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“Good value family resort”
Review of Bandos Maldives

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Bandos Maldives
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Bandos
Certificate of Excellence
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good value family resort”
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Flying Emirates, via Dubai, my 16 year old daughter and I spent 8 days at Bandos for some quality time together. This is our third visit to the Maldives, having stayed at Kurumba and Olhuvelli, and although this resort is less luxurious than the other two, it is very clean and well run and has everthing you need for a good family holiday. Our de luxe room was large and simply furnished and had a small sitting room. The bathroom facilities all worked well. The small patio has chairs, a table and a very handy drying rack for wet things. Although only 30 seconds from the shoreline, the actual beach is screened by trees and bushes, although this was no problem. The beaches on this side of the island are very narrow and almost disappear at high tide, but they are very pretty and secluded.

We took the B&B option because we are not fond of buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We spent around U.S. $1,100 for drinks, lunch and dinners, which by local standards is ok. The food was good and well presented and the staff friendly and courteous. The house wine is aweful. Please, it must be possible to find a reasonably prices, pleasant, dry white wine by the glass. BANDOS MANAGEMENT PLEASE NOTE. Spent around $100 in tips for the week, which was appreciated by the staff.

The house reef is excellent, although there has been a lot of coral bleaching. The management do at least try and inform their guest how to behave when snorkelling, which is good. The swimming pool was clean and well maintained, and although we did not dive or use the sports facilities, both looked excellent. The spa looked good too, although a bit pricey for us.

All in all I can recommend Bandos if you want a pleasant stay in a medium priced resort. The decore very simple but overall the staff are friendly and helpful and you can spend a lot more money at other resorts for not much extra benefit.

Room Tip: Rooms furthest away from the bars are quieter.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kathleen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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West Sussex
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2012

Bandos was our seventh Maldivian island resort we have visited & I have to say, in some ways one of our favorites being a non pretentious natural resort.
Being around twenty minutes from the airport means you can be checked in, unpacked and on the beach (or in my case snorkelling the great house reef within two hours of landing at Male international airport) whilst other holiday makers are still waiting for their air taxi's to fly them to their resorts.
Its a well laid out mid to large sized island that takes around 25 minutes to walk around, its a mature island with lots of tropical trees & plants and lovely sandy beaches.
The accommidation (of which there are four types, Standard, deluxe, garden villa & Jacuzzi beach Villas) is set back from the beach so giving good amounts of shade on those very hot days.
The rooms are well furnished in a nice style & I am glad to say, no Ikea modern furniture to be seen anywhere unlike some of the more expensive resorts we have stayed at.
As for the food, we always found the buffet restaurant perfectly adequate & enjoyed chatting to the friendly waiting staff & chefs who are always eager to help.
Being one of the mid sized resorts its nice to have other restaurants to choose from, our favorite being the Sundowners which can offer you a varied menu, from Pizza to Lobsters!
The House reef is worth a special mention, it really is in great condition, lots of healthy corals everywhere which gives plenty of cover & food for the reef fishes & turtles, this in turn gives lots of food for the trevally, Jacks & of course sharks, not the little baby ones you sometimes see swimming around the shoreline at other resorts (inc Bandos) these are the mature White tip & black tip reef sharks & although some reach 4/5 feet long, don't give the divers or snorkellers a second glance & glide effortlessly by.
The house reef also has Eagle rays, Mobula & sometimes Mantas rays, tuna, morays, Frogfish to name but a few...
Dive Bandos run the dive operation & its very well run indeed, a nice mix of maldivian & european staff ensure that not only is the training first class, but every single dive trip is too!
From a simple house reef dive, to an adrenaline charged channel dive all is on offer here. dives to see Mantas are also catered for regularly due to the close location to Lankan reef, a world famous Manta cleaning station.
Although bandos is one of the "family friendly" Maldivian resorts, we have never been effected, infact except for meal times, you would never know.
Would we return to Bandos?? Yes in a flash, for the price you pay its excellent, we have already been twice & will be back again in May!
Here sharky sharky.....

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mark260165
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staffordshire
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2012

I loved Bandos. The island is stunning and you get a real sense of isolation when you see that little dot in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

I only went for a week which for me was enough. I get a little bored with constant sun bathing and I ended up playing volley ball with the hotel staff.

