Veligandu Island Resort & Spa
Best Experience: Adults Only, Beach, Value
With adults only policy and long sandy beach, Veligandu Island Resort & Spa is an idyllic retreat that offers authentic barefoot comfort and a crystal clear lagoon in just 20 minutes by seaplane from Male airport.
One of the oldest resorts in the Maldives, the fashionable (and expensive) Veligandu Island Resort and Spa is really doing well and doing everything to keep itself in modern and stylish form. The resort offers spacious villas with elegant decor, stuffed with mini bars, individual outdoor terraces (some with a jacuzzi), iPod systems and large flat-screen TVs; however, some of them are older than others, and some reflect visible age. There is also a lounge at the airport, delicious buffet, infinity swimming pools, a lot of activities on the land and in the water, exciting football tournaments between the hotel's staff, and a relaxing overwater spa. On the beautiful island you will find a medical clinic, a games room and 2 beach bars, one of which is open around the clock.
One disappointment in this resort is a spa, angular and functional, rather than beautiful and chic, or even better, atmospheric. From the quality of the food, too, I would like to expect better, if you take in general on the resort. Finding nothing to complain about, we can happily say that we love this place. The staff and management is not fantastic, but everything looks great, is bathed in luxury, and the beach is a pure paradise.
Veligandu is one of the seven Crown and Champa resorts found in the Maldives, and the owners know what it takes to make a successful resort around these remote islands. Opened in the 80's, Veligandu looks relatively good, you can even say it's wonderful for his age, especially considering the conditions of the Maldivian climate. In 2014, a reconstruction was completed, including the renovation of Water Villas exterior and the addition of brand-new Jacuzzi Beach Villas. These little things make Veligandu an unforgettable resort among many. While North Ari Atoll is usually not known for bioluminescent lighting, many neighboring islands that look toward Veligandu in the pitch black night notice the shimmering, lit waters. This magnificent effect is created by placing luminous underwater lights in the grounds of Water Villas, and this helps add a little bit of magic and romance to the general atmosphere of the island. DOWNLOAD RESORT MAP
The sand below and straw over your head are still almost everywhere, including the reception, the bar and the main restaurant. This is a classic combination that softens and warms the sharp edges and shiny surfaces of modern, elegant interiors. In the rooms, the floor of valuable dark wood allows you to achieve something like this.
Veligandu is the favorite of the newlyweds, and it's easy to understand why, when basking in the jacuzzi on the terrace of your villa, you can enjoy tropical fruits from the free basket, slowly chanting champagne from your glass and admiring through the open wooden panels on a beautiful sunset. Sometimes a jacuzzi can be a little more than just a tick in the "box", here they are easy to use and really add a suite to your surroundings.
In addition to Europeans (mostly English and Germans), Veligandu is also very popular among curious herons (which can be seen everywhere, even in the pool), colorful fish and small reef sharks. Guests here are only couples, from May 2016 - "adults only" resort - and children over 18 years. While on the island there are many places to retire or socialize, as you please, the main meeting place for employees and guests is a football field. Here, the resort's staff arranges football tournaments against each other and guests as fans are cheering for their favorite teams. Veligandu has many regular guests with its generally pleasant, friendly and relaxed vibe - it's easy to understand why.
The glorious long sandbank after which the island is named – Veligandu means ‘sandbank’ in Maldivian – can be found on the southern end of the island, and the best snorkelling on the house reef can be found off here too. There are some excellent dive spots nearby to spot reef sharks, manta rays (throughout the year but best seen from December to May) and even hammerhead sharks. Veligandu Island is 600 meters long by 150 meters wide, about 22 acres.
Many of the staff with the resort are already for 10 years or more. This says a lot, and in particular about the care of management about employees, that is directly reflected in the sincere and friendly service that they provide. The atmosphere is familiar, calm and all problems are solved very quickly.
If you are looking for a good hotel, without a long seaplane trip from Male, Veligandu Island Resort and Spa - located at Veligandu Island in North Ari Atoll - is just 20 minutes by seaplane from Malé Airport - this is the nearest that you can get. It is also one of two resorts in Rasdhoo Atoll, near North Ari. Although the island is not far from Malé city, there is a time difference - one hour ahead, as a daily way to squeeze as much sunshine for the guests.
A distinctive feature of Veligandu resort is its large, albeit somewhat non-atmospheric lounge in the seaplane terminal. Guests with a stop of any length are escorted here from the main international airport and they can relax, fill out the documentation, have a snack with juice or hot drinks, or watch TV here, waiting for a seaplane boarding.
A beautiful beach stretches down from both sides of the island, meeting at the southern tip and forming a wide sandbank that in Divehi means "veligandu". In addition to several hammocks, here you will find two lines of sun loungers with straw umbrellas, a dream of anyone who wants to get a beautiful tan and a some curious herons. The lagoon on both sides is poured with turquoise and is also a good starting point for snorkeling, although some guests prefer to spend more time near the central swimming pool. Between these two open sights lies a large, long, tall Thundi bar with different zones for chilling, for communication and for activity.
