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“Relaxing Stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bandos Island Resort & Spa

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Bandos Island Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Bandos Island   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bandos
Nuneaton, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Relaxing Stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

We booked a week at Bandos as a wind down week following a week on a Liveaboard (Blue Honors Legacy).
The transfer to the island was very quick and well organised. We had arrived early due to leaving the boat soon after breakfast but on arrival and checking in were told that our room was ready for us.
We had booked the Deluxe Room and it was lovely, very spacious and very clean. The bathroom was huge with a bath and a separate shower area. There was a turn down service every evening with fresh towels brought in if needed.
We stayed on an all inclusive basis.
We mainly ate at the Gallery restaurant because of this but must say the food was very good with plenty of choice at every meal. We had a couple of snacks at the Sea Breezes restaurant and, again, this was lovely. Drinks were fine, although they say local brands on an AI basis, some of the options were well known names which was fine. We spent most evenings drinking at the Sundowner bar by the sea watching the sharks swimming by.
The pool is small but as it wasn't busy when we were there this was never an issue as there was always plenty of space. Beaches were beautiful and plenty of sunbeds around.
The only minor complaint was knowing where and when the AI applied, all meals at the Gallery restaurant were included but other options became a bit confusing! You couldn't have an alcoholic drink at the pool bar, you couldn't have a hot tea or coffee at another bar before 11am and you could only eat at the Sea Breeze between 3pm and 5pm. You could have a beer at one bar but no food, or you could have food but no beer at another! Having stayed on AI basis at many other hotels in other areas of the world I can't understand why there has to be such restrictions within the resort,

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,225 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (192)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
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English first
Biggin Hill
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014 via mobile

This was our 18th visit to Bandos and the best one to date. Upon arrival at the airport we were met by the Bandos representative and advised that they were still waiting for other passengers, however, 15 minutes later we were on the speedboat for the 10 minute transfer to Bandos.
On arrival at the island we were met with a cold drink and towel and our registration cards had been completed by reception taking our details from past visits. A signature later and we were on our way to our room.
The island was 100% occupied due to football teams staying there to compete in the AFC Cup. All the footballers were in standard rooms, so many guests were upgraded.
The island still did not seem crowded and the dive centre was quiet. The diving was some of the best we have experienced, viz was ok against the reefs, but not that great into the blue, but the fish life was abundant - Mantas, big reef sharks, eagle rays, sting rays, turtles, Napoleans and a leopard shark on one dive. The currents were not too strong either.
We opted for B&B this time, we found breakfast to be varied at the Gallery Restaurant, but even though we were going to breakfast early, it was very busy with groups of very loud Chinese guests. Lunch and dinner were taken either at Seabreeze or Sundowners, where a much more relaxed atmosphere could be enjoyed.
The weather was very changeable while we were there, with several overcast days and a couple of thunderstorms, however most of the rain happened during the evening and night.
I celebrated my birthday whilst there, and Bandos arranged for a birthday cake at dinner, and decorated our dinner table.
As we were leaving the island the dive centre was being relocated as a 2 month renovation is being undertaken on Sundowners and the dive centre. We are looking forward to seeing the changes on our next visit.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jordan
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

We spent 2 nights at Bandos in the end of May and it was a very lovely stay there. Our flight was changed, so I called to change my transfer time, they said ok. When we arrived, the bandos representative didn't have our names and said that he was expecting some other people, but agreed to take us with them. We were lucky that there were other people going to Bandos, otherwise, we would have spent the night at the airport! so make sure you confirm your pick up time ten times!!

We booked a standard room but were upgraded to a deluxe room which was very spacious with a shower that could fit 10 people! The breakfast was very good with many options to choose from. The island itself is amazing with many secluded beaches, most of the times we had all the sea to ourselves without any other guests. At night there's nothing much to do, but I do recommend spending the evenings and sunsets time at the Sundowners bar and watch the small sharks under the bar. However, the food wasn't that good at the bar, we had fish fingers which tasted like the frozen fish you get from the supermarket.

Other than that, everything was lovely and I guess this is on the few "affordable" hotels in the Maldives as the other hotels require seaplane transfers which cost a lot.

I would definitely recommend staying at Bandos.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2014

I really needed to get away when I booked my trip to Bandos Island and it far exceeded my expectations.
I had booked my trip spontaneously and was dubious because May is classed as monsoon season and it was my first ever trip long-haul travelling solo.
On landing at Ibarahim Nasir airport I was greeted by a Bandos representative who was located at a stand clearly displaying Bandos. He was extremely hospitable and took my name and luggage and walked with me to the speed boat which would transfer me to the island.
The speed boat journey took 10 minutes and the views are beautiful and the heat incredible, I don't think that one day passed where the temperature fell below 28 degrees. Although there were two thunder storms whilst I was there, but it was fine because they happened during the evening when I was in bed!
I arrived at about 9.30 am, on arriving to the island my luggage was taken, and I was informed that my room was being cleaned as the previous guests had just left. I was greeted with a cold cloth and a cocktail which was much appreciated because of the heat and whilst I waited for my room I had a wonder around the island and found myself on the beach. Checking out was very quick and easy, and a day before departure representatives send you a sheet informing you of the check -out process the time of your wake-up call and luggage collection etc.

There are sand spots dotted around the island but I stuck to one particular area where there are sun loungers and magnificent views of Kuda Bandos (Little Bandos). Although the beaches are not large they are always very quite so it really didn't bother me at all. When you go swimming in the sea you are literally swimming with the fish (and sharks) and it was simply fantastic no words can describe it. For parents it's important to know that there are no life guards at the beach so ensure that children are supervised.

