An Unforgettable Experience
Our time in the Maldives seems to have always flown by so fast. I think we all agreed that the two weeks spent at Lux South Ari were some of the best in our lives, an absolutely unforgettable experience. My initial worries about visiting the tiny islands was completely countered, before our first trip, I had imagined we would get bored and might want to get back home very quickly as we like an active and exploring holiday as you will know from my blog here.
We Need Fun Activities
Anyone who has been following my blog over the last years will have noticed that we usually go for trips abroad, where we travel from place to place and do lots of different fun activities, rarely just lazing about. Do not get me wrong, I love lying on the beach, or by the pool with a cocktail and reading a book, but I also need to do different things otherwise I get bored easily and same applies for the boys.
Large Island Resort
One of the reasons we had chosen to stay at Lux South Ari again for our second visit, was the size of the island. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, both a la carte and buffet style; two pool areas; ICI, the ice cream shop and a café, which even roasts its own coffee and serves delicious cakes. It was the little things that made our trip special and exciting though.
Message in a Bottle
For example, some days Jerome could not wait to get up in the morning, jump onto his bike and cycle all the way over the to reception area to go on the “Message in a Bottle” hunt. It took him several days before he finally found one hidden in the garden (a few bottles with vouchers in them are hidden every day across the whole island). He got a voucher for coconuts, when what he had hoped for was a cuddly toy or a chance to go on a jet ski. One of the girls that we met and he befriended had found a bottle with a whale shark voucher and told him about it, he was jealous and desperately wanted one too…Luckily after days of searching he received some help and hints from a member of staff and finally found one!
We also loved the idea of the wishing tree, one of the trees in the middle of the island was covered in red and yellow ties. Every Monday and Wednesday we had the opportunity to write a wish onto a red ribbon and then tie it to the tree. It reminded me of the “Ema” in Japan, which we saw at all the temples throughout the country.
Kid’s and Teen’s Clubs
Lux South Ari, like most of the luxury resorts, offered a children’s club. This was open to kids of the ages 3-12. There also is a teen club for the older children, aged 12-17 offering an abundance of fun activities aimed at the age group. They are also free to use a pool table, computer console and games. Despite the great offer of activities throughout the day Jerome did not want to attend.
Preferred to Spend Time With Us
He preferred to spend time with us on other more adventurous activities, naturally taking his dive course on the second trip took a lot of time in the early days and we daily went snorkelling on the house reef, sometimes several times. Jerome did borrow a tennis racket one afternoon from the centre and went on the tennis courts with one of the friends he had made. The kids club even offered sometimes complimentary banana rides and boat rides as part of the schedule but even this did not tempt him.
Daily Snorkel Trips to the House Reef
Snorkelling was our main daily activity in the Maldives, either straight off the beach – although at Lux the coral is some way out so it needs a good swimmer – or more often on the complimentary snorkel trip to one of the house reefs, a short daily free trip by Dhoni (traditional Maldivian boat) away. The Dhoni makes two trips most days, and if it is not so busy enthusiasts like the boys can maybe take both trips.
Swimming With Whale Sharks
The highlight of our first holiday was our encounter with a whale shark. For the boys their dive course and subsequent diving were clearly the most exciting activity. Sadly this time the boys did not meet one of the giant creatures on one of their outer reef dive sessions.
Tasty Lunches, Ice Cream Treats and Coffee Addiction
On our return to the resort after a trip we often had a late lunch Lagoon Bar next to the water sports centre, followed by homemade ice cream that tasted like proper Italian gelato. Ice was included in our all inclusive package and Jerome loved to try the different flavours each day, including some exotic and unusual tastes. Chris being a caffeine addict enjoyed his cup of locally roasted coffee. Jerome was curious about the rotary roaster in a glass room next to reception and devoured cakes after some of his activities to fuel up for the next one.
In the late afternoon after some exercise we would head to either East Bar or Beach Rouge for sunset cocktails. There we would spend our time before dinner, enjoying a drink on the loungers extending over the sea, while playing board games and sipping cocktails. We also enjoyed watching the sea life from our hammocks, there were a few black tipped sharks, parrot fish, large angel fish and others swimming underneath the platform.
Other Water Activities
There were other activities we enjoyed during our stay in the Maldives. Some sports activities were included in our package, we went kayaking around the islands lagoons and Jerome even swam back to the island from the sandbank further away. The boys enjoyed a ride on a pedalo but both preferred the kayaks. Jerome also went jet skiing for a treat with one of the other girls we met. Banana boat rides, wind surfing kite surfing and scuba lessons were some of the other options of activities for older children, at a cost of course.
Lazing by the Pool
Most of all we were just happy to laze on the beach and Jerome loved playing in the sea or one of the resort swimming pools. Luckily there was a billiard table in one of the bars, where Jerome challenged us to a few games of a different “kind of pool” every day. I was not a very competitive contender for him but Chris would compete more avidly. He even took up some games against other guests, children and even members of staff.
Daily Yoga Sessions
I had taken my yoga clothes with me and was determined to join the daily yoga sessions. I should have known better, I did not manage it once – enjoying the rest of the holiday so much. I also had dreamed of a relaxing afternoon in the heavenly spa but again it was only towards the end of the second trip that I treated myself, despite cycling past the spa a few times a day.
The heavenly LUX ME spa at South Ari offers a large array of treatments for adults and children alike. Couples should relax with a massage in the overwater bungalow or take a dip in the spa’s private pool. Sip a calming drink on the lounger with magical view of the stunning lagoon. I will take the smells of the therapies with me.
There are many hammocks and swings hidden among the palms, along the beach and even in the sea, these were fun to discover across the island resort and an exciting alternative to lying on the fine sandy beach or pool loungers. We regularly enjoyed our moments of solitude overlooking the clear, turquoise sea. An outdoor chess set was bound to challenge your mind and bookworms could spend hours at the library escaping the midday sun.
Jerome was always curious to get back to our villa every evening to find a new towel animal on his bed. Our room boy on our first trip Ali created some of the most amazing towel animal sculptures. Besides the well known swans we found a monkey, penguin, dog and an elephant. The biggest surprise was the giant whale shark, which took up our whole bed and must have taken at least eight towels to make. On our second trip Jerome decided to beat them at their own game and made his own rays and see life from our used towels!
Open-air film nights screened films for all ages. Sadly we never went, as Jerome was not interested in the films they were showing. I would have loved to go, a film on the beach under the stars sounded like a fun idea – at least to me.
Maldivian Themed Dinner
One evening we joined the Maldivian themed evening dinner, where lots of food stands with local delicacies were arranged outside. Henna tattoos (Jerome got a gecko and a dragon) kept the kids entertained and musicians playing traditional instruments and music invited to join the local dance. We enjoyed our dinner of different local foods, freshly prepared upon request. It was a great way to sample many different dishes and it made a change to our usual dinner routine during our stay at Lux South Ari.
Other evening entertainment included quiz and bingo nights at Senses Bar. It was fun to join in the challenges and Jerome was overjoyed when we won two prizes.
Trust Us, You Will not be Bored!
Boredom never had a chance during our trip to the Maldives, even the rain could not stop us from having fun and discovering the underwater world. There are many other activities you can enjoy, sunset cruises, photo courses, cooking classes, trips to a local island… Our stays at Lux South Ari will be remembered as perhaps the best holidays we ever had. We enjoyed a number of different fun activities during our stay on the island and the boys in the family are now proud owners of a PADI dive licence looking forward to their next chance for some underwater adventures.
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