After flying through the night we arrived in Male feeling a bit jaded knowing we still hadn’t reached our destination. However, we needn’t have worried. We were met by a very capable member of Banyan Tree staff who wasted no time in getting us on a speed boat for a smooth ride out to the island.
We were met by Waheed and a drummer, we felt so welcomed from the word go. Check in ran smoothly and efficiently while we drank a wonderful iced tea and started to take in our surroundings.
We were shown to our Beach Front Villa which looked very welcoming, soft music playing and a lovely smell of incense. As we investigated further we were delighted to find it was just as we had seen in the ad pictures and even better as we could now hear the sound of the sea.
The weather was perfect and the sea just the right temperature to help you cool down.
There were mosquito nets around the bed but we never encountered one.
The chic bathroom seemed to melt into the surroundings. There were no windows or outside door but the clever arrangement gave the necessary feeling of privacy along with a wonderful outdoor feeling. The mirrored closet gave a very spacious feeling to an already large bathroom.
The pool and Jacuzzi were an added luxury with a settee with an outside standing lamp that gave a lovely warm feeling to the garden area in the evening.
The wonderful aqua tones of the sea and sky changing throughout the day and into the evening were extremely relaxing and amazing to watch. The sea was so clear and shallow that if you chose not to snorkel you could still see beautiful coloured fish, friendly sharks and stingray fish. The reef was close to shore with passages leading through which gave you the choice of swimming in shallow or deeper water to view it.
Shoes were discarded from the moment of arrival until we got off the speed boat at Male to return home.
Meal times were always a delight. There was a great choice of wonderfully healthy food and in the 8 days we stayed I don’t think I saw the same dish twice!
The service was excellent and always with a smile. We had Ziyad assigned to us in the restaurant. He saw that we had everything we needed and just the right amount of time being social with us. And of course, always with a smile and welcoming comment.
We were there for New Year’s Eve when a trip to a sand bank was arranged for a champagne pre dinner drink. We had found sarongs laid out on our bed the previous night with our names on them to be worn on the trip. What a lovely thought. When we returned from the trip we found that our bed had been decorated beautifully with rose petals and the sheet pleated in an intricate pattern by Rasheed, our house keeper who always had a wonderful smile and a happy comment for us.
The spa was out of this world. I had a treatment lasting 3 hours and floated out feeling amazing and so well looked after.
The Marine Lab together with the Water Sport Centre have a programme to save the marine life.
We were given an excellent lecture by Moosa, who is so knowledgeable about how turtles are looked after from birth until they are capable of taking care of themselves. He also talked about how reefs are formed and what they do to take care of the reef, and how vulnerable the corals are and the programme to nurse them and look after the environment. Over all, the whole resort is very environmentally friendly with options of island produced glass-bottled water as a choice to imported plastic bottles, dispensers for toiletries instead of disposable ones, just to mention a few. The introduction lecture for snorkelling and diving was very informative and the snorkelling gear was complimentary for the whole stay.
The last 18 hours of our holiday were spent on the lovely Velaa where the crew were so friendly and we had a lot of fun with them. We had a romantic dinner on deck and at the same time the crew caught squid which we not only participated in catching but enjoyed eating once they had cooked it. It just couldn’t have been fresher!!!
There is so much to say not only about the island but the wonderful people who look after you but maybe I should leave something for you to discover for yourself.
We would like to say a special ‘Thank you” to Abdulla Simaad who obviously enjoys his work and for the much appreciated arrangements. He was very communicative and so knowledgeable about the environment of the island and always had time to talk. In fact, one of the wonderful things about everyone there was their calm friendly manner encouraging you to relax from the moment of arrival.
We just can’t wait to return, hopefully, later this year!
- 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