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Nov 17
2019
Sun

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Review. A beautiful Resort

The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is known as the most aspirational Hilton property in the world – this reputation is deserved! The Conrad Maldives is a wonderful luxury resort. They opened in 1997 and have provided excellence since then. I had a brilliant stay with my family – they got everything right! The villa was newly refurbished, the service was excellent, and we were made to feel special as a Hilton Gold.

The Conrad Maldives Resort is large and located on 2 private islands. For this reason, this is a comprehensive review with lots of photos and short videos. I had great fun writing the article, as I recalled the fantastic time I had with my family!

To give you a taste of the resort, view this 1 minute video of the main beach and pool


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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What I liked

  • The lounge at Male seaplane terminal was large and bright
  • The villa we stayed in was recently refurbished, spacious and stunning
  • The service was excellent
  • The breakfast at the atoll bar was spectacular
  • Kids meals were complimentary at the Rangali Bar
  • Excellent benefits as a Hilton Honors Gold
  • Kids club had lots of activities. My daughter enjoyed it
  • The existence of 2 islands provides more interest than most Maldives resorts
     

What could be improved

Nothing comes to mind..

Booking the trip

I booked 5 nights using 380k Hilton Honors points. Hilton Honors give away a 5th night free on redemption bookings, so I paid for 4 nights at 95k each. It took 2 years for me to save up enough points - through a combination of Hilton stays and AMEX transfers. The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has long been seen as the most aspirational Hilton Redemption in the world. There is the newer Waldorf Astoria Maldives however, which may take its place.

I stayed for 5 nights at the Holiday Inn Maldives before coming here - which was a little underwhelming. I got a speedboat from the Holiday Inn Maldives at 7.30am, took a seaplane from Male at 9.45am and was in the villa by 11.30am. This was fantastic, as I got to enjoy a full day at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island!

Maldives Location Guide

The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean, south of Sri Lanka. Holidays to the Maldives, are on many people’s bucket list – and for good reason. There are something like 200 luxury resorts here.

Each resort is usually located on a private island, which brings a wonderful level of luxury. The Indian ocean is calm, and the water is crystal clear. A private island brings a level of isolation and calm that is difficult to replicate anywhere else.

The downside to the Maldives is the expense. When you visit, expect to get hosed at every step. The flights are expensive, the transfers to islands cost extra, and the food costs on each island are extortionate. But hey, who said paradise was free?!

Transfer. The Lounge in Male

The journey starts at the Conrad Maldives Lounge at Male Seaplane terminal. The lounge is bright and spacious and has a small breakfast spread. The breakfast buffet consisted of fruit, bread, pastries, cold cuts and cereals. I did not get to eat anything, as I was too busy taking photos and videos!

The staff were able to check me in there and then, without us having to waste time at the hotel. There is small outside balcony, which has a brilliant view of the seaplanes outside.

I had about 30 minutes in the lounge. This is the same time that you will have – which is a a pity, as I would have liked to stay longer.

I took a 1 minute video walkthrough of the lounge. See if you can spot Soulful Travel Daughter wandering through the lounge!
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Transfer. Sea Plane

To get to the resort, you must fly via seaplane from Male airport. A sea plane transfer is always a terrific experience, and this one is no exception. The take off from the water, and the tiny aircraft are a unique experience! As you fly, you can see the crystal clear Maldivian waters and the 5* resorts below. I am from a humble background, so I do not take these moments for granted!

It took about 25 minutes from the Male to the hotel. We had a stop off at the Lux hotel on the way. When you get to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, you land at the seaplane terminal on the bridge between the 2 islands.

I took a really cool video of the seaplane take-off, check it out below.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The resort. Main Island

The resort is made up of 2 islands - the main island and an adults-only island. To cross between the 2 islands, you have a bridge and a boat service. You can either walk over the bridge or use the buggy service. The main island has the following:

  • Main pool
  • Kids pool
  • Rangali Bar
  • Atoll Market
  • Gym
  • Tennis courts
  • Spa
  • Shops
  • Underwater restaurant
  • Table Tennis
  • Business Centre
  • Reception


The main island caters for families, and the accomodation is mainly beach villas.

The resort. Adults Only Island

The adults only island is smaller and is populated with overwater villas. It contains a spa, quiet zone bar, adult infinity pool, Vilu restaurant and a shop.

The adults-only island has a different feeling to the main island. You don’t see many people, as all of the occupants are in the water villas. It feels calmer and more relaxed compared to the main island. I was informed by the staff that the villas on the adults-only island are more luxurious. The view from the adults only island is also better than the view from the main island.

The villa. Deluxe Beach Villa

I was upgraded from a beach villa to a deluxe beach villa, on account of my Hilton Gold Status. The main difference is that the deluxe villa has a small private pool. The villa has been recently refurbished and is spectacular! It features the following:

  • Beautiful back garden with day bed, swinging chair, fountain and shower
  • Desk area overlooking the back garden
  • Separate indoor shower
  • Nespresso coffee
  • Walk in wardrobe
  • Dressing table
  • Private pool at the front
  • Private pathway to the beach

I was greeted with red wine, chocolates and fruit. I assume that this was down to my Hilton Gold Status. Thank you Conrad Maldives Rangali Island!

I uploaded a video walk through of the villa on Instagram. I definitely recommend you view it, as it shows just how beautiful the villa is.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The villa. Water Villa

I did not stay in a water villa, but I was able to walk by and get a few shots from the outside. There are a few water villas on the main island, and lots on the adults only island. You can view the photos in the slideshow above.

The villa. Underwater Villa

One novelty at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is the underwater villa. It cost $15mm to build and $50k/night to stay at. The villa is located over 2 levels, with the lower level being underwater. The villa can be accessed via a private pathway from the main island. The staff informed me that the villa was fully booked at all time – but I don’t know if I believe them!

