Nestled on the pristine island of Thelu Veliga, located in the South Ari Atoll, approximately 90 km southwest of the capital, Malé, Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat boasts of its own magnificent house reef. The property is a 35-minute seaplane ride away from Malé International Airport.
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Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat

Best Experience: Honeymoon, Beach, Diving, Value


Perfect for couples and honeymooners, Thelu Veliga Retreat is the first property from the new Maldivian brand "Drift Retreats & Cruises", a name that seeks to provide authentic Maldives' experience.

Pearl of South Ari Atoll, the boutique hotel is located on a tiny, 1.1 hectare private Theluveligaa island and offers only 30 villas. Accommodation includes 10 beach bungalows a stone's throw from soft white sand, and another 20 water villas with direct access to the ocean. The shallow lagoon is ideal for swimming and water sports, there is a good spa, and if you are a diver you probably already know from our previous reviews of what Southern Ari Atoll has to offer, including whale sharks and Manta rays.

With an emphasis on separation from the rest of the world, Thelu Veliga Retreat guarantees a pleasant drift in a tropical paradise with simple pleasures, in the rustic luxury setting, personalized Maldivian hospitality, entertainment flowing not from technology but from nature ... surrounded by stunning natural beauty.

This property also has one of the best-rated locations in Theluveligaa! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.


Known for its outstanding, unspoiled natural beauty and marine life, the resort is located 90 kilometres southwest of the Maldivian capital Malé, in the South Ari Atoll. With its own house reef, the island is just over a hectare (10,000 sq. metres) in size. Guests may travel to the island in 2 ways: via a 35 minute seaplane journey from Velana International Airport; or via a 35 minute domestic transfer from Malé to Maamigili Domestic Airport, followed by a 30 minute speedboat ride. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP

Ari Atoll is known for its magnificent underwater landscapes, where whale sharks, manta rays and dolphins are top-attractions of world-class dive sites, and the resort is just drifting close to all this hypnotic variety of marine life.


Affordable hidden gem in South Ari Atoll that welcomes guests aged 12 years and over, a cozy paradise island is inhabited by 30 villas, where guests can enjoy the rustic simplicity, enhanced by large spaces and modern comfort. Each of villas are tastefully decorated in traditional Maldivian style using carefully chosen natural materials, local artefacts and warm, neutral colours. For the perfect intimate escape we recommend staying in one the island’s twenty Water Villas that sit on stilts over the island’s turquoise lagoon and offer guests direct access to the shallow lagoon and the opportunity to enjoy the magnificent vistas from the privacy of their own terrace.

10 beach villas, all of 39 sq.m. are hidden on the beach, among lush greenery, providing a great privacy. Beach villas all have direct access to a powder soft sands and a view of the turquoise crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean beyond.

20 Water Villas, each ​54 sq.m., anchored in a beautiful lagoon on either side of the jetty offering guests the chance to enjoy the beauty of the Maldives, right from their own terrace. Complete with a stunning bathroom with a large bath and separate shower and direct access to the lagoon, Water Villas provide guests with the perfect privacy. And half of water villas look at the sunrise, while the other half admire the fantastic game of sunsets over Ari Atoll, and if you like snorkeling - from the eastern villas there is easy access to the house reef snorkelling.

The villas are tastefully designed to evoke the authentic, unspoilt charm of the Maldives.

The villas' design reflects the traditional environment of the Maldives, mixed with natural tones and local crafts, perfectly complementing the beauty of the outside world. Natural light floods the rooms through large windows and the beds are located opposite doorways that lead directly to the beach or to the lagoon.

Drift Thelu Veliga evokes images of the traditional, untouched values ​​of the Maldives, allowing guests to completely relax and dive into an oasis of tranquility away from the chaos of modern technology.

All villas have the following amenities: a king size bed, air conditioning, mini bar, hairdryer and tea / coffee making facilities, as well as other pleasant things, including a large selection of natural cosmetics in the bathroom made from organic teas. The rooms do not have a TV, for someone it's a big plus!

All are equipped with a minibar and tea/coffee maker and the private bathrooms include a hairdryer and toiletries derived from organic teas. Some villas have private access to the beach while some are poised over the island’s turquoise lagoon.

Food and Drink

With an authentic thatched roof, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the resort's only restaurant offers a banquet for all your senses. The best tables are on the deck overlooking the sapphire lagoon. Plans for meals: from breakfast to full board. The latter is more preferable, considering that everything is delicious on the menu.

A team of talented chefs prepare dishes of various cuisines of the world from sunrise to darkness, focusing on regional island cuisine and specialties of Asian influences. Located by the beach, even the gourmets will be satisfied here; Chef Chaminda and his team are more than willing to meet your needs. Breakfast is a vivid idea of ​​all the fruits you can imagine, with various cooked dishes every day and fine baskets for cakes to push you for activities.

