Magical Maldives ( with Children!)

Magical Maldives ( with Children!)

Having arranged numerous trips to various islands in the Maldives, I was already well aware of the unique selling points of these captivating islands.

You‘ve likely seen the enticing images of turquoise waters, distinctive overwater villas, and velvety soft sands, but does the reality match up to the fantasy? Let me assure you, the answer is a resounding "yes" – a thousand times over!

However, it‘s crucial to take certain factors into account to ensure you select the ideal island that aligns with your preferences and, in my case, the wishes and requirements of my family. As a family of five, including three daughters aged 15, 13, and 10, the choice of accommodation is paramount, as we prefer not to be split across multiple rooms. Fortunately, the Maldives offers an array of options tailored to larger families.

After thorough contemplation, shortlisting, discussions,a vote and a touch of insight from a fellow colleague who could win Mastermind with the subject of The Maldives , we opted for the recently acclaimed Forbes "Best Beachfront All-Inclusive Family Resorts in the World": Heritance Aarah.

Heritance Aarah, is a 5-star Premium All Inclusive island, and can be reached via domestic flight and speedboat or, as we chose, via seaplane for the quickest option – a definite plus when traveling with children.

Our journey began at Newcastle Airport (my hands-down favourite UK airport – incredibly seamless and friendly ), with our route via Emirates through Dubai. The two-hour layover in Dubai (another favourite of mine – how can something so big be so impeccably clean and organized?) provided a welcome opportunity to stretch our legs and grab a bite. Our luggage was seamlessly transferred, and we proceeded to our gate for the four-hour flight to Male.

Upon arriving in Male, we were warmly greeted by a friendly representative who swiftly whisked our luggage away for seaplane check-in. We were guided to our bus en route to the Heritance Aarah lounge at the seaplane terminal – all wonderfully smooth and hassle-free. The seaplane lounge was a beautiful , complete with a dedicated kids‘ area, Wi-Fi, complimentary snacks and beverages, and even a beauty room. I admit, I indulged in the offered shoulder massage – purely in the name of research, of course. Before long, we were ushered onto our seaplane. The kids were so excited – what a cool experience, taking off and landing on water.

Walking along the jetty, the island‘s staff treated us to a charming welcome dance. We were introduced to our butler, Prikchit, and taken to the reception area via golf buggy. At Heritance Aarah, each guest is assigned a personal butler to cater to their needs during the stay. They establish a WhatsApp group for communication – I appreciated how it kept us informed about daily activities while remaining unobtrusive. Prikchit was outstanding, always ready to assist. He booked our restaurant reservations and addressed any queries – a true asset to the island.

We opted for a Family Beach Villa with a pool, essentially two interconnected beach bungalows with two bathrooms (a genuine advantage with daughters!). Our villa boasted a private pool and direct access to the beach. From the Elemis toiletries to the Lindt chocolates in the fridge, the choice of premium spirits and mixers – it truly was a special .

Now, I‘m not one for simply lounging around. My limit is about two days, after which I‘m recharged and eager to explore. Heritance Aarah offered us the perfect blend. The resort features an overwater spa, a dive center, water sports, and daily activities ranging from cooking classes to art sessions. They even provide complimentary snorkeling equipment. For guests staying over 7 nights, they offer sunset, sunrise, dolphin, and fishing excursions.

To reach the island‘s house reef, your butler can arrange a boat trip for snorkeling. We were amazed by the colours, and the kids loved the underwater world . Snorkeling near the dive center became a daily ritual, along with creating sandcastles!

However, it's important to note that the island is relatively small – you can easily walk the entire resort in 15-20 minutes (or you can ask your butler via WhatsApp for a golf buggy ride if you prefer)

Heritance boasts six restaurants and five bars. Making a choice for a favourite is a challenge, but we particularly enjoyed the ambiance of the Sky Bar (downloading the Sky Tonight app to learn about constellations above) and the setting of Ralu. Although, I must admit, we could have dined exclusively at Ranba – the buffet – and never got bored with the food . Trust me, that's a significant statement, considering four of us are vegetarians.

Our visit took place in August, during an inter-monsoonal period. Despite this, with daily temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius and only experiencing three brief rain showers (two overnight), it remains a favourable time to consider. Heritance Aarah is truly a versatile island. It offers a diverse range of accommodations, including an adult-only section with an exclusive bar and restaurant, ocean villas and suites, and beach bungalows. I had the pleasure of touring the adult-only Ocean Suite, and it was gorgeous - complete with glass floor in the lounge area .

Following our outstanding and memorable 7-night stay at Heritance, we headed onwards to a 3-night stay in Dubai. I can never pass through Dubai without a stopover – whether outbound or inbound. Having visited Dubai when there were only five hotels connected by a desert path, witnessing the transformation over 21 years never fails to amaze me. Our stay was at the Ritz Carlton in the JBR area, and being a first-time guest, it left me wowed.

The staff, grounds, restaurants, and meticulous attention to detail were unparalleled. Once again, interconnecting rooms were an absolute must for our family. I think I may have found a new favourite Dubai hotel for us!

Thank you Heritance Aarah and Ritz Carlton for being the perfect hosts

So, would I recommend the Maldives for families? Absolutely. I can provide a wide choice of other islands (and even suggest island-hopping if choosing proves challenging) to cater to your wish list . I firmly believe there's an island for everyone and every occasion.

To experience Heritance Aarah with your family in Summer 2024 we can offer 8 nights, including return flights with Emirates in economy via Dubai , 2 bedroom Family Beach Villa with Private Pool, Seaplane transfers , Premium Exclusive board basis from £ 3895 per person . We can curate a bespoke quote to include a stay in Dubai for you should you wish .

At Designer Travel, we've nurtured close relationships with brands and holiday companies to ensure our clients enjoy the most special and well-deserved holiday . Feel free to reach out for a tailor-made quote , I cant wait to share more insider tips with you

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Di Victory

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