My wife and I have just returned last week from our 8th (!!!) stay at Baros in the last 3 years (we usually stay for 3 weeks!). Hence, we can claim to know this island well. In the past we've also been to Kaninfinolhu, Royal Isalnd, Taj Exotica and Reethi Rah but since our first trip to Baros, we can't bring ourselves to go elsewhere.
We have travelled extensively around the world (including Euope, the Caribbean, the Far East, India, Zanziabar, Maritius, Dubai) and without doubt, we consider the Maldives to have the most beautiful beaches and amazing sealife. You truly get that Robinson Crusoe, No shoes, No news atmosphere which is great for relaxation.
Baros remains our number 1 destination within the Maldives and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to couples of all ages who are looking for relaxation, a romantic setting and peace and quiet.
For that very reason, I would not advise families or groups looking for a lively or loud resort to go there. Children would enjoy a larger island with more daytime activities, a kids club etc. The peaceful, romantic vibe of the island would appeal to anyone on their honeymoon, an anniverary or simply some time together as a couple on an idyllic island.
For those who have never been to the Maldives, each resort island has only one hotel based on it. This means you are never bothered by people on the beach trying to sell you souvenirs and you can enjoy your privacy. There are no motorised water sports around Baros so the beaches are quiet and you are safe to snorkell in the open sea.
Despite being only 20 minutes by speedboat from the airport, you do not hear any aircraft as it is not on the flight paths for domestic or international planes. It is unusual even to hear a sea plane.
There are many reasons why we love Baros so much:-
from the Resort manager, Shuhan, to all of his management team and also the reception, waiters, cleaners etc everyone seems to enjoy working there and go out of their way to cater to all your requests and needs. The management staff are very visible and make a point of asking you how your meal was/ how your stay is/ is there anything else you would like etc. They greet you at the jetty when you arrive and wave you off as you leave - just as a good host would when having guests in their own home.
If you are unwell reception will organise a nurse to advise you in the first instance, if you have dietary restrictons the chefs adjust the menus to meet your needs, if you prefer your drinks to be prepeared in a certain way the bar staff will ensure they are prepared to your liking every time you order.
You can even ask for items not on the menus and (allowing for ingredient availability - they are in the middle of the Indian Ocean after all) they will prepare meals just for you. I don't eat beef but wanted a hamburger so they prepared one for me with chicken one day, lamb another day and Gabrielle, the Executive Chef, even offered to prepare a venison burger for me on another day.
Wine and champagne is incredibly expensive across the Maldives due to it having to be imported and Government taxation but Baros does have more affordable wine options and will even save an unfinished bottle for you from your room or any bar or restaurant and send it to wherever you choose whenever you want (eg back to your roome or any bar or any restauarant)
Staff know you by name (even from your first visit) and take the trouble to remember your food and drink preferences.
We appreciate that it may seem that we would receive "special treatment", being such frequent visitors, but staff were just as attentive to us on our first stay, which is why we returned.
The main thing is that the staff are HAPPY in their work and that shows in the fact that several staff have been working for the resort for over 10 years.
This may be because Baros is one of a few hotels run by a Maldivian family - rather than a large multi-national chain of hotels so everything about it is geared towards personal attention and treating you very much as a valued and welcome guest rather than just another anonymous customer.
If like us, you do not want to have to take a boat to a reef for a pre-planned snorkelling trip, then a house reef teaming with wildlife is essential.
You would be very hard pushed to find a more pristine, beautiful house reef than at Baros. Even an inexperienced snorkeller can swim hardly any distance from their sun lounger and be amongst sharks, rays, turtles, a moray eel and a multitude of brightly coloured tropical fish.
There is no need to be alarmed by the thought of swimming with the sharks as many are very small reef sharks and the larger ones seem so used to snorkellers that they just swim past you, keeping their distance.
If you are nervous, simply ask a member of the dive team to accompany you on a snorkel safari. They are very approachable (unlike at some other centres where they are only interested in people booking diving trips) and patient with novice snorkellers.
Baros cares for the environment and appreciates the reef is one of the big draws for returning guests so they have invested in having an excellent marine biologist, Verena, to oversee the management of the marine environment. She gives excellent talks for guests about the geology and marine life in the Maldives and guests can take part in her ongoing program of growing coral in some of the sheltered, shallow areas around the water villa jetties and near the Light house restaurant.
