This year we spent our Easter vacations in the Maldives. With snorkeling equipment (fins, diving masks, diving goggles, snorkels, life jackets, life saving noodles etc.) we started on a Friday directly after school. We booked our flight via Lufthansa and so we went with the partners Austrian Airlines via Vienna to Malé and back with Swiss Air via Zurich to Frankfurt again.
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In order to make the trip as pleasant as possible, it is worth investing time in preparations. Therefore, we always have a complete packing list so as not to forget anything. As a family with 3 children, it is also always worth reserving seats on the plane. This went very well on all flights, except for the flight from Vienna to Malé with Austrian Airlines. Here our reservations were canceled again and again and we were assigned other seats. No one could tell us why.
Already 2 days before departure, we checked in online and then only had to drop off the bags at such a self-check-in. We did this on Friday morning and therefore worked smoothly and quickly. In Frankfurt, we parked 20 minutes before the departure terminal, which cost 5 euros, but everything went very quickly and we arrived in the afternoon with the children quite relaxed – with only small hand luggage.
When packing the suitcases, you should note that the airline may allow more luggage weight than the small Maldivian airlines that take you to the final destination, depending on the island. For us, 20 kg per person was allowed and 5 kg hand luggage.
Parking or cab?
We decided again to drive with our car to the airport, park directly in front of the terminal and have it picked up there via Travelcar. This is mega convenient and cost 79 euros for these 10 days! We always find this mega convenient. Upon arrival, the car is then brought back to us.
The outbound flight
Our flight was first from Frankfurt to Vienna and then on to Malé. Unfortunately, we were delayed for over 1 hour and our connecting flight was actually already 1.5 hours later, so time was running out. Unfortunately, on the flight to Vienna, no information was passed on at which gate the connecting flight was departing and whether it was waiting for us (and other guests). So we ran after landing and far… We had only barely 15 minutes left. We also had to go through passport control. The kids were in better shape than we were. We just made it, but were the last to board the plane, then the gate was closed. So they wouldn’t have waited for us. We were exhausted at first! The flight went overnight, the children slept super, we as adults only conditionally, it was quite narrow (and we are both neither particularly long nor wide). Due to the short transfer time, we were worried that our suitcases had not made the onward flight, but luckily they arrived in Malé.
The arrival in Malé was all the more beautiful for it. It was early in the morning and we were met directly by an employee of our resort. He took our luggage and brought us to the counter for the seaplanes. The Kihaa Resort is located in the Baa Atoll and to get there you have to fly again – either by small domestic flight (about 300 euros round trip per adult, children about half) or seaplane (about 200 euros surcharge per way for adults, children about half). For the outward journey we decided on a seaplane, back then with a domestic flight. So off we went to the seaplane counter. Here we dropped off our suitcases, as well as most of our hand luggage, and a small bus was ready to take us to the seaplane airport (about 5 minutes). Our personal attendant was always at our side, taking us to the terrace of the departure lounge. From there we could see the seaplanes taking off and landing – finally standing in the warm! The children were fascinated. And shortly after that, it was already time for us to move on. We were picked up and taken to the seaplane.
The seaplane flight was an experience we wouldn’t want to miss. Just boarding a small plane (seating 1-2, about 6 rows) over a footbridge and looking into the open cockpit from inside, where the pilot and co-pilot flew the plane wearing flip-flops. We were handed earplugs, it is quite noisy in the seaplane. The plane flies higher than we thought, we have seen many Maldivian island and after about 30 minutes we were already there without a stopover. Afterwards we learned that the airlines always bundles some guests of different resorts who live nearby and then flies to a jetty from where the guests are then driven by speedboat to the respective island. Sometimes there are probably stopovers. The plane then lands at a small jetty and before here it went for us and our luggage with a speedboat directly to the resort, which was about 1 minute 🙂
The resort we chose should meet some requirements: not too small, at least 1 pool, in case the kids don’t like to go into the sea because of the fish, rays etc., all inclusive, and ideally a house reef so that you can always snorkel without a boat trip. Over the internet we came across this resort and it has exceeded our expectations by far!!!!
