Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort

Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort Review [Maldives Resort Review]

We included a resort stay on our Maldives itinerary as we figure we won’t be coming back (don’t worry, it’s not that we didn’t like the country, it’s our attitude – always plan a visit as though you might not get back at a later date).  And so visiting this island nation without staying on a resort felt to us like perhaps we hadn’t seen the Maldives!  Our research led us to the Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort, as our planned Maldives Resort island stay.  Here’s our review of the Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort and what we found here.

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Our Maldives 14 day itinerary led us to 6 different islands and a resort island.  We truly wanted to experience as much of the country, and the different aspects of it as well.  So we’ve traveled on public ferries, in shared speedboats, and the speedboat provided by the resort island too.  It’s been a glorious mix of what this island nation has to offer.  But let’s settle in and find out more about the Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort.

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Malahini Resort Beach

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This four star resort is just 10 minutes from Male International Airport – and has sunrise and sunset villa rooms with private pools.

Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort Review

Located just 10 minutes by speedboat from Male airport, the Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort is a great option for experiencing a Maldives resort island at a good value price.  There are glorious white sandy beaches, an excellent house reef with great snorkeling, and all the amenities of a 4 star resort.

Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort

You’ll find extremely comfortable well well-decorated rooms – from private beachfront villas with pools to garden rooms, a gym, spa, and water sports center as well as three restaurants and a bar.

Gym at the Malahini Kuda Bandos

How we selected the Malahini Bandos Island Resort

In our Maldives itinerary, we wanted to experience both the local islands of the Maldives and a resort island.  When using the Maldives public ferries we’d gone past some amazing-looking overwater bungalows, but our budget was a little more modest.

We visited the Maldives for two weeks in total, and here you can see our 2 week itinerary.

Overwater Bungalows in the Maldives

One of the potential large ticket items when selecting a Maldives resort island is the cost of the transfer.  There’s usually a choice between a speedboat transfer and a seaplane transfer. The longer the transfer the higher the cost. 

And so we looked for resort islands relatively close to Male airport. 

And found the Malahini Kuda Bandos resort

How much does the Malahini Resort Cost?

The cost of the Malahini Kuda Bandos depends on the room type you opt for, as well as the board and lodging type.  You can see the different options here.

From the Garden rooms, in the center of the island, to the Deluxe and Superior Rooms – right up to the Sunrise or Sunset Beach Pool Villas there’s a lot of choice as to what room to go for.  The pool villas come with the option of a floating breakfast in your private pool!

Most lodging options include breakfast, and then after that, you’re free to choose to pay for your meals and drinks or go all-inclusive (we did).  All rooms have a minibar (payable), kettle, ironing facilities, and fabulous air conditioning.  You can opt for included meals or all-inclusive, which gives you alcoholic drinks as well.

We paid US$500 a night for the all-inclusive rate, in the Superior Room, which had a small outdoor garden area too and sea views, but you can check the current pricing here.

Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort Superior Room

The all-inclusive rate includes 3 meals a day and drinks at both the Maaga restaurant, afternoon tea at the Bluu bar and restaurant, and drinks at Bar 75.  Kayaking, Stand Up paddleboarding, and snorkeling equipment are all provided too.  Access to the gym is included in the rates and you’ll get a discount voucher for the spa upon check-in too.

What are the options to stay at the Malahini?

The Malahini Kuda Bandos resort has a variety of different room types as well as a variety of different board types.  The most cost-effective is the garden room, then it’s the Deluxe Room, then the Superior (which we opted for) and then you’ll move on to the sunrise and sunset villas.  You can see the different options here.

Meals, Drinks, and Board Options at the Malahini Kuda Bandos

We opted for an all-inclusive rate, which included all our meals in the buffet restaurant and all our drinks, including alcohol.  We felt that this offered us the best experience, without the worry of any additional costs while we were on the island.

Room Types at the Malahini Kuda Bandos

There are a variety of different room types at the resort, from the Garden Rooms, right in the center of the island, to the superior rooms and deluxe rooms.  There are private beachfront villas with private pools – some face towards the sunset and some towards the sunrise and they’re named after them. 

