As I mentioned way back at the outset of Maldives Complete, I had originally thought that I might build a website called ‘Maldives for Families’ out of the conviction that this destination was so superbly suited for adults and children alike. Little did I know that online, especially at Trip Advisor, there is a massive debate between this school of thought and the view that the Maldives is no place for children. So of the ‘anti-children’ views try to argue based on patronising forced logic (eg. long-haul flights not suitable for children who are going to kick seats and cry, loud and obnoxious children will spoil my idyllic holiday that I paid thousands for, specialised medical treatment is not immediately at hand). I always speak out in support of children being welcome, but in the end I appreciate ‘to each his own’.
To support people finding just the right resort for them, I’ve added a field to the Maldives Complete database which delineates the resorts into one of 5 categories about how ‘Child Friendly’ they are…
- Children restricted
- Children discouraged
- No information
- Children special facilities
- ‘Best Of’ child offerings
So you can filter in the Resort Finder on ‘Children Welcome?’ I have also added a note box to the resort Profile which provides additional detail about the restrictions, facilities and ‘Best Of’ offerings. Finally, for further reference. Trip Advisor also has a handy FAQ on the topic.
While the focus of the Hay Festival Maldives event being sponsored by Soneva Fushi features a range of ecological issues, Soneva Fushi has gone one further by hosting an Eco Symposium ‘climate change debate’ featuring a range of premier environmental keynote speakers. One of the speakers is none other than the high profile Maldive President Mohamed Nasheed. It also includes Solar Century Founder Jeremy Leggett (with whom I shared the speaking stage a few years ago at the 2007 Tech Track Awards), and Mark Lynas author of ‘Six Degrees: Our Future on A Hotter Planet’ (which coincidentally I just read last week…scary stuff). Quite a first class line-up.
“The Six Senses Eco Symposium at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives from 7-10 October 2010 will have an exciting line up of guest speakers including leading consultants, environmentalists, international policy makers and visionaries…The Symposium’s opening speakers will be President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed and his advisor on climate change, Mark Lynas. President Nasheed has made worldwide headlines with his country’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2020. Mark Lynas’ bestselling book “Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet” won the prestigious Royal Society Prize for Science Books in 2007 and was turned into a documentary by National Geographic.Practical examples of eco technology will be showcased at the Symposium to inspire the travel and tourism leaders attending. Clean energy specialists such as Lounette Dyer of Soledo Energy, Jeremy Leggett of Solarcentury, Eric Scotto of Akuo Energy Group and Dr. Anthony Michaels of Proteus Environmental Technologies will explain how existing technology can both reduce the carbon footprint of hotels and resorts and increase profitability, the holy grail for the industry.”
(The Wye River in Gloucestershire…like the Maldives an idyllic spot for some outdoor water activity as well as a literary festival)
Also winner of the small world connection is Soneva Gili’s sponsorship of the ‘Hay Festival Maldives’. The Hay Festival started as a small literary event in the English idyllic village of Hay-on-Wye. The ‘on-Wye’ bit of course being the Wye River which happens to be our family’s annual canoeing destination courtesy of friend, former colleague and master canoeist Gareth Hall. I was at first surprised to read a connection between this rather esoteric and remote Gloucestershire event and the Maldivian top flight resort, but I guess the Hay Festival has grown into a truly international phenomenon with satellite events around the world…
“Soneva Gili is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the inaugural Maldivian offshoot of the internationally renowned Hay-on-Wye literary festival which is taking place in the Maldives from the 14th to 17th October 2010. The Hay Festival Maldives will celebrate 2,000 years of Maldivian island culture and provide a platform for focusing international attention on the challenges faced by the archipelago due to climate change, bringing together international and local artists from the fields of literature, art, science, music, poetry and comedy.”
While Olhuveli and Fun Island might be a football pitch apart, if you want a little neighbourhood of tiny companion islands, then the Anantara resorts – Dhigu, Veli – and Naladhu. Each resort is just under 300 yards apart. So if you are apprehensive about being too remote and isolated, then maybe this little cluster in the Lakshadweep Sea is for you.
The person who first introduced me to the Maldives is former colleague in Microsoft, Andy Lees. I still remember him recounting how he simply waded over to a neighbouring island on one of his visits. In one of my first blogs, I set out to find the closest island to wade to and highlighted Rihiveli Beach. But the shallow lagoon doesn’t make it the closest companion island. That honour goes to the Olhuveli and Fun Island resorts that are just over 100 yards apart (though separated by deeper water than Rihiveli’s wade which is about 400 yards away).