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Velassaru Maldives: A Private Island Idyll

Every bit the archetypal Maldivian getaway, arriving at Velassaru is akin to stepping into the pages of a glossy travel magazine – a mirage of blazing white sands and towering palms lapped by duck-egg blue waters.

Thatched bungalows cling to pontoons extending out into the surf and well-heeled guests lounge by the pool, float about on paddle boards or snorkel in the warm shallows. At just 30 minutes by boat from Malé airport, Velassaru is ideal for those looking to slip into holiday mode soon after touching down.

The Vibe

Whether you’re honeymooning, holidaying with friends, enjoying a family getaway or tying the knot, this private island has space enough for all guests to feel catered to, with a 2:1 staff-to-guest ratio. The high-end resort is polished, yet maintains a relaxed feel – feel free to dine with sand between your toes and salt-streaked hair.

Despite being family-friendly, don’t envision lots of noisy children cannonballing around the pool; similarly, if you have kids in tow, there’s plenty to keep them happily occupied and made to feel welcome. With ample room to roam, you’ll easily find that perfect solitary spot for reading a book or catching the sunset when the mood strikes, too. Velassaru shapes itself around you for the ideal island escape.

The Rooms

Enormous suites feature super king-sized beds strategically positioned to admire the ocean panorama through floor-to-ceiling glass. The effect emulates being in a natural aquarium, with a front-row view of marine life just outside. Lacquered wood contrasts elegantly with aqua accents and bright whitewashed walls, making for a refined, grown-up feel. Spacious bathrooms pamper with freestanding, deep-soaking tubs, invigorating rain showers and L’Occitane products.

The Food + Drink

The main restaurant, Vela, offers buffet-style dining from breakfast through to dinner with a diverse menu of international cuisine. Expect dishes like grilled snapper, vegetable curries, pasta and salads.

A prime dinner spot is the over-water teppanyaki restaurant set on the lagoon. Skilled chefs slice, dice and sizzle just in front of you on the hot teppan grill. Watch them put together sizzling stir fries, seafood and meat combinations while you sit back and watch the show. The robata-grill menu also has skewers and sides like gyoza and shrimp tempura, alongside sushi and ceviche.

Sand is another favourite for fine dining. This oceanfront pavilion restaurant is lit by lanterns at night, setting a romantic scene. Expect a menu of Maldivian dishes such as ceviche and curries, alongside European favourites like five-cheese gnocchi and lobster bisque, as well as a stonkingly good wine list. 

For drinks anytime, kick back at Chill Bar, where a tapas-style menu is perfectly matched with aptly named cocktails such as pink coral and poolside cooler. With lounge seating and oceanfront views, it’s an idyllic spot to unwind. 

For a truly otherworldly experience, book the resort’s sandbank picnic. Staff will prepare a lavish spread and pack it into a dhoni boat. You’ll sail away to a secluded sandbank, where you’ll be treated to an unforgettable lunch surrounded by uninterrupted 360-degree vistas of sparkling turquoise.

The Spa

The spa is an oceanfront oasis, centred around 10 overwater treatment rooms on stilts overlooking the sea. Traditional therapies harness coconut-oil massages, facials with Maldivian botanicals like sea lettuce, and Ayurvedic techniques tailored to soothe and restore. Facilities also include a hydropool suspended above the lagoon, steam room, relaxation lounge and yoga sessions on the beach at sunset. The spa experience immerses guests in local elements – the murmur of the waves, whisper of the breeze and uninterrupted seascape views. Revitalising treatments use indigenous ingredients, while decor reflects the island ambience. It’s a blueprint for truly holistic wellbeing.

The Little Extras

Guest experience is front and centre of everything at Velassaru. Whether that’s a dolphin discovery excursion or sunset cruise (both included in your stay), the team is committed to showcasing the best of the Maldives. Get caught in a tropical shower? Staff seem to pop up from nowhere to escort you to a dry spot under a mammoth umbrella.

The resort is also dedicated to restoring the coral reef, with an on-site marine biologist cultivating coral gardens in the house reef. This allows you to enjoy water activities with the reassurance that your presence is actively contributing to the preservation and rejuvenation of this underwater ecosystem, safeguarding it for generations to come.

The To-Do List

Watersports, watersports, watersports! A well-equipped centre is the perfect launchpad from which to try your hand at sailing, paddleboarding, kayaking and the like, while a separate dive school caters for novices up to professionals. We were thankful for a superb instructor gently taking us through the motions before guiding us through an underwater wonderland. There’s also excellent snorkelling just off the beach (or you can book onto a boat trip), while big-game fishing and night fishing are also available.

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