We opted for the all-inclusive rate and used the watersports facilities on each of our days there.

All the rooms here at the Malahini Kuda Bandos have WiFi internet access, but if you want to be able to connect outside of the room, then I recommend getting this eSIM for the Maldives.

The Malahini gets a lot of international visitors and so provides power adapters – but check here to see what you’ll need to power your devices while you’re in the Maldives.

How do you get to the Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort?

The rate that you pay to stay at the Malahini Kuda Bandos includes a mandatory return speedboat fee.  For us, this was US$85 per person, but please do check as rates change.  There are no public ferries that travel to the Malahini Island resort and speedboats that are not authorized by the resort will be denied access to the pier.

Arriving at the Pier on Malahini Kuda Bandos

What’s included at the Malahini Resort?

It depends on which option you go for as to what you get.  There are different board options, ones that include meals and drinks, others are just the room – and you can take your meals and drinks as a separate cost. 

Our all-inclusive rate included free snorkeling equipment – masks, fins, and snorkels (which are of excellent quality and sourced locally from the Male based dive shop, Apnea.

Activities at the Malahini Resort

Excursions and diving are also offered at the resort should you wish to take a break from paradise and head out to another island or for more watersports activities. 

Watersports at Malahini

We’d already dived, from the local island of Fulidhoo and so took advantage of the excellent snorkeling equipment and the SUPERB house reef surrounding the island.

Our experiences at the Malahini

Part of the cost of staying on a resort island in the Maldives is the transfer to get there. You can’t just use one of the public ferries to get there.  You have to use one of their transport options, as at many of the resorts speedboats that are not authorized are not allowed to pull up to their jetties.  And so we found the Malahini, as it was just 10-minute speedboat ride from Male, the capital of the Maldives.

And while the all-inclusive rate that we paid of US$500 a night for both of us is WAY beyond our normal operating budget (way, way, way beyond), here in the Maldives it’s often a drop in the ocean.  Admittedly that did also include our speedboat transfer, but still (!!) it made us determined to enjoy every minute of our time there.

Yes, we could have gone for the non-all-inclusive price, and just paid individually for drinks and meals, but we didn’t want to feel that we were counting the pennies while we were there.  Best to just have one “youch” moment and then get on with it.

Transfers to the Malahini

A mandatory speedboat transfer is included at the Malahini Resort.  This is a shared speedboat transfer from the airport.  It’s not free, but it is mandatory.  We paid US$85 each for return transfers and met at the Malahini Counter at Male International Airport at noon on our first day. 

Malahini Counter at Male AIrport

We were then whisked off to the air-conditioned waiting area at the jetty. 

Be under no illusions, this speedboat isn’t just for you and your nearest and dearest, unless you pay for a private transfer. You will be waiting until they’ve gathered people from other incoming flights and there is the correct number to fill the boat before you head off to the island.

Speedboat Transfer to Malahini

Our speedboat duly arrived and we and our luggage were all loaded onto the boat.  Luggage goes into a baggage compartment and everyone is given (and must wear) a life jacket.  There’s a cold bottle of water for everyone, although if you’re going to drink it you’ll be best doing that before you set off, as this is a speedboat trip and you’re most likely to end up wearing the water rather than drinking it.

It takes just 10 minutes to go from the Male Airport jetty to the jetty at the Malahini.

Arriving on the island

It’s a short jetty and we all head to the reception area, where we’re all seated and offered a cold drink and refreshing towels, while the important check-in information is completed – passport details, details of your stay, and confirmation of your payment method. 

Reception Area Malahini Kuda Bandos

Then if you haven’t already paid, you’ll be taken to the cashier’s office.  Or rather you stand outside the glassed-in area and hand over your credit card.

All paid up, we were escorted to our room.

Pathways on the Resort

Our room at the Malahini Resort

There are a variety of rooms available at the Malahini. The cheapest are in the center of the island and are garden rooms.  You get a view of the garden.  Next up are the deluxe rooms, which are the top floor of a block of rooms facing the beach. 

Superior Room Malahini Resort

We’d opted for a Superior room, which is on the ground floor of this block.  We had a private garden area outside, and the interior of the room had a king-sized bed, a lounging sofa, and heaps of space.

