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Reviews (1,503)
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A TripAdvisor Member
Hong Kong
1
Reviewed 10 July 2011

We spent 5 nights in this resort and the service is excellent!
All staffs are well trained and always assisted customers with heart and smile!
The food is very good too though there is one restaurant on the island.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2011

I'm comparing this to our other trip (to bora bora) seeing that they're both on "idyllic" islands and is similarly priced. I choose this resort thinking (hoping) that it would be similar to our bora bora stay PLUS it's "all inclusive" (they do not mention that drinks are not included). The food was borderline edible. Every meal I had to figure out why they didn't just hire me to cook instead. Fish=dried out cardboard, chicken=dried out cardboard, beef=dried out cardboard, their premixed salads=something my lawnmower leaves behind. The only plus would be the desserts and fruits (although it's nothing special that I couldn't get from my home town). So even though it's kinda all inclusive I'd rather I have to pay for food that's atleast decent and edible. Service at eating area was good but elsewhere mediocre. We probably got the worst beachfront hut on the island (#47) as they were doing construction beside us (that's our luck I guess). Asking for a room change was just a waste of our breaths as they just blew us off. So we bared with it. Even though we had workers from the construction walking through our hut=No Privacy (vs. Bora bora you had absolute privacy). And sawing/hammering sounds throughout the afternoon=Not Enjoyable. Rooms and room service was clean and tidy.
The ocean water is very choppy, if you're not careful the waves will push you into corals (vs. Bora bora the lagoons were pricelessly peaceful and snorkeling was a joy). Ocean was also filled with "men of war" jelly type fish (I really had badluck onthis trip, I got stung twice the two times I tried snorkeling there, so I didn't go back in the ocean again). So to sum up, I wish I had spent my money more wisely and went to Bora Bora.

  • Stayed: July 2011
    • Value
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5  Thank 1grl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Manager at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2011

Dear 1grl,


First and foremost, please allow me to take this opportunity to thank you for your recent visit to Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and taking the time for raising your concerns about the deficiencies of our food and our services which did not meet with your expectations as well as our own.


We have shared your gracious comments with our Housekeeping and Maintenance Teams on the cleanliness and tidiness of your villa.


Please accept my unreserved apologies for the dissatisfaction you had experienced during your meals and the disturbance you encountered from some maintenance work that had occurred during your stay with us. Please rest assured that I have addressed these issues with the appropriate Leaders so that corrective measures are taken to avoid any re-occurrence of such situations. We thank you for your feedback as it is feedback such as yours that we constantly strive to improve our services and facilities.


My apologies for the shortfalls in the service you received. I hope that this incident will not deter you from giving us another chance to improve our service and that you will give us the opportunity in the near future to welcome you back to the Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru.


Sincerely,


Albert Ocasio
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2011

We recently spent our honeymoon here and couldn't have wished for more. It's paradise! Villa was luxurious and comfortable; food was varied, creative and delicious; staff are incredibly friendly and attentive; facilities fantastic; the sea and snorkeling awesome.

I was interested to read the 1-star reviews here and found the comments in them, generally, utterly laughable!

Can't recommend this island highly enough!

  • Stayed: May 2011
    • Value
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5  Thank gregorg79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2011

My friend and I arrived for a 5 days vacation. We were impressed with the staff, especially the dive centre. We were glad we had Hamidh, our dive guide who was very patient, friendly and professional in his work. The dive boat team were humours people too, we enjoyed ourselves so much, we were diving almost everyday, save for the day we arrived and the last day we leave. Hami, we were told is actually from Angasana Ihurure. He restored our confidence in diving as we had a bad experience before elsewhere, so much so that we had already made plans for our dives next year. For beginners with less than 15 dives, he is a god send. We still have fond memories of him even now!! Our favourite dive guide!

