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.
- 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