Even in advance we were impressed by the speed of communication. We were in frequent contact with the reservation team, who really answered all our questions always extremely promptly.
If you are interested, there is a complete brochure from this resort by pdf, which gets all the important information.
Arrival Kihaa Resort
As we approached the island on the fast boat, we already saw the staff on the jetty waving to us. We were greeted with drums and since landing in Malé we did not have our suitcases in our hands, everything was taken from us. We were the only ones arriving on the island at that time and were led to the lobby. Already here everything struck us: a dream white sandy beach, the reception and the restaurant as well as all houses covered with palm fronds, everywhere only sand, even in the reception, a turquoise sea, crystal clear water with a lot of fish! And then we first had a welcome cocktail and everything was explained to us. We were assigned our own caretaker, he took our cell phone number and we could always communicate with him via What’s App. Our villa was already ready to move in, our suitcases were brought there and then our supervisor showed us the villa. Overall, we were impressed because everyone learned our names and we were addressed by name everywhere, which had something very personal and exclusive.
At Kihaa Resort, a large infinity pool in the shape of a ray stands out. It is located right by the lobby, bar and restaurant and is beautiful. The Inifinity pool lives up to its name of infinity and you really get the feeling that the pool water actually flows into the sea. The pool is mega clean – despite there being sand everywhere, there is virtually no sand in the pool. It was never crowded, on the contrary, we were mostly alone in it. Around the pool are loungers, lounges, seating areas, towels and the bar. You certainly don’t have to make reservations here – not like you’re used to in some cases from other vacations. Actually there was never much going on.
There is a 2nd pool on the island – it seems that this is the older pool. It is practically not busy at all – however, there are always test dives offered by the diving school. This pool is quite deep (about 3 m), so you can try diving here. It would certainly be nice to revive this pool more, it is also very beautiful and for all sunburn-prone a bit shadier located.
The bar is and always will be a dream for us! The kids loved sitting on the swings in front of the bar and enjoying cocktails. There is a special menu of what drinks are included with all-inclusive, which is wine, beer and some cocktails in addition to anti-alcoholic drinks and mocktails. It was perfectly sufficient for us and we found the cocktails very tasty. Also here as everywhere in the resort extremely attentive, child-loving and courteous bar staff. Everything is served in classic glass cocktail glasses. The bar is open from 10-24.
The children’s every wish was read from their eyes, they got every mixture as a cocktail that they wanted.
All Inclusive – Buffets
All Inclusive at Kihaa means a breakfast buffet from 7:30-10:00, lunch buffet from 12:30-14:30 and dinner buffet from 19:30-21:30, plus a small snack between 16:00 and 17:00 served at the bar. The buffet is not insanely big, the whole resort is after all not huge – so no comparison to big all inclusive hotel chains. There is always a choice of salad and desserts. Fruit and ice cream are served if you want them. Most of the food is in hot containers. If you really want to complain now, you could say that it’s not really hot, but I don’t think that’s possible in such warming containers. However, there is a live cooking station at every meal: in the morning, egg variations are freshly prepared here, as well as pancakes and crepes, at noon and in the evening dishes in the wok, naan bread, etc.. And of course this is really hot and fresh.
The children can eat at the buffet as well as choose something from the children’s menu. Here chicken nuggets with fries, spaghetti, mini pizza, fish sticks or mini burgers with fries are available and that was also always prepared really fresh.
Each evening was a different theme night and the food and music matched accordingly. We have experienced Indian, Italian, Maldivian, etc..
We had booked a beach villa, No. 114 (villa in the first row with direct beach access). One bedroom (double bed, one bed in an alcove and an extra bed), an open bathroom and loungers and a lounge right on the beach – a dream. We needed an extra extra bed for the kids, we didn’t pronounce it right yet, already the bed was there.
