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Maldives Recs for 2019 trip

Maldives Recs for 2019 trip

Old Jun 18, 18, 1:16 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by vuittonsofstyle View Post
I think Cheval Blanc Randheli is tough to beat, but not Velaa, which I would not return to ever.
Please remind me why Velaa is so undesirable?
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Old Jun 18, 18, 8:23 pm
  #47  
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Ended up extending my trip to 6 nights. Decided on FS landaa. Any tips or must do excursions? figured since my flight leaves late, would they let me hang out at Kuda for a few hours instead of the airport?
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Old Jun 19, 18, 1:05 am
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Please remind me why Velaa is so undesirable?
If i recall correctly it's because the owner had an obsession with turtles and plastered them up everywhere ?
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Old Jun 19, 18, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Please remind me why Velaa is so undesirable?
We're currently in Cheval Blanc and head to Velaa in 4 days, so I'll let you know with my usual calm demeanour what I think.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 11:32 am
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Re Velaa. For me it was the ridiculously poor value for money. I thought the rooms were beautifully appointed but all food and activities were outrageously expensive. If I had loved the overall experience I could have accepted that but I didn't. We much preferred Gili Lankanfushi.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 12:40 pm
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Gili Lankanfushi and Soneva Fushi are among my favorites. Actually very good value, understated elegance. And their environmentally friendly operations are something I appreciate very much.

Part of me wants to try Velaa out of sheer curiosity. But, knowing that the prices are so horrendous, and considering that vuittonsofstyle didn’t care for it at all, I probably should stay away from it. That is, unless MacMyDay gives it a positive review!
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Old Jun 20, 18, 9:02 am
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I truly liked the soft product at Gili. Service was tremendous! Liked the food although it was expensive (in comparison to Soneva Jani for instance, in the end food in Maldives will always be expensive, even at Holiday Inn I would assume). Overwater bungalows are nice enough but slightly dated compared to other resorts. Only thing I disliked was the location: way too close to MLE, other resorts and a local island. Thereís noice and light pollution. Views are not what you can have on other private islands. Would I return? Yes, but always in combination with another resort. If Gili is the only resort you will visit on a holiday in Maldives, you will truly miss the best part.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by Nizar View Post
If i recall correctly it's because the owner had an obsession with turtles and plastered them up everywhere ?
That and the plastic flowers in the bathroom and, and, and...
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Old Jun 22, 18, 7:00 am
  #54  
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Hard to go wrong with the Four Seasons Kuda. Food, staff, rooms, environment all top notch.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Part of me wants to try Velaa out of sheer curiosity. But, knowing that the prices are so horrendous, and considering that vuittonsofstyle didnít care for it at all, I probably should stay away from it. That is, unless MacMyDay gives it a positive review!
When I first stayed on North Island a few years ago, a few days before I was traveling to Fregate, I met another couple that had just come from Fregate and they warned me that it would disappoint as I was coming from North. It's far better to go from Fregate to North than vice versa. I feel that no matter what Velaa does, I am already going to suffer that fate - Cheval Blanc has just been that good. Everything about Cheval Blanc is pure class and feels immensely stylish and relaxing, all without any hint of snobbery. Service, accommodation, facilities and (most of) the food is up there amongst the best. It may even be the only hotel in the world to have properly implemented a usable iPad control system. I know some will have issue with the manmade nature of the island and lack of a reef, yet as we don't dive and rarely snorkel it doesn't bother us. After Velaa I'll do an update on the "Most luxurious beach hotels" list.

Few pics
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Old Jun 23, 18, 1:08 pm
  #56  
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good to hear theyre keeping it up!

Originally Posted by Groombridge View Post
I recently (March 2017) stayed at Cheval Blanc Randheli for 7 nights, and was very, very impressed. All around, it's the hands down the best stay I have ever had at a beach resort.

