My husband researched the Maldives resorts on-line for quite some time before booking Veligandu and he definitely chose the best of the best. This trip was for my 50th birthday - what a present! We had a fantastic stay, definitely the most relaxing vacation we have ever experienced. You can be as busy or as "couch-potato-ish" as you want. There are several excursions that can be booked (some are free if you are all-inclusive or all-inclusive plus); we decided to just stay put and enjoy what the resort had to offer. We love to snorkel and the reef was simply outstanding. Lots of beautiful marine life to view - including an octopus! Even without dipping a toe in the bath water temperature ocean you will see lots of fish, rays, sharks simply by walking along the pier & walkways to the water villas.
We stayed in a water jacuzzi villa and it was wonderful. Calming decor and views. Tastefully decorated and ample space for unpacking all your belongings - no living out of a suitcase here! Our villa was on the sunset side of the island and we were treated to many lovely views of the sinking sun each night.
We never ate at the à la carte restaurant while there but did see the menu posted - sounded fantastic. The reason we opted to remain at the buffet restaurant was that the food was so good, we just couldn't see it being surpassed at the à la carte dining room. There truly was something for everyone at each meal, regardless of the type of diet you may follow. Always lots of fresh vegetables & fruit, cheeses, breads, curries, soups - hard to make choices at some meals because everything was so tempting.
The Thundi bar is a great place to relax. We didn't really go there after dinner, as we were usually so tired from being in the water & in the heat all day. There is something going on there each night, be it music, movies, slide shows, crab races, disco, etc.
We had beautiful weather up until the day we left, when it became a bit stormy. Not much rain to speak of but quite a light show from the heat lightning. The next day dawned clear and sunny.
The staff are excellent and attentive to any needs you may have. All are incredibly friendly and seem really happy to have you there.
I could go on and on about this resort. I was given a bit of advice from another reviewer on this site and her suggestions on taking our own snacks & LOTS of sunscreen were bang-on. The following are a few tips I would like to pass along if you are considering going to Veligandu OR have already booked and are wondering what is needed while there:
- The water jacuzzi villas do NOT have a sun shaded area, regardless if you are on the sunrise or sunset side of the island. In other words, if you are on the sunrise side, you will have sun on your deck until about noon then have shade in the pm. The reverse applies on the sunset side, of course! All this to say that if you are a morning person and enjoy sitting out on the deck to read, have coffee & not be in the sun, get a villa on the sunset side. Apparently a few guests have suggested to the management that they get some sort of retractable awning for the decks so that they can be used all day and they are considering their options in this regard.
- Sunscreen - take lots and use it. I burn easily and always use either 30 or 50 SPF that is waterproof. I slathered on the 50 and went snorkelling for about 1.5 hrs. Came back and I was so sunburned from the tops of my legs to my knees, I needed to get some ointment from the resort medical clinic. I could barely sit down for dinner! The ointment worked a charm though and I was much better by the next day. The lesson for me is a) don't stay in the water so long without reapplying lotion and b) I need a wetsuit to cover myself!
- Snacks - if you have room to pack some, bring them. The snacks in the villa minibar are costly($5.50 USD for a very small tin of Pringles.....$7.50 for a can of Red Bull, etc). Same goes for the snacks for purchase at the Thundi Bar - crazy expensive.
- Coffee - if you are a coffee hound, bring some Nespresso "cups" for the awesome machine in the room. They provide you with two "cups" per day and if you want more than that, you will have to buy them. (I paid $6.00 USD for box of UHT milk for my coffee in the room - not sure why they don't supply real milk instead of the Coffee Mate stuff in packets - blech!) They do have a very lovely selection of teas in the room to enjoy, which we did!
- Earplugs - I didn't need them but my husband used his as he is a very light sleeper. Some people commented on this site that the water "slapping" against the steps/support posts under the cabin kept them awake, as did the 0730 hrs Twin Otter landing/taking off. We didn't find it too much of an annoyance, to be honest but to each their own. (What did sort of keep us awake though was the bed - it was most definitely harder than what we are accustomed to!)
- Toiletry Items - make sure you have all you need because although the gift shop does carry the usual stuff, it's very dear. (On that note, we brought our own shampoo and we didn't need to. Veligandu supplies ample amounts of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion in the rooms)
- Trans Maldivian Airlines (TMA) - this is the seaplane company who is under contract with the resort to fly their guest to from Malé. We had a bit of a hiccup both on arrival and departure with TMA. We waited almost two hours in the lounge at the floatbase waiting to depart for Veligandu. We kept being told "another 20 minutes, another 20 minutes" and it turned out they were waiting for a couple who were delayed at the airport. I don't mind a few of delays but when it stretched to two hours & was cutting into our time at the resort, I was starting to lose patience. The return was no better and in fact, had the departure from Veligandu been delayed by yet another 20 minutes, we would have missed our flight from Malé. We were over an hour late leaving the resort and no one seemed to want to take responsibility for the delays. I should mention that it wasn't just my husband and I waiting for the flights, both coming and going - there were several other passengers who were being affected by the delayed departures. All this to say is that when it is time to leave Veligandu, ensure that you are being given enough time to make your connecting flight from Malé. If you think there isn't enough of a buffer, ask to go on an earlier flight. We wish we had......
I don't want to leave this review on a negative note! All in all, it was a vacation of a lifetime and definitely recommend Veligandu to others considering a trip to the Maldives!
- Also Known As:
- Veligandu Island Hotel North Ari Atoll
- Veligandu Island Hotel
- Veligandu Island Resort
- Hotel Veligandu Island
- Veligandu Island
- Veligandu Resort
- Veligandu Island Resort And Spa Maldives/North Ari Atoll
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Veligandu Island Resort, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon and long stretches of white, sandy beach, is the only resort on the island of Veligandu, in North Ari Atoll. Transfers are by seaplane, a scenic 15 minute ride from/to the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. 81 Rooms, including 54 Jacuzzi Water Villas, 10 Water Villas and 10 Jacuzzi Beach Villas. ... more less
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