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“so in love with the InOcean Villas”
Review of Angsana Velavaru

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Angsana Velavaru
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 August 2009

Just returned from our 4th trip to the Maldives and out of all 4 resorts we had visited, the Angsana's InOcean Villas are clearly the best. Very impressed and love the size of it. So spacious! Also love the pte pool, it was perfect for a cool down on a hot afternoon. Pure pleasure jumping in after many hours under the sun.

Read somewhere that there are some who hated the cool manhantan look. if you want the rustic look, there r many other resorts out there which can offer u that, but I have no issues at all with the fittings and furnishing, abs love it. Very cool and also, good amenities.

The IOVs offer a lot of privacy, which i really appreciated. It is very quiet, so very peaceful, esp at night.
Sun deck and upper floor are great to view the sunset and star gazing. We took some of the best sunset pics of Maldives here.

There are small surprises like a pillow mist left on the bed after turn down service which was a very nice touch. I felt well taken care of, right to bed.

We also stayed at the main island. The management gave us a free upgrade and we got a beach villa with jet pool. Very nice of them. Our room is on the side of the island, which doesn't face the IOVs hence, more privacy. Again, very much appreciated but the water on the other side seems prettier, with more shades of blue. Not complaning thou. The jet pool was fabulous, very relaxing after the flight to Male and seaplane transit.

The resort offers complimentary snorkeling trip to the house reefs once a day. Worth going especially if you are staying on the island as it can be too far to swim out on your own. It will be nice if drinking water is provided on board, as what the other resorts I visited do.
Mirta, who's the resident marine biologist is very protective of the reefs. I like that...I've seen too many dead, bleached out corals so having her around will be great for marine lives around the resort. I'll love to see the condition of the reefs and sea lives in a few years.

There are 2 spas, one on the island and the other at the IOVs. They converted one of their santuary villas into the spa, hence it's quite small and almost always fully booked. The massages are alright, not the best I had, but not bad too. I like the little gong which they use at the end of the treatment. Very zen..haha...

The bar on the main island offers one of the best spots to star gaze, with their duper comfy sand bags (dunno the correct term, sorry). Pure bliss to lie there with a drink and look up at the stars.

The reasons why we are not giving it a 5 stars despite all the ravings comments are because 1) The food and 2) Housekeeping 3) Provision of snorkeling gears at the IOVs. Former 2 need improvement.

Food at the bar was really quite bad. For the prices we paid, I would expect more than frozen patty for the burger. It doesn't need to be fancy, but at least better quality. The pizza was also very bland. Drink menu is quite comprehensive thou. Food at the Azzurro Restaurant is also quite disappointing. After reading replies from mgt that the new chef will seek improvement, we didn't expect such disappointment. Most of everything was either too salty or sweet. I come from a family who doesn't mind the extra sprinkle of salt, but seriously, it was too much for me. Otherwise the dishes were just forgettable. Nothing special. We also didn't understand why water (and even white wine i think) was FOC for breakfast, but chargeable at other inclusive meals.

We got a bit irritated with housekeeping who kept forgetting to provide fresh bath/beach towels after collecting the used ones. If this is one way to get tips, well it didn't work with us. The more irritated we got, the more we didn't feel like tipping. One morning we left the villa for 3 hours or more and we returned to an unkept room. It was nice to have cookies for late nite snacks, complimentarty from resort (thank you, i like the chocolate with nuts) but one night it was placed on a dirty plate! Faint...Essential oil burner is provided in each room but strangly, never lit in ours and on 1st 2 nites, no matches to be found, so we cldn't do it ourselves.

Staying at the IOVs means snorkeling gears are provided for each villa, where the staff will arrange for the correct sizes for you, all without any hassel, BUT........we had to go around searching for our own. On arrival at the IOVs, we were told they didn't have our sizes, which was fine. We asked if it was alright to visit the dive ctr and collect our own gears and bring it back to the IOV. We were assured it was perfectly ok. But we were told at the dive ctr to return the gears right after each snorkeling trip, which means each time we want to use the gears, we had to pop over to the main island, borrow the gears and pop right back and after each use, go back to return and back again. In the end, we didn't use much of the gears, and hence I didn't even swam in the water infront of our villa.