The emphasis is on quality ingredients and dishes from fresh seafood and fish, local products where possible, in order to guarantee high quality and variety.

Dining highlights include the restaurant that serves a variety of cuisines including local seafood with continental and Asian flavours.

An ideal spot for a cocktail, the beachfront lounge facing the sunset, with sensational views demonstrating all the best from nature, which is hard to beat.

The Lounge’s large comfy daybeds provide the ultimate space for relaxation and are perfect if you want to while away the afternoon with a good book, doze in the balmy tropical air, or quench your thirst with a chilled beer or a fresh juice.

The extensive menu works throughout the day, meaning that guests can have breakfast in the fresh morning breeze, enjoy the warmth of the midday sun or watch the stars and listen to the sounds of nature around.

Other dining options, such as in-villa, on-the-beach private dinners and seafood BBQs may also be arranged for guests upon request. Guests can also enjoy refreshing beverages and light dishes at the sunset-facing bar and lounge.


Should you wish to stir from your idyllic surroundings, Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat offers a range of activities including scuba diving, sunset cruises and complimentary snorkelling trips.

Refreshing sanctuary, the overwater THEMAE Spa is located in the eastern part of the island and has three treatment rooms overlooking the lagoon. A carefully selected spa menu combines effective massages and treatments from Indonesia, Thailand and India, including facial and body treatments, all performed by experienced therapists. The resort also holds private yoga classes, usually in the early morning.

Apart from relaxing and appeasing in the beauty of the island, you can take part in one of the many activities in the Drift Retreat, such as windsurfing, kayaking, Kite Surfing, catamaran and water skiing.

Popular dayly excursions include a visit to the local islands, picnics on uninhabited sandbanks, traditional fishing, snorkeling trips, watching whale sharks, chasing dolphins and sunset cruises.

Snorkeling in Drift will not impress you, as the house reef does not abound in marine life, but you can join the daily free snorkeling trips to the nearby reefs, where you can swim well with a mask and snorkel. Every morning at 10:00 on the reef there are free snorkeling trips for beginners under the guidance of highly qualified staff, and for professionals on the island there is a diving school.

The new diving center Extra Divers is located on Thelu Veliga's jetty. The menu includes a standard set of PADI courses and trips to the best Ari Atoll dive sites. This region is without a doubt one of the best and most spectacular for scuba diving in the Maldives. The variety of species ranges from bat-fish and surgeons fish, from barracudas to eagle rays to whale sharks and manta rays all year round.

Unique Experiences: Traditional Morning Fishing, In-Villa Champagne Breakfast, In-Villa BBQ, Sunset Cruise, Dinner on the Beach, Big Game Fishing, BBQ on a Desert Island

Weekly Activities: Maldivian Night, Seafood BBQ on the Beach, Cinema under the Stars

overwater spa


If you are looking for a Maldivian resort with a swimming-pool, choice of restaurants, teens club, entertainment, and T.V, Drift is not for you; but if its barefoot simplicity, tranquillity, and a quest for pristine nature that lures you to the Maldives, then this well priced island might well tick all the boxes.

...“Best resort experience so far.”, Superb, “Amazing ”, “Great for beach/water lovers and couples, and for people who want to have a quiet, private getaway”, “Amazing location, fantastic facilities. Small resort, cozy with very friendly staff.”, “Difficult to imagine better”, “As close to your own private island as you want”, “heaven on earth” , “Lovely stay recommended for couples!”, “Beautiful paradise island & very comfy beds!”, “Best Maldives Resort”, “a dream little island for recharging batteries and enjoying the inner beauty of nature..”, “Amazing attentive staff, superb location, fab marine life and a place for total relaxation!”,“Paradise. Definitely recommend”...


Why stay here? What Guests Love

  • Service is top-class
  • Staff is amazing and very friendly
  • Clean and spacious rooms with a stunning views
  • Snorkeling excursions: sharks, rays and turtles
  • Delicious and varied food, excellent breakfasts - The kitchen is beyond praise
  • a nice lagoon is suitable for swimming
  • good choice of water sports
  • massages in the spa
  • A wonderful diving with manta rays and whale sharks

What You Need to Know

  • Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat is located in South Ari Atoll and is 30 minutes by seaplane from Male airport.
  • Check in from 14:00; Check-out Until 12:00
  • All rooms have no TV
  • The hotel does not have a shop
  • wifi may be weak
  • Children can not be accommodated at the hotel.
  • In-Villa dining available from 8 am to 10 pm
  • The resort holds the wedding & blessing ceremonies
  • House Reef is 150 metres from the island’s beach
  • Location for spotting whale sharks is 20 minutes away by speed boat
  • Babysitting services arranged on request
This property is also rated for the best value in Theluveligaa! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

Check Availability and Prices in Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat


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