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“Dream” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

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Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vabbinfaru
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Dream”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

We stayed at Banyan tree for a week and it has been a dream! The island has a beautyful house reef, we have seen sting rays, reef sharks at each time we went snorkeling! All the staff without exception was so welcoming, friendly and helpful! Don't miss diving of course and a good massage at the thai spa!

  • Stayed August 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Fruitexotique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SrikantPeri, General Manager at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, responded to this review, September 16, 2014
I am pleased to read that my team and I were able to add to the memories of your holiday. Your review of our hotel is detailed and the appreciation generous and motivating. I thank you for sparing time and for recommending our resort.

Regards,

Srikant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,200 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (205)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

We came here for our honeymoon in Aug 2004 and had a truly magical time and had wanted to come back ever since. Now (two kids later who stayed with grandparents) we were able to return for our 10th anniversary - our booking agent had informed Banyan Tree that we were returning and were seeking to go back to the same villa (#10) we had previously.

Banyan arranged a VIP welcome for us, and all staff seemed to have been well-briefed in advance as we were welcomed with "hello and welcome back" by all staff. They (in my opinion) gave us an even better villa (#2) than before - just a few steps to the spa, gym, and bar areas.

The view from the villa included Angsara resort (Ilhuru island) opposite, and a wide expanse of beach (although the beach does change constantly throughout the year).

The villa's have been refurbished and the internal patio areas now included a pool for cooling off in as well as a warm jaccuzzi which makes a great combination, plus an outdoor sun sofa for private sunbathing/relaxing - see http://roomsvillas.banyantree.com/maldives_vabbinfaru/Reservations/Rooms/Beachfront-Pool-Villa

Great things about this resort:
Villa's are lovely, designed for couples, food is 5* and fabulous for every meal, you have a waiter who gets to know you (favourite table location, extra cushions if needed, drinks, etc.), all the staff are friendly - not a single employee doesn't stop, smile and offer a greating. All the amenities are wonderful, we even used the small gym almost every day.
Make it a goal to wear no footwear at all whilst you are on resort - everything (except the gym and spa) is sand so you don't need anything. Flip flops are offered in the room if needed.
The island is famous for it's stingrays which come right to the beach front next to the pier every evening around 17:00 for a feeding session wih the marine center staff, followed by a short swim out to the turtle cage in the lagoon at 17:30 for their feeding session (around 80% of local turtle eggs are reared in a protected area for up to 2 years before being released once they have outgrown their natural predators to help promote their numbers)

Great things to do:
Snorkelling - we saw as much as we did diving. Doing a whole lap of the outside reef is 1200m and takes a reasonably fit person around 2-3 hours (so wear swim top to avoid sunburn)
Spa - one of the backbones of the Banyan tree brand is the suberb massages and treatments -as a man I had 6 massages (wife had just two) and I would heartily recommend this as part of the joy of the resort. During breakfast and lunchtimes some of the spa staff would offer a free 10 min chair massage in the dining areas to demonstrate how nice this is...highly recommended.
Visit Angsara/Ihuru island opposite (2 min boat hop every 2 hours) - has a nice shop and a smaller reef you can circle in around 1 hour
Buy a decent waterproof camera/video (Canon D20 was excellent) plus wrist float of course - having a spare battery meant you can recharge one whilst snorkelling/videoing around the reef.
The Marine center staff do a talk twice a week at 18:00 - worth making time for one of these.
There is a photography package which is quite expensive but not if you consider the equivalent UK professional photo shoot you might have (we ended up paying around $350 for the middle package) but they perform a professional photo session around the island and give you a printed album of 14 shots, CD of arounkd 70 shots (more if you pay for a bigger package) but even with the cost in mind, the photos were really worthwhile and do a great job of capturing the island - expensive but very glad we took up the offer.

Things to be aware of:
Make sure you use a good suncream - I used factor 50 all holiday.
Don't buy any alcohol in duty free on the way out - it's not allowed into the country.
Plugs are all UK 240v so no issues with charging, converters, etc.
Do be aware that there are four or five 'passages' through and over the reef into the 'abyss' marked by buoys and posts - plan your snorkel to use these passages to go out and come in - don't go over the reef as it can be too shallow to crest the coral and it will catch you/you will damage it. Coral itself will give you a jellyfish sting (that's basically what coral is), so don't be tempted as you can't stand or easily turn around - at low tide the coral actually can emerge out of the water completely.

