My Husband and I have just returned from our third holiday to Angsana Velavaru. I have previously written two very comprehensive reports (check them out if you want some specific details about the island) so this time I will keep it to the highlights.
We had a wonderful 12 nights on Velavaru at Easter, very relaxing and just what the doctor ordered. Days were mainly spent eating, snorkelling, a little sunbathing, spa and lots of socialising with our friends on the island.
We went snorkelling every day, either on the house reef or off on our own little speedboat. We snorkelled most days along the house reef at IOV and spent an evening night snorkelling with our friends Hana (CSR) and Sherin (front desk). Lots of fun; plenty of giggles! Check out my previous review how to make the IOV snorkelling easily accessible - we again met couples who did not realise they could go so easily and missed out on so much! Plenty of life to be found off IOV, both along the drop off and in between the villas and edge. We spent a couple of jaunts swimming with a beautiful hawksbill turtle- he seemed to come out to feed late afternoon and was quite happy with us enjoying his company. There were a variety of eels to be found both day and night - I believe we found 5 different types on the reef. The anemone gardens off Meedhoo were beautiful.
We spent an amazing day in South Ari Atoll (less than 1 hour from Velavaru) with Hana, Solah and Kudo. We arrived at the channel south of Lux* to be greeted by a large turtle taking air. Then, almost immediately, we found our first 9 m long whale shark. We spent a lovely (all be it busy with other snorkellers) time with him although it was exhausting trying to keep up. Luckily I had my own secret weapon in the name of Solah who kept propelling me through the mêlée into clearer waters for the best views. We then hopped back on the boat, went on ahead of the shark and then jumped in again and got another chance with this giant from a head on view.
We then took a steady cruise west and with the keen eyes of Kudo and Solah we found our very own whale shark...WOW...just 5 of us in the water with him, simply amazing. We then headed round to Manta Point, not far off Conrad and spent a good 90 mins in the water with 6 mantas including a large black manta, white tip shark, and mobula...WOW...and on the way back we were surrounded by dolphins including a mum and baby leaping along our side...WOW! What an amazing day!
On another day we took a boat out to a beautiful reef just off Magaa. Mirror flat water, great vis, beautiful fish and corals; so much to see and photograph. On coming back to the boat we had dolphins in the water with us. We jumped in the boat and watched from the front, only to see a huge MARLIN leap clear out of the water, and somehow, we even got a picture of it!
The food was amazing. The chefs spoilt us night after night. Special thanks to Basa, our excellent Sri Lankan chef. He cooked specially for us on most evenings treating us to a variety of Sri Lankan cuisine and introducing us to a new world of flavours. Special thanks must go also to Wasana, Chef in Azurro; he treated us on our last day to a lunch of Sri Lankan delights- absolutely delicious and again felt so spoilt!
Breakfast was always a pleasure and we always looked forward to spending time with Chefs Prasanta and Mamun. Prasanta is the chef working on the egg station and 'hot' counter. Everyday he would prepare especially for me, crêpes with lemon and sugar. He knew it was my favourite and everyday we enjoyed a chat whilst he prepared them for me; a BIG thank you Prasanta. Chef Mamun worked on the fruit counter and on most days would have my order ready before I had even asked; quite wonderful; another BIG thank you Mamun.
Hasan was our waiter, as he has been on all our visits. Quiet, reflective and highly efficient. He was very good at remembering all our individual needs and seeing to them before we had to ask. He would make sure I had one of the lower chairs at each meal (my feet did not touch the floor on the regular chairs). He knew that mangosteens were my favourite fruit and a plate of them would appear at the end of most meals. He knew our favourite drink and it would arrive as we sat down to eat......you get the idea; Hasan you are a gentleman and excellent at your job!
Great news....this year Sarath has joined the bar team! Sarath was head barman at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and is now running the bar on Velavaru. It was lovely to meet up with our good friend again and to share a game of pool or two and enjoy observing the night sky through the telescope. Sarath is one of the most considerate men it has ever been our pleasure to meet and the whole bar team are a delight to spend time with, making a night in the bar a very relaxed and enjoyable affair.
We started to learn how to play Mah Jong. They have special tables in the bar and with the help of Emily, Noah and GM Albert we enjoyed an evening learning how to play. Once we had mastered the basics we enjoyed a few fun evenings with Hana and Sherin under the expert guidance of Chef Toni whiling away a few fun hours into the early hours of the morning.
Hubby and I enjoyed a couple of Thai massages with Nene, August and Namcha; all excellent therapists and definitely worth the "splurge".
Hubby also enjoyed night fishing (not for me this time!) and playing football on the beach with the staff (full time coincided with nightfall). He had a wonderful day in the company of staff and students of the school on the local island of Meedhoo and hopes to keep in touch.
A big " thank you" to Yoosuf our room boy. He kept our room immaculate and after our night snorkel we came home to find an amazing bed decoration. We have been lucky enough to holiday in the Maldives on numerous occasions and without a shadow of a doubt this was the best bed decoration I have ever seen. All I could say was "WOW!"..."WOW!"...WOW!"...and then shed a little tear (silly, i know). Just an example of the exceptional treatment you will receive on the island.
All in all we had a truly relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable holiday. A huge thank you to GM Albert and his beautiful wife Monica for welcoming us back with open arms and making us feel truly at home. As Albert said..." this is your island and your home"...and it certainly feels that way.
LOOK OUT VELAVARU...We are missing our island friends so much that we are already booked to return this summer...YIPPPPPEEEEEE!
SEE YOU ALL SOON!
Rachel and Bill
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- Also Known As:
- Angsana Velavaru Hotel Haa Dhaalu Atoll
- Angsana Hotel Dhaalu Atoll
- Angsana Hotel Maldives Velavaru
- Angsana Velavaru Maldives/Haa Dhaalu Atoll