Conrad Maldives is an absolute dream. It is exactly what you see in the pictures, stunning clear blue waters, so clear you can see fishes swim about. I have so much to say about this resort so let me get started.
1. Arrival at Male airport - we weren't greeted by a Conrad representative but easily found the Conrad counter on our own. An assistant took us to check-in for the seaplane. (Note that they weigh everything you're holding, including your handbag). You then take a shuttle bus to the Conrad lounge. We were only there for 20 minutes before we were told our seaplane was ready so at this stage, did not fully utilise the lounge.
2. The seaplane - depending on your luck, you may get a newer or older plane. The resort does not own the planes, however there is one with their logo printed on it, that is the newer one. However, for our trip to Conrad, we had another seaplane and left around 12pm which meant it was HOT. When we first got on the seaplane, I thought I was going to collapse, I could barely breathe but once we were up in the air, I was fine. The view, like everyone else has said, is beautiful and gets you very excited about what Rangali island is going to look like. We didn't find the plane that loud so didn't use ear plugs.
3. Arrival - you are greeted by a host and taken to the reception where you're seated, served a small glass of fruit juice and then taken to your room. Our host was friendly enough during our stay but we did not need to contact him at all during our stay. Occasionally we ran into him at various spots on the resort. To be honest, I'm not sure that there is a need for a host, we didn't feel ours was that special but maybe some people prefer having one point of contact.
4. Beach villa - before we came to the Maldives, I always thought the best experience would have to be on an over water villa but after this stay, I realise that is not the case. Our beach villa was more than we expected and although we'd like to try an over water villa one day, we're happy enough with the beach villa. It's huge. When you walk in, the coffee and fridge area is to your right. Then immediately on your left is the bathroom, the his and hers sink is indoors but the shower and private spa bath is outdoors. There are french doors which we left open during the day and closed during the night. We were lucky enough to have sunshine every day but not sure that I'll enjoy taking a shower in the rain if it did rain. We never used the spa, preferred swimming in the lagoon. There is then a walk-in wardrobe in which they supply beach bags, life jackets, beach towels and the usual amenities. Then you go into the bedroom where the toilet is also located (separately of course). The bedroom is spacious, there's a huge couch, comfortable enough for someone to sleep on. Then there's a huge glass window/door which opens out to the front yard. It has an outdoor table and chair and two sun tanning chairs. You walk out further (like 10 steps) and it's the beach where again you get another two sun tanning chairs. But apparently, other people can use these chairs too if they want.
LOVED: space, amenities (Molton Brown), direct access to the beach, walk-in-wardrobe
DISLIKED: walk-in-wardrobe separated from the bedroom hence not very convenient, the room is very dark at night, wished they had brighter lighting. The bathroom (where the sinks are) gets very hot during the day so do not leave your creams/lotions near the sink, put them in the walk-in-wardrobe.
NOTE: I am a bug freak and prone to mosquito bites. The design of the beach villa is such that you are pretty much guaranteed to have ants in your room. They do routine pest control but ants will still be in your room. I manage to turn a blind eye to the tiny ants but had to kill the huge ones as well as spray bug spray (which is provided in the room). I only got bitten once. So even as a bug freak, I still really enjoyed the room and would have no hesitations staying there again.
5. The beach - this is what we came for and even if we had to stay in a tent, I would have still given this resort 5 stars based on the beauty of the two islands. The water is so clean, so blue, so very alluring. If you like snorkelling, everyone will tell you to head towards villa 225 and swim out to the pink buoy to catch the best sights. This is pretty true. I'm not a strong swimmer so I didn't swim all the way out to the buoy but I still manage to snorkel close to it. There are lots of colourful fishes to see. However, our favourite part of the resort to swim in was the beach/lagoon in the 'Quiet Zone'. Quite often, we had the entire place to ourselves, despite it being peak season.
