The Best Family Vacation in the Maldives: A Review of Soneva Jani by Virtuoso Travelers

When you think of The Maldives, do you think of a fun, family adventure? What once was seen as a couples only romantic escape has recently become more popular than ever for families. 

It’s easy to see why - the natural beauty and wild marine life are enough of a reason to bring your kids along but add in hotels that teach sustainability, astronomy, and marine biology and you’ve got yourself a family vacation that not only impresses but makes an impact. 

Family Water Villa, photo courtesy of Soneva Jani

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Soneva Jani is the best family friendly resort in the Maldives. 

In this post, I want to share a real family’s experience of their stay and give you inspiration to travel there yourself!

One of the biggest challenges for American families traveling to the Maldives is, of course, the distance. If you are flying from the East Coast, it’s around 19 hours with a stopover in Dubai. From the West Coast, it's a similar travel time but switch it up for a stop in Hong Kong or follow this Dubai itinerary as well.

I understand the concern - it’s a long way! The good news is that both Qatar Airways and Emirates Airways are the best airlines in the world, which means the flights are comfortable, well designed, and easy going - even with small children. They are accustomed to families being their main customers and provide kid friendly amenity kits on take off. 

Want to kick it up a notch? The Qsuites on Qatar Airways perfectly fit a family of 4 with it’s own private room. Download a few movies and you’ll be there before you know it. 

Arrival by seaplane, photo courtesy of the Miller Family

Now that you’re feeling better about the flights, the other way to make the trip easier is to be spend a few days in Doha and Dubai before and after your Maldives stay. I had the privilege of living in Doha for 3 years and traveling extensively throughout the region so I can 100% endorse both Doha and Dubai as wonderful family destinations. Dubai is glitzier and has more to do but both are excellent options. 

Camel rides in the UAE desert, photo courtesy of the Miller Family

Need more convincing? Head to my blog post 10 Reasons Dubai is the Perfect Family Destination (coming soon!). 

Luckily, my clients were on board with the Dubai stopover plan so we created a 4 day itinerary that involved penguins (in the desert? You bet!), water parks, shopping, boat rides, and camel rides in the desert. I dare you to name a kid who wouldn’t love that!

The stopover allows your family to adjust to the time difference and stretch your legs after a long flight.

After leaving Dubai, it’s a quick 4 hour flight to the capital of the Maldives, Male. You’ll then be transferred to a private seaplane that whisks you away to the islands of Soneva Jani. 

That’s when the fun starts!

Home for the week, photo courtesy of the Miller Family

Soneva Jani has some of the largest villas in all of the Maldives. Their largest villa has 4 bedrooms and even includes it’s own private gym and wine cellar. Others come equipped with water slides and their own private pools. 

My client described it as “Flawless.Over the top and exceeded all expectations. Everyone was friendly and laid back but no detail was missed” - and that’s quite the compliment!

The proof is in the pictures - they took 8,000!

If you can tear away yourself from your stunning villa (which it sounds like not too many people do), you’ll have a bevy of family friendly activities to choose from. 

Astronomy lessons, photo courtesy of the Miller Family

By becoming a DeSalvio Travel client, you’ll have even more privileges and Virtuoso amenities. 

For a family, you have the option to book a complimentary sunset cocktails and canapés on the Gathering catamaran nets, a complimentary lunch, a sunset dolphin cruise, a fun cooking class with local ingredients, and a private dinner on the North Island Beach. 

Chocolates and champagne welcome amenities are all part of the fun!

Looking fabulous on the way to adventures, photo courtesy of the Miller Family

My clients absolutely loved watching the dolphins in the evening and the private custom set up on the beach. During their dinner, the staff went to extra lengths to make their experience extra special.While dinner was being prepared, one of the staff herded a few hermit crabs over to the beach and set up a hermit crab race. It was a simple gesture but the girls were thrilled and they loved the extra entertainment.  

To make it extra special, set up a private cinema experience with your family’s favorite movie and capture all the memories with the help of the on-site professional photographer. 

Sunset beauty, photo courtesy of the Miller Family

Don’t let the romance of the islands prevent you from bringing your family there. It is a pristine paradise that offers an escape from busy city life and encourages quality family time without distractions. Honestly, could it get any more dreamy?

Thank you to Soneva Jani, JMAK Hospitality, and Desert Gate for taking such good care of my clients! Thank you to the Miller Family for sharing all their great memories and photos!

Private Dinner on the Beach, photo courtesy of the Miller Family
Cooking Class Fun, photo courtesy of the Miller Family
Quality family time, photo courtesy of the Miller Family
Private cinema night, photo courtesy of the Miller Family