All too soon our time at Gili Lankanfushi was at an end and it was back on the boat to Malé airport enroute to our next destination, Velaa Private Island. Located 187 kilometres from the airport on the Noonu Atoll, to get to Velaa we had to catch a seaplane and head North across the ocean.
Velaa has it’s own private lounge in the seaplane terminal, perhaps the nicest airport lounge I’ve ever been in! But we didn’t have too long to wait,
After freshening up a bit in the lounge, our flight was called and we headed out and into our teeny tiny plane shared with only a few other people.
Regular readers will know that I’m scared of heights and I don’t love get small planes but I’m getting used to them now! Actually the last time I took a seaplane was when we were in Australia and Mr S proposed to me!
One of the great things about the seaplanes is seeing all the islands and that beautiful turquoise ocean from above. Honestly, you wouldn’t get bored on this 45 minute journey – all the views are just so spectacular.
And I have to say there really isn’t anything more rock star than arriving at your hotel by private plane. We were greeted by the team at Velaa Private Island, champagne was pressed into our hands and we were introduced to Didi who would be our butler for the duration of the stay.
Didi was never too far away and the service he gave us was well and truly excellent.
Still relatively new, Velaa Private Island opened in 2014 the realisation of a dream by owner Jiri Smejc. A long time lover of the beautiful Maldivian islands, Jiri had visited many of the resorts but found each fell short for one reason or the other. He set himself the task of creating a perfect paradise where luxury, service and privacy were totally unparalleled. Since it’s inception Velaa now has the reputation of being one of the most luxurious resorts in The Maldives, the ultimate perfect private island. Perfection does come with a price tag, and Velaa is also currently one of the most expensive places to stay in The Maldives. And we were about to find out why…
Hopping in a golf buggy Didi drove us around the island to the boardwalk.
The resort shares the island with generations of sea turtles, and the name Velaa actually means turtle – hence motifs of the creatures through out the resort. The boardwalk itself resembles the head of the turtle with the island forming the body which can be seen as you’re flying overhead in the seaplane. And with only 43 villas located both over the sea and on the beach, you’re assured privacy and personal service.
Are you ready to see what’s behind the door?
As you enter the lounge area, you’re immediately greeted by floor to ceiling windows and that the infinite expanse of Indian Ocean before your eyes. But it’s not too much of a distraction from the gorgeous living area. We had chosen a deluxe sunset water villa, in order to have the perfect view of the sun dipping below the skies at night and it really was quite something to behold.
Master craftsman from Europe constructed the villas interiors and despite the price tag of the hotel, it never feels over the top. Colours are still natural and muted with neutral blues, browns and beige and dark wood so that it still feels more organic. Czech architect, Petr Kolar intended to create a space that was contemporary but kept a sense of place with Maldivian design and the lounge is all squishy sofas, soft furnishings and snuggly rugs.
There’s a window down into the ocean so that you can spot the fish below.
And images of the eponymous turtles line the walls.
On the desk sits a mobile phone so we could contact Didi at any time and the iPad lists all the activities and amenities at the hotel.
You can pull up a chair at your own bar, make a cup of Nespresso, grab a bottle of champagne or make a selection from your own in room wine fridge.
I’m always a big fan of dark wood which looks so subtle and elegant.
Shall we head into the bedroom?
We were welcomed with a towel adorably fashioned into a turtle and a cute welcome message. Like the lounge, the colour palette is soft and muted in the bedroom. It’s utterly elegant but still understated – the very finest fabric is used for the sheets – it’s all part of what Kolar calls ‘polite luxury’, there’s no garish gold taps or diamond studded walls!
But of course the very best thing is the view that you wake up to. Now are you ready for my favourite room in the villa?
Perhaps one of my favourite bathrooms of all time. How gorgeous is this circular bathtub looking right out to sea?
And I loved this hanging swing chair too!
With a Spa by Clarins, there are full size Clarins products in the power shower in keeping with the ultimate in luxury manifesto at Velaa Private Island. From pretty much any room in the Villa you can step straight out of the doors and on to the deck.
Out on the deck there’s a huge, glorious full size infinity pool with a shady seating area. Sails at the sides of the villa ensure absolute privacy from your neighbours.
If you read my post on top ten rooms with private pools, you’ll see that this is easily one of the biggest private pools I’ve seen in a room. Once again subtly is at play here, special paving stones have been imported from Jordan so that they never get hot despite the sun’s glare.
And there’s space for outdoor dining too! I think it’s about time we cracked that bottle of champagne open don’t you?
A bottle of Perrier-Jouët champagne was in the room on arrival so we popped the cork…
To toast our gorgeous new hotel!
Now if you read my posts on our previous hotel, Gili Lankanfushi you’ll see that the room at Velaa was entirely different to our former accommodation. Where the room at Gili was very outdoor, and made completely out of natural materials giving it a rustic luxe, organic feel – Velaa by contrast was more ‘posh’, the room was more indoor, elegant and exquisitely finished. We had specifically chosen two very different hotels to get the best of both worlds and you may be wondering which one I preferred. Now personally I’m a big fan of a very organic, natural aesthetic and I preferred the rooms at Gili Lankanfushi, where Mr S likes very glamorous rooms and the fact that we had a pool at Velaa. It really is just a matter of taste.
We spent one night in the gorgeous deluxe sunset villa and the next day Didi told us that we’d been upgraded to the Ocean Pool House, a two bedroom villa and one of the top level rooms on the island.
Epic right? Mr S hates packing and unpacking but Didi seamlessly transferred all our stuff from one room to the other quickly and efficiently without us needing to worry about a thing!
The second room was very similar in style to the first but much bigger. As you can see the living area was pretty much double in size! I won’t go on too much about the bedrooms as they were very similar to the first room – one with a double bed and one with twin beds. They had a bigger dressing area too.
There were two bathrooms in the Ocean Pool House, but both were near identical to our original room…
I’ll spare you too many identical photos and instead show you outside, which was what really made this room stand out.
The outdoor living area is absolutely huge with a full length pool, gorgeous daybeds and even a sunken whirlpool.
The bar and dining area is totally outdoor here and it was the perfect place to enjoy breakfast on the last day when we had to leave early. There’s also a fully stocked fridge of champagne plus the separate wine fridge that can be catered to taste!
As you can see the villas at Velaa Private Island really are sensational and definitely deserve a post devoted to them. But I can’t wait to tell you even more about this uber luxury resort in my upcoming posts.
Watch a video of my time at Velaa Private Island!
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