We didn't know what to expect from Veligandu as many of the reviews on tripadvisor were excellent but there was still the odd one or two reviews where the response wasn't so great.
We arrived into Male and straight into a lounge where we waited for a seaplane to take us to Veligandu. We waited around 90 minutes or so for other guests to arrive from other flights so they could transfer as many people as possible. This was the worst part of our experience as we had a 13 hour connecting flight to get there and we had to wait another 90 minutes for a seaplane. However the service in the lounge was exceptional and we were treated to complimentary drinks and they even made us some sandwiches.
The seaplane journey was around 15-20 mins to Veligandu and the sights on the plane of all the different islands/atolls and reefs in the sea was great! The seaplane is an experience in itself and definitely a little weird when it lands right in the ocean but great fun!
We were then taken to the reception where we received a complimentary drink again and a member of staff showed us to our Jacuzzi Water Villas and explained all the functions of the room as well as general questions about the Island. He was very welcoming and made us feel right at home. The Jacuzzi Water Villas are great and spacious inside. The bathroom is nicely decorated and the Jacuzzi area outside has two big wooden windows of which you can open and gaze at the sea while you sit in a lovely Jacuzzi. Also they have a decking area for you to sunbathe in front of the sea. You also have your own access into the sea which was great for us as there was a house reef only around 200metres from the house where we snorkelled daily and saw some great fish!
The Island itself is quite small but it is meant to be intimate and private. The gym was small but very well equipped and they had a 7aside football pitch along with a volleyball/badminton court. Additionally they have a games room which has Darts, Table Tennis, Pool and Fuseball. We enjoyed the facilities quite a lot and I managed to play football with the locals almost on every day of my trip which was great fun! The staff love their football over there :D
We were on the all inclusive package and thus we always ate at the Dhonveli restaurant and we never went to the a la carte restaurant. Saying that, the food at the Dhonveli restaurant was great and we were exceptionally well treated by all of the Chef's who always made us alternative dishes due to our vegetarian diet. I would like to recommend three chefs Sumi, Leslie and Karthik who were very helpful and made some especially tasty food. Also the waiters were always very responsive and helpful. The vice manager there Abdullah was a great help and very sociable. Thundi Bar also had great service and their cocktails were quite nice! Some of their stuff is on the all inclusive package which was great for us.
Veligandu also hold an event every evening at the Thundi Bar to keep their guests entertained. The crab race and the live band were our favourite nights and were great fun. Also if you have the chance I would recommend the sunset punch cruise (where we saw dolphins and the sun setting into the ocean) and a day trip to Rashdoo (local fishing village) where you can pick up a great souvenir (better than the ones they sell on the island).
Last of all was the Dive team. Me and my brother did our 4 qualifying dives with the Divepro team in Maldives and it was so fun and great that we decided to do another 3 dives with the team. We saw many fish underwater including white tip/black tip sharks, grey reef sharks, turtles, moray eels, jellyfish, lion fish and leaf fish to name a few. Our instructor was Samir and he was absolutely great! He helped us a great lot when we did our first dives to get comfortable with the equipment and the environment and he dived with us on every dive but we loved his company and he made our diving experience great! We would love to dive with him again one day! The rest of the dive team were also great and very helpful - so whichever diver accompanies you, you will be in for a treat.
Veligandu on the whole is a great resort in the Maldives and does the simple things well. It is attractively priced and benefits from exceptional service which is probably the Island's greatest asset. The only things which can be improved is that Wi-fi is only available at the Thundi Bar and we had to walk all the way there from the room (about 10 minute walk) to make a skype call or check emails. If they could make this available in the rooms then that would be great. Also the only other thing was that items in a minibar did not get replaced as frequently as we liked however this was a minor setback.
On the whole the Island is a great place to visit and stay and you will not regret your choice. It deserves the great reviews it has and I honestly believe it's service is second to none. Veli Special holiday for us!
- 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 Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is a scenic, 20 minute flight. 91 Rooms include 54 Jacuzzi Water Villas, 10 Water Villas, 16 Jacuzzi Beach Villas and 11 Beach Villas. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Veligandu Island Hotel North Ari Atoll
- Veligandu Island Resort
- Hotel Veligandu Island
- Veligandu Resort