Angela Beitz dips into the stunning waters of the unique Velaa Private Island in the Maldives and discovers a very special resort well worth a visit…
A trip to the Maldives is always a special treat with the soft breeze, azure water and the ability to strip away any stress or worry. This is not my first time in the Maldives and it’s amazing how coming back a few years later conjures up lots of lovely memories and familiar feelings so quickly.
Located at Noonu Atoll, roughly a 45 minute sea plan ride from Male airport, Velaa Private Island is like no other in the Maldives and boasts some spectacular features that really make it stand out from the rest. These include but are not limited to an amazing teppanyaki restaurant and wine cellar in a futuristically designed tower, a snow room, a six-metre-high climbing wall and even a golf course.
I arrive at the pier of the resort via the seaplane and am greeted by the lovely hotel staff who are super warm and professional, yet laid-back. Upon arrival I am offered a fragrant and fresh towel and the choice of bubbles, fresh juice or sparkling water. Its these very small, chic touches that make the stay so special.
But in saying that what makes this resort so unique and why should come here instead of other places in Maldives? It comes down to the seamless and top-notch service and the luxurious nature. Velaa have done a stellar job of seamlessly developing luxury villas without spoiling or taking away from the natural beauty of this pristine location.
The property is perfectly maintained and is simply breathtaking. Service is personalised with a butler assigned to each guest who will take care of your every need and privacy is also a big factor with the resort hosting a lot of VIP’s and royalties but you would never know as everything kept very discreet. Velaa’s mantra is all about moments and whether you are playing golf or diving the experience is exclusive to you which really adds the luxury element of your stay.
Each villa, house and residence has its own pool and own private bit of beach which again showcases luxury and privacy. The rooms are super elegant and combine natural materials and Maldivian inspired design features, as well as private courtyards complete with outdoor bathtubs and rainforest showers. We loved the thatched roof and the turtle paintings (Velaa meaning turtle). Every couple of years the resort shuts down for a period of time so that there can be small renovations and maintenance so you can only imagine just how well kept the resort is. If you are looking for the ultimate getaway and total privacy, the Romantic Pool Residence is so secluded it doesn’t even have a boardwalk connecting it to the island, instead your personal butler remains on call to transport you back and forth, and attend to your every need.
Because you are in the Maldives it will simply be wrong not to visit the spa. Velaa has a beautiful My Blend by Clarins spa with overwater, ocean-facing treatment villas are connected by boardwalks, with an open-air sunken Jacuzzi, the Maldives’ only snow room, a flotation suite, nail studio, hair salon and relaxation area all leading off them. We tried the signature massage with was pure bliss especially laying on the very comfy massage table looking through the glass floor at the tropical fish.
It must be said that the food scene at Velaa is super impressive. At each meal I was wowed by the choices and the quality not to mention the service. Athiri, the beachfront all-day dining venue really showcases so many different dishes done well including incredible Maldivian curries and excellent sushi and sashimi. The breakfasts are also incredible with loads on offer. Their teppanyaki restaurant Tavaru, is an incredible experience where you can enjoy mouthwatering fare atop the highest building in the Maldives overlooking the island. If you want fine dining then visit Aragu where you can tuck into local fish and lobster and premium Wagyu beef in a secluded overwater spot beneath the stars or within the high-ceilinged indoor space beneath an installation of illuminated flying fish. For an aperitif, with the most incredible beach view head to poolside Ari beach bar where you can also watch the manta rays being fed daily at sunset.
Velaa Private Island is indisputably one of the most luxurious resorts in the Maldives with everything on offer. The warm and attentive service is second to none and its not hard to see why the island has so many return guests. It boasts some of the most lavish experiences you can imagine but everything is done with a subtle charm that is elegant and not ostentatious.
Velaa Private Island, velaaprivateisland.com