A hotel to remember: Baros Maldives

When I ‘announced’ that I was going to Baros Maldives on a recent trip, something quite special happened: I had literally dozens of readers comment and react to the news in a very unique way. Why? Because many of you have discovered this Maldivian secret sailing paradise and have been going back year after year.

Having been there for 5 days on a recent trip – it is easy to understand why. It is a very small island (with only 70 something rooms, both over water and beach villas), service is incredibly attentive and it does feel like home. You all got to know the staff, or better, the staff got to know you over time and you are not interested in anything else except going back. I get it!

We arrived to this little piece of paradise by speedboat from Male airport (takes 25 minutes and transfers are included for all Sovereign customers) and before we knew it, we really were ready to enjoy our gorgeous beach pool villa at Baros Maldives.

Our beach pool villa at Baros Maldives

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays bedroom beach pool villa

Our room was absolutely gorgeous and very very recently updated. The standard was very good and it felt spacious yet very comfortable. These beach pool villas are 130+ sqm and as private as they get.

We had a king size bed with a pop-up TV at the end of it, a seating area and a writing area. The room also had a sizeable storage area which kept our luggage out of sight.

You could also find a Nespresso coffee machine, 2 1.5l bottles of water (replaced every day free of charge), ironing board, iron and new flip-flops.

Being a beach pool villa (which I have to say, is my favourite room category in the Maldives), you have a large outdoor area with your own secluded pool, day bed, 2 sets of sunloungers (one for the pool and one for the beach) and a seating area.

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays outdoor beach pool villa

Getting in the spirit of the island, we also ordered breakfast and lunch almost every day – because it rained sometimes, and also because we just didn’t want to leave. And I am sure you can see why we did it!

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays breakfast beach pool villa

But needless to say, the best part is, without a doubt, your own ‘private’ stretch of beach. You have your own sun loungers and no one else can use them. We had neighbours as the hotel was at full capacity when we were there, but they were all very quiet. The hotel caters to adults mostly (children under 8 are not allowed) and those who choose this island resort do so to get away from it all. Literally.

The bathroom at Baros Maldives

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays beach pool villa bathroom

Our bathroom was mostly indoors and was very spacious. Inside we had a full-sized bath (and don’t you love that bath tray?), separate toilet, shower and double vanity units. The toiletries used were L’Occitane Verbena range which were lovely. My only comment was that we did not have spares for the outdoor shower (but we left a note to housekeeping and they then kept replacing them in both showers).

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays beach pool villa bathroom outdoor shower nespresso

As expected, the room was cleaned each morning and then turned down before dinner. We never had issues with timings and more often than not, they managed to do it whilst we had breakfast. Overall, service was excellent.

The food at Baros Maldives

Being a smaller island, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of dining options. But they weren’t as limited as I thought: for breakfast you could go to the excellent buffet breakfast (which also offered many cooked-to-order items like eggs, pancakes, etc) or you could order in-villa (with an extra charge).

My highlight for breakfast was having fruit actually cut and prepared in front of you and also what the hotel called ‘Eye-opening shots’, which changed every day. It was a little detail, but a lovely one.

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays breakfast dinner food restaurants

Lime was also opened for lunch (we did try it once, but then indulged in our room every day) and dinner – and we loved the curry options they had. Lots of international cuisine (something for everyone), but we really did enjoy the various types of curry.

On two of the nights we went to Cayenne, which has more of a grill concept, with a starters buffet, which had really good sushi and sashimi options. We then chose the Maldivian seafood platter (approx $130 for 2) which we paired with Cloudy Bay, of course ($120/bottle).

On our last night, we tried the Lighthouse, which is the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. We started our meal outside but due to the rain, we moved inside. The food was excellent and a meal will cost approximately $100-150 per person, depending on what you choose and excluding drinks.

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays dinner food restaurants

On the photo above you can see Lime from 2 different perspectives (and also the Lighthouse restaurant).

Below, you can see the main bar (which I found incredibly quiet at all times, and honestly quite surprising as people did disappear immediately after dinner), and the ‘Lighthouse’ restaurant.

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays lighthouse restaurant

I know you must be asking.. what about the drinks? Well, there were also options. We loved watching the sun set every day at the Lighthouse Lounge, located on the first floor of the building and enjoyed what I can call, gin & tonics with a view. (A Gin will cost you around $17 plus service and tax, which you can round-up to $22)

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays cocktails

We asked for them to be served in a wine glass and no one batted an eye lid. Even better, each day they remembered ‘our preference’ – which was kind of followed by other guests too!

After dinner, we did go to the main bar, but as I said before, we found it very quiet at around 9pm. Cocktails are $15 (+service + tax) and we ended up going to the room earlier than normal as we did feel a bit lonely at times.

The Spa at Baros Maldives

As the weather wasn’t brilliant at times, the spa was our to-to place when it rained (in the afternoon). We had a massage every day (60 mins for $159 ++) and one day we even tried a private yoga class ($60 ++ per person).

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays spa massage

Most hotel spas in the Maldives are ‘over water’ and I loved that this one was inland – very different and so so so green. It had ‘little houses’ which were self-contained treatment rooms and the therapists really were fantastic.

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays spa massage yoga lessons

What do to at Baros Maldives

I know many readers worry about going to the Maldives ‘as there is nothing to do’. I have said many times that you need to be prepared for something unique: Maldives time. It goes so quickly, it is quite unbelievable.

We had planned to do some SUP and other things (like a sandbank picnic and the unique breakfast in the middle of the ocean), but the weather did not allow it. But when we had sun, which was actually every day for at least half the day, we did something we are very good at: we went to the beach where we swam, sat and read.

