We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“a very expensive paradise”
Review of Bandos Maldives

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Bandos Maldives
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bandos
Certificate of Excellence
weekaiser
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“a very expensive paradise”
Reviewed March 21, 2010

This was my seventh trip to Maldives and third to Bandos there has been major change to the island all for the better I must say .the accommodation is superb I stayed in a beach villa and although they are close together you have your own privacy.The food was good and there was plenty of choice just seemed a little cantiny at times.The island staff are friendly and very helpful,the restaurant staff however could do with a smile and not make it seem as if you have to eat and get out .The island is beautiful the reef is superb and it has everything to make your holiday a dream .My problem is you cannot go go all inclusive everything is expensive even for the Maldives and with 10% on everything it does get annoying.I am going back to the Maldives in the summer with my family and have chosen another island for this reason alone.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank weekaiser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,009 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,016
    713
    182
    56
    42
See reviews for
620
915
76
30
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (314)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hungarian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2010

After reading reviews after we had booked (!) I was slightly concerned about two things before we left: 1) cost of drinks etc 2) noisy children. But this holiday turned out to be fine,
OVERVIEW
The island is beautiful, it has all the cliches; bright whitest of white sand and turquoise waters and palm trees, just like a picture postcard...what more could you want.
This is the only place in the world that I have been where I can run straight into the sea and jump straight into the swimming pool..the waters are warm, 29oC just like a tepid bath...beautiful.
It was far too hot (march-april hottest time) to sunbathe and I actually burnt on the first day even with factor 50 on...remember you are only 4 degrees from the equator so the sun is v. strong here.
We went full board, we actually wanted an all inclusive but only booked a week before we left so was limited to what was available in the maldives.
COST
After reading about the extortionate cost of the drinks etc I became very concerned, yes Bandos do have to import their alcohol so that is going to add to the price but also you are their captive customer..where else are you going to get a drink from??(well. I'll come back to that in a minute)
Remember it's hot all day so you'll be drinking more, soft drinks (coke, lemonade etc are $3.50 , milshakes $4-5 I had a magnum ice cream...$5 ! now you can see how things add up. you do get 2 x 500ml bottled water in your room which arrives normally late morning mid afternoon when you room is being cleaned but you are a family ...you still only get the 2 bottles)
Breakfast: there is free water and juices but lunch and dinner you don't get free water.
Now to the cocktails: the majority are $8 - $11 dollars beer (Tiger is $4.50) wine $6
you do get a small water on the speed boat and a non-alcoholic orange welcome drink...this will be the last 'free' drink apart from at breakfast (I say free, you have probably paid thousands for this hol!)

We had a beautiful candlelit meal seafood meal on the beach with our own waiter. We had salmon to start, rock lobster , dessert and a bottle of red wine for $165.00 we thought this was good value. and it was a lovely experience.

The Galleria restaurant is basically where you eat if you're on B&b, half or full board (but you can also pay for meals at other restaurants & bars)

The food was buffet style, diverse, healthy and deliscious with lots of choice (but even so it had a bit of a canteen feel.. not what I thought I'd feel on a holiday to the maldives, although you've paid thousands your just not going to get that EXCLUSIVE feeling at Bandos! I don't know why, and you get an incy wincy bit bored but thats strange as there are so many dishes..but overall very good food...try the dark brown bread with your soup...delicious)
We enquired when we got there about the cost of a water villa (there are only 2!) but it transpired it's $350 per night with a minimum stay of 3 nights..so no upgrading for us, although I can see why you'd do it for a honeymoon
You can actually snorkel out to their back steps...I did as one was empty and I went up to the balcony at the top of the steps...it's have to snorkel to them as the water is very shallow and very rocky! I felt like James Bond!


