This is part two of a trip report from the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and includes a full review of the resort, our upgrade, amenities, activities, costs, and more. This is also part nine of a fifteen part trip report from my travels to the Maldives and Dubai. If you haven’t yet, check out – Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort Part 1 – Airport Experience, Lounge, and Seaplane Transfer for award booking details, Conrad airport lounge and transfer, and seaplane details.
- Trip Report – United Economy Plus JFK-LAX
- Korean Air First Class Lounge LAX
- Trip Report Part 1 – Emirates First Class on the A380 w/ Shower Suite – LAX – Dubai (DXB)
- Trip Report Part 2 – Emirates First Class on the A380 w/ Shower Suite – LAX – Dubai (DXB)
- Emirates First Class Lounge – A380 Terminal – Concourse A – Dubai
- Emirates First Class Lounge Concourse B – Dubai
- Trip Report – Emirates First Class DXB- Malé (MLE) – DXB B777-200LR
- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort Part 1 – Airport Experience, Lounge, and Seaplane Transfer
- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort Part 2 – The Resort – Rooms, Upgrades, Amenities, Activities, Restaurants, and Costs
- Male Airport Plaza Premium Lounge
- Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort
- Emirates Business Class Lounge – A380 Terminal – Concourse A – Dubai
- Trip Report – Emirates First Class DXB – Milan (MXP)
- Trip Report – Emirates Lounge Milan
- Trip Report – Emirates First Class MXP – JFK B777-300ER
As noted in the first post, I reserved a standard twin beach villa for 37,500 points per night and that was the room that was shown on the registration forms in the airport lounge. However, I logged into Hilton from the lounge and was extremely excited to see that I was upgraded to a King Water Villa!
I was quite surprised as I had received this email just a few weeks earlier:
Due to the very special nature of the accommodations at Conrad Maldives, we are unable to offer complimentary upgraded accommodations. However, as you are a valued Diamond member, we are delighted to offer you the following benefits during your stay. Please ensure that your Diamond status is active upon arrival in order to enjoy full Diamond member benefits. Kindly note that Diamond benefits are only applicable for cardholder and one guest. In the event that cardholder is not travelling, guests who are staying with us will not be able to enjoy the benefits below.
- Complimentary breakfast for cardholder and one guest per day. Additional guests will be charged at $35 + taxes per adult per day. Children below 12 years old get 50% discount.
- One bottle of wine upon arrival
- Chocolate & Fruit amenities upon arrival
- Daily Happy Hour at Vilu restaurant for you and sharing guest in same villa from 17.00 – 18.00 hours
If you wish to upgrade your villa for your upcoming stay, either for the entire stay or partial stay, I am pleased to offer 30% discount on upgrade charges. The discounted upgrade rates from Beach Villa to the below mentioned villa categories as follows.
Beach Villa to Water Villa – USD 350.00 + taxes per night
Beach Villa to Deluxe Beach Villa – USD 350.00 + taxes per night
Beach Villa to Superior Water Villa – USD 525.00 + taxes per night
Beach Villa to Retreat Water Villa – USD 665.00 + taxes per night
Beach Villa to Deluxe Water Villa – USD 840.00 + taxes per night
Beach Villa to Premier Water Villa – USD 1,645.00 + taxes per night
Beach Villa to Junior Beach Suite – USD 1,645.00 + taxes per night
I posted about the upgrade that day and received a few reader comments / suspicions that it was not my HHonors Diamond status but my blog that was responsible for the upgrade. However, I at no time contacted the hotel prior to my arrival and did not post my confirmation number or any other personal information. Here is how the hotel responded to those comments:
No, we did not read BoardingArea, but we saw twitter this morning when you tweeted that you’d been upgraded and that led us here to your blog. Your upgrade really was due to your HHonors diamond status. It’s not correct that upgrades aren’t offered at Conrad Maldives. We do upgrade diamond members, but we can’t guarantee the upgrade because of the large number of HHonors guests we get and the small size of the resort (we can easily have 35 diamond members at any one time and we’ve only got 150 villas). To avoid disappointment we advise everyone that the upgrade isn’t possible and then try to upgrade if we can.
Picking up from part 1, our host walked us from the seaplane dock across the bridge to the main reception area on the main island.
Welcome coconut drinks. There’s a check-in desk but all guests are leisurely seated while the host brings over any paperwork and information pamphlets. We were told our room wouldn’t be ready for another 30-45 minutes, but in the meantime we were offered a drink menu. No worries, chilling on the beach with two drinks was fine with us.
Our water villa upgrade was confirmed and was located on the other smaller and quieter island. There’s the bridge as well as constant boat service to the private island. We went with the boat…
Walkway to our room:
Our water villa: for me the highlights were the extremely comfortable bed, awesome shower, and the water views from the floor.
