Bandos Travel Guide
Bandos © Shayan Sanyal
The Maldives resort island of Bandos is located in the North Malé Atoll, a convenient 20-minute boat ride from the airport. An idyllic setting for a tropical holiday, white sand beaches and crystal-clear lagoons ring lush vegetation while palm trees sway in the breeze.
There is plenty to do in Bandos for active holidaymakers, including scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, and game fishing. The resort has facilities that include tennis and squash courts, swimming pools, saunas, gyms, and a salon and spa.
The nightly entertainment is perhaps not lively enough to satisfy younger vacationers looking for a party. Yet Bandos is a great destination for romantic getaways and honeymoons and hosts weddings frequently. It's both peaceful and beautiful, making it ideal for families too.
Bandos has a boutique outlet, a souvenir shop, and a jewellery store at the resort. Visitors should be able to find all they need for their stay but the shopping is still limited. Those who want to experience the Maldivian markets should take a boat ride through to Malé where there are ample shopping opportunities and souvenirs will be far cheaper than at the resort.
Bandos has several good restaurants, from buffets to 24 hour eateries. There are also several bars which serve seafood, snacks, and drinks, made all the more special because visitors can dine under the stars. For those with a more discerning palate, there are even some marvellous fine dining restaurants for those special occasions. The restaurants cater for all dietary needs, although guests are encouraged to inform the resort of their special needs before their arrival to ensure that they are well catered for.
Nighttime entertainment is limited at Bandos, which caters mainly to couples and those seeking a peaceful island retreat. There are nightly events like karoake, live music concerts, buffets on the beach, cultural shows, traditional dance lessons, discos, and movie screenings, but there is no clubbing scene. Those looking for a party on holiday would have a better time elsewhere.
There is a gym at Bandos, free for all guests, which offers tennis, badminton, volleyball, and the like. Popular watersports include snorkelling, windsurfing, sailing, water skiing, parasailing, banana boat riding, wakeboarding, and canoeing. There is also great scuba diving in the area and Bandos is well-known for having a wonderful dive centre.
For the less active, the Orchid Spa offers a number of luxurious treatments and there are plenty of activity rooms where time can be spent watching movies or playing board games. Fun excursions from the resort include night fishing, shopping trips to the capital, sunset dolphin cruises, and much more.
Bandos is primarily a family resort and some guests complain that the children at the resort can be disruptive.