Velaa Private Island is one of the world’s most exclusive resorts. Born from a love for the Maldives, the resort is privately owned by Czech entrepreneurs Radka and Jiří Šmejc, a couple that wanted to create the world’s most luxurious private island resort and personal home. And that’s what is, actually: a tropical getaway which feels like your island home, with some of the world’s most luxurious resort villas, an outstanding dining offer and a wide array of top of the line facilities and experiences.
Location & Resort
Velaa Private Island is located in Noonu Atoll, an island group in the Northern part of the Maldives. The Atoll is bordered by a beautiful coral reef, protecting the islands and ensuring an abundance of wildlife. The island can be reached with a 45 minute seaplane flight from Malé (possible with Velaa’s private place), or a 35 minute boat ride from Maafaru international airport.
Velaa means “turtle” in Dhivehi, the local Maldivian language. The name of this unique resort is inspired by the generations of sea turtles that inhabit the island and its bordering coral reef. Many images of and references to these turtles can be found throughout the resort. But Velaa wouldn’t be Velaa it they wouldn’t go a step further: from an aerial view, the over-water villas form the head of a turtle, whilst the island and the jetties resemble its body and flippers. Throughout the resort, a subtle design reference to the turtle is always present. This is a good example of Velaa’s overall strategy: what they do, they do exceptionally.
The island itself is a real slice of paradise: gently waving palm trees border the pristine, idyllic snow-white beaches, while the interior of the island is covered in green, lush, natural vegetation. The greenery is particularly well maintained and walking or cycling through the island feels like strolling through the perfect tropical garden. The island enjoys an almost perfectly circular shape, which is actually quite unique in the Maldives.
The design of the communal spaces was designed by Czech architects and interior designers. Following the vision of the owners Radka and Jiří Šmejc that the resort should be the world’s most luxurious private island “home”, the design weaves contemporary luxury with intimate Maldivian nuances. Only the very best materials were used, and natural materials such as solid wood minimize the boundaries between nature and human interventions.
Villas & Residences
Villas and residences at Velaa Private Island are something else and can easily be considered as some of the world’s most exclusive holiday accommodations. They were all built within the owners’ philosophy of privacy, comfort and luxury. Each of the 47 villas & residences, 18 of which are built over-water, is ultra-luxurious, highly elegant, and offers incredible ocean views.
They all feature spacious private pools, the very best natural materials in warm, mainly brown, black gold and blue colours, and plenty of space. The “smallest” rooms comprise 223 square meters (indoor & outdoor).
The following categories are available:
- Beach pool villa (287 m2): 1 bedroom beach front villa with an amazing outdoor bathroom
- Deluxe beach pool villa (313 m2): 1 bedroom beach front villa with even more space and a garden atrium
- Beach pool house (581 m2): 2 bedroom beachfront house for up to 4 guests, with 2 detached villas and 2 private pools
- Sunrise water pool villa (223 m2): 1 bedroom overwater villa with striking ocean views and a sun deck with steps extending directly into the sea
- Sunset deluxe water pool villa (245 m2): recently redecorated 1 bedroom overwater villas with amazing sunset views
- Ocean pool house (493 m2): exclusive house with 2 separate bedrooms, walk-in wardrobe, spacious bathrooms with circular baths, and a big terrace with infinity pool and sunken jacuzzi.
- Romantic pool residence (588 m2): this amazing 1 bedroom overwater residence is only accessible by boat. It features a personal gym, spa treatment room and kitchen besides several living, sleeping and bathing areas.
- Velaa private residence (1350 m2): the Velaa private residence offers no less than 4 bedrooms for up to 10 guests, and a stunning 1,350 square metres of luxurious living space
- Nika private residence (1324 m2): Velaa private island also features 4 private residences, one of which is NIKA. NIKA. This incredible residence is designed by award-winning interior designer, Patricia Urquiola. It features unique furniture pieces such as a sprawling 5 meter dining table cut in rare black marble slab, and beaded Craaft chandelier.
We stayed in one of the Sunset deluxe water pool villas and were really impressed by the amount of space, the luxurious design, the incredible comfort, and the warm, dark and golden colours. The use of solid natural wood and beige, natural stone gave the villa a warm and a homely feeling.
Smartly appointed artworks referring to the ocean and the marine life enhanced the connection to the surroundings. From all three areas in the villa (living room and kitchen/bar area, the bedroom and the bathroom), the views on the ocean were incredible and during sunset even mesmerising.
The beautiful bathroom with its big circular bath tub (with ocean views, of course) was a wonderful place to wake up or unwind after a soothing island day.
