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One&Only Reethi Rah | Maldives | Review No. 1 of 2

Travel to  One&Only Reethi Rah

We were looking for a short break away from Dubai.  Travelling with four children who are six years and below including our 10-month old baby, 4 nights and no extra help is a logistical challenge so to make things a little easier we chose a destination relatively close to Dubai.

We wanted quality time with the children with little stress, and we decided a manageable 4 hour flight from Dubai to Male, and a 40 minute boat ride was a trip we could survive.  The relatively short travel time from the capital of Male to Reethi Rah made the Island a winner as we didn’t want to get on a seaplane with a 10-month old baby.  After careful considerations, our preferred choice for travel with our young brood was to return to one of our favourite islands, One&Only Reethi Rah, an island famous for its beauty, service and its own A-list celebrity following.

One&Only Reethi Rah

Reethi Rah is the largest island in the Maldives, with the second part of the island built on reclaimed land when the One&Only group took it over 10 years ago.  The Island recently celebrated its 10th birthday, and it saw the departure of their last GM, but with a new decade saw the welcoming of a new General Manager, Jean-Luc Naret, a popular decision, and it is believed that he will bring fresh life and innovative ideas to the island.  Jean-Luc had been between 1990 – 1995 General Manager at the One&Only Le Saint Geran, and taken prominent roles with renown hotels in the world, and now has returned back to the One&Only’s group fold.

The Island is normally a sanctuary for my husband and me to escape to without the children, and this year we wanted to bring all four children to the island, and making the trip all about them. ie. no proper downtime, no lie-ins in the mornings but nevertheless we knew it would be fun.

Villas for families

We went in low season, which is more affordable for a family of 6, as our family combination requires two villas – which are currently not attached together (if you are a family of 4, one villa will be sufficient), and occasionally we did get caught out by the passing monsoons, but the children had fun with Mama in one villa and Papa in another villa running between the villas in the rain which is not a common phenomenon for us in Dubai.  The joint villas have one swimming pool, and the villas allocated to us were located on one of the quieter bays so the children could swim safely.  Rooms are well-kept and turn down service was great as we had managed to cover the room with sand during the day, and every morning our personal Butler would come to breakfast to give us the day’s briefing on the Island and to organise any wants or wishes.

Despite being low season, the resort was still busy creating a great atmosphere at meal times, and we still had to book our cabana on the beach everyday at ClubOne – an area of the island that we just loved where we spent the majority of our time.


The service is impeccable – ordering for 4 children is always a challenge as we prefer healthy options if organic options are not always available.  The children loved the food that they ordered as the menu is vast and the resort does go that extra mile to help us prepare foods to the children’s taste.  The benefit of choosing Reethi Rah is the large island can afford to have more expansive room service menus and restaurants including their own Japanese restaurant Tapasake with private teppanyaki tables, an organic Chef’s Garden Restaurant, an outdoor pizza oven are just to name a few, and more importantly, a well-planned children’s menu including blended receipes for toddlers that mums can put together according to their choice and a kids’ corner for breakfast.  To my delight there was also some organic offering on the children’s menu.  Jean-Luc, the new GM previously held a role as Directeur General for the Michelin Guides Worldwide so we will be expecting even more exciting food offerings in the months to come.

Our favourite restaurant would be main dining for breakfast, lunch on the beach at Club One, followed by dinner in the Chef’s Garden, a locally and organically produced menu that is just delightful.

Check out our post on Reethi Rah about activities on the Island and what the children got up to.

For more information please go to the link One&Only Reethi Rah

Or book with Lightfoot Travel, a luxury travel operator that might get you an even better deal.  www.lightfoottravel.com


Velaa Private Island | Day 3 | Maldives | Activities including the first golf course

Many of my city friends like the idea of a beach holiday but they also can’t bear sitting around too long doing nothing either.  If you are not into diving, sitting by the pool and beach all day, there is a huge offering including the Maldives’ first golf course.


Velaa’s offering of activities is unbeatable especially with the creation of the Velaa Golf Academy, designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, renowned for his short game and managed by Troon, the leader in upscale golf course management. The current resident golf pro from Scotland can definitely help you improve your swing in just one hour.  The course is a little humid and definitely reminds me of playing in Singapore where you need to play first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the mid-day sun.

Water activities and Diving

There is so much to choose from, fishing, paddle boarding, banana boats, sailings, wind surfing, private boat hire, jet ski, sea bob and any sport with no motorised vehicle is free.  The diving and snorkelling around the island is sensational with reef sharks and colourful aquatic life and corals.  On our first dive we saw incredible reefs with countless species of marine life including a large turtle and tuna.

Turtle Nursery and Sting Ray feeding

There is a permanent marine biologist living on the island.  She looks after baby turtles stranded on the island after they hatch to help improve their survival rate before releasing them.  Every day at 630pm she also feeds the sting rays who are so incredibly intelligent, that they will return to the same spot at the same time to wait for her.  When I asked why they do this, she said sadly not enough money has been spent on research on sting rays to know more about their them.

Other sports

The shaded tennis court can be used 24 hours.  It can be seen to be both indoor and outdoor with an industrial fan above the court named literally ‘the big ass fan’.  There is a squash court, pool tables, and ping pong tables plus a gym.  The facilities are pretty close to the children’s area which means while the children are busy, parents can use the gym or sit in the family area with pool and ping pong tables.

On Day 4,  we will check out the children’s zone.