Privacy And Harmony


An idyllic location, tropical sunshine and breath-taking natural beauty – the Maldives has it all. L-J Andrew explores a true jewel in the crown of this island paradise

Surrounded by deep blue waters, flourishing coral reefs and powder white beaches, the chain of islands that makes up the Maldives provides the ultimate destination to unwind with a delicious cocktail whilst lounging in a hammock or, for those slightly more active, exploring the vivid coral reefs on excellent snorkelling and scuba diving excursions.

The islands are also home to some of the world’s foremost resorts; which offer sensational menus, incredible accommodation and soul-soothing spa treatments. Nestled within the constellation of islands that form the Noonu Atoll region, Velaa Private Island takes luxury to the next level, with facilities and services that go beyond traditional resorts.

Born from a love for the Maldives, Velaa Private Island is the passion project of Radka and Jiří Šmejc, with the aim of creating the world’s most luxurious private island resort. Jiří spent countless weeks in the Maldives both on holidays and while taking his business trips from Europe to Asia. The islands became his true passion: all beautiful, but each of them falling short on some part of the visitor experience he valued. Filling this gap became the driving inspiration behind Velaa Private Island. An island meeting the ideas of what a luxurious private resort should be. An island keeping real privacy for its guests but at the same time versatile enough to provide number of first-class enjoyment opportunities, Velaa is a destination in a category of its own, home to an array of amenities unseen across the Indian Ocean.

Velaa means “turtle” in Dhivehi, the local Maldivian language. The name is inspired by the generations of sea turtles that inhabit the island and its beautiful coral reef. Conceptualised by renowned Czech architect, Petr Kolář, the design weaves contemporary luxury with intimate Maldivian nuances and throughout the resort, a subtle design reference to the turtle is always present. From a bird’s eye aerial view, the exclusive over-water villas form the head of a turtle, whilst the island itself, alongside strategically placed jetties, resemble its body and flippers.

Additionally, the waters surrounding the islands boast10 to 12 different species of whales and dolphins, offering excellent viewing opportunities, and saving the island namesake and restoring the surrounding splendour has become a passion project. Velaa has transported over 8,000nursey grown corals, increasing growth on the island by 5%,with 2,000 corals transplanted in 2021 alone, which now cover 450m2more of the house reef. Guests to the island can experience first-hand the extraordinary rewards of the restoration, thought the well-equipped dive shop offering PADI certification from beginner through to dive master. Those looking to immerse themselves further into the marine world can also sign up to shadow the coal biologists for the day, collecting research as they snorkel or scuba dive through the blossoming underwater world.

Thoughtfully designed, all 47 villas across the island have been conceived as a place of effortless comfort and perfect escape. With private residences, designed with endless space to share your most meaningful occasions, to two-bedroom villas with boundless room to play, reconnect, and create memories, that are a quiet haven for families. For an even more heightened sense of privacy, the wonderfully secluded ‘The Romantic Residence’, accessible only by boat, is a world unto itself.

Across the board, Velaa is a place of pure seclusion, a tropical paradise in harmony with the environment and the tranquil Maldivian way of life.


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