It was my first time staying in a Bayan Tree property and the chosen one was Bayan Tree Vabbinfaru in the Maldives, the first impression when entering the resort is that they take care of every detail. Vabbinfaru is a tiny property, there are only 49 villas, as number 13 doesn't exist in the island due to superstition reasons, this means that you almost have paradise on your own as only 120 guests will be in the island at its maximum capacity.
The island is located in the North Male Atoll, only 20 minutes by boat from Male International airport. If you want to go to an island near Male that has transfer 24 hours it might be a good option for you, and you have Angsana Ihru the sister property just 10min away by boat and Bayan Tree offers shuttle boats there.
In the same trip and staying in one single hotel you can visit two islands and also enjoy the facilities and restaurants of their sister property if you would like to explore that option.
Our Ocean View Pool Villa
Our villa is perfect to enjoy the tranquility of the island, right in front of the villa you have white sand that leads to the beach with your own two hammocks and a beach cabana to lie down and read a good book while looking at the turquoise water.
The villa has a small swimming pool and a jacuzzi, the perfect combination to refresh in the swimming pool and relax in the jacuzzi after a hard day snorkelling around the island. The room is very comfortable, it has a round sofa with a TV, a king size bed and even a pillow menu to choose what is your best fit.
The room is well decorated using raw materials suh as wood, the roof has a shell form and they told us that has romantic vibes so we will have to believe it then. One interesting things about Vabbinfaru is that this resort doesn't have water villas, but to be honest I don't think you will miss them at all as the reef is so incredibly and very near the shore that there is no need to stay in the middle of the sea to enjoy it.
On the day of arrival, we had an incredible fish barbecue dinner on the beach, we had a tomato soup, a prawn salad and as a main course the fish barbacue that had delicious tuna, lobster, and vegetables, corn and a grilled potato as garnishment with assorted sauces to put on top. The lobster was incredible, I recommend you to try at least once lobster in the Maldives, everywhere we tried it exceeded our expectations.
The breakfast buffet is served at Ilaafhati restaurant, a wide variety of choices and high-quality ingredients. From different types of cheeses, ham, fresh fruit cut on demand, eggs served in all ways you can imagine, a tea menu with more than 30 teas to choose from. There are western options but there are also Asia options for breakfast such as soup, noodles, and other typical dishes. There are pastries too for sweet mouths and different kinds of bread, I found my favorite bread here with raisins and dried fruits and nuts.
Ilaafhati serves lunch and dinner as well in a menu format, except for Fridays that they have a large Maldivian food buffet for dinner that resembles the Friday public holidays in a local Maldivian home where everyone gathers together to eat.
It is interesting to mention the Marine Lab as it was the first resort in the Maldives that opened a Marine Lab, they bring local schools for them to understand the importance of taking care of the marine life. They want to spread the knowledge and make sure children understand that turtles shouldn't be eaten but preserved and taken care of in the country.
They have little turtles inhouse, in the Marine Lab the babies and in the sea there is a turtle cage where teenage turtles are placed so they can adapt to the semi-wild life, the previous step to releasing them in liberty.
Vabbinfaru is a spa property as they call it, centered in wellness and you can tell from in room details. Every day you get a different scent of incense in your room along with an essential oil to bring in new aromas to your sleep and place of relax. I am certainly a person who loves scents, so this little details count as having a good atmosphere and a nice smell can make the difference of a good night sleep or an opened eye night.
I had to try the spa of course, I chose to have a Restful Balance package that includes a Chakra Head Massage, an Ayurvedic Massage, Shirodhara, Lepanam and Steam Bath. The price of the massage is 300 USD, but since I had it in the morning there was a special offer for 250 USD.
What to do at Bayan Tree Vabbinfaru
There is plenty to do in the Maldives and is not only beach and sunbathing as many first timers thing. There are plenty of activities to do, I will go through everything we have done in the resort to get you an idea of the options you will have.
We went for a morning excursion to a sandbank that is located 15 minutes far from the resort by boat. The sandbank has no shade as there is only sand, but the hotel team brings along a little tent where the fresh fruit and the beverages are located and a table to display it.
It is very much needed to have a safe camp with shade as the sun is very high during the morning and even more in the sandbank as nothing covers you. We also took some umbrellas from the room, as you can bring them into the water if you don't want to risk it to get burn.
Snorkeling in Bayan Tree Vabbinfaure and its sister property Angsana Ihru is a must even for first timers or not sea lovers, the variety of fish, and the alive coral make it a must visit, is the best snorkel I had in the Maldives so far. Anemones, live coral of different shapes, colorful fishes, shark, turtles, stingrays and much more is waiting for you under those waters.