The room was air-conditioned, the bathroom was outside with toilet and 2 showers – of course it was always nice and warm here. Hand and beach towels were plentiful, as were shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.
In front of the house we had a lounge and at least 2 sunbeds, to the sea it was only a few steps.
There are a variety of different villas, smaller, larger, with and without private pool or even water villas (these, however, are currently being completely renovated). Very special are 2 villas with 2 bedrooms and private infinity pool, a large villa several bedrooms and infinitiy pool and a large beach house for about 15 people, also with its own infinity pool.
In the house itself were daily at least 3 bottles of still water (because not in the refrigerator it had room temperature) and the minibar was filled daily with Coke, Sprite and Fanta. If it was not enough, a short Whats-App and our housekeeping was already at the door with supplies.
After 4 days our housekeeping came and said they would like to show us another villa. We were a bit skeptical as to why, they said just like that, they would offer us the upgrade if we wanted, the villa would be significantly larger and nicer. Actually, I didn’t want to move – back in and unpack everything. Nevertheless, we looked at it once clue we were floored. This was one of the large luxury villas with 2 bedrooms, living and dining room, huge outdoor bathroom and private infinity pool. It was quickly clear, we were moving. We still didn’t know why they would voluntarily (without asking us) offer us such a great upgrade. Later we were told that this was just not booked and they would always try to present the guests the most beautiful vacation possible and if possible even with upgrade. So we got in the 2nd half of the vacation again a large portion of luxury on top. The kids were thrilled and already in the morning directly in "our" pool.
In the evening there was always a fire on the beach and either music by a DJ, karaoke or a presentation of the diving school. Overall, this was little visited, even by us rather not, but this was probably because in the evening you just enjoyed the sunset, the sound of the sea, the cocktails and the peace.
The hotel itself offers some excursions, as well as the diving school located on the island.
You can also book the excursions at the hotel in advance and then save 20 percent.
The All Inclusive package already included a Sunset Cruise. This starts in the evening around 18:30. There are about 8-10 people on the boat (we were already 5) and we have experienced a fantastic sunset. After 1.5 hours you are back again and we went to dinner.
Every evening at 18:30 there is a fish feeding on the jetty. Here come mainly rays and sharks. We were impressed, the sharks are about 2.50 m long, the rays have a diameter of about 2 m, for the children really worth seeing, also for us adults.
We made another tour with the boat to dolphins, that went off in the morning directly at 8:00 o’clock, out on the sea. After a short ride the first dolphins were there. In total, we accompanied the dolphins for over 1 hour and there were always at least 15-20 dolphins to see at the same time. We were told that there were probably 150 dolphins following us. It was dreamlike to be so close to the animals in their natural environment. The tour cost us about 200 USD.
With the diving school we went once again to a turtle reef and snorkeled there. It was impressive to see turtles (at least 1 m in diameter) diving up and down in the water and of course lots of fish. Here you should consider that it gets quite cold in the water after a while, the kids were freezing after about 30-45 minutes. For us not trained it was quite exhausting.
The hotel offers a few water sports activities. With All Inclusive you can rent Kayaks or SUP and have fun with them in the deeper water. However, it must be said that the "deeper" area is very manageable. Out on the open sea, so outside the reef we were not allowed, the current was too strong.
You could still have surfed, provided you are experienced and there is enough wind. I imagine that but because of the reef and the coral but quite difficult.
One afternoon we still Jetski, which was a lot of fun and we drove around the outside of various islands. We had booked 30 minutes, shorter it should not have been. But the price is quite high (30 minutes with 2 jetskis 350 USD).
The hotel offers a mini club, but only in the afternoons from 16:00-17:30 and only English speaking. Besides our 3, there was only one Italian girl there. For ours, the MiniClub was rather out of the question, although they were there a few times. Overall Habenzinsen but prefer to play for themselves v.a. In the pool. The staff in the Mini-Club were very nice and took great care of the children and even accompanied us back to our villa. However, if you are looking for childcare from morning to night with many children, there may be better alternatives, but that was not the main focus for us.
