"Sparkling Waters, Turquoise Lagoons and White Sandy beaches ….
this is the Maldives"
With so many beautiful and alluring destinations around the world on our doorsteps,
choosing where to vacation next with the family is not an easy task. The Maldives is
where sparkling waters, turquoise lagoons and white sandy beaches all merge to
create a tropical paradise.
The view from above the Atoll is simply breathtaking. The group of Islands seem infinite and
the picture perfect scenery when you land gives you the sense that not much really happens
on these serene Islands, except for the seamless efforts of Resort staff who are all so eager
to make your stay memorable and literally apt for royalty. Once you step aboard the vessel
en route to your private Island Resort, the pampering all begins. Sit back, enjoy the ride, and
start winding down to what will be days of lazing around the pool, endless activities and without
a doubt copious amounts of eating - If you do it the right way!
About the Maldives islands
The Republic of the Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean-Arabian Sea area. 1192 Coral Islands form a chain of 26 Atolls of which create the picturesque Archipelago. Some medieval travellers such as Ibn Battuta called the Mahal Dibiyat (محل دبيأت) from the Arabic word Mahal (Palace). This is the name that is inscribed on the scroll in the Maldive state emblem.
Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa
Offical Language: Maldivian/ Dhivehi
Dominant Religion: Islam
Time Zone: GMT +5
HINT on Gratuities:
If you were to TIP the service staff,
50 Maldivian Rufiyaa would be sufficient.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Maldivians are ethnically known as Divehin’s.
Getting there and Tourist Visa's
The main International Airport is Ibrahim Nasir Male International Airport and is 15 minutes from Male. The airport is small but well-equipped with souvenir and duty-free shops and eateries. Tourists are issued a 30-day visa on arrival. A valid travel document is necessary.
Choosing a suitable Resort
There is a staggering number of Resorts to choose from in the Maldives. Choosing the right one is in fact, difficult. The larger name-brand Resorts will undoubtedly live up to their supreme standards, you can be guaranteed that your stay will be almost unrivalled. However, do not be concerned that a boutique Resort will not offer sublime standards or facilities. Read the reviews upon booking your stay, and research Accommodation types, variety of Restaurants available and recreational facilities. These 3 aspects will typically give you a good idea of the standards offered by the Resort.
If you have a family with little people, ensure to choose a resort based on the Activities available for children.
Many of the Maldives Resorts have Children’s Clubs and suitable activities suitable for all ages of children, however, some resorts take pride in catering for very small children. Prior to booking your Room, search for the Kid’s Club facilities, children’s activities and water-based outdoor fun for the children to enjoy. Most importantly, before you have your heart set on a particular Resort, ensure that Children are actually welcome at the resort. There are many resorts that do not allow children at all. Similarly, some Resorts have restrictions on allowing children in the over-water Bungalows. Before you confirm your booking, consider what type of Accommodation you wish to stay in, most Resorts have the combination of over-water Bungalows, Garden and Sea-view Rooms, and then confirm if your children are permitted to stay in the Room.
HINT: Remember to confirm with the Resort the number of people in your party.
Ensure that your room is suitable for extra beds or cots.
Arriving at your Island
Investigate carefully the arrival methods and the relevant costs and timetable options. For instance, you may possibly tend to suffer from ocean-sickness on the 20+ minute boat ride to the island across the ocean. In this case, perhaps you would you prefer to choose a Resort that offers Sea plane transport. You may also find that the only transport option to your Resort is by Seaplane. Similarly, when you are planning your flights, consider the amount of time between the transfer to and from the Resort. With the timetable and incidental return transfer, you may find yourself waiting at the Airport for hours waiting for your flight. Remember to pack some activities that your children are interested in, especially for possible periods of waiting around the Airport. You can only feed them so many chocolate bars or buy so many souvenirs to pass the time.
Search for your hotel here.
What to Expect, and making the most of Precious Time
Chances are, you are staying at a Maldivian Island for a shorter time than you wish. You may have the sudden temptation to unpack the suitcases the moment you arrive.
Try to avoid this compulsion, have everyone change into something very comfortable and take a walk around the Island.
Explore the Activities Centre, walk along the beaches via the pools and discover the themes and codes of the Restaurants.
The children will no doubt be hounding you to take a look at the Kid’s Club Facilities. This is your chance to introduce the fun that can be had by them during their stay. Remember early on to take a look at the Activities Calendar. This will ensure that you maximise everyone’s time throughout your time.
HINT: Remember to check out the Kid’s Clubs on the first day. Use this time wisely.
HINT: If your little one is not keen on staying at the Kid’s Club alone, perhaps stay there with him/her on the first visit, and then try again the next day with a short stay by themselves with the caregivers (15 minutes or so).
Activities on your Island
Regardless of which resort you choose to stay, you will be welcomed with a myriad of Activities - Water and Land based.
Most Maldivian Resorts will have an abundant supply of equipment that will allow you to enjoy hours of water-based fun. You can choose to snorkel, scuba dive, jet ski, kneeboard and some Resorts can have you sailing your own small boat or kayaking over the ocean. Select Resorts even offer venturesome sports such as parasailing and yachting.
Whatever you choose to do, you can guarantee that it will be immensely pleasurable
as the Maldivian Islands are incredibly heaven-like and the waters are safe and calm.
