Kids’ clubs at resorts are adorable for many reasons: they give parents a break, they allow kids to socialize on vacation, and they often offer culturally relevant activities. But The Ritz Carlton Maldives in the Fari Islands decided to take the kids’ club one step further, making the Ritz Kids space an architectural masterpiece. Yes, even adults would be jealous.
The futuristic indoor-outdoor space design was led by world-renowned Kerry Hill Architects and features playgrounds, napping pods, a video game and movie area, a pool with slides and jets and more. Plus, there’s a stunning mural – designed by Maahy Shimhaq and Cartman Ayya and brought to life by Maldivian artists – called UKIYO, which means “The Floating World” in Japanese.
When you first approach the Ritz Kids, you hardly notice it because it looks like a grassy, hobbit-like hill with only a tunnel leading inside. But once inside, it’s a whimsical and elegant space, with circular play areas, large round doors, oversized futuristic portholes, and an outdoor space with a multi-story tornado-shaped jungle gym, dancing fountains and trees. .
Overall, the design was “inspired by the natural landscape of the turquoise lagoon and the ocean breeze, embracing the circle of island life, with modern architecture meeting the Maldives”, according to the team at The Ritz Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands.
And, as you can imagine, children’s programming would be just as superb if so much thought went into the design. All Ritz Kids activities were built around four pillars: land, water, environmental responsibility and culture. So, look forward to marine biology lessons through Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Environment Ambassadors Program, an underwater drone experience, learning Maldives palm origami and more.
While the Maldives is often considered a honeymoon destination, The Ritz has made an effort to warmly welcome families. “From the moment families enter our arrival pier, children are VIKs,” the hotel told me. “Upon arrival, they are greeted with a fun lion backpack filled with the Ritz Kids welcome pack and activity calendar. Plus, all children will receive specially created Bamford Kids amenities and a mini Frette robe and slippers.”
In addition, a Ritz Kids tent is included in the villa for little ones to enjoy a sense of adventure. “Taking care of the little ones is taking care of our future”, they added. As far as tweens and teens go, they have their own indoor play area, which houses game stations, table tennis, foosball, pool tables, and a selection of board games.
Of course, adults will love the property too. The all-villa resort offers incredible views of the turquoise waters and all rooms have private infinity pools. And while kids can enjoy the architectural experience of the kids’ club, adults can do the same at the floating circular spa that sits in the middle of the lagoon.
Incredibly, this piece of paradise is just 45 minutes by speedboat or 10 minutes by seaplane from Malé International Airport, making it one of the most affordable resorts in the Maldives. But, you will still feel a world away.