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“Exclusive small beautiful island, best snorkelling reef we had in Maldives”

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Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vabbinfaru
Reviewed May 1, 2012

We just returned from our 11-day April 2012 honeymoon in the Maldives. We usually get bored quiet easily and like experiencing lots of different things, so decided to visit 3 very different islands in 11 days. For those of you reading this looking to go there also for the first time like us, we can tell you that we have been to pretty much everywhere in the world and Maldives is really something else, you really should experience it if you can afford the high price tag, it is definitely worth it.

We chose to stay in Banyan Tree Vabinfaru for 3 nights based on Tripadvisor reviews and the recommendation of our travel agent. Around 20 minutes by speed boat from Male airport, very smooth transfer. Greeted upon arrival by the manager Mr Hilmy and immediately shown to our room where we completes the check-in procedures. They upgraded us to a deluxe beach front villa which we appreciated a lot, room was very clean, bathroom al fresco very modern and beautiful, with a jakuzzi that we did not use.

The staff in Banyan Tree is just amazing.. from the receptionists to the restaurant staff, room service etc... most of them have been there for over 10 years, they must surely have amazing training.

Snorkeling in the Maldives is great in general, but in Vabbinfaru.... its something else... they have the most beautiful house reef with thousands of amazing fish... You can see 15-20 sharks from their pier in evening time as it starts getting dark. They have some turtles on site too that they educate and feed twice daily. Sting ray feeding at 5pm daily, Musa is great with them, 5-6 of them come everyday, they been coming for 11 years we heard, very friendly sting rays.

Food was excellent. We were fulll board. Breakfast and lucnh buffets had lots of quality choice. Dinner is a la carte but it is near michelin star standards, with amuse bouches and sorbets in between courses etc... Drinks as usual not included, $3 for warter and $5 for cola.

Everything was excellent, except.... they had mosquitos.... got 5-6 really bad bites despite using Boots tropical strength repellent most of the time... If they can fix that, I would be very happy to go back again.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sierra2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Nanjing, China
12
Reviewed April 28, 2012

This is a very pleasant journey.

The blue sky, clean beaches, clear water, comfortable villa, delicious food, quiet spa, thoughtful service, let us in an earthly paradise, no worries.

Especially the snorkeling, saw the sea, coral, sharks, turtles and all the beautiful fish in the ocean, I have never seen the beauty of.

I think we'll be back.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com
2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2012

Right from when we arrived at Male airport we were met by the Banyan Tree staff and taken to our speed boat for a 25 minute ride to our destination. It was late approx 11pm so we were very tired and filled with excitement for our holiday. We were not disappointed in anyway with this amazing little island with so much to offer for all travellers. The check in was quick due to the late hour, by this time it was 12 midnight Banyan time, our Beachfront villa was waiting for us and it was wonderful complete with 2 showers, one outdoor! We fell asleep listening to the sound of the sea not too far from the front of our villa. Not bad for your first introduction to the Maldives! Everything was onwards and upwards from there, breakfast on the sand in their indoor restaurant, a wonderful buffet with lots to choose from. Lunch was a buffet on the sand at their outdoor restaurant. Dinner once again was either in the outdoor or indoors still with sand floors either a buffet or set menu. Food was wonderful with lots of choices and everything excellent, 5 star dining every day. Thanks to chef Neil. We thoroughly enjoyed the snorkelling, which was great being up close with all the marine life, imagine swimming with a school of colourful fish- curious about you! I beleive the night snorkelling is great, we didn't do it this time. Next time is a must! Feeding the sting ray each afternoon was a incredible experience as well as their turtle program - Marta, the marine biologist is extremely passionate about her job and is a wealth of information. She loves to chat about her job. Our Banyan tree holiday was one of the best holidays we have ever had. The friendly staff enjoy their job and it was never a problem doing anything for you, which even included putting up a hammock - digging a huge hole for a pole in the sand! Not a easy job! There was plenty to do each day, or just sit in the sun and enjoy the scenary.Having a drink at the bar each afternoon watching the staff play football on the beach was also great fun. I celebrated my birthday here and everyone helped me have a great day and a wonderful birthday dinner with our own private table in the sand -thankyou Noor. No swimming pool yet (renovations in july - pools put in each villa!), but a crystal clear lagoon to enjoy everyday.Thankyou to Hilmy and his staff for a very memorable holiday. I beleive Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, Maldives should be on everyones bucket list! We will definitely be back again

Room Tip: We had a deluxe beachfront villa, on the western side of the island. Enjoyed sitting watching the su...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sandy897
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2012

