Villingili Island, Addu Atoll, Maldives

The stewardess presented us with a certificate for crossing the equator as we descended into Gan airport. Yes, it’s another 70-minute flight after you get to Male. Worth it? Without a doubt – no gain without pain right! What do you gain? This little strip of paradise that sits on the tip of Maldives, just below the equator. Deciding between living on the beach, above the water or perched between treetops was not easy. But the fact that we’re definitely returning on a family holiday to what is perhaps one of the best, luxury family-friendly resorts in Maldives – probably the easiest decision we’ve has ever made!

Essentials:
  • Baby cot
  • Bottle warmer
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Baby bathtub
  • Diapers
  • Child toilet seat
  • Highchair
  • Child menu
  • Stroller
  • Doctor on call
  • Babysitting services ($18/hr for first hour 9 am-7 pm; $ 25 for additional hours; $40 after 7 pm)

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Family Favourites:
  • If crystal clear waters in varied shades of blue is what you came looking for, you got it. The sand is powder, beaches are white and you can spend many afternoons snorkeling, diving or indulging in kid-friendly water sports.
  • Every guest gets their own bicycle (for kids 4 years and under, adult bikes have child seats). Pedaling our way around the 3 km long Villingili Island, watching coconut tree climbers grab a fresh coconut and crack it open for us was sheer bliss.
  • Fun abodes! Choose between villas on the beach, above water or even amongst treetops! We opted for a water villa and believe me when I say this – they are stunning. The kids loved spotting ‘Nemo’ in their private reef under them while lounging on hammocks perched just above the water.
  • The Cool Zone Kids’ Club (10 am-7 pm) was the perfect place to drop off the kids when we wanted to sneak in a massage. There is a soft play area with a climbing frame, a slide and the very fun ‘air’ ball pool. Also, an art and craft section and a T.V. screen with many movies to choose from. The kids’ club also organized fun activities all day like crab hunting, crab racing and coconut leaf origami to choose from.
    The highlight of the club, however, is the fantastic outdoor playground attached to kids’ club, which my kids absolutely loved.
  • Many family-friendly activities to be enjoyed. A trip on the resort’s glass bottom boat and the dolphin cruise (where we spotted at least 20 dolphins) were a big hit with my children.
  • No dedicated kids’ pool. However, main pool has a shallow area. Plus, all villas (except water villas) come with their own pool.
  • Food here deserves a mention. The restaurants are excellent and breakfast is an elaborate affair. A special shout out to Fashala, their fine dining restaurant; I’m still going gaga over the fresh tuna tartar I was served on a solid slab of rock salt.

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Parent’s Perks:
  • 9-hole golf course and the only one in the country.
  • Chi Spa – always a winner with the parents. Spa treatments for kids above 12 years also available.
  • “Ask me for anything” island hosts for every villa.
  • Once the babysitter takes over, parents can escape to one of the many special spots all over the island like Mt. Villingili, the Green Lagoon, the golf course or even the resort’s Horizon Yatch for a dinner of their dreams.

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The Resort:
  • Private island luxury resort
  • 70 minutes by plane from Male to Gan airport and then 10 minutes by speedboat to the resort.
  • 142 Villas
  • 3 Restaurants
  • 3 Bars
  • 1 Swimming Pool
  • Spa
  • Fitness Centre
  • Golf Course

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Mandy’s Tip: I say this again – snag a water villa! Ours came with a two-tiered deck, day bed, loungers, a hammock above the water and steps going directly into the water. By water, I mean an unending stretch of turquoise, with your own private reef. Rooms are massive and come with an outdoor shower, an indoor shower and a bathtub! Your very own island host? But, of course.

Travelling to Maldives? Check out our other fabulous family-friendly hotels here

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