They follow the extensive prep list you fill out perfectly

Butler service worked beautifully (and this is perhaps the only stay anywhere where I would say that),

I can't recommend the place more highly -- it is world class.
Originally Posted by Michael82 View Post
[dec 2017] just returned from another trip to Cheval Blanc...They have improved to the point of near perfection.
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Old Jun 27, 18, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Part of me wants to try Velaa out of sheer curiosity. But, knowing that the prices are so horrendous, and considering that vuittonsofstyle didn’t care for it at all, I probably should stay away from it. That is, unless MacMyDay gives it a positive review!


I can absolutely see why Cheval Blanc and Velaa are so closely compared as the best within the Maldives. It seems almost like they counter each other in every area: where one excels, the other falters. The rooms at Cheval Blanc are undeniably better, yet the beaches at Velaa are amongst the best I've ever experienced and the freedom of walking barefoot around the entire island is wonderful; the overall attention to detail at Cheval is immense, yet our butler was better at Velaa; the activities are Velaa are only bettered by Laucala, whereas Cheval Blanc has some of the best dining options in any resort. It goes on and on, even down to the teppanyaki at Cheval being great, whereas at the fine dining at Velaa was better; Velaa is better at black cod, but Cheval is better at beef carpaccio; I preferred my massage at Velaa, but Lucie preferred hers at Cheval.

I don't think anyone could deny that the rooms at CB are far better than Velaa, but I much preferred being led directly onto the beautiful beach with soft, white sand at Velaa. The spa, activities and setting are unequivocally better than Cheval Blanc, and I suppose the rest is up for discussion. I still prefer Cheval Blanc, but I had much more fun at Velaa.

What was interesting was hearing both GMs talk fondly of each other, yet trying to differentiate themselves by saying the type of guest most likely to visit their neighbour, but both assumed the same of each other, that is, they both assumed the type of person that would go to the other property was someone different to who actually stays in their property. So let me tell you how they separate. Cheval Blanc is like your elegant, successful Aunt that everyone looks up to and admires; Velaa is your crazy Uncle that let you go watch Aliens when you were 9, then let you drink beer for his own amusement. Sure, we all love Aunt Mildred, but really our fond memories are with Uncle Cletus. I had probably the most fun I've ever had on holiday, with great memories of flying around at 35mph on jet skies....with the GM deciding to join us. There are times where you just appreciate life, and this was one. Yes, it costs $700, but I’ve eaten hundreds of meals that cost that and gave me nothing.

Submarines, jetpacks, yachts faster then speedboats, squash courts, climbing wall, tennis courts, largest gym I've ever seen, football with the staff, live pianists and bands...that's Velaa.

Price wise, Cheval and Velaa are very similar, but the main difference is the lack of group activities at Velaa, so if you want to see dolphins then cough up $2000 compared to $145/pp on a shared tour at Cheval. I like dolphins, but not that much. Perhaps better we leave them alone, I say.

So pack your bags, Mike, you're going to Velaa!

And if you don't like Velaa, try telling that to his 31 year-old man-child. Just look at that stupid grin on his stupid face, having the time of his life:



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Old Jun 27, 18, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by SSO View Post
Hard to go wrong with the Four Seasons Kuda. Food, staff, rooms, environment all top notch.
Was starting to get worried because no one seemed to show much love for the Four Seasons at Kuda or Landaa. I'm heading there in about three weeks so I will report back. 3 days at each property.
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Old Jun 27, 18, 5:15 pm
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^ MacMyDay , I am completely sold on visiting both resorts after reading your extremely helpful and, as always, very entertaining review. I really cannot wait for both resorts. On one hand you have Gathy design at CB and excellent Teppanyaki - definitely reason enough for me to go! - but on the other hand Velaa sounds like a blast (quite literally if one uses the “jetpacks”)!!

Many hotels and resorts can fall short in some areas, but completely delight me in others. So I can live with enjoying the positive aspects, and then moving on to another resort that gets the other things right.

I’m so glad you had such a fantastic trip. The two resorts are so contasting that they might be a perfect pairing for that exact reason. Appreciating the differences through comparison might heighten the enjoyment of both.

