Travelling with a baby

A week in a tropical heaven with Angsana Velavaru, Maldives 

We all love a good family holiday, but Angsana Velavaru in Maldives goes far beyond that. Meaning Turtle island in Dhivehi, Velavaru is a retreat like no other, lush, stunning and remote, a marine sanctuary with crystal waters rich in marine life.

Baby sharks by its shallow shores, rays, colourful fish, corrals and dolphins – to mention just the highlights.


There’s a Marine Centre belonging to Banyan Tree who is running research, seminars and turtle conservation programs.

A week with our 2 boys passed in a blink – our 4 years old completely devastated by the time we went – tears simply rolling despite meeting his darling London friend in the island next door.

Why did we fall in love so badly?

Our deluxe beach villa to begin with. Just by the most wonderful stretch of beach, with sun chairs in front of it, porch, our own pool, little garden, outside showers and bed and dining tables. It is a gorgeous combination of natural material, wooden decks, palm trees, lush vegetation, sand, stones and vibrant paintings inside. For a family of 4 it’s simply perfection – privacy by your own pool and tropical garden, luxurious inside, pristine beach in front and most of the time deserted.

It’s a retreat, a hideaway and an adventure. We spent our days following the baby sharks by our shores, outside and inside, snorkelling, swimming, exploring. One can’t get enough of such marvels – it’s marine education and wanderings at their best.


The food, the setting and impeccable service. We would start the day wandering from our beach villa to breakfast by the most stunning beach. We’d normally say Good morning to couple of baby sharks on our way and lots of cute fish. The breakfast is to die for and the setting is superb – my 4 years old would usually indulge in a turtle shape pancake especially made for him, I would feast on tropical fruits and freshly made croissants and juices.

My 2 other boys would get their eggs to their preferences, smoked marlin, the best jamon iberico I tried outside of Spain and vegetables. The beachfront restaurant is breezy and delightful – a wooden veranda with very high roof and sandy floor . One simply feels part of a castaway island.

Happy hours start at 5pm at Kuredhi beach bar and we’ve been going regularly: perfect early dinner for kids, relaxed and social for us.

Some stunning sunsets, some chill out soundtracks complete an early evening at perfection. On few occassions we ordered in as well, freshly caught fish, delicious Maldivian seafood curries, laksas or noodles. We also opted a couple of dinners for the privacy of our pool – a perfectly special night ‘in’ by our villa, to stargaze shooting stars included.


One can order in sashimi, Maldivian treats, Asian specialities or simply pizza.  Maldives skies are so stunning and at Angsana 144 km south of Male, stargazing is simply out of this world.

Maldives sky

Maldives sky

Our favourite restaurant in the evening was Azzuro. By Angsana fabulous watervillas, we could not get enough of sunset beauty reflecting in the pristine corrals, chilling by the bar and thereafter indulging into seared tuna, octopus and scallops.



Sailing before and after dinner to our mainland paradise just rounds up a perfect grown-up evening. Azzuro at Angsana has been the highlight of a 12 days total holidays in Maldives by far.

Angsana Velavaru kidsclub. It’s cosy, delightful and amazingly ran by Tini. In 4 years of extensive travelling we’ve almost have not seen that level of involvement and dedication – hats off! Most of late mornings, the kids would escape in there and we would head for snorkelling trips.


Angsana Velavaru organises daily snorkelling safaris 11:30 and 14:30 –  a usual 15/20 min boat ride from mainland. One usually needs a snorkelling test in the open water before embraking on any trips, but with the 2 of us being advanced Padi divers, we did not really need one.


Spectacular snorkelling right by the reefs and the wall, we attended regularly! Here is 1 min clip taster. 1pm we’d head back and collect some exhausted entertained kids and order in a light lunch by our pool. Chill out music on, most of us we’d nap happily in the shade of our palm trees, chill with a Scoop magazine or simply splash in our pool.



There’s so much on fun wise – a week is really not enough enough. Kayaking by the gorgeous shores, SUP paddle boarding, diving including mantas, swim with the whale sharks, fishing trips, picnics by desserted islands and so on.