In the MiniClub there is a small playground, a few ducks and a small children’s pool (60 cm deep).
Directly around the island there is a house reef, there is an exit and entrance, so you can snorkel from the island to the reef edge and then a piece along the reef edge until you can swim back in towards the island. Here we saw many fish, as well as a black tip shark – that was quite impressive. The current pushes you almost completely along the reef without you having to pedal much with your legs.
Otherwise, of course, you can just go anywhere on the island with snorkel and goggles into the water and watch fish everywhere. In the lagoon in front of our house we have seen rays and a shark, as they pulled their courses.
You should generally be careful not to snorkel too close to the reef, because the corals sometimes reach the water surface.
Barefoot – leave shoes at home
When we arrived on the island, we all still had sneakers on, of course. However, we took them off very quickly and went to the first meal in the restaurant in flip-flops. There we noticed that no one had shoes on, partly not even the service staff. So we went from then on also only without shoes. So we didn’t wear shoes for the complete vacation. That is quite a change for the feet… If we come again once, the luggage turns out accordingly clearly slimmer, shoes can remain at home.
Bathing shoes – yes or no
We had bathing shoes with us, but didn’t even wear them. The first meters leading into the sea are always sand, then gradually a few corals appear. You should not step on corals anyway, so we were always barefoot or with fins. If you have somewhat sensitive feet, you can safely put on bathing shoes, we found the sand, whether with more or less shell grit always very pleasant.
Sand – fine or full of shells?
There is a bit of everything. On the island there are sections where the sand is almost snow-white and fine like powdered sugar and in other places it is completely white and full of tiny shell splinters. But you can walk well. Maybe it stings a bit in some places, we loved it! Shells and pieces of coral are everywhere. Overall, the sand is very pleasant, it was never so hot that you couldn’t walk on it.
Animals on the island
The first animals we noticed on the island were small crabs, half of which lived in shells and whenever you came near them, they would hide in the shells, only to come out again after a short time. The kids were fascinated by the crabs until the end of the vacation. In some places there were so many crabs that we could watch the fun crab party forever. The kids got really creative and built tracks for the crabs out of sand and let them have a race.
In the evening, bigger crabs also appeared, and if you got too close, they quickly moved into their dug holes.
On the first day we were frightened by the flight of a big black "something". On the island, many huge bats fly from palm to palm not only at night, but also during the day. They probably feed mainly on fruits and are therefore called Fruit-Bats.
On such an island of course the geckos must not be missing. They can be found everywhere. In the children’s room was a baby gecko, which they then considered their pet.
Otherwise, of course, we have seen small and large fish, sharks, rays, turtles and dolphins!
Over the summer, when the monsoon changes, there is another island with bay opposite the island, Hanifarou Bay, which is a protected area. This is where the big manta rays come and attract many snorkelers and divers.
At the end of March/beginning of April we had fantastic weather. It was always about 28-30 degrees in the morning as well as in the evening and at night. The last days it got increasingly hotter. Every day the sun was shining, clouds were rare, sometimes we would have wished for some. On the penultimate evening, a warm tropical shower caught us once. The hotel is also well prepared for this: umbrellas are distributed in every room and everywhere on the island.
What to watch out for
Unfortunately there are some mosquitoes on the islands, which are day and night active. We underestimated this a bit in the beginning and got some bites on the first day. In the rooms themselves are anti-mosquito agents that you spray in the room or plug into the socket. Once we had casually mentioned that we have some bites, already came the offer to spray around the house, again something against the mosquitoes, after that it was noticeably less. We are from the second day then always only with mosquito spray (Anti-Brumm tropical) outside. Another small bottle could be bought in the store in the lobby for 8 USD. We found this the best, it did not smell so "toxic" and worked well. But here you should be prepared in any case and really use the spray consistently.
