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Maldives – Dec 2011
by Niall Douglas, MD at Full Circle Travel
I have just returned from a fantastic trip to the Maldives, hosted by Seasons.  We stayed at 4 properties over 5 nights, so it was a lot of packing and unpacking but so worth it!
Departing from a cold and wet Gatwick airport on the 02nd December, we were fast-tracked through security (a service provided for all BA customers now) and proceeded to the BA lounge.  We learnt of an hour and half delay but when you have the facilities of the lounge at your disposal, this is not as much of a pain as it could be.
We were incredibly fortunate to be upgraded to Club on the outbound flight which really does make the 10.5 hour flight so much more bearable.  The aircraft is now a 3 class aircraft with extended Club and World Traveller Plus cabins, options I really recommend if the budget will stretch (especially on the outbound overnight flight).  The service was discreet and the crew were fantastic which was a refreshing change.  The only criticism was the 2 hour delay to our departure.
On arrival in The Maldives we quickly made it through immigrations and were met by the representatives from Baros, the first island on our itinerary.  We boarded the transfer boat and were whisked across the Indian Ocean at high speed for 25 minutes before arriving at Baros.  Due to our late arrival we postponed the site inspection until the following morning so after a delightful lunch overlooking the Indian Ocean, we were shown to our rooms to freshen up and relax before our sunset dolphin cruise.
My room at Baros was a Deluxe Villa, incredibly spacious with a lush garden with leading to the stunning beach.  A glorious outdoor bathroom with standalone bath and waterfall shower completed this stunning room.  Baros is a small island and one thing that immediately stood out, is that there is no swimming pool.  If you have not booked a pool villa or above, then the sea is the only swimming option.  Having said that, the resort is amazing and incredibly relaxing.  Ideally suited to honeymooners and for romantic escapes, I think 3 nights here would be just about my limit.
Just before sunset we boarded a speedboat and headed off in search of dolphins.  The gathering of boats in the distance suggested that they were around and this proved to be the case.  It felt a little formulaic at first until we broke from the group and went in search of the dolphins on our own.  We were rewarded with a fantastic display of spinner dolphins jumping our wake and posing perfectly for sunset shots.  A really enjoyable experience and one I would recommend to anyone staying at Baros.
 
Upon our return to the island we enjoyed fantastic Indian buffet in the main restaurant, Lime followed by some excellent live music and a sheesha at the Sail Bar – we couldn’t have felt more relaxed if we tried!
The following morning, after a fantastic night’s sleep, we were shown the rest of the resort including 5 of the 6 room categories.  For me, the Baros Pool Villa stood out as my preferred room category.  There is a small gym, a spa with four treatment rooms, a relaxing library/lounge and two further restaurants – The Cayenne Grill and The Lighthouse.  The hotel also boasts a superb Dhoni ‘Nooma’ and ‘Serenity’, a luxury yacht.  Both can be privately chartered.
In summary, Baros is an idyllic escape in paradise.  Children are not permitted and the resort lends itself perfectly to honeymoons and romantic getaways.  For me, a little too quiet and I would always want a twin stay with another property as 2 to 3 night would be sufficient but that is just my opinion.  I cannot fault the accommodation, food or ambience but the lack of a main swimming pool would be a frustration if I did not have a pool villa or above (the water villas also have no pool, although they do have direct access to the lagoon).
Part 2 – coming soon……
On to Four Seasons Kuda Huraa