Best of the Maldives: Lights Out Event – Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru / Angsana Ihuru

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru - dawn till dusk

Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru holds a monthly event to raise awareness of energy conservation to reduce carbon footprint by completely shutting off all electrical lights on the resort for 12 hours:

  • “Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru launched a 12-hour lights-off event under the name ‘Connect to Earth from Dusk till Dawn’ on September 14. The monthly occurrence is scheduled for full moons in order to take advantage of natural luminescence while the two resorts switch off their lights from 1800 to 0600 hrs. Connect to Earth from Dusk Till Dawn is inspired by the Earth Hour Movement, an annual celebration marked by switching lights off for a one-hour period. ‘By switching off the lights for one hour, we can make a substantial difference in the energy consumption and we can help reduce the effect of global warming’, stated the General Manager of Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru and Angsana Ihuru, Hicham Najdi…During the event, dubbed 6to6, restaurants and bars will be candlelit and a special full moon in-villa dinner can be arranged for guests upon request. The Marine Lab Team will also organize an ‘Under the Full Moon Night Snorkel’ to provide a unique underwater experience to the guests.”

The initiative is not just eco-friendly but imparts an extra romantic tone to the evening with candlelit areas and meals. Furthermore, turning off the lights in one of the few electrified places in that part of the ocean reduces light pollution making star gazing all the more dazzling.

Best of the Maldives: Powered Reef Regeneration – Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 1

The underwater versions of parrot fish and other reef marine life will have a literally more powerful habitat at Angsana Ihuru as a result of their “Necklace Project”. Hotelier Maldives published a great article about the project, “’The Necklace Project’ to be presented at the GM Forum in April”:

  • “It is a steel structure 40 metres long and 4 metres wide, fixed inside the lagoon of Angsana Ihuru at a depth of 0.5 metres. Massive corals were initially put on top of the structure to stabilise it. The steel structures were provided with low voltage direct current which causes the growth of calcium carbonate, dissolved in seawater over the steel surfaces, which are completely protected from corrosion. The growing calcium carbonate on the steel structure, which has already achieved a thickness of about 20 cm in diameter in some places, now acts as a natural barrier to strong waves. The necklace has also become a haven for fish and other forms of marine life.”

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 2

Angsana Ihuru - necklace project 3

Best of the Maldives: In Ocean Dining – Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru in ocean dining

If you fancy a private soak, then Angsana Ihuru offers a step beyond beach-side dining with in-ocean dining.

“The sandbank dining is set on a private sandbank which is located just 15 minutes ride away by speedboat. You may enjoy a breakfast, lunch or a dinner.”

And if the wrasses show up, you might get fish pedicure as a bonus.

Best of the Maldives: Neighbourly – Angsana Ihuru and Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

Angsana Ihuru and Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru aerial

(photo courtesy of Luxury hotels

Olhuveli and Fun Island might be the closest geographic neighbours, but Angsana Ihuru and Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru are the closest operationally (not attached).

You have Angsana which is literally a 2 minute hop by hourly water ‘taxi’, so you have the benefit of two islands in one resort (you can also charge any costs on Angsana to BT, and visa versa.” (thanks John)

You might not be able to go pick watermelons, but you can enjoy any of the other amenities (perhaps a watermelon martini).

Best of the Maldives: Underwater Decoration – Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru lagoon logo

One of the favourite activities in the Maldives is looking into the water. In fact, you can’t stroll down a jetty without veering right to the edge to catch a glimpse of all of the marine life scurrying about below.

Angsana Ihuru has added a bit of creative whimsy to this spectacle by their water villa jetties with a logo crafted from broken coral bits (see photo above). Yes, the natural beauty is stunning, bit I still think that there are plenty of opportunities for artistic creations underwater as well. Especially in the expansive tracts of sandy lagoons like here.

Packing Top Tip – I just got a polarising filter for my SLR camera which allows one to take pictures ‘into’ the water above it more effectively. A must for any camera buff visiting.

Best of the Maldives: SNUBA – Angsana Ihuru

Angsana Ihuru SNUBA


Another option for kids immersing themselves in another world, is the new SNUBA offering a Angsana Ihuru. Atoll Paradise reports

“Angsana Ihuru is the first resort in the Maldives to introduce the revolutionary SNUBA snorkel-dive cross-over. SNUBA allows you to dive down to up to 6 meters while breathing through a hose attached to a floating raft. Even small children can participate in this fun activity and SNUBA Doo on the surface with the help of a special floatation device, while their older siblings SNUBA dive down below…With an access to 30 diving sites less than an hour away from the resort, you can expect to see stingrays, scorpion fish, giant moray eels and myriads more of colorful marine life.”

SNUBA uba-doo!

Best of the Maldives: Luxury – Angsana Ihuru

Top 10 Luxury Hotels

While Diva secured the ‘TripAdvisor’ Top Choice award for the most romantic, the resort coming out on top in the ‘Luxury’ for all the Maldives (and #2 for all of Asia) was Angsana Ihuru.

This TA review below from Suzanne Shepherdess is pretty representative of the gushing feedback the review seems to get regularly. Two of my friends went on their honeymoon there last year and they were euphoric about the place.

  • This is our fifth visit to this resort and our seventh to the Maldives and this resort never disappoints. The rooms are on the small side but provide everything you need for a visit to the Maldives. They are not super luxurious but are very comfortable and perfectly formed. The reef is better than that many islands (we have visited 4 others) and the proximity of the reef to the island is a big plus – just a few metres from the shore. As you might expect, the spa is excellent too, under the management of the Banyan Tree. Food is good but not exceptional. The resort whilst luxurious does not provide many of the features that are now provided (at great expense) in the Maldives. From our viewpoint many of these features seem to add little to this type of holiday (eg espresso machines, flat screen TV and surround sound, plunge pools and swimming pools – why would you want these with the perfect ocean around the shores?……). For us, this is the best resort for all round ambience, value, location, reef, spa etc.”