Think the Maldives is all about honeymoon seclusion and romance?
Our very own Customer Services Manager Gillian Cuckson ventured to the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru with her two boys and says it’s the perfect destination for a family holiday in style. Here’s what she had to say…
Our family holiday to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru in the Maldives took place during the summer school holidays in August; although I must admit, we’re lucky enough to have been to the region before. With the Maldives being equatorial, you can be assured of temperatures around 30 degrees every day, with warm, balmy evenings and sea temperatures that are perfect for making the most of the stunning waters.
The flight can be a little long from the UK for a family holiday, and so we tend to break the journey in the Middle East, which enables us to travel from a UK regional airport and adds another dimension to our holiday. The extra time spent reaching the destination is absolutely worth it, as it is truly one of the most idyllic destinations in the whole world. The length of the flights is soon forgotten when you are surrounded by such beauty and tranquillity.
The Maldives has a range of first-class hotels that are all vying to be the best and most sought after, which results in a collection of outstanding resorts that deliver incredible service to those that visit. The atolls also boast the perfect ingredients for a top-class luxury holiday - a beautiful country that’s home to incredibly friendly people; the Maldivians are gracious and attentive hosts and the quality of the food and beverage options compete with the best in the world. This means that once you’ve visited, other destinations become slightly less appealing and the temptation to return is strong. For us, it delivers everything we all enjoy in a family holiday.
This year we chose to stay at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, in the Baa Atoll, which has been named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in recognition of its significant marine biodiversity. The resort is reached by an exhilarating 30-minute seaplane journey.
First impressions were that it showcases the perfect combination of high quality and relaxed luxury – with all areas of the resort perfectly presented, the décor and furnishings beautiful, using a palette of fresh colours; and all in all a very comfortable and relaxing environment. The welcome we received made a great impression and our boys were treated to some lovely gifts, that were either to be used during their stay, or as souvenirs to be brought home to remind them of their special holiday. My boys are aged 13 and 9 and the hotel team had clearly given thought to what would appeal to children of these ages – and they were spot on with my boys.
We were shown to our Beach Villa with Pool, that was to be our Maldivian home. Our villa was directly on the stunning white sand beach and surrounded by vegetation, which created a perfect scene; lush green, white sand and turquoise sea leading to deeper blue. In addition, we had a large pool that already had fun toys for our active boys to play with, which was a lovely touch. A range of accommodation options are available, including over-water villas, giving a broad choice for guests.
As the temperatures were so balmy, the outside space was often used, with an open-sided seating and dining area and an upstairs lounge, that provided another room with beautiful sea views.
Walking along the beach towards the westerly tip of the island, there is the widest expanse of beach I have ever seen in the Maldives, where full beach service is available to you. The beach team often deliver treats to keep you hydrated, comfortable or just generally feeling pampered. This is the spot where the watersports take place and they offer a vast range of options to choose from. It was particularly entertaining to watch other guests try out the X-jet packs, which they liken to something out of a Marvel comic, and with good reason! Certainly not something I’d be brave enough to try! The island also hosts the Maldives Surfing Champion Trophy; there are just so many water pursuits available. The location lends itself to allowing guests to explore and gain a greater understanding of the tropical reefs and the sea life that calls these tropical waters their home. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru takes this to another level and has created a Marine Discovery Centre, as well as a sophisticated Rehabilitation Centre for sick and injured turtles.
There are a few months of the year when large numbers of manta rays gather from all areas of the Maldives in the vicinity of Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, and we were fortunate to be there during this period. When you arrive at the resort, they invite you to join their Manta on Call programme. If you are interested, they hand you an on-call gadget that beeps when mantas have been sighted and then guests are given 20 minutes to get themselves ready and to the jetty to board the boat for their manta adventure. If you snorkel, you can witness these amazing creatures up close and have the most memorable holiday experience. We also attended some of the talks hosted by the marine biology team and this has created a lovely interest in the marine world for my boys. This was encouraged further by the age appropriate, comic-style ‘Reef News’ which were placed in our villa for the boys to read. Since being home, we all thoroughly enjoy watching the Blue Planet II series together and I’m often amazed by the facts my boys remember from their time at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru.
What is great about Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is that it is not limited in its appeal; there were plenty of attractions for us as a family, even getting around the island on bicycles was a novelty. The resort offers a full children’s club, and has enough on offer to keep all ages active and entertained, if they wish. But what makes this resort special is that it is equally suitable if you were travelling alone, or on a romantic holiday for two.
The resort is a clear choice for honeymooners and offers more than most post-nuptials couples require on their wish list.
Something that is perhaps not so obvious is the extent of the health and wellbeing options you can experience at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. The resort has a fully qualified Ayurvedic doctor and offers wellness retreats; a stunning option for an immersive health focused holiday, with a five-star experience attached.
I did try the anti-gravity yoga, which is something I was curious about. I have attended yoga classes on a casual basis in the past, and wouldn’t class myself as knowledgeable, but the teacher was able to guide the less experienced participants, while also setting the appropriate degree of challenge for those that were able to do more. Thankfully, I have no photographic evidence to share with you!
We enjoyed sun-downer cocktails at Seabar before dinner, which is a stylish and chilled location for pre-dinner drinks. After our sumptuous meal, it is also the location that the lemon sharks congregate expecting some tasty morsels from the marine team. Encounters like this help to demystify the dangers these creatures pose.
We sampled the various dining outlets which provided a lovely variety of cuisines; ranging from the ‘feet in the sand’ experience at Feugo, to an elaborate Middle Eastern venue named Al Barakat and the more contemporary BLU venue, which offers Italian cuisine in the most beautiful beach setting. Or Café Landaa or the Teppanyaki bar were other superb options in addition to room service.
What can I say? Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru is a little slice of paradise and I hope you are tempted to place it on your wish list.
For a bespoke holiday quote to Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, call our Inspiring Travel Specialists today!