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“A let down and not true Maldives.”
Review of Bandos Maldives

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Bandos Maldives
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bandos
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 11, 2013

The Maldives is a stunning place, no one can deny that. Bandos has some stunning beaches and views but unfortunately just lacks what other Maldive Islands offer. The food is decent but served in a restaurant with the ambiance of a work canteen, also 2 out of the 3 nights we were there we were left walking around looking for a clean table that was made up, the staff were certainly not in any hurry to clear used tables. Bandos is close to the airport and can appear to be a cheaper option for the Maldives but it is a long way from luxury, you are never made to feel overly welcome or special and the place is large, not romantic or exclusive more of a holiday camp feel. My family were on a full board basis but be warned, this does NOT even include table water. The waiter asked if we'd like some water (Coca Cola-Bon Aqua, so we are not talking Evian) and an orange juice with our meal, though he didn't prompt us that for the pleasure of such we'd be paying around $25, underhand and a rip off considering we'd paid over $500 a night for myself, my Wife and an infant.

We'll be back in the Maldives next year but we'll not be back in Bandos again.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Pete R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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747 - 753 of 2,036 reviews

Reviewed May 8, 2013

HI,

Just got back from 12 nights on Bandos, this is the 3rd time I have visited this island and the 5th time to the Maldives so have experience of what to expect. The reason we choose this island again was for the house reef and it did not disappoint, we had the opportunity to experience Ray's, Turtles and Sharks on a daily basis and it is fantastic to see the reef really growing back and the colours of the coral, this is down to the conscious efforts made by the resort to protect this natural environment. The staff at the resort are really friendly and go out of their way to help, we choose to stay in a standard room has these are best located for the beach and the access to the reef. Bandos surprised us all the way through our stay for being loyal customers, this started with wine and fruit in the room, then a discount on all drinks and food purchased to finally upgrading us to a water villa with free wi fi ( to the delight of my husband ). I would recommend this island if you want to completely relax and chill out, it is good value for money and has one of the best reefs in the Maldives. We will definitely return to this island when visiting the Maldives again.

one very happy guest

Room Tip: standard rooms 180 - 230 have the best each and access to he reef
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Donna W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013 via mobile

The island is a paradise! IT has the whitest beach sand that i have Ever seen and the water is great! Ideal for someone who wants a nice vacation with peace and quiet! The prices in the various bars are a bitt expensive for food and drinks!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Danielabidu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

We found this resort perfect. We were welcomed by friendly staff who gave us an option of a few rooms to chose from as it was not the busy season. We stayed in a beach front spa pool villa and it was great. Our room was a bit dark but we were hardly in it!! Our villa was 124 but we recommend 122-124 as best as they are central to the swimming pool, all restaurants and the beach was nicer. These villas are close to the dive centre also, but far enough away to not hear the generator. The house reef is fantastic but we are divers and dived most days. The diving guys were great and the diving was wonderful. 30 meter visibility. We saw manta ray, turtles, sharks and so many schools of fish. Crazy!! We paid for accommodation and breakfast as we wanted the freedom of going to all the different restaurants and we were SO pleased we did this. The Seabreeze and Sundowner were restaurants in stunning positions where the Gallery restaurant where the buffet meals were served (which is the full and half board meals) was more central and not as nice. The meals in the Seabreeze and Sundowner were very reasonable and for most lunches we tended to share our main meal, which the staff were very used to people requesting. We believe it is a lot cheaper to do it this way than paying full board also. The only negative thing we have is the hard plastic loungers that the resort have around the beach. They are practical, but very uncomfortable, especially if you want to spend a lot of time relaxing on the beach.

Room Tip: Our villa was 124 but we recommend 122-124 as best as they are central to the swimming pool, all re...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank KazJimmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

