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“The best honeymoon ever!!”

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Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vabbinfaru
London
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“The best honeymoon ever!!”
Reviewed June 2, 2009

The Banyan tree vabbinfaru was an amazing destination for our honeymoon. Everything - the location, food, service, rooms, spa - was fantastic. From the minute you get off the plane and on to the boat you settle into comfort and relaxation. It was the perfect place for a honeymoon and we wish we could go back every year!
The villas were lovely and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Lunch was our favourite meal (BBQ buffet like you have never seen with home made ice-cream and other desserts!) but all the food was excellent with a wide range of choices. We also had a number of spa treatments and these were wonderful and we thought very good value for money.
We don't scuba dive but the snorkelling on the house reef was very good - we saw sharks, sting rays, turtles, and so many fish and types of coral! We also kayaked around the island. Extra excursions that we paid for were the snorkelling safari (good - would recommend), sand bank dining (amazing - once in a lifetime experience!), trip to local island (OK, but if you are strapped for time wouldn't do it), trip to Male (wouldn't bother doing this).
We had a wonderful time at the Banyan Tree and would jump at the chance to go back again. If you want an amazing holiday/honeymoon experience and be totally relaxed and refreshed at the end of it then this is place!!

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank londonwantok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Alderley Edge, England
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2009

We went to Banyan Tree to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversay. The service was exceptional and very personalised. Our beachfront villia was exactly as described in the brochure and just a few steps into the warm Indian Ocean. Snorkeling and diving was the best ever experianced with an abundance of aquatic life and coral. The food was exquisite with plenty of choice and always served by staff who were very attentive and friendly. We lunched on the sandbank which was very romantic as there was just the two of us for a few hours before returning to the island by speedboat. One night we had villa dining where the chef cooked for us and we ate on our terrace under the stars. We celebrated our anniversary with a seafood dinner on a podium in the Indian Ocean surrounding by candlelight with soft music and the ocean for company. We drank sundowners on our terrace whilst watching some beautiful sunsets and fed the fish from the jetty each evening. Banyan Tree is definately a romantic couples island and perfect if you want to spend time with your loved one.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RomanticMrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Switzerland
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2009