Having said all these, I still have to say our stay at the Angsana was great! We are planning for a 5th trip to Anantara (even before leaving for our 4th), but after this, I am afraid few resorts will match up.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Water&Salt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 August 2009

This is probably stated elsewhere but I never ran across it so I'll mention it here: you can't bring alcohol into the Maldives. My two bottles of champagne were confiscated at the airport and I had to pick them up when I left. This was a bad start to the honeymoon but when we saw this beautiful island we were too happy to worry about that anymore.

The water in the Maldives is so amazing, the deep water is a rich blue and the shallow waters are a crystal clear light blue. As you look across the ocean from the island you see these different shades of blue mixed with each other.

The sand on the beach is not as nice as I had hoped. Some of it is perfect, fine and so soft, but the waves bring in a lot of small shells and what not that are not too comfortable to stand on. Walking around the island in open toed sandals will result in having these sharp bits constantly under foot. It's not unbearable, but it's not comfortable either. It's not all that easy to swim in the water either as there are scattered rocks and coral in the shallow water so you should wear feet protection or else walk carefully. It's too bad because the water is so nice.

Fortunately we stayed in the deluxe beachfront pool villa and the pool was great, I swam in it three or four times a day. The pool was one of my favorite parts of the stay there. It's quite large, 1.3 m deep and it overflows constantly so if some insects or something were floating on the water they would soon be washed out and the water slips under the deck and gets filtered and pumped back in. The in-ocean villas also have pools but they don't have the privacy that the beachfront villas do.

The room is very comfortable and roomy. With two sinks and two outdoor showers we don't have to schedule who showers first and bump into each other in front of the mirror. The bed is cozy and the rooms recently got 32" lcd TVs, although I kind of wish they hadn't since the TV was always on whenever we were inside. It's good to have the option but my wife can't help but keep the TV on and I was looking forward to some time away from it.

Our villa (140) wasn't as close to the beach as I had hoped and some big bushes blocked most of the view of the ocean. This is great for privacy since you won't see people walking back and forth in front of your villa, but I couldn't help but look around the island and see some villas with views i would have preferred. Not too many of them were deluxe villas, however.

We went full board and had the buffet three meals a day for our entire six night stay. I really enjoyed the food and ate lots but my wife (who is Chinese) didn't like the food as much. She normally loves fish but didn't enjoy the fish there. I, however, loved having boneless fish as that is uncommon in China. I felt the selection was good and varied. Morning offered freshly made omelets and waffles prepared by a very pleasant man. Lunch and dinner had BBQ steak, fish, chicken and corn on the cob as well as freshly made pasta. Of course there are also lots of salads, curry, vegetables and other buffet selections. My only gripe is that at breakfast you could have water, milk, coffee or fruit juices but at the other meals you had to order it separately and pay extra for it.

Price of drinks were $7 for water or a bottle of Corona or Heineken, $8.5 for a fruit juice (better quality then that served in the morning), $10 for a milkshake or pint of beer and $12 or $14 for cocktails. The buffet itself costs $60 per person for lunch at least, not sure about dinner (since we left late on the last day and lunch wasn't included). There is also a set menu with prices around $20 per meal. Not a huge selection on that set menu however.

The staff were very friendly, not just at the restaurant but all over the island. They always smiled and greeted us. Even when they were busy doing manual labor they would stop to smile and greet us. Almost everyone seemed to be genuinely happy. The two woman at the front desk who helped us were both beautiful and very helpful and always had big smiles on their faces.

If you are on your honeymoon go to the spa the first day. Unfortunately, the front desk staff was not aware that honeymooners are offered a free head and shoulders massage and a 20% discount on selected massages. We didn't find out until almost the end as we had decided to get a massage on the last day. That day we also got the free massage, but it would have been nice to spread them out and after getting that free massage we probably would have gotten a few more because they do an amazing job. Not just the massage itself, which was the best I've had, but also the atmosphere of the room. Plan at least one massage (we had the duet which was $130 each for two and a half hours of bliss).