When I finally got my room (after an hour or so) I was in shock at how wonderful it was. I had a double deluxe room all to myself. It had a living area with a sofa and table, then a large bedroom with all essentials, a king size bed, bedside tables and lamps flat screen television and large mirror and wardrobe with safe box. The bathroom was phenomenal, as well as having a large bath with shower, there was also a large wet room which I found to be useful especially because of spending a lot of time on the beach. There was also a mini bar (pretty pricey) and complementary 1L of water which was provided daily. My room was cleaned morning and evening which was lovely.
I was half bored which was perfect for me. All meals were provided in a buffet style in the gallery restaurant. Juice and coffee were provided complimentary at breakfast and you were charged extra for drinks at dinner time. Tip- bring your water along if you're not looking to spend!
Visitors were also welcome to eat at the other establishments on the island with a discount of 15% if you're half bored or all inclusive.
It's important to remember that 18% is added to all bills which can all add up so be careful when spending on the island although excursions were really good value for money. All additional costs are added to your room bill and it is only requested that you sign your signature.
Excursions were fantastic, I particularly enjoyed the dolphin and sunset cruise we saw a variety of wild dolphins and the night fishing and Kuda Bandos BBQ, this was fantastic a small group went fishing (I didn't catch anything!!) all the catch is then taken and cooked in front of you by chefs and included in a massive BBQ on the beach with traditional dancers. I also partook in the island hopping trip and the Male tour which were great. Top tip however if you need to buy souvenirs buy them whilst on the island hopping tour or at duty free on your departure, as they will be a lot cheaper than in Male where the same products are very expensive!
As a solo traveller Bandos Island was ideal, I didn't feel uncomfortable at all and the employees were so lovely and once they realised you were along they went out of their way to look after you and to involve you in activities taking place. I met so many lovely people along the way everyone was so friendly and as a female traveller this was a comfort to me.
The only shortfall I would like to mention was that I suffered from a lot of insect bites causing swelling . On asking at reception for a cool compress and cream, I was told that these things weren't available which as a student nurse I thought was awful. I managed to get some Ice from one of the bars and use it to ease the swelling, however it would have been nice to have further assistance. So bring something with you.
I couldn't possibly describe every aspect of Bandos that I enjoyed I just know that I will certainly be back!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Virgin Holidays

Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maybole, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

A week in Sri Lanka, followed by a week in the Maldives, would seem to be everybody's dream. Well half of it was!!.

Bandos island is certainly beautiful , and the accommodation first class; excellent chalet, well equipped. The food and drink was extremely expensive, but that goes without saying. We booked B&B, and the option for upgrading to all inc was a staggering $120 plus per person per day. We didn't bother.

There are three restaurants and two bars on the Island, which takes just 20 mins to walk around. The food was OK, but not spectacular, the service was at times very slow, but with nothing else to do on the island, I suppose that didn't matter.

There are four shops on the island three of them selling boutique gear at inflated prices. apart from sunbathing and snorkelling, that's it.

The biggest problem, and one that is apparently common to a lot of the islands, is the bugs. Mosquitos are one problem, but you can alleviate them to a degree. A bigger problem is the Maldivian ant, or "angry yellow". these are miniscule, and get everywhere. Most of the guests on the island seemed to be bitten to some extent or another. I have travelled all over the world and am rarely affected. Not so on Bandos. At the end of the week I was covered in various bites, luckily not infected. My wife however does get infected often, and she did end up at the doctor to get treatment for them.

So Sri Lanka, definitely; Maldives, I won't be back.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

I and my wife spent 4 nights at Bandos on our honeymoon trip. It is a lovely place. The villa accommodation and utilities were excellent. The distance from the airport is a huge plus (quite short, about 10-15mins by speed boat). The staff were very polite and immensely helpful especially Visam and Sampath (the went out of their way to look for camera battery chargers for us). The ambience and atmosphere is amazing and when we traveled in April, the weather was excellent.The spa, the beaches, sundowners bar, night club, everything was just great. I would advise intending travelers to invest in full or half board though. That could help with savings in feeding cost. Alternatively other meals that would be had outside of the complimentary could be taken at the other cafe - buffet at the gallery restaurant is quite pricey, but of great quality.

Room Tip: The garden villa is excellent if you don't mind forking out a sizable premium for it. It has a n...
See more room tips
Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Sussex
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014

Having wanted to go to the Maldives for 30 years the sea, beach and snorkelling lived up to the dream.
Food, staff, hotel experience was average. The evening entertainment (Mummy and Daddys ) was awful!
Big downsides: The beach beds are plastic with no mattress - take a lilo to stand any chance of comfort and the hotel will not supply ( missing a trick here and EVERYTHING else is charged for ) which limited the time we felt we wanted to spend on the beach. The pool in comfortable with mattresses. I think that as it is so warm the hotel should provide water with meals free (not $3 a small bottle ) don't mind paying $50 for the wine!
We did not see or meet, to my knowledge, any management during our 5 day stay

Room Tip: Choose sea view around room 200 then close to beach and Sundowner Bar. Stilt rooms are not on there...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bandos Island Resort & Spa

Address: Bandos Island
Phone Number:
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Bandos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bandos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Bandos Island Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 225
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Not wishing to rest on the laurels of our existing achievements, Bandos 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 Maldives
Bandos Island Resort Maldives
Bandos Island Maldives
Bandos Island Resort & Spa Maldives

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