Welcome to tranquillity at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
Comparatively smaller in size to other resort islands in the Maldives, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru is located in the North Malé Atoll.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru is accessible through resort-operated speedboat transfers from Velana International Airport (Malé), a journey which takes around twenty minutes.
The size of the island appears to contribute to its tranquillity which wraps around you like a warm hug as soon as you step off the boat and onto the pristine white sandy beach.
This is a resort island where there is no pressure whatsoever to do anything except relax and dip into things at your own pace.
Beachfront Pool Villa - The best seat in the house
A typical morning for us at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru began with waking up in our circular Beachfront Pool Villa, throwing open the curtains and the retractable french doors and enjoying the 180-degree views of the sun rays breaking through the sky over the ocean.
Basically the ocean was our theatre and our four-poster king-sized bed was the best seat in the house.
Accommodation options at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru include Oceanview Pool Villas, Beachfront Pool Villas, or Spa Sanctuary Pool Villas.
On the ocean-side of our Beachfront Pool Villa, the architecture allowed us to step through the tall doors and onto a spacious wooden deck with sun loungers. Alternatively, we could walk from the deck along a connected wooden jetty that led to a private over-water cabana with sunbeds that was perfect for private massage treatments or simply lounging over the water with a good book and a cup of coffee.
Back inside the main room, in a seamless flow of movement between outdoor and indoor spaces, a design feature we especially loved was the high ceiling spiralling upwards in the shape of a snail shell creating a sense of unrestricted space.
Doors on the other side of the room open up to reveal a semi-outdoor open-plan bathroom area. Here, Banyan Tree's signature design excellence combines lush landscaping with natural building materials to create a feeling of synergy with nature. A high bamboo fence enclosing each villa granted us total privacy.
For an elevated bathroom experience, our villa came with two showers - indoor and outdoor. There is no bathtub in the Beachfront Pool Villa. However, we did not need one as we had a temperature-controlled jet pool and a private swimming pool!
A highlight one morning was the chance to start our day with a colourful selection of breakfast items delivered to our villa for a delightful floating breakfast experience.
Wellness your way
Wellness means different things to different people. The Global Institute of Wellness, a nonprofit organisation which promotes knowledge about preventative health, defines it as: “The active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.”
If exploring wellness is an important factor in your choice of holiday destination, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru offers you a chance to create your own version.
This Indian Ocean resort offers multiple elements – natural beauty, idyllic beaches, crystal clear lagoon, world-class gastronomy, and outdoor and indoor experiences – all of which combine to promote overall well being.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru offers a relatively standard programme of motorised and non-motorised activities, including snorkelling and diving at neighbouring island Angsana Ihuru. However, we opted for a decidedly slower pace during our visit. This was partly due to the fact that our visit was during the monsoon season.
To explore Vabbinfaru’s wellness ethos, we visited the Banyan Tree Spa to sample a range of treatments that leverage traditional Asian healing philosophies. For us, this was one place where Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru’s tagline as being ‘a sanctuary for the senses’ truly came alive.
Spa treatments we enjoyed included a restorative foot bath and scrub with the scent from jasmine flowers filling the air. We also participated in an exhilarating yoga session with resident wellness and lifestyle coach Dr. Shakeel Ambalth that stretched muscles and left us feeling lighter.
The daily stingray feeding gave us a chance to engage with the ocean in a different way and to explore the island’s biodiversity. Watching those majestic creatures glide through the waters provided a sense of calm and an opportunity to practise mindfulness.
A night under the stars at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru
On Vabbinfaru, a typical night is whatever you decide you want it to look like. During our visit, a number of experiences stood out for us.
Meals at the casual and rustic Ilaafathi (Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru has one main restaurant offering buffet and à la carte options) were a daily adventure in tastes, textures, aromas and flavours. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, we explored a surprising variety of international and local dishes on the menu that kept our curious taste buds entertained.
On one star-lit night with clear skies, we had a phenomenal ‘destination dinner' (private dinner for two on the beach) arranged for us. We especially enjoyed a succulent fresh lobster and crab dish (straight off the grill) amidst many other gastronomical delights that evening.
Post-dinner entertainment featured memorable Bodu Beru dance nights showcasing drum rhythms, music and dance steps performed by an energetic cast of locals.
In our own version of wellness and to round up our day at Vabbinfaru, after dinner, we stepped outside and crawled into a wide hammock (fits two adults) attached to our villa. There, we rocked in sync with the gentle ocean breeze and fell asleep under the stars.
For more information about their all-inclusive packages and to design your own wellness experience at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, visit banyantree.com/maldives/vabbinfaru