Any criticisms we have are so minor they are really not worth mentioning - so i won't.
The island is a tropical dream, the staff superb (very friendly, very good and seemed to actually enjoy their work), the food lovely and never boring. Special thanks to the chef who, without prompting, made a special fish curry for our son - just because he happened to say he liked them!
The snorkelling was superb and i really encourage any visitor to try the night snorkelling as you see lots of different things. The marine biology centre added an extra dimension with free lectures (we learnt a lot about the reef) and we all enjoyed the turtle and ray feeding.
We really appreciated being able to keep our rooms until our late check-out (6pm), even more so as were not charged.
You won't need shoes, you are never off the sand (except in your room, flip-flops provided) and need few clothes other than beach/casual wear - travel light.
The resort is now being up graded, i just hope they do not put TV's in the room as it would spoil the feeling of escapism.
Nightmare of nightmares there was a proper Tsunami alert while we were there but the staff handled it very well. Apparently they have enough boats (and there did seem to be) to evacuate all guests and staff, and you would ride over the swell in the deep water. Worth considering for whatever resort you choose in the Maldives as there are no hills to run to!!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank andrew h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2012

great bar, great food, great diving center, beautiful beach!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BusterAndBabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

My husband and I went to this Island for our 30th Wedding Anniversary, we spent a week here and a week at Angsana, Velavaru. We had a villa on the sunset side of the island, with a large garden and a decking area at the back with seating and a jacuzzi. We had two showers, but preferred the outside one, so only used that! The bathroom was fantastic, and so private. There is a huge four-poster bed, and a Bose CD system, robes and flip-flops, slippers, beach bag, so many complimentary items (not the bath robes, though you can purchase them if you like). Out the front was a huge decking area with table and chairs, then a sand garden with an elevated decking area with two sun beds on, and a thatch roof, then the beach, your own private paradise! Here you had a fantastic hammock swung between trees, two more sun beds and a floating lilo type bed for floating on the sea! Amazing choice of where to sit/lay!

We thought the food here was amazing, truly 5star. Breakfast and lunch being buffet, and dinner twice a week also. The rest of the time dinner was a la carte, which we thought was lovely for a change! The fruit man at breakfast cut and served you with the freshest of fruit, there was the obligatory egg station too! Lunch, there was a lovely guy who would make you a fresh salad, with whatever ingredients you wanted and brought this to your table. The staff were fantastic, so helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble and they seemed to really enjoy their work. Desserts were to die for, but fortunately in small amounts! My husband loved the fresh ice-cream at lunch time!

Diving was excellent, according to my husband, I snorkeled which for me was amazing, the reef was easily reached, and we often swam over to the turtle cages to see the turtles being fed, also a must is the marine talk, and ray feeding!

The spa was amazing, we had a couples package and both my husband and I thought we had had the best ever massage, the ladies are fabulous.

For our anniversary dinner, we booked the sunset jetty, here we had champagne (which was complimentary) with canapes, then a full a la carte dinner, in pure privacy, with only the moon, the stars, the sound of the waves and gentle music to dance to.........beautiful!

I would recommend this island to anyone, it is small, friendly and just paradise!

Room Tip: All the rooms are located on or very near the beach, we had room 20, which was perfect for us, very...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Popperoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

staffs there are very friednly and with smile on the face when they see you. Breakfast and launch are buffet, many of choices but everyday nearly got same variety. Dinner, you can choose a starter, a main course and a dessert from the package, they are all delicious. Staffs will clean your villa twice a day and you can get a warm gift after night cleaning everyday. The coral garden is exllent. when you go there everyday, you can see different kind of fishes and sometimes you can see a shark. If you go there an night, you can see 10+ sharks at the arrival jetty. Snorkelling environment is perfect. A little disappointed thing is about spa. We did two 500 dollar packages for two person. The fisrt was perfect but the second was nearly made me crazy. But it was not resort's fault, it was spa staff's. She didn't gave me a towel to hide my body when need to get a shower and when she did head message for me, knotted my hair and it was not a head message, it was a hair message nearly. Spa manager provided us two-person complementary spa but we didn't accpet it. surprising thing is we get this complementary spa in Angsana Velavaru which is the second island we go. And actually the service of this island and coral garden are better than that in Velavaru.

Room Tip: Room 49 is good. In front of this villa is the best area for snorkelling and the pool in this villa...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jenny814109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Address:
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Vabbinfaru
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vabbinfaru
Price Range: $625 - $1,529 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru 5*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cast away on a secluded coral atoll in the paradisaical Maldives archipelago, you experience a sense of magic, romance and tranquility at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru that's second to none. Cocoon yourself in a web of shimmering turquoise waters, swaying coconut trees, indigenous blooms and pure white sand. Free your spirit on the Maldives' North Male Atoll. In Maldivian, Vabbinfaru refers to a round island circled by a round coral reef. In this circle of peace, claim sanctuary at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru resort. Feel the natural sea breeze sweeping in from the majestic Indian Ocean, and let the resort's signature hospitality bring you peace and tranquillity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru Maldives

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