Water villas of the week: Anantara Veli Resort & Spa – Maldives
With each and every Maldives over water villa resort located on its own private island, it's a rare case when guests can combine that kind of privacy with the conveniences of a second island a very short ride away. The Anantara Veli Resort & Spa is just such a place. It's small and secluded with only 50 water villas and no island rooms, but it's a very short boat ride to its sister resort where more restaurants and activities are waiting for all guests.
Among the other fantastic features of the Anantara Veli Resort & Spa is that it's quite affordable and also relatively near the main Maldives airport, so guests can check in quickly after their long-haul flight lands and without the added time and expense of another sea plane flight. Those in a real hurry actually can get a sea-plane to the Veli Resort, so again it's the best of all worlds.
This week: Anantara Veli Resort & Spa
There's something very special about a resort that has every single room over the water. On almost every other private island you'll find more affordable rooms along the beach and by the pool, but here there are 36 spacious Overwater Bungalows along with 14 even larger Deluxe Overwater Bungalows, giving it a slightly magical quality.
Even the smaller class of rooms is quite large at 667 sq ft (62 m²) and the Deluxe rooms are 50% larger still. Each is loaded with 5-star amenities including king-size beds, flat-screen TV and deluxe entertainment systems, separate bathtub and shower, a sofa, a daybed on the private deck, a minibar, high-speed wi-fi, and an espresso machine.
Best of both worlds
The Anantara Veli Resort is designed as a romantic couples resort and children aren't allowed so it's very popular with the honeymoon and anniversary crowds. But Anantara runs a sister resort called the Anantara Dhigu on the very next island. A free boat shuttle service runs between the two and guests can access a host of additional restaurants and bars plus a long list of activities there.
Both resorts have their own spas and excellent diving and sailing opportunities, but the Dhigu resort has 8 restaurants and bars of its own as well as customized Dining By Design experiences where couples can choose their own romantic experience in a private setting in paradise.
Surprisingly affordable and easy to reach
The Maldives is loaded with exclusive private-island resorts where the 5-star treatment starts at well over US$1,000 per night per water villa, but the Anantara Veli starts at under US$600 during much of the year, and occasional online specials push the rate below even US$500 per night. There are a few mandatory extras like a bed tax and transportation from the airport, but still this is quite affordable compared to most of its competition.
The Anantara Veli Resort is also conveniently located just a 35-minute private speedboat ride from the main airport itself. This saves quite a bit of money on a sea-plane flight and still gets you into your room as soon after your flight lands as possible. After flying all night into the Maldives this is something you'll appreciate.
Price: Starting at US$595 per night, except during certain online promotions