One of the most unique things you can do in the Maldives is snorkel and scuba dive in
the stunningly clear waters and swim amongst the local marine life. In many of the
Resorts, it is not out of the question to swim with turtles, sharks and large fish, and of
course with the most vibrant of tropical fish. Imagine the surprise of swimming casually,
to then have a unperturbed turtle swim by you. Remember to invest in an Underwater
Camera, even if this just means buying a disposable underwater Camera. Do not forget
the water-proof sunscreen. One day of sunscreen neglect could have you bathing in Aloe
Vera and hiding from the Sun from the remainder of your vacation.
In most Maldivian Resorts, you need not limit the Activities to the Water or Beach. On your Resort or even on the Main Island of Male, you may have access to Cooking Classes with the local Resort Chef. Imagine returning home to your kitchen with a new set of skills, after experiencing a journey of rich culinary heritage of India and the Maldives, presented personally by your local Resort Chef. You could learn how to marinate a Whole Reef fish, grind and mix spices, or learn how to prepare specialty dishes. Special lessons are even available for children. What a buzz they will get from experiencing a hands-on class.
One of the highlights of your trip could be taking in views from above the 1,192 Maldivian Islands. Remember to pack your camera and take a journey literally of a lifetime by heading back up into the Air in a Seaplane. Relish the views of the Atoll and take advantage of the photo opportunities. Depending on the Resort you choose to stay with, you may need to take the transfer back to the Main Island of Male to board your flight.
What to Pack?
Our advice is, as little as possible!
The items that you should make sure to include are the obligatory comfortable beachwear,
suitable shoes and modest casual clothing (Remember the comfortable walking shoes).
The vacation may be considered casual, however, there is every chance that you may dine
in one of the Resort Restaurants, which could have a strict dress code. In any case, you want
to feel comfortable and not under-dressed when you indulge in the atmosphere of fine dining.
Hint: Pack an "Arrival Survival Kit"
Inside your luggage, pack a small bag for all members of the family that you can easily
access as soon as you arrive in your Room.
Let this be your arrival kit, and pack the items that you wish to change into as soon as
you arrive. This will allow you to relax and not bother about unpacking immediately.
You may wish to pack this onto your carry-on just in case your bags to disappear with
Preparing for Remote Island Vacation with Babies or Small children
If you have babies or small children, there is every chance you will be nervous about the baby items you need to bring with you. Remember, with your Island remoteness, you may not have access to essential baby items (such as nappies or even baby food). Upon confirmation of your Resort booking, confirm that availability of such items, and investigate the likelihood of accessing these items through a store should you need them. You may find that these items are provided in a ‘baby kit’ in your room. Ensure that
you give the Resort your details and requirements.
Comparably, consider the menu options of the restaurants and Room Service options. You may be able to access this through your website.
Recommendations for "alone Mum and Dad time"
Most of the Island Resorts will offer Romantic Dining packages. The “On the Beach Dining
Package" may cost you almost 2,000 Dhs (this differs from Resort to Resort), however, it is
an experience that you will simply never forget. We recommend booking the night early on
in your stay (just in case the weather conditions change throughout your stay), and give the
Resort plenty of notice to call in a babysitter.
If you’re not keen on spending up big for the Beach Dining Package, just dine together in one
of the Restaurants, and similarly, your alone time together without interruptions, food stains
and spilled drinks on the fresh linen will be enough to make you smile adoringly at each
other and sigh.
High on the list of “me-time" opulence during Family Getaways are the greatly desired
Spa Treatment, be it a head and shoulders massage or my all-time favourite type of spoil,
an anti-ageing facial treatment. A vacation to the Maldives is not complete without a visit
to the Spa for a spot of immense indulgence. The family always thanks me for this.
For most parents, a recurring irritation can be meal time, especially whilst travelling. By dinner time, whilst our stomachs are crying out for dining options, we find ourselves getting anxious about what to feed the children. Will they eat what we order? “Must they eat pizza for the fifth night in a row?” or will there be an outcry of “i don’t feel like this tonight”. All whilst being concerned for their nutrition and your wallets.
The Maldives is exceptionally celebrated for having diverse dining options for children. Whether you spend most of your time choosing to dine in the room, or you wish to dine in the onsite Restaurants, there will be many food options for the children. Even though the local cuisine is stunningly delectable and possibly spicy, it is also very typical that there are many food options for the children that are not so exotic.
Hints for Children and Dining
* On the first day of your stay, study the in-room dining menu and on-Resort dining options. Become familiar with what they have available, and always consult the kitchen on what varied meals may be available to you throughout
* From your breakfasts each morning, collect a piece of fruit, yoghurt and/or a bread roll or pastry for each of the children. This is a great way to fit in a snack during the day without having to have a sit-down meal because the children are hungry.
* If you have a small baby or toddler, consider bringing with you the typical fruit and vegetable food pouches, just to ease your mind about in-between meal snacking.
* Generally, the Chefs and Kitchens of In-Room dining and also the restaurants do not mind making slight changes to the children’s meal. For instance, if the children (or you) would prefer mashed potato instead of fries, then always ask when you are placing your order if they have these options available. It is a good way to mix up the meals each day.
If all else fails, consider relaxing on their dining options just for this holiday period.
We found that if they want to eat pizza for the 5th night in a row, just let them eat it, and ensure to return to better and healthier eating when they return home.