I have seen the photos and the videos of this spectacular island but nothing prepares you for the beauty of this breathtaking place. We arrived in the evening so everything was a bit of a mystery. On arrival, we found our Anantara airport concierge with the board that indicated the resort name, only to be quickly whisked to the Anantara lounge where we were offered arrival drinks. Forms were filled in, I will not say by who as my photographer never fills any forms when I am around (Its our thing… but sometimes I think he takes this soulmate thing too far) we were then escorted to our (Water Taxi) speedboat. The speedboat ride is estimated to around 30 minutes (depending on sea conditions). The ride to the resort was a bit bumpy but we did not care we were in the Maldives. I always thought that speedboat in Maldives would make me seasick because of the endless ocean but that was totally different, he was talking to me about how far we have come and how this has always been our ultimate destination. The late arrival that I thought was a let down, provided the cover of the ocean’s vastness that enable’s you to enjoy the ride to the resort. I guess arriving late has its benefits. Our water taxi passed different island on the way and its like these epic “ships in the night”, mystical and inviting. You just get that deep longing for having all the time in the world to explore.
On arrival our butler Mo introduced himself and arranged for our luggage to be taken to our room. Expectations were raised based on our exploration of the island with Mo the next day. He promised to show us around the island and helped us to book us our activities. To our delight we had a mobile phone in our room that we could take around the island and was able to call Mo anytime. We had booked an ocean villa, boy it was in the ocean, first night for me was hard, I didn’t get much sleep (the so called soothing sound of the ocean, was not so soothing that day). The second day was easier as I got used to it (Note to self and all if you don't like ocean sounds, don't book ocean villas).
Anantara resort has 3 resorts next to each other and one island for snorkeling they call it Snorkeling island. We stayed in Anantara Veli which is an adult only resort, the other resort Anantara Dhingu is more of a family resort and then there is the prestigious Nhaladu island.
Our villa was amazing. The view was out of this world. Loved the splash pool overlooking the ocean. The villa is cleaned twice a day, In the morning when you go for breakfast as well as in the evening when you go for dinner.
There is a water shuttle between the islands. We received a complementary 60 min spa treatment and 1 night free dinner with our booking. We were advised we can do our treatment either in Veli or in Dhingu spa. We chose Dhingu spa, and that was the best choice. We had the best massage.
You can explore Dhingu Island in a bicycle, this is such a fun way to explore the island.
One of the nights there was live music at the bar. It was such a refreshing experience sitting outside
the cool breeze, live music and having drinks.
One of the night we had Zen Sake dinner which was an amazing Japanese cuisine. Sony recommended this to us and she made sure we had an enjoyable evening. Im not a big fan of sushi to be exact I don’t eat sushi, I prefer my fish cooked so she offered me cooked sushi. I thought to myself that is customer service at it best, I have never been offered cooked sushi before. I’m not sure if you still call it sushi after it being cooked.
Everything about this place was incredible, the staff they were so amazing, the food world class. I absolutely recommend Anantara Veli.
The fact that you can hope from Island to island was a plus for me.
Just a few tips when planning your Maldives trip.
Beware of the hidden costs when planning your Maldives trip.
Speedboat or seaplane that is an additional cost.
Take note of taxes and service charge they can add up to a substantial amount.
I recommend booking bed and breakfast or half board.
Full board is a bit too much when you are on holiday because you don’t wake up early by the time you finish breakfast it almost lunch time.
Some resorts don’t have airport transfers in the evening. Make sure you enquire about the airport transfers before you book, to avoid being stranded or having to pay for accommodation in Male City
Flying from South Africa, Emirates is the best option, but since we were connecting from Bali
we made use of Air Asia as a connecting flights between Bali and Maldives
Air Asia is a low cost airline and you get flights to and from Maldives from Kuala Lumpur .
Flight time from Kuala Lumpur to Maldives is 4 hours.