The Maldives have just got family friendly

Monday, 7 December 2009 15:43

With sands white enough and sea clear enough for a Bounty bar advert, it's easy to see why the Maldives has become one of our favourite holiday destinations.

Yet tiny islands can be a bit claustrophobic after a few days, which is why we chose one of the largest in the Maldives, Didhoonolhu, staying at the new Diva resort.

No chance of cabin fever here. A stroll round the entire island takes a good hour and you can borrow bikes for whizzing about - good for making fast journeys when the sun is beating down.

It's love at first glance as we fly toward Diva in a seaplane. These old Canadian-built planes pick you up from the capital Male and fly low across the lagoons.

Unlike many of the resorts, Diva is as well set up for families as it is for couples in love.

The resort has family villas with a double room and a twin so mum and dad can sleep safe in the knowledge the little'uns are within earshot.

There's a children's club run by qualified staff and a teen club with internet access, games and pool tables. Babysitters are available if the romantic setting inspires a little grownup time.

The resort has six restaurants with food from Japanese to Lebanese, Indian and Italian. There are also six bars on site, so nobody goes thirsty.

The downside to being on an island means everything has to be flown in.

That means that if something runs out, you have to wait for the next delivery to be brought in by seaplane from the mainland.

This meant that a few times we had to re-think our orders (no mint leaves meant mojitos were off the menu one night).

Importing the food and drink also means things can be pricey, but the resort offers a half-board package, allowing you to pick anything on the menu bearing a tick. The luxury package also extends to some of the more extravagant items on the menu - champagne cocktail, anyone?

The accommodation is made up of gorgeous suites and villas on the beach and over the lagoon. We tried a water villa set on stilts with a four-poster bed and all mod cons. The double bathroom leads out to a private deck with an outdoor shower, sun loungers and wooden steps leading straight into the sea - perfect for an early morning swim.


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