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“Everthing but food is perfect”

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Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vabbinfaru
Reviewed 24 May 2010

I just came back from Banyan tree Maldives

The room is perfect open the door to see the ocean and white

This place is the best way to snorkeling because the coral are so close to your room (may just 100m)

Only thing I don't like about this hotel is food. Something that should come in hot like grill menu or crispy menu are not hot and the food variety are not much.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Enikuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 May 2010

We took a ten hour flight from Heathrow to Male, upon arrival we were directed to the Banyan Tree desk where we were greeted by name(very nice touch), we were taken to the speedboat and were given some complimentary water and carried on our journey of 25 mins to Vabbinfaru. You get alovely view of the sister Island when you come in so be sure to get yor cameras ready. We arrived and were greeted by resort manager Jamal and some staff and were promptly checked in. We were given a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe beachfront villa as we were on honeymoon which was a lovely surprise.
The Island is small but beautiful , it only takes ten mins to walk all the way around it (something we did every night). Our room was lovely, one inside and one outside shower, an outside private hot tub, the bed was very comfartable also. There was a safe,mini fridge and CD player with music also supplied. We had our own garden and beach loungers with a balcony and our own hut to cool down in right on the beach. Our room boy made our bed with flowers and we had a new little gift each day which I loved.
The staff were wonderful always, we were always called by our names, everyone was polite, friendly, always smiling and made us feel very welcome.
There is a spa on the Island which is excellent and I would deinately recommed a visit there, my husband and I had a couples treatment which was amazing.
The snorkelling on the Island was magnificent, we saw a huge variety of fish, some sting rays and even a few sharks! It was truly an unforgettable experience, I'm completley hooked. The snorkelling equipment can be hired for free from the dive school.
The food was fabulous and there was always a good variety supplied. Breakfast was a mix of full english, continental and asian dishes with an egg and waffle bar and a fresh fritu and juice bar ( different fresh juices everyday). Lunch was a barbeque buffet with lots of grilled chicken and fish, salad and food from whichever theme was that day. Evening meal was a six course affair with two or three options for every course.There was always something different and wonderful to try.
There are lots of things to whilst at Vabbinfaru, snorkelling, canoeing, PADI dive school, sandbank and in-villa dining. Conservation school, daily sting ray and turtle feeding. Various trips to Male, other Islands and fishing trips but we only did snorkelling as we just wanted to relax and chill out after the months of stress before the wedding.
Banyan Tree has the full package, beautiful rooms, great staff, fabulous food, the most amazing spa I have been to (and I have been to a few), plenty to do if you want it but also perfect for kicking back relaxing and doing nothing if that is that is what you would prefer.. It also has the most out of this world views above and below the water. I have no hesitations in recommending Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru , we had the most amazing honeymoon and we wouldn't change a thing.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TRAVELBUGSJK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2010

This is probably the best place I have ever stayed, and I get to stay in the best hotels in the world for a living!
The whole experience, from the airport greeting, check-in, accommodation, food, facilities, service, etc, etc.

My first time snorkellng and I'm hooked.

We booked a week and stayed for two due to the volcanic ash cloud and the staff were fantastic, helping with our daily changing plans!

I have already recommended this resort to two friends and look forward to going back, regularly!

The only slight disappointment is the expensive, short wine list.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank StevieB10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2010

We have stayed in a number of high end and boutique hotels over the years, but the Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru pips them all to the top of my list.

It's a real robinson crusoe experience but in beautiful balinese inspired rooms.

We had a beach front villa, and it is exactly that. You are about 10 metres from the fantastically topaz coloured sea. You can't help but relax and unwind from all the stresses of the "real" world.

I am not usually a fan of full board or all inclusive packages, as it means you don't get a choice and too many times as they already have your money they don't worry about the quality as much. This could not be further from the truth with the Banyan Tree. The meals are always varied and the breakfast is the usual buffet style but with such an amazing range of fresh fruit, prepared with such care by the chefs. Lunch is again a buffett and freshly prepared salads and bbq'd meat are in abundance. Dinner is however on another level. It is exquisite fine dinning, but with out the pomposity that usually goes with it. If you don't like anything that is on the menu, the staff are happy to cater for you and you can order pretty much anything off menu.

The Spa and the dive school were also great, but I think if I was to do anything differently it would have been to get my PADI certification before going, as the last thing you really want to be doing is studying whilst on holiday.

As this was our first diving experience we could only go 12 metres down. We went off the beach and past the house reef, and almost instantly were emersed in a vast array of sea life. There are so many different fish I can't remember them all but there were also turtles, lion fish and even sharks (don't worry they don't come too close and there hasn't been any shark attacks in the last 20 years or so!) . It was absolutely amazing and so accessible to even first time divers.

