We were met at the airport, and our transfer to the island and was quick and comfortable. Our Villa Host met us, provided us with soft drinks and took us to our villa.
I strongly recommend that you spend some time on the Baros website, if you want to compare the various accommodations. It has useful info on the room facilities and the overall size of each type – I see that some people have felt that the Water Villas were a bit smaller than they expected.
We had a Pool Villa, which means you have your own sunning area and a plunge pool. There’s a pathway through the vegetation down to the beach, where you have your own sun loungers (tagged with your villa number, so no highjacking!).
The room was large, high-ceilinged and well presented, with acres of nice wood, and the bathroom had very good stone and tiles. The equipment was of top quality, and the widescreen TV enormous.
There are also a couple of Premium Pool Villas: a bit bigger than our Pool Villa, and with a Jacuzzi for two. They were closer to the beach and more exposed to passers-by. We thought they lacked privacy.
There’s no swimming pool, but they have a good gym, table-tennis, pool table, spa, library and 2 PCs for general use. (Complimentary internet access is also provided in your room.) There are stocks of CDs and DVDs to borrow.
At the dive centre, you can borrow fins and mask/snorkel free for the duration of your stay (personally, I recommend always taking your own mask/snorkel and using the hotel’s fins.)
Once a week, the Management hold a drinks reception where you can meet them and your fellow guests.
Live music of various kinds is provided about 3 times a week. We found that the tropical vegetation was very good at screening off the music, and we were not disturbed by it at all. In any case, the music was never over-amplified.
There are 2 bars: Sails Bar, and the upstairs bar at the Lighthouse. We didn’t like the Sails Bar, as we felt it was too dark. We thought the Lighthouse was more comfortable, its live music (modern jazz) was better, and of course you have views of the sunset. The senior barman at the Lighthouse (name of Laxciman, or “Lucky”) was a very good host.
We did not dine at the Lighthouse, but we did at the other two restaurants, Lime and Cayenne. We felt the Lime offered the better value. Quality of food and cooking was generally excellent at both Lime and Cayenne.
They have buffets from time to time: seafood, Asian, Maldivian etc. We thought they were poor value for money (80 or 90+ USD), unless you plan to use a wheelbarrow to take away your food! With buffets anyway there’s always the fact that the food is not freshly prepared and has been standing around for a while.
We were on a half-board basis, which gives you a daily credit of 45 USD against anything you order at any of the restaurants (including buffets). It’s perfectly possible to eat well within your daily allowance.
I heard a rumor that they are planning some changes in the meals/board area, so make sure you have the latest info.
There’s a strange quirk regarding the restaurants. Abundant bottled water is provided free in your room, the gym and the Guests’ Lounge. But if you ask for it in the restaurants you have to pay $3.42 for half a liter. I don’t mind paying, but it does seem a bit money-grubbing, and I’d rather they didn’t do it. I guess you could be cheeky and bring a bottle from your room!
The staff are excellent and very well-trained. In general, this is a very well-run hotel. The ratio of staff to guests is very high, and when you add the fact that everything you eat, drink or use is imported, with high customs taxes, you understand why prices are so high. We had an unremarkable but pleasant wine for $79.70. Back home, the same wine retails for $15.
If you are a snorkeller, the reef edge just outside the beach lagoon is pretty good. You’ll see plenty of blacktip reef sharks, a few white-tip reef sharks and the occasional barracuda. We saw a stingray and quite a few eagle rays. There’s a pretty tame hawksbill turtle that hangs around the access point used by the scuba divers. (This turtle is approachable, but don’t be tempted to touch, as he can easily remove a finger. And yes, he is a male.) The hotel has scuppered a small boat in that area, which has been colonised by a group of long-finned batfish. If you’re more adventurous and willing to explore the reef edge beyond the Water Villas, you’ll find sea anemones with their clownfish, giant clams and all the usual suspects. Snorkelling is safe at Baros, but always ask at the Dive Centre about currents and tide levels.
Baros has a loyalty scheme which, frankly, is pretty silly. Your seniority is based not on your spend, or on the number of nights, but on the number of visits. So if a client visits three times for 2 nights each and stays in the cheapest room, they have much more seniority than someone who spends a 2-week holiday in the costliest room – and actually spends 3, 4 or 5 times more. Not an attractive scheme.
Bottom line? It’s a top-grade hotel that provides everything they promise. But you have to pay for it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A lush, tropical island set in the shimmering waters of a shallow lagoon, ringed by a reef vibrant with marine life. Stay in elegance in Villas created from timber and sandstone, poised and peaceful over a translucent lagoon, or nestled discreetly among exotic blooms by the beach. Revel in romantic privacy on the perfect vacation. The essence of the Maldives, defined at Baros. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Baros Maldives Hotel North Male Atoll
- Baros Maldives Male
- Baros Maldives Hotel Male