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“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Anantara Veli Resort & Spa

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Anantara Veli Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Veligandu Huraa, 08190   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Veligandu
Grapevine, Texas
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240 reviews 240 reviews
94 hotel reviews
Reviews in 144 cities Reviews in 144 cities
204 helpful votes 204 helpful votes
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

My husband and I spent 5 nights at Anantara Veli in Maldives. It was a perfect holiday!! One of the benefits of staying at this resort is that it doesn’t require further air transportation to get there. After 20 hours flying from the US, it was great to be met at the airport and whisked away to the resort. The boat ride was about 30 minutes and we were offered cool towels and bottled water for the ride. The staff met us at the dock with more cool towels and a staff member ready to check us in.

We loved the over-water bungalow and the direct access from our patio to the Indian Ocean. There is a lot of coral around the property and it is teeming with fish. The property itself is beautiful and well-maintained. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Our room was clean and comfortable, and we loved watching the fish outside while we showered in our traditional outdoor Maldivian bathroom.

You can get free snorkel equipment rentals at Aquafanatics. We snorkeled around Veli a lot and also went over to Dhigu to snorkel. There’s not as much reef around the Dhigu property. There were some fish around the over-water bungalows, but definitely a lot more fish at Veli. The house reef is over at Dhigu, however. If you swim past the over-water bungalows to a small island (directly in front of their Aquafanatics), the reef is on the left. There are tons of huge fish there, but the water is a bit rougher there than around the resort.

As far as food, breakfast came with our room and it was very good. It is served buffet style at 73 Degrees Restaurant with views of the ocean. There is a wide variety of fruits, cereals, pastries, and the “make-it-hot” station offers a great variety of egg dishes, pancakes, etc. We opted for the half-board meal plan that allowed us to eat at any of the restaurants. I didn’t think this was really such a good value for us. I think we ate more than we would have trying to get our money’s worth and even then, I think it cost more than it would have if we would have eaten a la carte. We thought all of the restaurants were very good. Baan Huraa is the Thai restaurant at Veli and seems to be the favorite. The food is great and the service is also good. It sits over the water and we did see a ray and 3 black-tipped reef sharks. Geckos is the Japanese restaurant. If you order Teppanyaki, they will cook it for you on the grill at the bar. Over at Dhigu, there is Terrazzo, which is an Italian restaurant. Also, there is Fuddan, where you can get steak and/or seafood (this was probably our favorite). We also had Beach Barbecue at Fushi Café at Dhigu. This was a lot of fun. It was a buffet with lots of salads and breads to choose from and then you head to the cooking station where you can choose from steak, chicken kabobs, lamb sausages, calamari, snapper, and tuna. Tell the cook what you want and how much and they cook it up and bring it to your table. Note that when you order soda, refills are not free. Also, it kind of annoyed me that they give you bottles upon bottles of free water in your room, but they charge you (over and above your meal plan) for water at dinner.

Overall, Veli is a perfect place for a beautiful vacation.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Mfryar, Manager at Anantara Veli Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 27, 2013
Dear lolo34,

Sunny greetings from Anantara Veli!

Thank you for sharing your recent experience with us and we are delighted to read about your adventures during your stay.

We look forward in welcoming you back again to the Maldives in the very near future.

Warm regards

Matthew Fryar
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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468 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We stayed at anantara Veli for our honeymoon and just loved it. Great dining options, wide variety of food and over the water bungalows were idyllic. Service was also sensational and loved snorkelljng/perusing the fish from the jetties. Definitely recommend. Ps the hammock about 50 metres out in the water is where it's at.

Room Tip: Loved over water bungalows
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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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Hong Kong, China
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

Me and my husband spent about 7 days here for our honeymoon, and it was the best vacation we have ever had so far. We watched the sunset and stars every night from our deck and snorkelled 1-2 times a day. It was incredible how many different types of fish were just beneath our water bungalow! We even saw 4 reef sharks whilst snorkelling, and 2-3 eagle rays whilst kayaking. Definitely recommend buying an underwater camera for your trip - we had tons of fun with it =P We loved how you could look straight into the sea from our shower - but were always a little bit concerned about any snorkellers swimming too close to our bungalow.
The 3 scuba diving trips that we went on were incredible! We saw schools of eagle rays, white tipped sharks, and big napolean fish - definitely the best diving I've ever done so far. You also feel very well looked after by the diving team.
The staff were friendly, and the food was good. I liked how for every meal the tables were spread sufficiently apart, which gave us the feeling of intimacy and privacy.
The white sand and clear blue waters were the perfect setting for romance. Veli was definitely the couple island, whereas Dhigu was the family island - if you're a couple I would highly recommend you stay on Veli rather than Dhigu.
The night before we left, the hotel hosted a mini-event for honeymooning couples at the Orchid garden - they gave out free drinks and each couple was given a wooden heart to place in the orchid garden and a free photo. It was a lovely touch! We were told that the hotel hosts that event once every week, and they have pledged to never take down our heat - so we can come and visit it if we ever return.
The spa in Dhigu was incredible as well - gorgeous views of the sea from your treatement room! Only complaint is that we spent a lot of money to get a 4 hand massage, but my husband's massage therapists were giggling during it...not sure why, but it definitely ticked us off, ruined the atmosphere and made both me and my husband uncomfortable. It was the reason we decided not to get any other spa treatments during our stay.
The only issues I had during our stay were not the fault of the hotel, but with other guests. It was aggravating to see old crisp packets floating in the water, water bottles left on the beach, etc - this only happened on a few occasions, and I know that the hotel makes an effort to keep the hotel clean, but its ultimately down to the fault of other guests who carelessly leave things out on their deck or on the beach, which results in littering. Also, there were 2 times where guests from nearby bungalows put their music on really loud!! One bunaglow was at least 3 rooms down, where a few people were having a party - drinking and screaming. Fair enough you're on holiday and want to cut loose - but could you do it inside your room and not on your deck? Or have a little bit of courtesy to the other guests.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a water bungalow as far from the beach as possible, and the jetty where the speed...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Kensington, Maryland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
51 helpful votes 51 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Anantara Veli Resort & Spa

Address: Veligandu 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 #1 of 2 Hotels in Veligandu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Anantara Veli Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 50
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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