Inside Velaa Private Island

_DSC4372Last December, as a New Year’s treat – this holiday is the Russian equivalent of Christmas – we spent several glorious days at the Maldives’ most luxurious and exclusive resort, Velaa Private Island.


Tavaru tower, which is home to the largest champagne and wine collection in the Maldives!

Velaa Private Island is the place of unparalled luxury, fit for kings and queens, princes and princesses. Velaa is the local word for turtle – the island itself is shaped like one – whereas Private refers to private moments that the hotel is renowned for: every villa comes with a personal butler, all services offered can be tailored to exactly how you want them, and attention to detail everywhere is impeccable.


Romantic pol residence, which accessible only by boat! Private experience at its best, and exactly what every honeymooning couple needs…

Velaa Private Island is the passion project of the Czech billionaire, Jirí Smejc, who first bought a 50-year lease from the Maldivian government in 2010 and later spent $200 million on building a resort from scratch – there was nothing but bush and papaya plants – for the world’s most sophisticated holidaymakers.


Inside Velaa Private Island

Attention to design detail is impeccable, and all the elements are of the highest quality: you can tell that no expense was spared on sourcing all the materials from all over the world. Only the best would do: stone pavements from the desert in Jordan, Indonesia flowerpots, luxury wood paneling from Borneo, and patio chairs are Italian.


There are 45 villas dotted about Velaa Private Island, each with an area of at least 1,400 square feet: there are beach and water villas, ranging from one to four bedrooms, depending on you family size or on simply how much space you want to yourself! Four-bedroom villas are massive in size, and look like palaces nestled in the softest of sands and surrounded by crystal clear waters of the most beautiful cerulean shade.


Welcome to my digs! We stayed in the Beach Pool Pavillion, the largest one-bedroom villas on the island, where guests have a choice of turning the second room catered to their desires,  either a spa, gym, children’s room or library. Just look at that private pool…sighs

Other amenities on Velaa Private Island include a waterside Aragu restaurant, led by an executive chef Adelina Grattard, who used to work in two Michelin-starred restaurnats, Hong Kong’s Bo Innovation and L’Astrance in Paris, and who also earned a star of her own at 32 for Yam’Tcha in Paris! The island is also home to the largest wine and champagne collection in the Maldives housed within a futuristic 37-foot Tavaru tower.


The signature restaurant Aragu serves innovative cuisine with a twist of modernity topped off with the sparkle of Champagne and live music.

On this island you will also find Velaa Golf Academy by Ozabal, the only “Short Game Golf Academy” in the Maldives, 170m of greens and a swing studio carefully crafted by Masters Champion Jose Maria Olazabal. In addition, tt goes without a saying that the resort also features an ultra-luxurious spa, My Blend Spa by Clarins, as well as a diving and water sports centre, a tennis court, a gym, and a yoga pavilion


Velaa Golf Academy by Ozabal

One of the major highlights about Velaa was the spectacularly magical diving – might I dare say, that it was the best diving I have undertaken in Maldives? Every dive was drastically different from a previous one, both in terms of underwater landscapes and marine life. Here, I experienced my first “shark” dive with mighty looking reef sharks – I remember staying still underwater, holding onto a piece of rock, completely mesmerised by their smooth, sinuous movement around coral reefs. During another dive, I spotted, or more accurately my guide spotted, two very ugly, creepy stone fish hidden amongst the rocks, and almost impossible to see unless you knew they were there. I had a narrow escape, when I almost started poking one of them with my bare hand, a terrible idea in hindsight since they are some of the deadliest fish on the planet. All in all there was a dizzying array of magnificent underwater life!


Velaa’s signature restaurant Aragu in the background: the perfect romantic spot for a scrumptious supper from a Michelin-starred chef!


Island decor…


Perfect start to the day with my favourite exotic fruit, dragon fruit!



Fabulous open-air bath tub: what an indulgent treat!



Sunset stingray feeding, a daily fun activity!


New Year celebration props

New Year celebration props


Afternoon stroll on the beach: doing laps around the island was so much fun indeed!



My sister snoozing inside a reconstructed local house… just like the Sleeping Beauty!


I was absolutely obsessed with this exquisite carpet in my bedroom – the photo does not do it justice – and I wonder where it is from…


Big palms, small Olga

Big palms, small Olga

Inside the most amazing wine cellar...

Inside the most amazing wine cellar…



I felt under-dressed for New Year’s celebrations compared to these beauties!


Champagne and macaroon greetings are always welcome!

Champagne and macaroon greetings are always welcome!


My sister with her favourite Marni shoes…


Champagne glass number one: let the NY celebrations begin!


A four-bedroom villa! More like a palace, in fact…

Hi there

Hi there



Mastering my pool skills



Wall embellishment in my bedroom…understated luxury at its best!


Chased by a pink whipray

Pink whipray zoomed in...

Pink whipray zoomed in…



Sister bonding over a glass of champagne…


Big palms, small Olga, Take 2


7 responses to “Inside Velaa Private Island”

  1. Absolutely stunning, and makes me want to sell everything I own just to stay just one or two nights in that honeymoon hut only accessible by boat!!

    Michelle Marie

  2. Olga says:

    The sand is so white that it looks unreal. So beautiful!
    I usually don’t like tropical landscapes, but this ones look just stunning!

  3. Ayisha says:

    These photos are too beautiful for words!

  4. You have a great blog here!! fabulous pictures and lay out

  5. Ola says:

    Wow, that pictures looks just like paradise!

  6. Velaa Private Island Maldives is beyond Luxury!

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