The Maldives didn’t used do children very well. They were all about couples only. Now, since the downturn due to the recession of 2008, resorts have turned their attention to family holidays in a big way. Almost evey resort welcomes families with open arms. Just one, Centara Ras Fushi, has a policy of adults only, although a few have areas within the resort that don’t allow children either day and night or from evening onwards. These include Kuredu, Meeru and Vilamendhoo.
A good number of resorts have children’s clubs. More have some specific facilities such as cots, baby chairs and babysitting. Many have games, sports and excursions that work well for older kids.
As for the key factor of having other children around, it is more a matter of luck than planning, although school holidays and recommended child-friendly resorts will give you the best chance. My top 7 child-friendly resorts are here.
In terms of the island itself, bear in mind the amount of shade available around the rooms and over the beach. Finding a covered spot in which to play is crucial for the happiness of little ones. You also want to look for a gently sloping, shallow lagoon. And you may want to check if there is a resident doctor on the island.
Recommended resorts for kids
In terms of set-up, Kanuhura and One & Only Reethi Rah – are probably still out in front because a founding principle is to cater for the children of guests. They both have two clubs, one for smaller children and one for teenagers. Both are excellently resourced and staffed. Yet now almost every new resort is building facilities for children. Niyama also has two clubs and a plethora of activities, sedate or otherwise, for all ages.
More economically, Bandos has a children’s club in the middle of the island, has more children around than most resorts and is just a few minutes boat ride from the airport.
In addition to my top 7 choices, you should also look at the Club Med resort, Reethi Beach, Lily Beach, Atmosphere Kanifushi, Sun Island, Kuramathi, Shangri La and Kuredu.
Another rule is, if the resort caters for Italians it generally looks after children well. So add Athuruga, Thudufushi, Alimatha, Madoogali, Rannalhi, Maayafushi, and Palm Beach to your list.