I was lucky enough to be able to spend my Christmas holiday in the Maldives this year. After much deliberation, my boyfriend and I decided to stay at Anantara Veli. It is an adults only hotel, part of the Anantara chain.
The journey to the Maldives was LONG, if I could give you one advice, it's to take a direct flight if there is one available! With that said, as we step foot out the airport, the view was instantly worth it.
The speedboat journey from the airport to Anantara Veli was only 30 mins, and as we arrived, we were greeted with warm welcomes by the local staff.
During our stay, we stayed at two different type of rooms- One overwater bungalow with a private pool, and the other without.
The set up of the room was beautiful. The terrace had a table area, which was perfect for in room dining, allowing us to enjoy the beautiful view outside whilst having a quick lunch. As we were in the overwater bungalow, each bungalow had their own staircase which led directly into the water. Very convenient when it came time to do some snorkeling. Thankfully Anantara had a policy which allowed guests to rent snorkeling equipment for free during their entire stay!
During our stay, we dined at several different restaurants available at the hotel. What was great about Anantara Veli was that although it was an adults only hotel, there were two other hotels part of the Anantara chain close by; one hotel targeted for family, and the other one, a 6 star hotel. As they were all part of the Anantara chain, the hotel had a boat that took guests around to the neighbouring islands, allowing for more options when it came to restaurants, pools, beaches and general activities.
The photos above showcases where we had breakfast every day on our island. The breakfast was a typical buffet style, which included both your sweet and savouries in Asian, Western and local flavours. The hotel breakfast buffet had also one of the most extensive range of honeys I had ever seen! I had lots of fun experimenting with different flavours every day.
Similarly, for dinner, we also had a wide range of choices. There were again buffet style dinner, as well as specialty Japanese, Italian, seafood and Thai restaurants to choose from. If you wanted something more special, the hotel could even arrange a special private dinner with a personalised chef on the beach in the evening. Perfect for those on a honeymoon!
We were in the Maldives for 7 days, but never once did we get sick of the hotel. There were lots of activities made available to keep us busy. You could book a wide range of water sports, such as wake boarding, windsurfing, scuba diving, and even sailing etc. But if water sports isn't your cup of tea, additional activities that were available included badminton, table tennis, pool, darts and a range of board games. The hotel even had a outdoor under-the-stars movie "theatre"
Of course as we are in the Maldives, I also thoroughly enjoyed myself relaxing on a hammock, reading a book and tanning for hours. If I got sick of the beach, I would simply just switch over and take a dip in the beautiful infinity swimming pool. Although Anantara Veli only had one swimming pool, it never got crowded, even when the hotel was full. And as usual, guests also had the option to explore the other pools available in the neighbouring islands.
One of my favourite down-time activity was going the overwater outdoor Spa, which was particularly amazing, and a must visit. As if having a massage isn't enough, the tranquil view you have during your treatment would surely wash away any stress and worries, allowing you to fully relax.
The only disappointment during the trip was that the snorkeling near the hotel area wasn't as amazing as I would have imagined. There were lots of dead corals in certain areas which made walking barefoot particularly painful if you're not careful! With that said, we did have a lot of fun searching for sting rays in the area, and was lucky enough to have spotted more than a few. We even had a rare sight of a reef shark!
All in all, going to the Maldives was definitely an experience everyone should have once in their lifetime, and staying at Anantara Veli definitely made it all the more special. Many thanks to the amazing staff at Anantara, who made each guest feel special, and valued.
Perfectly organised from the moment we step foot out of the airport.
Organisation of a chain hotel, but service of a boutique hotel, simply amazing!
Rooms/Hotel surroundings: 8.5/10
During our stay, one of the room we stayed at was newer than the other. The latter had a sofa cover that was quite badly stained(we asked for it to be changed but hotel said this couldn't be done); this should have been replaced as part of the general hotel wear & tear.