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“A great return trip - fantastic diving”
Review of Bandos Maldives

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Bandos Maldives
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bandos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 March 2012

This was our 11th visit to Bandos, we return here mainly because of the dive centre and the fantastic house reef.

The island is just a short hop from the airport, you are met by a representative and taken to the speedboat for your transfer, 20 minutes later you are on the island. Check in usually doesn't take long, then you are taken to your room, with your bags following, which can take 30 minutes depending on the number of guests at arrival.

We always stay in a standard room, due to their location to the dive centre, they are plenty big enough with a huge bed, table and chairs and a wetroom style bathroom. Yes the olive green colour of the bathroom is a bit of a 70's throwback, but it all works and you don't spend all your holiday in there! There is a double wardrobe that also contains a safe, if like us you don't take many clothes (we live in shorts and tops) then there is plenty of space, but if you have lots of clothes then you may find the hanging space a bit limited.

The island itself it not a luxury destination, but then again you are not paying top prices to stay here. The beaches are affected by the tide, so at high tide there is not the vast expanse of sand to be found. There are plenty of sunloungers to be found and your beach towels are changed daily by your room boy.

We always go B&B as we don't think that they additional cost for half or full board can be justified. Breakfast is in the Gallery restaurant, and being divers we are always at breakfast early, which is good as the heat hasn't really hit then. Lunch tended to be at Sundowners with dinner either at Seabreeze or Sundowners. We rarely spent more than $25 for lunch and $60 for dinner which when compared to $120 a night for FB you can see why we opt for B&B.

The dive centre is professionally run with a great team, from the boat boys who will help you on dive trips with your kit, to the divemasters who guide the trips up to the instructors. The ladders on the boats have recently been refurbished making it easier to get back on board at the end of the dive, with proper wooden steps, rather than string wrapped around the rungs. The house reef is teeming with fish life, a fantastic experience for snorkelers and divers alike.

One draw back to our most recent trip is the large number of chinese guests that were staying on the island. They were loud, rude and had no concern for their fellow guests or their surroundings. They descend on everything like a plague of locusts, the amount of food taken (and then wasted) by the average couple would have easily fed a family of 5 or 6! They had no concern for the aquatic life, standing on coral and generally disregarding anyone around them.

In summary if you are looking for an unpretentious resort, that is reasonably priced with only a short transfer, then Bandos fits the bill. If you have deeper pockets and are looking for exclusivity and seclusion then look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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6  Thank alliefat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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869 - 873 of 2,060 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2012

Very dissapointing resort. We went on a all inclusive you can only eat in the main Galley Buffet Restaurant and drink in the sand bar, all other bars and restaurant you have to pay.
It is a very tired resort and much more attention to detail is required.
The sun loungers on the beach are basic plastic and very uncomfortable no matress on them, i recently had surgery to my neck and spine and asked for 3 days if i could hire or buy a matress, no one came back to me, so in the end i Text the Rep and she got in touch with Guest Relations She said she would do something, I could`nt believe it when i found 2 old padded seat covers must have been something they dug out from somewhere different sizes on the porch Embarrasing
Bar service at the sand Bar was hit and miss Mahir was very attentive Lunch times you couldnt get served Galley Restaurant staff need to be more aware one morning when we went for breakfast there was still a empty wine and water bottle on the table from the night before and the waiter just walked past it till he was told to move it by one of the managers.
Beaches were untidy even after the staff had been round to clear them in the mornings, a little more attention to detail and a bit of thought is required
It is definetley not a English persons Resort lots of Russians there was also a lot of children running about We were there 2 weeks and never really spoke to anyone. You have to pay for wifi and can only get it in reception areas.
The food was very good and a varied choice for everyone. could`nt believe people taking plastic bags in with them and filling them with food
On the plus side the house reef is excellent

Room Tip: Beach bungalows are in better position than Garden bungalow
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Elaine4939
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2012

I travelled here last year with my partner. We stayed in a beach front Villa which was stunning. It has a fantastic enclosed rear garden with a Jaccuzzi with opens up directly from your bathroom. Walked round the entire island in about 40 minutes. They have great sport facilities and also diving. The food was amazing and all the staff were great.Its about a 30min transfer from Male and well worth a visit.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

I have a conflict of interest to state first with this review. I have been to Bandos several times as an expatriate after living in Male' for a year and a half, and while it was a lively and generally a good value for money desert-island escape, as a follower of Maldivian politics and a former resident of the country – the resort's political links are offputting.

