The Big Story Maldives

The Big Story Maldives

Once you couldn’t move for the honeymooners, but now the island has been transformed for kids, writes Susan d’Arcy.

In word-association tests, if you don’t answer “The Maldives” when the psychologist says honeymoon, the good doctor will give you a sideways stare.

These so-romantic Indian Ocean atolls are now as indelibly imprinted on the gilt-edged marriage map as the best man’s cringeworthy double entendres and the embarrassing dad dancing at the evening disco. So the latest focus for its top resorts is rather puzzling — they’re pushing their kids’ clubs.

In the past, you practically had to walk around ringing a bell if you dared turn up with an infant, but the new hot hotel in the archipelago, Diva, is placing every bit as much emphasis on attracting brats as bridezillas.

To ensure a rose-tinted, Waltons- on-Sea appeal, it has drafted in Johnny Mathis, the exacting Swiss general manager who turned the Anassa in Cyprus into the poshest, family-friendly property in the Mediterranean.

Mathis explains: “The Maldives don’t require a string of vaccinations, and the shallow lagoons here mean that the beaches are incredibly safe for kids. Some islands are tiny, so mixing families and honeymooners might not work, but Diva has 4km of beach and we can easily accommodate both groups.”

The resort offers plenty to tempt the grown-ups, including six restaurants, six bars and a spa. Some areas are strictly adults only. But there is also a large children’s club, The Nest, which is complimentary and open daily from 9am to 10pm for three- to 12-year- olds (under-3s must be accompanied by a parent, or a baby-sitter for a nominal fee).

It has a cinema lounge, a well- stocked library, a computer room, a large outdoor playground and a “siesta lounge” for when your toddler tires of excess and needs an afternoon nap.

Next door, just for teens, is the Place, stacked with WiFi computers, PlayStations, table tennis and pool tables. Beach- volleyball matches are organised here, and tennis tournaments are held on its two dedicated courts.

There is also Musik, a nightclub with live bands — though since this also doubles as a conference space, it’s never going to rival Mahiki for ambience.

Diva isn’t alone in targeting those with children.

When Reethi Rah opened three years ago, Jodie Kidd and Aidan Butler and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were among the stream of high-profile honeymooners seeking out its six-star seclusion. But what really surprised the resort’s bosses was the demand from families. During the Easter and Christmas breaks, 80% of its guests are now en famille.

Reethi Rah already has an impressive complimentary kids’ club, complete with dinky swimming pool and pint-sized sun loungers; and ClubOne for teenagers, staffed by its own sports and entertainment team. Now it is looking to boost its family appeal further by introducing a “parents go lightly” scheme.

This would allow guests to pre- order everything from nappies to buggies for their villa, rather than run the risk of having their baby milk mistaken for sarin.

The Beach House at Manafaru, which opened in February, is another newcomer with its eye on junior. Apart from complimentary kids’ and teen clubs, it has a giant trampoline, tennis, volleyball and badminton courts, Nintendo Wii, an 18-hole golf simulator and a special spa menu. For the “Lil’ Mud-Man” treatment, youngsters are given a bowl of chocolate mud to smear over themselves, before jumping into a mud bath and having a mini massage … followed by a slice of chocolate cake.

The idea is catching on, too. In May, the Conrad Rangali followed gooey suit with its Ice Cream Spa, where kids can have a “Super Sundae Supremo” body scrub and massage using “Gotta Have It Pomegranate”.

And if the thought of those ingredients doesn’t make you feel queasy, the prices will — the Supremo costs about £45 (about R670).

Which brings us to the cost. Why whisk your family to one of the world’s most expensive destinations when the kids could just as easily chew sand on a local beach?

Adrian Burley, sales manager of Constance Hotels, reckons he has the answer. Constance owns child- friendly luxury hotels such as the Lemuria in the Seychelles and Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius, and will open Halaveli in the Maldives in March.

“Le Prince Maurice was envisaged as a sophisticated boutique hotel for couples, but we found that lots of families came and loved it too, so we added a kids’ club,” Burley says. “There are lots of parents who aren’t willing to compromise on standards and go to some awful holiday village just because they’ve had children.”

Child-friendly touches at Halaveli will include mini slippers and bathrobes, and welcome trays with mock champagne in an ice bucket.

So that’s the kids sorted.

All we need to worry about now is how mummy and daddy are going to pay for it all.

Source: The Times Online

News of November 2017

30 Nov 2008

Two Hundred Maldivians Stranded In Bangkok Amid Protests

Almost 200 Maldivians are stranded in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, after thousands of anti-government protesters occupied two of the city’ [...]

30 Nov 2008

Police, fired workers clash at luxury Maldives resort

Police and striking workers clashed on Sunday at a luxury Maldives resort on an atoll in the Indian Ocean, police and protesters said. The strike at [...]

30 Nov 2008

State Minister for Foreign Affairs departs to attend International conference on Financing

Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed that Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Naseem, has departed Male’ to attend the Follow-up Int [...]

