The holidays brought lots of the white stuff to Bandos resort. No, not snow, but bubbles. Foam bubbles, specifically. Foam parties have been a bit of a trend for a while in big city nightclubs. A chance to bring out the inner child in a bubble bath in everyone (thanks Paola). Good, clean fun!
Another aquatic portal to add to the Maldives flotilla is Bandos’ glass bottomed boat. This one with a more playfully youthful quality decorated in marine critters. More “Finding Nemo” than “Captain Nemo”.
For a destination renowned for romance and honeymoons, I remain a bit surprised at how few heart-shaped features you find in the Maldives. True, the Maldives is has a classy and posh vibe these days, but still some of the schmaltz is can be a bit of cheeky fun. At least Bandos is getting into the romantic spirit with its Orchid Spa VIP treatment room that offers a heart-shaped Jacuzzi.
These tours of mine can throw you from one extreme to the other. From super-luxe (One & Only Reethi Rah) to budget (Bandos). From large (Reethi) to small (Bandos). From canoeing out to the house reef (Reethi) to just jumping in off the beach (Bandos)
The house reef is the main event at Bandos. It is the classic circular wrap-around which is always a favourite among Maldives aficionados. The Bandos one is distinguished by ledges. For starters, the far predominant coral are massive platters of Table Coral. Like giant dishes from some Neptunian Greek wedding. But it’s not just the coral formations, but the reef formation itself that takes on this ledge structure. The best part of the north side of the reef was sharp overhangs. Probably best for a diver to see all the critters secreted underneath. I tried free diving down a few metres to take a peek, but the practice quickly wore me out.
Bandos is a Maldivian classic of a natural setting, attractive accommodation and a striking reef that is still affordable to mere mortals. Kuoni is adverting a week in Bandos at just over a thousand pounds which is a price point I thought has long gone extinct in this part of the world.
Lots of resorts offer deep sea fishing as an excursion, but today Bandos has organised the first ever Maldives Catch & Release Game Fishing Tournament at the resort in conjunction with the non-profit association Maldives Game Fishing Association (MGFA)…
“The aims of holding this tournament event are to:
- Bring Maldives game fishing operators & resorts on to an international stage, where they can gain further exposure through international media , highlighting the great fishing opportunities & genuine friendliness that is on offer.
- To unite the Maldives game fishing operators, and introduce sustainable & professional practises of the likes seen internationally.
- To be a central body at local & international levels
Tournament Dates: 9th – 12th November 2011 These dates have been selected due to shoulder season on resorts & to coincide with the Maldivian fisherman’s calendar giving the best fishing periods”
Full details and rules located here…
Maldives is a great destination for families with children, but one common question is what about the very youngest. The consensus at TripAdvisor’s Maldives Forum is that Bandos is the top resort for babies.
“Quite a number of people have said, truthfully and helpfully, that Bandos is about the only 'baby friendly' hotel in the Maldives.”
Some debate the advisability of bringing extremely young children to a place as remote as the Maldives with less extensive care on hand. One of the benefits to Bandos is its proximity (8 km) to the main island of Male where the most extensive medical care, full hospital and airport are all located in case of an emergency.
“At Bandos we think of making your holiday as hassle free as possible, and for those families travelling with young children the Child Care Centre and Kids Club will prove to be a blessing. Now you can enjoy your holiday comfortable in the knowledge that your children are in the capable care of our professional child minders and baby sitters. The facilities are free of charge and the staff of Kids Club provides baby-sitting services free of charge, for children between 8 months to 12 years, between 0900hrs to 1700hrs, although a small charge is levied after 1700hrs. The Kids Club is equipped with a nursery full of toys and a large playground outside so that even your children would be guaranteed an enjoyable holiday experience.”