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Reviewed 4 January 2008

We have just returned from a ten day trip for our belated honeymoon. What an awesome place!

I did my research and came up trumps. I wanted somewhere that was small, swish, with excellent food, no children, tatoos or lager louts. I also was not prepared to pay a premium for exclusivity (there are no paparazzi in the Maldives and most resorts are private!). Baros hits the spot.

The island is located a short speedboat ride from the airport which is great since there should be no waiting at the airport for transfers. In theory, you walk out of the terminal building, across the road and step onto the Baros speedboat and go. Emirates lost my bag for a day so I had to wait for a while to sort that out first.

The boat journey is fun since the boat is big and comfy but flies across the water at 36 knots. We shared the boat with a couple on the way there and had it to ourselves on the way back.

On landing at the jetty you have a quick glass of fizz and then get taken straight to your villa. We were on the Emirates flight that gets in at 7.30 am and was converned that check in was not until two, but we were whisked straight there.

We started off with a water villa for the first five days. A most beautiful villa over the water. VERY private since you cannot see anyone else from inside or on your private deck. The only time you ever see people is when the occasional snorkler swims past. Ours was 307 which was mid way round the crescent of villas. Perfect since it got a cooling breeze and had sun on the deck ALL DAY! I would get up at 9 am and lie on the day bed on the deck in the sun and finish off at 5 pm in the sun. This cannot be said for all villas. This was late December and it was VERY hot so the breeze was a godsend!

Water villas are well equiped with flat screen TV, DVD/CD player, sofa, loungers, day bed, huge closets, expresso machine, wine fridge, mini bar, huge bath with sea views and headrests, shower with glass door out to sea. You cannot fault them since they are very stylish. Apart from dinners, we spent five days on the deck in our villa just chilling. When you get too hot, just step off the bottom step into the water.

The only downside of this water villa is that the water is not actually that deap, even when the tide is in (maybe waist deap at highest). DO NOT attempt to jump off the deck into the water when drunk since you will break your neck!

After five glorious days we moved to a Baros Villa on the other side of the island. Ours was 214 which the staff say is the best on the island. The Baros villa is a little bigger than the water villa and has a larger deck. Other than the size and the subtle change in decor was the much larger bathroom and extra outdoor shower. Our villa was the closest to the beach and the water (step off deck onto ceach and three steps into the water). Other villas had a very short walk to the beach. The slight draw back of this side of the island is that you do not get quite as much sun as we did in our water villa - the sun being on our deck from 9 am until 12 pm. Once the sun was off the deck, you'd use your two beach loungers which can be dragged to the waters edge.

We loved the Baros villa and actually preffered it but it is not as private as the water villa - people walk on your piece of beach now and again - shock horror!

We were on a B&B rate which suited us since we wanted to take advantage of all the restaurants.

If you could be bothered getting out of bed/sun for breakfast, it is well worth it. Alot of people have a huge breakfast and skip lunch, I think. If you went at 10.15 am it was quite busy but at 9.30 very peaceful. There is everything that you would ever want for breakfast. I would tend to have pastries, fish curry and fry-up, while Mrs M-B would have omlettes and fruit and things. There is always chilled champagne for you to drink in addition to the interesting smoothies etc. You don't pay for anything, obviously. I saw a few canny people taking a whole plate of pastries away with them - I even saw one lady making baguettes for her lunch!

Lunch is in the same place as breakfast (Lime Restuarant) and it is VERY quiet all day. We were normally the only people in there which is fab. You can just admire the beautiful views while eating. The food is excellent in the Lime Restaurant. It is pretty much the same food as on the room service/in villa dining menu. We ate just about every dish on the menu during our stay. What is good is that although it looks fantastic, the portions are large too! Dim sum was a favourite and was the thai curries.

Since we were stayimg over Xmas and New Year, there was all sorts of interesting things going on in the other restuarants - we took advantage of all. The Lighthouse has two special menus that were between 6 and 8 courses which where excellent - they included a different wine with every course. The food would stand up against swanky London restuarants (in price and quality!) The portions are larger though. We feasted on Wagyu beef, lamb, duck, lobster and fish. Apart from the fish and lobsters, it is all brought in from Australia, Japan and Europe so you can kind of understand that it is not going to be cheap.

