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Friday, May 18, 2018

Velaa Private Island Maldives: Art and Innovation

The first time I went to Velaa Private Island was for a special pre-opening sneak preview - only close friends and families of the owners plus a handful of media professionals were invited to road-test the amenities and services...

The view when you arrive

My first impressions? Arty and luxurious; a collage of some of the best resorts in the Maldives with a some innovative, original features for good measure. 

I liked the use of the sea turtle motif throughout the island. The ‘velaa’ means 'green turtle' in the Maldivian language (Dhivehi). See how many places you can spot them on the island. From above, the island has been developed to resemble the shape of a turtle so that when guests arrive by seaplane they can admire the turtle shape created by the water villas and the island (the island is the body and the villas and jetties constitute its head and fins.)

The geometric patterns of a turtle’s shell also appears in d├ęcor and furnishings around the resort, including in some nice photographs in the villas. And it doesn't end there. The owner also created a dedicated in-house baby turtle hatchery and turtle conservation project.

Velaa Private Island also goes out of its way to pioneer exciting new concepts. Aside from the stunning white sand beach and azure waters, elegant villas, mouth-watering cuisine and great service the design and amenities have been carefully conceived and crafted to exceed guests’ expectations. These are the highlights:

Tavaru Tower

Tavararu tower

The striking Tavararu tower is the centrepiece of the island. Unlike anything else in the Maldives, this remarkable-looking tower is the setting for the Teppanyaki kitchen, with sweeping 360-degree views across the treetops towards the sparkling ocean. It's really rare to be able to have any views at this kind of elevation in the Maldives, being as the highest point is 3m above sea level and resort buildings can only be built as high as the tallest trees on the island under Maldivian law. At the base of the tower, the wine cellar houses an impressive collection of vintage and rare labels, organic and biodynamic wines, boutique wines and grand marques from the 30-page wine list. 

One of the most elevated viewpoints in the Maldives

Champagne showers

Another gastronomic highlight is the vintage champagne lounge, Cru, and the adjacent signature restaurant, Aragu.

Snow joke!

The Clarins Spa, a first in the Maldives, also features the country’s first Snow Room (conveniently located next-door to the sauna and steam room), alongside a wide variety of massages and therapies as well as the Cloud 9 relaxation pod.

Unique activities in and out of the water

Some of the unique activities available at Velaa include archery, a climbing wall and a Golf Academy designed by Jose Maria Olazabal and offering one-on-one tuition. A whole spectrum of watersports is also available including snorkelling, scuba diving, catamaran sailing, kite-surfing, catamaran sailing and windsurfing. 

The public areas aren't bad either!

The Life Aquatic 

Alongside the typical dolphin cruises and manta cruises, the semi-submarine excursions provide another unique diversion. These three-person mini submarines operated by a trained skipper allow you to explore the underwater world of Noonu Atoll without getting a single hair wet.    

The 43 villas, houses and residences mirror the rest of the resort’s cool, contemporary style with tropical touches such as bamboo and mahogany complimented by black and white photographs of turtles on the walls. 

A glimpse inside the gorgeous villa, even the bathrooms are photo-worthy!
The Romantic Pool Residence certainly lives up to its name. This gloriously exotic one bedroom water villa is suspended over the turquoise water in a quiet corner of the lagoon, only accessible by a boat which can be summoned on request of the villa occupants to ferry them between the villa and the island. A private chef and butler are on hand to ensure couples have everything they need to hand, while the Jacuzzi, gym, private spa, pool, sundeck and sunken bath ensure guests have plenty to keep them occupied.

1 comment:

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