Surpassing the luxury moniker on its way to downright dreamy, Velaa Private Island is that special brand of ultra-select yet warm and welcoming – it is, quite simply, the Maldives’ most exclusive and private of resorts.
Velaa was created to embody the very best of the Maldivian archipelago, its culture and its breathtaking natural beauty – as well as the countless land and water activities available to those who make the journey to the islands. While the Maldives is home to many private islands, very few are owned by one passionate person – yet Velaa is one such case. The visionary behind Velaa had long visited the Maldives and wished for his own private island where he could curate an incredible guest experience, just as he imagined for himself. Today, with azure skies stretching to the horizon over aquamarine waters, Velaa treats its guests like royalty and allows privacy and comfort to take center stage.
Each private retreat at Velaa was crafted to be at one with the nature that surrounds it, built with local materials, which are then expertly combined with contemporary touches. There are 43 private villas, houses and residences from which to choose, as well as 4 four-bedroom residences. For the ultimate escape, the Romantic Pool Residence is accessible only by boat. As befits the marine environment of the atoll, 18 of the 47 accommodations are built over water, while the others are tucked discreetly among the palms along the beach’s edge. There are configurations for all manner of guests, from families with younger children to lovebirds hoping to hide away.
Perhaps the icing on the sugary sand cake that is Velaa is the unobtrusive, yet incredibly adept butler service provided for all guests. A personal butler is available around-the-clock to arrange special requests and private moments, from a special dinner to an island excursion. Villa accommodations include day beds, swinging chairs, outdoor dining areas, huge baths (outdoor and indoor), private wine fridges, comfortable living rooms, lap pools and more. The larger residences also feature a gym and spa room, while the Ocean Pool House boasts a private swimming pool and gazebo-covered hot tub.
While it’s easy to spend an entire day moving no farther than into the ocean for a dip and then back to one’s lounge chair again, there are ample activities at Velaa to spice life up a bit. Water sports reign supreme, of course, from Seadoo scooters to kite surfing, stand-up paddleboarding to windsurfing. Kayaks and even state-of-the-art over-water hoverboards are all available. They even have their own submarine with which to explore. On land, there’s a covered tennis court, squash, wall climbing, beach volleyball, a 9-hole golf course and Golf Academy by Olazabal and yoga in an elevated pavilion, with personal master yoga sessions available. The spa is certainly a huge pull, with the first and only “snow room” in the Maldives, six secluded double treatment villas over the water, customized facials, traditional Asian massages and the transformative Wolke 7 Cloud 9 experience. Younger guests are smitten with the Lha Velaa kids club and teens have their own club too, ensuring parents can enjoy some much-needed time off.
Come twilight, it’s time to shake off the sand and absorb the sultry vibes of a tropical evening. Three restaurants, two bars and a wine cellar allow for varied dining, with a culinary experience unmatched in the islands and an exclusive wine selection from around the globe. Aragu is perched over the sparkling Indian ocean and feature modern European cuisine and the CRU Champagne lounge, offering the largest champagne collection in the Maldives. Tavaru features the tastes of China, Korea and Japan, and it’s here, within the striking, white Tavaru Tower, that guests have access to Velaa’s extensive wine cellar, with more than 500 bins. By day, there’s casual, beachfront dining at Athiri, and Avi turns from casual pool bar to vibrant cocktail bar by night. Private dining in various island locations, as well as in-villa dining, is always easily arranged.
Velaa Private Island is set in the Noonu Atoll, 187 kilometers north of Male’. Guests are transferred to the island via seaplane from Male’ International Airport.