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays beach fun beach pool villa

And we did it again and again…

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays beach reading beach pool villa

But the highlight was a private snorkelling session ($100 for 2) – which I highly recommend you do at the beginning. You will then know where to go, etc. And you also get photos!

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays snorkelling

Final thoughts

It was easy to see why most people go to Baros and return time after time. The island is small – but not too small – but everything has a purpose and place. The service was really attentive and friendly (lots of smiles), the rooms were exceptional and the food was really good too.

baros maldives hotel slh sovereign luxury holidays beach sunset

And the sunsets were not bad either ?

Until the next time!

xo

Mrs. O

Factbox and disclaimer: I was a guest of Sovereign Luxury, who organised this trip. Opinions are, as always, my own (but I loved it, promise).

Sovereign ( Tel: +44 1293 765 003) is offering a seven-night holiday to the Maldives staying at the five-star Baros Maldives in a Pool Villa on B&B basis from £3,895 per person – a saving of up to £1006 per couple. The offer includes airport security fast track and access to UK private airport lounge (where available), airport transfers, and return international flights from London Heathrow with Qatar Airways in economy class. For business class flights, the cost is £5,279 per person. Based on departures 14 May 2017.

 

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How to save money on business class flights by departing from other EU airports using Google Flights

I recently went to Lisbon… for breakfast and lunch. It may sound a bit indulgent, but I did it for a reason: on my specific travel days, it saved me just under £8000 (for 2 tickets) for a return business class ticket to the USA with a mix of British Airways and other Oneworld carriers.

I posted a story on my Instagram and a photo (see below) and I was overwhelmed with the comments – I assumed a lot more people knew about this trick that really helps you save money on business class flights by departing from other EU airports.

The concept is simple and I will use my recent trip as an example:

On the dates I selected, a business class flight from London to Miami was either £5588 with American Airlines or £7631 with British Airways. I wanted to go to Miami for a pre IVF hurrah as I enjoyed my recent return to the area a lot, but £7000 was a bit much.

how to save money on business class flights on british airways american airlines london to miami

Using Google Flights, I then started playing around with departure cities – for the USA, Dublin is always a good bet, and so it Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam. Lisbon never is… but I decided to type in the magic 3 letters and my price came down to £1501.

I tried to replicate it again, but the lowest fare I could get was £2170 – but it is still a significant saving.

how to save money on business class flights lisbon to miami via london

The option above would have been a good one, but it would require a bit more logistical work. If you had to depart Lisbon at 7am, obviously you would need to be there the night before (which is always a good idea) but you need to factor in a hotel night as well.

I chose a 6.30pm departure from Lisbon as my initial flight, which then would lead to an overnight stay in London (at home) and no bags on the day trip – as they would give you your bags when on an overnight connection.

how to save money on business class flights from london with british airways

 

And Lisbon being Lisbon (in my life), I thought it was a very good place to stopover. So I bought a business class return flight to Lisbon which got me to the city at 10am on the day of my 6.45pm departure to London (the beginning of my long haul ticket) and I am doing the same on the way back, giving me another great meal and time with my family. That ticket was £300 and it runs independently from the long haul ticket.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Everyone around us was just ‘having Saturday lunch’. I would fly a few hours to have the opportunity to have this fabulous meal by the sea. 23c, great service and the best view – used to be my normal Saturday or Sunday option and boy do I miss it. Hop on to my stories for some more highlights of my 8 hours in #Lisbon. We hired a car (for €15 which must be payback for the daylight robbery rates car rental companies charge here in the Summer) and that made it easy peasy. We are now on flight back to London, no luggage and will sleep at home before our flight to Miami tomorrow – almost £8000 saving (in business class) and we had a lovely day in my hometown. #MrsOapproved indeed.

A post shared by Ana O’Reilly (@mrsoaroundworld) on

 

Things to consider when booking an EU-departure

  • You need to buy 2 separate tickets and you need to allow time for delays. If your first flight (say London to Lisbon) is delayed and you miss the beginning of the new ticket, you will very likely lose your ticket. I choose routes where BA has other flights during the day in case something bad happens.
  • You need to consider luggage – if you are hand luggage there are no real issues. With luggage, you need to consider what you will do with your bags in the time when you arrive from the first flight and the first longhaul flight (and same on the last one). Check if the terminal has left luggage or if there is another way. Oneworld changed the rules where it only checks your bags for each ticket (before, you could add on another Oneworld booking and this was even easier).
  • Is the time and hassle worth the money? In this case, it was as the saving kind of paid for the whole trip and some shoes. But sometimes it isn’t. My overnight at home was clever in the way that I only took my luggage on my outbound flight to Miami, so it really was a breeze.

 

Can I save money on European Flights?

Yes, by buying allocations of other airlines. Recently we went to Valencia and our flight was £600 with British Airways (direct, obviously). I went on Google Flights, and the exact same tickets with Iberia (on the same flights as before, operated by British Airways) were £208… each. So we booked with Iberia. The downside is that if something goes wrong, you get really punished as you can only speak to Iberia for anything that happens – and it can be painful in many ways (Iberia’s customer service isn’t stellar).

On this long haul trip, we booked with American Airways, and actually one of our longhaul flights was with BA and the other with AA.

how to save money on business class tickets

In order to explore this better, you need to visit Google Flights and basically just play around – you can get even bigger savings by not restricting your results to Oneworld (like I do).

Hope you enjoy this article on how to save money on business class flights by departing from other EU airports!

xo

Mrs. O

 

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