Social Commentary, Top 10

Top 10 Tips: How To Raise Resilient Children

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Last week, I was very much tempted to write about the attacks that occurred in Paris, the horrendous tragedy, and how it has touched so many people I know. This blog was originally conceived as a way of escapism when I was faced with adversity and I had always wanted to keep it slightly surreal and fictionalised in the NHYM world. But we really are living in a time of high alert and we are all a bit more nervous than before that it would be impossible for me to ignore what is going on. So, to keep this post on a positive note and instead of just feeling helpless, it has led me to research and write about how we can teach our children resilience.

We all think that all we want is for our children to be ‘happy’ but this is too simplistic when reality will throw traumas, tragedies, and disappointments at us, some of which are out of our control. We, as parents, instinctively want to protect our children, but there comes a point when we can no longer protect them. What we can do, is to teach them resilience and how to bounce back from life’s challenges.

Here’s a round up of my Top 10 Tips on How To Raise Resilient Children: 

(researched on the internet and parenting books)

  1. Don’t accommodate every need: If children are never exposed to uncomfortable situations, they will never learn from them and how to handle being in such situations. Minor uncomfortable situations will teach them flexibility and how to react positively.
  2. Avoid eliminating all risks: Allow appropriate risks for them to learn their own limits.
  3. Teach them to problem solve: You won’t always be there to solve their problems. Teach them how to go through the process of solving a problem to equip them with their own problem solving skills.
  4. Don’t provide all the answers: Don’t immediately rush to answer all the questions your child may have. Show them how to answer their own questions, promoting inquisitive minds and how they can answer their own questions.
  5. Let your kids make mistakes: Failure can be a good thing (but not too much!). It teaches them that failure is OK and that they can learn from their mistakes. See it as a growth and learning experience rather than as a negative experience. We all make mistakes, and it is important to children to know that it is Ok to make them.
  6. Help manage their emotions: Teach your children that emotions are OK, but that you have to figure out what to do next and how to manage them. For example, if they are upset at a friend, try to teach them to tolerate the emotions but that they will pass.
  7. Model Resiliency: Try to show them resiliency and be calm and consistent. We could probably all learn from this list.
  8. Determine your child’s strengths and develop them: Rather than focussing on their weaknesses, build on their strengths for them to build their confidence and know that they have their own unique talents and strengths.
  9. Build their coping skills: Everyone will face a situation when things aren’t going their way. Teach them to accept things that he/she cannot change, normalise their experience and let them know that they will get over it and get stronger from it. Positivity is also a helpful.
  10. Teach children to be independent but seek help when needed: There comes a point in each child’s life when they will no longer have their parent at their side every moment of the day to support, cheer, and help but that they can ask for help when they need it.

So, in these times of stress, what we can do is teach our young children to become resilient, leading them to become resilient and strong adults. Let me know if there are ways you have helped to build your children’s resilience.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Top 10, Travel, Uncategorized

Top 10 Travel Tips: Sardinia in September

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Sardinia. All photos copyright NHYM 2015. 

September is a bittersweet month. On one hand, it is great to come back to a daily routine of school runs, dinners and socialising and the comfort of one’s home. On the other hand, it is good-bye to summer and outdoor BBQs, and the realisation that the next summer is 10 months away.

So, as a tradition, we try to go away every September for our wedding anniversary. This year, we chose Sardinia, because a) it is only 2 hours away (yes, I know it’s with Easyjet, but sometimes I need to temper down my inner brat) b) my mother and friends told me to stay away from Turkey because of all of the unrest (where I initially wanted to go to) c) Mr. X had never been and it’s been years since I had been. d) And finally, because it is a rather beautiful melange of rustic and chic.

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Porto Cervo NHYM 2015.

Here are my Top 10 Tips in Sardinia:

