Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

The Maldives’ simply sophisticated stay

Simplicity is key at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, a secluded Maldives resort that lets its stunning sea views and soft white sands do the talking. Located in the North Male Atoll, the small circular island embraces its petite size with just 48 thatched-roof villas encircling the retreat. Here, fewer rooms equates to more perks, including private plunge pools and Jacuzzis in every accommodation, not to mention fewer guests.

You could easily while the day away staring out at the endless blue ocean, or you can dive in and familiarize yourself with the property’s undersea neighbors, thanks to an onsite PADI dive center, marine lab and an array of water sports offerings.

When it comes time to refuel, you’ll find plenty of fabulous fare at restaurant Ilaafathi, where your toes never have to leave the sand.

From your warm greeting (complete with drums, smiles and cocktails) to the weekly bodu beru performances, you’ll be surrounded by genuine Maldivian hospitality.

Our Inspector's Highlights

  • No matter how you like to relax, you’ll find a villa to suit your style. Oceanview Pool Villas and Beachfront Pool Villas both have private swimming holes (the latter with the benefit of direct ocean access), while Spa Sanctuary Pool Villas include unlimited treatments paired with sea breezes.
  • The active set should head straight for Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru’s water sports center. Try your hand at kayaking, windsurfing, wake boarding or catamaran sailing in the island’s crystal-clear waters.
  • The Maldives hotel makes the most of its surrounding coral reef by offering a PADI dive center and gratis snorkel gear. Opt for a guided night dive with a certified instructor, or take a complimentary boat ride to neighboring property Angsana to explore an off-shore shipwreck.
  • Learn more about the property’s undersea occupants with a visit to the interactive marine lab. The first of its kind to be funded by and built on a private resort, the center gives a behind-the-scenes look at sea turtle care, coral planting and sea life conservation — for one-of-a-kind vacation photos, don’t miss the daily stingray feeding at 5 p.m.
  • A service in one of the Thai-style Banyan Tree Spa’s five open-air treatment rooms is a must. Refresh after a day at the beach with the Sense of Place — Island Sensation ritual featuring a Vabbinfaru deep-tissue massage, a vitamin-infused Avocado Nourisher to rehydrate sun-singed skin and an application of Sun Soother lotion for an extra dose of protection.

Things to Know

  • Getting to paradise is a piece of cake — the luxury hotel is just a 25-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport.
  • This EarthCheck (an environmental certification and benchmarking program for the travel and tourism industry) silver property walks the walk when it comes to eco-friendly initiatives. In addition to efforts to reduce single-use plastics — the resort provides paper straws and glass-bottled water produced onsite — Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru spearheads several community initiatives, including tree planting, beach clean-ups and educational opportunities through its marine lab.
  • You won’t get lost at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru. The island’s circular shape ensures that as long as you follow the shoreline, you’ll find the way.
  • Above the marine lab is a small fitness center with a collection of cardio machines arranged to maximize sea views. You’ll likely have the gym all to yourself, as most visitors like to get their exercise in the water.

The Rooms

  • Each villa is its own private paradise with a plunge pool, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower and a patio or beach access.
  • Beachfront Pool Villas provide a pathway to the sparkling sea, but Oceanview Pool Villas give you an extra dose of privacy. A walled-in courtyard hides your own pool, Jacuzzi, sundeck, daybed and outdoor shower.
  • Interiors exude a beach-chic vibe with a teak four-poster bed, a wedge-shaped couch and French windows that frame those show-stopping ocean views. Dark wood accents and rich gold and brown silks bring out Banyan Tree’s distinct Balinese style.
  • Bathrooms are compact, but two showers (one indoor, one alfresco) make up for the lack of space.

The Restaurants

  • By day, Ilaafathi serves up light bites on the sand, but after nightfall, the venue transforms into a candle-lit dining room for a romantic night out. The evening set menu includes four courses of international fare — your meal might include Parma ham with caramelized green apple followed by Maldivian tuna curry.
  • Ilaafathi’s daily delights include a bountiful buffet breakfast serving everything from Asian curries to Swiss muesli to pancakes. For a taste of the Maldives, grab a scoop of mac huni (tuna, chili and coconut).
  • For cocktails and pre-dinner bites, head to open-air Naiboli Bar. Stop by on Fridays to catch an enchanting bodu beru drumming performance complete with lively local musicians in traditional dress.

Outdoor pool
Getting There
Vabbinfaru Island, North Malé Atoll, Maldives
Additional Details
The resort is a 25-minute speedboat journey ride from Velana International Airport.
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