The Maldives is one of the most aspirational destinations, especially for those in the points and miles game. Getting to stay at a resort that costs upwards of a thousand dollars a night on points is one of the best redemptions out there. Of course, there are unavoidable fees like the transfer to the airport and the cost of food, but if you are looking to redeem points for a stay in the Maldives, it doesn’t get much better than the Conrad Maldives. Here’s my review of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.
Booking the Conrad Maldives with Points
The Conrad Maldives is bookable for 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night. This will get you a Beach Villa or an Overwater Villa, depending on availability. This is also a great chance to use a Hilton Free Weekend Night Certificate. You can read more about the booking process here. About a month before your stay, you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade your room for all or part of your stay. Rates change based on the season, but here’s what we were offered last November:
- Water Villa to Superior Water Villa – $80+taxes per night
- Water Villa to Retreat Water Villa – $280+taxes per night
- Water Villa to Deluxe Water Villa – $520+taxes per night
- Water Villa to Premier Water Villa – $960+taxes per night
Should You Upgrade from a Water Villa to a Superior Water Villa?
We decided to upgrade from a Water Villa to a Superior Water Villa for a few reasons:
- The bed in the Superior Water Villa faces the water while the bed in the Water Villa faces a wall.
- The Superior Water Villa has a hot tub instead of a plunge pool. Even though the Maldives is warm, it’s more fun to drink champagne in a hot tub.
- Superior Water Villas all have sunset views while you may or may not get a sunset view with a Water Villa.
- There is more space between Superior Water Villas than regular Water Villas.
Location and Getting to the Conrad Maldives
Getting to the Maldives from the United States is a long journey. In addition to flight to Male which will likely require several connections, you then have to take a boat or plane to your hotel. Since we were planning to do our honeymoon in Japan, we decided to tack on three nights in the Maldives. We took advantage of the free stopover on Alaska Airlines and flew from Tokyo to Singapore and then booked separate flights to and from the Maldives. I highly recommend a stopover in Singapore on the way to the Maldives.
Once at the airport in Male, there are two ways to get to the Conrad Maldives which is located in the South Ari Atoll. You can take a 30-minute seaplane flight or a domestic flight to a nearby island with a speedboat transfer. All travel to and from the island is arranged by the resort. The seaplane option is the most popular but will set you back about $560 per person. This is one of those unavoidable expenses of the Maldives. Note that the seaplane is only available for flights arriving in Male between 6:00am and 4:00pm. Otherwise, you may have to spend a night in Male and head to the Conrad Maldives the next day.
While waiting for the seaplane transfer, you will get to hang out in the Conrad Lounge. Here you can have breakfast or lunch and a complimentary neck or shoulder massage.
Arrival and Check-In
While expensive, the seaplane transfer was pretty cool. We dropped off a few couples at other resorts before arriving at the Conrad Maldives. Upon arrival, we were brought into a waiting room by the dock and offered a welcome drink and cold towel. The resort is made up of two islands with a walkway connecting the two. The seaplane platform and welcome area are located halfway between the walkway. Each couple had a staff member greet them and bring them to the lobby for check-in on the main island. After checking in, we were driven back across the walkway to our room. The check-in process was seamless and a great start to our stay.
Once on the island, everything is pretty much walkable. There is a boat that connects the two islands. You also have the option to call for a ride if needed. We loved walking across the walkway at night when the water was illuminated. We even saw manta rays swimming under the walkway!
Conrad Maldives Superior Water Villa
Here’s the exterior of our superior water villa.
The villa consisted of one larger room with doors on two sides that opened up to the deck. The interior was a bit dated, but the rooms will be undergoing renovations soon. Some of the furniture was stained or scuffed, but I assume this will be addressed with the remodel.
Our king-sized bed was artfully decorated since we were on our honeymoon.
At the foot of the bed was a comfy leather couch. We had a bottle of sparkling rosé and a fruit platter as a welcome amenity.
In front of the couch was a lounge chair.
Here’s a view of the deck from the bed. A perfect view to wake up to.
Back towards the entrance of the room was a shelving unit with a mini bar, Nespresso, and bottled water that was replenished daily. There was a desk to the right of the shelves.
The closet was large with drawers, shelves, and hangers. It felt somewhat unfinished like it would be in a cabin rather than a luxury villa. There was also a nice beach bag in the closet that we used for the entirety of our stay.
The bathroom was massive with a standalone tub overlooking the deck, two sinks, and a large shower.
Here’s a shot of the other sink.