  1. Check out the beaches. There are so many to explore, but my personal favourites are in Southern Sardinia, where there are less foreign tourists and the translucent water and rocky outcroppings remind me of the Seychelles. The beaches in Maddalena are equally spectacular.
  2. Porto Cervo, home to Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Club, must be seen. It was created by Prince Aga Khan and reminds me of the Terra Cotta Hotel Byblos in St Tropez. It doesn’t have much charm, but has to be seen… as one of the most expensive real estates in Europe. Check out ‘You Porto Cervo’ for a cocktail.PortoCervo2NHYMView of Porto Cervo. NHYM 2015
  3. The Maddalena archipelago is the opposite of Porto Cervo: quiet, rustic and a has beautiful nature. I already mentioned La Casitta in another post (https://nottinghillmummy.com/2014/05/19/top-10-best-mediterranean-sea-view-boutique-hotels), best for its remoteness and seclusion
  4. Charter a motor yacht/sailboat/gulet to visit Sardinia’s wild nature and beaches and nature reserves. There’s nothing like waking up in an undiscovered cove on a boat with a cappuccino in hand…
  5. See the Grotto di Nettuno, Sardinia’s most famous cave.SardiniaViewNHYM
  6. Try one of the many Agriturismo farmhouses to get back to basics: http://www.agriturismo.it/en/
  7. Go to Phi Beach for the sunset and a cocktail. Great views and atmosphere.SardiniaBeach2NHYM
  8. The Cala di Volpe hotel, one of the most expensive hotels in the world, once featured in the 1977 ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ Bond Film. It may be the most famous hotel in Sardinia, but it seems a bit dated to me and is not by far one of my favourites. Personally, Il Splendido wins hands down. CalaDiVolpeNHYMCala Di Volpe
  9. Visit Nora in the South, an ancient Roman and pre-Roman town, where you can see a Roman theatre, temple and mosaics.
  10. Enjoy the food… It is Italy after all. Try La Gritta with views of the Maddelena, I Fratti Rossi for its seafood, or Il Pescatore purely for the best setting and view of Porto Cervo.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

PortoCervoBridge2NHYM

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Top 10, Travel, Uncategorized

Travel: Woolley Grange Hotel Review, Wiltshire

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Woolley Grange Hotel Main House. All Photos Copyright of NHYM 2015.

Woolley Grange Hotel 

Woolley Green

Bradford-On-Avon

Wiltshire BA15 1TX

Tel. 01225864705

http://www.woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

OVERALL RATING: 4 stars

Hotel itself: 3.75 stars

Children’s Amenities: 5 stars

Service: 3 stars

Restaurant: 4 stars for dinner, 3 stars at lunch

Room: 4 stars

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Woolley Grange Front Lawn

Let me preface this post by saying that this is NOT what I would consider a ‘family-friendly hotel’. Au contraire, I would call it a ‘child-centered’ hotel, or one that is dedicated to children and that allows parents to join if they so please. This should be clear from the outset, in case you were looking for a 5* hotel that catered to children.

I say this because:

  1. There are children everywhere. When we arrived there were children on the front lawn swinging/jumping/fishing/swimming/playing.
  2. The lunch menu for children is much more elaborate and appetising than the adult menu (For children: steak, roast chicken, spaghetti. Adults: Sandwiches & Light Bites)
  3. The ‘Movie Room’ only plays children’s movies
  4. The table settings are named with your children’s names, not yours.
  5. The ‘Candle-lit’ dinner reserved for adults still has children running all over the place while you dine by ‘candle-light’
  6. The beautiful front lawn’s view is encumbered by a trampoline, a football pitch, a mini-tennis court and plastic playground toys.
  7. Did I mention there were children everywhere?
  8. Every hotel guest here comes accessorised with at least one, two, or three mini people and possibly a granny or grandpa thrown in for good measure.
  9. In the lounges, instead of House & Garden or Country Life magazines, train sets and baby books fill the coffee tables.
  10. Activities here are children focussed: films, egg collecting, kids club etc…

So, now that I’ve gotten this out of the way, you will be prepared for a lovely children’s weekend/holiday in the country. The upside is that you don’t need to be embarrassed when your child throws a) tantrum b) hissy fit c) their food all over the floor d) a toy at their younger sister/brother/your head. As this was our first ever ‘Children’s Hotel’ it took a little adjustment. Best for children 0-9.

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The Main House. NHYM 2015. 

The Hotel

The hotel itself is a beautiful Jacobean Manor house that accommodates 25 rooms and suites for all kinds of family arrangements. There are interconnecting rooms that are perfect for a family of 4 or other rooms that can fit smaller families. It is old, kitschy and creaky, with thick carpets and small nooks and crannies interspersed in the house. It is not what I would call a five star hotel, with blue thick velvet carpets that show mud and crumbs left behind by children, and service that comes by to only hoover and tidy beds. (Other 5* stars generally try to tidy up clothes and toys, but not really this one).

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Front Entrance Woolley Grange Hotel. NHYM 2015. 