LOVED: EVERTYHING!! At the quiet zone, the staff brought out complimentary iced water and fruits. We never used the beach around the pool on the main island but I assume they would do the same thing. The beach is never too busy, if anything, most of the time, it looks deserted! Snorkelling gear is free to hire.
6. Restaurants – being fairly price conscious, we only splurged out once during our six nights stay and this was on dinner in the underwater restaurant for my husband’s birthday. It was a great experience but not sure that we would do it again. Then all the other times, we ate at the Quiet Zone, Rangali Bar and Mandhoo Spa. In the Quiet Zone and Rangali Bar, two mains and two juices will cost you between US$60-$100, ours averaged $US70. If you dine at the other restaurants, it will probably be at least double that. We intend to come back again and will definitely try the Sunset grill and Vilu next time.
LOVED: Dining at the quiet zone. Whilst it’s not really known as a venue to eat, it does have a food menu including pasta, pizza, burger, rib-eye, etc. We found the staff at the Quiet zone more natural and chilled-out. Watching the beautiful water wash up along the sand as you eat is very relaxing.
DISLIKED: the food at the quiet zone is prepared on the main the island. The wait for the food never bothered us (30-40 minutes) but it would be great if somehow they could prepare the food on the same side of the island, then it would arrive fresher! My husband loved the pizza and recommends that they install a pizza over there!
NOTE: Some of the mains at Mandhoo are tiny (mainly the seafood dishes) so if you’re hungry, eat elsewhere or don’t order seafood there.
7. Departure – a sad but inevitable thing! Our flight was close to midnight so we really appreciated that they put us on the last seaplane, which left around 5:30pm. Note, Conrad does not arrange your flight time, Trans Maldivian does the schedule. This time we got the Conrad branded plane which even though it doesn’t belong to the hotel, is a newer plane. This time, I did not feel hot and stuffy but that could also be due to the fact it was in the evening when we departed. We arrived Male around 5pm (Male time) so decided to use the Conrad lounge until our flight out of Male. It costs $80++ per person. Is it worth the money? Probably not but there aren’t many other good alternatives. The international airport isn’t the best place to hang out. Having unlimited drinks and dinner provided in the lounge is a much better way to end the holiday. There’s internet too. You also have an option to head into Male via a boat but there was political unrest when we were there so decided not to.
Final note – we absolutely loved our stay, didn’t want to leave and in fact, are already looking at when we can come back again! One of the biggest upsides (mind you, we've never been to any other Maldive resorts) to Conrad Maldives is that it has two islands and several restaurants so it never feels crowded. There is also so much wildlife on the island, we saw a bat or two flying between the islands almost every day. From the main island, looking at the sunset with villas and palm trees as a backdrop from the other island is pretty stunning.
However, there is one thing to note, if you want to have some peace and quiet when you come, Chinese New Year may not be the best time to visit. (Although I have to say, the CNY celebration dinner on the beach looked sensational! We did not participate in the all you can eat BBQ but we did take photos of the venue. And there were fireworks too!!).
Improvement note for Conrad: In general, staff are very sweet and always say hello but they need more confidence when responding to questions. Many seem unsure of their answers.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Barefoot luxury meets unpretentious style at this five star hotel in the Maldives. Home to whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and turtles, Conrad Maldives is set on two islands and is reached by a 30-minute seaplane flight. Select from 12 restaurants and bars including Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the Cheese Bar featuring 101 of the world's best cheeses, and an underground Wine Cellar with 20,000 bottles of fine wines. Relax at one of two spas or on the beautiful white sand beaches. Go diving and exploring on the many excursions available, including luxurious sunset cruises, big game fishing expeditions and local island hopping trips. Conrad Maldives is included in Conde Nast Traveler's 2013 Gold List of the Best 100 Hotels in the World and The World's 10 Best Beach Hotels. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hilton EMEA, Hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, Travelocity, Agoda, TravelUp, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Conrad Maldives Rangali Island reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Hotel Rangali Island
- Conrad Rangali Island
- Rangali Island Conrad
- Rangali Island Maldives