Maldives feeling – have you ever heard this expression? I’m sure you have! This is the feeling holiday-makers speaking about when returning back from this incredible place… Tropical lush vegetation, heavenly white sand, uncountable shades of blues. Maldives is a dream destination, no coincidence! Visit with us a beautiful Maldives island that could fit lower budgets too, read our Biyadhoo Island Resort review!
Biyadhoo Island Resort review – dream turns into reality step by step
We all want our holiday to be perfect, especially if we spend bigger amount on it. With our honest Biyadhoo Island Resort review we help you to answer the question: What type of island should I choose on Maldives? Our Maldives mini guide includes the main points you should consider!
How to plan, how to book your dream Maldives holiday mini guide
There are so many ways to book your holiday, the number of options are countless. We started the planning on normal booking sites, comparing the prices, services, checking flight ticket. It is always worth to give chance to travel agencies too regarding package prices. They might have good offers on complete (flight+hotel) options. Or sometimes they might offer better service at the same price because of specific agreements (like All Inclusive for the price of Full Board). As complete packages were not available from our place, we decided to book flight and hotel separately. If it comes to tickets, don’t look only the price! Check always connection times, and the airline too! Go for the best value for money offers! (We’ve chosen Turkish Airlines, good level of service plus reasonable connections.)
After our tickets were booked, we started to check islands on booking sites, contacted them directly too for rates. Surprisingly, rates direct from islands were higher than online available rates. As tour agencies offer „hotel only” deals too, so we decided to make inquiries by some of them. It seemed good idea, we found good offers, and finally ended up booking Biyadhoo Island with All Inclusive by TUI. Their All Inclusive price was bit lower than Full Board price offered on booking sites, plus on top of this return speedboat transfer was included! How did we choose Biyadhoo? Keep reading our 3+1 steps Maldives mini guide and you will know it!
1: Set your Budget!
If it comes to Maldives, prices could be extremely high, so first you have to set up your maximum budget. It won’t be the cheapest holiday of your life, but an unforgettable one for sure! Differences are huge in service and in price level between islands, there are 6 star luxury ones but fair hotels in lower categories too.
Tip: visit tour agency’s websites or online booking sites by setting your budget. Sorting the hotels by price which help you see the options available in certain price ranges.
2: Where to stay on Maldives? Inhabited or resort island?
First question to decide, what type of island shall I choose on Maldives? (Remember, Maldives consists of 1192 islands!) There are around 200 inhabited islands with local shops, restaurants, and 87 private resort islands in different price ranges. Resorts are might give you back the real Maldivian feeling: private, long, sandy beaches and dedicated staff taking care of you. But you might enjoy staying on inhabited islands too, discovering the life of the locals. It’s all depends on your demands and desires! Here are the main advantages/disadvantages of inhabited and resort islands:
- authentic Maldivian feeling
- private beaches
- private service
- more expensive
- reachable with island transfer
- could be isolated
- local shops, restaurants are available
- reasonable prices on food/drinks and on day trips
- reachable with cheap ferry service
- budget accommodation options
- bathing is not everywhere allowed in bikinis, only in swimsuits
- no alcohol
- trash could be a problem
- no privacy
Tip: if you decide to stay on inhabited islands, check Maafushi, Rasdhoo, Thoodoo, Hulhumale!
3: How to get to your dream island – Transfers on Maldives
You have 3 options to get to your islands on Maldives: speedboat, seaplane or ferry. It always depends on your island what type of transfer options you can choose. Ferries are operating between Male and inhabited islands, schedule is fix, tickets cost few dollars. Speedboat transfers are the most common, are organized mainly by the islands, but can be booked privately as well by some islands. It is time effective to choose seaplane transfer if speedboat option is too long or in case of sea sickness. The view of the atolls is spectacular from above, although hydroplane trips are quite pricey.
Tip: if you prefer short speedboat transfer due to any reason, choose islands close to Male. Islands of South Male Atoll and North Male Atoll are available within 30-45 minutes by boat.