In addition to the main house, there is a small spa with an indoor swimming pool, which both looked quite nice but we never managed to use the pool because it was closed while we were there. And no, I never found time to visit the spa. There is also an outdoor pool available for proper British families who braved it out in the rain and cold at 13 degrees. I mean, yes I know it is heated, but really? No, you won’t get me in that pool with this great British weather….

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The walled garden. NHYM 2015. 

Children’s Amenities

Like I mentioned before, this hotel is all about kids. For our urban-kids, there was plenty of things to enjoy at this hotel: a swing and trampoline on the lawn, a small playground out back, and a walled garden. The walled garden had toy houses, ducks, geese, hen, a tractor and apple picking.

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Woolley Grange Tractor

There was egg collecting from the hen house.

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Hen House & Chicken Laying Eggs. NHYM 2015. 

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Ducks and ducklings. NHYM 2015. 

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Pumpkins in the Walled Garden. Or are they squash? NHYM 2015. 

The Kids Club was cute, nothing to go crazy over, but available for 2 hours per day, just enough time for a coffee and a read of the newspaper. It was mostly geared towards younger children under 5 years old, but still had some jewellery making for older children and a breakfast club on a Sunday for an extra hour and a half in bed.

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Kids Club. NHYM 2015. 

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Simon the Rabbit at the Kids Club. NHYM 2015.

The Room & Service

We had a very spacious family room with 2 interconnecting rooms, which fit us perfectly. The children had their room with two twin beds while we had a large King size bed with very comfortable beds. The Service… well, let’s just put it this way: the hotel was full of Uni students working during their summer holidays to earn a little cash for the year to come. There were no professionally trained French Maitre d’ or fully trained concierges (‘Uhm, sorry, you booked Longleat tickets through us? No one told me!’) Not quite what we are used to, but very friendly and genuinely nice.

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Did I mention everything is for children here? NHYM 2015. 

Outside Woolley Grange

What the children really loved outside the hotel was Longleat Safari Park, probably the best drive through Safari Park in the UK (unlike Whipsnead which is not a proper drive through Safari Park), which also has an Adventure Park and a beautiful house to visit. You could spend days there and it is a sure hit with the kids. The Safari Park has plenty of animals to see; giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers, and lots of Monkeys that love to sit on your car mirrors! The Adventure Park also has loads of fun playgrounds and more to see. The Jungle Cruise had hippos, gorillas and a chance to feed sea lions. We were there for a whole day and didn’t manage to see it all. Definitely worth a visit.

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Longleat House. NHYM 2015. 

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Nico the 55 year old Gorilla. NHYM 2015. 

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

Despite the often 3* rather than 5* service, this place is great for children. It’s a quick escape from the city and a great base to explore the countryside. We saw more animals there than we have seen in all our years in London (we also managed to feed goats, pigs and ponies at a little farm in the vicinity). It’s a great place for kids, although where parents can sometimes feel like second class citizens, but since we’ve had plenty of adult time in our day (see: Santorini, Greece: https://nottinghillmummy.com/2015/08/22/travel-lusting-photography-santorini-greece/), we sucked it up ;0. There’s plenty to do around there, like visit Bath and Bradford-on-Avon, which we also enjoyed (a new rest the Weaving Shed in Bradford was a nice surprise). We would recommend it to anyone who is looking for some quality time with kids, and save the following weekend for time with the adults.

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

WoolleyGrangeFlowersNHYM

 

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Top 10, Travel, Uncategorized

Travel-lusting: Oia, Santorini, Greece

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All Photos Copyright of NHYM 2015. 

2015 was Greece’s year, although not necessarily for good reasons. Greece has made the media spotlight for it’s shambolic economy that closed down ATMs and banks and froze money coming in and out of Greece. But let’s look at the positives coming from Greece: a travel-lusting destination. I know at least 6 couples that are currently in Greece: Mykonos for the party people, Santorini for couples or Sani Resort for families, there’s something for everyone.

For a romantic long weekend a deux, sans kids, Santorini is my top pick. Often chosen as a top honeymoon destination, Oia never fails to impress with those towering views over the underwater volcano. It is a quick, direct Easjyet flight and in a few hours you could be basking in the Greek sun.

