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A Playground Curated for Escapism: Visit Angsana Velavaru, Maldives

A Playground Curated for Escapism: Visit Angsana Velavaru, Maldives

The appeal of the Maldives as a top travel destination for dreamy vacations remains undiminished. Angsana Velavaru, part of the Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts private collection in the Maldives offers a playground for escapism with its remoteness, unspoiled beaches, tranquil beachfront, InOcean villas and an exciting range of restaurants and activities.

September 9th, 2022

Welcome to Angsana Velavaru, the ‘Turtle Island’

Located in the Maldives’ Dhaalu Atoll (also known as the South Nilandhe Atoll), Angsana Velavaru draws its name from the local Dhivehi reference to turtles. Islands in this atoll are accessible through regular domestic flights from Velana International Airport (Malé) and via connecting speedboats.

However, for a more direct route to the resort, Angsana Velavaru offers guests the option of a seaplane transfer from Malé which takes around 45 minutes.

In our opinion, travelling via the seaplane option to Velavaru is where the escapist experience begins - by enjoying scenic views of islands and atolls, appearing like beautiful images on the canvas of a skilled painter.

Your personal playground - Beachfront Villas

Following our welcome with a drink and a cold towel, we checked into our Beachfront Infinity Pool Villa and settled in. A WhatsApp group with front office staff made communication very easy throughout the duration of our visit.

Our turtle-shaped one-room Beachfront Infinity Pool Villa offered an unspoiled view of the Indian Ocean. Other configurations at Angsana Velavaru include two and three bedroom beachfront villas.

All the beachfront properties offer a degree of privacy with fences separating and enclosing each one and creating a personal space that became our playground. The architecture, of these Beachfront Infinity Pool Villas in particular, creates an experience where you can wake up to the sounds of the waves, step out from your villa, swim the length of your infinity pool, and step right onto the beach and into the ocean in one seamless motion.

Our beachfront villa had the capacity to sleep up to three (a built-in sofa doubles as a single bed). Other facilities in-room include in-built storage, a king sized bed, and a mini-bar stocking a few basic brands.

We especially loved the vibrant beach-chic orange colours used throughout the villa and featured in the bed linen, wall art, guest clothing accessories, furniture and bathroom decor.

A distinct design feature of the Beachfront Infinity Pool Villa is the outdoor and open-plan bathroom. Leading from the room to the back of the villa, there are two showers, one private and one outdoors.

We regarded the outdoor bathtub as the centrepiece of the space. Here, Velavaru’s signature beach-chic orange colours contrast beautifully with the landscaping and white sand to create a distinctive visual image.

Angsana Velavaru InOcean Villas

It is certainly worth mentioning the exquisitely designed InOcean Villas at Angsana Velavaru.

In a destination that's synonymous with over-water villas, Angsana Velavaru's two-storey InOcean villas are part of a select few in the Maldives which aren't directly connected to the main island by a physical or natural structure.

The InOcean villas are located roughly one kilometre from the main island and are only accessible by scheduled ferry services that take around 10 minutes to reach them, making them the very definition of escapism.

Velavaru’s InOcean villas (all of which come with infinity pools) are wide and spacious and come in a variety of configurations (with occupancy of up to 5 people). Large sun decks, private cabanas and over-water hammocks provide prime viewing locations for observing marine life in the coral reef beneath.

Even better, because of their unique design, the InOcean villas invite you to go from being a mere spectator to an explorer by stepping from your deck and swimming directly into the turquoise waters of the lagoon.

A rooftop pavilion (sala) creates the perfect space for private spa treatments or in-villa dining.

These exclusive properties have a dedicated restaurant and bar located within the villa cluster. The Italian gourmet restaurant (Azzurro) serves Mediterranean-inspired fine-dining all day.

Sunset cruises and more

There are many places to relax and tune into the tranquillity of life on this beautifully designed island resort. For example, we started one day with a delightful floating breakfast delivered to our villa.

Walk barefoot away from the villas, head to the main infinity pool, select a sun lounger and enjoy the sun and the sea breeze with cocktails served to order from the Kuredi Restaurant and Pool Bar. Alternatively, head to the spa and select from a range of relaxing treatments.

In terms of activities, we learned that guests can discuss their specific interests and create a personal itinerary that matches their preferred pace.

For water enthusiasts, Angsana Velavaru offers a wide range of motorised and non-motorised activities. Although we did not participate in any water activities during our monsoon season visit, we learned that Velavaru’s house reef is an appealing choice for snorkelling due to the diversity and vibrancy of the local marine life.

Angsana Velavaru is close to more than 30 diving sites. The island resort hosts a diving school that provides training for a range of abilities leading up to PADI certification.

Apart from the daily bird feeding, one of our favourite activities was a sunset cruise. With champagne and canapes served, we were joined by a school of playful dolphins who instinctively put on a show to the delight of everyone onboard our vessel.

Gastronomy at Angsana Velavaru

Guests at Angsana Velavaru on all-inclusive packages can enjoy all-day dining at the Kaani Restaurant which serves a daily changing international buffet including Maldivian dishes.

All-day dining is also available at the neighbouring Kuredi Restaurant and Pool Bar which offers à la carte options in a casual beachfront setting.

For a more intimate gastronomical adventure, Angsana offers multiple options including a ‘castaway experience’ on a private island, dinner on the lagoon on a private floating table-for-two and a private beach BBQ.

A memorable dinner experience for us was a visit to the Funa Restaurant (lunch and dinner service only). With limited seating, booking ahead was wise so that we could get outdoor seats to watch the sunset.

Funa’s Pan-Asian menu is curated by Prasong Thaochan, Angsana Velavaru’s Executive Chef and includes selected dishes from countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, and China. These delectable dishes were simply presented but were packed with a variety of flavours and left a lasting impression.

For more information about curating your own Angsana experience and to learn more about their all-inclusive packages, visit angsana.com/maldives/velavaru

Eulanda and Omo

Eulanda and Omo

Eulanda is a London based photographer and videographer who loves the rush of planning a new adventure, and the evocative intersections that food culture leads her to. Omo is a London-based writer, travel blogger and digital content creator. He has a penchant for covering anything travel tech and food culture related.