When you plan a stay in Maldives the choice of the resort is primary. You have to check both the kind of villas proposed and the size of the island because you will not be able to go elsewhere once you arrive. So to be sure to have a perfect stay, I simply booked the #1 Maldivian resort multi-awarded by Conde Nast Traveller, the Conrad Rangali Island.
This Hilton property is a resort split on 2 islands linked by a bridge, one main island with restaurants, tennis courts, dive center and other sea activities and one small island, more private and exclusive. We tried both a Deluxe Beach Villa and an Overwater Spa Villa, they were truly impressive with specific furnitures as you can see in pictures. The first one has a private pool on its own garden and an outside sunken bath, completely private with a direct access to the white-sand beach while the second one has a jacuzzi and a private Spa room. We spend 3 days in each category and you can believe me, we certainly didn’t want to leave after a week in that paradise…
All non-motorized activities were complimentary and they provide some basic diving stuff ; but be prepare to give lot of money for food, especially if you don’t have any inclusive package. A simple dish start at 20 USD/person + taxes while the daily half-board is at 90 USD/person/day. Same for excursions, even if they offer 2 tours if you are Gold or Diamond HHonors member.
Before coming there I have seen so many pictures of the Conrad Rangali, I barely knew all areas before actually see them. But when we arrived, I have been highly impressed by everything: the lobby, the restaurant, the 2 SPAs, the ways to go to both beach and water villas… Just wow !
The large wooden bridge linking the 2 islands is very convenient and pleasant – especially at night – where you can see lot of Manta rays. On the main island side you will find all activities and restaurant while on the small island, much more exclusive, you have only water villas.
Regarding snorkelling areas, these place is just perfect: lot of colorful fishes and corals mainly in the Overwater Spa Villas zone.
Like the rest of the resort, accomodations are truly impressive and lead you to stars – I should say to 5-star !
We stayed the first 3 nights in a 300 sqm Deluxe Beach Villa with pool and direct access to the beach. It was very very large with a private garden including a sunken bath. I regret one thing, the morning noises made by birds… Very annoying even with Quies balls ; I would prefer to have peaceful mornings but it reminds you that you are on a natural island.
Then the last 3 nights were past in an 150 sqm Overwater Spa Villa, still on the main island. This set of villas is part of the Overwater Spa, so one night there = 300 USD/night/person voucher available at the SPA. Let me say that we enjoyed many treatments :) Concerning the villa itself it’s huge with its private SPA room, 2 terraces and 1 outdoor jacuzzi. The wooden indoor is pretty nice although I didn’t like so much the open-air bathroom.
In Maldives you have no choice, you must use the restaurant of your resort-island. We went to restaurant twice a day for breakfast and dinner ; some people where there with a half-board package but we had only breakfast inclusive so we were careful to the food prices for dinner.
The buffet breakfast experience is very good with plenty of choice: fresh fruit juice, cooked eggs, japanese/chinese food, etc. with table directly in the white-sand beach. In the evening restaurant is not so pleasant as there is very few light even if all dishes we tried during 6 days were impressive.
Level of exigency
Upon arrival at Conrad Rangali by seaplane you are greeted by a villa host – who usually speaks you native language – and he will take care of you during your whole stay ; if needed he will even give you his mobile number. Then all people from room-service, cleaning, waiters and SPA therapists were very friendly and smily ; I have absolutely no complain to do about them as they also made our stay pleasant.
Stay from April 30th to May 8th 2011
The Conrad Rangali Island is a Hilton property opened in 2006, composed of 150 beach and overwater villas. For our stay we opted for 2 different kinds of villas, the Deluxe Beach Villa (300sqm + pool) at 600 USD/night during 3 nights and an Overwater Spa Villa (150sqm + jacuzzi) at 1100 USD/night including a 300 USD daily SPA voucher for 2 for the last 3 nights. However since Summer 2012 these rates have been seriously increased, almost double.