Despite my wife not enjoying the food so much and suffering from an upset stomach (not caused by the food but lessening her enjoyment of it) we both felt the time went too quickly and were very sad to leave. I may have mentioned some complaints in this review but it was just to give a full picture but overall they were very minor and paled in comparison to the beauty and pleasure provided at this resort.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank AlienOverlord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2009

Me and my wife stayed at a beachfront pool villa for (7) nights. This type of villa has its own plunge pool, there is not a main pool.Very nice island, white,sandy beaches,clear,blue waters. It is not deep enough, so you cannot swim, but you can go snorkeling around the island, or, at a nearby reef(with a hotel's ''dhoni'', free of charge). There is no TV in the rooms(thus there is a big screen at the bar),perfect! There is a mini hifi, so bring your own cds. The whole atmosphere is calm, peaceful, romantic, so if you love sea, sun, and need to charge your body and mind batteries this resort, on this island, is an excellent choice(and value for money as well).

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank gchatziar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2009

We spent an amazing 10 days on this beautiful island. We stayed in the large Angsana villa which was actually the size of about 4 villas with a private pool and Jacuzzi. The quality of the rooms were fantastic (2 beds, 1 lounge, 1 dining room) - top quality and opening out straight onto a huge beach area.

The food was great and we are quite fussy (lots of choices, great quality) and service excellent. There was not that much children's food but that was not problem as the chef was kind enough to prepare this at no extra charge to the full board option. Mohammed our waiter for our entire stay was great and even made origami animals for the children. The Executive chef,area manager and hotel staff all went out of their way to ensure our visit was special. If anything needed doing inour villa (e.g. light bulb, ice delivery) it was done extremely fast. THANK YOU!!!

We loved the night fishing trips, diving (brilliant instructor - Tiny) and house reef snorkelling is free and available 6 days a week weather permitting.

The hotel staff were fantastic, always remembered us by name and our preferences for drinks without us even asking etc. We went full board which is highly recommended as extras are expensive ($6 for a small soft drink)

Kids club looked good but we had so much fun we never actually needed to use it.

We'd LOVE to return. It was even better than Kanuhura where we stayed last year.

Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
3  Thank RUTHANDPAULLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2009

Angsana Velavaru has recently added approx 30 in-ocean villas. These are linked by a causeway and the facilities include an outstanding restaurant (Azzurro) and a spa. They are not linked to the main island, but this is no problem as 24/7 on demand boat service will take you back and forth.

The advantage of staying in one of the new villas is that they are superbly designed. My villa had three rooms roughly equivalent in size, a living room, bedroom and bathroom. There was also a staircase to a canopied open-air loft. In-room amenities are all up to the highest international standards.

Outside, the villa had a lounge area with two chaises, an outstanding pool, large enough to take a couple of strokes, much superior to the normal all-but-useless wading pool characteristic now of so many villa designs.

The villas are quite close to each other so there is a risk of noise pollution and it's possible to see from one swimming pool to the next one over. Management assured me that they would be clustering different types of guests in different areas of the complex (eg familes with young children at one end).

The Azzurro restauarant is superbly designed and the Italian chef will make you a delicious pizza off-menu if you ask. The menus are mercifully brief but with just enough options. Given the logistics challenges of getting good, fresh ingredients, the restaurant's consistency high quality was impressive.

In addition, guest have access to the restaurants on Velavaru main island but frankly Azzurro beats them all.

Also on the main property is the dive shop (Ali is one of the top divemasters in the Maldives) and the main spa (use this one for spa treatments, not the makeshift spa in one of the in ocean villas). Service right up to normal Banyan Tree standards.

One of the best Anganas yet!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled solo
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9  Thank spencerusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2009

Angsana Velavaru has been a very quiet and relaxing resort. They have been so kind and thoughtful of upgrading us to the pool villa for our honeymoon and they have given us free coupons for their spa which was the best I have ever tried. The tamarind juice given to you just picks you up in the midst of a summer breeze.

The food there is very bad and very overcharged since the maldives imports almost everything. It is only an island with no animals so do not expect very good meat and exquisite dishes. However,the view of the islands is breathtaking and the 5 shades of blue on the ocean just says it all!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank omaiaa0p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanyanTreeGroup, General Manager at Angsana Velavaru, responded to this reviewResponded 30 June 2009

Dear Valued Guest,

Warm greetings from Angsana Maldives Velavaru.

Through TripAdvisor, we have read with great concern your feedback on the quality of food in our resort.