We did experience some jellyfish swarms on a couple of days. Check with the marine center each day about whether to swim/snorkel just to be sure (stings can be quite nasty and are to be avoided) - wearing swim tops/full body will help.

One small note, the island has opened up to the chinese market in the last four years including families with young children. The island does not really cater for families (the villas have no special sleeping arrangements, no dedicated activities, no child menus, 19:30 meal time later than small kids would need), but I think management are considering bring the market back to adult-only couples so I would urge you not to let this put you off but check with the resort if this is a concern. There was no noise in the evening at all except for the waves and he air con.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RobFuller2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indonesia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2014

The resort was only 25 minutes away by speedboat ride and we were warmly welcomed by some of the managers when we arrived. Everyone was so amused watching the colourful school of fish around their coral reefs which was obvious as soon as we set foot on the jetty.

The resort is fabulous! All the villas come with a private pool or a jet pool plus an in/outdoor shower. The villas are named after a Maldivian Fishes instead of just numbers which I think is a cool way to remember them. Inside the room, you have your usual amenities like TV & CD player, Wi-fi (free of charge), I-pad docking station, mini bar, etc. but what I loved most is their pillow menu! I can be particular with my pillows so that was one very good service for people like me.

My friends loved the Spa at the resort. They claim that it is one of the award winning spas in the world - which my friends didn't argue with since they had a lovely time! I didn't have any spa sessions but I remember that once you enter the spa, you are overwhelmed by the pleasant spa-ish aromas. The aromatic oils, lotions and other products used in the spa are specially made to match Vabbinfaru's theme. They told us that all their therapists have to undergo a 6 month training program at their very own academy in Phuket, Thailand. Isn't that amazing?

Aside from really enjoying the intimate resort, I loved that every afternoon at around 4pm the stingrays find their way to the resort jetty for feeding. It's part of their routine and has already become an added highlight for the resort. Sometimes, they also allowed us to throw food to the sting rays. Which is just the coolest ever!

Overall, with all the new resorts that are being put-up, it's not one of the most luxurious ones in the Maldives but it's conveniently located and all the amenities are world-class plus the service is awesome. We certainly got out money's worth and will definitely be going back!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sita B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ascot
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2014 via mobile

From the moment we were picked up at the airport to transfer by speedboat the entire stay was excellent. The room was very good. I have never slept so well ! The food first class and the service outstanding. A big thank you to Moosa who adopted us and ensured we got everything we wanted. He even took us into their garden before we left to collect a few chillies which we have since planted and grown. The island is small but I guess most of them are. A full 8 mins to stroll around it so I'm not sure I could manage more than a week at a time but a very relaxing and pampered break.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank HungryTravellerAscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2014

A good place for family.It's safe for snorkling,and children will love the beach and funny swimming pool in villa.
There are not many kinds of foods, and I hope Banyan Tree provide more foods for Chinese tastes in the future, because many Chinese had holiday on the island during my stay.


Room Tip: Comfortable and cool, perfect!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com

Helpful?
Thank MidoFa2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2014

We had a wonderful, enjoyable, and relaxing experience. Everything was great. Welcoming freindly staff, amazing views, excellent accomodation, delicious food, great service... i could go on forever. We definitly plan to come back again. Thanks Banyan Tree for such an unforgetable experience.

Room Tip: private pool + Jaccuzi in all villas. Best place for snorkling
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank T a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beijing, China
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2014

It's a wonderful trip in Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. My family had a very happy and relax time here. Beautiful ocean and beach ,warmly service,kindly smile,delicious food ,which are all over the island.I just want to say ,we will be back......

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com

Helpful?
Thank ZhangShu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SrikantPeri, General Manager at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, responded to this review, August 4, 2014
I am pleased that we were successful in making your holiday pleasant. relaxing and memorable. I thank you for sparing time to post your review and look forward to welcoming you back.

Regards,

Srikant Peri
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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