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Anantara Veli Maldives Resort
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Reviewed 9 January 2011

Pros-
1) Location. Overwater bungalows are amazing, at least the deluxe ones are.
2) Very romantic. Not crowded even when fully booked.
3) Onsite snorkeling was great.

Cons-
1) Food was terribly expensive and quite bad. I wouldn't mind paying the high prices if the quality was good. Almost every meal was disappointing. Exception is the breakfast buffet.
2) Smell of sewage for brief periods of time throughout a couple of days.
3) Tub in deluxe overwater bungalows was beautiful to look at and very large. However, I could not even use it once because the water coming from the hot water tap was yellow (like the color of urine) and looked disgusting. In addition, the hot yellowy water ran out after filling the tub 4 inches.

  • Stayed: January 2011
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3  Thank Zazzle639
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PAB77, Manager at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2011

Thank you very much for having taken the time to write about your stay at Anantara Veli on Trip Advisor.

Firstly I am sorry to learn that you left the resort disappointed with the food, in quality and pricing. We will have a close look with our culinary team to avoid such shortcomings in the future.

I sympathize with your disappointment discovering insufficient, yellowish colored hot water running when you tried to use the bath tub. This is indeed unacceptable and I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere apologies.

Despite the above I do hope the remainder of your stay with us was enjoyable and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to share your comments. Again, my apologies for the shortfall on this occasion, however I do hope we have an opportunity to welcome you back to Anantara Veli in the near future.

With my warmest regards, I remain,

Patrick Both
Resident Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2011

We just came back from a lovely break to Maldives. Hope you'll find this review useful in choosing a resort for your holiday. I'll start from saying that we are very picky clients and like nothing but the best. Luxury and excellent service are very high on our list.
Anantara though a lovely place is by no means luxurious. We stayed there for nearly a week over New Year's period and have paid appr USD$2,000 per night for an Overwater bungalow in Veli (this bill included lunch / dinner expenses with hardly any alcohol). this very high bill is completely unjustified for the level of accommodation / service and food on the island.
Here are pros and cons - Good points first.
Location - convenient location 40min by boat from Male. On the negative side though snorkelling at this resort is very average in comparison to some of the resorts located further away. The snorkelling trip (paid service) was a waste of time and money (as we saw nothing interesting apart from one turtle) and was run by a rather unfriendly older woman.
Veli is one of 3 resorts right next to each other - Dhigu (very family friendly and the only one with some atmosphere); Veli - only overwater bungalows, very small island, very quiet and Naladhu (only island bungalows, very very small with tiny pool and only one restaurant; and quite boring by the look of it)
If you have children difinitly stay at Dhigu if you can as there are absolutely no children on Veli and we had to take a little boat transfer 10 times a day to take our daughter to either pool at Dhigu (no kids at Veli pool) or to the Kids Club. Bar and restaurants are also more lively at dhigu.
Bungalows - quite nice inside but fairly small in comparison to the other resorts. Many bungalows are totally unprivate facing nearly onto each other. very small decks. Clean but fairly old fittings, many cracks around the bath. Also, most of the bungalows on Veli don't have a good view (they face either onto the next sister resort, tiny island right in front or onto some sort of labour/work island nearby.
Service - very friendly but not polished.
Food - VERY BAD. I am used to very high quality food and couldn't eat anything but breakfast at any of the resort restaurants. Breakfast was great though. Extremely expensive ($800 ++) seafood buffet on New Year's eve was so ordinary that I could only have some salad vegetables and deserts. All seafood smelled terribly and is of very poor quality.
Spa - we went to the overwater spa in Dhigu to book a couple's package but the reception lady was so rude to us (interrupted us about 15 times in one sentence, totally unfriendly, asked 10 times what we wanted to book and for how many people, etc, etc) that in the end we got so frustrated by the service that we left the spa after 25min without a reservation. It looked lovely though and under other circumstances it could've been an enjoyable experience.
Snorkelling - if you are thinking to come to Anantara for that please look for a different resort as you'd hardly see anything around the resort (a lot of bare black coral).
Beach - beautiful white sand everywhere with turquoise warm water - perfect.
Kids club - great to have for small children. our daughter loved it. This island was heaven for our 6yo daughter - she loved every bit of it.
Overall - we booked last minute so didn't have a choice of where to go. We were happy to get away at a short notice but given a choice we would've chosen a different resort with higher standard of food and service. I don't think we will return to Anantara as there are so many other high quality resorts like Four Seasons, Conrad, One and Only around. If you get a really good price like $400-500 a night I'd consider it a good deal and value for money. For $2,000 a day it was completely unjustified.
Hope this review helps you in your choice and have a great trip!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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13  Thank styleandfashion888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DutchCloggie, General Manager at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2011