In our commitment to providing all our guests with the best possible holiday, we would like to thank you in conveying your comments regarding the areas where we can improve.

I note with concern that you were not satisfied with the price and variety of food in our restaurants. Our Executive Chef is in the process of reviewing the various menus and will definitely take your feedback into account.

We are pleased to read of your gracious comments on our service levels and especially of our Angsana Spa. I will pass on your comments to our Spa team so they know that the services provided were indeed appreciated.

Valued guest, your comments are very welcome and it further allows us to monitor, maintain and improve on the Angsana services & facilities.

I trust you had a pleasant and safe journey home and look forward to welcoming you back to Angsana Velavaru, or to any of our other resorts in the Maldives.

Yours Sincerely,
Jamal Hussain
Area General Manager - Maldives & Sri Lanka
Angsana Hotels & Resorts

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2009

Angsana Velavaru is an exceptional island. The ocean facing bungalow rooms are beautifully appointed, comfortable, trendy and have a GREAT view. The sound of the waves washing up on the beach outside of the bedroom makes for perfection. The spa is incredible and will not disappoint. There is a new "wing" of the hotel opening up next month - open ocean villas which are outstanding and seem to have captured all of the staffs' attention given the major investment (rumoured at $30 million). The Italian restaurant attached to the water bungalows is fantastic and will surely be a hit, as will the exceptionally passionate new chef Fillepo.

This said, we expected much more service and an attitude of "abundance" to prevail throughout Velavaru, especially in the bungalow rooms on the main island since this is where most of the guests were staying.

Sadly, the majority of the food and beverage staff seemed tired, unhappy, and were not friendly. With the exception of our Italian restaurant experience, the food was a huge disappointment and was not worth the value. In addition to being ridiculously over priced there was NO concept food preparation at the main restaurants. An example, we ordered the $140 dollar lobster meal and was told it was served with french fries!!!!! Our fish soup was too chewy and could not be finished. And the seafood pizza had the same chewy fish cubes. The only water available outside of the room is $7 bottled water. While I balked at the price, I was more offended that while there is a water treatment plant on the island (and filtered water is available in the rooms), filtered water was not an option anywhere outside of the room. Instead, expensive bottled water in plastic/glass bottles is the only option. For a hotel that promotes it's GREEN commitment (and adds a $1 surcharge for their GREEN fund), the water situation was frustrating and highly incongruent. This was our second visit to the Maldives and on the first visit we stayed at the Taj where fresh fish was an option each night. At Velavaru we were told all the fish was at least 3 days frozen. Expensive water, frozen fish, poor service, overpriced french fries...the food experience was the downfall of the experience.

The GM kindly received our feedback and assured us that things would turn around once the water bungalows open and the passionate Italian chef can wave his magic wand over the other restaurants at Velavaru. Before booking I would inquire whether these changes are in process.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank trcurtis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BanyanTreeGroup, Asst Manager at Angsana Velavaru, responded to this reviewResponded 29 June 2009

Dear Valued Guest,

I am writing in reference to your feedback which we have received through TripAdvisor with regards to your recent stay at Angsana Velavaru.

We were delighted to hear your compliments of Velavaru island, the beach and your villas.

However, your comments in regards to the quality of F&B has been duly noted and these concerns were brought to the attention of our Executive Chef for appropriate action on the same day.

Thank you once again for choosing Angsana Velavaru for your Maldives holiday and for taking your valuable time to share your experience.

I certainly hope to welcome you back again in the near future and assure you your feedback will be acted upon to assure you and our future guests a fulfilling holiday at Angsana Velavaru.


Yours sincerely,

Mohamed Hilmy
Assistant Manager
Angsana Resort & Spa, Maldives Velavaru

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Angsana Velavaru

Address: South Nilandhe Atoll
Phone Number:
Region: Maldives > Haa Dhaalu Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Haa Dhaalu Atoll
Price Range: $462 - $2,195 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Angsana Velavaru 5*
Number of rooms: 113
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Also Known As:
Angsana Velavaru Hotel Haa Dhaalu Atoll
Angsana Hotel Dhaalu Atoll
Angsana Hotel Maldives Velavaru
Angsana Velavaru Maldives/Haa Dhaalu Atoll

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