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“Great Island for snorkeling, privacy”
Review of Bandos Maldives

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Bandos Maldives
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bandos
Certificate of Excellence
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
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4  Thank gorilla9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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5  Thank jh-pb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank annamami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank CaliGirltraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank watsanson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2010

Where do I start. Bandos Island Resort is at first glance a lovely resort in the Maldives, our arrival and check in went smoothly but without any interest from the staff. The rooms are clean and set in lovely locations around the island. We had the Garden Villa which was near the swimming pool and bar, it was quiet and in a central position for the island. Our room was spacious and has UK plug sockets which are a bonus. On going to bed the first night we discovered that the mattress was really hard and the padding was worn so you had lumpy springs pushing through. The pillows were hard and unforgiving. After a bad night I went to reception and complained about the mattress, the guy on reception at first acted like he did not understand me, when I did not go away and asked for the house keeping he then could suddenly speak English and said he would let them know. The next thing we know is they are swapping our mattress with the unit next to us, result..same hard mattress without the lumps. Give up! No luck with softer pillows, we discovered that the cushions on the room chairs were softer than the pillows, so we used them for the rest of the holiday. The funny thing was that the chamber person finished up putting the chair cushions on the bed every day!
What they don't seam to realise is the reason hotels choose to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fitting out their premises on mattresses alone, is because they know that if their customers sleep well, they are far more likely to return to the hotel - ask yourself if you would stay again in a hotel if its beds left you feeling tired and achy after you woke up?
We chose to go on a bed and breakfast basis because on the website they spoke of 3 restaurants as well as their buffet restaurant. Not a good idea! The food was mediocre in all the a la carte restaurants, after 4 days we opted to pay the $49.00 each for the buffet. How can a hotel have worse food in a la carte than buffet and then charge half board customers more money if they want to eat in the other restaurants instead of buffet. The buffet is quite acceptable with a good choice.
The staff. What can I say! Indifferent is the only word that describes them. They do their jobs, everything happens as it should, but with no interest in the guests, this is a problem the hotel should address but I am not sure the problem doesn't go to the top. At no stage did we see a manager, the words Thank You are not in there vocabulary even when I paid the bill at the end of the holiday they did not show any interest and handed the receipt back without a sound. Maybe we are too polite and expect it from everyone. They gave me a questionnaire to fill out so I did. I could'nt get it in the box because it was full of unread ones!
The Bandos Island Resort is a great dive site and the resort clean but not 4 star in my eyes. If a holiday in the Maldives is on your list make sure you check out comfort and food on Tripadvisor.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank TRELISKA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2010

Stayed here for 4 nights as part of our honeymoon. The boat ride from the airport is approximately 15 mins. On arrival, their guest relations executive greets you and shows you a map of the island and tells you about the things to do during your stay.

For people who dont know much about the maldives, the important thing to know is that unlike other beach destinations, once you are at the resort, you are quite cut off from the outside world. For example, unlike phuket or penang, there's no option of taking a cab to the nightlife areas for pubs and clubs. Which is why resort activities at the Maldives are crucial.

There were two kinds of activities at Bandos. One was activities at the bar such as karaoke, live band, cultural shows etc depending on the day of the week. The other is excursions like sunset dolphin cruises, snorkling at a separate island, island hopping, male tour, night fishing etc. These cost between US$ 30 to US$ 60 per person.

Anyway we were upgraded to a jaccuzi beach villa which was amazing. The villas are in duplex form with the living room and outdoor bathroom and jaccuzi on the ground floor and bedroom on the 1st floor. The 1st floor also has a balcony which overlooks the sea. All villas are on the beach and are a 20 second walk from the water. So you can snorkel from the room. However some of the villas are a 10 minute walk from the dining area so be ready for a long walk before and after meals.

We took a meals inclusive package which meant that all our buffet meals were included. Word of caution: service in the maldives is quite indifferent. most of the staff really doesnt care about what you think of the hotel and so there is a general delay and disdain in most things while dining. to the credit of the hotel, the food at the buffet is not that bad. The curry dishes in particular were quite good but not for the european/american pallet cuz its quite spicy. However dessert was quite bad on all days. The beef and lamb quality was quite average too.

The good thing is that the drinks on the island are nowhere near as expensive as the other resorts in the maldives. for example, a beer will cost you between US$ 4 and 6. Honestly, by indian standards, thats quite cheap! A meal at a specialty restraunt for 2 including drinks will cost you between 50-60USD. again, not bad at all.

I went scuba diving for the first time. According to my wife (who has dived quite a few times in thailand), this was the best scuba diving shes ever done. We saw a lionfish, a more eel, and 3 reef sharks (which was quite scary)! Even the snorkeling from outside the room was incredible and teeming with aquatic life. In fact i even got bitten by a vegetarian fish which left a mark for 3-4 days. Not to worry though cuz he was a little guy who prbably didnt know what he was doing :)

On the whole, i would definitely recommend the resort for the cost conscious crowd however its not the most romantic place in the maldives. Service needs a bit of improvement but for the price bracket, it was a good bargain.

I would recommend buying water from the airport though because the hotel gives you a litre a day and water provided during meals is chargeable.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank ShivaTheDestroyer
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: $158 - $544 (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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