+1 : All Inclusive or Full Board on Maldives
Is it worth to pay for All Inclusive? Generally, yes! If you find acceptable offer for AI, go for it! Then there is no need to think about prices during your holiday which is quite comfortable. Before booking your package, always get info what is included (for example some hotels don’t put cocktails in AI)! Although if you book All Inc, there might be still extras that are available only against fee like imported alcohols, a’la carte menu. If you decide to book breakfast only or Full Board, prepare yourself that prices on food and beverages are extremely high on resort islands (on inhabited ones might be normal but still „tourist prices”). For a single bottle of water you might be charged 6-10 USD depending on your island. Don’t forget, prices not include local tax + service charge, these will be added later to invoice!
Tip: hotels/resorts might have special promotion regarding free upgrade to All Inclusive, check their website! Also worth to check tour agencies prices. Due to their big amount of booked rooms they have lower prices on All In than you can get by individual booking.
Maldives on budget – Biyadhoo Island Resort review
After this general Maldives guide, let’s talk about our Biyadhoo Island experience. I believe I must start our Biyadhoo Island Resort review why we choosed this island. Basically, we read good reviews about it! As this was our first Maldives trip, we decided to stay on a „budget” resort island with good AI and great snorkeling options. We were told although Biyadhoo is not a luxury island, but one of most beautiful in this price category. We do agree with this!
People like Biyadhoo because it’s a laid back island with lush tropical vegetation at affordable price. When you ‘google’ Biyadhoo Island Resort review, you often read this is one of the most beautiful island on Maldives. They say it could be easily a more expensive island if they would refurbish it and add some (reef destroying) water villas. So Biyadhoo fans are happy that they leave the island and facilities as it is. Generally Biyadhoo is well kept, clean island with relaxed atmosphere. It is easy to walk around, although there are spots with „no enter” signs which are a bit trashy. We loved walking under huge banyan trees and observing flying fox on palm trees.
Transfer from Male to Biyadhoo
It’s easy to reach Biyadhoo since it’s located on South Male Atoll. Speedboat transfer takes 35-45 minutes from Velena Airport (former Ibrahim Nasir International Airport). As our TUI package included transfer (return), we just went to Biyadhoo counter after collecting our baggage. We had to wait approx. 30 minutes for the boat, because they came from an other island. Transfer staff was friendly, they made fun during our approximately 35 mins journey.
First impressions on Biyadhoo
It was nice that staff was waiting for us on arrival – when approaching the island we saw that receptionist and porter were already on the pier welcoming us on Biyadhoo. They took care about our luggages, while we went to reception to fill the check-in form up. We got complimentary coconut juice which was really refreshing after travelling long hours. Check-in was easy and fast, they provide us information regarding restaurant/bar/facilities and let us to go to our room.
Although this is officially 2* hotel, Biyadhoo offers everything you might need to make your holiday relaxed and perfect – there is spa, water sport centre, diving centre and even a small souvenir shop next to Coconut Bar. Sporty ones can run around on the walking path or play football on the ground. Sorry, but don’t expect feedback on spa experience in our Biyadhoo Island Resort review! We are much more in sea related activities! Local dive center organize diving on house reef and on close-by reefs too.
Rooms and buildings
Most common negative review regarding this island is that rooms are outdated. It is true, they are in need of refurbishment and quite simple. But you can see this is as an advantage! On Biyadhoo all rooms are same style. No need to ask others what type of room they got! There are 96 rooms in two buildings, one on sunrise, one on sunset side. Sunset side is better because it is close to main beach, restaurant and bar. Usually it is a bit more expensive than sunrise side. If you want fancy accommodation, water villa or jacuzzi suite, this island is not for you. But if natural environment is more important than luxury, Biyadhoo might be a good choice! Rooms are equipped with AC, minibar, hot shower (there is no TV, spend your time on the beach!) Furniture is old fashioned, but rooms are clean, you get fresh towels every day. Other buildings, like reception, restaurant, spa, bar are also not new, but still clean and maintained. We loved the open style Coconut bar, AI cocktails were really good!
Note: take and use mosquito spray! You’ll need it! They use gas mornings/evenings to reduce to number of mosquitos but still there are a lot.