The shower was a good size. The shampoo and conditioner in the shower were refillable, but they also gave us some individual Temple Spa toiletries on the second day.
The toilet was in a separate room.
As I mentioned, the room didn’t come with individual shampoo and conditioner, but there was no shortage of dental kits and other toiletries.
Hanging on the wall were two bathrobes.
Out on the deck, we had a hot tub, two lounge chairs with a small table and umbrella, and a larger table with chairs.
We didn’t hang out here much during the day, but we found it nice to take a dip in the hot tub before dinner.
Behind the wall near the lounge chairs was the ladder that led to the water. We preferred heading to the Quiet Zone pool and beach during the day since the water off the villa was extremely shallow. We climbed down the first day and the water was below our knees. Also, there were a ton of crabs on the ladder.
On our first night, we enjoyed the sunset from our hot tub while drinking the sparkling rosé. Not a bad start to our time in the Maldives!
One more shot of the sunset!
Amenities and Activities at the Conrad Maldives
The Conrad Maldives has all the amenities you need since you can’t really leave the island. There are two pools: the main pool on the main island and the Quiet Zone pool for adults only. The Quiet Zone pool is located on the same island as the Superior Water Villas so this is where we spent most of our time.
There are plenty of beach spots on the island. We tended to stay at the Quiet Zone beach. There is also a house reef for snorkeling off the main island.
There are two spa facilities, the Spa Retreat and the Over Water Spa. The resort has a fitness center, an open-air meditation pavilion on the beach, an outdoor tennis court, beach volleyball, and a ping pong table. Also, the resort has three boutiques, a business center, a Dive Center and a Watersports center. Snorkels and kayaks are free to use.
The Conrad Maldives offers an array of activities for a fee including snorkeling trips like the whale shark tour and turtle safari, night fishing, a local island tour, a dolphin cruise, and sunset champagne cruise. We did the turtle safari which is essentially a snorkeling trip that goes to areas where there might be sea turtles. Luckily, we got to see sea turtles and lots of manta rays!
As I mentioned earlier, there is a small boat service that can ferry you between the islands though we found it easier to walk.
Dining at the Conrad Maldives
The Conrad Maldives has 11 restaurants and bars:
- Ufaa: A Chinese restaurant with dim sum and a teahouse.
- Ithaa Undersea Restaurant: The world’s first undersea restaurant located five meters below the water. It is open for mid-morning cocktails, a four-course lunch, and a six-course dinner. See my full review here.
- The Wine Cellar: Locate two meters underground, this restaurant offers a five-course menu with wines.
- The Cheese and Wine Bar: A small restaurant with a tapas night and a fondue night.
- Vilu Restaurant and Bar: A waterside restaurant open for breakfast and dinner. Breakfast here is included for Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors members. Gold and Diamond members also can come here for a free happy hour each day.
- Mandhoo Spa Restaurant: An open-air over-water restaurant with healthier options.
- Atoll Market: A breakfast and dinner buffet with Asian, Italian, Japanese, and Indian cuisine in addition to a grill and deli. Breakfast is complimentary for Gold and Diamond members.
- Koko Grill: A beach grill with Japanese cuisine.
- Sunset Bar and Grill: An open-air restaurant on stilts overlooking a coral reef.
- Rangali Bar: A bar near the main pool open for lunch and dinner. There is live music here in the evenings.
- The Quiet Zone: An adults-only restaurant serving lunch and dinner.
You can make reservations via email before your stay. This is especially important for dinner at the nicer restaurants and any of the seating times at Ithaa. We had breakfast at Atoll Market twice and Vilu once. I think it’s worth trying both, but the buffet was my favorite.
For dinner on our first night, we had a casual meal at Rangali Bar. The next night we had the tapas dinner at the Cheese and Wine Bar. We enjoyed the meal, but this is more like a chef’s table so expect to be conversing with other couples dining that night.
On our last night, we ate at Ithaa. It’s expensive, but worth it for the experience. The benefit of going at dinner time is getting to see the water before and after sunset.
As someone who isn’t really a beach person, the Maldives truly exceeded my expectations. We loved staying at the Conrad Maldives for our honeymoon. I felt like the room had plenty of privacy and the islands are large enough that you can feel like you are on your own. While the water off our villa was too shallow for swimming, the view from our deck was so worth it. As a Hilton Diamond or Gold member, the Conrad Maldives is an easy choice for the complimentary breakfast and happy hour. This will allow you to spend more money on fancy dinners and activities. Overall, I highly recommend the Conrad Maldives for its wide selection of restaurants, beautiful beaches, and good service.