My husband and I spent 8 fantastic days at BT Vabbinfaru last December for our honeymoon, and highly recommend it. In a nutshell:
- the landscape was picture perfect. Although late December is considered "the" time to visit the Maldives, we did have a couple of hours of rain during most of our days there. This however did not bother us at all, as the rainfall only lasted for an hour at most and soon after that our tropical paradise was again at its best. There was only one day when the sun did not appear at all, which was not ideal, but other than that no complaints. In fact it was a bit of a relief not to have the scorching sun of the tropics during the entire day... The turquoise sea, the amazing variety of colourful fish and the spotless white sand were just like we imagined them, or better!
- temperatures were great - warm enough to swim etc, but not to a point of suffocation. On a couple of evenings I even put on a light cotton jacket.
- the hotel is amazing, luxurious without being extravagant, and blending in with the natural surroundings. They also pay attention to environmental protection (coral reef conservation, sealife etc), which we deeply appreciated. The villas feel like home, and the external shower in the private villa garden was a dream - we both wanted to shower there among the vegetation, it's an experience to remember.
- Our villa was number 18, and we loved it (oceanview). There were a couple of beachfront villas that my husband had also liked, but not all of them, as the majority are not that private and you need to keep the curtains down if you don't want passers-by to look in all the time. In our villa this was never an issue, and we could still see the sea.
- The food was amazing. The variety of the buffet catered for every taste, the quality was top notch and there were different international cuisines featured every day, so you never got tired of looking at and tasting different dishes. We also appreciated the three course dinner, which allowed for a more sophisticated culinary experience every evening. The lunch buffet and the table d' hote dinner were the perfect combination.
- The open air spa was great. The free massage lesson we got as newly weds was not particularly memorable, but the Lomi Lomi massage (not free!) was heavenly, and we went back for more.
- We had booked a sandbank dinner before going there. When the time came, the hotel staff informed us that due to weather conditions (windy), it'd be best to cancel the dinner. We very much appreciated the fact that they warned us in time, rather than take us there and then back, without enjoying our dinner. We were able to book a breakfast for the next day though, so we did see that amazing little place. It was sure worth the early rise! We'd probably recommend breakfast over dinner now, because although less romantic, it has the advantage that you don't get back when it's dark (I was hoping we wouldn't die as the boat was bumping against the waves and it was pitch dark before sunrise, with all of the Indian ocean around us and not a drop of light anywhere, and I'd rather have this when I go and not when I return, relaxed and happy after the meal....). Also, unless they provide a tent, lunch may be difficult there if there is no protection from the sun.
- The private villa dinner was lovely, very romantic - and the waiter offered to take some nice photos of the two of us.
- the highlight of the vacation was the snorkelling experience. We took the boat to the hotel on the neighbouring island, which supposedly has one of the most impressive reefs in the atoll. We eventually gathered the courage to swim beyond the reef, where the turquoise water stops and it becomes dark because of the depth of the sea. It was by far the most memorable moment of our holiday, and there are no words to describe it. Just go there, and don't forget to buy a disposable underwater camera from the hotel shop!
- The staff was great, super friendly and helpful. Only some of the waiters seemed a bit bored, but they were still professional and we didn't particularly mind. The receptionist even waved on the dock when we took the little boat back to the airport. Very nice touch, and we almost cried saying goodbye to that dreamy place! We were also impressed by the response to our evaluation form - no matter how great a place is, you can always spot a couple of things that could be further improved. Not only did we get a polite email only a couple of days after we had left the hotel, acknowledging receipt of our evaluation form, but they also took the time to comment on each of the points we had made and offer to fix them.
- Also, the hotel had a no-children policy (for 0-12, I believe), and we were enormously grateful for that. Most of the guests were young couples, just like us, which contributed to a romantic, quiet and calm environment.
We'll never forget that first trip to the Maldives, and promise to come back to BT. The relaxing BT music in the room, which we now have in our CD collection, will always bring us back to that little bit of paradise... Thank you!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank elan_Switzerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2009

From start to finish, this resort is top notch.

We stayed in a Deluxe Oceanfront Villa (#42 - Rimmas) and really liked it. A great baech out front with plenty of sand. Some villas were on the beach but it had eroded pretty far back. The villa was great - with a hot tub (very very hot water) and an outdoor showed - loved it.

Food was good. Breakfast awesome. Lunch excellent. Dinner was good - not great. The dinner menu was more limited than I would have hoped. Although that being said, they were happy to cook me a steak if I didn't find anything to my liking on the menu.

Service was excellent. Everyone did everything they could to make you feel welcome and well taken care of.

We took the snorkel safari one day. It was well worth the $24 per person. You go on a boat to a nearby reef and snorkel with a guide for over an hour. Really very, very nice. A definite must do.

The spa was great. We went 2 days during our stay. Very, very relaxing setting and the thai staff are very gracious. Rates are similar to other resorts - not too over the top. Be warned though that when you book a 90 minute massage it means 60 minutes of massage and 30 minutes of relaxation time ( a bit misleading ).

A few suggestions or thoughts to improve the resort...

1. the gym is horrendous - one treadmill, one bike and some weights. really poor for this level of resort. according to the resort, they will be addressing it - but in the meantime, don't expect a nice place to work off those pounds you will be adding at the restaurants!

2. wireless internet service is spotty ... a few days (we were there 7 days) there was hardly any signal. other days, it was better. when we inquired at reception, they had no idea why this would be. we could only guess that at peak times the signal just wasn't strong enough

3. some activiites seem to cost alot... we attended a Maldivian cooking class the first day. It was $30 per person for the sous chef to talk for 30 minutes on how to make a curry and then you ate it.... we didn't realize there was a cost until it showed up on our bill. I can understand some activities costing money (such as the snorkel safari) but things like a cooking class? seems like a bit of nickel and diming....