There are 3 room categories: most popular are the Jacuzzi Water Villas, which are on stilts in the lagoon with an indoor-outdoor bathroom and a jacuzzi. Water Villas also overlook the lagoon, but have an indoor whirlpool bath instead; Jacuzzi Beach Villas are the same as Jacuzzi Water Villas, but set on the beach. Visitors say there is no such thing as a bad room here.
In addition to the staff, the only thing left from the previous Veligandu's incarnation is the line of 10 Water Bungalows, and even they were redone to become Water Villas almost identical to the 66 new Jacuzzi Water Villas and Beach Villas. The difference is that they are slightly smaller and have a closed, rather than a partially open bathroom. On the other hand, this location has direct access to snorkeling on the outside of the house reef, although currents and waves can sometimes be a problem here.
Half of the 76 rooms face west, and half look to the east basking in the morning sun. On the western side there is a good snorkelling, right from the main jetty and several water villas next to the pier also have access to corals and fish. The best snorkelling you will find on the southern tip, so here is a small channel. The key difference between snorkelling areas is that the west looks inside the atoll, and the east faces the ocean. There you will find many pelagics, sharks and turtles, and even rare manta rays.
Beach Villas is a standard choice of accommodation in Veligandu and the most basic of the main league. Luxury amenities include a fully stocked minibar, large flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, Nespresso (plus regular doses of coffee and tea), iPod docking station, DVD / CD player, personal and outdoor terraces with beautiful views. The rooms are stylish and modern decorated with polished wood floors or tiles, a high frame, wooden beamed ceilings, two sinks and an outdoor rain shower with a traditional assortment of inconspicuous toiletries. Beach villas have a beautiful view of the beach, but only Jacuzzi Beach Villa is located on the first line. Updated in 2015, these luxurious cocoons will give you a little more living space and pleasures in a private jacuzzi on the outdoor terrace. According to the designers, Jacuzzi Beach Villas are the same as the Water Villas, but without direct access to the blue lagoon.
Water villas are self-contained overwater bungalows, more noticeable than other types of accommodation due to somewhat outdated plumbing and obvious signs of aging, such as paint and furniture. The bathrooms have a glass shower with two nozzles. Jacuzzi Water Villas are the top category and feature personal outdoor whirlpools of wooden shutters that open up to the lagoon. The bathrooms in these rooms are equipped with large wooden frames, sliding glass doors, and you can always keep the bathrooms completely open or close. They are all beautifully and simply styled, with high pitched ceilings, whitewashed walls, kingsize beds positioned with a sea view, a white sofa, and dark polished wood floors. They all have a sundeck terrace and rooms over the lagoon have private steps into the sea.
Jacuzzi Water Villas (131 - 154) and Jacuzzi Beach Villas (175 - 180) look to the west enjoying the game of sunset colors, the other rooms face east.
Food and Drinks
Facilities at Veligandu are in keeping with the island’s natural Maldivian style. All stays are full board, but you can upgrade to an all-inclusive package if you prefer;
Breakfast, lunch and dinner with a weekly Maldivian night and a once-a-week sparkling wine breakfast in Veligandu is served buffet style in the massive, beachside Dhonveli restaurant. Expect a good selection of international and local fare with separate culinary islets with stuffed salads, cheeses, and hot dishes; there are two live cooking stations, one with fresh catches and one with Asian specialities; and a huge, central bread and dessert island. Typical items on the buffet include imported cheeses to fresh local fish, typical Maldivian curries to stir-fried rice noodles, and macaroons to regional fresh fruits. Seating is spread over a large deck, and includes indoor and outdoor setups with either sand or wooden deck floors; in the center of the restaurant is a huge table with breads and desserts. The best tables, of course, outside on the deck overlooking the lagoon. The restaurant is open from 8am to 9.30pm with breaks between. The atmosphere is laid-back and relaxed and the dress code is very casual, barefoot, and overall you can dress as you want.
Unlike the main place to eat, Madivaru is a small fine dining restaurant with a la carte offerings and only by booking. No matter what your meal plan is, Madivaru will require additional costs. The elegant collection has 15 tables, comfortably distributed between the outer deck and the interior, and the menu is made up of fresh seafood dishes on the grill, and special delicacies like amisbush, barbecue or lobster. Book a table on the beach for a romantic dinner under the stars.
The resort operates Room Service - ordering breakfast in villa, and food all day until 21:30. In addition, you can order a romantic private dinner on the beach for two, or a beautiful cake for your anniversary or birthday. In both restaurants there is a diet menu.
With an elegant exterior, Thundi is the most imposing and main resort bar located on the main beach. Open 24-hours, the beach bar with sandy floors, bar games, with loungers, revolving armchairs and soft sofas, plus an outdoor terrace with magnificent views of the beach and a lagoon on three sides - ideal for a cocktail at sunset hours, a "nightcap" or socialization. The bar also hosts a programme of entertainment including film nights, crab racing, slide shows and music.