If you aren't up for scuba diving you can snorkel around the house reef and still see all the wonders through the crystal clear and amazingly calm sea. The dive school will supply you with all the equipment you need at no charge.

The hotel is also rated as one of the top hotels in the Maldives from an eco tourism perspective. They really take this seriously and have a turtle sanctuary and run regular classes at the Marine Lab.

So in short.... Go there... you won't be disappointed!!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Travelling_XY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2010

Banyan Tree was our first week of two week holiday followed by Naladhu. Overall we enjoyed our stay at a great location and are considering returning, but pleased we went on to Naladhu as second part of holiday rather than the reverse.
For a 5* Hotel I would give it 8/10 – a few little irritations make me mark it down a notch (hopefully management to note!).
Firstly, the cuisine - excellent food preparation and presentation, with wide choice of buffet lunch - BUT we were really disappointed with the bland ‘ international’ dinner menu choice – at least one local Maldivian or Sri Lankan / Indian dish could easily be added as an option each day. Our waiter Ibrahim arranged for us to have two wonderful local fish curries as "specials" - much appreciated – let’s see more of this! Service standard at all three meals was extremely high. On a minor point of comfort - most women were struggling to place their feet on the ground sitting on chairs that are too high off the ground - I suggest sawing 2/3 inches off the table and chair legs! My wife had to use a 4” x 4” block of wood as a foot rest . . . .The main bar "happy hour" is completely ineffective between 10 -11pm - why not bring it back to 5-6 or 6-7pm and encourage a little more pre-dinner social interaction for those that want it? (and increase turnover significantly!)

Secondly, the Chalets - we decided that de Luxe Beach House was the better choice and initial impressions were favourable, but if you need shade be careful about the Sunset side - No 12 had no shade other than the two bed Cabana and once the sun moved lower (after 2.30 pm) we were simply too hot. . We requested a move to the Sunrise side which was cooler and had more shade and this was achieved efficiently by the staff next day. The rooms are all the same size wise (adequate in size, tastefully furnished) but some lacked comfortable reading seats although our second room did at least have half way comfortable "steamers" in the hot tub area . No. 12 had an excellent aircon unit, but our second room No 37 had an older a/c unit that was either full on or off - I gather to be upgraded soon (hopefully!). We had our sleep disturbed by overcooling in No 37. We heard some building work in the central staff area whilst we were on the beach at No 12, but this stopped within 15 minutes of a phone complaint. You do need to watch out for ants and the odd mosquito, but remedies are at hand.

Not a big deal, but worth being aware - the beach has a small dredging barge that reclaims and deposits sand back onto the beach via a large hose. Although this moves around very few days it isn’t the prettiest of sights and does make some muted engine noise for about 3 hours a day - although I can see it is necessary to defend the beach from erosion.
The reefs and snorkelling both around Vabbinfaru and the adjacent Angsana Ihuru (complimentary boat transfer every hour or so) are excellent and easily accessible (a big plus compared with our second week in Naladhu). The Marine Centre does excellent work, as does the diving team, and I gather from others that various boat excursions were extremely worthwhile. I needed some medication, and it was sourced from Male within 5 hours by a most helpful member of the front desk staff. I arranged a special romantic room setting one evening while we were at dinner - and returned to a candle lit room, bathrooom and hot tub, with silk sheets on the bed, beautifully decorated with flowers and champagne and a small decorated anniversary cake. An appropriate way to celebrate our 40th!

Overall Banyan Tree was a most enjoyable, 5* experience (aside from those little irritations), and we are planning to return in the next year or so. While Naladhu scored more highly in terms of rooms, pools, privacy and seclusion - plus options to utilise a variety of nearby facilities on more populated Vehli and Dhigu, Banyan Tree had much better snorkelling, a more sociable atmosphere, and provided excellent service and was probably better value for money.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Paul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Address:
Phone Number:
Region: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Vabbinfaru
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vabbinfaru
Price Range: €586 - €1,431 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru 5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cast away on a secluded coral atoll in the paradisaical Maldives archipelago, you experience a sense of magic, romance and tranquility at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru that's second to none. Cocoon yourself in a web of shimmering turquoise waters, swaying coconut trees, indigenous blooms and pure white sand. Free your spirit on the Maldives' North Male Atoll. In Maldivian, Vabbinfaru refers to a round island circled by a round coral reef. In this circle of peace, claim sanctuary at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru resort. Feel the natural sea breeze sweeping in from the majestic Indian Ocean, and let the resort's signature hospitality bring you peace and tranquillity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Maldives

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