In a Nutshell

Rediscover your inner castaway at Drift Thelu Veliga Retreat, the Maldives’ quintessential ‘back-to-basics’ Robinson Crusoe escape.

Prices from £1,880 per person for 7 nights on a B&B basis, including flights.

At a Glance

  • One of the best true ‘Robinson Crusoe’ islands
  • Just one restaurant
  • No TVs or flashy technology
  • Wonderful diving and snorkelling
$ $ $ $
Luxury Resort
Swimming Pool

The Detail

Drift is so unlike any other resort in the Maldives. It’s a tiny island for a start, you can walk around it in about 3 minutes and there are only 30 villas. Simplicity is the name of the game here. For instance, there’s no main pool. Drift tries to reconnect you to the true desert island experience, yet with fabulous service and cuisine. 

The villas are all thatched, with rustic charm, high ceilings and attractive driftwood furniture. The king-sized beds are draped in a mosquito net – and are positioned so you wake up with a view out to sea. As you can expect, there aren’t TVs or flashy surround-sound music machines at Drift. It’s all about going back reconnecting with what the Maldives is all about. There are, however, the bare essentials such as air-conditioning, hair-dryers, lovely bathroom amenities, mini-bar, and WiFi. Opt for either a Beach VIlla which has a lovely outdoor garden or an over-Water Villa with a private deck. 

There’s just one restaurant here, featuring a traditional thatched roof and pitched ceiling. Simple wooden tables and rattan chairs are located inside and on the open-sided decking looking directly out to sea. Opt for either al la carte or what is prepared by the show kitchens in the middle of the room. There is a good deal of variety on offer, from fresh seafood, grilled meats and lovely salads. The bar is located on the beachfront, with plenty of daybeds and sun-loungers. The floor is, as expected, sand – reaffirming the laid back approach that Drift successfully puts across. 

The Spa is located over-water, with the treatments rooms all looking out to sea. Opt for either Ayurvedic, Thai or Indonesian treatments. The spa products are by Parisien brand Thémaé, who use the antioxidant properties of the tea plant. Do try the amazing four-tea elixir which brings together the benefits of white, black, green and red tea into one skin-softening treatment.

There is a superb water-sports team at Drift, who can offer a range of activities. There is snorkelling, wind-surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, catamaran sailing, water-skiing, kite surfing, and wake-boarding. Being in the remote South Ari Atoll, you have some of the Maldives’ best diving spots all within a short speedboat journey from the resort. 

Why stay at Drift? If your idea of the Maldives isn’t gold-plated taps, under-water restaurants and a hotel that could be anywhere, read on. Where other resorts have added yet more ‘luxury’, at Drift, you reconnect to the natural luxury of what the Maldives is all about. Turquoise lagoons, palm-fringed sandy beaches, sand under your feet and that true sense you are totally away from it all in a tropical paradise. 

Drift The Veliga Retreat Maldives
Drift The Veliga Retreat Maldives