In Oia, all the hotels share the same views, so you can’t go wrong. Here are some of the hotels I recommend:

  1. Pezoules Hotel: www.http://pezoules.gr
  2. Katikies Hotel: http://www.katikies.com
  3. Kirini Suites & Spa: http://www.kirini.com
  4. Perivolas: http://www.perivolas.gr
  5. Mystique: http://mystique.gr

And the restaurant not to miss is the Sunset Taverna in the fishing village down the other side of the mountain. Fresh Greek Seabream there is an absolute must when visiting Oia.

Don’t forget a boat ride around the island, also another must-do.

Here are some photos. Go on, lust away.

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SunsetOiaSantoriniGreece10NHYM

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

SantoriniGreece6NHYM

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Top 10, Travel

Top 10 Children’s Activities to do this Summer in London

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Butterfly exhibit, Natural History Museum NHYM Copyright 2015. 

If like me, you are desperately trying to entertain and organise playdates and activities for your children this summer in London, here are my Top 10 Picks. These may not be the most original, but there are some firm favourites as well as some newcomers and other ideas to keep them busy!

  1. Kidzania Westfield: If you haven’t heard of Kidzania, you soon will. A whole city created for kids, your child can decide what he/she wants to be when he/she grows up: theatre actor, shopkeeper, scientist or firefighter. My favourite part are the identity bracelets that enable you to go all ‘Big Brother’ on them. Go early and beat the crowds. http://london.kidzania.com/en-uk/
  2. Clip ‘n’ Climb: For the sporty ones, a whole array of climbing walls are at their foot-tips in Fulham. http://www.clipnclimbchelsea.co.uk
  3. The London Zoo: Not very original, but never goes out of style. Especially for those with memberships, it’s a quick day out with Carrousels, Bouncy Castles, Face painting and all the animals you need to entertain. http://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo
  4. Garson’s Farm: A little further away, you can PYO (pick your own) fruit and vegetable for the real life experience of being a farmer. Nothing beats the real deal. http://www.garsons.co.uk
  5. The Butterfly Exhibit, Natural History Museum: I personally love the butterfly exhibit, and you have probably been a thousand times, but I never stop enjoying it, as do my kids. Arrive 10/15 minutes before your allocated time and beat the queues. Then head to the dinosaurs next door and your day’s fulfilled. http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/sensational-butterflies.html ButterflyexhibitNatHistoryMuseum2NHYM
  6. Petersham Nurseries, Richmond, and Rowboats: Richmond Park has lots to offer, but if you forget your picnic basket, hop over some fences and cow-filled fields to the beautiful Petersham nurseries where you can lunch in their gardens. After, head towards Richmond bridge and pick up a rowboat for some afternoon exercise. The kids loved the rowing. It’s not quite a Superyacht, but just as fun for the kids. http://petershamnurseries.com
  7. Serpentine Gallery Family Day: The Serpentine gallery has regular family day events, offering workshops on film, shapes, and the upcoming one on the selgascano pavilion. For the budding artists, this is as good as it gets. http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/pavilion-family-day (https://nottinghillmummy.com/2015/07/03/the-serpentine-summer-partys-uptown-funk-2015/)
  8. Splash in the Science Museum & workshops: Another very popular event, so be wary of the long lines, the Science Museum is the fun-and-educational museum that keeps on giving. The water area is always a favourite. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
  9. Diana’s Playground, Kensington Gardens: Another favourite that has people waiting hours to get in. Show up first thing in the morning and avoid all the crowds. Bring swimsuits on a sunny day and your children can pretend to be in an Aqua Park. One of the best kid’s playgrounds in London. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/kensington-gardens/things-to-see-and-do/sports-and-leisure/diana-memorial-playground
  10. Hyde Park Discovery Days: Activities in the heart of Hyde Park like Sunset Safaris, Wild Water and Meadow Madness. http://www.supporttheroyalparks.org/shop/experiences/1382_discovery_day_-_wild_water

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Petersham Nurseries NHYM Copyright 2015. 

Enjoy!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Top 10, Travel

Top 10 Best European Beaches

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Plage Notre Dame, Porquerolles, France. All photos in this post courtesy of the internet. NHYM 2015.

‘Where will you be this summer?’

New York may have the Hamptons, but London has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world just one or two hours away. Comparable to beaches in the Carribean or the Indian Ocean, they have stunning scenery, powdery sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Here I have compiled some of my favourite beaches as well as some that I think are unique in terms of scenery, location and beauty. Many of these are best visited low-mid season, during May, June and September to avoid the crowds, and are best visited by boat (and by that I mean your-own-private-boat rather than a cruise boat). I’m hoping to go to at least one or two this summer. Who’s coming?

Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in Europe: 

1. Notre Dames, Porquerolles, France

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Notre Dame Beach in Porquerolles, France has just been voted the Best European Beach 2015 by Best European Destinatons, so here it kicks off my Top 10 Best European Beaches. The best way to experience it is by sailboat, so for the boat lovers out there, this one is definitely worth checking out.

2. Playa Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

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For the party goers, going from Ibiza to Formentera by powerboat is just about the best day trip you could ever dream of. Have lunch at Juan y Andrea, and then listen to Cafe del Mar blasting out of your Sunseeker as the Sun sets. Absolute bliss.

3. Egremni, Lefkada, Greece

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The Ionian islands have a plethora of beautiful beaches, including Egremni, but also Porto Katsiki nearby. Beware of boat cruises which will ruin the whole experience, so best to visit during the mid-low season when the tourists are still far away. Best done by private boat.

4. Cala Mariolu, Sardinia, Italy

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Sardinia has so many beautiful beaches, it is difficult to choose one. Of course Cala Mariolu is famed to be one of its best. I also love the beaches of Southern Sardinia, which are reminiscent of the Seychelles with similar rock formations and clear waters.

5. Pinarello, Corsica, France

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Corsica has a laid back, beach-chic attitude that I love, contrasting with the bling – bling of nearby Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda. Hotel Les Pecheurs has some of the most secluded and stunning beaches you could ask for, even the though the hotel itself could do with a refurbishment. Try to the Lobster Linguine there though, it is to die for.

6. Myrtos, Kefalonia, Greece

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Here, it’s all about that view. Also in the Ionian islands, the Greeks do have some of the best beaches in Europe. Also recommended to visit off season.

7. Cala Maracellata, Menorca, Spain

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It may be a nudist beach, but these nudists have good taste. It’s a long hike to get there, so best to go by boat.

8. Plage Mala, Cap D’ail, France

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One of my all time favourite European beaches, you can only get there by foot down 179 steps or by boat. It has two beach clubs, my favourite being ‘La Reserve de La Mala,’ it combines dramatic cliffs, clear waters, and a fun atmosphere. You can’t beat a morning cappuccino on this beach.

9. Zlatni Rat, Brac, Croatia

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This beach wins for its unique, changing shape with the winds and its incredibly clear waters due to the channel currents. It’s not particularly safe to swim and is a pebble beach, so loses some points. But it wins some back for the party goers, who will head back to Hvar for its great party vibe and infamous Carpe Diem Club.

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10. Praia da Marinha, Algarve, Portugal

With unique and memorable rock outcroppings, this beach deserves a place in my T0p 10. Absolutely stunning.

Have a great summer!

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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Top 10

Top 10 Luxury Family-Friendly Hotels in the Maldives

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All the photos in this post taken by NHYM 2015. Pool at Anantara – it is this beautiful. 

I was recently asked – again – by two different mums about where to go in the Maldives with a family so thought I would go ahead and write up a post specifically focused on child-friendly hotels. I do have an obsession with the Maldives and going there has become part of my ‘annual feel-good programme’ (when I said this to a friend of mine, she rolled her eyes and told me never to repeat these words to anyone else because I sounded like a Monkey’s Ass, but hey, I have a big mouth, here I go again. I just can’t help it).

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White sands? Tick. Clear, translucent waters? Tick. Bright blue skies and sunshine? Tick. NHYM 2015.

We all associate the Maldives with exorbitant prices, but I have found some reasonable prices if you are willing to go during medium/low season. For those who haven’t booked your May half-term holidays, there are great deals to the Maldives with some flights to Male cheaper than flights within Europe. And don’t worry too much about the ‘rainy season.’ I once went to the Maldives in May and apart from a few hours of Monsoon rain, there was plenty of sunshine (unless you are really, really unlucky and that, I can’t help you with).

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Beach on a neighbouring island from Anantara Dhigu. NHYM 2015. 