The Lighthouse has very few dining tables (their busiest evening of the year is New Year's eve when they had sixty people eating). All the tables are on the edge of the decking overlooking the water - it is lit up so you can see the sting ray and fish swimming around. There is a bar above that is very swish - great for chilling. They only serve champagne cocktails and martinis there!

To give you some idea of the price (it is in dollars so UK people are happy!) our most expensive meal there cost $600 including champagne and wine etc. A normal meal with bottle of wine, with cocktails beforehand, is about $300 - $400.

The Cayenne Grill is a little bit different since you get a buffet starter - sushi, mezzi, etc. We had a seafood grill for 2 which was large and full of lobster and fish, a giant crab feast and a Maldive food night. All very good. Expect to pay $200 - $300 including beer and a couple bottles of wine.

There is a huge bar area called Sails bar which is good to sit after dinner. They had live music most nights but I think that might be an exception. Live music got a few people up dancing one night but it is not really that kind of place!

Mrs M-B loved the spa where she had treatments every other day. She is a spa queen and rated it very highly and didn't feel it was too expensive although she kept coming back with $60 bottles of creams and lotions every time! I had one Thai extreme thrashing thing on the first day and that was quite enough for me.

You can get mask, flippers etc for the duration of your stay from the place with the table tennis table(!) not from the dive shop as suggested. It is pretty new stuff and you don't pay. The snorkling is very good - loads of brightly coloured fish and coral plus sea slugs and cucumbers which I quite liked taking videos of.

There is a gym there that Mrs M-B used which was well equipped and cool - running machine, cross trainer etc.

We didn't go diving but I do believe the dive shop has a very good reputation. We rented a two man canoe/kayak to go round the island in which was fun - $20.

There were all sorts of cruises on offer but we didn't take any of them. Why anyone would want to visit Male the capital, I do not know.

If you bring your laptop there is wireless in all the villas and two PCs in the library. It costs $6 for 15 mins.

Baros is an exceptional resort. Away from the crowds but with pretty much everything you need - food, drink, diving, boat trips, canoeing, windsurfing, sun. It is expensive, but not THAT expensive. We loved every second of it and are very pleased that we did our research and chose the best place for us. Mrs M-B just called me to let me know the cost of all our dinners, lunches, cocktails, drinks, massages etc. Total was £3400 for ten days. That was on top of B&B and flights of £6600.

The only downside was the journey home. we checked out at 12 pm, had lunch and then had our speedboat back to the airport. The Emirates flight is at 2 am the following morning so Kuoni booked us a day room at the Hlue Hlue hotel at the airport. It was very poor. We were told it had a nice pool to lounge by. Scruffy pool packed full of noisy splashing kids. Our Travel Lodge type room was just passable since it had a good movie channel to while the day away with. The restuarant is VERY basic. We discussed on plane home whether we should have had pay for another day at Baros but kind of agreed that we could just about cope with the scruff hotel for a day.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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21  Thank TheYoungLaird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2007

I had my one week honeymoon vacation in Baros in november and I recommend this resort to everybody who is looking for a good house reef, good food and good service.

Food: We loved the food served in Lime restaurant and never eat in other two, expensive restaurants. Everyday we tried something else and all of them was very delicious. Thanks to the Australian chief.

Service: Very good ! Stuff is very friendly and polite, always smiling. My digital cameras memory stick was full and I asked them to install the photos on a CD and they accepted and helped me without any payment.

Sea: One of the reason for me to choose Baros was its good looking house reef. I was not wrong. For snorkeling maybe it is one of the best Islands in Maldives. House reef is very big and rich of species. Around the island there are good spots for scuba diving also. If you dive you should not miss the Manta Point.

Villa: We stayed in Baros villa 220. It was very large, comfortable, clean and well equiped.

