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Veligandu Island Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Veligandu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 October 2009

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.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank worms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 October 2009

We have just come back from a wonderful week on Veligandu. This was our third visit to the Maldives and I think we will return to Veligandu again. We had a Jacuzzi Beach Villa which was lovely. The beach and the sand are wonderful as is the water. The best snokelling is from the end of the spit where the reef is and we saw a turtle, mornay eel, sharks on top of all the usual beautiful fish. The food is a buffet and it was excellent. I and my husband are 'foodies' and I fully expected to have to have at least one if not two dinners in the little restaurant but this was not necessary as the food was so good. A tip - get to dinner a bit before 7.30 to get a good table around the terrace! The staff are really nice and the service in the restaurant is excellent.

The spa was really nice too. No glass floor to stare down into as there is at Meeru but very nice nonetheless.

The bar is also very nice being sunk into the floor. We do not normally go to bars, prefering our own balcony but we spent some nice evenings in the bar (fabulous pina coladas).

We went full board rather than all inclusive as we prefer to have nice wine so I can't comment on the value of AI. The drink is expensive but we expected that. Wines range from USD25 a bottle to USD100 and we had a rose every night which cost USD25 a bottle and it was very nice. Unfortunately, the champagne is too expensive which is a great shame.

We didn't take any dollars and ended up leaving sterling which is not a problem but you are expected to tip.

We booked directly with Monarch (who were awful) and with Maldives Direct who were really fantastic and helped us choose this island. We will return to Veligandu without any hesitation and are already looking at flight options!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank wendyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2009

Just back from 2 fantastic all inclusive weeks on Veligandu September this Year.
Flew from Manchester in Premium Economy which was a waste of money to be honest. Holiday didn't get off to a great start with a £60 excess baggage charge at Manchester. Once on the plane the "notoriously tempremental entertainment system" went down which resulted in the entire left hand side of the plane without any DVD's for the length of the flight, as you can imagine, not best pleased. Drinks eventually were offered and as we ordered 2 white wines we were asked if we would like ice in them as the wine wasn't cold.....The food apparently inspired by Aldo Zilli was the usual airline slop. Only a couple of inches extra legroom so all in all a disappointment on the premium ecomomy front.

Got to Male and waited 2hrs 30mins for the seaplane transfer. It seems they wait for other flights in to ensure each seaplane is full. To be fair kept us fed and watered at the seaplane terminal.
Eventually arrived at Veligandu and thats when everything took a turn for the better!

We chose sunset side which I would recommend emailing ahead and reserving as nearest to the restauant/ bar area, amazing sunsets from your deck or Jacuzzi and the breeze is most welcome as there simply isn't any on the sunrise side. The lagoon is a little choppier but still perfect for snorkelling or it is only a 5 min stroll to the sunrise side if you prefer to swim there.
JWV are superb. Good size, massive shower with power shower and rainfall heads to choose from, sliding doors can be opened so the outside deck with Jacuzzi becomes part of the bathroom.
Found the beds a little hard but the view from them each morning compensated for that.
TV for those who bother has a couple of decent channels, note that BBC World News is Channel 0 as it took us a few days before stumbling on it. Good sports station shows lots of premiership games again if that's your thing.
There is an IPOD which is through a surround sound system that also charges your POD, really good sound. The outside deck area is the best bit with steps into the lagoon and a shower on the steps for when on the way back out to rinse the salt off.
Mini Bar not included and V expensive. We fell into the trap with a few sundowners as I got fed up walking to and from the bar for take outs. Speaking to the Food and Beverage Director about this and they are aware it is an issue with most guests and from November would be part of the AI package? Wait and see if that materialises.
If you enjoy a few beverages then the AI package is a must as the bar prices are steep other wise. As white wine drinkers we found the house wine on the AI to be just bearable.
The pool area was great with a fresh water pool and plenty of loungers. This was essentially lobster central and the occupants simply cooked themselves most days around there, you will see some sights.....
The beach is spotless and plenty of space to have your own private are, many days we were the only ones on there as a lot of people never move from their villas until feeding time. The food is fantastic. Massive choice, all fresh and the Executive Chefs often strolling around asking for feedback and just generally interested in peoples opinions. The A La Carte restaurant has menus over and the AI package such as "Lobster and Bubbles" quite pricey and you also have to pay for drinks even if on AI. These nights are limited to just 7 tables on the waters edge and is so good we went twice. Have the Waga Beef, fantastic. About $190 per couple although you can order other a la carte dishes if not interested in the special themed nights.
Entertainment is OK. Disco on Tuesdays, Dive night on Sundays ( shows video of dive sites available) Crab Racing on Thursday is is really good fun as you have to bid on crabs with a chance of winning prizes, worth a look. Maldivian Night in the restaurant on Sundays which if you like curries you will be in Heaven!
Most people dressed quite casually and I didn't wear shoes day or night for 2 weeks. Note though the decked walkways get very hot in the mid afternoon so there is an area at the end of the walkway to leave your flip flops for the last leg back to the villa!
We went for dinner around 8.45pm and always managed to get a table outside over the lagoon. Watch sitting outside at breakfast as it is V hot and the crows will pinch your food, seriously there were a bit of a pain and do get on your nerves a bit.
The free night fishing is worth it as everyone catches something and for a $5 charge you can have your fish BBQ'd for you the next day for lunch or dinner. We did and it was delicious and we got a few envious looks of " I didn't see that on the menu!"
Also went on the speedboat snorkelling trip which was excellent with plenty of shark and turtle action!
Staff were excellent and I would recommend tipping the guys early doors as you will be treated over and above. We would be walking into the bar and before we sat down there would be our drinks, ash tray and a bowl of savoury snacks arriving at the same time.
Thursday night the restaurant challenge guests to a 5 a side match which was good fun to watch, far too hot to play in.
Watch having cooked breakfast in you room as there is a $15 tray charge and is was cold by the time it arrived so opt for continental if you do!
Over all we thought it was a 5* resort and the SPA was fantastic. We had the His and Hers joint treatment which was excellent. Those going enjoy, you will love it.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank JBWirral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2009

