Maldives holiday resort which is perfect for families and EVERYTHING is included

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I PLUNGE into the warm water. Dozens of blue and orange fish scatter, creating a blurred firework in the ocean as I paddle my feet.

The sea is so clear, I can see all the way down to the sandy sea bed and coral below.

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A view of the spectacular blue sea in the MaldivesCredit: Sun Siyam
The veranda at the resort where Sophie Swietochowski stayed

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The veranda at the resort where Sophie Swietochowski stayedCredit: Sun Siyam

And when I lift my head, I can see straight to the deck of my overwater villa, where my brother, Luc, is waving from our plunge pool.

That’s the real magic of staying on Sun Siyam’s luxurious island of Iru Veli in the Maldives.

Some of the world’s best snorkelling is on your doorstep — or, more specifically, back door step — where a small set of stairs leads from your villa deck straight into the turquoise ocean.

The sun-drenched Maldives may have many dreamy resorts across its 1,200 coral islands and sandbanks but Iru Veli seems to offer more privacy than most — and with everything included, you can relax knowing there’s no big bill to pay when your stay ends.

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We’re staying in one of the resort’s Dolphin overwater suites and I barely notice our villa neighbours for the entire trip.

For those who like to keep their feet on dry land, the beach villas are just as impressive, right on the purest soft white sands and each with their own private pool too.

Our thatched lodge takes full advantage of its very special location, from a glass wall in the bathroom that lets you admire ocean creatures as you shower, to the in-room life jackets and snorkel gear that mean you can dive in whenever you desire.

Everything is full-blown luxury at its best.

A recent addition to the Sun Siyam family of five island resorts, rooms feature contemporary design and a vast sun terrace with multiple lounging options and, of course, that sparkling private pool.

From my vast bed, I can see nothing but sea for miles.

Until recently, rooms like this in the Maldives were reserved for rich honeymooners and the sort who had a yacht docked in St Tropez.

But none of that is true today.

The price tag for these all-inclusive islands is obviously heftier than a week’s holiday in Spain, but with everything included, from superb food and drink in the four restaurants and three bars, this is affordable luxury.

And it’s not all about honeymooners either.

Sun Siyam’s Iru Fushi, further north, is full of families who travel from all over the world for its enviable list of island activities, with kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis available to rent and snorkelling excursions, too.

There are also daily shows, endless games, including giant chess, and huge swimming pools with fountains and rope swings to hurl yourself into the water.

And what’s really niche for parents is that, in essence, kids can wander wherever they wish, as the only way off the island is by boat or seaplane.

Meanwhile, parents can get their downtime at the 5H spa, which is one of the largest in the Maldives and feels like an island in itself.

You enter through a tiny Narnia-like room where a double set of wooden doors at the back opens up on to a hidden tropical jungle.

If relaxing is the aim of the game, then make sure to book in for one of their traditional Maldivian treatments.

Mellow pace

I opt for the Maruhabaa Maldivian Sensations — two hours of pure bliss.

Hidden in my own private garden, I’m left to soak in an outdoor tub filled with milk and pink flower petals, then I’m rubbed head to toe in a sweet-smelling coconut oil that leaves my skin soft for days.

The spa also has a hydrotherapy area that can be privately booked, free of charge, by all guests.

Dipping in and out of the bubbling hot and icy cold plunge pools is excellent for the skin, my therapist tells me.

But if it’s relaxation you’re really after, the smaller resort of Iru Veli, a 40-minute seaplane flight south of the capital Male, is where you’ll want to be.

Unlike Iru Fushi, where the atmosphere is more energetic, the pace here is mellow.

Those wanting to make the trip truly memorable can mark their special occasion with a wine tasting experience in the cellar of the Italian-themed restaurant, Roma.

But it’s the beachfront dining experience that takes our fancy.

We find our table on a private stretch of sand, tucked away from the restaurants and main paths and enveloped by dozens of glowing lanterns that illuminate the surrounding palm trees.

The food on our personally-designed menu mostly comes fresh from the sea, a few metres in front of us.

But it’s the dessert that does it for me — a fluffy mousse wrapped in a white chocolate shell, embellished with freeze-dried raspberries, fresh fruit and citrus gels.

You don’t have to book a private experience to get this level of luxury, though.

Every restaurant in the resort is next level — especially the buffet dinner that features absolutely everything from traditional Maldivian fish curries to the best Indian chutneys I’ve ever tried.

And if that’s not enough, there’s the one-of-a-kind floating breakfast where you can tuck into sausages, bacon, eggs, fresh juices, fluffy pancakes and French toast, all from your private pool.

Make sure to book on to a dolphin cruise while you’re here.

In fact, across each of the resorts there is a whole host of excursions and bucket-list activities to try — all free of charge for ultra-all-inclusive guests.

There are diving and snorkelling trips, sunrise yoga, inflatable obstacle courses, private tours of local islands, dining on a tiny private island and watersports galore.

Just don’t forget your camera to capture it all.

Just one week here counts for a lifetime of holidays — and you’ll never want to forget it.

GO: Maldives

GETTING / STAYING THERE: Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the Sun Siyam Iru Veli is from £3,689pp and from £3,859pp at Sun Siyam Iru Fushi.

Both packages include flights from London and seaplane transfers.

See affordableluxurytravel.co.uk or call 0203 023 7776.

MORE INFO: For details of the resorts, see sunsiyam.com.

Take a plunge in you own personal pool

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Take a plunge in you own personal poolCredit: Sun Siyam
The luxury bathroom is well kitted out

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The luxury bathroom is well kitted outCredit: Sun Siyam
Sophie Swietochowski and her brother Luc enjoy a glass of champers

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Sophie Swietochowski and her brother Luc enjoy a glass of champersCredit: SOPHIE SWIETOCHOWSKI
Sophie with a feast in the pool

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Sophie with a feast in the poolCredit: SOPHIE SWIETOCHOWSKI



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