Right now, It's owner's role in the questionable government that has come to power in February this year under an apparent “coup d'etat, would make me reconsider my stay right now and make me look at other resort’s near to the capital and Male' airport..

“Bit of a hippy”

Yes. I am afraid I am that much of a hippy, but the Maldives has many destinations that are great value for many and are not linked to a government that has failed to live up to its promises on providing early elections and independently probing its legitimacy. Before considering the resort please take a few minutes to take in the current situation, it wont affect you on a resort, but may affect the people beyond the resort.

Lively and great value for money

But what of the resort itself? well Bandos Island Resort is a short boat ride away from the country's airport has several stand out activities and seemed to be designed for families and couples looking to mix beach-side indulgence with a touch of water sports and other activities.

During my brief stays here, I have had quite reasonable rates staying at one of the resort's Jacuzzi villas, which have quite a unique design - the centre point of which for me was the semi-outside bathroom culminating in the private sheltered hot-tub. Despite the heat of the country, it provided an unforgettable way to unwind and get out of the sun after losing my usual alabaster demeanour.

This was particularly good for me as the property' beach areas tended t be a little smaller and secluded amongst the island's vegetaion. This is perfect for a touch of you time, but hardly bucket and spade stuff compared to some other resorts that allow for a bit of finding your own space in the sand.

Conversely, the waters do lead out directly into the coral rather quickly, which while brilliant for snorkelling and exploring the local wildlife, I felt it did limit simple minded frolicking in the sea.

In terms of food, there is an attractive cafe/bar area over the island's water, but under the all-inclusive package I had, the main restaurant serving all guests was a buffet containing a few local standards and some very good pasta, rice and curry dishes. I tended to just mix everything, but there should be a pleasant collection to sate most tastes over a stay of a few days to a week. The resort can seem as relatively small as it is charming, though it hosts several bars ranging from a more happening evening bar and dance floor that hosts more lively behaviour and even crab racing, to a very charming hostelry based literally inside the resort's main pool and quite a chilled out beach-side drinking hole for a spot of looking out over the ocean contemplatively. For additional cost there are also some notable excursions including a Saturday night fishing and barbecue trip on a nearby desert island. Yet getting the most from the resort may come from just sitting out and chilling out with the bubbles in your private tub or champagne flute.

Overview

So on the plus side, the resort is a great value for money introduction to the warmth and waters of the Maldives all within a twenty minute boat ride from Male'.

But on the hippy side, I find the beach areas to be a little confined and not hugely built for roaming and frolicking.

Also, in light of a travel advisory aimed at raising awareness of the key figures who have benefited in the alleged “coup d'etat” that ousted the country's first democratically elected leader in Februry 2012, I cannot n good conscience go back until early elections are called this year in line with calls from a large number of Maldivians.

Please make up your own mind and have a good look at some of the media coverage

Wherever you go though, have a great holiday.

Room Tip: Regular beach villas are quite simple, but the Jacuzzi Villas have quite a charm.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank lamaleexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 February 2012

We spent one week here and it was very nice. In my opinion after one week you've done everything you can do here respectively you don't learn anything new anymore (the entertainment program repeats after one week).
Bandos has many advantages: It's close to the airport and to Male. The prices are humaine (compared to other resorts) and it has a very beautiful house reef (compared to the other resorts) which you can reach by snorkling.
All the roads and plants are beautifully arranged with much effort.
The cleaning personel do a good job work hard and are friendly
The food on the buffed is ok but the waiters are very unfriendly even if you speak nicely to them or if you tip them.
You can get internet on the main reception or on the sundowners bar but you have to pay 2$ for one hour which you have to use up within 24 hours.
Try the romantic dinner! Even though expensive you have a very nice private dinner at the beach of Kuda Bandos (neighbouring island).

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Michael U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bandos Maldives

Address: (Formerly Bandos Island Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Bandos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bandos
Price Range: €178 - €561 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Bandos Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 215
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Not wishing to rest on the laurels of our existing achievements, Bandos Maldives had in the past year undertaken a major refurbishment project with the intention of transforming ourselves into a hotel that is truly reflective of the times. Careful consideration however, was given at all times to ensure that the old-world refinement for which the island has a reputation remained uncompromised. Under the project, major facelifts have been given to the front desk, lobby areas, shops, restaurants and bars and have furthermore commissioned a new swimming pool and additional accommodation facilities all of which perfectly blend with the island's tropical splendour and give visitors a taste of the Maldivian aesthetic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bandos Island Hotel Bandos
Bandos Island Resort Maldives
Bandos Island Maldives
Bandos Maldives

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