Velidhu Island Resort
Travel Blogs from North Ari Atoll
... to the scuba shop (third time) after breakfast and prepared our gear for a 10:30 dive. We plan to head out towards the other end of the island, past our villa on our tank and return by snorkelling, when the air is too low to scuba. Our ETA is for 12:00 and that is exactly the time we returned to the dive shop. We saw our Hawksbill turtle, up close and personal, and the white tip reef shark, which was at a safer distance from us. It was about thirty feet below us, close enough ...
C'est a ton tour, de te laisser parler d'amour. Happy Birthday to you! To a wonderful brother in law, cool, calm and collected. Kind, generous, a great family man, and a fabulous cook too! Sorry to all my single friends, as he isn't available, he has a fun, life partner and a wonderful boy. We love you, hugs and kisses from the ...
... from your nose, all this is done while you are 10 metres below. The second test is in case your regulator (air line) is yanked out for whatever reason. The dive master asks you remove the regulator and without holding your breath let air come out of your mouth and at the dive masters signal, calmly put back your regulator. But you have to keep some air in your lungs to blow out before you breath in air, this is to ...
What a stunning Island this is, Ellaidhoo (helado) like the Spanish word for ice cream.The Maldives were first discovered by Italians so this explains their presence in great numbers on the islands. There are many islands that make up the Maldives 1900 of which 200 of them have Hotels. Different ...
... to have larger fish. Seeing a shark swim towards you does send the heart racing and a little squeal through the snorkel.
We went sunset fishing one evening on a boat with about 12 others, it wasn't fishing like we were used to, basically just a coil of line with a baited hook and weights. You throw it out, let it hit the bottom then reel it in about 1 metre and wait. We caught a couple of fish which would be cooked for us the following night. One ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Velidhu Island Resort North Ari Atoll
Having just returned from a week's stay on Velidhu we must comment on how the expectation was not only realised but surpassed. We were dreading the flight on Monarch having read several reviews but were surprised to find that it all went like clockwork- no delays, seats perfectly ok, staff fine and food edible. At Male airport, everything continued to be organised very well and there was only a short delay before we were speeding over the sea in a comfy speedboat. On arrival at Velidhu we had the drinks/cold towe/ info welcome and then taken to our rooms.
Our little 'home ' was lovely, spotlessly clean and adequately furnished. Our room boy changed bedding and towels daily and left the place as new.
Th beaches are superb, our house was opposite the lagoon which was warm and mostly only up to neck height for us 5'2" and 5'5", it was calm and lovely to actually swim in as well as float and just cool off. On the other side of the island the house reef is amazing and every day we found new fish to marvel at. At night the jetties are illuminated and even more varieties are spotted.
The restaurant and bar are beautifully clean and well staffed. The food was lovely and the hygiene very commendable. inspections are done regularly with food probes to check heat is maintained and the staff observed very high standards. We are not meat eaters but found plenty of choice every day and there were at least 5 different meat/fish dishes also. We were asked to select a table on our first day and that was ours for the week which was lovely.
The entertainment was varied nightly-the only thing we did not like was the crab racing which we consider to be un-necessary but apart from that it was fine. There was no pressure whatsoever to have expensive dinners or be involved in extra cost activities-we were asked politely and if we said no, that was the end of it.
The weather was glorious- all the reports predicted thunderstorms and showers but all we had was a 12 minute shower one day.
we went on an island hopping trip and it was an honour to be allowed to see the homes and life of Maldivian familes; we took crayons/pens/games and sweets for the children and they were so excited and grateful-they have so very little.
The week was a totally relaxing experience, we read, swam and chilled, met some lovely people-hello Jo, Ann and Craig. and returned totally revitalised. Velidhu we will return.
ps. we took a sea-plane for the return trip-it is much cheaper to book over there than pre-book
We stayed for 9 days in March 2006. We dived most days in the mornings and spent the afternoons relaxing. Note that the diving is from dhow boats which don't generally have facilities (loos). The boats belong to the hotel and they charge $10 per person for each dive which is added to your room bill. If you don't dive you can snorkel or participate in watersports such as waterski-ing and windsurfing. Snorkelling on the house reef on the south side of the island was great! There were also various boat trips available.
