In the Maldives, there are many well-known international brands such as One&Only, Four Seasons, and Conrad Hotels, but Velaa has beaten them all in the quest to become the best resort in the Maldives. Velaa Private Island Maldives is the realization of a dream to create a ‘beyond luxury’ exclusive boutique hideaway. The resort was created with a simple idea, to bring together the best of the Maldives on a single island. This destination was developed to embody the very best of this unique chain of islands.
Situated in the Noonu atoll, a 45-minute seaplane flight north of the Maldivian capital of Malé, Velaa is the passion project of Czech financier Jirí Smejc and his wife, Radka. Smejc is close friends with the Czech Republic’s wealthiest man, billionaire Petr Kellner, and the two co-own Home Credit, a leading provider of quick retail loans in Russia.
Five years ago, the 43-year-old Smejc envisioned owning his own private island. A regular in the Maldives since the early 2000s, he shared his dream for what eventually became Velaa, over a bottle of wine with Kolár. The two men eventually turned that vision into what they hoped would be the most luxurious and exclusive resort in the Maldives. And even though there are more than 100 destinations to choose from among the country’s 26 atolls, they make a compelling case.
When Smejc purchased the 50-year lease on Velaa from the Maldivian government in 2010, there was nothing but thick bush and papaya fields. All the construction material and equipment had to be brought from overseas, a veritable United Nations of luxury, including wood paneling from Borneo, and stone pavement from the Jordanian desert, which you can walk on barefoot even if the sun is shining on it all day, flowerpots from Indonesia, patio chairs from Italy. Even the palm trees had to be transported from neighboring islands.
Value for Money
If you’re looking for a picturesque view, the azure skies around the resort bathe a turquoise ocean, vibrant coral reefs, and pristine beaches in the aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean. Along with a combination of Maldivian structures and modern architecture, there are five upscale restaurants and a wine cellar. World-class chefs prepare local delicacies and gourmet cuisine. The resort also has a great water sports facility and a golf academy. At the residence, luxury is more than wealth or surplus. Luxury is a state of mind.
Velaa Private Island charges prices that would cripple most people – B&B accommodation in the most basic villas starts from $1.21k per night in the low season. but $220 million has been invested in developing this 45-villa resort, and the inconceivably wealthy make up much of its clientele. Spending $300 on dinner is unlikely to perturb those high rollers, and, seeing some guests’ louche approach to cash, visitors often felt that Velaa could get away with charging more.
Best time to visit
The best weather in the Maldives is between January and April, which also means a high season, with low availability and very expensive room rates. The monsoon runs from May to October, peaking in June. It is worth paying higher prices and sticking to the dry season as there is nothing to do on a rainy day except drink, eat, work out, or scuba dive. Especially November and December, which are often labeled as dry season months, have been very unsettled in recent years.