Scuba and snorkelling is a must. On a visit to one of the other islands (the name escapes me) they had constructed a drop off for scuba divers, I only have my snorkel gear with me at the time, but I could have spent hours staring off into the fading darkness watching the multitudes of fish below, every colour and size you could imagine.

I visited Male for a day out which was interesting to say the least. A mildly bizarre place, given that all the islands are tops of extinct volcanoes, you have coast to coast high rise buildings because space is at such a premium. There's the usual hassle of vendors trying to drag you into their shops.

I visited the main Mosque on Male which is a very impressive building, being an enthusiastic photographer and having a fairly large camera with me it became obvious it was being scrutinised so I didn't wonder off the beaten track too much. Be careful with government buildings, a few of which are near to the harbour, as photographing them is prohibited.

I took a mini-cruise from Bandos which was due to last 3 days, but the captain asked the passengers whether they would like to stay for 4. Not many people did due to the amount of time spent on the boat so he begrudgingly turned back for Bandos. This soured the atmosphere somewhat with the crew treating us as 'problem' passengers.

We visited a non-tourist island where people fish and work. The difference in poverty levels between the tourist islands, the capital and the island is astonishing, so be prepared.

Whilst on the cruise we took in a sandy spit in the middle of the ocean which was stunning.

Don't forget the Maldives are just off the equator, you may not notice it too much with the sea breeze, but it is scolding - ensure you wear good protection at all times.

A final note about the Maldives, Bandos and cruises - the main stay of food is fish. This can be a bit of a problem if you are adverse to it like I am. I wouldn't rate it down for that fact, it's just something you need to be aware of when deciding to book.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BlackMangoPhoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berks, UK
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2012

Went to Bandos with my then 15 month old daughter after being invited to hijack my parents' dive holiday.
We had a wonderful time. The kid's club is great for little ones - my little girl loved it every time and was happy to be left with the staff (she is used to nursery in the UK).
I completed my advanced dive course during this time at the dive centre.
LOVED the house reef (saw a leopard shark one evening!) and would highly recommend the Lankan Reef excursion to divers wanting to see manta rays.
We went B&B and didn't find food unduly expensive. Note alcohol slightly more expensive but diving and baby meant this wasn't really a concern ;-)
My only criticism was the cleaning boy - his incessant insistence that he had a day off when I was leaving (to encourage an earlier tip) just meant I uncharacteristically left him nothing. Apparently this had been his line with my Dad the year before too....
However other staff in Sundowner's Bar and the main restaurant were wonderful, even helping to entertain my daughter. By the end of the holiday she'd learnt to 'high five'!

Would thoroughly recommend for divers and those wanting good child care facilities whilst on holiday.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Babydivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2012

While this resort is not the most luxurious in the context of Maldives ultra high end resorts, it offers convenience of proximity to Male, quality classic beach front villas, and price value relative to similar resorts. A benefit of Bandos is there is no need to pay $400-$500+ for an air taxi transfer to reach/depart resort, as most other properties situated away from Male impose. Food and drink prices are stiff, yet compared to Hilton Irufushi a Heineken could be found for $4 rather than $7. Translate this comparison to into food costs and the value is even more striking. Having stayed at six other island resorts in Maldives, the dining at Bandos was decent and on average cost at least 60% less than other properties.

Water sports were unused by guests for the most part as they were ridiculously priced, unlike all other resort services and dining.

Bandos Island Resort is one of the original and older resorts in the Maldives. The design and layout of their beach villas has been duplicated and recreated by many other properties, yet the woodwork and craftsmanship inside is unrivaled. Almost every piece of furniture in the resort besides beach chairs is crafted by hand on the island. If you you appreciate tropical hardwood curved stairs inside your beach villa, then you might let the antiquated TVs and generally dated resort design slide. The food is mediocre at best, night life akin to a poor Russian night club, and beaches rather thin and eroded....yet I would recommend the property for families with kids and folks lacking the budget of the jet set crowd.

Room Tip: Beach front Villas in the 211+ range are sufficiently distant from resort water taxi docks to avoid...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kabrito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bandos Maldives

Property: Bandos Maldives
Address: (Formerly Bandos Island Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Bandos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 (per night): $215 - $828
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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