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“one of the best islands to stay”

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Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Vabbinfaru
Almere, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“one of the best islands to stay”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

we went for one week and also took the boat which Banyan personally operates. the boat trip was AMAZING!!! the crew made sure you had a great time. book this only if you want to relax and enjoy the good life!!! after this we went to the island. The villa's are so nice. Also ensure you book the sandbank dining, the jetty dining etc. i would skip the meals in the evening, though they are not bad, but.... the if you ask the chef to 'think out of the box' from the already fixed menu he will make the effort and the food experience would even be better.

Room Tip: ask for some more private ones, the staff should know what you mean
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank marcel m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,298 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
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
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 9 April 2012

After I came back home, I found that I lost a brown box in the room, within gifts bought in the shop, but till I checked out on 16:00, 6th April, no one mentioned me about it, I am sure the room service had found it when they cleaned the room, this is a terrible experience.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with BanyanTree.com

Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

This was a return visit for us to the Banyan Tree, Vabbinfaru and it was as good as we had remembered it. We were upgraded to the Vabbinfaru Villa which had an extra outdoor room which we loved. The lagoon is wonderful and this time we discovered snorkelling around the outside of the reef wall which was almost as good as the scuba diving we also did. The food is wonderful with wide variety of cuisines and tastes. The staff are discrete and thoughtful. I was interested in how they managed to have such a consistently good standard of customer service across all the staff we encountered and the secret is good training. All in all we had a wonderful holiday and look forward to going back again.

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely, however, this time we were on the eastern side of the island which gave us...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dawn P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2012

This was our second trip to the Maldives and the first to Banyan Tree and we were not disappointed.

From the moment we were met at the airport to the moment we were dropped off the staff were amazing - warm, friendly, helpful, and willing to go the extra mile.

The location is spectacular - everything you expect. The snorkelling is great, as is the diving. Even in the house reef there was more than enough to see - sharks, turtles, eels etc. The marine centre was also really good - watching the ray and turtle feeding each day was always interesting. It is great to be able to go across to the sister island (Angsana) at ihuru, but Banyan definitely feels that bit more special.

Wish we could afford to go back again soon!

Room Tip: We stayed in a deluxe beachfront villa - if you get the choice I would recommend trying to get one o...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank simon_fraser2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

This was our eighth visit to the Maldives and second to the Banyan Tree. We stayed for 14 nights from 6th to 20th March. Transfer from the airport was very quick. As last year we enjoyed everything - no problems and very relaxing. Snorkelling on Vabbinfaru and the sister island, Angsana, was again very rewarding - the variety of sea life is better than we have found elsewhere in the Maldives.

The staff are all very attentive, friendly, and keen to make sure we enjoyed our stay. Haasan our room boy kept our villa spotless inside and outside. Moosa, our waiter, remembered what we liked and he offered my wife alternatives when there was nothing on the menu to her liking - at no additional cost - so do not be afraid to ask.

As the Island is not far away from Male there was a high turnover of guests of many different nationalities but this should not detract from your enjoyment of this Island.

Our Beach Villa was well equipped but looking in need of the forthcoming refurbishment. As the resort was not full for the last few days of our stay, reception (unsolicited) offered to move us to a refurbished villa. Despite much "hype" from Reception, on viewing the refurbished villa it turned out to be the same as the exisitng ones but freshly decorated, with TV (why?) and a plunge pool instead of the jacuzzi. I assume that the remaining Villas will look similar after the forthcoming "refurbishment".

The Maldives is not a cheap holiday and regulars as used to prices rising year on year. However, having picked up the Kuoni brochure today and seen the Vabbinfaru prices for March 2013 I do not think the proposed "refurbishment" justifies the substantial hike in prices. Perhaps the Banyan Tree knows that the new wealth in China will keep their rooms full. A pity really as we would have seriously considered another visit in 2013.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Netherlea001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oxfordshire
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2012