On the opposite side of the island (north end), there is another, smaller hangout, Athiri Bar near the furthest of the water villas. The drink list includes creative cocktails, including non-alcoholic, and afternoon tea throughout the day, for guests all-inclusive, this place offers fruit juices and ice cream, as well as a comfortable veranda with ocean views.
The diving base had a big drop in clients when the hotel raised prices, advertising itself as the ideal island for a honeymoon. Today, there are fewer groups and visitors are asked what they want to see underwater next time, and the service has become very flexible, it can be said personal. In terms of the diving itself, with just one other resort, Kuramathi, in this small atoll and many good spots, the trips are mostly within 25 minutes and the boat is usually alone.
Nearby is the hypnotic Manta Point - an excellent site (the best from December to May), but the main attraction is the hammerhead shark point. It’s a 6am start but the dive base leader says he never fails to get excited. A 2-tank dive is an option down to north Ari Atoll, to Maya Thila, one of the top spots in the country. With 4 other types of sharks frequently seen it’s unsurprising a shark specialty course is offered back at base.
If you dream of more active days, Veligandu does not lack activity and games. Snorkling tours are recommended to everyone, especially on the site called 'Three Palms'. Another boat trip worth mentioning is the inhabited island of Thoddoo, on its own tiny atoll, a few kilometers north of Veligandu. It is rarely visited, but this is a special place: a traditional, friendly, agricultural island, an ancient Buddhist site and a perfect island for budget holidays in the Maldives (for a some).
Just behind the spa you'll find a good-sized bungalow filled with gym equipment, ice cold water, and cool towels; there's a 24-hour, air-conditioned game room with foosball, pool table, darts, and ping pong. For underwater lovers, the Ocean Dive diving center offers regular dives on some of the 18 fantastic dive sites around Rasdhoo Atoll, free diving cources, and scuba diving PADI certification. In addition to hypnotic diving in an incredible marine life, the water sports center is a paradise for fans of motor and non-motorized sports and there are training classes for everyone, from kayaking and windsurfing to water skiing and tubing. The resort also hosts daily events and excursions like sunset and star-gazing cruises, fishing trips, disco nights, slide shows, and live music.
Other facilities include a souvenir boutique, an atelier, a jewelry shop, a guest lounge with a library, as well as a 24-hour doctor's service and a medical clinic during business hours at reasonable prices.
Internet is provided free of charge everywhere, but for high speed in the room you need to pay extra. If you needed a laptop, you can ask for it at the front desk.
Veligand also offers the organization of wedding ceremonies. The symbolic wedding ceremony includes reading a passage from the Book of Good Wishes, reciting wedding vows, exchange of rings, groom kissing his bride and signing the wedding certificate. The ceremony takes place on the sandbank, which is decorated using palm fronds woven in the shape of a heart and local hibiscus flowers. The ceremony group includes local girls from the neighboring Island, all dressed in traditional Maldivian costumes.
Reviews for the Veligandu Island Resort tend to be excellent, which is very impressive considering this is a moderately priced private-island resort. Nearly every guest gushes about the rooms and the service and the setting, as well as the food in the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. A few mention that the choices get old during a longer stay, but most are quite happy with them. The facilities also get high marks, including the few childrens' and family options available. For a 4-star resort with reasonable prices including all meals and even the optional all-drinks plan, the Veligandu Island Resort seems like a very solid choice.
Exceptional, “This place is the definition of paradise. We will be back.”, “Very impressive holiday! Once will not be enough.”, “Excellent stay-highly recommended and will come back”, “An absolutely amazing experience!would do it again”, “Honeymoon in Paradise!!”, “Exceed customer expectation”, “One dream place”, “Perfect place for honeymoon”,
“Nice experience. Came back with good memories.” “good money value but recommended to combine one more resort to have a full experience”
Why stay here? What Guests Love
- Excellent location
- A beautiful and clean island, magnificent nature and white sandy beaches with turquoise waters
- great service
- Friendly and helpful staff ...is beyond praise
- Quiet and solitude. Good privacy. Especially in Water Villas.
- Modern and stylish rooms are equipped with a minibar, with beautiful views and an outdoor bathroom
- Large infinity swimming pool with a great views
- Excellent, quality buffet, delicious and varied food. A lot of fruit, fresh fish, taste soups
- The beach bar is open 24 hours. Night life
- Water sports. Snorkeling Excursions
- Nice Spa
- No children allowed (a con for some)
What You Need to Know
- Veligandu is located on the private island of Rasdhuda Atoll in 20 minutes by seaplane from Male airport.
- "Adults Only" resort , children over 18 years.
- Check-in from 13:00. Check-out before 12:00 - 15:00
- Located on a thin and beautiful island
- free Wi-Fi throughout the property
- Additional charge for high-speed Wi-Fi
- Three times a week fumigated against mosquitoes
- Some villas look a bit dated and with visible wear elements
- There is a medical clinic and doctor on the island
- Veligandu Island Resort & Spa has an online Oaky platform for pre-booking resort services.
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