Reserved for adult guests, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort is only a half-hour speedboat ride from Male International Airport, the main gateway to the Maldives. This means that you can be off your plane and on the way to paradise immediately after landing. Many resorts require longer transit times as they involve a bus ride to the seaplane terminal before a flight to the resort. Anantara Veli Resort is easy to get to, and even better, it is next to Anantara Dhigu Resort. This means that a one-minute boat ride between the two resorts makes it easy to share facilities between the two.
Anantara Dhigu Resort is family-friendly whereas Veli is adults-only. This means that Veli guests have both resorts to enjoy at their leisure, and they can charge food, activities and spa treatments from either property to their room. There’s a lot to love about having two resorts for the price of one. Here are the five best reasons to make Anantara Veli your Maldivian home base in this tropical-island country.
From the arrival boat jetty to the various restaurants around the resort, the ocean views make the turquoise color the highlight of every vantage point. As you meander through the jungle-like sandy paths, you catch glimpses of the sea between frangipani and palm branches. Even the walkway to the overwater bungalows surrounds you in azure hues.
As you reach your overwater home, walls of windows bring the outdoors in and provide views of the ocean from the bed, the day bed by the patio, the balcony lounge chairs and even the bathroom. Strong air conditioning and ceiling fans make lounging in your room a pleasure, but those views seem to lure you outside for a dip in the infinity-edge plunge pool that seems to spill into the Indian Ocean.
A stairway leads from the deck into the sandy and shallow water below. In low tide, you can wade out for almost a mile at knee-height water levels. Schools of colorful fish and even the occasional (and harmless) shark may swim past. Sea turtles, rays and other marine life keep your eyes focused on that unending view of colorful water.
Even in the bathroom, guests can take in the views as they brush their teeth at the dual-sink vanity, soak in the perfectly positioned tub, or even shower in the drenching rain shower. A frosted glass door to the toilet means you can swing it open for more of those lovely views.
In addition to overwater bungalows, there are ocean pool bungalows with equally stunning water views.
The wellness focus
Like many Anantara properties around the world, there is a strong focus on well-being that radiates from the spa outward to the restaurant menus and recreational activities. New to the resort is an onsite naturopath that walks guests through how to improve their diet, sleep and life habits through personal consultations. It has become a growing focus of travelers lately, according to the resort, and it is being well-received.
Multi-day programming is an option for those that want more structure to their diet and wellness routines. Others can simply take in advice from resident experts to apply both during their stay and once they are back home. Nutritional, Ayurvedic and healing therapies are all on the menu.
There are two spas to choose from (one at Veli and one at Dhigu). The latter features overwater treatment bungalows where you can enjoy massage and beauty services. Even lying face down for a massage puts those ocean views front and center as glass windows on the floor allow you to watch the marine life swim by while being pampered.
Resident fitness gurus guide guests through yoga and meditation classes, and all guests can use bikes to cycle around the island at their own leisure. With fine sand and empty beaches, it’s common to be alone amid nature and marvel at the glorious surroundings.
Cocoon Medi Spa from Bali focuses on new therapies designed around weight loss and skin care including IV drips of multi-vitamin concoctions that are especially important these days for those focused on wellness.
Breakfast is included in the rates and is a great way to start the day with an unlimited selection of international cuisine. Don’t miss the Maldivian tuna curry, the protein-based pancakes, fresh juices and smoothies, and wellness bowls. Later in the day, guests can enjoy lunch by the pool where colorful salads, pasta dishes and spicy curries.
Dinner provides impressive choice including Sea.Fire.Salt (also open throughout the day) serving grilled dishes from including fresh seafood, meats and a selection of vegetarian options. During the day, the overwater terrace offers more of those great views while the evening hours provide a romantic place to dine. Baan Huraa, also overwater, is the Thai restaurant serving incredible curries, salads and soups with gorgeous views of the waterfront and crashing waves. The serving staff and culinary team are Thai, which delivers the most authentic of experiences.
Origami is the Japanese restaurant serving beautifully made sushi rolls, teppanyaki meals and delicious noodle and rice dishes just steps from the waterfront infinity-edge pool. Italian fare at 73 Degrees serves freshly made pasta among other tasty dishes overlooking the ocean. In fact, all of the dining outlets here overlook the turquoise water, which takes us back to the number one reason to stay here. The best ocean views seem to be everywhere.
You can order drinks and snacks by the pool or via room service. Like most Anantara properties, Dining by Design gives guests the chance to organize private meals anywhere they like. There’s also Spice Spoons, Anantara’s cooking school where guests can learn to prepare popular dishes like Thai curries and salads among others.
There is no shortage of things to do here. Of course, you can always lounge on the beach, by the infinity-edge pool at either resort or on your bungalow patio. But, if you want to get involved, there’s a long roster of activities.
Eco-focused guests can help adopt coral where they can help with the regeneration of coral in the area. This is particularly meaningful for those that enjoy snorkeling or diving around the resort’s reef areas. There’s also surfing, watching movies under the night sky, yoga and meditation sessions. Plus, visitors can organize to spending the day on a private island.
Among the more active things to do are motorized watersports like waterskiing or wake and knee boarding. Scuba diving is also on the list of activities including the option to get PADI-certified.
In addition to the private pools at the individual overwater and beach bungalows, the main pools are especially idyllic with beautiful views of the ocean. The infinity-edge pools come with umbrella-shaded cushioned lounge chairs. Anantara Veli guests can use the pool at Anantara Dhigu, too, although kids are not allowed at the Anantara Veli pool since the property is adults-only.
At sunset, sipping refreshments at the edge of your private infinity pool is the perfect way to end the day. Don’t forget, the option for nature’s most hydrating beverage (a fresh coconut) is always available from the friendly staff. It’s the best way to fight off jet lag and truly indulge in one of the world’s most beautiful countries.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.