And I’ll remember to see the dolphins while at CB and probably pass on that $2,000 activity at Velaa!


Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Jun 27, 18 at 6:44 pm
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Old Jun 27, 18, 5:18 pm
  #60  
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Thanks for the summary review comparing Cheval Blanc and Velaa, @MacMyDay!

It sounds like you didn’t have negative issues with Velaa like so many others. What gives?

AIR CON? All well and good...but how is the air con in the villas and any of the indoor restaurants at either? Do the OW villas have air con that cool as well as those on land? These are critical questions of importance to those of us who are hot-blooded.

SCUBA DIVING? And does anyone have experienced perspective on the scuba diving sites in the vicinity between the two resorts—and compared with others of the top luxury properties? My impression is that Velaa has pretty good dive sites in the vicinity, while Cheval Blanc is better for snorkeling. But I still expect the FS Explorer and even the FS Landaa Giraavaru have superior diving. Anyone with serious knowledge of diving, please do advise!

My biggest problem with Bora Bora was that the scuba diving was poor for anyone who is actually experienced and not a honeymooner marveling at a few pretty fish for the first times. I am sure that this is an endemic issue in the Maldives, too, especially with the propensity of honeymooners and vacationers who likely dive for the first time or who have little perspective on amazing dive sites around the world.

Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
I can absolutely see why Cheval Blanc and Velaa are so closely compared as the best within the Maldives. It seems almost like they counter each other in every area: where one excels, the other falters. The rooms at Cheval Blanc are undeniably better, yet the beaches at Velaa are amongst the best I've ever experienced and the freedom of walking barefoot around the entire island is wonderful; the overall attention to detail at Cheval is immense, yet our butler was better at Velaa; the activities are Velaa are only bettered by Laucala, whereas Cheval Blanc has some of the best dining options in any resort. It goes on and on, even down to the teppanyaki at Cheval being great, whereas at the fine dining at Velaa was better; Velaa is better at black cod, but Cheval is better at beef carpaccio; I preferred my massage at Velaa, but Lucie preferred hers at Cheval.

I don't think anyone could deny that the rooms at CB are far better than Velaa, but I much preferred being led directly onto the beautiful beach with soft, white sand at Velaa. The spa, activities and setting are unequivocally better than Cheval Blanc, and I suppose the rest is up for discussion. I still prefer Cheval Blanc, but I had much more fun at Velaa.

What was interesting was hearing both GMs talk fondly of each other, yet trying to differentiate themselves by saying the type of guest most likely to visit their neighbour, but both assumed the same of each other, that is, they both assumed the type of person that would go to the other property was someone different to who actually stays in their property. So let me tell you how they separate. Cheval Blanc is like your elegant, successful Aunt that everyone looks up to and admires; Velaa is your crazy Uncle that let you go watch Aliens when you were 9, then let you drink beer for his own amusement. Sure, we all love Aunt Mildred, but really our fond memories are with Uncle Cletus. I had probably the most fun I've ever had on holiday, with great memories of flying around at 35mph on jet skies....with the GM deciding to join us. There are times where you just appreciate life, and this was one. Yes, it costs $700, but I’ve eaten hundreds of meals that cost that and gave me nothing.

Submarines, jetpacks, yachts faster then speedboats, squash courts, climbing wall, tennis courts, largest gym I've ever seen, football with the staff, live pianists and bands...that's Velaa.

Price wise, Cheval and Velaa are very similar, but the main difference is the lack of group activities at Velaa, so if you want to see dolphins then cough up $2000 compared to $145/pp on a shared tour at Cheval. I like dolphins, but not that much. Perhaps better we leave them alone, I say.

So pack your bags, Mike, you're going to Velaa!

And if you don't like Velaa, try telling that to his 31 year-old man-child. Just look at that stupid grin on his stupid face, having the time of his life:



https://www.flickr.com/photos/132880...57692601477570



Last edited by bhrubin; Jun 27, 18 at 5:23 pm
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