Overall - this was a trip of a lifetime. Really, really enjoyed the resort, the people, and the experience.... Highly recommend for others!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank FlyDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2009

WOW!! This place is absolutely stunning! Once we arrived at the island we were amazed already at the ambience of the place. It has a first class elegant feel without being over the top. We had a lovely welcome, and the check in was very swift and efficient. The inside of the island where all the rooms are accessed is beautifully maintained, and we were more than impressed when we were taken to our room for the first time. Before we arrived we requested a west facing villa, and they managed to sort that out for us. We stayed in a Deluxe Beachfront Villa (Hikaa – 6) which opened up onto a large sandy beach and crystal clear lagoon. The room was perfect, very spacious and airy, with panoramic views of the sea. The bathroom was fabulous with two sinks, two showers (one inside and one outside) and a huge jet pool outside. A large selection of toiletries such as shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion was supplied in the bathroom, along with slippers and robes. Every night when we returned to our room we had a little gift left by the room boy, I thought this was a lovely touch. There's wi-fi access in all the guest rooms as well as the bar which can be used free of charge. If you decide against taking your own laptop, there's one kept at reception for complimentary use at the bar.

The mini bar was well stocked and prices of the drinks were the same as you would pay at the bar. Two complimentary bottles of water are placed in your room every morning and if you need more your room boy will gladly arrange that for you. Our room boy (Khaleel) did a super job for us, and was always more than happy to help out.

The snorkelling here is as good as Angsana, the only difference really being the greater distance to the edge of the reef. I would definitely suggest taking an underwater camera or investing in underwater housing for your digital camera. They do place a disposable underwater camera in your room, but that’s priced at $21 which is a bit steep when you can buy for around £5 in the UK. The water sports centre will provide you with snorkelling gear and a floatation vest if you would like one.

Every single meal we had here we really enjoyed. Starting with breakfast, there was a huge selection of food available and everything I tried was top quality. Lunch was always buffet, with lots of variety both hot and cold and a barbeque, offering food such as lamb loin, king prawns or beef tenderloin all cooked to your liking. The evening (six course) meal is al a carte every night with the exception of Friday, which is a buffet of traditional Maldivian food – very tasty. I was particularly impressed with the desserts, I don’t tend to eat desserts very often, but I had one here every single night and they were all lovely. The homemade ice-cream is excellent, especially the vanilla. Be prepared to put on a few pounds while you’re away! Our waiter throughout out stay was Adam, a lovely chap who always greeted us with a smile and really looked after us.

The bar is great, quite rustic looking with perfect lighting in the evening. There’s a high powered telescope which you can make use of, and I would recommend that you have a go with this. Wine by the bottle starts at about $40, and for a glass was roughly $12. The cocktails are great, they put so much effort into making them and they taste superb, the range in price from $12-$22, the ones at $22 being the champagne cocktails. Beer is $6 and soft drinks $5.

The spa is excellent, we had the couples ‘Rainmist Revival’ and we both loved it. I booked this prior to arriving at the resort to secure the reservation, which they recommend you do as it can get booked up quite quickly.

All the staff here are excellent, very professional and extremely helpful. Nothing is too much trouble, they will really go out of their way to ensure that your holiday is perfect.

I love this place, and will definitely be visiting another of the Banyan Tree properties in the future.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank MonkeyTabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2009

My husband & I spent 4 nights in Vabbinfaru, after spending 7 nights at Madivaru (another Banyan Tree resort). This is a return trip to Vabbinfaru, after staying there last year. It did not disappoint, as we had a great time.

The house reef was superb for snorkelling - saw 2 moral eels and trigger fish, which are usualy just seen by divers.

The accommodation was excellent and had everything we needed and the food was good. The breakfast and lunch were better than the evening meal, as the choice was more to our liking. Our favourite highlight was to have champagne on the jetty and watch the sunset, served by a lovely guy called Fareed.

I think I would prefer to return to Madivaru, but this island is still excellent.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Mandus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Male
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2009

Bayan Tree is a must visit resort when you come to Maldives. Great for surfing the beach was amazing no COMPLAINTS!
They provide you with all the equipment for surfing snorkeling you name it

this site helped me alot [--]

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mariolovestotravel
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

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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