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Best family hotels in the Maldives, according to parents

Softly swaying palm trees, sugar-white sands and shimmering turquoise waters - nowhere says tropical escape quite like the Maldives. And happily, this island nation knows how to delight both adults and children with its fab family-friendly hotels. Here's the cream of the crop, as approved by Mumsnetters.

By Jenny Elliott | Last updated May 22, 2023

A family on a beach in the Maldives

Hotels and availability checked and updated by MNHQ on 22 May, 2023.

Made up of 1200 islands, formed around 26 ring-like coral atolls, the Maldives has long been the haunt of honeymooners. But, understanding that parents also deserve a little slice of paradise, many hotels have now become havens for families, offering action-packed kids' clubs and generous villas. Of course, world-class diving, luxurious spas and endless horizons all remain. 

But with so many picture-perfect hotels in the Maldives, it's tricky to know which one to choose. That's why we've consulted the Mumsnet forums and read hundreds of reviews to help you pick the best family hotels in the Maldives, whether you're travelling with tots or teens.

Best family hotels in the Maldives at a glance 

  • Best all-inclusive family resort: Lily Beach Resort and Spa | Book now
  • Best affordable family hotel: Reethi Beach Resort | Book now
  • Best family hotel for kids' clubs: Niyama Private Islands Maldives | Book now
  •  Best hotel for family-friendly facilities: Hard Rock Hotel Maldives | Book now
  • Best family hotel for teens: Ayada Maldives | Book now
  • Most stylish family hotel: Lux* South Ari Atoll | Book now
  • Best family hotel for beaches in the Maldives: JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa | Book now
  • Best family hotel for snorkelling: Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa | Book now
  • Best family hotel for food: Kuramathi Maldives | Book now

1. Best all-inclusive family resort in the Maldives: Lily Beach Resort and Spa

Lilly Beach Resort and Spa - Best family hotels in Maldives

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What Mumsnet users say

"They had a special kids buffet at breakfast etc., and sand breaks so the water was still and warm and calm, perfect for little ones to try snorkelling. There was a kids' club, and the whole resort just felt really safe and relaxing." - TheDuchessOfBeddington

Our verdict 

Keen to splurge on an unforgettable family trip? This luxurious all-inclusive resort on the pristine South Ari Atoll, with its easily accessible house reef, makes a top-notch choice. 

Kids aged 3 to 12 will love the vast range of activities and indoor games room at the Turtle Kid's Club. Meanwhile, parents will enjoy having plenty of guilt-free time for a diving trip, a yoga class or a rejuvenating spa treatment. Gather together for meals at the stylish main restaurant with kids' buffet, or opt for a bite at Vibes Bar, which is handy for the shady playground, dancing splash pad and children's pool. 

Beach-set family villas allow everyone to spread out and come with large outdoor jacuzzi baths. Sure-fire holiday bliss.  

2. Best affordable family hotel in the Maldives: Reethi Beach Resort

Reethi Beach Maldives

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What Mumsnet users say

"FANTASTIC - you have to get a seaplane, which is magical. Not uber luxurious (by Maldivian standards) but certainly very, VERY nice. Isolated and beautiful." – notyummy

Our verdict 

No one can claim that the Maldives is a bargain break. Still, if you crave a more affordable tropical island escape, Reethi Beach Resort offers excellent value. 

The laid-back vibe should suit families well, as should the swathes of soft, white sand, the games room, tennis court and watersports, including wakeboarding, windsurfing and canoeing. Families can snorkel straight off the beach and then tuck into lunch at one of the five restaurants. 

The villas are spacious, unfussy affairs, with great options for large families. This includes the rambling Reethi Suite with two double beds and two sofa beds.

3. Best family hotel for kids' clubs in the Maldives: Niyama Private Islands Maldives

Niyama Private Islands Hotel Maldives

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 What Mumsnet users say

"Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives is absolutely delightful and very family-oriented too." – Tryingtogrowarosegarden

Our verdict 

The savvy folk at Niyama Private Islands understand that the key to happy parents is well-entertained kids. That's why their kids' club offers bucketloads of indoor and outdoor activities, from cookery classes to dolphin spotting. The fact their well-trained staff care for kids from 12 months to 12 years means parents of even little ones will get some well-deserved R'n'R.

