Is the Maldives Child Friendly?

Updated: 2023-11-17T14:23:45.930Z
Is the Maldives Child Friendly?

Yes, the Maldives is a picture-perfect playground for both children and adults. With so much to do for any age, it makes the ideal family holiday.

Can children visit the Maldives?

Yes, children absolutely can visit the Maldives. 29% of visitors to the Maldives are family groups according to the Maldives Visitors Survey published in September 2022.

Despite most tourists being couples and honeymooners (60%), families are the second largest target audience. This demographic has increased over the last few years and the resorts are adapting to reflect that.

How are resorts becoming more family friendly?

Children in a kid's club

Many resorts now have (often complimentary) children’s clubs available throughout your stay. These range from resorts with childcare in a relaxed, child friendly play area to resorts with jam-packed schedules so your kids can learn and experience as many things as possible whilst in paradise.

Over 52% of resorts in the Maldives currently provide childcare in the form of kid’s clubs. Many more offer a personal babysitting service at an additional cost. Further islands offer child specific activities, and many have parent supervised play areas such play grounds and areas to play sports. Approximately 86% of resorts have a public swimming pool for guest use.

When it comes to accommodation, resorts are increasingly becoming more family focused too. Many are building new multi-bedroom villas both on the beach and over the water, while others are using their current infrastructure and joining villas together to make family suites.

Across the Maldives you will find many single room villas now able to accommodate 3 or 4 guests, which is ideal for those families looking for a more budget-friendly family sleeping option.

Can children go to resorts without kid's clubs?

Absolutely. Surprisingly, only a small number of resorts are strictly adult only. Some others allow children but are largely resorts aimed at adults with small villas and limited activities for children. A few have age restrictions and only allow children over a certain age. But the vast majority are open to having babies, toddlers, children and teenagers visit their island resort. Have a look at our Maldives Resort List with filters to find out which resorts are family friendly.

What age is classed as a “adult” in the Maldives?

Teenagers playing in the ocean

Most resorts count anyone 12 years and over as adults. Some resorts have a higher age range but this is rare. Don’t get caught out when booking rooms! Many single room villas will allow two adults and two children OR three adults (two parents and 1 teenager) and one child. Two parents and two teenagers will usually count as four adults and may not be allowed a single room villa.

What can children do in a Maldives island resort?

Children with fines, snorkels and masks

There are all sorts of activities available across the Maldives for children. Here is a list including the most common activities held for children across the resort islands. Please note these are not available on every island, so please check with the resort before booking.

  • Kids club
  • Teens club
  • Set activities (often within the kids club)
  • Swimming (pool)
  • Swimming (sea/lagoon)
  • Snorkelling
  • Scuba Diving (age limitations apply)
  • Play areas
  • Water sports (age limitations may apply)
  • Excursions – Trips away from the resort
  • Playing on the beach
  • Swings
  • Shark and Ray Daily Feeding
  • Games rooms
  • Sport complex
  • Various sports courts and pitches (Tennis, basketball, pickle ball, football)
  • Gym (age limits usually apply)
  • Spotting Maldives Wildlife – Geckos, herons, crabs, hermit crabs, fruit bats etc.
  • Biking
  • Horse riding (at limited resorts)

What are the rooms like for families in the Maldives?

Soneva Fushi Family Over-Water Villa

This very much depends on the resort you choose but many resorts now have family accommodation comprising of more than one room, suitable for a family holiday.

For a more budget friendly holiday many resorts allow up to 2 adults and 2 children to share a single room villa. This will usually comprise of a double bed and a sofa bed or camp beds/spare mattresses brought in. These are perfect for families of 3 or 4 with young children.

Many resorts now offer family villas or suites. These are sometimes two adjoining villas and other times they are made for purpose. These can often fit more people than the number of beds advertised as they can contain sofa beds or have further beds brought in. This would be an ideal option for a family of 5 or more.

For larger families and groups there are resorts that offer 3+ bedroom villas. These large family villas are available at a higher cost but often come with lots of extras such as excursions, spa treatments and sometimes a butler service.

Are children allowed to stay in over-water villas?

Family walking to an over-water villa

Largely yes. Again, this depends on the resort and their own rules or recommendations. Some have an age limit for their water bungalows and some resorts like to keep them adults only for couples and honeymooners.

However, the majority allow children to stay in their water villas.
Many resorts have family water villas too. These will often have multiple rooms and sometimes slides leading into the crystal-clear ocean waters below.

While not all resorts have over-water villas, the vast majority do. At the time of writing, only 13 resorts in the Maldives do not have water villas.

Travelling to the Maldives with kids

Children looking at seaplanes in the Maldives

This is something you need to take into consideration when booking a trip to a Maldives resort. The plane journey to Malé is often a long one with possible stopovers depending on your country of origin. The journey does not finish when you get to Malé, however. The Maldives is made up of many atolls, which are groups of islands. These can be up to 540km (330 miles) away from Malé. So your island choice may be more limited if you want a shorter journey.

Luckily there are many family-friendly resorts in the Malé atolls (North Malé and South Malé). These are all accessible by a short speedboat ride. Some of the nearby atolls such as the North Ari atoll and Vaavu atoll are also largely accessible by speedboat, but these journeys will take much longer. The best way to access these islands in a timely manner would be a sea-plane transfer. Visit our Speedboat Vs. Seaplane page to find out more about these transfer options.

Further out still, some atolls are only accessible by sea plane and/or domestic transfer to a small local island in or near the resort’s atoll. Taking a domestic flight will then include a further short speedboat transfer to your resort.

The furthest atolls from Malé are only accessible by a domestic transfer and then speedboat trip from the airport to the resort. These resorts largely include the Addu (Seenu) atoll and the Gaafu (Huvadhu) Atoll.

Please note that all resorts organise transfers on behalf of the guests. Some will only offer one mode of transfer so if you are looking for a particular transfer option then use our filters to find out which resorts are best for you.

Is the Maldives safe for children?

Child putting on sun cream

There are two main things to watch out for when you take children to the Maldives. These are the sun and water.

The Maldives is on the equator and although the temperature tends to stay at 26-32°C (that's 80-90°F) all year round, the sun is still exceptionally harmful. Make sure to pack your reef-friendly, waterproof sun cream with SPF and reapply throughout the day.

Water may be an obvious hazard, especially to parents, but here is some, perhaps less obvious, Maldives specific advice.

  • Make yourself aware of the danger systems in place on the island. Many islands use standard beach warning flags to indicate swimming conditions so it’s worth familiarizing yourself with these.
  • Find out where you can snorkel or swim around the island. Many resorts have a house reef which is often the safest place to swim. You want to avoid strong tidal currents, water sports and boat traffic!
  • Although it is often advised to wait until a child is 5 or 6 to begin snorkelling, there is no official minimum age limit. As long as they have a well fitted mask and can comfortably breathe through a snorkel, they can give it a go. We recommend practicing in the swimming pool first or even the bathtub.
  • Being able to swim is a bonus but life jackets are available to hire at resorts. You could also use your own inflatables or noodles. Even for those children who are strong swimmers, you may want to consider a life jacket or inflatable as snorkelling in the sea can get tiring very quickly.
  • Children must be accompanied at all times whether at the beach, swimming pool or sea.
  • It’s always advisable to swim in pairs in the sea, even if you are a strong swimmer.
  • Read up about the tides and what to do if caught in a rip current. (Tip: swim parallel to the shore).

For further information, visit our Snorkelling and Swimming Safety page.

Crime in the Maldives

Hotel safe

Resorts in the Maldives are relatively crime free although petty crime, such as theft of goods from rooms or the beach can occur.

Visit our Safety in the Maldives page to read a more comprehensive list of safety aspects in the Maldives.

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