Travelled to Veligandu on 25/09/09 until 10/10/09 for our Honeymoon after our Civil Partnership.
We booked with Hayes and Jarvis and opted for the upgraded flights (flew with Thomsons). Picked H&J purely because when booking with them we were guarenteed a beachvilla which was not the case with other companies.
Flight was non-problamatic, quick service, plenty of leg room and priorty disembarkment plus our bags were the first on the carasol. Transferred (like everyone else) via seaplane to veligandu, had a 15 minute wait which after a long flight was a blessing.
Weather was fantastic, a couple of cloudy/rainy afternoons but other than that hot hot hot, don't bother with long sleeves!
Jacuzzi Beach Villa was amazing, I understand that they are identical to the water villas so it is a case of what you prefer sand/sea? Large Dressing area, Huge bathroom with dual sinks and showerheads, door in the shower leading to enclosed decking area at the back with Jacuzzi small table and two sunloungers perfect for nude sunbathing if you fancy it ;).
Bedroom was massive so much space, The worlds biggest and comfiest bed, to quote my wife "it was like sleeping in a cloud" huge plasma tv and excellent ipod docking system/ home cinema system, I wanted to bring it home! Small desk, chair and sofa with a coffee table. Sliding doors open up the the front decking area with two sunloungers, and a table with two chairs steps leading directly onto the beach where there is a hammock and two further sunloungers.
Restaurant was great I am a fussy food snob with a severe fish allergy so was umming and ahhing if it would be ok but food was sublime, thankfully used the gym everyday so despite having three, three course meals a day neither of us gained a lb.
I went diving twice, once for a check dive as I was a bit nervous if I would remember my PADI course then again off the boat. Was lucky enough to have a one on one dive instructor as no one else had booked at that time. Each dive is $46 plus equipment hire and $17 for boat hire.
If you snorkel take your own equipement you can buy some decent kits for £30 -40 in the uk, yet equipment hire is $7 a day out there so it makes sense to bring your own. If you have never snorkelled before, small tip, rub some johnsons baby shampoo on the inside of your mask (not making bubbles) and rinse off before you set off, will stop it steaming up.
We had an absolutly amazing honeymoon, we are both well travelled but honestly have never experienced anything so peaceful in my life, other than staff we spoke to no-one throughout our stay. However if you are interested in talking to others it seems the bar and trips are places to make new friends.
We used the spa on our last day and had a his and her massage.... which they changed to her and her whilst giggling sweetly. it was amazing, worth every single penny... however the 1/2 bottle of tattinger gave us a taste for bubbles again which promptly cost us $130 a bottle for Lanson black label in restaurant... ah well you only live once ha ha ha
Now for all the bits of info that I think might be helpful then again might not.
We were told upon arrival that tipping is "welcomed" then were advised $15 a week for bar/room/waiter staff and $2 per piece of luggage. I object to this, I will tip if I feel service was worth it and feel they should pay staff enough so we tipped no-one throughout our two weeks until the last night where we tipped those who we felt were exceptional. At no point did this hinder our holiday, service was suberb, we were waited on hand and foot, drinks, ashtray and snacks in the bar without even ordering, table kept for us on the terrace of the restaurant, room immaculate. Do not be pressured into anything.
If you get a beach villa I would recommend the early numbered ones (112 - 118), contact the island in advance, however if you need/prefer the shade opt for 119 or 120. Some have larger decked areas at the rear so if you want complete privacy and space ask which one has the larger jacuzzi area.
Also with a beach villa (not sure if the same in a water villa) becareful going out the back door... check it isn't locked by turning the outside handle before you close it.... we got locked out on our first night... didnt do it again!! lol
We were AI and like everyone we found there wasn't enough water included in the room, however solve that problem by getting a large bottle at lunch and dinner and take it back to your room to store in the fridge.
Don't bother with shoes, neither of us wore any for the whole holiday (expect at the gym), their complemetary flipflops are horrible so if you are plannning on wearing some bring your own.
On arrival you are given a slip for a complimentary 15min massage, this has to be taken in the first 2 days!!
Don't bother with fancy clothes it really isn't that kind of place, smart casual seems to be the norm
Try at least once to sit on the terrace right at the back of the restaurant, we saw a sting ray and a shark whilst eating out there.
For those who are scared of swimming out of their depth the lagoon is shallow and you can touch the ground practically throughout.
Plug sockets are a selection, in the dressing area we had one english and one two pin... not a problem for GHD owners!
We were a little put off when actually making our booking as we were advised by the agent "its a muslim country perhaps not best for YOUR honeymoon" as we are gay. We had no problems, no sly looks, remarks or anysuch like. Felt just like home.
Diet coke is included in the AI!!!
Finally..... if you haven't already started using this I would recommend you buy the all day sunscreen. We use the PIZ BUIN Once a day range, we applied it once before breakfast, waited 20 mins then out in the sun and then applied it again after lunch. Neither of us burnt which is amazing for a redhead and a blond, also saves all that awkwardness of trying to reapply it out of the room. It is worth its pricetag! First holiday we have both got an amazing tan!!
If you snack between meals bring sweets/crisps or chocolate with you it costs a fortune which at $2 - 4 each soon adds up
Finally make sure you get a bikini and some sunscreen out of your bag at the airport before handing over to the seaplane staff. Our luggage came by boat and arrived 4 hours after we had, thankfully we had paid attention to someone on trip advisor and were outside sunbathing within 1/2 hour of checking in.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Veligandu Island Resort, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon, an excellent house reef and long stretches of white, sandy beach, is the only Resort on the island of Veligandu, North Ari Atoll. It is 600 meters long by 150 meters wide, about 22 acres. Your seaplane transfer from Velana International Airport is a scenic, 20 minute flight. The 91 rooms include 54 Jacuzzi water villas, 10 water villas, 16 Jacuzzi beach villas and 11 beach villas. Veligandu welcome guests 18 years and older. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Veligandu Island Hotel North Ari Atoll
- Veligandu Island Resort
- Hotel Veligandu Island
- Veligandu Resort