As for teens, there are on and offline games, including simulators for perfecting golf, ice hockey and basketball skills. The house reef is perfect for snorkelling trips, the spa offers family treatments, and it's one of the few Maldivian resorts where you can learn to surf.

As you would expect, the accommodation has been designed with families in mind; the larger villas have separate living areas with sofa beds, ocean views and private plunge pools.  

Take the stress out of planning a Maldives holiday by booking a bespoke break with Take the Family

Looking to book a family holiday to the Maldives but keen for someone else to take charge of flights, seaplane transfers, hotels and activities? Mumsnet has partnered with Take the Family, a travel agency that specialises in putting together memorable trips for families. Using a travel agent can take the stress out of booking holidays and offers ATOL protection for peace of mind. As an added incentive, Take the Family is offering Mumsnet users a £5 John Lewis voucher (for every £1000 of holiday value). Speak to a family travel expert to get a bespoke Maldives holiday quote.

4. Best hotel for family-friendly facilities in the Maldives: Hard Rock Hotel Maldives

Hard Rock Hotel Maldives

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What Mumsnet users say

"They have two-bedroom accommodation set up properly for families with a king in one and two singles in the other. Lots of activities including martial arts, circus, marine biology and fitness, plus live music every night." – Zodlebud

Our verdict

Hard Rock Hotel is a great hangout for families who want a fun base with a cool, luxurious vibe. Just a 15-minute speedboat trip from Male international airport, there's a good choice of rooms and villas here, with family suites featuring an extra-large double bed, a bunk bed and sofa bed – ideal for larger families. 

The kids' club caters for 3- to 11-year-olds, and its packed schedule features everything from music lessons to pool parties. Babysitters can be booked for littler ones, whereas teens have their own zone and activities, including paddle boarding and bike tours. All of which leaves parents free to slink off for a massage at the beachfront spa. Also down at the beach, the watersports centre has jet skis, water skis, banana boats and fun tubes.

This isn't the hotel to choose if you are after that desert island feel. That said, the brilliant facilities ensure you shouldn't hear the wail of "I'm booored" anytime soon. 

5. Best family hotel for teens in the Maldives: Ayada Maldives

Ayada Hotel Maldives

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What Mumsnet users say

"We went to Ayada with our two teens, and they loved it. So much for them to do, and they loved cycling around the island. There was tennis for them, outdoor films, boat trips, kayaking, pool, table tennis, and even PlayStations. Would go back there in a heartbeat." - Bednow

Our verdict 

This may not be the quickest Maldivian island to reach (a 50-minute domestic flight from Male followed by a speed boat ride), but being based on the secluded southerly Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll certainly brings its benefits. Swim just out from the beach and you'll find yourself in one of the world's most beautiful and undisturbed seascapes, where you can snorkel alongside darting clownfish, sea turtles and reef sharks. 

Once that's ticked off the bucket list, there are plenty of other activities to appeal to active families. Teens will love the aqua zorbing, wakeboarding and surf lessons. Those who like things a little more zen can join a yoga class or simply chill out on their villa's terrace before taking a dip in the private infinity pool.

The choice of seven restaurants should please everyone. Some nights you can tuck into a generous international buffet; on others, enjoy a beach BBQ beneath a twinkling sky.  

6. Most stylish family hotel in the Maldives: Lux* South Ari Atoll

Lux South Ari Atoll Maldives

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What Mumsnet users say

"It has a teens club (from 12) with specific teen-friendly activities, as well as the usual kids club." - minipie

Our verdict 

With its bright, airy beachfront villas, this gorgeous resort proves that family-friendly hotels can also be uber-stylish. Parents will love the laid-back luxury, extensive spa menu and choice of seven restaurants and five bars. The option of an all-inclusive rate will also prove popular - with no need to keep tabs on how much ice cream everyone's guzzling. 

The hotel has a kids' club for 3- to 12-year-olds, with a ship-themed playground and a raft of fun activities. Teens, on the other hand, have a programme of their own, where they can join dance classes, beach games and trips around the island. No doubt they'll also be on board with the hotel's eco-credentials; there are vegan food options, no single-use plastics, bikes for zipping about on and the chance to plant coral while snorkelling through the azure sea. 