The island is beautiful, well kept and very small, which we liked. Because it's so small the staff soon get to know who you are and what room you're in! No cash changes hands here (except tips) - everything goes onto the room bill. If you're not on all inclusive the drinks in the bar are quite expensive e.g. $9 for a spirit & mixer, which could end up being a large bill if you like a few tipples. The house white wine on all inc. wasn't great, but the red was OK. To buy a bottle of good quality wine was about $22.
Some of the staff do try and get you to book a candlelit dinner on the beach for $60 pp. But once you give a definite 'no thanks, we won't be doing that this holiday' they didn't ask us again. If you are on the beach you have to walk to the bar for drinks as there's no beach service, which wasn't a problem for us. The food in the restaurant was excellent - much better and much greater choice than we expected. The only thing we didn't like so much was that the time window for dinner was quite short which meant everyone was in at the same time.
The waiters were also excellent. Our waiter was Hassan and he was the best - he even got up to serve our breakfast at 5.30am on our departure day. They deserve generous tips. We recommend the water bungalows, although the beach bungalows all looked very nice too. The water bungalows benefit from having a private balcony, TV, tea & coffee and mini-bar. The rooms were cleaned twice each day. We would definitely go back to this resort which we would class as 4*.
We stayed at this island January 2006.We had a beach bungalow which was excellant.Everything about this island was brillant.Staff were very friendly and the food was out of this world.We have booked again for 2007.As we enjoyed it so much.If you like Diving they have a brillant dive school.But be warned if you book dives it does cost $10 extra on top of your dive for the boat.We did hear a lot of peole complain about this when we were there.Anyway the island was brillant.It was like waking up in Paradise every morning.We are going with friends in January hope they like it as much as we do.You must take the sea plane as the sights when you are flying over the Maldives are so breathtaking.All thats left for me to say is roll on 2007 we cant wait
Jim & Mo xxx
I agree with the previous reviews, we stayed in a water bungalow and had a fab time. Food, service is escellent, the entire island is handsomely landscaped, all facilities very well maintained. Bar staff are particularly nice, after we got bored with their music, they allowed to play our Café del Mar CD-s.
The reason for the "almost" is something the staff can do nothing about. It is the island itself. Firstly, there are not that many palm trees which may make a shady place difficult to find. Also, half the island faces a very strong current and breeze, and in these areas the beach is both protecetd by a lot of walls, and the beaches are very narrow (if exist at all). On the other side, where the beach is nice, there are corals everywhere (which of course, is a plus for the snorkelling.)
One small point of advice: the snorkelling gear they give you is lousy so we had to buy our own in the shop so if you can buy yours beforehand!
All in all these are just small points and I would go back tomorrow!
After being to the Maldives twice I have learnt my lesson, book premium seats on the flight unless you are going with Emirates or likewise. We flew with Thomson and the planes are just cattle trucks - how many people can you put in a confined space for 10 and 1/2 hours. But I would probably suffer the same again just to get back to the Maldives.
A warm welcome awaited us at Velidhu along with ice cold towels and cold drinks our luggage came on the sea plane with us so with in the hour of landing we were in the beautiful blue sea, it was bath warm. You will be constantly amazed at the different shades of blue in the sea.
The water bungalows are very spacious pleasantly decorated and kept immaculately clean. The bed is huge and very comfortable, Tea & Coffee making facilities available. There is a mini bar but as we were all inclusive we didn't need to us it, we did purchase the odd bottle of wine from the mini bar to sit on the balcony and watch the stars on a night but beware the wine is very expensive. Also any water taken out of the mini bar is charged for which is a bit unfair when you can get it free from the restraint or Bar. There is a glass panel in the floor through which you can see fish and baby shark swimming by we also had an octopus under our bungalow.
The restaurant is split into smoking and none. There is a good choice of food with a varied theme every night no matter how choosey you are you will find something to eat. The Bar also does sandwiches, chips and toasties during certain times.
The Bar staff made our holiday they can imitate your accent brilliantly and remember what you are drinking so you don't even have to ask, they do try and sell cocktails, meals on the beach, bingo etc but a polite No will do if you don't want anything.
The entertainment we could have done without, to be honest I didn't expect any but they tried so hard and they shouldn't have, Gerard was in a league of his own!!
There is a Dive centre (Euro divers) a gift shop which is expensive compared to the shops on the island hopping, jewellers (very expensive and always empty) and Serenity Spa which I would totally recommend - amazing massages.
