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10 fun facts we bet you didn't know about Velaa Private Island

  • Inspiration
  • By Lisa Nightingale
  • Published 21 July 2022
  • Revised 25 July 2022

Trying to decide which luxury five-star resort to stay in when visiting the Maldives is tough – it’s a nice problem to have, but still a difficult decision given how many incredible hotels there are spread across the archipelago.

If it’s solitude you are after then the ultra-secluded, award-winning Velaa Private Island should be high on your list, with only 43 villas and a maximum occupancy of 142 guests, this is the definitive tropical island escape.

1. The hotel started as a passion project

The Velaa Private Island owner is Czech financier Jirí Smejc along with his wife, Radka, who both fell in love with the island after frequent visits in the early 2000s. Their passion project to own their own private island – and make it truly private – began in 2010 when Smejc acquired a 50-year lease from the Maldivian government. The aim was to build an ultra-private hotel that went ‘beyond luxury’ and offered many of the things that they felt fell short with other Maldives resorts. Along with prominent Czech architect Petr Kolár they managed to create a beautiful hotel as well as their own permanent home.

We can safely conclude that their project has been a success!

Aragu Restaurant & Cru Lounge, Velaa Private Island

Exterior of Aragu Restaurant over the water at sunset, Velaa Private Island

2. It has an ultra-private villa only reachable by boat

Each of the 43 sumptuous villas are focused on privacy, luxury, and space, whether you are a couple, family or larger group. However, there is something particularly special about the One-Bedroom Romantic Residence Villa as it is only accessible via boat, giving it the utmost in island seclusion.

Suspended above the lagoon, the Romantic Residence offers uninterrupted ocean views as well as its own personal gym, private butler, outdoor Jacuzzi and infinity pool, sunken bath and outdoor dining gazebo. Each beautifully decorated room opens out onto the terrace with steps leading down directly into the lagoon. Check out the Velaa Private Island Instagram account and see for yourself how amazing this villa truly is!

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3. It boasts the largest kids’ waterpark in the Maldives

Owner Jirí Smejc wanted to create something that was innovative and of course appealing to the younger guests at the hotel, and what better way than to utilise his own daughter’s expertise and inspiration in the design process? Featured at this amazing adventure area is a swimming pool with water fountains and jets; slides; a playground; and inside there is a lovely communal play area with TV, bean bags, building blocks and lots of toys and games.

Kids Water Park, Velaa Private Island

Kids splashing in water park at Velaa Private Island

4. Shaded tennis courts to keep you cool

Believe it or not, the tennis court at Velaa Private Island is the only covered court in the Maldives, meaning you can work on your backhand in any weather. Alongside the tennis court within the covered recreation area is a six-metre climbing wall, squash court, as well as badminton and beach volleyball courts. Built in June 2021 adjacent to the sports area is also a Padel tennis court, a new and exciting tennis-style sport that is lots of fun for both beginners and experts.

5. Velaa Golf Academy by Olazábal

The small islands of the Maldives may not have the space for expansive 18-hole golf courses but that hasn’t stopped Velaa Private Island from constructing an immense 9-hole course amid the island’s lush vegetation, designed by none other than José María Olazábal, two-time Masters Champion and an icon of the short game. Catering to both seasoned and novice golfers, there is also an indoor teaching studio with retractable doors opening out onto the expanse of the green, which offers one-on-one tuition and cutting-edge software to aid players in improving their swing using a ‘Trackman’ simulator.

6. Largest wine and champagne collection in the Maldives

Located in an underground wine cellar beneath the wonderful Tavaru – the island’s mouth-watering Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant – it houses the self-described most exclusive wine collection in the Indian Ocean with more than 500 bins, which range from boutique wineries to grand marques, including a few rare and sought-after vintages from around the globe.

7. Japanese restaurant atop an Ivory tower

Perched in a striking 37-foot ivory tower with panoramic views across the island and out to the sparkling Indian Ocean waters, Tavaru restaurant is the hotel’s delectable Teppanyaki grill. Book at Velaa Private Island Maldives and you will be able to watch the incredible chefs at work show off their culinary skills over a hot grill plate, creating your bespoke meal while you sit back and enjoy an accompanying wine from the impressive cellar collection below.

Cuisine on offer includes the novel lunchtime bento box with a selection of tasty treats, as well as a celebratory menu of Japanese fare with dishes such as Teriyari black cod and Kagoshima A5 tenderloin.

Lift to Tavaru Restaurant

Lift to Tavaru Restaurant

8. Spa with Snow Room & Cloud 9 relaxation pod

Another one for the list of exclusive facilities in the Maldives, the Velaa Private Island Spa offers yet another unique feature in that it is home to the only snow room in the islands. Alongside extensive spa amenities such as a detoxifying steam room, sauna and profusion of world-class treatments and services, there is also a snow room to cool down in – quite extraordinary considering the Maldives lie just 350km south of the equator.

Velaa Spa also features the Cloud 9, a cloud-shaped reclining treatment pod that was developed by the Viennese artist, Sha. This unique concept treatment offsets any stress and tensions by gently swaying and cradling guests using a floating sensation with ambient colours, sounds and lights. It’s essentially like being hugged and rocked to sleep by a giant cloud and we are very much on board!

9. Get wild with state-of-the-art water sports toys

Luxury Indian Ocean holidays don’t come much more thrilling than at Velaa Private Island as there are more water-based activities available here than you will know what to do with, and some you may never have even heard of.

Aside from the familiar non-motorised fun like kayaking, windsurfing, paddleboarding, snorkelling and diving, there is an array of motorised and extremely sophisticated equipment to try out including the Tandem Jetovator and a SEABOB hand-held jet to glide you underwater as smoothly as a dolphin. Futuristic gear such as flyboards, hoverboards and electric foil surfboards are all available for you to experience the crystalline Indian Ocean waters in a totally new and exhilarating way.

10. Coral reef restoration programme

The owners of Velaa Private Island are as committed to the preservation of the island and its natural surroundings as they are in creating a once-in-a-lifetime holiday destination. And the Velaa Island Restoration Project comprises a team of dedicated marine biologists who oversee the development of the largest coral restoration programme in the Maldives.

In fact, during the melancholic times of the pandemic in 2020, the hotel’s marine team used the time to help transplant more than 2,000 corals onto the reef, helping to restore its biodiversity and natural beauty of the ocean that surrounds the island.

Whether you're planning an indulgent spa break, a golf escape, are looking for an adventurous Maldivian family holiday or maybe somewhere remarkable to say, ‘’I do’’, Velaa Private Island is ready to accommodate your every travel request. To discover more about this ultra-deluxe resort hotel or any other Maldives holiday offers call us today on 0203 816 0985 or click here to submit an online enquiry.

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