The Sun and Sunburn
In the Maldives, the sun is beaming as strong as we have ever experienced. We are all not actually at extreme risk of getting sunburned, but in the Maldives we learned what real sun exposure means. We have a very good 50 sunscreen (Daylong), but here we needed more. We bought an 80 cream on site especially for the shoulders and the kids had a UV shirt on especially during the midday sun and also a hat. Also here you should be really well prepared. But in case of need you can buy sunscreen and after sun in the store.
Water and earache.
When you are in and under the water so much, your ears eventually don’t take it anymore. Our oldest had developed an earache 3 days before departure and an otitis externa. This is of course in such a vacation totally unfavorable – how to get him in the heat, no longer go into the water, or not submerge? We had all kinds of ear drops, ear plugs, water protection, etc., with us. But still it did not go away so quickly. We had then addressed the hotel manager, whether there might be a miracle cure on the island, but had honestly thought that you would have to go to another island. He just said he would ask the nurse of the island and not even 30 minutes later we had ear drops in the room. After one day it got better. He also told us that otherwise it would be no problem at all to drive us to another island where there was a hospital, pharmacy and doctors. Fortunately, we did not need that. By the way, in the ear drops there was cortisone and an antibiotic.
This is not the first time one of our children has had such "swimmer’s ear". That’s why we spray this in the ear every day when we go to the beach, so that the ear canal is protected. This time, however, we forgot to do it consistently out of sheer fascination.
The service of the hotel is outstanding! Everyone was very accommodating and fond of children. They noticed when we left the room in the morning for breakfast and then directly our room was cleaned. In the evening similarly, during dinner the room was cleaned again and made ready for sleeping. Every wish was fulfilled in the shortest possible time and in an incredibly friendly way. Every little thing got attention! Once I had something stuck in my tooth and tried to get it out with my finger for a short time, toothpicks were brought to me. Tobi always drank an espresso in the afternoon: the first time there were different sugar sachets, he only took one of them. The next few times he was served only this one with the espresso. The espresso was served on a nice wooden board in the shape of a manta ray, Tobi inquired if that was typical for here, we were told they would make them themselves, they would be happy to make us one and give it to us for 20 euros – the next day we got our own board.
One evening the children were already quite tired, this was also noticed by the staff and we said that we would put the children to bed. But for that we had to walk to our villa and bang someone was standing there with a small caddy and drove us to our room. We felt like kings!
We have to dedicate a separate part to the WLAN here. As soon as you arrive on the island, you can connect to the open WLAN and it works all over the island – in the public areas, but just as well in the villas, on the beach, at the pool etc.. There was not one wifi outage and the wifi was so good that we were able to make wifi phone calls (e.g.what’s app calls) home without any problems, even turning on the camera. We did this once or twice, so that those who had stayed in cold Germany could also be there live.
We could communicate with our supervisor or housekeeping at any time via Whats App. They also used this to remind us of upcoming activities, restaurant opening times, etc.
Back we went early in the morning, at 5:20 am we were woken up. The suitcases were fetched, we were served another private breakfast and then we went by speedboat to the small airport and by domestic flight to Malé. On departure, everyone was standing on the jetty still waving to us – it makes you feel very special! Of course, again we were not alone at any airport – a staff member from Kihaa Resort guided us to the gate. He knew every trick to avoid longer queues and of course we are extremely grateful for that, especially with children. The airport in Malé is not really air-conditioned, so it is worth to dress warmer only on the plane. Back we went with Swiss to Zurich, then on to Frankfurt. In principle pleasant flights, but we flew back during the day and the long flight from Malé to Frankfurt was very long (10 hours).
We were certainly not the last time there…
For us it is certain, here we were not the last time – already after one day we felt recovered as after a week, we have appreciated the peace and the unique nature and this beautiful resort with all the small and large attentions very much and are very grateful to all staff for the great time.
We have already requested for another vacation and of course received an offer again by return of post. Here we must definitely mention how cooperative everyone is, you can talk about everything, we can even now choose our favorite room and every wish is fulfilled! We will see each other again!