Still riding high on the Maldives wave of honeymoon bliss, I thought I’d share a more in-depth account of each our hotels we stayed at. They were unique in what they had to offer and all so very special to us. If you want a more general account of our honeymoon check out my latest Maldives post here.
This post focuses on our first hotel we stayed at on our honeymoon – Velassaru.
Velassaru is the perfect resort for foodie lovers and those seeking luxury and privacy during their holiday.
*Our honeymoon was booked through Turquoise Holidays and we were kindly offered a small press discount on each of the hotels. Affiliate links are used in this post.
Velassaru unfairly gets a head start in the race to which resort could be the favourite. Down to no fault of its own, yet being the first place our toes touched the sand, the first piña colada on the beach, first dunk in our private plunge pool, first sunset…the list goes on.
One of the immediate things we loved about Velassaru was its proximity to the airport. Twenty minutes after touch down in Malé our toes were sinking into the Velassaru sand and the last 12 hours of long haul flights from London seemed like a very distant memory. We were greeted by friendly faces at Velana International Airport who escorted us to the Maldivian version of a taxi rank – our own private speedboat bobbing outside the arrivals hall. I cannot emphasise enough how great it is after a long night of travel that your vacation literally starts immediately when staying at Velassaru. We never appreciated this enough until we moved on to the next resort and spent four hours of our day checking in and waiting around for a seaplane.
We descended upon the island with a sense of calm. Everyone speaks so softly here, life moves at a slower pace and you are immediately made to feel like you’ve arrived home. We started our check-in process with a ginger and lemongrass cooler and given a tour of the island ending at our private plunge pool beach villa. The bags we waved goodbye to in London were already in our room by the time we walked into the hideaway we were calling home for the next three days.
The room itself was utterly spectacular. We had looked at the images on the hotel website before we arrived, but what we were presented with something that was way more special than we had anticipated. The rooms are designed for privacy, high walls and luscious palms surrounding every corner of the outdoor bathroom, trees lining each side of the villa up to the beach and a super king bed positioned in the centre of the room looking out to the calm aqua waters of the shoreline.
We actually lucked out and managed to upgrade to a beach villa with a private plunge pool. Our original booking was for a deluxe beach villa, but due to the time of year resort capacity was at 50% and we were able to upgrade. As spoiled as this sounds I will now struggle to holiday without my own private plunge pool – okay slight exaggeration but you’d definitely empathise if you had experienced this height of luxury and privacy all rolled into one. As something that was a last minute add on we both agreed it was the best feature of our villa. We’d wake up and have morning coffee and quick dip in the pool, and also end our days by coming back from dinner and having a midnight plunge before bed.
There were a number of features in the room that we loved. First up, the coffee machine and unlimited Nespresso pods. Secondly, the iron which came in handy to de-crease crumpled linen holiday clothes that had been squished into my suitcase for the last 16 hours without having to fork out a huge laundry bill. Finally, the filtered bottled water in room that was refilled every day (some resorts charge you per bottle and if you’re not on an all inclusive package this can become very expensive just to stay hydrated). We paid for bottled water at dinner but this didn’t break the bank at $3 per 1.5L. Another thing to note is the WiFi is super speedy. Some may want to go on a complete digital detox, however if you need the wifi for whatever reason then it is super fast.
I feel like the food at Velassaru could even warrant its own blog post. It was hands down exceptional! From the melt in your mouth seared tuna steaks, the velvety homemade hummus, to the freshest soft shell crab risotto where you could practically taste the ocean was a gastronomic sensation. Every single meal was perfection. There are a few types of packages at Velassaru – Full Board, Half Board, B&B or Velassaru Indulgence (similar to an all-inclusive package).
The five restaurants are all equally phenomenal. Our favourite a la carte restaurants were Sand and Teppanyaki. We actually dined at Sand twice. The setting – barefoot on the beach next to the ocean as the gentle waves lapped the shoreline. We dined on tuna tartare, local reef fish curry and catch of the day served with slaw. Teppanyaki felt a little more special dining out in the ocean at the end of a jetty. We watched as reef sharks below us swam around the pavilion as we were served the meltiest seared tuna steaks and indulgent dragon roll salmon sushi.
The service was so personal, discreet and thoughtful. Everyone knew our names, remembered our drink and food preferences and chatted to us like guests in their own home. The staff all knew how much we loved the hummus they even had another restaurant send it over to Sand on our last evening so we could indulge one last time. But seriously, this hummus is AMAZING! It was actually the reason we booked the hotel. A travel blogger I follow on Instagram raved so highly about it I just had to try it for myself and I promise you it doesn’t disappoint. The amazing customer service went further than just at mealtimes, the staff knew our onward seaplane departure before we did by conversing with the next resort we were staying at, and allocated us a late check out in our room.
The resort feels extremely quiet, calm and private, it was rare we’d see other guests unless we were relaxing by the main pool. However quiet it may be, there are a range of activities and experiences to get involved in if lying on a sun lounger sipping piña coladas the whole time isn’t quite your thing.
In particular we loved the sunset champagne cruise that included a bottle of Taittinger champagne, as well as the beach movie nights where we sat under the clear starry night sky on beanbags eating homemade caramel popcorn and laughing away at Mrs. Doubtfire. The Eemis spa treatments were incredible and the spa itself is worth visiting to enjoy the private plunge pool and relaxation rooms. There are hoards of paddle boards and free snorkel equipment to use and additional snorkelling excursions are available to book to offshore reefs.
Don’t forget to mention you are a honeymooner. As an extra treat you get a bottle of Taittinger champagne and cakes in your room, a free tapas lunch with champagne at the Chill Bar and a 25% spa discount on a treatment during your stay. We cashed in all of the above and can confirm it definitely made us feel so very special celebrating our marriage.
We both agreed five nights would be the perfect amount of time here & would definitely do it it as the first resort when arriving into the Maldives so your vacation starts immediately.
If you’re brave enough to risk visiting in the rainy season it’s completely worth it for up to almost half off the normal room rate. It also gives you more chance of being able to upgrade your room and get early check in and late check out.
High: The food was out of this world and the villa pool accommodation was the height of luxury and privacy.
Low: No actual house reef, so snorkelling is done as a day excursion.
We booked Velassaru resort through Turquoise Holidays you can also check out deals on booking.com as well. We would book Velassaru again in heartbeat. It really was such a special few days and a resort that offered exactly what we wanted out of a luxury and romantic beach break.