Need To Know
130, including six two-bedroom villas and one three-bedroom villa.
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability and a charge (a full day’s rate). Earliest check-in, 2pm. If you’re arriving early or have a late flight back, the hotel has day-use villas for guests to duck in to (availability permitting).
Double rooms from £1882.04 ($2,341), including tax at 23.2 per cent.
Rates usually include American buffet breakfast, with hot dishes rustled up on request. Children Cots are free for under-3s; extra beds (US$180 a night, including breakfast) for under-12s can be added to all rooms.
If one of your little Smiths (or Mr/Mrs) is looking a little shaggy around the fringe, take them to trendy Taylor Taylor hair salon for a trim and tidy. This is the brand’s first out-of-London outpost: at the Shoreditch branch, East End hipsters get their barnets beautified over cocktails and cupcakes.
At the hotel
A pick of 12 beaches; beach club; three pools; paddling pool; PADI dive centre; watersports centre; two championship-grade tennis courts; gardens; the Maldives’ first ever climbing wall; spa; artists’ studio; kids club; golf simulator; restaurants; bars; luxury boutique; library; free WiFi throughout.
In your room
TV, DVD player, CD player, iPod dock, minibar, bathrobes, slippers. For children, soft toys, beach toys, bath products and kid-sized kimonos are provided.
Our favourite rooms
The Beach Villa Kings have plenty of room for a cot (free for under-3s) and don’t have steps or stairs, making them perfect for a family with a toddler in tow. Each villa has its own pretty-much-deserted patch of sand, two sun loungers, a white hammock (idyllically swaying between palm trees) and a table and chairs under a shady veranda (perfect for private breakfasts or romantic dining). Each bathroom has a big bath tub, two sinks, an indoor shower and an outdoor shower. For families with older children, the Beach Villa Queen can fit four, thanks to its pair of queen-size beds. If you need two bedrooms (and want a private pool), opt for the Grand Beach Villa – Two Bedroom with Pool. Want to spend it like Beckham? Opt for Grand Beach Villa 142, where the Brit pack usually celebrates Christmas. Water Villas aren’t designed for under-12s; if you want to stay in them anyway, parents will just need to sign a document indicating their responsibility.
There are three to choose from: a dazzling infinity pool that cuts into the lagoon and overlooks neighbouring islands; a family-friendly pool shaded by trees and punctuated with mini hammock-toting islands, and a pool attached to the kids club, with a slide, shallow areas and even little sun loungers and a stash of petite towels. Thanks to the sunny climate, the pools are unheated (and deliciously refreshing). Parents need to supervise their water babies at the pool. There’s also a diminutive pool attached to the spa, plus 12 immaculate beaches at your disposal (we love pretty Turtle Beach best, which is positioned in the middle of the island, with easy access to all the facilities). Arm bands and other swim aids can be provided. Nippers are welcome in all three pools at all times, as long as they are accompanied by parents (only the kids club pool is supervised).
The award-winning One&Only Spa by Espa has vitality pools, saunas, crystal steam rooms, ice fountains and a saltwater Watsu pool. You're unlikely to burn here, however hard you go at your tanning, thanks to the hotel's sun spa, which offers expert guidance on your skin type, provides you with skin-matched products and even has a fleet of therapists who will reapply sun lotion throughout the day, followed by aftersun. Under-16s aren’t allowed in the spa, but in-villa pampering sessions can be arranged for all ages (same price as adults’ treatments).
On arrival, little Smiths are given a welcome pack including a T-shirt, colouring-in books and an invitation to Pirates Day at KidsOnly, where budding buccaneers can take part in pirate face-painting, a treasure hunt, pirate costume-making and a pirate-style boat trip.
The hotel's fleet of professional babysitters needs a day's notice. There's no need to book your table at the restaurants, though it will enamor you to hotel staff (and might make for smoother service) if you do. Book your kids' activities at the club at least one day ahead; kids’ birthday parties need a week’s warning (prices vary, depending on the package chosen).