just returned from a return trip (our 5th trip to the maldives and second trip to banyan Tree)
Again it lived up to expectations - fabulous.
The air of quiet understated luxury remains.
We again went for an ocean view room - more privacy and more "front garden". from all the comments it seems whichever type of room you have you'll like it. the design of all rooms leads to privacy which is one of the hallmarks of this island.
Between Dec and April you can expect good weather - and so it was with only rain at night - on two occasions. The rest of the time predominantly sunny, with occasional cloud and two days of moderate winds which made one side of the island a bit choppy- but always with a sheltered side to snorkel.
The combination of two islands to snorkel is great. ihuru, the sister island is just a couple of minutes away by boat (every two hours minimum)- so every morning we snorkelled around Ihuru - which is the smaller island - and then did a segment of about half the reef at vabbinfaru in the afternoon. The snorkelling is really world class, with regular sightings of turtles, rays, safe sharks and oodles of colourful fish. the marine centre and lab will help with equipment loan , tips etc.
The food remains good - a fusion of European and oriental with buffet/grill eevry lunch time and mostly formal dinner evenings - although two evenings a buffet. Both are equally good.
The rooms are good , but getting a bit tired - it was the first 5 star to open!- but a close down and refit is scheduled for this summer on Ihuru and vabbinfaru.
So we just love the quiet elegance and privacy, which is just as good as we remember it.
Last year we said that if you wanted entertainment and lots of organised activity then give it a miss- and this is still true.
With the refit will come televisions by customer demand... but why would you want them? i suppose if you go during the rainy season- over the UK summer- you might be unlucky with torrential rain and they would then serve a purpose, but if you need a television here you're missing something.
We hope the refit doesn't make it too expensive and change the character of this lovely island. The regional manager was visiting to review refit schedules etc and assured us they won't let this happen - so I hope not.
We took the chance to ask him and the local manager about a few of the comments on tripAdvisor lately.
Most obviously, there is an increasing Oriental market - driven by their proximity and enlarging economy, as well as by European recession.
for a week or so before and after chinese New Year, there are understandably a large presence ( I don't blame them!), and this may be a time to avoid if you don't want to experience it.
Also during european summer months proportions from the East increase, but for the rest of the year - and certainly the case during our stay, the vast majority are european. i don't mind/care - but obviously some do.
secondly, look carefully when you go to the Maldives in general.
Not all Uk travel agents know the seasons or tell the whole truth.
My own brother was told what a good weather bargain he would get in August - but in fact rain, wind and reduced facilities can mark this time of year.
i can't comment on the Spa as i've never had time to use it with all the snorkelling! but others sang its praises.
The real merit of the Banyan tree vabbinfaru is its staff. they are all attentive , kind really nice people, who want you to have a calm relaxing time. Previous comments have said the management presence is low, but we met the manager (as well as his wife and lovely young daughter), the regional manager, the catering manager, the restaurant and bar managers - all coming to check all was well.
I don't expect that every guest will meet all these everytime they go there, but they are there and did want to get opinions.
So back to work for the year, because its not a cheap holiday - but once you've done it once you crave to return.
Our thanks to all the staff - front and back of house who made it so wonderful.
hope to see you all again next year.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank oxontraveller55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suffolk
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

The location of Vabbinfaru is truly stunning and in this context the Banyan Tree doesn’t disappoint. There are a little over 40 villas on the island and we stayed in the Deluxe Beachfront type, on the south east side of the island, rather than a garden villa. The setting was perfect with sun all day up until around 5pm. Just being able to sit and watch out to sea all day was is pleasure. For the more adventurous the dive centre is very well equipped and snorkels, flipper etc can all be hired for the stay free. However, we didn’t use the spa during our stay. Our villa was suitably rustic and blended in with the setting and was well appointed plus free Wifi was usable from here. Playing your own CDs was also an option. However, the bed was far too hard for our liking, but that is a personal opinion.
Given that over 23% on Maldives’ tourism comes from China it is not surprising that there was representative proportion staying at the resort. Also there was a large French contingent followed by the British.
This leads to a high level of meals produced to suit the Far Eastern pallet, but when meat such us lamb, beef and venison (sourced from Australia) was served it was excellent. The bar and restaurant locations have excellent ambience and service was generally good.

Things to watch out for:- We were on a full board package however, whilst coffee was included for breakfast it was charged as extra for lunch and dinner!
Additionally, while you are given two complimentary bottles of water per day, any extra requirement is charged to your account which seems a bit rich when you are warned that to drink the local water is inadvisable. If the resort can’t provide healthy drinking water then it shouldn’t charge you for basic bottled water. In the Maldives climate two bottles per day is not adequate.
One thing that irritated us occurred in the bar. For the first couple of days we were unaware of the daily “happy hour” between 5-8pm where 20% was discounted off all drinks. However, on realising this on the third day of our stay we noticed we had signed for two full price bottles of wine which should have been reduced – costing us an extra $30 or so. Anyway we made sure that didn’t happen again, but it did look a bit like sharp practise or at best inadequate training.
For those full board folk expecting not to incur major fresh expense on variations such as changing the location of having one’s meal served, do beware.
To have your meal served as a barbecue on the beach costs an extra $125 per head before drinks! Do charge a supplement on top of your board cost, but that is silly money.

Room Tip: South East side rooms experience more sun during the day
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Serialglobetrotter
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:
Region: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Vabbinfaru
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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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