Approaching the glittering aqua blue waters from above is a feast for the eyes. Laced with uninhabited tropical paradise atolls, this is a picture perfect postcard and quite possibly the best airport arrival in the world. The luxury five star service begins after exiting the arrivals at Velena International Airport where a member of the Baros team will guide you swiftly through to an awaiting speedboat ready to whisk you off to complete and utter paradise. 25 minutes later you will find yourself sipping a passionfruit and mint juice in the hotel’s outdoor lobby. Dont worry about hanging around here for too long because check-in is actually done in your villa. With the inevitable tiredness after a long international night flight this is an easy way for hotels to score comfort and convenience points from guests, yet it was our first experience of a check in like this. Ten minutes after arriving we were pitched up on our sun loungers outside our beach villa, sipping piña coladas and listening to the gentle laps of the tide flow in and out underneath our sun beds.
There’s few destinations that are more relaxing than a holiday to the Maldives. The convenience, the privacy, the ambience and serenity of Baros island completes the feeling of an off the grid, uncontactable state of peace. Baros is a quiet island with no motor sports or vehicles, it’s very small and walking around the island takes a grand total of 8 minutes. It is one of the original Maldivian resorts built in 1973. Whilst it’s benefited from renovations in recent years, its style remains classic and unfussy.
There are multiple choices of villas, including beach and overwater style ones. We opted for the entry level beach villa nestled amongst a tropical jungle of trees and bushes giving us complete privacy from the neighbouring guests. Walking out of our villa and straight into the sea is a novelty I’ll never get over. Of course this novelty extends to the overwater villas which have steps down to the ocean from their decks, but for us there is something so special about toes sinking into the sand as you step our your villa door and make the arduous journey ten feet to the gentle shores. The villas, which look small and cosy from the outside are a completely different experience once inside. Stunning vaulted panelled ceilings dominate the rooms with super king beds centred in the room that look straight out to the ocean. The outdoor bathrooms boast free-standing baths, rainfall showers and individual vanity stations. Nespresso coffee machines are in the room and generously topped up with pods daily, mineral water is complimentary and 4 litres a day was supplied to our room once they gauged how much were drinking. Small touches like this without having to ask for anything is the epitome of the Baros service.
THE FOOD & DRINKS:
Classic and unfussy – A trend that continues from interiors to food. The menu is exquisite in taste and quality. Every mouthful was a taste of heaven from the very moment we started our culinary adventure at breakfast right through to sunset cocktails and dinner on the ocean deck at night. The Blanc de Blancs champagne seduced me at the breakfast buffet working as the perfect pairing to an array of sashimi and sushi on my breakfast plate each morning. Think local reef fish sashimi, Maldivian tuna nigiri and smoked mahi mahi. There are more standard resort items that can also be ordered from the breakfast menu – fresh fruit, omelettes, truffle mushroom poached eggs. Elevated yet unpretentious food is served at every meal in the resort’s main restaurant, Lime.
We effortlessly slipped into our pre-dinner, sunset evening routine ordering cocktails from the Lighthouse bar and watched the day disappear on the horizon as the aqua waters turned to inky black and the clear night sky dazzled down on the waters below. Some nights we sipped rum old fashioned’s whilst listening to live jazz music and other nights it was refreshingly sweet and sour mai tai’s with the mesmerising ocean waves as our evening entertainment. A beautiful selection of canapés is served with evening drinks and each night we were excited to try the next extravagant creations. Salmon and caviar, leek and pea mousse, crab pate and cheddar soufflé were a few of our favourites. We dined most evenings at Lime which offered Maldivian curries, fresh fish and vegetables, lobster bisque and other locally sourced, delicious dishes. The food is Maldivian with Indian and Sri Lankan touches. It is spectacular. Tuna steak that cut like butter served with fresh greens and lemony sauce. For an occasional meal we’d find ourselves at Cayenne grill which specialises in grilled meats and fish. Whilst it was enjoyable, it was more expensive than Lime and in our opinion wasn’t any more delicious.
THE HOUSE REEF:
Below deck is a lot busier than the peaceful, quiet shores of Baros. The house reef at Baros is a bustling city of reef fish, turtles, octopus, sharks and sting rays. There are a few different reefs to explore around the island as well which provides daily interest for keen snorkelers. The dive centre are very helpful to give you pointers and prompts on what parts of the reef to explore, and even do nightly snorkelling excursions to show you a whole different underworld in the hours of darkness. Free snorkel and flipper hire is available to all guests for the duration of your stay so don’t panic about any precious luggage space being taken up with bulky equipment.
Baros is intentionally designed for couples – it’s not the most family friendly resort (one of the main reasons we picked it!) So if you plan on holidaying with little ones feel free to check out my other Maldives recommendations. Velassaru and Constance Halaveli would be much more suited.
Booking direct allowed us early check in and late check out, a free sunset dinner on the beach, free snorkel equipment hire for the duration of our stay, 15% off spa treatments and a bottle of champagne in our room.
Reasons we picked Baros resort:
- 25 minute speedboat ride from the airport means no additional flight and the holiday begins almost instantly
- Tailored to adults, few children on the island (over 8’s only)
- Small resort – 75 villas in total meaning no more than 150 guests at a time. The resort is incredibly quiet and at times it feels like holidaying on a private island.
- Food and drinks reviews were outstanding
Room to improve:
- Scraping the barrel here on room for improvement because in all honesty there is nothing we’d have changed, however as we holidayed in the off season they were doing some remodel work on the gym which meant a very small gym was provided as a substitute whilst the work was undertaken. It’s not a complaint but just something to consider if booking any resort in off-season, it’ll be when they’re making improvements to the hotel.
The overall vibe:
The resort is small and incredibly quiet. Baros is designed in a way to make you feel like you’re the only guests here. Quality is considered in every aspect from the food, to the rooms, the cocktails and in room robes. The island still feels in parts untouched by the demand for tourism, our guess is that the resort hasn’t been extended to meet demand since its 1973 opening and in a way feels very exclusive to be staying there. It really was a holiday of a lifetime and somewhere we had always wanted to visit whilst still being able to holiday as a twosome. It is somewhere we will definitely return in the future, maybe for a special anniversary or big birthday. Watch this space…