The Maldives is a well-known honeymooners’ paradise, but how is it for families? Between small seaplanes and expensive food, is it worth the hassle? Sassy Mama Kristin investigates…
Having been in Singapore for 5 years now, we have finally made it to the Maldives for our “obligatory” tick on the bucket list whilst living in Asia! Before moving to Singapore, my vision of the Maldives was the ultimate honeymooners’ destination. A few weeks ago our little family of three put Six Senses Laamu Maldives to the test to find out if the Maldives can also be the ultimate family-friendly haven.
First things first. It is paradise. Six Senses Laamu Maldives is the only resort located in the southern Laamu Atoll of the Maldivian Archipelago. A 35 minute inter-island flight from Male, followed by a short 20 minute boat ride, and we had arrived. We chose to take the somewhat new Tiger Airways flight to Male, which was much more reasonable than Singapore Airlines but as we all know you can’t beat the service and overall comfort Singapore Airlines provides…having to pay for water on our 4.5 hour flight made this mama pretty annoyed!
Upon arrival for our 5 day/4 night stay, we were greeted by our dedicated GEM (Guest Experience Manager) who was truly a gem! He was there to help us with every little or big decision we made during our stay — from restaurant bookings, planning day trips snorkeling the house reef, or delivering a bottle of fresh milk to our villa for our little man. The head of The Den, the youngsters’ club on the island, was also waiting for us at the welcome docks. She was our designated babysitter whenever we chose to have an adults only dinner during our stay (well worth the $15/hour cost!).
One of my favourite things about the Six Senses brand of resorts is their visible effort to be environmentally conscience and committed to sustainability. All 97 villas on the island were crafted from local and sustainable materials for the perfect rustic luxury feel. And, in contrast to many of the other resorts we flew over on our flight, there they have not removed nor damaged the local reef to make way for resort construction or access to the island. We stayed in a Laamu Water Villa extended out over the Indian Ocean with beautiful sunsets and views of palm lined islands in the distance. This villa is great for families with slightly older children as there are no railings on the sun deck, so if you have brave little minnows that need constant supervision in or around water I would recommend a Beach Villa or the Family Villa with a private pool.
Six Senses Laamu is on the perfectly sized island: not too small where you truly feel unnervingly like you are on a desert island with nowhere to go, and not too big where you miss the exclusivity and unique feeling of being on a pristine island getaway. The island is dotted with eight unique dining options. We looked forward to breakfast every morning with a beautiful buffet spread, stunning views, big comfy lounge seating and free flow prosecco. Other highlights included Chill Bar extended over the water serving breezy cocktails and vietnamese fare. If you or the kids fancy a snorkel you can literally climb right in from the restaurant! And the beachfront LEAF, with a focus on sourcing fresh local ingredients from Maldivian fisherman and farmers – some even coming from the restaurant’s own organic garden! – is perched above served yummy Mediterranean cuisine with an ever changing menu.
We also made daily trips to ICE, where an outrageous selection of complimentary ice cream is served all day, Mango Jasmine and Pandan to name a few flavours! Major mama wins: kids eat for free under 6, they have an organic baby puree menu, the standard go-to kids menu and a healthy kids menu to boot. They were also very happy to make off-menu meals when we requested.
We spent most of our time relaxing poolside or on the beach chasing all the little hermit crabs. They were everywhere! We did choose to take advantage of the amazing kids facilities at The Den one afternoon. Available for children 3 to 12 at no additional cost, we paid $15 per hour for babysitting services when we dropped off our almost 2-year-old bub. The Den has a plethora of outdoor activities as well as great indoor facilities. Most of the arts and crafts activities are even sustainable using recycled materials from the island.
For those of you who love a high level of activity while on holiday the island really does have it all, with one of the largest surf breaks called Ying Yang just off the shores of Six Senses, while a more friendly surf for beginners, kitesurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkeling can all be done just off the beach. We opted to take a boat trip out to the house reef for a snorkeling excursion one afternoon. It was pretty special. Two turtles made their way past our group of divers while a beautiful manta ray was also spotted. Not to mention the abundance of colour from all the local fish!
We had a beautiful trip thanks to the Six Senses Laamu being overly accommodating, having super smiley staff, and everyone on the island knew my son by name. It is a genuinely happy place that loves children. The Maldives is expensive, no doubt about it, but for the ultimate family holiday it’s worth the investment in memory-making. It was indeed a treat!
Tips for the trip:
- No need to pack shoes. Six Senses Laamu encourages a barefoot island approach!
- Island transportation is by golf buggy or the bicycles provided for each villa.
- Don’t forget to bring your own children’s flotation device for boat rides or ocean swimming as the smallest size they had was not suitable for toddlers. No need to bring bring beach toys as they had plenty for us to use at The Den.
- The Republic of Maldives is a Muslim country and therefore you cannot purchase duty free alcohol or bring in alcohol from Singapore.
We are so lucky to have the Male International Airport just a 4.5 hour flight away. However, the total travel time from Singapore to your water villa still adds up. It took us about 9 hours door-to-door.
Six Senses Laamu, Olhuveli Island, Laamu Atoll, Republic of Maldives, (+96) 0 6800 800
Lead image provided by Six Senses Laamu. Image #2, #3, #4, #6 and #8 provided by Six Senses Laamu. All other images provided by author.