I just needed to get away from it all for a week and this beautiful resort got my mind off of everything! I took an overnight flight from Doha and was directed as I exited the baggage claim immediately to the Bandos Island Resort counter. They promptly escorted me to the harbor directly outside the terminal where they showed me to the boat. I arrived hassle free via an exhilarating motorboat ride at 9:30 a.m. Check in was expeditious (you enter from the harbor dock directly into the reception) and I was shown to my room immediately. It was a nice surprise that after a restless night flight I could avail myself to my room right away! The room (274) was spacious, immaculately clean and bright. I was offered to change my room if I didn't like it, and although I would request a room closer to the beach next time, I could still hear the surf my from my porch where I spent a lot of time relaxing/reading. Despite all the sand, my room was thoroughly cleaned twice daily and there is a spout right next to the porch for washing sand off the feet. The island was great for walking and exercising with a beautiful bath around the perimeter of the island and a well maintained fitness center. The beaches never felt crowded and I took my sun lounger/water raft and enjoyed floating around the many lagoons for hours and hours, and also rented a "glass bottom" kayak at a very reasonable rate for exercise and a fun way to see the reef life. Snorkeling equipment was also very reasonable at USD 12/day. They had lots of options for diving, but as I had forgotten my scuba license, I chose to forgo the diving, but definitely would have done some diving had I had my card with me. My only minor disappointment about the beaches was that I was hoping I could walk around the perimeter of the island actually on the beach, but there is a lot of erosion on the island which didn't make that possible. I had bed and breakfast, and never regretted not going half/full board or all inclusive. The Thai restaurant was my favorite, and I had an amazing 5 course wine and dine gourmet meal my second night (it's only once a week) that will always be a meal to remember! Although that was the only meal that resembled 5 star quality dining, I didn't go to Bandos for 5 star luxury. I went to thoroughly relax, enjoy the beautiful tropical flora and beaches, so with expectations in check, I was not disappointed. I enjoyed beer and wine (about USD 4.50/can and a glass of Preseco was USD 9) so with a few beers a day and a couple of glasses of wine with a dinner of my choosing (rather than the mass produced buffet fare), I spent between USD 50-70/day on meals. Not bad for a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean 4 degrees north of the equator... The resort is "cash free" and service charges are automatically tacked on to everything. Yes, there is a 10% service charge and 8% tourist tax on everything, but when I stay at 5 star hotels, I generally tip 20%, so I found this reasonable and understandable. There were a couple of staff that went above and beyond and I sought them out on the last day to give them a bit extra. On the last day, I did have to check out at noon b/c they were fully booked, but as my launch didn't leave for the airport until 5 p.m., they provided me with a locker in their "Paradise Club" and I availed myself to all the facilities on the island for the remainder of the day. I was really satisfied with my stay and I would return, although there are so many other beautiful islands in the Maldives, I want to try them all!

Room Tip: I think the Deluxe rooms are the best value. The even numbered rooms are brighter as they receive mo...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank globalobel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

On our arrival we met the staff (forgot his name) who is welcoming the guests in the port and one 7-seater buggy is waiting to transfer the guests. I told to the staff that we have a reservation in your resort and of course expecting that he would take us to reception but instead he said that we have to walk because the buggy can only take 7 passengers. First impression? Bad service! He should've call another buggy perhaps or tell us to wait and he will come back for us.
Room. the room is not so big but its ok. the drinking water should be visible, you should put it on the table next to kettle. If we didnt call the operator to request a complimentary water we would not know that it's inside the minibar.
The bartender in the pool bar is very nice and the staff in dinner buffet who is serving us is very friendly, i think he is Bangladeshi.
Departure day, we checked out around 6.05am and was told to take the breakfast at Sundowners restaurant and must come back in the reception at 6.20 for staff ferry transfer (6.30am) We were surprised because we've been told that we will have a take away breakfast as we are leaving so early. We went to restaurant and its not even open, your staff took the order, not smiling maybe not happy to see us there at 6.10 in the morning. At 6.15 i asked him him if we can take away the breakfast coz we are running out of time, theres a little argument in between coz he wants us to take our breakfast in the restaurant. I told him that its already 6.20 and we need to go and we will not enjoy if we are in hurry, my friend didnt even have a chance to sip her coffee. Ok. breakfast is packed but he didnt put it in paper bag! I asked him if he can put it in the bag but the answer is "we dont have bag"!. Irritated, we went to reception to ask for paper bag but no luck. How come the resort doesnt have a paper bag? Unacceptable! So here we are walking in Male' carrying tnis 4 styro. This ruin all our experience.
I also notice that some of your staff are not smiling.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank sexycloie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013

I travelled to Bandos maldives 2 years ago. A great island for a short 4 day getaway to this gorgeous resort, after my trip to sri lanka. The beaches are beautiful, with perfect white sand, sea is crystal clear and teaming with life. We saw sharks, stingray, eels, and hundreds of colourful fish. As a free-diver was an unforgettable time. Wish to come back again.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Stelios B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bandos Maldives

Address: (Formerly Bandos Island Resort & Spa)
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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bandos
Price Range: $149 - $543 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Bandos Maldives 5*
Number of rooms: 215
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Not wishing to rest on the laurels of our existing achievements, Bandos Maldives 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 Island Resort Maldives
Bandos Island Maldives
Bandos Maldives

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