The house reef is amazing we swam with sharks, parrot fish, nemo's, we saw spotted moray eels, octopus and at the edge of the reef looking down into the deep some very very big fish.
I would recommend the trips, we saw dolphins and manta's if you don't see them they only charge you half price.If you like fish go night fishing what ever you catch they cook for you the next night.
The ˝ day Island hopping was quite emotional as we went to an island hit by the tsunami, there was still evidence of the damage, some of the trees had died from the salt water and the rep said people had been killed but they didn't want to talk about it.
A man on the trip with us gave a little boy a box of tic tacs; I have never seen anyone so happy.
There are a couple of things which weren't perfect like the wine being expensive and the entertainment but at the end of the day it didn't matter I was on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean - Paradise.
Pictures for forum member
Superb resort, well worth a visit. Attached some photos as requested in forums.
Wonderful for water babes
If you enjoy being in or on the sea it would be hard to fault this resort. The marine life is the best we have ever come across and will be hard to beat.
We took the speedboat option to the resort 90 minutes of FAST driving doesn't do much for the hairdo but did see dolphins on the way. We had a seaplane journey back to the airport - the views were amazing and only 25 minutes.
Manager met us on arrival, lovely man. All the staff without exception are wonderful - nothing too much trouble and so polite.
We were upgraded to a water bungalow and I have to say that was the icing on the cake. Huge shower room, tea and coffee refilled twice a day, stocked fridge (not part of all inclusive deal however) glass floor to watch the sealife underneath the villa, TV and a large balcony. Would not recommend for kids as a child could easily fall into the sea as the gaps were very wide and you can't 'childproof' the balcony door.
Meals were buffet style in the one main restaurant with a different theme night every evening (we were HB so can't comment on the lunches) lots of choice.
They were also touting lobster dinners on the beach and lobster dinners on board a dhoni at extra charge but these were the only alternatives for evening dining. Having said that the buffet was more than adequate.
Drinks as everywhere on the Maldives are expensive - if you intend to drink loads would suggest All Inclusive but we went HB and it actually worked out cheaper than if we had gone AI because we didn't really need a lunch (though there are salads, burgers etc available at the beach bar during the day). Water is the killer at nearly 4 dollars for 1.5 litres. The tap water is desalinated sea water so you need bottled even to clean your teeth.
There is a Spa - had a neck and shoulder massage which was very relaxing.
There is limited entertainment on an evening (crab racing, guitarist, etc) in the Lighthouse bar but we were more than content to watch the beautiful sunsets, grab a couple of drinks and sit outside looking at the stars crowding the night sky.
The island has a small shop selling all the things you might have forgotten to pack plus souvenirs. There is also a jewellers and reception have a small library and games.
The dive shop seemed very well run although we don't dive they were always busy. They did inflate our lilos for us with their compressed air!!!
The main event is obviously the beautiful beach and sea and the coral reef which is very close to the 'front' of the resort. The variety of fish and live coral so close to the shore was amazing - reef sharks, rays, octopus as well.
There were trips to neighbouring islands and the usual snorkelling trips. We went on the half day to snorkel with the Manta Rays which was a real experience one came really close to me (you get half your money back if you fail to see any).
Beaches powder white sand very beautiful and only spoilt by careless smokers leaving their dog ends lying about.
The island is only small takes about 20 minutes to walk around. Would NOT recommend going barefoot but many people did - even to dinner.
Chameleons, geckos, fruit bats and a variety of birds No nasties to speak of except large ants which drew blood the first day.
I am sure there is lots more I have missed but if anyone wants to know anything specific please ask.
I have more photos but havent downloaded them yet.
Having been to the Maldives before I know of their amazing hospitality but the manager, Raj at Velidhu, really does go out of his way to make your holiday the best ever. We travelled with friends, and had a total of four children between us, ranging from 7 - 12 yrs. The children had a fantastic time and cried when we left. The staff are wonderful and friendly, they even played volley ball with the children on their afternoons off! One member of staff, came to see us off on his afternoon off! There were also a number of water villas for those who would like one but the beach bungalows were so spacious and kept spotless, that I would recommend one of those. They are detached, with a mock thatched roof, air conditioned and if you`re lucky, your room boy will decorate your bed, by forming a heart, stingray or other shape from the bed sheet and decorating it with red flower petals. This is definitely a resort I would recommend, friendly, lively but not commercialised or noisy. We will definitely return to this resort next time and we can`t wait!!!