We used to only go to resorts with a pool but although Baros doesn't have a pool (yet) this should not put you off. The sea is warm all year round and usually very tranquil near the beach with plenty of shallow areas for those not confident about swimming in deeper water or in the open ocean.
The walls between the reef and the beach prevent larger waves from reaching the water nearer the beach so swimming is safe. It's like being in a huge azure coloured swimming pool anyway, wth the adviantage of no chlorine.
There is no such thing as a "basic" room in Baros. All rooms are villas with either a beach front or over water position and reserved sunloungers.
The outdoor bathrooms are spacious and showering in the open air under palm trees is an amazing experience. For those that are not so keen on the thought of an outdoor shower, there is also a separate shower in the covered part of the bathroom.
I don't think you would be disappointed whichever room type you had.
They have also thought of EVERYTHING in the room - 3 pin power sockets for UK plugs, hairdyer, rain ponchos, flip flops, slippers, robes, yoga mats, life jackets (for snorkelling), coffee machine, free bottled water, fruit basket filled daily, umbrellas, in villa champagne for returning guests
Staying for 3 weeks, you'd think we might get bored with the food. However, as the chefs at all the restaurants produced either menu dishes adjusted to our preferences or, with advanced warning, items not on the menu, we were never bored.
Limes menu produces an excellent buffet breakfast under the supervision of Appu (been at Baros 25 years) and Hassan Diddi (been at Baros 30 years). Help yourself to a high quality Prosecco and make sure you try the waffles whicha re excellent.
Half board guests can also eat there for dinner and it has a varied menu from across the world.
Cayenne Grill produces excellent grilled meat, fish and chicken dishes and has a complimentary salad bar with a huge choice of salads, sashimi, soup, anti-pasti, breads
The Lighthouse restaurant has a 360 degree deck over the Indian Ocean and a fine dining atnosphere. It is hard to believe they can produce such a wide variety of haute cuisine items on the menu when everything has to be imported.
If you can, try to time your trip during the full moon - sitting on the deck enjoying fine wines and world class food, with the ocean lit up by moonlight is simply unforgettable.
The Lighthouse bar above the restaurant again has 360 degree views and the feel of being on the deck of a yacht. The cocktails are amazing and Nitin, the waiter is attentive.
Free canapes are provided after 5pm - perfect with a couple of sundowners. On Fridays they have a live jazz band making the atmosphere even more mellow.
Ask the bar staff, Lakshman and Arevna, to adjust the cocktails to your taste or ask for one not on the menu and they'll prepare it for you.
The sails bar is set in a garden of palm trees with powder soft sand beneath your feet. It is more casual than the Lighthouse and has live music on Tuesdays with a Maldivian bamd called De-Tuned. We don't normally go for hotel based live music but this band paly everything from Adele to Tub-Thumping to U2 to Bon Marley to Rock 'n Roll - and they do it well.
Guests even get up on to the beach and dance along later in the evening as the atmosphere is so good.
Veejay (been at Baros 15 years) ensures you are always well taken care of at the Sails bar.
Bit of a long review I know, but we have so many good things to say!
Nowhere in the Maldives is cheap (due to the unique problems they face in providing food, drink etc in the middle of the ocean) but Baros is not the most expensive of the Luxury resorts - it is better than your average 5 star property so the prices will reflect that.
As a couple, if you want to experience the Maldives in style, then JUST BOOK IT.
If you can afford to go in the drier months then do so to guarantee good weather (i.e Feb or Jan, March). We have still had very good weather (3 weeks of almost uninterrupted sun) in March and April.
Don't worry about booking their "entry level" room - it is still a villa with a beach front location. Very spacious decorated in a contemporary Island Chic style
Congratulations to Shuhan and his team for making every one of our stays at Baros perfect and we look forward to returning to our little piece of paradise soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A lush, tropical island set in the shimmering waters of a shallow lagoon, ringed by a reef vibrant with marine life. Stay in elegance in Villas created from timber and sandstone, poised and peaceful over a translucent lagoon, or nestled discreetly among exotic blooms by the beach. Revel in romantic privacy on the perfect vacation. The essence of the Maldives, defined at Baros. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Baros Maldives Hotel North Male Atoll
- Baros Maldives Male
- Baros Maldives Hotel Male