You can tell gastronomy is passion of the Velaa Private Island owners. Not only is the quality of the food & beverage some of the highest we’ve seen at a resort, the restaurants themselves are also exceptionally designed. The wine cellar is the best in the Maldives, and there are plenty of options to indulge and enjoy.
- Aragu is the resort’s signature fine dining restaurant. Executive Chef Gaushan De Silva presents a contemporary European cuisine with an Asian twist on a level that can be compared with that of many Michelin star restaurants in Europe. For more information about this great restaurant, please consult our separate article.
- Tavaru restaurant is housed inside a remarkable structure created by Czech architect Petr Kolář. The cylindrical structure, 23 meters high, is reminiscent of an alien watchtower due to the asymmetrical discs and round openings. It’s futuristic and raw, mysterious and obtrusive. Tavaru restaurant is located on the top floor of the structure and celebrates Teppanyaki grill cuisine.
- Famous Japanese delicacies such as the Teriyaki Black Cod and Kagoshima A5 Tenderloin are served here, prepared live on the Teppanyaki plates in front of the guests. The amazing views over the island and ocean complete the experience. The Tavaru wine cellar is located below the restaurant and houses over 1,000 labels and is one of the most extensive wine collections across South Asia.
- At Athiri restaurant, guests enjoy beachfront all-day dining. Chefs from 14 nationalities carefully created a menu which offers a creative take on global cuisine from all over the world. From freshly baked pizzas straight from the wood-fired oven to some delicious truffle pasta, there’s something for everyone’s taste at Athiri. Make sure to try the Lemongrass poached lobster, combined with tomato water, confit of baby tomato, wasaby mayo and black salt. A delicious creation, which was even crowned as “Award winning dish – best young chef of the Maldives”.
- Faiy is the resort’s wellbeing restaurant, where guests can enjoy a more healthy, light meal with views on the golf course.
- The fresh, light starter with a cannelloni of avocado filled with crab, and finished with chilled coconut bisque and kaffir lime oil, comes highly recommended.
- CRU Champagne bar is located inside an overwater structure and offers the possibility to sample some of the world’s most exclusive champagnes.
- For some more casual drinking, AVI Bar offers poolside cocktails at night, topped with live beats by the resort’s DJ.
- The new Beach Bar is a great spot for refreshing juices or cocktails right on the beach. Make sure to try one of the cocktails with the tequila infused with chili pepper. Cheers with a kick!
Velaa Private Island offers one of a truly incredible array of unique experiences and activaties on the island and surrounding waters:
- One of the most unique assets is the Velaa Golf Academy by Olazába, a tropical island golfing experience that stretches over nine holes. The golf course was designed by José María Olazábal, renowned for his short game mastery, and managed by Troon, the leader in upscale golf course management.
- The Velaa Spa is the to unwind and spoil the body and the mind. The beautiful overwater structure houses six spacious treatment villas where a comprehensive range of signature spa treatments is available. The spa boasts the only ‘Snow room’ in the Maldives, as well as the unique “Cloud 9” relaxing experience. It offers a world of expertise and excellence, where cutting-edge technology meets the ancestral art of touch.
- Sport is a big thing at Velaa Private Island. Sports facilities on land include the only completely covered tennis court in the Maldives, a squash court, table tennis, a climbing wall, beach volleyball and even a football pitch. The stunning gym features the latest ‘Techno gym’ fitness equipment, and guests can also receive personal yoga master and meditation sessions held on an elevated Yoga Pavilion with beautiful views over the golf academy, in the garden or on the beach, and one-on-one pilates classes in the island’s Pilates Studio.
- The offer of water sports and adventures is impressive as well. Some of the newest hi-tech equipment can be used here, such as flyboarding, hoverboarding, electric foil surf boards, the latest tandem jetovator, towables, and much more. Of course, extensive diving and snorkelling options to discover the beauty of the surrounding reef are available as well.
- For those wanting to explore more, a unique offer of excursions is available. Big game fishing, snorkelling trips around untouched reefs, sumptuous meals on a deserted island, or dolphin sunset cruises: there’s something for everybody’s dream.
- Finally, the island boasts a kids club, a marine conservation centre, and several luxury boutiques. The event program is diverse and unique and offers some of the very best shows imaginable. We were lucky to witness an overwater laser and led-flyboard show, accompanied by DJ-and violin sessions, and have to admit that this was one of the most impressive shows we ever saw at a resort.
Vela Private Island began with a dream. A dream of creating the perfect holiday island, where privacy, luxury and the ultimate paradise feeling are combined. And a dream is what it looks like, really. But it’s even better, because it’s real. Incredible resort villas are dotted on and nearby a perfect tropical island, and offer a warm design and outstanding luxury. The food offer is one of the best you’ll find in the world, and the activities and experiences are truly mind-blowing.
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