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“Great place to spend honeymoon” 5 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bandos
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
“Great place to spend honeymoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2011

I would definitely recommend this place for honeymoon goers... i had mine @ bandos in nov 2010...
the ambiance of the whole place so great. Service is exceptional. The buffets are great... and they have lot of fun activities on every day of the week... if you want peace you have it there... the rooms are cleaned everyday with gr8 efficiency...

My stay was for just three nights, but wanted to stay more.. i would definitely go back....

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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1,346 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
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essex
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2011

We spent 14 nights at Bandos spanning Christmas day and found this hotel to be just about perfect. We travelled with Thomson and whilst other hotels rated by Thomson as 4-5 T’s often fall short of expectation, we could not praise this hotel highly enough.

The room was kept in a very, very good condition and kept spotlessly clean by our Room Boy who gave the room a thorough clean, with change of bed linen and towels every morning, and returned every evening to clean up any mess that we had made and to change our beach towels. On our last day our beds and bath were covered with the most beautiful flowers. The plugs are UK 3 pin plugs although universal adapters are supplied.

Our only criticism of the room is that when we arrived the air conditioning was not working but within 10 minutes of informing reception the unit was inspected, within 20 minutes an engineer arrived and within the hour the fault was fixed. No communication problems with any of the staff whatsoever; they all spoke very good English.

We pre-booked full board and ate mainly in the Gallery Restaurant, with the odd visit to the Sundowners and the Sea Breeze. We found the food in the Gallery to be simply excellent with so much choice that something different was found to eat on each occasion (if you like burgers, chips, pizza etc you will not find these in the Gallery but will need to go to the Sea Beeze café). As others have commented, the curries are superb. Having eaten in countless 4 or 5* buffet restaurants across Europe and the Caribbean, for us the Gallery exceeded all of our expectations.

The Christmas Eve Gala meal provided exceptional quality, and choice with spectacular presentation - they simply could not have done more.We should also state that our waiter was also extremely attentive and obliging, and after a few days would have our drinks on our table within seconds of us arriving. In fact on our last night our waiter had made up our table with flowers and special table cloths and napkins as a farewell.
We did spend a few evenings in the Sand Bar and had one of the most enjoyable Chrstmas Eve’s that we have had for a long time. Generally, the live music after 9pm was of a very good standard and hard to fault – excellent saxophonist. Again the waiter service was very efficient and, quite frankly, can only think that those who have described the staff as “indifferent” or “slow” must have either done something to seriously cheese off the staff or have unrealistic expectations. We found all of the staff who we had contact with to be absolutely lovely, so much so that we did tip a number of them towards the end of our holiday; they deserved it. There are in fact so many staff on the island it is hard to find fault on the level of service at all.

Bandos was full over Christmas and yes there were in the second week a lot of families. However, it almost always felt that the island was empty. We were always able to find a quiet stretch of beach, often to ourselves, or a bed by the pool. We snorkelled for a couple of hours a day and never got bored – found it best in the morning when the tide was in; many afternoons the shallow waters made it difficult to swim over the corals although further out remained good.

The bars were never particularly busy and a walk around the island would always result in the same remark of “where is everybody?” In this respect some of the comments about the presence of children seem a little distorted. Yes we did go to the Maldives with children (who are generally well behaved) and we chose Bandos as both being within budget and being a family friendly island. However, apart from the peak time at dinner (7.15pm) we rarely saw children and certainly none to bother us (or indeed anybody else). For those of you who want an island where there are no horrible small people then doubtless such resorts can be found in the Maldives. Indeed they can be found anywhere in the world if you look and indeed pay for them! We did not use the kids club but did use the baby sitting service one night at $12an hour so that we could pretend we were by ourselves in paradise without our offspring!

The Maldives obviously are not cheap but we found Bandos to be cheaper than we had feared. £2.50 buys you a 1.5L bottle of water; a carafe of wine (3 glasses) was c.£10; a beer £3; cocktails typically £6 and a juice £4. If you drink fizzy drinks then the bill will mount up - £2.50 for a 300ml bottle. A bottle of wine costs c. £25 and yes a bottle of Champagne upwards of £120 – but hey it was Christmas and also my 40th so I lost any sense of reality. With a family of 4 we spent around £600 on drinks in two weeks, which usually included a few alcoholic drinks a day. A visit to the resident island Doctor for a bad ear cost £40 – cheaper than Europe.

My wife used the spa and said it was an “out of this world” experience. We did go on the Dolphin cruise which was a huge disappointment – no sunset or dolphins and the cocktails leave something to be desired. Reading other reviews I guess this was just bad luck.

All in all Bandos was superb and worth every penny that we paid. We could not have had a better holiday. We usually find something to moan about (usually justifiably) but not at Bandos. We will return to the Maldives one day and although we would like to try another island, would not hesitate to return to Bandos.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2010

I stayed for our honeymoon in Bandos for 8 days then went to another island for another 8 days. I have been to places like Tahiti and other tropical places and have stayed in 1 star to 5 star places so I have had a range of places to compare against.