Elite Recognition

As a Gold Hilton Honors member, the treatment was truly fantastic:

  • Villa upgrade to deluxe beach villa
  • Free breakfast
  • Afternoon tea at Vilu restaurant from 3.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Happy Hour drinks and cocktails between 4.30pm and 5.30pm at the quiet zone bar


This is truly a fantastic package. Breakfast at the Atoll market costs $37.50 per person. The minimum cost of a meal is $30 per person, so the afternoon tea is a welcome benefit.

I stayed at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island for 5 day with my wife and daughter. So I would value the above benefits at about $1,000.

The food. Breakfast

You have 2 choices for breakfast as a Hilton Gold, Atoll Market or Vilu Restaurant. I chose to eat at the Atoll market for each of the 5 days at the resort. The breakfast at the Atoll market is a vast buffet, whereas the Vilu Restaurant had some items from a menu and a small buffet. I had intended to eat one day at the Vilu restaurant (for review purposes), but was told repeatedly that there was no point as the breakfast at the Atoll Market was better. Vilu restaurant is located on the adults-only island and is there to provide a ‘local option’ to the people staying there.

The breakfast at the Atoll market is spectacular! The full price is $37.50 per person, although it is complimentary for Hilton Golds. The variety and quality are amongst the best I have had at a hotel. There were 7 separate counters with worldwide cuisine:

  • Chinese counter, with dumplings, fried rice, beef etc.
  • Pancakes and Waffles
  • Cook to order eggs, hash browns, sausages etc.
  • Fresh juice counter
  • Sushi counter
  • Fresh fruit and cereal counter
  • Cold cuts counter


There are a few touches that made the breakfast extra special. The variety of fresh fruit included exotic fruit like mangosteen, mango and lychees. The presence of a sushi counter was clearly unique. The offering of red meat like beef was also unusual. The quality of the food was very good – over the 5 days I tried:

  • Seafood dumplings
  • Waffles
  • Pancakes
  • Crepes
  • Lots of fresh fruit
  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Bagels
  • Sushi


Nearly every dish was very good. The fresh fruit was spectacular – lychees, mangosteen and mango are probably my 3 favourite fruits! The only disappointment came from the coffee, which was pretty average.

I took lots of photos in the above slideshow!

The food. Lunch and dinner

We ate at the Rangali Bar most days, as it was near the kids club and the main pool. The food there was pricey (around $30 for the cheapest mains) but good quality. One non-advertised benefit at the Rangali bar is that they didn’t charge for kids meals. We had a number of meals over 5 days – and most of those meals were solid:

  • Fish and chips
  • Pizza
  • Steak sandwich
  • Chicken Tikka
  • Vegetable curry and naan
  • Chicken wings

The food. Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea was held each day at the Vilu Restaurant between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. This is complimentary for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. Vilu Restaurant is adults only, but kids are allowed at this time. There are the options of:

  • 2 sandwiches
  • 1 cake
  • 1 tart
  • Scones
  • Tea (no coffee)


The food was good quality - although fattening!

The view from Vilu Restaurant is fantastic, and there is an outside deck where you can sit and enjoy it. I took a bunch of photos of the afternoon tea, and these can be viewed in the slideshow above.

The Drinks. Happy Hour at Quiet Zone bar

Immediately following afternoon tea is happy hour at the Quiet Zone Bar, where drinks are flowing for 1 hour.

  • Spirits
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Cocktail of the day


Happy hour is complimentary for Hilton Golds and Diamonds. The Quiet zone bar is located on the adults-only island – a 10 minute walk from the Vilu restaurant.

The view from the bar was spectacular, as you look at the main island!

Main Pool area

The main pool at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is not large, but it is beautiful and charming. It is located in the main area, next to:

  • Reception
  • Rangali Bar
  • Atoll Market Restaurant
  • Kids club
  • Underwater restaurant
  • Bridge to the adults-only island
  • Water sports centre
  • Dive Centre


I spent 2 days by the main pool and 2 days in our private pool. I enjoyed both very much. The main advantage of being in the main pool, is that you have access to all of the activities.

The following activities are complimentary:

  • Snorkelling
  • Kayaking
  • Pedalo
  • Paddle boards


I did try snorkelling a couple of times but the house reef is pretty terrible. I did not see any fishes, and nobody I spoke to saw any fishes! The snorkelling at the Holiday Inn Maldives is much better!

I took a couple of video walkthroughs of the main area. The 1st video was in early afternoon, and the 2nd video was at 6am and includes a seaplane taking off!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Adult Pool

The adult infinity pool is located near the quiet zone bar on the adult island. It was never busy during the 5 days that I was there. The pool is very pretty when you are up at the top, but the area did not feel as inviting as the main pool.

I got up at 5.30am to take a video walk through of the adult pool, so please view it and ensure that I did not get up for nothing!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Family friendliness

I stayed with my wife and my 3-year-old daughter, and I was super impressed with the kid friendliness of the resort:

  • Kids Pool
  • No charge for kids meals at the Rangali Bar
  • Kids club open from 9am to 6pm each day


In particular, the kids club was really good. They are able to look after kids from age 3 upwards. They have a range of activities including t-shirt painting, coffee painting, athletics events etc. My daughter enjoyed her time there and had more fun there than she had with us! The staff were excellent too – the club reminded me of my daughter’s nursery in London!

Conclusion

My stay at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island was one of the very best family holidays I have had. I say this, even though I am fortunate enough to have stayed at many great places. The villa was beautiful, the Hilton Gold benefits were impressive, the island is amazing and the food was very good. The Conrad Maldives remains the best Hilton Honors redemption in the world!

I would love to get your views! Have you been to the Conrad Maldives? Did you like my review? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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