Main and most beautiful beach is the long sandy one on sunset side. Most people spend their day here. It is quite comfortable since beach is just next to Coconut Bar. We always found free sunbed, despite that Biyadhoo was almost full during our stay. Snorkeling is easy on this side, there are no strong currents or rocks in the water. Reef sharks and turtles are guaranteed to see here! There are other, smaller sandy and rocky beaches around the island for privacy seekers. Some of them are not recommended for snorkeling because of strong currents (these are marked on island map you receive upon arrival).
Biyadhoo All Inclusive: what is included?
Restaurant: Like in normal AI, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in main restaurant. Breakfast selection was almost every day same: pastry, bread, fried egg, English breakfast, fruit etc… Lunch and dinner was thematic, meat, fish, pasta in different style every day. We were satisfied with the food, but do not expect gourmet dishes! Drinks for lunch/dinner could be ordered from your waiter from bar menu. AI includes sandwiches for snack in the afternoon which were tasty and quite filling!
Coconut Bar: our favorite spot (after the sea of course)! Fast service, helpful staff, great AI cocktails included!
Our TUI All Inclusive packages included the following on top of AI food/beverages:
- 2 complimentary excursion: snorkeling trip + sunset fishing
- Free snorkel equipment
- Introductory dive with local dive center
Note: despite of being All Inclusive, staff will always ask your room number due to inventory control. Also you need to sign your daily receipts! But don’t worry, they won’t charge you unless you consume something which is not AI.
WIFI on Biyadhoo
I want to mention free WIFI as a big plus in this Biyadhoo Island Resort review, because we found mixed information about it before our trip. They just changed internet system: WIFI is free, available at reception and in Coconut Bar. After arrival you get a code which is valid for 7 days, renewable if expires. (Internet was not free before on Biyadhoo) We were happy that there was no WIFI in the rooms, on the beach, so we could disconnect a bit and be online only mornings/evenings.
Underwater adventures: snorkeling on Biyadhoo
The highlight of our holiday: snorkeling around this pretty tropical island! I am sure you want to know what to expect under the sea, so our Biyadhoo Island Resort review will give you some tips what/where to see. Black Tip Reef sharks, turtles, rays are guaranteed!
Upon arrival you receive an island map shows you the ideal entry and exit points. Also marks areas not recommended for snorkeling due to strong currents. We managed to snorkel around the whole island several times and must admit, the currents are really strong on the marked spots. Not recommended for novice snorkelers!
The best spot for snorkeling is the lagoon on main beach, and the outer reef in front of it. Easy entry/exit, lack of strong currents, interesting marine life! You’ll see also from shore baby reef sharks cruising in shallow water searching food. Over the reef you might meet adult reef sharks too! Lucky ones can spot other sharks like White Tip or Nurse Shark too.
Turtles are common around Biyadhoo. They can be found in shallow water feeding on sea grass but also on outer reef. The best is to search them in the lagoon in front of the main beach.
Swimming along the reef probably you’ll see eagle rays but moray eels for sure! Octopuses, different type of sea cucumbers, sea stars can be observed as well as tropical fish including clownfish, batfish, huge schools of sergeant major, bannerfish, yellow snappers.
What about the corals? You might heard that corals are badly damaged all over Maldives due to effects of El Nino. This is true and really sad. Swimming over dying reef, colorless corals is broke our heart. Warmer ocean temperature caused by El Nino killed the majority of corals, and scientist still do not know whether corals will be able to recover or not. Despite of dead/dying corals, life on the reef is still vibrant, overall snorkeling is a great experience! We truly hope that corals will recover, and we could report in updated Biyadhoo Island Resort review that reef is in better condition.
Biyadhoo Island Resort review summary: Pros and Cons
If you’d ask our opinion, I’d recommended Biyahoo. This is a perfect island for first time ’Maldivers’, for travelers who want to explore this amazing part of the world but are on a lower budget, for those who don’t have luxury expectations regarding accommodation and food, but want to enjoy fair value for money. Don’t recommended for people who want to have more privacy, high level service, gourmet food during holiday.
- resort island at reasonable price
- close to Male airport
- fair All Inclusive system
- good snorkeling
- free Wi-fi
- friendly staff
- basic food
- rooms in need of refurbishment
- weak entertainment, no animation
We hope we helped you with our Biyadhoo Island Resort review! Check our gallery for more photos, don’t forget to share your snorkeling pictures not only from Maldives but from all over the world on our Instagram!