Velaa: A Luxury Hotel in the Maldives
Opening at the beginning of next year is a new hotel that has its sights set on becoming the Maldives’ most luxurious resort. And in an archipelago filled with pods of five-star accommodation, this is a big shout.
Floating in the northern Noonu Anoll, Velaa takes its name from the bale of turtles that it shares its home with. Villas blend in with the natural surroundings, mixing local materials with sleek contemporary interiors. Underneath thatched roofs a whole world of luxury awaits.
Each villa has between one and four bedrooms, a lounge area, in and outdoor bathrooms, and windows leading out to a private pool and sun deck, which in turn slip into impossibly blue waters. Obviously this is not ideal for toddlers just learning to explore – the pool doesn’t have a wall around it and neither does the decking – but older kids will love it.
There’s watersports galore – diving, windsurfing, sailing and fishing among them – while you might be surprised to hear that golf is an option too, in the form of a seriously high-tech simulator. The Velaa Golf Academy by Olazabal is in an indoor studio, the programme has six different greens, seven bunkers and a 400m2 lake to dodge. Options range from serious games, to pitch and putt and personal tuition is available for adults and children.
Less strenuous is the Clarins spa, providing a place for total horizontal relaxation (if you haven’t already mastered that just by arriving), while the Lhavelaa (little turtle) kids’ club is a space dedicated entirely to tots, with lovely nannies to look after them.
This spoiling level of opulence extends to the food and drink – guests can eat wherever and whenever they like, be it on the beach at sunset or by your pool at dawn. Menus have been created under the watchful eye of Parisian Michelin-star chef Adeline Grattard, and the wine cellar is rumoured to be worth $1m. Better pick carefully then.
Getting there: British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Male; from £644 return.
Travel time: The flight takes 11 hours and 30 minutes, it is then 45 minutes by seaplane from Male to Velaa.
Price: A two-bedroom Beach Pool House starts from £2,064 a night.