This is the stuff that dreams are made on. Sundowners as a scarlet disc sinks beneath mountains of purple clouds into a silvery sea. Glance over the railing of your deck built above the aquamarine lagoon and watch the fishes dance, the rays glide by, the baby sharks wriggle across the corals and the sandy floor. The evening breeze brings relief from another white hot day. Sand and sea and coconut trees are all there is in Maldives, but Anantara has built a luxurious refuge in the middle of nowhere to help you remember what it is to be free.
It’s a long trip, and the price is high, but it’s worth it.
“Remote” hardly begins to conjure the other-worldly experience of this luxury resort. Facilities show endless attention to detail, staff are consistently friendly and helpful, the atmosphere is always relaxed and warm, and people open up and talk to each other. It feels very far away from the troubles of the modern world.
The Thai restaurant, Baan Huraa, is world class. Get a seat at the railing where you can enjoy the sounds of the sea washing into the tidepools that surround the restaurant and watch the fishes at play while you wine and dine by the light of the moon.
Geckos sushi is quite good, but for a fun-filled hour or so, ask for a wine tasting. We had a great time with two Indian sommeliers discussing and tasting wines from around the world, and nibbling some excellent cheeses.
The Dhoni bar is a nice place to cool off at lunchtime, watch the waves break on the reef, and enjoy very good food and service. They offer some interesting and refreshing drinks, too.
Diving was interesting, but is not the focus of Veli. A night dive on the wreck at Kuda Giri can be pretty exciting. Thirty meters down is a long way down in the dark! A napoleon that must have weighed over 100 kilos was asleep inside the ship’s cabin. Drift dives are common, with all the complex currents flowing among the atolls. Our best dive was a drift at 15 meters. Some of the dive masters want to take you deep to look for sharks, but there is more life where there is more light higher up. Be aware that currents can be so strong that you find yourself crawling by clinging fingertips across the reef, like a climber scaling a big wall. Boat time is always special when diving, and particularly so in Maldives. The spinner dolphins inside the atoll are endlessly entertaining. It’s hard to tell who is entertaining whom.
The spa at Dhigu, built like the cabanas, out over the water, is charming. Massage tables are set above a window in the floor so that you can watch the fishes as you fall asleep under the skillful fingers of the Thai masseuse. A romantic floral sunset bath is a sensational experience.
One of the highlights of our trip was snorkeling in the lagoon just off our deck. It is like living above an aquarium. I counted 37 different species of fishes in one hour snorkeling there. It is endlessly amusing just to look over the railing now and then whenever you are in the room.
Rooms are spacious and very comfortable and well appointed. Airco works well, water pressure is great, and the bathroom, behind a screen, overlooks the lagoon.
A truly great place for a romantic getaway, or just a getaway, full stop.
Brief Truth in Advertising Note: You will not escape families with children on Veli, but there are relatively few of them on the beach and around the pool. Anantara Dhigu, the “family resort” island, is only a few minutes away by pontoon boat, which plies steadily back and forth all day, so you have easy access to both islands, and so do they.
- 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