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Bandos Maldives
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Reviews (2,338)
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Reviewed June 5, 2013

We had a lovely two week stay on Bandos Island. We stayed in a standard room which was clean and more than adequate for us, comfortable bed and although the room did look a little tired and in need of some decorating it was a comfortable stay.
The best thing about staying in the standard rooms is the location - the best parts of the beach are directly outside! You can find yourself a tiny little spot, cocooned away from everybody else which you cannot find anywhere else on the island! The snorkelling was very good and so was the dive centre.
We stayed all inclusive, the food was good, service a little slow at times. We did sometimes decide to eat lunch at Sundowners restaurant at lunchtime which was very nice and fairly priced. We also ate out at a couple of the restaurants of an evening (for a change from the all inclusive buffet) which were very nice, I think we paid around £150 for dinner with a bottle of wine.

The spa was lovely, we treated ourselves to a few treatments over the two week stay - I wouldn't say it is cheap but the experience was excellent especially the Reiki treatment and body massage!

The staff were friendly enough and the island is a great place to bring kids to - very child friendly compared to other islands we have visited.
We plan on returning with our toddler to spend Christmas and New Year as we enjoyed ourselves so much!
If you are looking for a quiet, child free zone then do not come to this resort as it is very popular with families with young children -I highly recommend this resort to families!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 245 which in our opinion was opposite some of the nicest beach coves!
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank LAX1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2013

i work as a tourist guide and wanted to stay some where not to far from main land male, so i chose this resort 30min away by speed about, and suitable for all kinds of people couples singles familes etc, my stay was very comfortable and easy going, everything i asked for by the staff was done, nothing was diffecult staff were all friendly and warm, mangement was also at hand anytime to find out if your staff was ok, my impression is i would advise anyone who is looking for somthing easy going and close to stay at bandos resort, my stay was first class all the way. only advise is when booking shop around as there is so many offers on iine. keep up the good standards bandos resorts.

Room Tip: i stayed in the beach villa with a jaquizzi, on the beach front , excellent
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank AabElguerbouzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Yet again we visited Bandos for 2 weeks of visiting family and friends and getting some more diving in crystal clear warm waters. Our journey was as normal, flights via Dubai which were uneventful, and on arrival we were met by senior management, taken into the airconditioned VIP room where our cards were already completed, just needing a signature. A lovely peach drink awaited us and we were treated to a welcome song by a boduberu. We had to wait around an hour for our room to be ready as the previous occupant had only checked out an hour before our arrival, but we were offered coffee whilst we waited.
We always book a standard room due to their position on the beach and we like being close to the dive center. The room was cleaned twice a day and any small problems reported - our drain in the shower was draining slowly, was fixed quickly. The TVs in the rooms have all now been updated to flat screen.
The weather was the worst we have ever known in 25 trips to the Maldives, high winds and rain every day for the whole 2 weeks, but as we dive this didn't deter us, although some of the boat dives were very rough and getting back on the boat was sometimes a bit of an issue.
The dive centre is very efficient and the dive staff there are very passionate about their work. What saddens us is how some of the guests treat these wonderful people like slaves or worse. On a couple of dive trips it was necessary to change the dive sites due to the weather to dive on a more sheltered spot. One American diver in particular complained constantly about the changes and on one particular dive forced the divemasters to go to a particular reef - without consulting the remainder of the divers on the boat. It was really a case of "I'm alright Jack - sod anyone else on the boat". We were very glad when this particular individual left to go onto a liveaboard. The other thing that grated with me is guests that left their dive gear for the staff to sort out. Leaving their wetsuits in the rinsing tanks or even worse in their boxes, instead of hanging them up to dry themselves. The dive centre is going to undertake some renovations in the summer and hopefully it will make it more obvious that the divers are responsible for the care of their equipment whilst they are there.
The island was unusually full for low season - 100% occupancy in our first week and over 80% in our second week, and for the remainder of May the island was due to be around these levels. Despite the number of people the island never felt full.
Due to the weather conditions the gardeners had a tough job of keeping all the paths clear of debris and the torrential rain had washed a lot of the sand away on the paths. I hope that Bandos takes steps to replace the sand on the pathways to give the island a better traditional Maldivian feel.
The free internet has been expanded to all food and bar outlets rather than just the Sand Bar and is available in the rooms but with a price tag of $10 an hour. The free internet is easy to use and relatively quick so using the internet whilst having a drink is a good option.
We had an impromptu tour of the kitchens whilst we were there and they were absolutely spotless and talking to the chefs, they take so much pride in their work. We ate in all restaurants and the food was good in all, but we felt that the new Thai restaurant - Koon - was overpriced.
Will we be back - of course - our next trip has been booked.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank alliefat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

As this was our third visit to the Maldives we had a certain level of expectation regarding Bandos. Knowledge of this resort not being at the top-end of the list prepared us someway for what to expect. However, despite this prior knowledge, we were disappointed with what Bandos gave us.

From landing in Male to being in the bar waiting for our speedboat transfer took less than 15 minutes. Part luck, part excellence in efficiency (as I've mentioned before in other reviews).

Once on the island (15 minutes transfer later - would have been 10 but for the ropey weather), we were briefed on the usual elements (opening times of bars/restaurants etc) and just before the welcome from guest relations was finished, we were offered an iced tea and a cold flannel.

Bags were loaded onto the buggy and we were off to our room, a deluxe due to requiring a bath for our little one (he doesn't do showers). Initial impressions were of a spacious room with modern, large wetroom/bathroom with separate shower. A neat touch was the delivery of the daily Bandos News which was mainly a sales pitch but also gave local information about fish, plants, Maldivian cultural history etc.

