Here’s a mini trip report of our unforgettable stay in paradise. Stayed in Conrad Rangali Maldives for 6 days last December and really enjoyed all the island had to offer.. The Maldives were our first stop in our mini-asian tour that took us to Korea, India, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
The resort is pure luxury. They normally charge over $1600 for a one-night stay! Obviously, we can’t afford this but that is the beauty with travel hacking. We spent 225,000 Hilton Honor points for a 6-day stay and since I am a Gold Elite member, we got free breakfast as well as other Elite benefits.
We arrived in Maldives pretty late so we decided to stay in a hotel in Male for the night. They offered free shuttle and dropped us off the airport the next day where the Conrad reps took care of us. In the airport, the reps took our baggage and we were off to the seaplane lounge. The lounge was very impressive and gave us a good sense of what to expect. As soon as we landed, we were greeted by Ajay, our uber-funny host for our stay. We were then escorted to our Beach Villa (213). The villa had a private access to the beach along with a beautiful outdoor shower and tub. The room itself was spacious and the bed was amazing. We were welcomed with a bottle of red wine, some chocolates and fresh fruits as a HHonors Gold Elite member.
One of the main things we wanted to do in Maldives was to discover as much as much of the marine life as possible. We thought that it was the perfect time to improve our scuba skills and decided to take the Advanced Diver’s license course which included six dives. Long story short, all our dives proved to be unforgettable. We have never seen so many sharks, turtles, manta rays and eagle rays on dives. We were also blown away by the house reef. We constantly saw baby black tip sharks along with plenty of other coral life. Most of the time, we were the only ones diving so this meant that we had the huge dive boat to ourselves. One of the guys manning the boat made was truly unforgettable as he was the best tea maker in the land which he prepared for us after every dive.
We also wanted to do as many excursions as possible so we signed up for the Deserted Island Picnic and Night Fishing. I recommend both of these since they were a great experience and provided great value for your money. The island picnic included free lunch while you explore an island not too far off Rangali. We also went snorkeling in this trip. The night fishing was one of our favorite activities, they provided free snacks and all the equipment. After I casted my first line, within 5 seconds I caught my first barracuda! This excursion would be great with young kids too! We then arranged for the fish that we caught to be our dinner the next day!
We also had a private yoga class. Conrad offers several free classes throughout the week but since none of them worked with our diving schedule, we scheduled a private class for a small fee. This was well worth it as we were the only two in the class and the instructor really did a great job teaching us yoga rookies. We also attended a marine biology class hosted by the resident marine biologist. We started with a powerpoint presentation of the different marine species you can see around the island followed by a snorkeling trip with the biologist. It was very educational and we really enjoyed it. Highly recommend it and it’s free! We also did cocktails at the Ithaa underwater restaurant and while it was pricey, it was a once in a lifetime experience we couldn’t pass up. We saw turtles and sharks along with plenty of other marine life!
We also received spa treatments one night, and while it was short, it was definitely an experience. They gave us discount coupons for couple treatments so we decided to avail of this. I think it included a body scrub and a massage. We also had a one on one session with the resident acupuncture person. I have always been curious about acupuncture and she informed us about its origin, benefits, etc. It was a good 2 hour lesson that was also free of charge. One night, we attended another marine biology presentation at the Rangali bar. It was an informal setting where the resident biologist presented some cool facts about marine life.
These are other random things that we did throughout our stay. Watch the manta rays play by the bridge. Play pingpong with Fayaz and the rest of the guys from the sports and activities department. Our guide on the Island Picnic tour is a renowned free diver and he showed us this by diving over 30 meters on a single breath while taking our camera to take pics of what was at the bottom. Amazing! Also enjoyed Maldivian night with the local band. As for food, we tried the buffet but most of the time we just ate at Rangali or the Quiet Zone. Everything we ordered was amazing! I recommend the Rangali Burger, Lobster, Lamp Chops among other things! Also, their mushroom sauce was amazing! It came with the burger but I requested it with everything! We also took advantage of the cocktails at the bar as well as the free tea/sandwiches/cakes for Golds/Diamonds.
For our last night, we decided to upgrade to an Over Water Villa (OWV). Although we are partial to our beach villa because of the size and direct access to the beach, our OWV stay was definitely an unforgettable experience. We decided to get our breakfast delivered since it was a long way from the main island. There is a private stairs to go down the house reef as well as a jacuzzi.
All in all, we were really blown away by the property. What made the stay truly unforgettable though were the people. Ajay, Fayaz and everyone we met thoughout our stay just welcomed us and made us feel like family. On the day we left, we received a stuffed jellyfish toy from Ajay and the rest of the Conrad staff as they bid us farewell from the Seaplane dock.
Here’s some more pictures of paradise..
Here’s the rest of the pictures with Rac’s commentary..