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Velassaru Resort - Maldives | Resort Review

Sold as a five-star property, performed more like a 3 or 4 star property


Velassaru Resort in the Maldives is situated in South Male's Atoll, a private coral island. Formerly known as the Laguna Beach Resort, this five star resort is surrounded by a blue lagoon. Velassaru is located about 8 miles (25 minute boat ride) from the Male International Airport. Click here to browse through all 39 pictures of Velassaru Resort.

Velassaru offers 128 island-style villas and bungalows built with teak and stone. Located either on the sandy beach or perched atop the lagoon, these accommodations follow a contemporary and minimalist design. The villas and bungalows offer spectacular views of the lagoon and have direct access to the beach.

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First Impression/Lobby: We were met at the airport as planned and quickly escorted to the boat. We left for the resort soon after the other guests had boarded. The boat ride to the resort took just 25 minutes. A whopping $120 per person (round trip) was charged for this short boat trip.

Reception: The main reception lounge had a modern design and was spacious. Our check-in was handled here quickly and efficiently. Within minutes, we were shown to our water villa with pool. A point to be noted is that they do not offer a buggy or golf cart ride to your villa since the wooden walkway is too narrow to allow a cart. So if you have a problem walking long distances, this is something you need to consider.

The Suite: Our Water Villa with Pool was perched over the turquoise lagoon, fairly typical of the water villas you find in Maldives. However, this one was smaller in size and much more run down. The wall of the living room facing the sea was made of glass and offered a view of the sea, which could have been better if the sliding doors opened or the glass was clean.

The living room was sparsely furnished with an uncomfortable wicker couch and a matching wicker chair that was just as uncomfortable. A mini bar, coffee/tea making facilities and an in-room safe were present. The LCD television offered a good selection of cable TV channels. An I-pod docking station, international direct-dial phones and free Wi-Fi were the other features of our Water Villa with Pool at Velassaru.

The bathroom had a white and black theme with twin sinks and a large bathtub set in the middle of the room. One huge minus point was that it took 45 minutes to fill the bathtub. Also, getting hot water (at the sinks, shower or bathtub) was next to impossible. Another minus point was that that there was a single soap to be used between the shower, the sinks and the bathtub. Bathrobes, complimentary toiletries and hair dryers were available.

The outside deck was very run down, the cushions were stained and the umbrella was broken. Moreover, the infinity pool was very small and very, very dirty. It was obvious that the villa was not up to five-star standards. Also, our villa at Velassaru simply did not have any wow factor.

Room Service: Room service was adequate. However, we had to wait longer than the industry norm and there were multiple errors with one main dish being served cold. Other than these issues, room service was pretty decent. The presentation and set up was nice and I found that the breakfast food served in the villa was much better than the food served in the breakfast buffet.

Housekeeping: The condition of the deck area made it evident that regular maintenance was not performed outside. Also, the housekeeping staff failed to do turn-down service on one evening.

Concierge: The 24-hour front desk helps guests to plan tours and leisure activities.

Restaurant: Velassaru has a total of five dining options and two bars. Vela serves international cuisine in a tropical garden setting. Interactive cooking stations are the highlight of this restaurant. Etesian serves Mediterranean fare. A wine library offers a large selection of wines, both reds and whites. Both indoor and alfresco dining options are available. We dined here during our stay and found the food to be bombastic.

The Sand restaurant is set on the white sandy beach and serves Eastern, Indian and Continental fare. Seating by the water’s edge is available during dinner. The Teppanyaki restaurant perched over the lagoon serves sushi. We dined here once and the sushi and sashimi were simply put, awesome. Live cooking stations allowed us to watch the chefs in action. The Turquoise serves continental and Asian cuisine in an informal setting.

The Chill Bar located on a large sundeck over the water serves cocktails. The Fen, a beachfront bar, serves cocktails and delicious nibbles with contemporary world music playing in the background. The atmosphere here was cool and the service was good.

The breakfast buffet was average at best and the private dinners were not set in a secluded area, (other resorts do it much better). Also, all places were on the expensive side.

Pool/Spa/Activities: Velassaru offers an outdoor infinity pool with sun beds. The pool has its own mini bar that serves fresh fruit juices. A spa, sauna, steam room, fitness center and tennis courts are also available. The spa offers 10 over-water treatment pavilions, a yoga pavilion and a boutique.

Check-Out: During check-out, we found that our bill had multiple errors on it. Getting these corrected was both time consuming and labor intensive. Be sure to double and triple check your bill! More than 30 minutes later, our credit card was charged and we were on our way back to Male.

Overall Impression: Listed and sold as a five-star property, Velassaru simply failed in too many areas to actually be considered as one. This resort is surely not in our list of top five-star resorts in the Maldives. Velassaru gets only a rating of Between Bombastic and Not.

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