The snorkelling and diving are divine: nearby reefs are virtualy untouched plus world class possibilities are short boat trip around. Whale shark trips – a life dream of ours but we have not managed on this occassion – weather has been tricky. There’s a manta point in less than an hour reach, superb thila dives and stunning walls, some which could be enjoyed just snorkelling. The fish is abundant and I had my regular dates with the sharks – a couple of times captured on camera. Elated and very lucky!



Angsana sunset cruise is by far the best we had: the boat is sleek, the personnel the kindest, the bubbles are flowing and the canapes are delicious. Separate post coming shortly but we’ve been also in luck, over 50 dolphins joined us for over an hour.


Banyan Tree Marine Lab runs daily sting rays feeds and talks every day at 5pm. 20 minutes of sweet engagement with graceful sting rays and very often baby sharks, very educational and quite spectacular.

27798735-H1-ANVE_RecreationalFacilities_Dive Centre 54

The kids and grownups equally get to find out about the rays, why it’s important to engage with them rightly and respectfully when snorkelling or diving and how high profile cases can create misconceptions about these rather friendly creatures.

The Marine Lab also runs talks twice a week on corral conservation and marine life protection. It’s thrilling and reassuring to see Banyan Tree and Angsana in action – best of class business practice about sustainability and protecting the environment. As a parent and passionate diver, Banyan Tree and Angsana are exactly on our street of philosophy and values and ultimately the dream responsible luxury resort.



The Angsana tree is a tall tropical rainforest tree with fragrant flowers that bloom every morning; a reminder that one should live life spontaneously, savour time and moments as they pass inexorably. We savoured each moment for a week – an ultimate treat for us and the kids in a tropical paradise. We also felt so at home – it’s hard to fathom London is 10 hours flight away and Angsana Velavaru is an ultimate exotic dream!


Disclosure: Thanks a million to Banyan Tree Angsana Velavaru wonderful hospitality and media rate for 1 week. All pics, overexcited kiddies and ecstatic impressions ours.


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39 comments on “A week in a tropical heaven with Angsana Velavaru, Maldives 

  1. Pingback: 7 reasons why Maldives family holidays make a great Christmas present  - zenbabytravel

  2. Sonia
    December 31, 2017

    This looks like a really magical time for your family 😊 also the fact that you could take time to connect as a couple as well must have made it even more better. A kids club you think so highly of is a blessing as parents

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 2, 2018

      Indeed Sonia, magical is the word. Best wishes for 2018, lots of love and happy travels!

  3. Oh wow it looks incredible, definitely the sort of place that we would love to visit as a family x

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 2, 2018

      I hope you get to be guests of Angsara Velavaru soon, we can not recommend warmly enough! Best wishes for 2018, lots of love and happy travels!

  4. myrabevlife
    December 31, 2017

    I am super jealous of your incredible family trip to the Maldives, with the current weather in England I wouldn’t mind escaping to that serenity

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 2, 2018

      We hope you get to be guests of Angsara Velavaru soon, we can not recommend warmly enough! Best wishes for 2018, lots of love and happy travels!

  5. Kara
    January 1, 2018

    Looks and sounds like an amazing family holiday. I must admit I have always though of the Maldives as a honeymoon location rather than a family one so its good to know it is family friendly

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 2, 2018

      Hi Kara, it’s very family friendly and perfect even for young kids like ours! Best wishes for 2018, lots of love and happy travels!

  6. fashionandstylepolice
    January 2, 2018

    I can see you all had a nice time. The food looks yummy.

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 3, 2018

      Brilliant time and great food indeed, already thinking of going back…;) x

  7. katy@untoldmorsels
    January 5, 2018

    I’m not really one for resorts but I would make an exception for the Angsana Velavaru. What an incredible paradise for the whole family! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 5, 2018

      Indeed Katy, Angsana and Banyan Tree are best in class for sustainable luxury and ethical travel. Far cry from the touristy resorts – one can actually see in action Embracing the environment & empowering their people brands philosophy! Quite a different story to their neighbour Vilu Reef ran by Sun Siyam – will write about soon. Pleasure to link in as usual!