If I try hard to find any negative things I would say,

1-Ugly wave barrier, disturbs the sea view from Baros villas. But it made my wife feel safe during swimming. It also keep the currents away from the beach, making it easier to swim.

2-Too many buildings on the seafront and in the island : Lime restaurant, light house restaurant, cayenne grill, scuba house, main dock, water villas, fitness center, reception, bar, spa, operation building...it is hard to feel you are alone on a tropic island...

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Scubatr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2007

It's very rare that our expectations are exceeded but the service on this island really is that good! The accommodation and restaurants are fantastic, 5* luxury. It also appears that there are more staff than guests on this island and everyone is so polite.

We stayed in a deluxe villa which was lovely HOWEVER a word of warning. IF you want to be on the side of the island which has a protected beach, choose a BAROS villa instead. The deluxe villa was tremendous but the extra money for the protected beach really is worth it, the deluxe villas face onto the open sea and it can be quite windy and choppy sea, not great for swimming unless you have totally calm sea conditions.

There are 3 restaurants on the island which all serve great food but expect to pay UK prices for food and wine. It's not cheap!

It's a very picturesque island and I would recommend it to all, pack lots of factor 50 suncream, plenty of spare cash if you want a spa treatment since they do try to sell you extra creams to make your skin look even more beautiful. The gym is basic but inside with aircon so it's fine with a gym attendant on hand at all times.

We will definately return soon, feedback from the staff suggest that this island is the same standard as the 4 seasons but much cheaper!

The island resort could not be faulted, even by our very demanding and descerning standards! However, the treatment you get when you arrive is even better when contrasted to the service (so called) you get from Monarch if you fly with Kuoni from the UK. Take my advice, do absolutly anything to upgarde to another airline. Flights are available via Dubai with BA and Emerates or direct with Sri-Lankan airlines. If you want a truley luxery experience Baros will provide it, but beware how you choose to get there.

Stayed: November 2007
17  Thank paumatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2007

We stayed at Baros for two weeks in early October and had an absolutely fantastic holiday.

The island is very small (it only takes 8 minutes to walk round) however I agree with the other reviewers in that it really does feel as though you are one of only a few staying on the island. Apart from meal times, we rarely saw other couples other than those staying in the surrounding villas.

We stayed in a Deluxe villa which was lovely. It was positioned to face the Banyan Tree and was delightfully secluded. I would point out that after walking around the island, a number of the other villa's were not so well positioned so many thanks to those reviewers who recommended we get a villa that faces the Banyan Tree - our email to the hotel beforehand to request this was well worth it! Upon arrival we also looked around the Baros villas and water villas - we felt that the extra money to upgrade to the Baros villa wasn't worth it however almost moved into a lovely positioned water villa for three days before deciding that we preferred the easy access of the beach from our villa.

We stayed on a half-board basis, something of which I wouldn't recommend as although the food included in the half-board at the Lime restaurant was good, I think the standard was exceeded in the Cayenne Grill and Lighthouse (although this was to be expected with the latter as it is their a la carte restaurant). With our half-board we were given a $30 supplement per head at these restaurants however did not feel that this was worth it.

The staff were lovely, always on hand to help and very attentive.
My partner often went diving and couldn't compliment the diving staff enough.

To summarise - I would thoroughly recommend Baros. It really is a stunning island in a stunning location. Although I would not re-visit this is purely because of the number of other islands out there that I look forward to the pleasure of discovering!

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank TomKat_17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2007

Absolutely fantastic, we spent a week on the island at the end of September 2007 after spending a week touring Sri Lanka. What a luxurious Island. From the wonderful greeting and check in, in your villa to the last breakfast it was just pure indulgence. It’s not cheap so don’t go there thinking you will have a budget holiday, we spent an extra $1600 on food and massages etc., but we could have done a lot more – no trips or diving. The snorkelling is amazing, just a few meters off the shore are hundreds of different coloured fish, I even sore a turtle. The food is excellent with a very wide range in the three restaurants. The whole ethos of the island is to make sure that you have a no stress holiday and do what you want to do when you like. We would certainly go back.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Icanrelax2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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