The Maldives is no longer a faraway paradise for honeymooners, but has become a top destination for families for the shallow, warm lagoons, the superior service and hotels and the Ab-Fab Kids Clubs. It’s a 10 hour direct flight with British Airways, it is a safe haven (where I once lost my toddler who was brought back to me safely by Mr. Friday on his island buggy), with an abundance of sunshine and smiling faces. The Kids Clubs include every possible activity from marine biology lessons to Astronomy courses, via DJ booths, shark feeding and turtle petting…

Top 10 Luxury Family Friendly Hotels in the Maldives:

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The ‘Adults-Only’ pool at Reethi Rah. The kids’ pool is set back in the shade, so children can spend hours in it without sun damage! NHYM 2015. 

1. The One & Only Reethi Rah

Best for: Teenagers

The One & Only, which provides some of the best people-watching (hello Naomi! On a treadmill next to me…) and is one of the top luxury hotels in the Maldives, also excels in the child department. It has food menus for kids, at least 3 different kids clubs and activities for all ages. It especially has a programme designed for teenagers with movie nights, football tournaments, rock climbing, golf simulation, PADI Diving Bubblemaker and a smoothie bar (oh and mani -pedis, but not sure that’s one to brag about). Teenagers will somehow migrate together here, make new friends (and boy/girlfriends). When I was there, one teen ended up in his mother’s best friend’s daughters bed which caused a World War rift between the two mums…Need I say more? A teenager’s paradise… There is a beautiful spa and great, great diving. For New Year’s, you better be a VIP or you don’t stand a chance. The villas are huge and the ‘packing up’ service at the end of the trip was Mr.X’s favourite thing ever (they pack up all your clothes while you spend an extra hour at the beach).

http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/oneonly-at-reethi-rah/

By Seaboat – or private plane should you want to.

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2. The Four Seasons Kudaa Huraa 

Best for: The Four Seasons service and the amazing lobster

In the Maldives, you just need to show up with your babies. No need to lug baby puree, sterilisers, nappies or anything that takes up too much space in your suitcase, they have everything you could ever need. The Four Seasons, as usual, provides its usual exemplary service, including a lovely Kids Club with arts & crafts, a marine life turtle touch tank, fish feeding and island scavenger hunts. The beach huts are lovely and can easily fit a family  of four. We found the food to be particularly good, with all-you-can-eat fresh lobsters on a half board meal plan. If you can’t afford One & Only every year, this one’s a good alternative. One couple I know comes back year after year, requesting the exact same room each time, they love it that much.

http://www.fourseasons.com/maldiveskh/

By seaboat

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Glass bottom boat kayaking organised by the Kids Club. NHYM 2015. 

3. Anantara Dhigu

Best for: Value for Money

Anantara is part of a luxury Thai chain, which has beautiful hotels around the world. As with most Thai hotels, the service is exquisite and the design is sleek and sophisticated, while not charging out of the world prices. There are three interconnecting islands to suit all needs, but Anantara Dhigu is the child-friendly one. The Kids club is housed in a beautiful Dhoni, a traditional Maldivian boat, which is air conditioned ideal on really hot days. Some of the top kids’ activities we found were the open air movie night with kids sprawled on beanbags munching popcorn while watching ‘Surf’s Up’ under the stars, and the glass bottom kayak trip in the lagoon to discover the marine life. The only downside is the food at some of the restaurants didn’t live up to our expectations, but we loved the Thai restaurant (we could have gone there every night) and the Teppanyaki on a neighbouring island. On the last day there, my daughter asked ‘Can we live in the Maldives?’

http://www.dhigu-maldives.anantara.com

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Sand, light blue water, deeper water, more light blue water, more sand. NHYM 2015.

5. Conrad Rangali 

Best for: The Underwater restaurant experience

The Conrad was one of the first hotels to bring in the underwater restaurant concept, which I thought was rather cool (of course, others have called it a bit tacky, but to each their own opinions). It is 30 minutes away by seaplane, so it worth noting that you may need to wait at the airport for your seaplane and that it will hotel-hop: it will drop other customers at other hotels as well. The Majaa kids club focusses on Maldivian culture which is rather lovely, by teaching Maldivian Bodubero dancing, Maldivian language, island hopping and pirate dhoni sailing.

http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/conrad-maldives-rangali-island/

By Seaplane 30 minutes

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This is the jetty you arrive on and are welcomed to the land of bliss. NHYM 2015.

