This was our 7th visit to the Maldives and this resort was a clear winner. We have always stayed in 5* accomodation and Veligandu beats them in several categories.
1. THE FOOD- Absolutely exceptional. The selection and presentation is truly breathtaking. Although it is buffet style it certainly doesnt detract from the quality. Everything from Pina Colada 'shot' desserts, handmade Thornton style chocolates, Kangaroo and ostrich main courses, wonderful cheese platters and champagne breakfasts, to name but a few. The German chef walks the restaurant and constantly asks if everything is to your satisfaction. He also welcomes any suggestions.
2. THE ROOMS- Very stylish. We stayed in a JWV which was huge with plenty of storage space. The bed was enormous and extremely comfortable and I think the pillows deserve a special mention! Although they don't actually offer a menu they supply a selection to enable you to choose your perferred firmness! The surround sound TV was better than the one we have at home! we took a few DVD's to watch and we were glad we did in view of the weather. The bathroom was well lit and user friendly, and the jacuzzi was an added bonus to enjoy with a glass of wine. One negative point would be the closeness of the villas. They would have been perfect if they had been a little more spread out, and some were in nicer locations than others. When we arrived we were allocated a villa on the sunset side.(139 old style) We were disappointed in that the sea was extremely rough on that side and was surrounded on three sides by other villas. In addition, it was a long walk to the public areas. We immediately asked to be moved and they were very obliging and moved us first thing the following day to villa 105 (new style) This one was close to the main areas and had the benefit of having a small, secluded beach to the rear and was on the calm side of the sea. Absolutely ideal. I would suggest emailing the island beforehand to request your preferred spot.
3.THE ATMOSPHERE- A 'proper' no shoes no news island which is small enough to give it a chic boutique style feel. The service was exceptional but non intrusive. Something that the Maldivians have got down to a fine art. The island itself is less manicured than some of the islands I have been to which was a good thing. The public areas were comfortable with lots of day beds and alcoves for privacy. Probably not as smart as some of the islands but far nicer in that they were cosier and nearer the waters edge for the views whilst enjoying a sundowner. The guests were mainly German and British.
4. THE DIVING -My husband advises! - A great dive team who arranged interesting sites to visit. No strong currents and the visibility was very good. Didn't see the promised hammerhead sharks though. They didn't want to come out to play even though I got up at 5.30 to see them!
To sum up we had a fab holiday and will definately be going back to Veligandu, but not in Sept! We have been to the Maldives 3 times before at this time of year and had great weather. We have experienced a few storms in the past but they always cleared up in a couple of hours and the sun came out again.This year we had 10 days of glorious weather with no rain at all but then the last 4 days it rained constantly. Obviously this put a dampener on the end of our holiday.
Finally, I just wanted to mention Monarch airlines. We had read all the bad press about them but I have to say they weren't too bad. I suppose, because our expectations were low we were quite pleasantly suprised. We travelled using their Premier service and found it fine. We used Thomson premier service last year and Monarch were as good. Previously we have used Srilankan, they were awful and Emirates- they were ok but you lose a day of your holiday because of their flight timings ( they take you to Male the day before and you have to stay in a transit hotel because the seaplanes can only fly in daylight hours and Emirates depart early in the morning)
If anyone has anything they want to ask please don't hesitate to contact me.
- 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