TOP TIP
You don't need to take a huge array of clothes, just beach wear, everywhere is casual with little scope to dress up, unless you go to the fine dining restaurant
So we took this opportunity to...and heres the good bit: fill our case with 1.5 litre bottles of Oasis (you can't import alcohol into the maldives) we took 10 bottles which we put a bottle or so a day into the minibar to cool and sipped on these all day leaving us more money to spend on the nice cocktails later on, now I am neither tight with money nor struggling for money but I do hate to be ripped off! hahaha seriously when you take the cost of one can or bottle of water and then you add the service charge of 10% it all adds up..we saved atleast $150 better in our pocket than theirs also we took toblerone !!

We bought our snorkels before we went, much cheaper than hiring theirs and you get to keep them
You will need jelly shoes if your going in the water or some kind of swimming sandel or ofcourse snorkling flippers ..the coral will cut you to bits in bare feet.

Excursions:
half day Island hopping $30 you'll go to a Local's island...very interesting to see how the Maldevians live,and you'll go to Paradise Island..another resort, we went there and felt like it was much the same as Bandos so felt better

Full day island hopping: $50 I think this goes to Male too
You can go to the little island next door for $5..seemed good value but didn't go

You can have a totally exclusive dinner for two on your own island (little bandos) with your own chef and waiter with your table sitting in a heart shape made of candles for $350 ! but we decided that our own table next to the sundowners bar but with the beach to ourselves was just as good.

Children; I was so worried about these little creatures spoiling my holiday but it was fine, therewere children next to our room but I didn't hear them. The free childrens club attracts families to this island so there were more than i'd expect especially , ofcourse around the pool but it was only one day that i thought they got on my nerves, there were quite afew kids but must be worse in school holiday
Personally I don't know why you'd bring kids to the Maldives, it must be so boring for them and an expensive place to bring them, Spain is ideal...leave the kids with grandparents and leave the honeymooners and couples alone to enjoy the silence!!

Nightlife:

crab racing was fun.
you have to bet by buying two beers for each race

Karaoke was fun
but lets not get the wrong idea..the nightlife is QUIET, not much to do at night this can be nice or it can be a bit boring depending on your mood.

Sit with a cockail at the aptly named sundowners bar and watch the sunset
Bring mosquito spray

Be prepared for the best dives and snorkelling you've ever had

say hello to the nemo , parrot and clown fish and watch a shark zoom past.

Have a great holiday !!!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank mooncup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bhubaneswar, India
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2010

awesome beaches, well maintained resort, good service and very good food...

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mitrabhanu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshire
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2010

I pretty much echo what other positive reviews say.
We stayed during Feb half term and didn't find small (or any) children a problem at all. There was always space around the pool and sun beds on the beach for all 5 of us - no idea where all the other guests went each day! We thought the food was fantastic (half board), loads of choice. I went prepared to spend a fortune on drinks and extra food but probably spent about £400 in total ( thats for 5 adults). We stayed in delux villas (nos 290's I think), very spacious, and not far to walk to the restaurant/ reception. The island is covered with loads of lovely plants/flowers and is very well maintained. No nasty bugs, think we all had a couple of mozzie bites each. Lovely fruit bats, lizards, gekos and birds to see though.
The only negatives would be that breakfast ended too early for us - 9.45! and that after 10.30 at night most people had gone to bed and so the bar lacked atmosphere.The staff were fine, although getting seated in the restaurant was a little slow a couple of times. Reception staff and room staff were excellent very friendly and helpful. Most of my family swam out to the reef 'drop off'' with out any problem, but I did hear people talikng about the strong current beyond the reef. I went on the glass bottom boat which enabled me to see the 'drop off', so worth doing if you dont like deep water. There are loads of lovely fish to snorkle with even in the shallow water. We did go to Kuda Bandos for a couple of hours, not really worth it, swarming with people, the sea seemed rather choppy and nothing to see on the island.
All in all, Bandos is quite simply, a lovely relaxing place.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank amenab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris,
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2010

