A tropical paradise with blue skies and crystal clear water, where you can live like royalty while watching the kids play on the beach is any mama’s holiday dream. With the risk of you hating me for it… I’ve been there and it’s called PER AQUUM NIYAMA, a resort in the Maldives. I know, you’ve heard it before; Maldives is paradise on earth, there is nothing like it and I’m afraid that’s true.
Once the seaplane hit the crystal clear waters by the Dhaalu Atoll we just stared. Paradise found. Liusha, our personal butler (!) then took us on a short buggy ride along the white sand roads to our new island home; a one-bedroom family bungalow on the beach with a private swimming pool. Seriously! The soft red-white interior gives a warm touch to rooms and you have the most amazing outdoor bathroom with a rainforest shower, oversized tub and luxury spa products. The living room had been prepped as the kids’ room with the sofa bed made up, sun hats laid out plus a separate TV set- perfect!
Life isn’t just a beach at Per Aquum NIYAMA. There is a fully equipped gym, regular yoga classes, cooking classes, a spa and an activity center with pool tables, golf simulators and much more. If you get bored at NIYAMA you are erm… different.
Since both hubby and I are into scuba diving, we spent three days enjoying some spectacular underwater life; white tip sharks, giant turtles, stingrays and Nemo-like fish. Thank you Kids Club! And if you’re not certified, you can do a PADI course at the dive centre or settle for some serious snorkelling.
Nest, Blu, Dune, Tribal, Epicure, Edge or the Deli? Our main “problem” at NIYAMA was deciding which of the restaurants to eat at. Sushi, salads, spicy curries, steaks and burgers, fresh seafood and authentic pastas- tricky! Fresh juices, mocktails, cocktails plus a resident sommelier if you are particular about your grape. Healthy and tasty kids menu? Ja.
Twist my arm and I might say that our fav food was the Asian fare at Nest, a stunning restaurant nestled in the treetops of NIYAMA, or the freshly caught red emperor for lunch at Blu. But then there was the burger too…
Brought your fancy pants? There is a fine dining restaurant, Edge, located in the water just outside the island, where we decided to celebrate my birthday. World-class menu with a very impressive cellar and yes they serve Foie Gras in paradise. Michelin-class dining in the middle of the sea! If that isn’t enough, you can always head to the underwater bar Subsix for a nightcap…
Life in paradise isn’t exactly tiring but I’m sure you can think of a reason to pay a visit to Lime Spa. Obviously I came up with a few myself, and ended up having two one-hour massages as well as an Intraceuticals facial, bliss. If you haven’t had a massage in an overwater suite listening to the waves outside I think you need to, very soon. Mani-pedis, waxing and any other “mama maintenance” -obviously available.
Little Niyama and Explorers
If my kids (4 and 5) would put together a top list from NIYAMA it would probably look like this:
- The activities at the Explorer Kids Club – run by Scott Dunn
- Adam, Eve and Nikki at Kids Club (hang on… should I be jealous?)
- The other kids at Kids Club
- The in-room popcorn machine (kind of makes my list too)
- And oh… did they mention Kids Club?
We literally had to drag the kids out of there whenever we wanted some family time. Bizarre!
The club itself is beautifully built with oodles of fun stuff for kids both indoors and outdoors. There is a water playground, outdoor kitchen for master chef sessions, climbing wall, trampoline and lots more. Kids from 12 months -12 years are welcome every day from 9am-6pm and divided into age appropriate groups. Our boys got to enjoy paddle boarding, a visit to the resident marine biologist, treasure hunts on the beach, as well as putting on a fashion show and so much more. Without a doubt the best kids club we’ve ever experienced!
Getting it Dunn
Booking a family holiday is stressful. Don’t do it. Or rather, let someone else do it for you. We decided to get help from Scott Dunn, who were super! Flight bookings, seaplane, activities, excursions, all sorted. We even got kids’ UV-shirts sent out a couple of days before departure. It’s called attention to detail mamas.
A stay at Per Aquum NIYAMA is not cheap. But the Scott Dunn team will make sure you get the very best because they know Maldives is a once in a lifetime experience. So… Save up and get booked!
Scott Dunn offers seven nights at Per Aquum, Niyama from AED 9,050 per person. This is based on a family of four sharing a Beach Studio with pool on a half board basis and includes return Emirates flights from Dubai and seaplane transfers.
For more information please visit scottdunn.com or call 800 035 703 722 (toll free).