7. Best family hotel for beaches in the Maldives: JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Resort & Spa Maldives

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Our verdict 

The JW Marriott Maldives Resort is all about warmth: from its attentive hospitality through to the crystal-clear waters which lap against the island's soft sands. Families keen to make the most of the bucket-and-spade action can stay in either one or two-bed beach villas, with private pools and shady cabanas, perfect for protecting little ones from the midday sun.

Not that there isn't plenty to entice you to explore the rest of the island. The boutique spa provides tailored treatments; the main infinity pool offers endless views over dolphin-packed waters; and the Little Griffins Kids' Club comes with a pirate ship, children's paddling pool and 100 different activities. What's more, kids under 12 eat for free when choosing from the kids' menu. 

8. Best family hotel for snorkelling in the Maldives: Vilamendhoo Island Resort & Spa

Vilamendhoo Maldives

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What Mumsnet users say

"Vilamendhoo is a great all-rounder with excellent snorkelling" – Swimster01

 "They do four guest beach bungalows, but because our kids were older teens, we got two adjoining rooms and had lots of space. Unlimited kayaking, windsurfing, SUP, snorkelling, tennis. We did a few whale shark and manta snorkelling trips and evening sailing." –cjpark

Our verdict 

A 25-minute seaplane ride from Male airport, Mumsnetters love Vilamendhoo's stunning beach and spacious villas (with adjoining options for larger broods). What makes this good-value resort really stand out, though, is its extensive house reef, which teems with turtles, schools of jacks and black-tip reef sharks; a memorable setting for a snorkelling lesson from one of the resort’s expert guides.

Back on the island, relax on a sun lounger at the Boashi Bar, which overlooks the good-sized family pool. There's also a nearby playground, games room and a range of watersports and excursions. Come sunset, head out for a kayak trip over the calm, clear waters before dinner in one of the resort's four restaurants. 

9. Best family hotel for food in the Maldives: Kuramathi Maldives

Kuramathi Hotel Maldives

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What Mumsnet users say

"Kuramathi without a doubt if you're foodies – go for the a la carte all-inclusive option." - Bobbobchampagne

Our verdict 

With three restaurants serving up lavish buffets and another nine a la carte options, Kuramathi knows how to delight the tastebuds of grown-up foodies through to the pickiest toddler. But it's not just the crowd-pleasing array of dishes that attract families to this resort, located a 20-minute seaplane flight from Male. 

Parents can enjoy a couple's massage or a herbal steam bath at the luxury spa. Meanwhile, children under-12 get to play at the fun-filled kid's club, which offers babysitting for little ones, colourful splash pads, a children's pool, indoor games, and a crafting area. 

Young environmentalists will love the nature walks organised by the onsite Eco Centre. For children aged over 8, there are also specially designed diving courses to allow young eyes to see the island's beautiful underwater world first-hand.

Is the Maldives suitable for families?

Yes! The Maldives is no longer solely a destination for honeymooning couples (although it still does that exceptionally well). If you pick the right island and hotel, you’ll find incredible family-orientated facilities and villas. And, of course, the island nation’s beautiful beaches and corals also provide a spectacular natural playground. 

Which Maldives island is best for kids?

Most Maldivian resorts sit on their own private island. When picking which to stay on, first think about how long you (and your kids) are prepared to travel once you arrive in the capital Male. 

If you have little ones, it can make sense to stay on an island with lots of facilities which is a short boat trip from the international airport. If your kids are confident travellers, and you’re looking to get a little further off the beaten track, consider the likes of Ayada Maldives in the beautiful, isolated Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

How long does it take to get to the Maldives from the UK?

Direct flights to Male from London usually take around 10 to 11 hours. It’s also possible to connect through Europe, the Middle East and Sri Lanka, which depending on the transfer time, can take around 13 hours. 

What is the best family-friendly hotel in the Maldives? 

We love Lily Beach Resort and Lux* South Ari Atoll for their fabulous family facilities and sense of luxury - and the all-inclusive packages mean there are no surprises when settling the bill. The Lux* resort gets extra bonus points due to its focus on sustainability. 

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what family hotel in the Maldives were being recommended.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at what family holidays in the Maldives had won accolades or been featured in 'best choice' lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best family hotels in the Maldives at the moment.

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