  8. Clare Thomson
    January 5, 2018

    What an amazing resort. Those snorkelling safaris, that food, the rooms AND that beach. Sheer heaven! #FarawayFiles

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 7, 2018

      Sheer heaven indeed Clare! X

  9. oregongirlaroundtheworld
    January 5, 2018

    WOW. What a beautiful place to spend two weeks. That sand and the water is just stunning! I love the focus on sustainable exploring and education on marine conservation as well. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful inspiration with #FarawayFiles, cheers from much chillier Copenhagen!

  10. Zen Babytravel
    January 7, 2018

    Thanks Erin, we are also now back in chillier grey London! We were very fortunate indeed to spend the week with Angsana – they are best in class at ethical travel & sustainable luxury!

  11. Esther
    January 8, 2018

    This looks absolutely devine. Currently, it’s -1C here in The Netherlands and I could really use some sunshine, warmth and a (virgin) mojito 😉

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 12, 2018

      I can’t recommend any warmer! 😉 Back in London now freezing and grey!

  12. Travelynn Family
    January 8, 2018

    Ok. Super SUPER jealous here. This looks absolutely divine! The Maldives is so close to us here in Bangalore, but the cost of the resorts have always put us off a bit… #MondayEscapes

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 8, 2018

      It is divine and it’s worth every penny! Especially when you see marine lab and conservation, sustainable luxury and ethical travels! Fingers crossed you get to go soon, keep us posted!

  13. Looks like bliss! Considering the Maldives for my special 40th bday trip this year. What were the prices like? #MondayEscapes

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 8, 2018

      I can’t recommend any warmer! It’s the perfect place to turn 40! End of December and Xmas are peak times but end of August/ September found them quite palatable. At Angsana the beach bungalows start at £350 per night and we found them great value for money – especially given the size, Velavaru facilities and Banyan Tree focus on sustainable luxury, ethical travel and marine conservation. Do keep us posted!

  14. Coombe Mill
    January 8, 2018

    What a wonderful escape. Those waters look so clear and the sunshine, oh the sunshine, sat here in January this does look appealing, I can’t wait for it to warm up now in Cornwall and hit the beach without a wetsuit! Looks like a great holiday with something there for all the family.

    thank you for sharing with me at #CountryKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 8, 2018

      Happy 2018 Fiona and lots of love and happy travels! Cornwall shores are absolutely as stunning as Maldives and the sealife is equally exciting! Pity they never get close to tropical temperatures!

  15. Steph Renovation Bay-Bee
    January 8, 2018

    This looks fantastic, what a great place to visit with the kids and as an adult too. What a experience

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 8, 2018

      Indeed Steph, a trip of a lifetime! Thanks for popping by!

  16. Elaine Livingstone
    January 8, 2018

    Sounds like an amazing holiday from so many different views. All those different experiences and foods to try and things to see.
    Such lovely weather and great blue skies.

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 12, 2018

      Elaine I can’t recommend any warmer! 😉 Tanks for popping by!

  17. mummyconstant
    January 10, 2018

    WOW this looks like a dream holiday. I would love to go here. One day! Love the drone shots 🙂 x #CountryKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 12, 2018

      We can’t recommend any warmer! 😉 Videos are GoPro and I just added a link to youtube. Thanks for popping by! X

  18. Oh this looks amazing! We have not considered the Maldives as a destination with children but after seeing all that they have to offer we would do now. Thank you for the idea we will be looking into this. #CountryKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 12, 2018

      Indeed a trip of a lifetime, kids included! Thanks for popping by!

  19. Wave to Mummy
    January 12, 2018

    Wow this looks just like a paradise – what an incredibly beautiful place. No wonder your 4 year old didn’t want to leave! I think I would have cried too at the thought of leaving back home to London ha ha. #countrykids

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 12, 2018

      Indeed a trip of a lifetime! Thank you for popping by!

  20. I am so jealous!

    • Zen Babytravel
      January 12, 2018

      Indeed Becky, a trip of a lifetime! Hope you get to go soon (BA sales are on btw). Thanks for popping by, have a lovely week-end!

  21. Mini Travellers
    January 13, 2018

    Oh that looks like heaven! I really do want a holiday like this in my life in 2018!

  22. I went on honeymoon to the Maldives, it’s truly beautiful. Nice to see it’s just as great with kids! #mondayescapes

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