Maldives beauty is eternal. It captivates every visitor’s heart by its deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, rich marine resources, long stretch of white beaches and green scenery. It provides a perfect hideaway for an idyllic retreat. It simply is the best.
Maldives has 99 island resorts. One of which is Bandos Island Resort located in North Male Atoll. Bandos was opened in 1972 and was one of the first few resorts in Maldives then. The resort is strategically located with a distance of only 7 kms from Male International Airport. It boosts itself of 225 fully airconditioned rooms (standard, deluxe, garden villas, beach and water villas), sports amenities, restaurants and cafes, Anggerik spa, a pool, convention center, a mosque among others that its guests can enjoy to the fullest. Bandos is likewise proud to claim that they have one of the best house reefs in North Male atoll. Dive school is available for those who want to learn diving, to see the underwater beauty of Bandos which has 40 dive sites around. Tours and excursions are also offered for those who like night fishing, island hopping or want to experience Male for a day.
Aerial view of Bandos Island Resort. (photos from http://www.bandosmaldives.com)
Aboard their speed ferry No.34 from Male International Airport, we jumped the splashing waves after the other to get to the resort. At 57 knots per mile, we crossed the sea for only 10 minutes and arrived earlier than expected.
A refreshing drink welcomed us at the lobby. A resort staff then approached us and briefed about the resort- the dos and donts and the amenities it offers. A voucher was given to us for a complimentary 10-minute massage at Anggerik spa. Since my room was available, I got an early check in Room 201. My room is simple yet elegant, and most importantly comfortable. I like the location. It is few meters away from the beach front.
Without wasting my time, I began to explore the place walking to every nook I passed by- beach front, water sports, Sundowner’s bar, water villa. The island is 183,180 square meters, thus it would probably take a whole day to go around completely.
The water was so inviting. I could not resist its call. I took a splash and swim until I had enough. Other guests were likewise in the beach either resting beside the shrubs or under palm trees, sunbathing, or dipping in the cool water.
Come afternoon, I went with a group to a smaller island called Kuda Bandos. It took 3 minutes to go the island costing a passenger 5USD for a round trip. (see post Escape to Kuda Bandos – https://clecstrotter.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/escape-to-kuda-bandos/)
It was already evening when we got back to Bandos. I went straight to Sundowner’s bar and grabbed a bottle of beer before joining the other guests for a buffet dinner in Gallery restaurant.
After dinner, I stayed in the lobby to get connected to check my mails (internet is only available at the resort lobby). I met Jessi, a Chinese resort staff, who has been working as an intern for three months. It was her last night at work in the resort as she planned to return to China to work as tour guide. Asked her for a drink and I was delighted she accepted my invitation.
The Anggerik spa was visited the next day to avail of the free 10-minute massage. The spa has Southeast Asian theme and architecture. Cabanas and villas offer privacy and total relaxation. Services range from from facial treatment to Balinese therapies to Thai maassage to volcanic stone massage to facial and foot reflexology. Spa attendants, mostly from Indonesia and Thailand, are very accommodating, smiling widely while greeting every guest coming in.
Lunch was at Sea Breeze Cafe. The ambiance is definitely a winner. It has a perfect view of Kuda Bandos. Chin, a Pinay resort staff, I met at the lobby joined me by then. We had a talk about her work experiences in the paradise especially on handling recalcitrant and unruly guests. She’s definitely a good buddy with full of stories to tell.
“Goodbye Bandos, till we meet again”, were the last words I uttered upon embarking the boat bound for Male International Airport. My stay was definitely awesome. It was a break from monotony, an escape from the scuffle in corporate world, a profound retreat, a spiritual rejuvenation. Now, I am ready for Kandy.
Below is the resort map provided to guests upon arrival. Also, you may visit Bandos Island Resort website, www.bandosmaldives.com for more information and booking.