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“Almost perfect” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Anantara Veli Resort & Spa

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Anantara Veli Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Bodu Huraa, 08190   |  
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Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Veligandu
Kensington, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Almost perfect”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

The new ocean villas are fantastic -- large, modern, beautifully designed, and quiet, with a private infinity plunge pool and sundeck, and lots of thoughtful touches. The bathroom is stunning and very large, with an indoor marble shower with floor to ceiling windows looking out on the ocean and also an outdoor marble shower in a small private garden. The ocean villas are on the ocean side, not the lagoon side, with great views, lots of birds and sealife (sharks, octopi, eels, rays, and colorful fish). Although you can't snorkle on the ocean side, you can easily see all the fish in the clear water from your sundeck, and lagoon snorkeling is nearby. The island is very quiet and peaceful since families with children stay on a nearby island, which is also operated by Anantara.
The staff are friendly and responsive, catering to your every need. The buffet breakfast is outstanding. The abundance of fresh fruit from Thailand is particularly welcome. All the restaurants on Veli and its sister island are excellent, but pricey. The Thai restaurant is authentic, with the best Thai food we've had in a long time.
There's every kind of watersport imaginable. We had great fun on the sea bob, with jet-like rockets that propel you on top of the water and underneath the water at adjustable speeds.
The island is conveniently located, a 35-minute boat ride from the airport, although I must admit that I prefer traveling to other islands by plane, for the spectacular views along the way.
Prices are over the top in high season, but well worth it for a real splurge.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We spent a week here and it was the ideal beach holiday. The setting is stunning, and our deluxe over water bungalow was great; amazing views to wake up to. The house reefs directly off the island are great for snorkelling.

Service couldn't be faulted, transfers from the airport were very efficient and staff in the resort were super-friendly.

I recommend going half board; the resturant food is amazing but sooooo expensive [most dinners would have been USD 300-400 for food alone if it wasn't included]. In particular we enjoyed the seafood platter at Fuddan, the seafood set menu at the Thai restaurant Baan Huraa and the Wagyu Surf and Turf at the Japanese restaurant Geckos.

There are no kids on Veli so it is very quiet, however there is a tender running to the sister island Dhigu every couple of minutes [you can actually swim there it is so close] where there are some more beaches and restaurants.

Room Tip: I recommend the deluxe over water bungalows, and try and get one as far out along the pier as possib...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

We spent 5 nights in the Maldives, and can say it was an amazingly relaxing and luxurious experience, the perfect end to our Sri Lanka trip.

We landed in Male and were met by an Anantara employee straight away which was nice, who led us to the speedboat. The ride was smooth, and we were greeted at the resort by a welcome team. The check in process did take a little longer than we thought, however a really cute touch is that they took a photo of us, to give us as our parting gift when we checked out. We had chosen to stay in an over water villa, if you do go this is the only option, its the whole point of going to the Maldives!

The villa itself was great - clean, with a very comfortable bed that had a view of the sea and a lovely bathroom. Taking a shower while looking down and watching the fish in the reef is an unusual experience. As others have said the villas are starting to show signs of age, but even so they still looked fine and had everything you needed. The deck had a lovely large sun bed, on which we lazed and read. We did snorkel near our villa as well as there were some great reefs just under and near the villa. The water is lovely and warm and clear.

Veli is an adults resort, however guests from Dhigu can come across to use the facilities. This did annoy us a little, as we expected a little privacy from our villa, and to have parents with their kids snorkel right up to our villa and shout to each other ruined the tranquil atmosphere.

The pool at Veli is OK, it isn't that big and the view is the same as we got from our villa, and as you have the indian ocean to enjoy it wasn't that much of an issue, we spent most of our time on our deck, in the sea, sometimes on the beach (which is tiny but empty) or got the speedboat across to Dhigu as the pool there is much better. The spa at Dhigu looked amazing, you can get a massage overlooking the sea, but it seemed way too expensive for us so we skipped it.

Breakfasts at Veli are amazing, its such a friendly and lovely service, the staff are just great - the atmosphere is so nice it was perfect lingering over breakfast and enjoying the view, a great start to the day! The choice of food at breakfast is enormous, from the egg station, noodles, bread, salads, cold meat and cheeses, yoghurts and fruit. The quality of food is great, I loved the fresh fruit counter and the fresh juices the most. I only wish they had not run out of coconut water after the first day.

As others have said, the meals are expensive, but you don;t really have a choice as the resort has a monopoly over you, we chose al a carte over buffet. We ate at a few of the restaurants - Geckos, Baan Hura, Fudan and Arruzzo. In terms of experience, Baan Hura wins - the thai food was OK, but to be honest we find better in London, however what makes it is the service and the view - dining overlooking the Indian Ocean is priceless, we saw octopus, loads of fish and crabs and a couple of baby sharks during out meal. We chose the Indian food at Fudan and found it to be OK, it wasn't spicy enough, and the portions were far too large, I felt guilty leaving half my mains. The meal we most enjoyed was at the Italian, the food was delicious, the view was great and the service was friendly. If you go there don't miss the chocolate dessert, it is worth the wait.

