Ja Manafaru

Part of the Maldives’ Northern most atoll, JA Manafaru is an island getaway that’s as suited to families as it is to honeymooners.

The resort showcases beach bungalows, overwater villas, private pools and ivory beaches – with plenty of child-friendly touches and excellent bars and restaurants to boot. The grounds are beautifully kept and the house reef is accessed by a jetty, ideal for guests keen to snorkel or dive into the underwater world. Although this is a 5* resort, prices can feel surprisingly affordable for those seeking value alongside luxury.

Facilities & Activities

There’s a good array of facilities, with lovely, attentive staff who cater to your every whim. A fleet of golf buggies is on hand to ferry guests around and there are two children’s play areas, one (CoolZone) dedicated to those aged from 3 – 12 years and the other (ChillZone) for children aged 8+. Featuring everything from climbing frames to herb gardens and flight simulators, they are sure to keep the whole family entertained.

The resort’s 3 main pools include an infinity pool and a jungle-style pool, and there’s also a large gym and a Calm Spa – complete with Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms – offering treatments such as Thai massage and Ayurveda.

The excellent PADI 5* dive centre caters for both beginners and experienced divers. Children aged 10+ can do a lagoon and coral reef dive after some basic instruction.

A dedicated water sports centre offers water skiing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, catamaran sailing and speedboat excursions. Maldivian cooking classes, romantic beach dinners, local island tours and fishing trips can also be arranged. Land activities include beach volleyball and ‘beach golf’, where you hit balls made of fish food into the sea.

A marine biology centre, manned by helpful biologist, offers coral reef nursery planting.

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There are 7 restaurants and bars in the resort. The 3 main restaurants are Kakuni, for International buffet breakfast and dinner; White Orchid, for street food style dishes; and Ocean Grill, a beachfront spot serving good steak and seafood.

Don’t miss a trip to The Cellar, located inside a volcanic stone cavern. Andiamo serves Mediterranean fare such as pizza and pasta around the ‘jungle pool’, and the Infinity Bar and Pool are good spots for an evening cocktail. Half Board allows you to eat at all – with just a few marked items on the menu, such as lobster, not included.


Each of the 84 Villas and Suites are designed with the island’s natural beauty in mind. Tucked away to offer the utmost privacy,  all with private pools, they feature thatched roofs and huge glass windows to make the most of the sensational views, either beachfront or over water.

Inside, the style is contemporary yet simple, with cream walls, dark wood furnishings and monsoon showers.

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Family-friendly touches include a babysitting service (from 12 months, book 24 hours in advance, available for a supplement) as well as an excellent kids’ club (for children aged 3-12 years) and teen club (for children aged 8-16 years). There’s also a fully-stocked games room with a Playstation, as well as table tennis, a cinema and a pool table.

The dedicated activity programme includes an Island Adventure, where you make a mocktail, cook a pizza and explore the resort. Little ones will love the playground and child-sized wash basins and toilets. Children’s menus are available, as well as high chairs and bottle warmers.

All room options have their own pool and can accommodate at least 2 adults and 1 child. Water Villas are quite large and sleep 2 adults and 2 children aged 8-16 on a day bed and extra bed in the open plan living area.

For added space, there are 1 and 2 Bedroomed Villas on the beachfront.


Currently we have no information regarding sustainability.


The Maldives’ most Northerly resort, JA Manafaru is located on the 35-acre, private island of Manafaru, a 75-minute flight from the capital, Malé. The journey by seaplane is visually stunning (and you are well equipped with complimentary binoculars) – but may be a little tiring, especially after an overnight non direct long-haul flight from the UK.  So why not consider a stop over at JA Palm Tree Court in Dubai?  Special offers for this arrangement are often available.

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