However, the best part of the villa by far was the outdoor area. Two chaise lounges, a table and chairs, private jacuzzi, and direct stair access out to the sea. The sea behind our villa was great for snorkeling (and we saw some great reef fish) but it paled in comparison to the sea life and coral that the beach reef offered on the other side of the island – make sure you snorkel there during your stay…the drop off is especially incredible. Also, note that it’s extremely shallow behind the water villas, I found it easier to just start snorkeling from the final step…oh and watch out for the crabs on the stairs. In any case, being able to walk out into your private ocean was incredible. We barely ever saw or heard from anyone else and found ourselves in the water every 30 minutes or so. You have complete privacy with walls blocking adjacent villas, though anyone in the water can look up onto the decks (though some rooms offer more privacy than others). Our neighbors didn’t seem to mind going topless…
We spent most of our days just lying out there. Most guests seem to do the same regardless of their room type as we really saw no one anywhere except at breakfast, dinner, and happy hour! The resort was 80% full and we literally went for extended periods without seeing anyone anywhere on the public property. Even at the amazing beach reef, we were by ourselves or had one or two other guests around, same went for the pool on the smaller island. The main pool had people but it wasn’t crowded by any stretch of the imagination.
Let’s take a break and talk some pricing for food and activities. Everything is pretty expensive! I guess for some honeymoon couples this might be a splurge event, but we were not honeymooning! Dinners priced between $115 – $350 per person , drinks at $7 – $18, and activities generally starting at $110 per person.
Our take – we heard from several guests who had done the snorkel safari and snorkel hopping that the on property snorkeling at the beach reef was actually where the boats were stopping in addition to one other stop. Granted, they got further out but almost everyone unanimously agreed that the coral and sea life was better by the hotel! While it might have been a bit washed out behind our water villa, it was fantastic at the beach reef. As such, we skipped the snorkel activities.
In terms of food, we skipped a formal lunch and had breakfast between 10 – 11am each day. The breakfast choices on both the smaller island and the main island were extensive with multiple options that included typical breakfast, dinner, and dessert items. We “took some snacks” every day to enjoy on our villa.
Breakfast on the smaller island (you can eat on either side, taking the boat or walking across the bridge). Inside and outside seating available with amazing views. Besides the buffet, there’s a full menu and you can order anything (and as much as) you want.
Later that day on our deck … some tuna salad, fruit, and hard boiled eggs (refrigerators in the room).
Breakfast on the main island included an omelet station, sushi station, juice bar, and more. – This breakfast was much larger with many “lunch” options including chicken and beef stir fry and reef fish.
Back at our villa again 😉 Maldivian tuna salad anyone?
Granted, if you are on a honeymoon or just a relaxing vacation this might become annoying and stressful as you probably aren’t supposed to be taking food “to-go”… For us, we didn’t mind and it was actually nice not having to waste an hour or more at a formal sit down lunch in the middle of a beautiful day!
Everyone comes out of hiding for free alcohol and some socialization after spending the days alone. A free happy hour occurs every night at 5pm and many guests are there for the free drinks, getting in as many as possible before 6pm rolls around. We made many good friends at happy hour (what up Boston? and BoardingArea readers) and the majority of people we met seemed to be doing the same as us for lunch (many on their honeymoons). You’ll also receive a small snack each night at happy hour.
Most nights after happy hour we weren’t all that hungry, especially for a buffet or $300+ dinner. The nights when we were hungry we opted for one of the bars where you can order awesome fresh fish for $28-$32 with a side salad and fries.
For those of you interested in spending too much on the buffet, here are some pics of what’s offered:
There was one formal dinner we had and that was our “honeymoon” dinner. All honeymoon couples are given one complimentary dinner and 50% off one activity…no marriage certificate required. The staff seemed to assume we were on a honeymoon as well…
There are evening entertainment activities but they were quiet empty, though we had a good time at the DJ & cocktail event, though it was mostly our happy hour friends and hotel staff.
A few more beautiful property pictures –
Entrance to our water villa..
Pool on the main island…
Quieter and more secluded pool on the smaller island…
Final night – your bed is decorated regardless of whether you are on a honeymoon or not…
If you don’t happen to get upgraded, the standard beach villa is pretty incredible too and is actually larger with a private outdoor shower…we actually really liked the room that we walked passed (and housekeeping allowed us tour) on to the way to the beach reef. It’s a completely different vibe, with a jungle / beach feel.
On our last night there we decided we wanted one more night in paradise…unfortunately awards were pricing at over 350,000 points for one night and this was the special rate quoted to me by the hotel to move to a beach villa that would be upgraded to a deluxe beach villa…
Instead I booked an extremely late flight back to Dubai and asked for late check out. We received a 4pm check-out that was later moved to 5pm, and then again to 6pm! Pretty awesome. Upon departure we were presented with a Conrad Maldives baggage tag and of course sent off with a full goodbye from the staff at the seaplane dock.
Let me mention here that we found the staff to be amazing. Everyone greeted us and was always smiling. Our housekeeper was the best and genuinely checked to ensure we were enjoying ourselves each day and that everything in our room was perfect. Our host was the same, never pushing any activities or reservations even though they work on commission and calling just to check that we were relaxing and in island mode. In fact, everyone from the servers to the pool attendants treated us so well. Nothing but great things to say about the staff.
Overall, we fully enjoyed our stay at the Conrad. The grounds were beautiful, our unexpected water villa was everything we pictured a Maldives hotel room to be, we loved walking out into the sea from our room, we made good friends, the staff was great, the weather was fantastic, and it was amazing to have the beach reef snorkel experience right there on property.
Phew…longest trip report ever!