As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be reviewing the second hotel we stayed in at the Maldives, which is the luxuriously beautiful Anantara Veli Maldives Resort. Similarly, I will also be listing 6 reasons why this resort should be your destination if you come to the Maldives.
You can also follow me on Instagram (@gmr83) for more shots from this gorgeous resort.
The Anantara Veli Maldives Resort is a 35-minute speedboat ride away from the airport. We arrived in the afternoon to be welcomed by a small band playing traditional music which was lovely. We proceeded to check in which was a breeze (literally) especially after being served cold, scented towels and refreshing juices.
I am particularly a fan of this program because it offers authentic local experiences (around 2,200 of them) at all its properties, which distinguishes it from most of the other hotel loyalty programs out there.
The Anantara Veli Maldives Resort is an adults-only resort, which makes it a perfect romantic getaway for couples. The resort features 25 over water bungalows, 11 superior over water bungalows, 14 deluxe over water bungalows, 7 ocean pool bungalows, and 10 deluxe over water pool bungalows. We stayed at the superior over water bungalow which had amazing views of the ocean, a private pool, and a beautiful bathtub with floor to ceiling windows so you could soak in peace. For a short video of our room, check out this Facebook video which I recorded live at that time:
The resort offers several dining options: 73 Degrees (excellent buffet variety at breakfast), Baan Huraa (one of the best Thai restaurants in the world), and Origami (for Japanese cuisine). In addition, you will have the chance to try various water sports and activities such as diving, surfing, deep sea and hand line fishing, in addition to non-water sports like tennis, volleyball, and badminton, petangue. Yoga and meditation aficionados will love The Pavilion with its strategic location over the ocean and seclusion from the rest of the island/resort.
The staff at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort are very multinational which I think helps a lot in catering to the tastes of guests who come from virtually every corner in the world, and I would like to thank them for making our stay unforgettable in every sense of the word. Special thanks to Juliane, Kathryn, Munzir, Mikayel, and Aiman for pulling all the stops and even anticipating our needs to make our stay as wonderful as it was.
Without further ado, here is the promised list of 6 things that made our experience at the Anantara Veli Maldives Resort special:
- Ayurvedic Spa: The Anantara Veli Maldives Resort is home to the SUNDARI Ayurvedic Spa which offers holistic approach to wellness. As a guest, you get a complimentary 30-minute session with the resident Ayurvedic doctor who explores your personality and character type and prescribes a special (easily-made) juice for you that is then prepared for you by the chef at breakfast for the duration of your stay. The doctor will also email you several customized wellness tips after your departure. I thought it was fascinating as his characterization of my personality was spot on even without me talking to him, and the juice he recommended was delicious. The massage I got at the spa was the best I have ever had – special thanks to my masseuse Kadek, who I wished I could bring with me back to Dubai! Seriously, his hands are pure magic and I strongly recommend you ask for him in advance.
- Access to other islands: Unlike most other resorts in the Maldives, if not all of them, by staying at the Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, you are not confined to only one island. You also get access to its sister property, the family-oriented Anantara Dhigu, which is just a couple of minutes away by boat and offers a children’s club and a range of activities and facilities catering to families and children. You will also have access to all the restaurants and the swimming pool at the Anantara Dhigu, which has an entirely different vibe and you will feel as if you are spending your vacation in two different places. Alternatively, you can also head to “Picnic Island” for the day, and try the delicious burgers and drinks prepared by the small shack on the tiny island.
Many thanks to Naladhu Maldives (@naladhumaldives) for achieving my dream (which I didn't know I had) of having a key to an island, literally 😳 Upon checking in, you are given a key to a door to the exclusive island that is inaccessible to other guests 🌴 I'll post a story later on how we access the island! #LifeIsAJourney x @flydubai
- Cooking classes: As is the case with most if not all other Anantara properties around the world, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort offers its guests the opportunity to try their hand in cooking, in this case with a Maldivian chef. We prepared crab cakes as appetizers, cooked chicken curry for the main course, and noodle milk pudding for dessert. Chef Mohamed is a treasure trove of information on Maldivian cuisine and was very helpful and patient. I never really liked crab cakes but I ended up eating 6 of the ones I prepared with Chef Mohamed’s help! That’s how good they were.
- The Coral Adoption Program: You might never realize the importance of environment protection and conservation until you visit a beautiful place like the Maldives. This is why Anantara Veli Maldives Resort gives you the opportunity to “adopt” a coral which would accelerate the regeneration of coral growth in the atoll reef. After you leave you can monitor the growth of “your” coral online, which I think is a beautiful way to get people to be involved more in environment protection.
- Mid-ocean swings and hammocks: Remember these postcards and computer wallpapers you have seen of swings and hammocks in the middle of the stunningly blue water? They got those here! I am not the best swimmer but the sight of the hammock in the middle of nowhere made the short swim worth it. It’s also the perfect picture to send to friends and family back home to spike their jealousy ☺
And if all this is not enough, here is a bonus reason:
- Naladu: I saved this for last because I am still at a loss of words for how beautiful this island is. Naladhu Maldives is a private island and an Anantara property that is connected to Anantara Veli Maldives Resort through a bridge. We were incredibly lucky to be able to stay there as well to make the perfect ending for our vacation. Naladhu Maldives is the epitome of exclusivity – it has around 20 rooms/houses only and is exclusively accessible to its residents. Upon check in, you are given a key that opens the “door” to the island. The houses feature private swimming pools, outdoor bathtubs and showers, and what could possibly be the most comfortable beds and pillows in the world. The entire house, which comes with its own butler, feels like home and I even started referring to it as such after only a couple of hours of staying in it ☺ If only my actual home looked as good as that though! Check out this video of me opening the door to the island, which I admittedly enjoyed and did more than I should have!
Special thanks also to flydubai for getting us there safe and sound!