There’s a mini-bar (all with prices, this isn’t included in our all-inclusive), a kettle and tea, instant Nescafe coffee, and a bottle of filtered water.   Our filter water and towels were replaced each day and we had towels both for the room and for the beach.

Malahini Resort Minibar

The A/C is fiercely effective. 

Malahini Resort Fridge

The lighting in the room is great.  There is a TV but we don’t turn it on at all.  And in the wardrobe area, there’s a safe that’s big enough for our laptops – Woo Hoo! We carry a portable travel safe – which I wrote about here – but in this room, we don’t have to get it out. Everything fits in the room safe!

The bathroom is big, with a large and excellent waterfall shower.  A western toilet, although the signs say that there’s no paper to be put in the toilet (this is after all another sand island).  There are huge fluffy towels.  Even bigger fluffy beach towels. And robes.  We have robes.  I can’t tell you how gloriously luxurious that feels.

The Beaches at the Malahini Resort

While we’d been disappointed a little with the presence of trash on the local islands of the Maldives, there was nothing like that here.  There were cleaning and ground staff constantly sweeping, removing fallen branches, and keeping the island clean.

The Malahini Resort beaches were extremely clean and of the fine white sand that you associate with the Maldives.  There were lots of sun chairs, loungers sun umbrellas, and hammocks to choose from too.

Beaches at the Malahini

Food at the Malahini Resort

The meals as part of our all-inclusive package were taken in the overwater restaurant, the Maaga.  The selection here for each meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – was excellent.  There was always a Maldivian option, lots of Asian options, and a great selection of Western options too.  All of the dishes tasted distinct. The grill staff were superb and the selection of fruit each day was excellent.

Buffet Spread Mahalini Resort

And cheese.  There was cheese.  OMG, there was cheese.  That’s what I miss when I travel in Asia.  Cheese. And so I had cheese three times a day during my visit and it was magnificent.

All the meals at the Maaga restaurant are buffet style – they’re extremely well laid out and the layout of the restaurant is great.  There are lots of small booth-type areas and lots of right-on-the-waterfront options.  It truly does feel like a special place to eat.

Table in the Maaga Restaurant Malahini

Special Meal Options at the Malahini Resort

If you want to get even more special then there are a couple of other restaurants here that are additional paid-for options.  Want breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a treehouse?  Well yes, there’s a treehouse.  You can opt for a special meal in the tree tops. 

Mediterranean Restaurant Malahini Resort

There’s also a Mediterranean pizza and pasta restaurant, or you can take your meals at the Bluu restaurant and bar too.

Bluu Bar and Resetaurant Malahini

Drinks at the Malahini Resort

Whether you opted for alcohol or alcohol-free drinks there was a great selection of cocktails, wines, and spirits available.   The beach bar was glorious, with swings and a super team serving you.

Beach Bar at Malahini Resort

There were bottled beers and draft beers (Lion beer was the draft of choice). A pre-dinner Gin & Tonic was tasty and very welcome.

Staff at the Malahini Resort

As you’d expect, the staff here were great.  Helpful, and friendly at all times.  I’d recommend the place based on the staff alone!  We mistakenly left a small bag on the speedboat when returning to Male after our visit (and were just about to head from Male to Dhiffushi when we realized).  A quick WhatsApp exchange with the resort staff determined that they had already found it, and it had been left in the safe hands of their representative at the airport for us to collect. 

We’re unlikely to return to the Maldives – as there are still so many other places in the world we have to see, and that’s why, although the majority of our trip to the Maldives was on the local islands, we wanted to visit a resort island and see how we felt about that.  We loved it, we’re really glad we chose the Malahini Kuda Bandos and got to spend time here.

Tips for Traveling the Maldives

Final Words on our Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort Review

While it’s possible to visit some Maldives resort islands just for the day, we felt that staying overnight, well heck, staying a couple of nights, would give us more of an experience, and so we did.  We opted for the Malahini Kuda Bandos Maldives resort, as it was close to Male, and therefore fit in with the rest of our travel plans in the Maldives.  We loved our Maldives resort island stay!

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