Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Velassaru Maldives

Welcome to my first Maldivian experience. Maldives is associated with luxury island escapes and thus, I expected that to befall me in this much anticipated trip. But what made this trip so special to me was that it was all spontaneous. I was in Sri Lanka which is just 2 hours by plane from Colombo, so NOT going to the Maldives will be a definite regret. So, as soon I had the chance, I booked for a 3 days, 2 nights trip to this famed archipelago.



When I approached Maldives from the plane, I knew I was in for a treat. The airport itself was an experience. There were white sands already everywhere, and the azure waters glistened at the height of noon. It was a very difficult to choose which resort to stay in, and since I didn't have enough time, I chose a place that was near the airport - a 20 minute speed boat ride to be exact. This was how I found myself in Velassaru.


The Maldives is a huge group of islands that span across 500 km from end to end, so some resorts require a seaplane ride to get into. That meant higher costs though the travel time is less than an hour. Velassaru was near Male and the airport and part of the North Male Atoll.


I chose the resort also because it was part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Thus, I was guaranteed a privileged stay. There were also a lot of good reviews on the resort, so after countless searches, I put my trust on the Velassaru. 


The resort was an island in itself, like most resorts in the Maldives. The Vela had 120 rooms, scattered within the island and over water. I booked two types of accommodations, the over water villa and the more affordable deluxe cabana.


The over water villas and cottages are similar to those in El Nido. The Maldives are known for these types of accommodations, so I just had to experience one myself. More on the rooms in my next post.


I can say I am an expert already with beaches, and definitely, the Vela was spectacular at this front. The sand was powder white, and it circled all throughout the entire island. Even I don't know any resort island in the Philippines that had this bragging right. 


The resort was 5-star of course, complete with all luxury amenities you can think of. It had a spa over water as well, 5 restaurants, a full sized gym, a library, a dive center and even a tennis court. There was free wifi throughout the entire island, though some areas had low signal.


I loved the sunset deck, where one can just gaze out at the open sea and reefs just below the wooden planks. I was amazed at how rich the marine life was in the Maldives. I was told that reef sharks, rays and even turtles can be found just near the shore. And they were true!


As I've said, the island is laced with white sand all around, so it's really a buffet of beach lounges. I tried staying in all sides of the island, and the eastern side was the best. It also had the calmest and clearest waters.


In my entire stay in the Vela, I hung out in several places, like the bars and the lounges that are scattered throughout the island. The food was expensive as expected, even higher than Europe's. So you can't really splurge that much on drinking and dining if you're not mighty wealthy.


I couldn't help but lounge around everywhere as soon as I arrived. I was so giddy but tried to compose myself. I was truly impressed with the resort, which was already one of the best I had stayed in all my life.


But what impressed me the most in the Vela was the pool. I was thinking who needs a pool with the fabulous waters surrounding the island, but the Vela tries to exceed all expectations. 


It was the most brilliant infinity pool I have seen. There was a white sand break between the pool and the sea, which made it look like a sand bar. Amazing indeed. And the pool was huge!


 Needless to stay, the entire staff of the Vela was friendly and accommodating. There were some Filipinos in the reception area mostly, and the the room reservations manager was also Filipino. Thus, I was privileged to get more perks from my room reservation!


I was to begin my three days in the Maldives, with the sun smiling brightly. I still had to pinch myself to know that this was not a dream anymore. I was in the Maldives.


More on the rooms in my next post, but here is the score so far for the Velassaru:

Ambience: 5
Rooms: 3.5
Service: 4
Facilities: 4.5
Dining: 4
Over-all Experience: 4
IE Score: 4.16 (Excellent)





9 comments:

  1. Loved your post! We're going to Velassaru Maldives with my 2-year-old daughter in March to celebrate her 3rd birthday. Your photos and testament made me drooling for this day to come. Glad to know that there are Filipino staff in Velassaru, well, you're right, additional perks from our kababayan.

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    Replies
    1. I am so envious! I have been back, and stayed at one of the worst, so Vela is a good choice! Wait for my next post. Have fun!

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    2. Actually it was a choice between Holiday Inn Kandooma and Velassaru, the former being a family-friendly resort but the luxury and very good reviews of Velassaru made it easier for me to choose the latter. What do you mean you stayed at one of the worst?

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    3. I stayed in one of the worst resorts I have stayed in, well, primarily because of the service and the unfulfilled promise of an all-inclusive resort. I will be blogging about that soon. Anyway, Kandooma was my next choice, so you're good with that as well. ENJOY!

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  2. So this worst resort/hotel in Maldives you're talking about is not the Velassaru?

    Philip

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    Replies
    1. I see. I was able to browse your 3 posts about Velassaru Maldives and it never failed my expectations. Idyllic escape really. Thank you for the post. My excitement is killing me :)

      Philip

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  3. Hi RJ! How much can one be expected to spend for a holiday in Maldives? If I'm not mistaken, the easiest route is to fly from Manila to Singapore then take direct flight from there to Male.

    I'm so glad to hear you're entering the travel industry business. Good luck with that and hope you tell us more about it soon :)

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Sunset Goddess!

    Not only Singapore - Male is the easiest way, it is also economical. If you're flying from Manila with transit to Singapore to Male, the price is too steep as compare to Singapore - Male, even adding up your Manila - SG flight. If you're not very particular with airline, Malaysia Airlines is cheaper compare to Singapore Airlines and Emirates.

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