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback which I will take on board.
I am personally very sorry we have not lived up to your expectations in some areas. I would like to see if we can win back your favour and would be happy to hear from you directly if you wish and at your convenience. My email address is cpronk@anantara.com.

Yours sincerely,
Claudia Pronk
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2010

My wife and I had a wonderful wedding anniversary in Anantara Veli. It was the perfect place. On our first night, Claudia (GM) and Patrick (AGM) greeted us on arrival and we were checked in directly into the rooms instead of having to wait at the lobby as our flight arrived late in the night. Claudia and Patrick were the perfect hosts and they continually checked on us during the entire trip. Vivek, the F&B manager also constantly checked on our needs and was very accommodating to my wife’s dietary needs as she was pregnant. All the rest of the staff were perfect as well and very courteous and friendly.

We were checked into one of the 50 overwater bungalows which had a perfect view of the lagoon. The bungalows are well situated over the coral reefs, the coral reefs were teeming with fishes. Each bungalow was directly connected to the coral reefs via a ladder on the balcony and you could literally jump off your balcony and snorkel into the waters.

Because there were only about 50 bungalows, the island never really got crowded and felt really exclusive and romantic. The beaches, restaurants, swimming pool, gym were comfortable without ever feeling over crowded. Veli was connected to another Anantara hotel (Dhigu) which was mostly for families while Veli was for couples. The beaches on the Dhigu side were much better than Veli and therefore better for the families.

The room was large enough for a couple and the staff cleaned the room and changed the towels twice a day. Because it was our anniversary, the staff prepared our bed lined with rose petals and a special bath with rose petals. They really made our stay really special.

The food in general was good but no different from other five star hotels which I have stayed in. There was a lot of variety as there were about 6-7 restaurants which we could choose from including Thai, Fusion Grill, Bar, Japanese/Italian, Italian etc. We also booked one of those “Dine by Design” dinner by the beach, we had our personal tent, butler and cook. The experience was fantastic but the dinner was probably rated above average only. We selected the ocean grill and we expected a lot. Unfortunately all the main courses were served at the same time on a platter, while it looked great from a presentation perspective, the food did not taste as great as some of the food got cold quickly (because of the ocean breeze) as we were dining from a large platter. It would have been better if the main courses were served separately so that it could be kept hot from the grill.

We booked trips via the sea sport centre and did the snorkeling trip, dolphin trip and island trip. The dolphin trip was a must do as it was magical to see a whole group of dolphins swimming in front of our boat in totally clear blue waters. The snorkeling trip was fantastic as well. The island trip was average, we got a quick tour of one of the islands. The guide took us a quick round around the island and saw some schools, shops etc. I thought more could have been done to perhaps bring us to a visit a Maldivian home or do a bit more interaction with the locals.

In terms of value, Maldives is not a cheap place for tourists whichever hotel you stay. There are obvious reasons for the high costs as all the food has to be imported and the senior staff and chefs are mostly foreign. Even water has to be desalinated from sea water and power generated via a diesel generator. Most hotels are captive hotels as they are situated on islands, therefore you are totally dependant on the hotel for your food and trips requirements and there were no alternatives. In Anantara, average meals costs above US$100 per couple while the trips cost US$50-100 per person. It was probably reasonable for a 5-star location like the Anantara, you pay for the exclusivity.

