DeLuxe Travel Awards 2020

Dreamy, white-sand beaches, silky warm sea, lush scenery, and endless sunshine. For many years, the Maldives has been many holidaymakers’ favourite tropical destination. With its postcard-worthy scenery and 1,192 coral islands, set within 26 atolls, spread across 35,000 square miles of Indian Ocean, it’s no wonder that this unique archipelago could often overwhelm would-be visitors who find it difficult to choose the best resort to stay at. When Jiří and Radka Šmejc opened Velaa Private Island, their dream was to create the world’s most luxurious private island resort. And it looks like they’re on the right track to achieving this dream. Here is CEO Today DeLuxe Travel Awards’ winner of Luxury Resort of the Year in the Maldives - Velaa Private Island. Nestled in the Noonu Atoll, Velaa Private Island is just a 45-minute seaplane flight north of the Maldivian capital of Malé. It is a beyond-luxury boutique hideaway in the Indian Ocean. Named after the generations of sea turtles which flock to nest and hatch on the island every year, the resort offers 47 villas, houses and fourbedroom residences, as well as the super secluded Romantic Pool Residence, which is only accessible by boat. The interiors are island-chic, mixing contemporary and traditional designs, interwoven to create a highly unique atmosphere. Whether you’re staying in one of the villas or a residence, you will be assigned a personal butler, who will be there at all times – ready to accommodate any desire you might have in mind. Velaa Private Island represents the Šmejc’s vision to create an ultraluxe haven for those who enjoy the finer things in life. The couple invested over $200 million to build what is essentially their dream destination from scratch. The resort offers an exclusive array of amenities, unseen in any other resort across the Maldives - from a snow room, through to a 9-hole golf course and an impressive selection of high tech toys including a mini-submarine. Set sail on the turquoise lagoon with the resort’s Weta trimaran or Topcat K1 catamaran and experience weightlessness of both body and mind amid the diversity of colours; make the most of your surroundings by snorkelling or scuba diving alongside grey reef sharks, nurse sharks, the seasonal manta rays, blackspotted stingrays and the sea turtles that inhabit the island’s pristine coral reef. After a day full of adventures, drop your children off at Lha Velaa Kids Club (which was co-designed by Mr Šmejc’s 9-year-old daughter) and head to Velaa Spa for a relaxing treatment by expert therapists. Blending cutting-edge technology with the art of touch, the spa has six suites nestled over the island’s lagoon. On the island, you’ll find three different restaurants, each with its own unique identity. The over-water Aragu hosts Velaa’s most intense and interesting culinary creations. Helmed by Executive Chef Gaushan De Silva, Aragu pushes the boundaries of fusion cuisine, taking flavours and practices from both the East and West to create a wondrous banquet of flavours and aromas. The 23-metres Tavaru tower houses one of | 97

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