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Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this property is taking.Read more
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Free cancellation until 21/08/02
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* Prices are provided by our partners, and reflect average nightly room rates, including taxes and fees that are fixed, known to our partners, and due at time of booking. Please see our partners for more details.
Traveller (980)
Room & Suite (143)
Dining (63)
What is Travellers’ Choice?
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What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitised in high-temperature wash
  • Floors marked for social distancing
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
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Updated 20/09/16 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat
Updated 20/09/16 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.


Travellers' Choice
Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat is a boutique island paradise in the Maldives' southern Ari Atoll. With only 10 beach villas and 20 water villas, the intimate resort conjures up an illusion of being cast away on a desert island. Locally inspired menus, natural spa treatments, incredible diving and signature Maldivian hospitality creates an unforgettable stay you will want to repeat year after year. The restaurant serves an array of Continental & Asian delights that would please everyone. Snorkeling on the reef as well as in various snorkeling points around the island is organized on a daily basis. Weekly excursions to the whale shark points are there for the adventurous.
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Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Free breakfast
Airport transportation
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Bar / lounge
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Couples massage
Full body massage
Sun umbrellas
Laundry service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Private balcony
Room service
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
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325Reviews38Q+A51Room tips
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Popular mentions
Hristina B wrote a review Jun 2021
9 contributions2 helpful votes
What an amazing experience! We were looking for a place to relax and just unwind for a little bit from all the madness and we couldn't have found a better hotel. Hotel The hotel itself consists of 20 water villas and 10 beach villas. We stayed in Water villa 26 on the sunset side but I found the Beach villas equally charming as they are situated right on the beach and in the shadow of the jungle-like vegetation. As a beach lover, I would strongly consider staying in one of those next time also. It's a bare foot hotel so once you step on the island, you can throw your shoes and flip flops away. There are 2 main beaches with amazing fine white sand - the Sunset one (next to the Water villas path) and the Seaplane one (the one on the side of the jetty where we usually went to see the sea planes land and take off). Both are shallow (the whole lagoon keeps a constant depth of 1.2-1.5 meter at high and 0.5-1. at low tide). There is 1 restaurant, 1 bar-restarurant, a small store and the diving center. Water Villa It was clean, spacious and very light with a big open verandah. Also, a separate shower and a bathtub with an open view to the lagoon (once you open the bathroom side doors). It was cleaned 2 times per day and we always got a little surprise on the bed in the form of a masterfully folded tower (be it a crab or a birthday cake or something else). There were fish swimming in the waters around the villa and the staircase was an easy access to the underwater world. House reef After reading a lot of reviews here and there about how bad and dead the House reef was, I was actually very pleasantly surprised to see that it's not that bad at all. Yes, there are dead corals as everywhere else on the Maldives but there are also parts where the reef is starting to come back to life and we saw so many fish that at some point I had a hard time remembering and identifying them all. The reef is huge and it spans on such a vast territory around the island that we didn't manage to go over all of it. We frequented the reef around the diving center as this is where all the commotion was happening. Sharks are a constant presence there and I got used to their company which startled me at first. There are also trigger fish, trumpet fish, sea needles, octopus, butterflyfish, angelfish, clownfish (Nemo), blue surgeon fish (Dori), parrot fish, moorish idol, different kinds of groupers, ahh, forget it, I cannot name them all. And believe it or not, we also saw a Napelon fish at the edge of the reef. There were also some stingrays passing by. We didn't see a turtle but we saw many on another reef that we went to. There is also a white moral eel that lives in the lagoon. I challenge you to find it. You will often see it chasing the crabs in the morning at the entrance of the Water villa pathway. Wake up at sunrise :) Overall experience We had a marvelous time. From the sea plane ride, to the warm welcome of the staff, all through the amazing food their chef prepares (truly, he is a Micheline star chef, all his food is so delicious I dropped my diet for good) and the knowledgeable guys at the diving center. Thank you so much for making our stay unforgettable. We will definitely return soon for more fun and adventure!
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Date of stay: May 2021
Sleep Quality
Room Tip: Water villas 31 and 22 are the last on the line and the bathroom doors open right into the open...