Bandos: The reason we booked here is for the snorkeling and price. We saw the reviews of snorkeling and that so we decided to stay here.

Food: I would recommend half board. We did this and it was the best option. The buffet gets a bit tiring for both breakfast and dinner. We bought our lunches at Seabreeze Cafe and it is good value. Food is very good at the Cafe. Service at the Buffet and the Cafe is a bit slow but we found that as we are a young couple we get that everywhere so we are kind of use to it by now.

Room: Room was very clean and had no problems with the beds.

Snorkeling: It was great probably second best I have been to: Australia, Tahiti, Thailand, Laos, Mexico and more places like that. We saw sharks (would have been scared but had them in Tahiti as well.) Your first time swimming with them will be a bit scary. We saw lots of different fish, we saw a few eels, saw a turtle, and we even saw an octopus hiding in the rocks.

Excursions: We went on the Dolphin cruise and the snorkeling tour. The snorkeling tour was no where as good as the resorts snorkeling which we did everyday. We saw less stuff but thought it was good value so we went on it.

Dolphin cruise: It was very neat to see the dolphins swimming along side the boat and jumping and playing with other dolphins in the wild. Very worth it and got great pictures from it.

Overall the resort was good they even arranged our time for transfer to the airport then to the other resort which our travel agent should have done but didnt. Had a bad experience with Monarch Travel...

Any questions feel free to ask our you can see what I wrote about the other island we went to as well.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2010

The pictures speak for themselves. This is not holiday on ICE, but on cigarette butts.
The island is really average, the food at the main restaurant a catastrophe, the SPA one of the best i have been to, and the Indian restaurant fantastic.
The people speak very very poor English, and they told us we could do late check out and they threw us out of room at 13H.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2010

Background- Couple with 2 kids. Planned vacation very late. Didn't have much choice as far as availability and landed with Bandos. We just wanted to have a good time with family. Not looking for luxury etc. First trip to Maldives...so cannot compare to other resorts etc.

Positives about Bandos:
- Great Beaches. Great marine life, house reef. Saw amazing variety of fishes, reef sharks, rays etc.
- Very kids friendly. Had lot of activity for kids - entertainment etc.

Cons about Bandos:
- Not really isolated. Close to Male. Can see night lights from neighboring islands etc.
- Not luxury. People working there get the job done but don't go out of their way...served us fine.
- Not for couples on honeymoon / looking for romantic vacation.
- Need more vegetarian options in restaurants.
- Needs a non-smoking policy / limit smoking to restricted areas. Visitors also need to be civilized enough to understand that they can't light up cigarettes right next to children!!!

Overall great vacation. Stayed 5 nights. Wished we could have stayed for longer. Highlight was snorkeling, seeing amazing marine life, powder sand beach & crystal clear water.

Few tips:
- Bed & Breakfast worked out fine for us. Restaurants were good (more vegetarian options would have helped) and cheaper compared to FB. Harbor Restaurant was great (and cheaper too) but unfortunately open only for dinner.
- Best place for snorkeling is around the Sun Downer bar area. Best time to see marine life is early in the morning ~7am. We saw variety of fishes including group of Dolphins early in the morning from the Sun Downer bar area.
- Rooms: Stayed in Deluxe room. 2 extra beds for kids. Was spacious. But didn't spend much time in the room other than the sleeps. Rooms were not fancy but adequate. Standard rooms looked nice too but can accommodate only one extra bed.
- Maldives is expensive. Best is to set an upper budget and not fret about the costs during the vacation. For us (famiy of 4), we spent ~$1K for 6 days.....including lunch, dinner, drinks, couple of excursions etc.

Overall was a great time and we are already starting to plan our next Maldivian vacation :-)

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
San Diego, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2010

This resort was booked by a friend of ours - very nice staff, beautiful and AMAZING house coral reef - just walk from the beach 5 feet and you see a multitude of various tropical fish, lots of excursions to choose from; people of maldives seem rather shy but polite - therefore many of the excursions (we did a dolphin sunset cruise, night fishing, and a half day island hopping tour) did not have tour guides with a great deal of information on the events and sites; also - i was disappointed to learn we could not downgrade our full board package to half board -we did not realize all meals were buffet and it was just too much food; that being said the food was good quality and variety as far as Asian and European; this resort caters to couples, families, friends on holiday, and divers

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Honolulu
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2010

The island is a beautiful place, but in a world of beautiful places it doesnt stand up above the rest. It has a good balance between lots of rooms and services and not being overbuilt. Aside from diving, most of the "tourist" services were very expensive. The food was good but not great for what you are charged; but you are a captive audience so what to do.

The staff at the dive shop were excellent. The staff at the pool bar as well were very good, but in general most of the staff were attentive but indifferent. As one of the older resorts in the country you get the idea that they have seen it all and are going through the steps instead of very interested in your business.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 Spa 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: 215
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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