Overall, staying at bandos resort was a great experience. We booked 5 nights in a Deluxe Villa and were really impressed with the rooms, which are beautifuly decorated and very spatious. A second source of enjoyment was the luxurious vegetation on the Island. The island is very green and you can relax in the shade after a swim in little natural alcoves made of vegetation. The trees and flowers were beautiful, which wasn't something I expected from the Maldives. Overall the staff is very friendly and competent with a few exceptions I will detail furtherdown.
We had an incredible experience at Bandos but had a few little inconveniences
1) the excursions.
The second day, we booked a small excursion to little Bandos (5$ per person) only to find upon arrival that 80 percent of the island was closed off
(no walking nor snorkeling) because it was being sprayed with bugs.We went back to the main island and got a refund but still it seems the management could have metionned this. The next day we booked a rather expensive excursion to see Manta Rays. We sailed to the spot in a speedboat, the guest representative looked for 2mn told us there were no mantas in the sea that day and we would go snorkeling instead. We repeated the excursion the next day (for free since the group has protested quite vehemently), still no mantas. in a nutshell stay away from the manta ray expedition if you are not willing so see anything but mantas.
2) the waiters at the Gallery restaurant where quite rude and unfriendly. We arrived a few times 30mn before closure and not one of the waiters would take us in their section and none of the tables were made up. We requested to sit by the edge to get some air and the waiters told us it was too late in a very rude and unfriendly way. Globally not the experience you would expect from a 4star hotel
3) Everything is expensive and extra. This is to be expected but still annoying: from the 4$ bottle of water, to the 15$ tennis courts and 9$ scuba equipment not even included in excursions.
Other than those small troubles, Bandos was great!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank isabellap1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OXFORD
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2010

Have just returned from what was our second visit to Bandos.If you are looking to relax and chill out then this is the place for you.We stayed in a Delux Villa which was very well presented and just a few yards from the Ocean.Choice of food was great with something for every taste.Service was good and and the dining rooms were not too crowded.
Only downside was the amount of small children ,we avoided booking close to School Holidays to avoid noisy kids but were amazed to find this was not the case.
Only a small point but one to consider.Mealtimes could be a little chaotic ?
Don't let that deter you ,this is a piece of Heaven on Earth.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andysin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2010

Reading other reviews it would seem some of us went to a different island !!
The staff were excellent, friendly and helpful. The food was very good, we stayed B&B and as far as we're concerned the right choice. We found the food & the service in the Sea Breeze very good and thanks to Hussein & Thasleem our waiters they certainly made it special. It was our sons 21st whilst we were there and they decorated the table and brought out a birthday cake for him, they even came and said goodbye the day we left.
The rooms were very clean, cleaned twice a day with clean bath & beach towels every day.
Bandos was kept spotless by an army of staff who were always friendly.
We stayed in a jacuzzi beach villa which was fantastic with the sound of the waves as you go to sleep every night.
We didn't find the food or drink expensive and pleased we opted for B&B as this gave us more choice of where to eat.
We're quite fussy with food and cleanliness but we had no complaints whatsoever with Bandos and would recommend this island to anyone who wants a relaxing break.

  • Stayed February 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Loz9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Bandos
4.0 mi away
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa
Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Reso...
#1 of 1 in Furanafushi Island
1,735 reviews
4.4 mi away
Paradise Island Resort & Spa
Paradise Island Resort & Spa
#1 of 1 in Lankanfinolhu Island
2,517 reviews
3.5 mi away
Kurumba Maldives
Kurumba Maldives
#1 of 1 in Vihamanafushi
3,563 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
20.1 mi away
Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Meeru Island Resort & Spa
#1 of 1 in Meerufenfushi
5,564 reviews
4.6 mi away
Baros Maldives
Baros Maldives
#1 of 1 in Baros Island
2,188 reviews
7.2 mi away
Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Bandos Maldives? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Bandos Maldives

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline, TravelUp, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Ctrip TA, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, Agoda, Cancelon, HotelQuickly and Evoline ltd so you can book your Bandos Maldives reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Bandos Island Hotel Bandos
Bandos Island Resort Maldives
Bandos Island Maldives
Bandos Maldives

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing