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Maldives first-timers with teenage girls

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  • timajackson

    Just managed to use 2 companion vouchers to nab BA club returns for our family of 4 for a week in the Maldives next October half-term 2023.
    We have never been before and the choice of seemingly fantastic hotels is somewhat overwhelming – every ‘best of’ list seems to have completely different recommendations and I am finding it hard to narrow down a short-list of 3-5 resorts to choose from. W
    ould love to hear any recommendations from anyone with teenage kids (my daughters will be 15 and 17 when we go) who has been and can recommend a resort to keep us all occupied. We don’t have any must haves other than that we would like to try a sea-plane having never been on one. We are happy to spend for a decent 5* but don’t need to go bonkers either.
    I know lots of people have discussed in the past but if there are any new options or obvious options, I would be grateful to hear them.

    Thank you

    Gary

    Well done & hope the palpitations from these midnight calls settled. Sorry can’t answer with first hand experience as going as a family for the first time over Christmas, but I found this thread helpful.
    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/maldives-hotel-recommendation-best-non-points-options/#post-351725
    Good idea to stick to resorts reachable by seaplanes. Would avoid any resorts that require a domestic flight plus speedboat transfer (ie very far from MLE) as BA inbound departs 1145hrs which would sometimes mean needing to check out 3-4am.

    timajackson

    Well done & hope the palpitations from these midnight calls settled. Sorry can’t answer with first hand experience as going as a family for the first time over Christmas, but I found this thread helpful.
    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/maldives-hotel-recommendation-best-non-points-options/#post-351725
    Good idea to stick to resorts reachable by seaplanes. Would avoid any resorts that require a domestic flight plus speedboat transfer (ie very far from MLE) as BA inbound departs 1145hrs which would sometimes mean needing to check out 3-4am.

    Thanks Gary. That is very helpful indeed. In answer to your point about the midnight palpitations, it was doubly bad because the 2 companion vouchers were on separate accounts, one for me and one for my wife, so we had to make 2 bookings simultaenously and hope that all 4 rewrd flights would be available. As it happened, the outbound flight kept rejecting my attempted booking in Club for me and my younger daughter even though it showed availibility because there is seemingly an issue with BA’s IT systems for working out the tax on children but it let me book us both Premium. On the return, again I booked them both online at midnight this morning and then a very friendly customer service lady this morning was able to upgrade 2 of the returns to Club to match the others and link both legs with the companion vouchers. It took 50 minutes but she was excellent. So we have ended up with 6 out of 8 legs in club and 2 in premium (and nerves shredded all day)

    AFKAE

    Well done & hope the palpitations from these midnight calls settled. Sorry can’t answer with first hand experience as going as a family for the first time over Christmas, but I found this thread helpful.
    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/maldives-hotel-recommendation-best-non-points-options/#post-351725
    Good idea to stick to resorts reachable by seaplanes. Would avoid any resorts that require a domestic flight plus speedboat transfer (ie very far from MLE) as BA inbound departs 1145hrs which would sometimes mean needing to check out 3-4am.

    Thanks Gary. That is very helpful indeed. In answer to your point about the midnight palpitations, it was doubly bad because the 2 companion vouchers were on separate accounts, one for me and one for my wife, so we had to make 2 bookings simultaenously and hope that all 4 rewrd flights would be available. As it happened, the outbound flight kept rejecting my attempted booking in Club for me and my younger daughter even though it showed availibility because there is seemingly an issue with BA’s IT systems for working out the tax on children but it let me book us both Premium. On the return, again I booked them both online at midnight this morning and then a very friendly customer service lady this morning was able to upgrade 2 of the returns to Club to match the others and link both legs with the companion vouchers. It took 50 minutes but she was excellent. So we have ended up with 6 out of 8 legs in club and 2 in premium (and nerves shredded all day)

    What I sometimes do is look at the hotels BA are offering on the holidays section of the website. I’ve generally found them to be fairly reliable.

    It tends to be speedboat for destinations that are 1 hour speedboat ride or less and then seaplanes after that. Seaplanes are quite pricey, so worth checking if you’re happy to add that cost to your budget. The experience is great and the seaplane station presents an image of organised chaos-but everything sees to work. Weather is your enemy-if there are any storms/wind around the service gets disrupted pretty quickly.

    Benilyn

    If you go non-points, you want to work with a specialist travel agent. (I found) they get access to special offers not seen on OTAs. Check out TripAdvisor Maldives forum for a list. Maybe give a few of them a call and see what they recommend. You can haggle with most of them. It can be a bit of a rabbit hole…

    Tracey

    Tripadvisor forum will help you narrow down what’s important to you eg reef/ diving/ spa etc also accommodation types eg over water villa/ beach villa etc also consider the size of the resort. Don’t rule out moving room type mid holiday to widen the experience, moving resort is expensive and difficult.

    timajackson

    Thanks everyone

    u07ch

    Club Med was great when I was a kid – Maldives has a standard and high end CM…The Pullman which is also fully all inclusive (i.e. including activities) looks ok too.

    masaccio

    If you want to take the seaplane, consider South Ari Atoll. There’s a wide range of resorts including LUX and a number of smaller ones.

    If your daughters are confident in the water, they will almost certainly go nuts for snorkelling and maybe even scuba. Look for a resort with a good house reef — the easiest way to spot them is on Google Earth. If there is deep blue close to the resort, this is reef dropping off into the ‘blue’ and you are likely to have schools of tropical fish. South Ari is also close to the marine park and you *might* get a chance for whale sharks. It’s a big IF though!

    If your daughters are proper water babies and already set on scuba, do the theory online before you leave. If you go for a Discover Scuba Diving course (DSD) try and find reviews from experienced divers to get a view of how thorough the team is. Lots of people reviewing dive shops are reviewing diving, not the dive shop. Yay it was amazing – I saw fish.

    Take a look at food reviews as style of food varies greatly. You might have endless curries or endless Italian food depending upon the style. If you have picky eaters this will be really important.

    Scottpat78

    Congrats on grabbing the seats! No advice to provide but going to watch this thread – our girls are 12 & 14 and we are planning a trip in 2024 or 2025.

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