Niyama Private Islands
Spread across two islands, Niyama Private Islands is a stunning 5* resort that focuses on children and adults in equal measure.
Connected by a bridge, ‘Chill’ is an island for adults and ‘Play’ is an island for children – though both children and adults are allowed on both. There is a superb kids’ club, run by a qualified teacher, as well as family suites and unique dining locations. There is no house reef on site, so guests looking to dive or do a decent amount of snorkelling should budget for boat trips, organised by the resort. An ideal choice for families looking for a great kids club, paired with contemporary yet family-friendly accommodation, with an emphasis on good food.
Facilities & Activities
You won’t be short of things to do here, from water activities to cooking classes. The informative and fun expeditions with a marine biologist are a particular highlight. You can choose from several options, such as night snorkelling, or ‘adopt a coral’, which sees you tie pieces of live coral to a frame and place this in the coral nursery to grow (for an additional charge).
Guests are allocated a “thakuru” (a kind of butler), which is a helpful and luxurious service – they do everything from whisking you around the islands on a golf buggy to booking a dinner table for you.
The excellent Explorers Children’s Club has a big playground, a sunken trampoline and a kitchen for cooking lessons, as well as air-conditioned indoor areas for arts and crafts. It is one of the few kids’ clubs to take babies from 12 months, and it takes children up to 12 years (split into four different age groups).
The Drift Spa features six treatment rooms with lagoon views and offers family and child spa treatments. There is a sauna, steam room, plunge pool and juice bar, as well as a yoga area.
Water sports on offer include scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding and kayaking, as well as sea bobbing, jet skiing, water skiing and wakeboarding. Big game fishing is also available, and you can set sail in a Dhoni (traditional boat). There’s also a handful of boutique shops, a 24-hour gym, two infinity pools and a games zone, kitted out with everything from Wii consoles to table tennis.
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There’s an excellent selection of restaurants to suit all tastes and styles here. The two central restaurants are Blu and Epicure, which are both very good and have buffet service.
Located on Play, Blu offers all-day, family dining, serving Mediterranean-style dishes beside the pool. Greek salads, pizzas, grilled tiger prawns and scallop risotto are some of the menu highlights, and there’s also an ice cream parlour to satisfy your sweet tooth. On Chill, Epicure serves International cuisine in a casual-yet-chic poolside setting. Open for breakfast and dinner, it offers everything from Chinese chicken broth to beer battered fish and chips, as well as 18 varieties of teas and 260 types of wine.
For dinner in the treetops, Nest is located six metres up, and offers an Asian-inspired menu, while Tribal is an interesting African-cum-Latino restaurant set amidst blazing fires. There’s also a decent offerings of bars, with the underwater Subsix a particular highlight.
Prefer private dining? Make the most of your villa and book room service, choosing from the special ‘Dine In’ menu which comprises choices from the two islands’ nine dining venues.
You’re spoilt for choice here, with a variety of studios, suites and pavilions to pick from. Slick and contemporary, and with bags of luxurious touches, these wood and glass boltholes dot both islands and extend over the lagoon. Most rooms – bar a few studios – have their own private plunge pools, and some even boast outdoor Jacuzzis, sunken living areas and spa treatment rooms. The decor is modern yet elegant throughout, with open-air rainfall showers, fibre optic pool lights and sumptuous, cream sofas.
All types of room accommodate children. Entry level beach studios can take up to two adults and two children or three adults and one child. For more space, upgrade to a Family Beach Suite, which has a good size double sofa bed in a separate sitting room and a double-width deck with a private pool and direct beach access. Larger parties should look to book The Crescent, a collection of five super-chic villas set over the water that cater for 14 adults and eight children.
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With a stellar kids’ club, a variety of accommodation options and an entire island dedicated to little ones, Per Aquum Niyama is a brilliant choice for families. And there’s a fantastic range of activities to keep youngsters of all interests happy, such as dolphin scouting, snorkelling safaris, beach ball and baby yoga.
Accommodation is also geared towards families – all rooms can accommodate children, who will love their special welcome gift and turndown service.
Fun, family-friendly touches include complimentary frisbies and buckets and spades, as well as free ice cream and a popcorn making machine in rooms. The spa also caters for the whole brood – with family and child treatments available.
There is currently no sustainability information available for this hotel.
Comprised of twin islands ‘Play’ and ‘Chill’, the resort is set in the south-western atoll of Dhaalu. It is accessed via a 45-minute journey by seaplane from the Maldivian capital Malé. The flight offers mesmerising views of the sparkling Indian Ocean with its sand-fringed islands, and makes for a memorable arrival onto the resort.
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