5. LUX*

Best for: All inclusive

For those who don’t want to have to worry about bills and wallets during the holiday, LUX* offers a great all inclusive holiday with multiple restaurant options. There is a great kids club where you can drop your child from 9am to 7 pm, and also Studio17 for teens. But be realistic, it is not in the same league as the One & Only so don’t expect the same level when going there: a friend who had previously been to the One & Only then went to LUX* said when I asked how his trip was: ‘It’s the same sand, sun and sea…’ But all my other ‘down-to-earth-friends who have been there have had a great experience: there are marine biologists on hand to teach the little ones about sea life and marine conservation, which is pretty much as 5 stars Kids Club as it can get.

http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/lux-maldives/

By seaplane

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Thatched beach hut, Anantara. Comes in all sizes… NHYM 2015.

6. Constance Halaveli

Best for: 10 Family Beach Villas

With Family Villas measuring 358 sqm with a gated garden, a private plunge pool and fully equipped with pushchairs, sterilisers and cots, there’s nothing more you could need for your bubs. Nearby, the Constance Kids Club for 4-11 years old has a children’s pool, an outdoor space and playhouse, with an emphasis on cooking activities to make pizzas, ice cream and smoothies.

http://www.constancehotels.com/en/hotels-resorts/maldives

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Hammock in the ocean. NHYM 2015.

7. NIYAMA

Best for: the Under 3s kids club

With a brand new kids club in a Manta Ray shaped club and an under 3s kids club, children of any age will be looked after professionals. Children are split into 4 age groups and have activities tailored to their specific age group. There are themed days such as Jungle Safari, Pirates and Princesses and Circus days. There is even an amphitheatre for the older thespians. For the adults, there is the first underwater music club, Subsix to keep you grooving, art events and plenty more to stay entertained.

http://niyama.peraquum.com

40 minutes by seaplane

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This really does exist. NHYM 2015.

8. Kanuhura

Best for: Faraway location

Due to its remote location, Kanuhura has some of the best diving spots around with unexploited waters that some of the other resorts closer to Male don’t have and you won’t have to worry about planes flying over the island or of the pollution other islands may have. It is quite a large island with 100 villas, but feels very private. The kids club runs from 9am to 10pm in 3 slots: 9am -12pm, 2-5pm, 7-10pm, meaning that you can leave your older children at the Kids Club while you have a romantic dinner. Tempting isn’t it?

http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/kanuhura/

40 minutes by seaplane

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Naladhu Private Pool, a neighbouring island of Anantara. NHYM 2015. 

9. Cheval Blanc Randheli

Best for: Over the top luxury & design hotel 

I wasn’t sure whether to add this hotel since it is a little too modern and pristine for my liking, but I thought I would include it for those who love designs and brands. Coming from LVMH properties, it of course comes with its own fancy LVMH shop and with people like ‘alchemists’ to create your perfect stay. But, I have to give it to them that their kids club looks great, with a lovely kids’ swimming pool and slide and Le Paddock, the teenagers multimedia room. The astronomy session for the teens sold me, as the star gazing in the Maldives is the best I’ve ever seen. It’s very expensive, but if you can afford it, you might as well give it a go.

http://randheli.chevalblanc.com/en

40 minutes by private seaplane

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Anantara pool, my daily spot. NHYM 2015.

Just to prove I really was there. And for those who are still trying to figure out whose toes these belong to. 

10. Soneva Fushi

Best for: Barefoot luxury 

More my style, Soneva Fushi is known for it’s motto ‘No News, No shoes,’ so you can put your mobile phones away, throw away your shoes and stay away from modern life for an entire week. The decor blends in with its natural surrounding and it is pure bliss. What’s exciting for 2015, and why it is included in this list, is that they are creating a new Kids Club this year promising 2 swimming pools, a mocktail bar, a lego room, a dressing area, a cinema, a tunnel, an organic garden and for the teens a zip line and DJ corner. I don’t think there’s anything else you could ask for as a child or a teen, and it’s creeping up my list as my no 1 next family friendly holiday destination, all fresh with a kids club.

http://www.soneva.com/soneva-fushi

30 minutes by seaplane

This is a sponsored post by Tots Too, http://www.totstoo.com, the luxury family holiday specialists. All the reviews and thoughts are my own. If you book by the end of April, Tots Too will offer a £100 Spa voucher at any of the Tots Too hotels for all NHYM readers. Please mention NHYM when booking: http://www.totstoo.com/hotels/destination/maldives/

LUX* Maldives is offering a 10 days for 7 offer through Tots Too. http://www.totstoo.com/hotel/lux-maldives/

xx

NHYM

http://www.nottinghillyummymummy.com

@NHyummymummy

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