You may think that once you’ve seen one island in the Maldives you’ve seen them all. Well, think again. Each island has a unique personality and atmosphere. Only 20 minutes away from Male, Baros is one of the most spectacular islands we have come across in the Maldives. An intimate, boutique hotel that perfectly balances elegance with a relaxed island feel.
Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by the Baros team along with a very welcomed glass of fizz. After taking a few minutes to go over the usual formalities and to recover after our journey we were escorted to our residence for the next few days – a stunning and spacious water villa.
The decor throughout Baros complements and reflects traditional Maldivian design, yet subtly and intelligently incorporates a fresh, airy and contemporary feel. Whilst the room was big and airy the highlight was the large private decking area complete with double lounger and steps down into the lagoon.
There are seven grades of room type on Baros, beginning with an elegant deluxe villa all the way up to The Residence – an award winning retreat of privacy and intimacy, hidden away from the rest of the island. It also comes complete with a large pool and direct access to the beach.
Unlike many islands in the Maldives, Baros have their very own house reef; and what a spectacular reef it is. No need for a boat trip to experience the wonderful snorkeling and sea life the Maldives are famed for on this island, simply pop on your flippers and off you go. Snorkelling and diving is a big part of the Maldivian experience so to make the most of it we headed to the island’s marine centre. We opted for the Marine Biologist Educational Snorkel Safari. After a short lesson on the wildlife we soon found ourselves swimming amongst turtles, black tip sharks and an abundance of colourful clown and trigger fish.
Whilst there are plenty of water sports to get involved in, if relaxation and pampering is more your idea of a holiday head to Baros’s elegant spa. Set in the middle of the island the spa is like no other we have seen. Each and every treatment room is a tranquil haven complete with a garden and water features. A day spent in this serene space will leave you feeling truly rejuvinated. The spa offers an array of treatments including couples massages, wraps and facials but also offers one-to-one yoga sessions with their resident Yogi.
Dining at Baros is as much of an experience as the island itself and all its activities. Whatever your tastes or requirements we guarantee they will be satisfied in one of Baros’ many restaurants. Set over the water, The Lighthouse offers fine dining in a truly romantic and unique setting – shaded by a soaring sail-like white-tented roof that is dramatic by day and luminous by night.
Seafood is a must in the Maldives with Lobster being a speciality on many islands. However, we are yet to find a lobster bisque to rival The Lighthouse’s – a must-try. If you prefer a more relaxed menu head to the Cayenne Grill, with its thatched roof and open-air design, you can choose between Maldivian, Indian and Japanese cuisines.
Of a daytime, if you can bear to tear yourself away from your villa, head to The Satay Bar and watch as a myriad of South-East Asian-influenced satay treats are grilled before your eyes. Or pop to the neighbouring Lime Restaurant (where breakfast is also served) for an all-day menu of global à la carte dishes.
But that’s not all. Baros is also home to two beautiful sandbanks, just a short boat ride away from the island. Upon these sandbacks you can experience a unique private sunset dinner. With a five course menu, champagne upon arrival and your very own chef it is a truly magical experience like no other. We were informed that some guests return just for the sandback dinner and having experienced it ourselves, we can see why.
Baros is also home to two bars, The Lighthouse Bar and Sails. Both of which are the ideal spot for a pre or post dinner drinks. Sails is situated in the heart of the island, in The Palm Garden. Choose from the daybeds and hammocks available to sit back, relax, sip a cocktail and look out over the lagoon or have a pre-dinner drink at the large open-sided bar.
Baros has an exceptional return rate with their visitors, so much so that they are welcoming back one guest for his 52nd visit next month – a testament to the staff, service and facilities. The staff at Baros really couldn’t be more accommodating and are an essential in making the Baros experience what it is.
After visiting Baros it is clear to see why it is a five star resort with five star reviews. We truly couldn’t find fault and are already planning our next visit back there.
Need To Know:
- Rooms 75, all villas apart from one larger Residence.
- Rates Double rooms from £459.00 ($745), excluding tax at 16.6 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of $8.00 per person per night on check-out.
- Facilities Spa, library with books, board games, CDs and DVDs, free WiFi throughout, boutique, palm garden, pool table and table tennis, gym, water sports, dive and snorkel centres, private yacht and traditional wooden sailing dhoni. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, preloaded iPod, minibar, L’Occitane en Provence and Italian Acca Kappa toiletries
- Poolside Baros Pool Villas and Premium Pool Villas have private infinity-edged plunge pools, and the Residence has a larger swimming pool, but guests in other rooms will have to make do with refreshing dips in the lagoon.
- Check-out Noon, but flexible subject to availability at a cost of 50 per cent of the room tariff. Check-in, 2pm, or earlier if available.
- Children Children aged eight or older are welcome, although this is more of a romantic adult retreat and there are no dedicated children’s facilities. An extra bed for a child sharing with two adults costs an extra 50 per cent of the villa tariff.
StyleNest travelled to Baros with Mr and Mrs Smith. For more information and to book your stay visit Mrandmrssmith.com/luxury-hotels/baros.