The trip was almost perfect for us except for a totally inflexible sea sports manager. We forgot to cancel one of our trips as my wife was not feeling well the last day. However, the manager insisted on charging us the full rate because the trip was at full capacity and because we did not cancel the trip with 24 hours prior notice, he was losing opportunity costs as he could have sold the trip to someone else. I agree that it was my mistake but I was certainly not going to pay for something that I did not use. I have never experienced this sort of policy in a 5 star chain as it is distasteful. Whilst I appreciate that they want to deter guests from booking and not showing up, the sea sports manager needs to use more discretion. After all, I had spent over USD400 over the last 3 trips and had just forgotten one trip. They need to work harder if they want to ensure that guests are reminded of what they had booked earlier such as sending a daily reminder letter (to summarise the trips), giving daily reminder calls or having waitlist for trips in case some guests don’t show up. In the worst case, I am sure that he can still afford to lose some opportunity costs. His attitude smacks of arrogance and plain laziness, obviously his high handed way works only because he has a virtual monopoly as guests do not have other alternatives. Nonetheless, it worked out well in the end as the front desk had some common sense and waived off that part of the bill. So if you experience the same issue, don’t get forced into paying for it.

Overall, despite that last incident, I would have to say that the trip was wonderful and almost perfect.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank aussieblues2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2010

everything in Anantara was amazing and perfect. The location, rooms, staff, service etc.. was second to none. We have spent the most enjoyable days in the most beautiful spont on earth.
Thanks to Anantara staff who were very hospitable and polite.
Thanks to Martin for his courtesy and hospitality
Will leave u with the photoes that express more than words

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mahmoud a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2010

We had our great stay as our honeymoon in veli

-which was perfect for couples stay because it's so calm and they know to give you the feeling that you are honeymooning
The staff is so kind every one keeps greating you and trys to help in every single thing.
I e-mailed them one week before coming to surprise my husband with his birthday I told them once and I was surprised that when we arrived they arranged it without reminding them again other than the e-mail i sent once and it was complemantry :)
-The room was perfect our stay was for 5 nights in an "over water banglow" room 176
it looked perfectly like the pictures online ,clean ,the mini bar had the things you strongly need and may have forgotten like "beach bag, sunscreen ,anti-msqitoues,after sun cream,waterproof camera"and the bed was comfortable ,they decorated our bed for many nights especially the day we left it was perfect they made it harder for us to leave
-Maldives is a great getaway but what makes it better staying in anantara hotels ,because when you think that you are an island and you can't leave anywhere else you need a hotel gives you all the facilities , so the great point that we lived in veli and we could use all the facilities and restaurants in Dhigu "went by the pantoon"it gave us wide choices in the food thing
Veli : 73 degree where the breakfast , and we attended the great "maldivian night"
Geckos :japanese/italian
and dhonibar
Baan hura with a really nice location we had the special curry nigth "thi"
Dighu: aqua bar , fushi(breakfast and buffet at dinner time), terazzo "italian", and fudan "seafood"
-First day we arrived we went to aquafantics and planned our trips for the whole stay (which i strongly advice)
the manager was really caring and helpful i am muslim and covered and liked to go for diving they where really very helpful about giving what i request to have my perfect diving with "carol" our instructor
so we went scuba diving as a beginners ,fishing ,local island trip with snorkiling,parasailing
-having the kiak/canoo from dighu and visiting the picnic island was really great dont miss it !!
-Spa at dhigu was great also
-I would like to strongly suggest to try there welcome signture drink "cranberry with ginger", you can order it again in all their resturants

PERFECT STAY , PERFECT Honeymoon
Thanks Anantara Veli

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank em00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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