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Of her first visit to the Maldives – and specifically Velaa Private Island – travel advisor Samantha Murphy says she “was absolutely wowed” and remains “completely in love.”
“It was so cool to travel from Male to Velaa in the resort’s private seaplane – passing over countless tiny islands dotting the Indian Ocean,” says Samantha. “As our seaplane approached the dock, we were warmly greeted by the Velaa staff. It was like stepping into an island paradise dream.
“‘Velaa moments’ is a phrase staff members use to describe the special experiences (big and small) they consistently deliver to guests,” Samantha continues. “My entire stay was one ‘Velaa moment’ after another. From the perfectly selected and sequenced music in the room, to playing golf barefoot on my own private course. From making a simple request of coconut water – to receiving a beautifully presented fresh coconut. From asking my butler for aloe – to finding fresh aloe plant (not a drug store container) in my room. To engaging with a marine biologist and learning all about stingrays and coral conservation during the nightly feeding. I could go on and on.
“Guests can easily spend endless days in their amazing overwater villa – or take advantage of an extensive array of offerings including:
Water: Totally awesome array of motorized and non-motorized water toys. Getting to ride the JETAVATOR – think water motorcycle meets rollercoaster – was such a highlight. I also loved the seabobs.
Land Sports: I was surprised and impressed by all of the land activities – sport court, rock climbing, kids club, fitness center and racquetball/squash. An incredible array of activities – perfect for active families.
Spa: Overwater treatment bungalows with tables that allow guests to gaze into the water below. A special relaxation pod experience. And yes, there is a snow room (with real snow).
Lifestyle: Customized cocktail and culinary classes. I can’t wait to impress my friends with my bartending and Maldivian cooking skills.
Golf: The only course in the Maldives – and wow does it deliver a unique experience. Whether a beginner or PGA professional, the staff will design a custom nine-hole round. Guests reserve time for the course – for their own private golf experience. The icing on the cake – island attire and island attire and barefoot play is encouraged.
Transportation: Each villa comes equippe equipped with a cute blue bike. Of course, my butler was always happy to pick me up in a golf cart, but I loved cruising the island on my bike. Fun fact: guests can bike around the island in 6 minutes; walk the beach around the island in 20 minutes.
Snorkeling: Another favorite moment was aboard the Velaa yacht – the highlight of which was snorkeling off the coast of an uninhabited island. I saw schools of colorful fish – all shapes and sizes – a sea turtle, shark, octopus, and even Nemo.
“Velaa Private Island has an incredible sense of place – from the incredibly warm Maldivian staff to the luxurious yet warm, homey feel of the property, to the perfectly executed guest experience. As I was floating on my paddleboard – looking at the resort to my left; the endless sea to my right, it was such a surreal and magical feeling to think I was floating in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
“The property has all of the amenities and features to offer families an unforgettable vacation experience. But at the same time, because of the size and layout of the island, has the privacy and serenity for a romantic getaway. The pool residence is the ultimate private romantic retreat – especially for honeymooners, as it is suspended above the lagoon and accessible only by boat with uninterrupted ocean.
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