Veligandu Private Island, just twenty minutes by seaplane from Male Airport, is possibly the best value all-inclusive overwater bungalow resort in the Maldives. Though it lacks the full 5 Star Wow factor of Lily Beach Resort or Ozen Maadhoo, for what you are getting here you might expect the prices to be almost double what they are. As such it is extremely popular and sees return visitors year after year.
You have two main room categories at Veligandu – Beach Villas and (Over)Water Villas, all of which are doubles with King size bed though you can order extra beds/cots for children. These are in turn sub-divided into standard and jacuzzi villas. None of these accommodation choices will disappoint though the jacuzzi villas, even disregarding the added jacuzzi on the terrace, are more spacious and open and definitely worth the extra fee.
The villas have the traditional Pacific thatched roof look but inside are modern and sleek. Amenities include satellite TV, Nespresso coffee machines, air con, generous minibars and, if not a terrace jacuzzi outside then a spa bath in the bathroom inside. Bathrooms are always a good marker of hotel room quality and here they impress, with the the added bonus of an outdoor rain shower too.
Note: Though they are welcome in the other accommodation options children are not allowed in the overwater villas, therefore Veligandu is placed in the adults-only category.
FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO:
The main resort restaurant is Dhonveli – a large, lively place with a fantastic selection of Asian and international cuisine. The food is buffet style and there are various sections with different categories of food for guests to investigate as well as two live cooking stations. It is located right along the beach and has tables inside, on the large terrace outside and with some tables directly on the sand.
Dhonveli has a laid back, boho chic atmosphere but if you want something a bit more formal you can try Madivaru, an elegant, intimate fine dining venue. Here it is mainly seafood, all of it la carte and as far as we can gather consistently excellent. Dining at Madivaru is not covered by the all inclusive package but a 20% discount is offered. Staff will be happy also to arrange romantic, private dining on the beach or in the comfort of your own villa.
The main resort bar, Thundi Bar, is a lively and friendly beach bar that stays open 24 hours. It has a great outdoor terrace with views over the beach and lagoon, a fine selection of cocktails and almost every other drink you can think of, and it has live entertainment most nights – live music, DJs, film nights, traditional dance performances etc etc. On the other side of the little island you can also check out the more relaxed vibes of the much smaller Athiri Bar.
There are some intimate spa facilities at the Veligandu too plus a gym and games room with table football, darts, pool/billiards and table tennis.
Water sports are a major feature here with all but motorized sports (including lessons) being mostly complimentary to all-inclusive guests. Their ocean diving center offers regular dives at eighteen, world class sites around the Atoll, as well as dive lessons. Even snorkeling around these parts, with such an incredible array of marine life, is a thoroughly memorable experience. Other facilities include a jewelers, an atelier, souvenir shop, library and a medical clinic.
“Paradise on earth – If I could, I would give a 15 out of 10. The Island is simply amazing, with postal cards beaches, amazing shades of water and a great variety of marine life. It is also small enough to feel at home but bug enough so that you don’t feel stranded. Just awesome.
The hospitality of the staff is exceptional. All of them. From the reception to the restaurant to the cleaning, everyone is always friendly and helpful, and always with the smile.
The food is also delicious and super varied. You will find every day new dishes from different types of cuisine, super tasteful and the desserts are just a work of art….”
“It was absolutely flawless from the arrival in Malé, where we were picked up and directly brought to the lounge with cold drinks to wait for the water airplane.
Arriving we were assigned a host, Hussein, who was taking care of everything and our go-to-person if anything should be organized, he even gave us an upgrade to a jacuzzi water villa for the 8 days.
Regarding the food it was absolutely exceptional and I am used to dining out. From the breakfast with fresh juices and fruits to the hand-picked deserts, the fresh-grilled fish and as it is even among all this great food a highlight the a la carte restaurant. Be prepared for endless choices on the buffet and even if you plan to put less on your dish – this is not working…
When it comes to activities, you need to go snorkeling the amount of fish, sharks, turtles we saw was stunning. On our last day we even found Nemo which was my highlight :)….”
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