30 Nov 2008

President Nasheed condemns terror attacks in Mumbai

President Mohamed Nasheed has sent a message of sympathy to President of India, Prathiba Patil, on learning about the deadly explosions and gun fire t [...]

29 Nov 2008

Maldives To Join ILO

Minister for Employment Hassan Lateef has said he will submit an application for the Maldives to join the International Labour Organisation before 4 D [...]

27 Nov 2008

Maldives seeks India's aid in building democracy

“India, as the largest democracy in the world and a regional force can play a big role in building a strong democracy in our country,” acc [...]

27 Nov 2008

Commonwealth observer group issues Final Report on Maldives Presidential elections

Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma on Wednesday has released the Final Report of the Commonwealth Observer Group which observed the Maldiv [...]

27 Nov 2008

Gayoom Denies Home Request Letter From Nasir

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has denied receiving a letter from his predecessor, Ibrahim Nasir, requesting permission to return to Maldives a [...]

25 Nov 2008

First Secretary of Indian High Commission calls on Maldives Police Chief

Maldives Police Services has revealed that the First Secretary of the Indian High Commission, Narayan Swami, has paid a visit to the Commissioner of P [...]

24 Nov 2008

Full Moon rebrands to Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa

Full Moon resort is to become the Sheraton Full Moon Resort & Spa by Dec 1, 2008. Located on its own private island, Furanafushi, in the North Ma [...]

23 Nov 2008

Thousands Pay Final Respects To Former President Ibrahim Nasir

Thousands of people queued outside the presidential palace in Malé on Sunday to pay their final respects to the late former Maldives President [...]

22 Nov 2008

Maldives freedom hero Nasir dies

Former President Ibrahim Nasir has passed away last night at 2115 at Mt Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore after suffering from prolonged illness. Accor [...]

21 Nov 2008

Club Med Kani offers a peaceful paradise in the Maldives

Breathe in the fresh air, a mix of humid equatorial heat and salty sea spray, and look across the shallow blue water of the lagoon to the deep indigo [...]

20 Nov 2008

Maldives showcased at World Travel Mart 2008

The Maldives Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) and Maldives tourism industry representatives has participated in the World Travel Mart 2008 from 10 to 13 [...]

18 Nov 2008

Maldives Tourism booming despite global economic crisis

Maldives tourism industry is booming despite the current economic current crisis facing most countries, two of the biggest stakeholders of the industr [...]

16 Nov 2008

New President Pushes Forward With Decentralisation

President Mohamed Nasheed is pushing ahead with pledged decentralisation, on Sunday announcing plans to establish regional development councils in the [...]

15 Nov 2008

The Big Story Maldives

Once you couldn’t move for the honeymooners, but now the island has been transformed for kids, writes Susan d’Arcy. In word-association t [...]

14 Nov 2008

Maldives plans to buy new homeland

There is at least one item on the Maldives’ president’s agenda that can be found on no other across the world. Newly-elected president Mo [...]

12 Nov 2008

Maldives to trim sales pitch to sail financial storm

The exotic Maldives, one of the world's most exclusive tourist destinations, is looking to cut prices and put resort expansion on hold to weather the [...]

11 Nov 2008

Nasheed sworn in as the new president of the Maldives

Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) was sworn in as the Maldives' 4th president on Tuesday morning. Mr Nasheed defeated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom last mon [...]

10 Nov 2008

New Maldives president to be sworn in

A former political prisoner who unseated Asia's longest-serving leader as president of the Maldives will be sworn into office Tuesday, taking charge o [...]

06 Nov 2008

The Haven at Lankanfinolhu Newest addition to Villa Hotels Grand Opening Jan 2009

Standing clearly above the rest, The Haven at Lankanfinolhu, is a heavenly retreat. Just 20 minutes from the airport lies The Haven facing the majest [...]

06 Nov 2008

The Maldives offer an even warmer welcome

While all eyes are on the US presidential election, another election in a much smaller country on the other side of the world will also have a signifi [...]

04 Nov 2008

Maldives president elect wants private investment

The Maldives' president-elect said on Monday he will open up public enterprises to foreign investors to help create more sustainable revenue for the t [...]

02 Nov 2008

UN Secretary General applauds Maldives after its first multiparty presidential polls

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the people of the Maldives for the peaceful conduct of the Indian Ocean archipelago’s first-ev [...]

02 Nov 2008

Lord Malloch Brown comments on Maldives election

'I welcome the acceptance by the candidates and their respective parties of the results of this first and historic multi-party presidential election u [...]

02 Nov 2008

MDP Says Presidential Appointees Should Change

President Elect Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) will appoint new presidential appointees to the People's Majlis (parliament) once he's sworn in, spokesperson I [...]

01 Nov 2008

India and America congratulates Mohamed Nasheed on winning election

Mohamed Nasheed, who beat President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the country’s first-ever multiparty elections to become the country’s fourth [...]
 

© 2017 MaldivesResortIslands.com

Top Travelling Sites Travel Directory