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Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, UAE, Safaris

The reason behind our Round-the-World in a Week Trip is to attend the Grand Opening Festivities at Velaa Private Island.  Yes, we traveled all this way for a party!  It is already our 3rd visit to Velaa Private Island since November (Linara Travel fans might remember our New Year’s Eve photos from Velaa Private Island).  Our nonstop seaplane from the Maldives airport (the World’s largest seaplane terminal) to Velaa Private Island was a scenic 50 minute flight. Velaa knows us well as we were greeted on arrival with Champagne!

Our butler, Boos – who is developing a bit of a following with some of our guests as Boos does an excellent job – drove us by buggy (golf cart) to our over water villa.  We booked a normal over water villa (which are amazing); however, Boos kept driving further and further along the over water Jetty and eventually stopped at the very end – a huge villa called the Ocean Pool House.  Tara and I thought Boos took us to the wrong villa.

It turns out Velaa Private Island nicely upgraded us to the amazing Ocean Pool House which is so large and private it has sunrise and sunset views!  It is 5,390 sq. ft. in total area.  The deck has a huge pool and Jacuzzi on it.  The living room has a glass cut-out in the floor and there is a separate dining room and bar area, kitchen, and two master bedrooms.  There is a cool music system throughout the villa and steps that lead directly to excellent snorkeling in the lagoon!  The view from the Ocean Pool House is among the best in the World!

Within seconds of being on the deck, Tara pointed to the water and said, “Lindsey what is that?”  I looked down and saw a turtle swimming past.  Velaa means turtle in the local language so it was a perfect start to our stay!  This really happened!

It was off to the spa for an hour massage.  We both picked the Melting Honey Deep Touch Massage.  I did not have a clue as to what this massage would be like, but the idea that it could involve honey being lathered all over me was all I thought about.  The massage was exquisite.  I still need to find out what was massaged into my skin; however, it was a light to moderate massage with long smooth strokes.  After 20+ hours on planes, a soothing massage was just what I needed.  In fact, I loved the massage so much, I think it should be required for everyone arriving at Velaa from such far distances!

We enjoyed lunch at Aragu Restaurant, which is the fine dining restaurant and won best Fine Dining Restaurant at our recent 2014 LT Maldives Awards.  The food was spectacular – a Michelin-star worthy experience!  We were honored to spend time with Jiri Smejc, the owner and visionary behind Velaa Private Island.  The  Fischbach quartet from New York performed brilliantly!

It was then off to the Jose Maria Olazabal Golf Academy for a lesson.  The golf facility is the most elaborate, well-conceived, and beautiful golf facility in the Maldives and I highly recommend playing during any stay.  Tara and I picked up some great tips from Martin, the resident golf pro.

We finished off the night at the official Grand Opening Party!  The entrance to the party including 1,300 pounds of rose petals perfectly laid out on the floor.  What an amazing entrance!  The spread of food was perhaps the most impressive display I’ve ever seen.  It’s impossible to list the variety, quality, and presentation of the food as words can’t possibly do it justice.  It’s something that can only happen at Velaa Private Island!  A stunning firework display, a terrific performance by The Gypsy Queens, and introductions by the wonderful Sonia Couling were highlights from a spectacular night of celebrating the incredible achievements of this unique resort.

Velaa Private Island is one of, if not, the best resort in the World!

By the numbers on our Round-the-World in a Week Trip:
Minutes it took Tara to see a turtle from the deck of our Ocean Pool House at Velaa Private Island:  2
Times Lindsey went down the Water Slide in The Private Reserve:  6
Miles walked around Singapore:  7.9
Perfect beers poured in Tokyo:  4

Flights so far:
Boise to Los Angeles – 1 hour 36 minutes – United Airlines – CRJ700
Los Angeles to Tokyo – 12 hours 30 minutes – Singapore Airlines – A380
Tokyo to Singapore – 7 hours 10 minutes – Singapore Airlines – A380
Singapore to Maldives – 4 hours 5 minutes – Singapore Airlines – A330
Maldives to Velaa Private Island – 50 minutes – Trans Maldivian Air – DHC-6 (seaplane)

For photos of the Velaa Private Island portion of our trip, check-out our Facebook page:

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