is quite private.
You can fill your days at the Four Seasons at Landaa Giraavaru with excursions such as fishing, diving, snorkeling. But there are also many options on the island itself so you can easily relax on the unspoiled white sand beautiful beaches. Parents and kids can pamper themselves in the spa, or take walks around the property to explore. A week is nice, two weeks was pure heaven!
Find out more about Chontelle and her blog Mum’s Little Explorers on Facebook.
6. Kanahura Maldives by Melissa from The Roaming Family
The Kanahura Maldives Resort is heaven on earth for families. Located on a private island in eastern Lhaviyani Atoll, this luxury Maldives resort is a part of the Leading Hotels of the World property group. Not only is it amazingly beautiful, but it’s incredibly family-friendly.
The resort consists of 80 villas. The beach villas are perfect for a family, as the deck opens directly on to your own private stretch of beach. Our son had a wonderful time digging holes in the sand for several hours while we relaxed on the porch. Within the villa, there was plenty of room for our little family of four and the outdoor shower provided endless entertainment for our two kids.
Kanahura truly does cater for children. The extensive kids club, water features, little “kid’s corner” in the Boduberu Lounge, and the exclusive kid’s menu provide families with everything they could need on a vacation. The kid’s club also has numerous arts and crafts sessions and excursions to satisfy every curiosity. Did I mention the special bubble bath the staff can set up for your children? That was a great surprise! Best of all, kids under 12 actually stay and eat for free, making it a great value family holiday within the typically pricey Maldives.
The main thing that stuck out for our family was the warmth and friendliness of the staff. Our four-year-old became best friends with one of the servers and actually cried when we left. The love of families is evident at Kanahura Maldives!
Follow Melissa and her family’s adventures on Facebook!
7. Kuramathi Island Resort by Alex from Swedish Nomad
“Kuramathi Island Resort is one of the most kids friendly resorts in the Maldives. The island is big and offers a lot of activities. Many people come to the Maldives for a honeymoon, and bringing the kids might not be the best thing. But at Kuramathi Maldives they have dedicated activities for children, which means you can get the perfect combo.
The kids will get a dream trip of a lifetime, and you and your loved one will get a romantic vacation that will be completed with some fun family time as well. This resort island is 4-stars, but it was our impression that it easily could’ve been 5 stars since you have everything you could wish for.
Kuramathi stands out amongst Maldives family resorts with its dedication to providing an exciting holiday for the entire family. And their Bageecha Kids club is everything a kid could dream of. It’s open from 08:30 in the morning until 19:30, which means you have plenty of time for romance.
If you go here during a special occasion, the kids club will also have themed activites. For example, during halloween the kids will get to dress up. During Christmas they can help decorating the christmas tree and much more.
The kids will also be able to play in the water, either at the beach or pool. There are also organised activities every day in the afternoon. Besides being a kid friendly Island resort, Kuramathi is also luxurious and very beautiful. The dinner is delicious and served at several different with different themes. There is also a bar where you can relax by an infinity pool.
Also, since Kuramathi Resort quite a big island by Maldives standard, there are actually animals living on the island, such as the fruit bat, which is like a flying dog. There are also the “island chickens” which are quite fun and peculiar animals.”
Follow along with Alex’s travels on Instagram.
9. Park Hyatt Maldives by Sally from Our 3 Kids v The World