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Family holidays in the Maldives: Resorts, reefs and relaxation

Crystal clear lagoons, white sand cays, inviting overwater bungalows… while the Maldives is considered the ultimate destination for a romantic getaway, it’s increasingly becoming known as a family holiday destination

A family at Centara Island Grand Resort & Spa Maldives
A family at Centara Island Grand Resort & Spa Maldives

If you missed the boat for your honeymoon or chose to go the parenting route alone and now find yourself surrounded by little people, don’t despair! More and more families are choosing the Maldives for a kid-friendly island holiday, and it’s easy to see why. 

While the Maldives is unrivalled as a relaxing vacation destination, there are a surprising array of ways to fill your days – if you want to. Here’s everything you need to know about this tropical island nation.

Where exactly is the Maldives?

An aerial view of Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
An aerial view of Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

The Maldives (pronounced Mol-deeves) is in the Indian Ocean, around 1,000 kilometres south-west of Sri Lanka. There are nearly 1,200 islands in the archipelago grouped into 26 atolls, of which only around 200 are inhabited. The two chains of islands stretch across the equator, leading to its tropical climate. Tourists fly into the capital, Malé, which lies roughly in the middle, before dispersing to one of the 165 resorts dotted throughout the country.

When is the best time to visit the Maldives?

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

The Maldives has a warm and humid climate with average temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C throughout the year. The southwest monsoon (wet season) is from mid-May to November, while the northeast monsoon (dry season) is from January to March.

Things to do in the Maldives with kids

The beach at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
The beach at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

The Maldives is ideal for those who want to splash about in its calm, shallow waters, snorkel among tropical fish and relax and regroup in luxurious surroundings. Whether your kids love adventure or go wild for animal encounters, a holiday to the Maldives is full of treasures waiting to be discovered. 

Diving and snorkelling in the Maldives means getting up close and personal with the islands’ plentiful marine life, including friendly green sea turtles and whale sharks. The warm, tropical Indian Ocean waters are perfect for little ones to take their first lessons. 

If you’d prefer to stay dry, you can still spot dolphins, turtles, and manta rays on a wildlife cruise. Curious anglers can learn the traditional art of line fishing, or head out on a charter in search of bigger game. 

Get up close to marine life at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Get up close to marine life at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

Expect loads of laughs on an inflatable banana boat ride, or go tubing, knee-boarding, water-skiing, wakeboarding or parasailing. Non-motorised water sports such as kayaks and paddleboats offer hours of fun and are readily available for resort guests. 

Cultural excursions are highly recommended on any Maldives family trip. Kids will get a fascinating glimpse into the Maldivian way of life as they meet the warm-hearted locals, learn about the island traditions, and pick up handcrafted souvenirs to treasure.  

As the day draws to a close, wind down with a sunset boat cruise or settle in for an evening’s dining and entertainment. Whatever you choose, you’ll want to soak up every magical moment.

Where to stay in the Maldives

A Club Sunset Overwater Pool Villa at Centra Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
A Club Sunset Overwater Pool Villa at Centra Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

Located on a private island surrounded by a turquoise lagoon in the South Ari Atoll, in the west of the archipelago, Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives is the consummate resort for families. The five-star Resort has more than 112 large beachfront suites and overwater villas to choose from, with timber walkways linking them to colonial-style buildings and a pool surrounded by palm trees. 

Kids will love the bunk beds and PlayStation game consoles in The Family Overwater Villa with Kids Bedroom, while the Club Sunset Overwater Pool Villas offer the ultimate in family indulgence. Imagine taking a dip in your own 12-metre infinity-edge pool, lazing on the sundeck, and lying on your bed gazing out at a seemingly endless expanse of blue…

Activities for the whole family

The E Zone at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
The E Zone at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

At Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa, families can hone their snorkelling skills amidst the colourful house reef, and see a variety of marine life from the comfort of a semi-submarine. Scuba divers will delight in exploring a shipwreck just off the island. 

The Camp Safari Kids’ Club offers a daily supervised program for young ones, including outdoor games, art and craft and eco-friendly activities. The E-Zone, meanwhile, provides a hub of entertainment and activities for teenagers, with two pool tables, a snooker table, table soccer, air hockey, table tennis and PlayStation games. 

While the offspring are happily ensconced, you can slip away for a workout at the gym, partake in a barefoot yoga class, or pamper yourself with a spa treatment at the overwater SPA Cenvaree, which also has a hot/cold plunge pool and a steam room.

Dining and all-inclusive packages

Azzuri Mare at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
Azzuri Mare at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

Have a fussy eater in your clan? No problem — Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives has a range of restaurants to tempt the tastebuds.

Enjoy pasta, pizza and other Italian cuisine overlooking the lagoon at Azzuri Mare, traditional Thai by the lotus pond at Suan Bua, or Maldivian specialties, teppanyaki and other international fare beside the pool at buffet restaurant Reef. You can also enjoy ice-cream and other snacks in between meals at the colourful island-style Coral Bar and Lounge, which has comfortable lounges, pool tables and board games, or sip cocktails as you watch the sun sink over the horizon at the chic Aqua Bar. 

In-villa dining is also available – or, better still, top off the trip by surprising your family with a private dinner served by the chef! Several meal plan options are available, so you can choose the one that best suits your family. They range from half-board and full-board to Grand All-Inclusive, which includes everything from bubbles with breakfast and dine around options for lunch and dinner to daily laundry service and a free banana boat ride. 

Maldives family accommodation deals

A family in a premium sunset overwater villa at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
A family in a premium sunset overwater villa at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

Worried it’s beyond the budget? Centara Hotels & Resorts often offers great deals on its website, particularly for travel from mid-April to mid-October. Click here to see the latest promotions. 

Centara Hotels & Resorts is also opening a four-star family resort, Centara Mirage Lagoon Maldives, just a short boat ride from Malé in November 2024. It will have 145 villas, including Deluxe Beach Family Villas and Deluxe Family Water Villas with Jacuzzis, as well as seafood, Thai, Mediterranean and international restaurants, an ice-cream parlour, a kids’ club, an outdoor pool with a lazy river, water playground and pool bar, a gym, SPA Cenvaree and free WiFI.

A family returning to their beach villa at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
A family returning to their beach villa at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

How to get to the Maldives

Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Etihad Airways are among the carriers that fly from Australia to Malé. Maldives airline Beond is also set to launch direct flights from Perth to Malé in 2024. From Malé, it’s a 25-minute seaplane ride to Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives.

A family relaxing outside their villa at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
A family relaxing outside their villa at Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives

More information

Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives 

In partnership with Centara Hotels & Resorts

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