The Luxury Hotel Review: Velassaru, Maldives
Velassaru is situated on the South Male Atoll and is just a 25 minute speed boat ride from Male airport. The Maldives has hit the top spot for most coveted travel destination for several years now, which is no surprise with its crystal clear waters, white beaches and a luxuriously laid back, tropical vibe. The iconic over water villas snake out over the Indian Ocean via their wooden walkways providing the ultimate rooms with a view, and this is certainly one destination you can get snap happy with and there is most certainly no filter needed. There are many islands and resorts to choose from but if you are looking for a luxury yet relaxed retreat with excellent customer service, the idyllic Velassaru resort is for you.
Writer: Val Jones
Even before we arrived we had heard great things of Velassaru and were met off the boat on arrival by staff clad in smart white uniforms and a ready smile. After checking in, we were whisked off in a golf buggy to our accommodation. As we travelled along the palm tree lined, sandy road, we noticed how well kept the island was, and the attention to detail was meticulous – even going as far as staff spraying the plants and palms daily to ensure mosquitos were non-existent. To give an insight to how intimate the island is, you can take a beach walk around it in 15 minutes, and throughout your stay, flip flops or bare feet are the order of the day.
There is a good selection of accommodation options to suit different budgets (ten types in total), from beach bungalows to overwater villas and suites. We stayed in a water bungalow with pool, and while the beach villas are a popular choice at Velassaru, the over-water bungalows with private pool are indeed superior. Each water bungalow features a private ocean view deck with pool and private steps leading straight into the sea, where you can swim and snorkel; there is an abundance of brightly coloured fish and even small sharks (friendly species of course!). Sumptuously squashy sun loungers with plush-cushions sat on our terrace with small tables to place essential drinks from the mini bar.
Even the bathroom can be classed as a room with a view as the large free standing bath sits next to a huge window overlooking the sea. There is also a large walk in shower and luxe toiletries by L’Occitane.
The bungalow lounge areas have floor to ceiling windows offering epic views over the ocean and the chic yet cosy living space offers chunky wicker style sofas stacked with plump turquoise cushions. The in-room entertainment includes a large flat screened Smart TV which has all the essential international channels, on demand films, and was a great source of information giving details of the hotels entertainment programme, dining options, personal messages, and a running tab displaying our daily room bill, which is great to keeps tabs on. Beach bags, slippers and dressing gowns are provided, along with brollies and rain mac’s for those tropical showers. I must say though, the weather was glorious for our entire stay.
There are a total of eight bars and restaurants on the island inclusing TEPPANYAKI (Japanese), TURQUOISE (International cuisine), VELA (international and seafood). The Chill Bar sits on the beach, directly facing the sea, and offers comfy seats drinks and food available with happy hour taking place daily. Staff were attentive and friendly and were soon calling us by our names so we felt at home straight away.
Evening entertainment at the Fen Bar is pretty laid back with inside and outside seating area, sandbags, hammocks and Balinese beds well placed on the sand. This is a chilled social spot which is great for pre-dinner drinks.
This isn’t just a destination for relaxing, there are plenty of sport and fitness facilities such as fitness centre, dive centre, tennis courts, water sports, complementary snorkelling equipment with guided tours, and excursions including sunset cruises, dolphin discovery, and trips with their resident marine biologists.
The signature restaurant here is Sands, a fine-dining, open air venue (on the sand!), with beautiful views of the beach and sea beyond. There are tables situated on the sand and also a small number of private dining pavilions accessed via private walkways and strategically placed to offer an intimate dining experience. Our waiting staff continued the high level of slick and friendly customer service that we consistency experienced here.
The food at Sands was outstanding. We started with seared scallops, caramelised fennel purée with citrus foam, and enjoyed main courses of crispy Blue crab with cream seafood risotto and my husband had prime beef tenderloin with choice of curry leaf, spicy garlic sauce. The desserts were no less than amazing; tropical island lime mousse with almond crumble, mango sorbet and honey comb ice cream. The whole dining experience was one not to be missed.
The Spa was the set on stilts with overwater pavilions. There are ten overwater treatment rooms and the treatment menu is extensive. Complementary yoga classes are held here three times a week.
A must do trip while you are staying at Velassaru is the Dolphin Discovery Cruise. We headed out into open water at sunset with our fellow passengers and not log into the cruise a pod of Dolphins glided through the water, jumping out of the water in duos and trios, and not too long after they were joined by whales.
This was a brilliant trip and teamed with the sunset, energetic staff, a great group of fellow Valassaru guests, one definitely to be recommended and repeated.
- We were hosted by Velassaru for the duration of our stay. All words are our own.
Kuoni (01306 747008 or www.kuoni.co.uk) offer seven nights at Velassaru Maldives in a Deluxe Villa including breakfast, flights on Emirates from London Gatwick and transfers in resort. The price for selected departures in May and June 2019 based on two adults sharing is from £1449 per person, with a saving of up to £939 per couple.
Airport lounge: Manchester Airport T2 Aspire Lounge prices start from £21.99 per adult. Twitter: @AirportLounges | Instagram: @AspireAirportLounges | Facebook: AspireAirportLounges | executivelounges.com | e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: +44 (0)161 694 7220
Airport Parking: Holiday Extras is the market leader in UK airport parking, hotels and lounges, and in 2018 customers who pre-booked their parking with Holiday Extras saved an average of £59 each vs the price they’d have paid on the day. Booking airport parking ensures that you can enjoy more holiday without the hassle. To book Meet and Greet Parking at Terminal 2, Manchester Airport from £65.99 for 10 days, visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 955 5989. Price searched on 31st January 2019 for arrival on 12th March 2019.