On our last day, we had a bad experience while snorkelling on the house reef in Angsana Ihuru. Due to strong wind and big waves, we were cut on the corals. It happened because we lost one fin from the resort and had to retrieve it. The waves push us against the corals and we ended up having both legs badly bleeding with cuts and abrasions. In the struggle to balance, I lost the plastic mouth piece of my snorkel set. There was no time to think or panic. Choking on sea water and trying to breath, I was lucky to get to shore. Even now, I get palpitations just to think of what might have gone wrong. I might not even be here to write this.

It was our own fault and we did not blamed anyone we need to make some claims against our travel insurance. For lost equipment and injury. Besides that, we had a big problem with my laptop that is not working which has had no problem prior. We requested for a letter to proof to our travel company that we were travelling and staying on the resort.

First, the front desk person, Washeed did not even offer any word of concern or if I need any medication as I even showed him my cuts. though I explained what I had gone through. Then the manager in charge, refused to entertain us and claimed our laptop was under warranty. If it was, why would I had bothered in the first place. After my explanation, he went away to talk to his manager again. When he did not returned, as by this time, we were sitting around at the bar waiting for our transfer, we went to checked with him again.

He then gave us a letter, penned with obvious hints of our "supposed" claims and that the resort had had no choice but to support those claims. We were merely asking for a simple proof of being there, as is the required standard procedure for travel insurance. The resort is not liable for any of our lost or claims. I had never ever had any problem from any resort around the world from 3*to 5*. It took closed to 6 hours going back and forth and by then it is already 10pm and time to transfer to the airport.

By this time, we really had enough! The night duty manager, Ali tried to re-write the letter again. I asked him why it was so difficult to give a simple letter and his reply was that he had never done anything like this before. Such a lame excuse from someone of his position for travel insurance is a very common issue in this era.

I had taken pictures of my cuts and have since seen a doctor to make my own claims. I was told by doc that my legs were infected and it was a good thing I had gone to consult him. The cuts had turned sceptic and itched badly. My legs looked ghastly!

Banyan Tree is very good in their day to day service, but come to think of it, so is lots of other similar resorts in the maldives. But they don't care about their guests safety and obviously can't handle crisis. Not only are they not sympathetic towards my trauma, they are just so afraid I will give them more problems. This is no way to treat guests!

We will never recommend Banyan Tree or related. Having spent tons of money to have a good holiday, we want to leave with good memories. But nothing prepared us to stomach management attitude of this sort - we are like poison! And the last thing, we never expect it from Banyan Tree!

Room Tip: Staff has zero adversity quotient
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
31  Thank bestteo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Manager at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2011

Dear bestteo,


Thank you for your valuable feedback regarding your stay at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, we are pleased to read and have shared your gracious comments to Hami and our Dive Centre team. It was great to read that during your diving experience with them, they had the ability to restore your confidence in diving once again.


Please accept my unreserved apologies for the disappointment you have experienced during the last day of your trip. We continuously strive to improve our product and services based on feedback such as yours. There are no acceptable excuses I can offer with the shortfalls in the service you experienced with regards to the handing of your situation by our Front Office associates. These concerns have been raised to our Front Office Leaders for them to look into ways of eliminating such incidents from occurring again.


Once again, thank you for bringing your experience to our attention. I certainly do hope that despite these, you had a relaxing stay at our resort and enjoyed the diving at our sister property, Angsana Ihuru. We also hope to have the honor of welcoming you to Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, allowing us the opportunity of providing you a truly wonderful and memorable Banyan Tree experience.


Sincerely Yours,


Albert Ocasio
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2011

Stayed 4 nights/5 days with friend. We are very impressed with most of the staff. From Ibrahim at the restaurant, who served with a smile even though some guests were very trying. Also with the dive centre and our instructor, Hamidh whom we discovered was actually from Angsana Ihuru. Rauf who is very attentive and very humorous and friendly. Both have a special place in our hearts. These are the people who are priceless in their service.