Food was a bit of a letdown in my opinion as although we've stayed FB/AI on other islands (Veligandu and Reethi Beach), the choice was plentiful but lacking in overall quality - even on Reethi standards which isn't a massive jump in price class. Sure it was edible and there was even something on all nights for a wheat-intolerant fuss-pot like me, but beef and chicken dishes were chewy unless slowly cooked in a curry all day (which were delicious).
We didn't sample the other restaurants as we were happy with the "canteen" style that people refer to - our little one was in his element here - remember, this wasn't a romantic getaway!
The waiters doted on our son and he grew very fond of both Saleem and Shafiu very quickly. On busier occasions (bearing in mind this was low season) service was slower than expected and in the Sand Bar we waited some 15 minutes before giving up on being shown a drinks menu (I don't believe on labouring the point that I want a drink in a bar that had less than a handful of people in it at lunch).

The island itself is looking a bit rough around the edges (concrete showing through on paths due to a lack of sand - who'd have thought it?!) but this made pushing the stroller around easier - so six of one, as the saying goes. And unlike other resorts like Reethi Beach, there isn't the same "green" push (recycling bottles for table water, flannels instead of handblowers in the toilets etc). On a positive note though, the pool area was very well maintained and had a good little pool for kids - could have done with some extra cover from the sun however.

Onto the Dive Centre (Dive Bandos). I'd specifically chosen Bandos as one of our shortlist contenders due to the experience of their dive school and completed my PADI OW with Denis, a French instructor. He was excellent and provided me with a wealth of PADI and non-PADI knowledge to give me more than just the basics to satisfy the course requisites. A special mention to Sivad, a local divemaster and videographer who is incredibly passionate and dedicated to the work he does and specifically highlighting the plight faced by all who abuse the underwater environment.
Unfortunately, on my first dive after qualification I was buddied with an Advanced OW diver and immediately felt out of my depth. This didn't give me much confidence as I felt I was holding this person back and upon returning to the boat (with only 10 bar in my tank - this will mean something to divers!), found out there was someone else finishing their OW who I would have been better partnered with - needless to say this showed poor planning and I for one will be making sure the next dive team I work with are aware of my inexperience to ensure a safe and pleasant dive.
Furthermore, on collecting my dive gear 2 days after my final dive, I was very disappointed to find my dive skin and wetsuit still damp and scrunched up in my box and not airing with all the others.

We paid extra for a late checkout and were told our bags would be collected 15 minutes before our transfer. Unfortunately, we had to remind reception to collect them, only to make our way to reception to be informed that our transfer wasn't for another hour.

To conclude, if this had been our first visit to the Maldives, we'd have been impressed by the Indian Ocean on our doorstep and the tropical backdrop that is so awe-inspiring, but probably wouldn't return. As we've been before, we felt that Bandos is lacking the little touches (staff wanting to go the extra mile and being proud to be ambassadors for the company they work for (with the exception of those mentioned), dhonis instead of exclusively using speedboats, green efforts (nowhere is it more important than in a country with no recycling facilities and primary disposal of rubbish being burnt on "rubbish island")) that transform a holiday to something special and positively memorable.

One final point, there seemed little reprimand for the idiot who was feeding fish bread on a dive (please, don't feed the fish - a) it's not natural behaviour and b) it's dangerous. Whilst he was "told off" by the dive master, it was little more than a slapped wrist. To be fair though, he got his punishment in the shape of a 2" gash on his foot from one of the fish he was feeding! My point being, that could be some innocent party on the next dive at that site as the fish expect to be fed again.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
4  Thank mrbluefox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We spent 7 days at Bandos in early May, our second stay on this island. Although it rained almost the entire time, we had yet again another amazing holiday on Bandos.

Our main reasons for choosing to return to Bandos is the beautiful house reef, and relaxed atmosphere. The reef has definitely started regenerating in the last few years, and there is an abundance of wildlife; plenty of fish, big and small, reef sharks, turtles, dolphins, octopii etc... The Dive Centre is very well equipped and staff very friendly and helpful. The dive trips are a great experience. Even snorkelling around Bandos and Kuda Bandos are wonderful experiences.

I would definitely recommend the morning trip to Kuda Bandos ($6.50 each) if you are after some private time at the beach, there were only 6 people there the morning we chose to go, and we each had a beach to ourselves.

The Jacuzzi Beach Villa was stunning, and we absolutely loved the outdoor bathroom.
We decided on the Bed and Breakfast package, after trying the half-board last time. As we are not huge eaters, we felt the Seabreeze, Koon Thai and the Sundowners were cheaper for our requirements, and gave us more choice. We averaged about $50 for 2 meals and 2 drinks. The buffet would have cost us $50 each per meal. All the meals we ate at all restaurants were delicious and well presented. We bought the beach candle-lit dinner, and although it was raining and we were moved indoors, the meal was superb, and I would highly recommend this meal.

The resort knows how to make returning customers feel appreciated, we were upgraded to a Jacuzzi Beach Villa, received a discount on Food and Beverages, cocktail and nibbles one evening, 48 hours of free wi-fi and also a discount on Scuba Diving.

I love the relaxed feel of this island, the sand paths instead of concrete, and the beautiful house reef. I love that you can just walk around barefoot the whole week. I feel that considering almost all foodstuffs are imported to the Maldives, the cost of food and water is reasonable, and this is one of the more reasonably priced resorts to stay at. It is fantastic that you can be sitting on the beach, barely half an hour after arriving at Male airport!

I would recommend this resort to anyone who is looking for a reasonably priced Maldivian holiday, but wanting a relaxed and natural environment. We can't wait to go back again.

Room Tip: The standard rooms are great value for money and in a great location. The Jacuzzi Villas are fantastic for their outdoor bathroom, and the Deluxe rooms have room for 2 foldaway beds for families.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Janie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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