Compulsory New Years Eve 2020 room supplement of USD 480 per adult and USD 350 per child subject to 10% service charge and 12% GST will be charged for all guests staying overnight on 31 December 2020.Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is an idyllic island paradise, with lush tropical greenery and unparalleled views of and access to the Indian Ocean. Nestled in the South Ari Atoll, renowned for its abundant flora and fauna, the resort combines awe-inspiring surroundings and intuitive service that connects guests with the charm of the Maldives.
Applauded for its pioneering achievements, Rangali Island was the first resort to offer undersea dining at its restaurant Ithaa. Its celebrity chef Chinese restaurant, Ufaa by Jereme Leung was a Maldives first, and it complements the other 10 restaurant and bars. Two spas, including one over the sea with glass-floored treatment rooms, offer relaxation and rejuvenation, and the rare and diverse marine wildlife on show cements Conrad Maldives Rangali Island as one of the premier island destinations worldwide.
A celebration of the Maldives, Rangali Island will ignite the imagination with adventure to be had, local culture to be explored and soul-enriching discoveries designed with meaning and purpose. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island connects global wanderers to the pulse of the Maldives through an inspired experience that quenches curiosity and nourishes the senses. Arrive and transform, and indulge in the adventure that stirs within. Discover a paradise unlike any other. Go on, Dive In.
Please note - Return transfers from Male Airport to your hotel are included. The Maldives Seaplane transfers operate during daylight hours only between 6:00am to 15:30pm. All international flights that land after 15:00pm will require an overnight stay in Male, Hulhumale or an airport hotel and then take the Seaplane transfer on the next day it is available. Therefore, when booking your holiday, please carefully check the arrival and departure times of your international flights to/from Male Airport.
Prices in the calendar are based on the cheapest room(s) available and your search criteria
My friend and I just returned from a terrific 7-night holiday at Conrad Rangali over the 2021/2022 festive season.
At the time of writing this review, I have been lucky enough to have visited 12 resorts in the Maldives (mostly in the 5* and above segment) and, after this holiday, Conrad Rangali has surely secured a spot at the top of my list of most favorite resorts thanks to the mind-blowing natural surroundings, idyllic Rangali island lagoon, and picturesque views from just about every corner of both islands. The entire Rangali complex is so absolutely visually stunning that when I first stepped foot on this property, I said to myself: “wow, WHY and HOW have I not come here sooner?!”...
But more on that below...
The pre arrival communication process with the Conrad front office team was solid but not the best I have experienced.
Logistically, we had a bit of an unconventional arrival and needed to organize a private speedboat transfer pickup from W (the resort we visited prior to Conrad). There were a few hiccups with regards to organizing this inter-island transfer since the Conrad team was unwilling to accept third party transfers due to newly implemented covid-19 safety protocols, and at the same time was reluctant to lower their transfer rate to something reasonable and comparable to what the third-party company was offering (originally, Conrad quoted us something like $1200++ for a 25 mile speedboat ride… no thanks).
After a few days of back and forth, we negotiated on a rate that was somewhat favorable to us but still a far cry from competitive or reasonable. Overall, I just wish that Conrad would have been a bit more flexible and transparent in this regard (via email, Conrad claimed that the reasoning behind not allowing third party transfers had to do with covid guidelines set forth by the government which upon review of several documentation are still nowhere to be found). If you’re not going to allow third party transfers due to your own covid regulations, that is totally fine and up to your discretion, but please, at least price your private transfers accordingly… rant over. Let’s talk a bit about rangali!
The Conrad Rangali property is set across two medium sized islands that are connected by a bridge. Rangalifinolhu is the larger, busier and more “family centric” island of the two and hosts both beach and water villas. it is also home to all restaurants except for vilu.
Rangali - dubbed as the “quiet island” is the soon-to-be adults only island that only hosts water villas , vilu restaurant one for breakfast and dinner, and the amazing quiet zone pool area. At the time of my visit, Rangali was undergoing renovations but for anyone visiting between now and march, rest assured that these renovations are very non-invasive (cosmetic upgrades to the room interiors have been the focus of the work) and there is no noise coming from Rangali. Rangali is also fully operational to guests so you can freely walk around all beaches and corners of the island without limitations or unsightly construction.