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2 Helpful votes
Suzy wrote a review Apr 2021
10 contributions11 helpful votes
Drift is an exquisite island! We caught a seaplane there and the friendly staff served a cup of ginger fruit juice upon arrival. We stayed at a stunning water villa, with panoramic crystal clear blue water view, with direct access to the ocean for a spectacular snorkelling experience. The reef is breathtaking and we saw beautiful coral, fish, reef shark and a turtle! We enjoyed the all inclusive package because it took care of all meals and beverages. We highly recommend Drift for a romantic getaway and relaxing under the sun!
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Date of stay: March 2021
Room Tip: Water villa has direct access to the ocean.
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1 Helpful vote
Игорь Г wrote a review Apr 2021
Vidnoye, Russia1 contribution
Бронирование отеля Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat было сделано через Агоду и подтверждено 07 декабря 2020 года. На мои два письма с уточняющими запросами отель не ответил. Наконец, 09 марта 2021 года я написал в отель и сообщил наши рейсы прибытия и убытия, а так же список гостей. 10 марта мне ответила из отеля Aminath Solih Reservations Manager: "Greetings from Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat, Many thanks for the flight detail and full names . Seaplane transfer will be arranged accordingly. We have also noted the special room location request and will try our best to accommodate as requested ." В общем подтвердила, что ждут нас. А сегодня 02 апреля 2021 пришло письмо от Агоды сообщающее, что отель отказывается принять нас по цене этого бронирования. То есть, отелю понадобилось 4 месяца что бы выяснить свою невозможность приёма гостей с уже подтверждённым бронированием. Такое неуважение к гостям отеля просто неприлично и недопустимо. Reservations for the Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat were made via Agoda and confirmed on December 07, 2020. The hotel did not respond to my two emails with further inquiries. Finally, on March 09, 2021, I wrote to the hotel and reported our arrival and departure flights, as well as the guest list. On March 10, the hotel's Aminath Solih Reservations Manager replied: "Greetings from Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat, Many thanks for the flight detail and full names . Seaplane transfer will be arranged accordingly. We have also noted the special room location request and will try our best to accommodate as requested ." In general, she confirmed that they are waiting for us. And today, on April 02, 2021, we received a letter from Agoda informing us that the hotel refuses to accept us at the price of this booking. That is, the hotel took 4 months to find out its inability to receive guests with an already confirmed reservation. Such disrespect for hotel guests is simply indecent and unacceptable.
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Date of stay: March 2021
sara h wrote a review Feb 2021
London, United Kingdom7 contributions5 helpful votes
Beautiful place, snorkelling right out of your balcony, nice staff, a bit too religious for covering at the beach but altogether is fine. Good buffet food too much Indian spices in everything even steamed vegetable. Water villas are very nice. A bit far from the airport but also very private. It’s good for couples. If you have kids probably you need another island.
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Date of stay: January 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
cj_kayne wrote a review Feb 2021
Klosters Platz, Switzerland29 contributions33 helpful votes
Despite a few initial wrinkles communicating with the reservation staff and availability of the masseuse...we had the perfect family Christmas and NY at Drift. Although officially an adult only resort we were allowed to bring our children with us as an exception. All members of staff were very friendly. The bungalows were well appointed and cleaned twice per day. Mr “Su-Santa” (maitre d’) satisfied all our culinary desires. You must reserve the lobster lunch at the beach! “Riffle” (and Monty) took very good care of us on all the excursions. We really appreciated the extra activities the resort organised to entertain our family. Elias’s gin fizz and sunny disposition was a daily delight. In general the buffet was ok / as expected. The quality of the a la carte was very good. We are not fans of big commercial resorts and prefer a la carts vs all inclusive. Conclusion: don’t expect a fully well oiled machine...there will be some imperfections...but the laid back, authentic and friendly atmosphere in a picture perfect setting overcame any worries or concerns that we may have had. Highlights: 1. Snorkelling on the House reef / Excursions with “Riffle” to see the Mantas and Turtles 2. Romantic lobster lunch at the beach 3. Friendliness of all staff Lowlights: 1. Communication with reservation staff (at time of booking) 2. Wine list
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Date of stay: December 2020
2 Helpful votes
US$523 - US$1 121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
MaldivesAlifu AtollSouthern Ari AtollThelu Veliga
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Frequently Asked Questions about Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat
What are some of the property amenities at Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a refrigerator.
What food & drink options are available at Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Does Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Is Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.01 km away from the centre of Thelu Veliga.
Does Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.