Banyan Tree Travel Guide
Banyan Tree © John Connell
A luxury boutique resort in the Maldives, Banyan Tree is located on Vabbinfaru Island, 45 miles (72km) from the airport in Malé. The lush tropical interior and sandy beaches of the island are surrounded by coral reefs that provide scenic settings for scuba diving and snorkelling. Banyan Tree is an eco-friendly resort, and offers marine biology and conservation lessons in addition to more conventional activities like dolphin safaris, spa treatments, canoeing, sailing, fishing, waterskiing and windsurfing. A quiet and secluded resort, Banyan Tree doesn't offer much in the way of nightlife, but has some child and family-friendly programmes. It primarily attracts couples looking for a romantic retreat.
Banyan Tree has a shopping gallery which works in partnership with locals to offer visitors beautiful souvenirs including things like aromatherapy oils, ceramics, clothes and hand-crafted goods. The shopping is limited but the goods are of a high-quality. Those who want to go on real Maldivian shopping sprees should take excursions to Malé to enjoy the sprawling markets of the capital.
Banyan Tree offers a number of dining options, including a selection of private dining treats which allow guests to eat romantically and in great style on the beach or at their villa. At Ilaafathi Restaurant there is local Maldivian fare and quality international cuisine to enjoy. The Naiboli open-air bar serves divine cocktails, light meals and snacks. Fresh seafood dinners are always available! All dietary needs are accommodated, and if you have special needs it is best to notify the resort in advance to be sure they cater for you properly.
Banyan Tree hosts weddings and themed parties for guests upon request and the resort can hustle up a lovely festive atmosphere, but generally Banyan Tree is not known for its nightlife and those in search of a clubbing scene or raucous party resort will be disappointed. Sunset cruises, live music concerts and traditional dancing nights are held regularly and the nighttime entertainment is fun and laid-back.
Banyan Tree offers cooking classes, stargazing lessons, various cruises and boat trips, and lots of watersports, including water skiing, windsurfing, snorkelling, canoeing, dolphin safaris and night fishing. There is also a gym and a spa at the resort.
Request rooms away from the bar and closer to the dive centre, which is the quieter side of the resort.