After three nights, we got upgraded to an amazing villa, but on Dhigu side. This was the perfect end to our holiday - the villa was that great we barely left it. We were in villa 130 - which is right at the end of the stretch - so we had unbroken views out to the Indian Ocean. We only left the villa for breakfast and dinner, otherwise spent the rest of the day sunning ourselves on the deck, swimming in our private pool or dipping into the sea. As we were quite a walk along, we were given bikes which was a fun way to get back to the heart of the resort.

Overall we had a fantastic time here, it was a few days of pure luxury and indulgence!

Room Tip: Villas further out give more privacy and better views, but the ones in the middle have the best cora...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dubai
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

My daughter and I just returned from a trip to Veli. To describe it simply its fantastic. This place is gifted with great nature amazing staff and set up. The fun didn't stop since we arrive till the last minute. It's definitely the place to stay whenever you visit the maldives....well done Anantara:)

Room Tip: All rooms have amazing view and accessibility to sea
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlothian, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our week at Veli in the deluxe overwater bungalows. The bungalows at the end of the jetty have the nicest views but the ones at the other end are closer to the hotel's reef. We snorkelled every day in the turquoise water around the bungalows and saw new fish each time. Wonderful. We also took a couple of trips to the reefs further out – a very different experience in beautiful deep blue water along cliffs of coral - well worth it.
From the moment the staff meet you at the airport, the service is excellent and attentive. Veli is beautifully quiet and blissfully free of children. The kids are all on Dhigu :) The food was excellent and the breakfast buffet was the best we have ever had. We really enjoyed the Thai restaurant for dinner. Such an amazing setting by the edge of the reef with crashing waves and where you can watch the rays and fish as you dine. The staff at this restaurant were particularly good and remembered our room number and what we had for dinner the last time we were there….. You won't want to leave.

Room Tip: Deluxe bungalows at the end of the jetty have the nicest views.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stayed for 5 nights in March and this resort, and the Maldives, lived up to and exceeded all expectations.

We were swimming outisde our over water bungalow within an hour of touching down in Male, thanks to a speedy boat ride from the airport pier and an in-room check-in. The resort's lagoon (shared with sister resorts Dhigu and one other, high-end resort) was perfect turquoise, warm and filled with tropical fish, coral and small sharks and rays.

The bungalow itself was very comfortable - showing is age a bit but still very nice and with good facilities and well designed for privacy. On our final night we were upgraded to a deluxe bungalow - which was very nice and had a better deck space, but on balance not worth paying extra - the standard bungalow was excellent and all you needed. Features included a pod coffee machine, free wifi, a large day bed on the deck and a generous bathroom. I understand Veli will soon be closed temporarily for refurbishment, so I imagine the bungalows will be even better after that.

The food was excellent. The sister Dhigu resort's restaurants (and the resort itself) were easily accessible from Veli by pontoon boat, so added to the choice. Our package included the generous and delicious buffet breakfast, but we paid for other food. Not cheap - US$30-40+ for mains - but we didn't mind because it was very good, fresh, gourmet food. We mainly ate fresh fish at the Fuddan grill at Dhigu, and lunch at the Dhoni bar/restaurant on Veli.

The staff couldn't have been more helpful. They were positive and proactive, but not too in your face either. A huge plus.

I went scuba diving (approx US$100 per dive) at sites close to the resort, which was superb, but the snorkelling in the hotel's lagoon was also very good. Coral grows directly under the bungalows, with all sorts of tropical fish as well as the odd juvenile shark and rays.

My wife used the spa and was very complimentary.

Very hard to fault this resort at all! Thoroughly recommended - the quienessential tropical escape!

Room Tip: A standard bungalow is enough but the further from the beach the better.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stayed for five nights in a water bungalow and really loved it here. Very relaxing. Big enough to go for a wander but not too big to lose it's peacefulness.

A la carte food was really excellent and bizarrely deserted as everyone seemed to have room service instead. The buffet restaurants were a bit average for the price. If you are from the UK the alcohol is very expensive, we're from Dubai so for us it was very cheap!

In terms of activities, there were various watersports, good snorkelling right next to the room and diving was great.

It's a great location, only 40 mins by boat from the airport so transfers don't take too long.

My only (big) complaint was that there was a great spa but the prices were utterly ridiculous (from memory USD 200+ for a one hour massage) so we didn't use it at all which was a big disappointment. Had prices been a bit more reasonable we would have each had a massage every day.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Anantara Veli Resort & Spa

Address: Bodu Huraa, 08190
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > South Male Atoll > Veligandu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Veligandu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Anantara Veli Resort & Spa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Retreat hand-in-hand to one of the most naturally stunning destinations on earth, a romantic paradise enveloped in soft white sands and turquoise waters. Just 20 km by speedboat from the airport in Male, delight in the private luxury of your own over-water bungalow, with all the comforts of home and then some. Unwind in your room, either over water in the crystal lagoon, or from your Ocean Pool Bungalow, with private pool and ocean views offering beach and lagoon access a few minutes stroll from your room, or admire the kaleidoscope of exotic fish and corals just steps from your over water and deluxe over water bungalow. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Anantara Veli Hotel South Male Atoll
Anantara Veli Resort And Spa

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