While the honeymoon resorts in the Seychelles and Maldives still cater for couples, many resorts have undergone a subtle rebrand to be more attractive to families. The couples are encouraged, more and more, to bring their children along to these family resorts.
On a recent trip, Lylie Moolman, General Manager of Giltedge Ocean Islands explored five-star resorts in the Indian Ocean. She picked her top family-friendly resorts in the Seychelles and Maldives – that offer everything from children’s yoga classes to pirate-themed playrooms.
Why spend school holidays at home? There are islands to be explored.
Here are 6 of our favourite family resorts in the Seychelles and Maldives:
1. Soneva Jani, Maldives
Get out of bed, skip the shower, and slide directly from your water villa into the ocean. Is this a dream? No, that’s a reality at Soneva Jani. Catering for kids and their parents – Soneva Jani makes sure that all generations have fun on the island. The new resort is a collection of villas floating on the sea. Kids will love the hammocks, open-air cinemas, and ice-cream parlour. While parents and grandparents will love the cosy, quiet spaces for relaxation.
There’s also plenty of things for the entire family to enjoy such as an observatory for falling in love with the night sky; or eating a scrumptious dinner and looking at screens that show the view through a telescope. Then there’s a maze made of hedges, a beautiful spa (where all ages are welcome) and all the fun water and snorkelling activities the Maldives are famous for.
2. One& Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
If you and your partner prefer to spend uninterrupted time together, then One&Only Reethi Rah is perfect for you. The resort runs activities for children in three different age groups so that teenagers don’t have to hang out with their boring siblings. The age groups are 4 – 9, 9 – 11, and teens. Younger kids can do egg painting during Easter time, learn to make sushi, do arts and crafts – and there’s even a separate dining room. If they do miss you, the One&Only offers fun things to do as a family.
For one, there’s a climbing wall. Yes, a climbing wall on an island. The entire family can also enjoy tennis, painting lessons, go out on a speedboat and explore the sea, wakeboarding or water-skiing. If you have teenagers, there’s intimate reed-thatched boutiques for window shopping or trying on beach clothes. We think the aerial island hopping by seaplane is the best family adventure by far!
3. Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Going on holidays with kids, parents, cousins and grandparents means that you need space and great food where you can gather and enjoy being together! Maybe there’s a glass of wine involved, or a kids’ platter, some amazing sushi or spaghetti bolognese… Either way, at Soneva Fushi there’s plenty of spectacular places (and views!) for your family to enjoy.
Then there’s also the chocolate room at Soneva Fushi, which will bring out your inner child. Taste delicious cardamom chocolate truffles, passion fruit pralines, and always changing confections.
4. Denis Island, Seychelles
This private island experience is great for multigenerational travel with its homely, beach-style cottages and range of activities – even though it’s such a small island. There’s snorkelling equipment, kayaks and paddles available for everyone to explore the island’s waters.
Rise early and follow the tracks of the egg-laying sea turtles on the beach or scout the forests for magpie robins and paradise flycatchers to learn more about breeding and tagging projects for these critically endangered birds. Families can also explore the island by bicycle and visit century-old tortoises, the island’s poultry coops and animal pens, the chapel and the staff lodging (a community in its own right).
5. Fregate Island Private, Seychelles
Take your children to this resort – and leave with mini pirates! Fregate Island Private offers kids a Castaway Trail through a jungle (no adults allowed!) to hunt for treasures, find ancient tortoises, and get to learn about the island’s wildlife. There are also treasure hunts on the beaches and – who knows – your kids might bring home some gold. Children are in safe hands, and babysitters are available, so mommy and daddy can go on a romantic private dinner date.
6. Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
Six Senses Laamu is an expert at catering for families – and multi-generational travel groups. This luxurious resort in the Maldives has an exceptional ice-cream parlour with 42 flavours from Nutella, banana butterscotch, coffee Oreo, green tea to carrot papaya.
There’s a cinema under the stars, dressing-up boxes, organised treasure hunts and bike rides around the island for everyone in the family. You will never feel like it’s too busy or noisy, as the family villas are spread out over the island and every villa has its own pool.
At Six Senses Laamu there’s also a dedicated children’s club available called “The Den”. Children can play indoor and outdoor games, make pizza or cupcakes, do arts and crafts like wind chimes, zoo animals or sail boats. Then there’s also water activities for all the family members to enjoy like swimming and snorkelling. Six Senses Laamu is an eco-resort, with a resident marine biologist, and kids get to learn about conservation in a fun way.