We have staye in a Jacuzzi Water Villa for a wek in september. The accomodation is fabulous. The room is exceptionally beautiful, the management extremely polite (they changed our room from sunrise side to the sunset side of the island) the food delicious what can you expect more?

The weather was fabulous with only 2 rainy days, even then with enough sunshine. The snorkelling and diving were great. Ocean Pro Dive Team is very caring and professional.
The reefs are pristine and there is life everywhere.

The SPA is exceptional, they certainly know how to soften you up and pamper you.

Bring your own diving equipment, snorkelling gear, wear beach shoes as there are stingrays sometimes and you don't want to ruin an expensive dream holiday. Bring lots of cameras. Fishing trip is ok. Choose all inclusive as the beverages are very expensive.
Pack only one pair of sportsshoes or sneakers as you will be barefoot during your stay.

Me, my wife and daughter are dreaming about our days in Veligandu and hoping to return next year.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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6  Thank JustAddWater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2009

Have been to the Maldives 3 times before to various islands and we absolutely loved this one. Welcome drink was the most delicious fruity concoction which we sipped while filling in brief check-in details and enjoyed the icy cold towels.

Were accompanied to rooms and shown how everything works (except the nespresso machine which took me a while to figure out!) :)

We travelled with our two older teenagers and chose Veligandu because it offered great diving with great food and comfort.

We had Jacuzzi water villas on the East side (villas 101 - 110) which turned out to be perfect for us as it was close to dive center (and restaurant and spa and fitness centre) and not being on the sunset side it gave the perfect excuse to wander down to the bar to watch the sunset with cocktails in hand or while paddling in the ocean. We also appreciated the shade in the afternoons, not being great sunseekers.

Snorkelling from the villa deck was great. Although there was a lot of dead coral close in we always headed out through the break in the sea wall (fairly unobtrusive) to the reef drop off and saw all sorts of fish and many sharks and turtles. Daughter and I tried snorkeling off the West side of the island but found it to be less interesting (may depend on time of day/year/tide).

We signed up for diving every day and were very impressed with the service at the dive center (Pro-dive) which was laid-back but super-efficient. (Well worth paying the boat guy a dollar a dive to have equipment all washed and put away for you each time). Husband and son dived the Big Blue and were thrilled to see a hammerhead shark close up. All the dives had something of interest and particularly enjoyed the ones with all the sharks! Dive boat was great and very fast. Dive leaders very good at finding and pointing out all the interesting things
Dive center is only open limited hours as the rest of the time they are all out leading dives, so you need to check out opening times if wanting to rent equipment or snorkelling kit.

Restaurant was amazing - huge variety of choices and always options for freshly cooked fish and meats from the grill. Desserts were spectacular! Most tables were for two as they get mostly couples but we always got a table for 4 in our favourite spot (just inside to take advantage of the fans!) Staff were always smiling and helpful and enjoyed a chat.

Bar was a great place to watch the sunset with a cocktail (not included in AI) and we loved the red swivel chairs and the daybeds.

Having very little in the way of organised entertainment suited us just fine and we tended to go to the games room after dinner (table tennis, pool, darts, table football) or watch DVDs borrowed from reception.

Son used fitness room every day which was air conditioned and very well equipped. Really this is the only place you need shoes (trainers) unless you want to join the friendly staff for a game of football which you'd also need trainers for. Only had time to fit in one massage at spa but it was excellent too.

Rooms were spacious and well-equipped, bathroom fantastic (wonderful showers). Kids were thrilled to find huge TV, ipod dock, CD player etc. Bed huge and comfortable.

We didn't get round to using the pool but it looked beautiful nor did we do any of the excursions or use the watersports facilities (windsurfers, kayaks, sea bikes, catamaran) but as we were diving every day and snorkelling we certainly were never bored in our week's stay.

My advice
Go and enjoy!
Take shorts/T-shirt in hand luggage and change before getting on seaplane as they are very hot!
Don't bother taking shoes - you wont' need them and a pair of flip flops is provided in the rooms. The walkways do get hot but the hand held water jets dotted along them can be used to cool your feet along the way.
Keep camera/video in your hand on the seaplane as the views are spectacular.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank seadragonUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Veligandu Island Resort & Spa

Address: North Ari Atoll, Maldives, 20077
Phone Number:
Region: Maldives > Alifu Atoll > North Ari Atoll > Veligandu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Veligandu
Price Range: S$625 - S$2,203 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Veligandu Island Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 91
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

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