Bandos Maldives – July 2021 – Honest Review
9 Days, 8 Nights, with 2 kids
We stayed for 8 nights, 9 days at Bandos, Maldives in early July. The resort is located close to the Male Airport and the boat ride is only 15 minutes. This is an important factor for us traveling in the rainy season as we could not risk not making it back to the airport if the weather acts up.
The property is very well maintained and beautiful. The staff works really hard to clean up the beaches to keep it pristine. What we all see on the brochures doesn’t just come that way. Someone put in a LOT OF hard work to clean up the dead coral and kelp so we have a picturesque beach to walk on.
We experienced a mini storm on the 2nd night we were there. We woke up and saw so many things washed on up the beach. We are always up at 4am, don’t know why, and we get to see the sunrise and the beaches before clean up. Then after breakfast at 7am, the beaches are perfect again. We see them cleaning up every few hours too.
The buffet was worth every penny on this trip. We got FULL Board and it was absolutely worth it. Chef Amit was fantastic and he loved talking to our 12-year-old. The omelet chef was also fantastic. He knew us by the 2nd day and knew we always get 4 delicious omelets.
I also loved the smoothies at the pool. The server there was fantastic too. Although it is not customary to tip but we did at the end of our stay. We tipped everyone that went the extra mile for us and they are so grateful when they receive it as they don’t generally expect tips. Housekeeping was fantastic too.
We didn’t get a room boy or anyone that catered to us as some other tourists wrote on TripAdvisor. We didn’t see anyone in our bungalow area with a “room boy”.
We traveled during COVID and all of East and SouthEast Asia was restricted from traveling to Bandos. No one from China, Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Philippines, etc were allowed to travel to Maldives during our stay.
Hence, we were the only Asian family at the resort as we came from California. Everyone else at the resort was from Russia. A few were from England. It was easy to tell who came from where based on their English accents. We can tell we got a lot of looks as we spoke English and everyone around us expected us to be something else.
Clearly, this side of the planet expects all Asians to speak Chinese and come from China. A couple staff members did approach us and ask us how China was and ask us to say a few things in Chinese. Had to set a few straight and tell them my kids have never been to China and can’t speak Chinese.
It was wonderful to run into Americans at Bandos Maldives as there were so few of us there, especially any Americans from the West Coast. They were all so pleasant, kind, and helpful. Maldives is literally HALF way on the other side of the planet from the West Coast so few tourists trek the 21-hour flight there.
There were so many Russians though! Karaoke night was all in Russian songs. I had no idea Elsa (from Frozen) had all her songs translated to Russian.
The only gripe we had was during check-out. Our flight was at 7:55pm and we were denied a late check-out. So we had to sit in a lounge since 12:00pm and we lost all access to the buffet. They would not allow us to go to the airport early even though we had a priority lounge and could eat and relax there.
We got to the airport at 5:30PM and we had to rush to check-in as many other passengers have already arrived. We didn’t have any time to eat dinner when we got to the airport. We only had 30 minutes to browse the gift shop before our flight boarded.
We wanted to take a final picture at that Maldives sign during sunset but they wouldn’t let us and re-directed us to the airport.
It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We did the following excursions there as many others were canceled due to COVID restrictions. This will be in a separate post.