Occupying the island of Vabbinfaru, the Banyan Tree is a luxury Maldives dive resort that’s just 25 minutes’ by speedboat from the Male International Airport. Its Maldivian-inspired villas are nestled beneath swaying coconut palms and positioned on pristine white sands, with the coral reefs of North Male Atoll just a short boat ride away.
Spend your days diving the pristine surrounding waters or exploring the deserted sandbanks, then be treated to fine Maldivian cuisine and fresh seafood at the resort’s upmarket restaurants. The Banyan Tree is also just five minutes’ by speedboat from the sister resort of Angsana Ihuru where guests are welcome to dine at the Riveli and the Velaavani Bar.
The villas at the Banyan Tree are designed in a traditional Maldivian style, with thatched roofs, contemporary furnishings and modern amenities that include flat-screen TVs and DVD players.
Oceanview Pool Villa Each of the Oceanview Pool Villas boasts panoramic views of the Indian Ocean from their large wooden patio that’s complete with sunbeds. They come with a four-poster, king-size bed and an outdoor tropical shower, as well as a private pool and jacuzzi.
Beachfront Pool Villa Each of the Beachfront Pool Villas features a four-poster, king-size bed and outdoor shower, as well as a private pool and adjoining jet pool. There are French doors in the bedroom so you can enjoy the sea breezes and a wooden walkway that leads directly to the beach.
The Banyan Tree features a health and fitness center that’s open 24 hours so you can work out when it suits you, as well as a currency exchange center and complimentary Wi-Fi. You can pick up Maldivian gifts and handicrafts at the Banyan Tree Gallery or stop in at the Marine Centre to learn about the underwater ecology.
The Banyan Tree Spa offers an indulgent range of treatments based on traditional Asian healing philosophies, with skilled masseuses and beauty therapists at the helm. There’s also a Water Sports Centre where you can organize a range of activities, ranging from wakeboarding to catamaran sailing and kayaking.
The Banyan Tree offers a wide choice of dining experiences, ranging from light bites at the open-air bar to fine dining with your feet sunk into the sand. Ilaafathi is the resort’s oceanfront restaurant where freshly prepared breakfasts are served, together with dinners beneath a canopy of tropical trees.
Head to the Naiboli Bar for all-day dining, with the menu ranging from light meals and appetizers to creatively crafted cocktails. Every Friday, it also hosts a Bodu Beru drumming performance by local musicians while Tuesdays are marked by a delicious barbecue beach dinner.
If you prefer a more private dining experience, the Banyan Tree can organize a candlelit barbecue dinner or a gourmet meal cooked by a private chef at your villa. Alternatively, opt for a romantic dinner under the stars at Shark Point featuring freshly caught Maldivian lobster and scallops.
As a PADI Gold Palm 5-Star Resort Dive Centre, the Banyan Tree runs daily dive trips and a full range of courses directly from the resort. The team is led by professional PADI-certified divers while being equipped with a range of high-quality dive rental equipment.
This Maldives dive resort is also home to a Marine Conservation Lab where guests are invited to participate in coral planting, reef cleaning and turtle care under the careful supervision of their staff. You can sponsor your own coral garden or learn about the latest research being conducted into coral biology.
The Banyan Tree is on the doorstep of some of North Male Atoll’s most exhilarating dive sites, which range from coral-encrusted walls to pristine reefs teeming with reef sharks, turtles and large schools of fish. Water temperatures range from around 83-86°F (28-30°C) throughout the year, with most divers comfortable in either a shorty or full-length 3mm wetsuit.
The Maldives experiences a warm, tropical climate, with two monsoon seasons. The Northeast monsoon (November to April) sees generally sunny days while the Southwest monsoon (May to October) brings plenty of rain, with the heaviest showers usually experienced between June and August.
If you’re travelling with non-divers or want a day above the water, you can participate in a range of different water sports, such as water skiing or canoeing. Embark on a guided catamaran excursion to dine on an intimate sandbank or cruise through the idyllic lagoon while sipping on champagne during a sunset cruise. There’s also exceptional snorkelling just a short boat ride away, with coral reefs that are teeming with marine life.
If you’re interested in Maldivian cuisine, why not learn the secrets during a culinary demonstration before sampling delicious curries, salads and local treats. Alternatively, you can completely relax during a traditional Thai massage overlooking a tranquil beach at the Sunset Jetty.