Villa
We had a beach front villa. It is very small by my standard but layout is ok. I like the jacuzzi and the outdoor shower. Dislike the ants that are all over the place but usually I just ignored them. I like the music in the room. The incense and burner are great touches.

Food
Breakfast selection is very boring. The standard kind of various bread, a wide selection of danish crossiants. Mixture of different cheese and museli mix. There is nothing of interest from the main area where sausage, potatoes, bacon, etc . So its always bread and some cheese, omelette and fruits for me. Appreciate that fruit is freshly cut and there is a tropical mix.

Lunch is always buffet style outdoors, so it is easy to do. Get what you want and get on with your activity. If dinner is buffet style, it is alright, but if it goes a la carte with set meal selection, it gets to be a real headache. The wait is long and boring. Sorry to say this but some of the food, I don't understand and do not appreciate. As the selection is very limited, there is no way you can avoid things you don't like.

Something must be done with the mozzies or insects that likes to attack diners. I was always bitten by mozzies and they are big. I had to flip the napkins about but always ended up with bad welts and ugly big bite marks that were both red and itchy.

Dive Centre
Had a truly wonderful experience with dive master, Hami. He is fantastic and very patient and very detailed in his description of the dive spots that we did everyday. If he is not there, I don't think my experience with the resort is anything to rave about. The boat team is equally fantastic. They warmed my heart!

The fins although provided free is very bad and cause blisters if you snorkel and dive everyday like us.Fins provided for snorkel and dive is the same, which I find hard to accept. We had dived at other local outfits in Asia, like Bali and the Phillippines, and they provide professional dive fins with adjustable back straps on top of your booties. So that guests would not get cuts or blisters. This is a 5 star resort providing cheap rubber fins for dives and charging close to US$103 per dive, including petrol, insurance and 10% service charge, and 3.5% GST. I am still enjoying the blisters. No running or working shoes, possible for the next few days.

House Reef
It is great. Very nice and enjoyable. Make sure you check out wind direction and make your entry and exit from designated spots. We saw turtles, black tipped sharks, colorful fishes.

Wireless Internet
Connection is nothing to rave about. Super slow and very bad at times. It does not matter even if you are at the bar. It is still the same.

No Transit Room After Check out
If you were on a late flight like us, final check out time is 2pm without having to pay extra. It rained when we checked out, that means there is only one place to go - this means the Bar! The only place with shelter. There is only one shower and bathroom at the side. The shower is outdoor. Because the weather is bad and it was raining, everyone had to take a shower in the rain if you want to freshen up.I had to wait for 15 mins for the lady before me as this is the only designated "one and only shower" on the entire island for all the guest to use before they leave. However, to stay longer in the villa, we were told we had to pay US$250 for use till 730pm.

This is my 3rd time in the maldives, and I had never any need to pay extra. In fact, i was given a very nice private room, complete with TV, drinks, shower, towels and it was very comfortable and very warm in both Royal Island and Adaraan Vadoo Prestige. It was very touching because it meant although I had checked out officially, I was still their valued guest.

We would not return to Banyan Tree again as we had a bad experience first hand, on the last day of our stay! This is posted in Part 2

Room Tip: No recommendations
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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19  Thank twofeathersSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BTGroup, Manager at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2011

Dear twofeathersSingapore


Thank you very much for your constructive valuable feedback.


First and foremost, please allow me to take this opportunity to apologize for the incidents you experienced during your recent stay here at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. I appreciate you taking your time to raise your concerns about the services which did not meet with your expectations and as well as our own too.


This is certainly not indicative of the usual high standards of our resort and I apologize again for this shortfall which could have, to a large extent, been avoided with more attention to detail and communication with you. I have personally addressed these issues with the respective leaders so that preventive measures are in place to avoid any future occurrence. We thank you for your feedback and it is feedback like yours that we constantly strive to improve our services and facilities.


I hope that you will give me and our associates the opportunity in the future to welcome you back to Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru.


Sincerely,


Albert Ocasio

Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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