Upon arrival at Conrad, we met our amazing villa host Nizam and I was super pleased to hear that we had been assigned Grand Water Villa (GWV) 414 - the room that I had requested in advance.
Our GWV was huge and stunning and one of the most unique rooms I’ve ever stayed in. This room is the most private water villa we have ever had in the Maldives primarily because it very well-spaced from neighboring villas which is a unique selling point given that many new high-end resorts are packing rooms like sardines.
The living area is super spacious and has its own AC unit separate from that found in the bedroom. This means that you can create a true indoor/outdoor living arrangement in the living room by opening all the accordion-style windows, without it affecting the heat level in the bedroom. A true plus given just how hot these rooms become if there is no good air circulation. The overall hardware of the room is also very solid. We had relatively strong eastwards winds when we visited and were not bothered by the sound of the howling wind. The same cannot be said about what we experienced at other properties in the Maldives with similar wind strengths…
The bathroom is also iconic from a design standpoint. I am a sucker for floor to ceiling windows and this bathroom hit the spot since it is almost entirely enclosed in glass. Basically, all corners of the bathroom have views of the ocean which is very relaxing and makes brushing your teeth exciting rather than mundane. In a similar manner, the bedroom is also very well designed with huge windows and breathtaking views from the bed. The windows do partially open and the only “con” I can think of is that there is no direct deck access from the bedroom.
Speaking of the deck, this is the one aspect of the room that left me somewhat … underwhelmed. The deck is unexplainably small and can only be defined as treacherous. I appreciate that there are no railings (PLEASE, whatever renovations you do in the future, don’t add railings!!!), however the size of deck makes it hard to comfortably walk around and tan. Since our room was facing eastwards, the top section of the deck receives very little sunlight and the 4 steps between the top level of the deck and the lower level of the deck make it very hard to move the sunbeds from the top level to the lower level. I don’t understand why this deck was not enlarged during the renovations in 2020 as really it is very 4* and not up to standards with the rest of the room which really has an amazing layout.
My favorite part of the room, however, was the view. I am super picky when it comes to lagoon quality and colors and this view/color scheme of the lagoon did not disappoint (top 2 views I’ve ever had from a room for sure). 414 is unique in that it is the only one-bedroom grand water villa (both with pool and without pool) to be set atop of a totally sandy area with a completely unobstructed views of the horizon. No large stones, no algae, no seagrass. Just pure turquoise beauty.
All adjacent 1-bed rooms grand water villas either face Rangali island or have several rocks, stones, corals under the room or both. This is a perfect example of why the “last room on the jetty” isn’t necessarily always the best room for everyone.
My only complaint is that – for soft sand lovers – the sand under this villa is nowhere near the sand quality one might find at Cocoa Island for example. It is not pure, fine sand but rather sand mixed with very small coral bits. This makes walking under the room not as pleasant as one would hope.
Moving onto F&B. We found food at Rangali to also be very good. I don’t come to the Maldives for Michelin star food and nor am not the biggest food expert nor food critic (so take what I say with a grain of salt) but all the meals we had were delicious. A 2-course dinner here will range you from 190-300 USD inclusive of water and maybe a couple cocktails, but not a whole wine. Not cheap, but not terrible either (by Maldives standards that is). We had a chance to dine at all restaurants and liked all of them equally. Menus are sufficiently varied so that you don’t ever feel like you’re repeating dishes.
We also had breakfast at both vilu and atoll market. We only went to atoll market once since the vibe is totally 4* and not up to standards of a proper 5* property. More on why we didn’t like it in the “cons” section at the end of the review… but basically If you’re a couple looking for peace and good food, vilu is the way to go.
Finally, I wanted to leave the last part of the review to talk about the stunning nature of Conrad, and in particular the quiet/Rangali island, which is the main reason for why I will certainly be coming back to this wonderful property. I don’t think I have ever visited an island that left me completely speechless for so many days in a row. Each morning I would make my way to the quiet area and be in total disbelief of what was in front of me.
The lagoon area by the quiet zone pool is literal perfection and something that I have only maybe ever experienced at one other island. The quiet zone area is the most perfectly designed pool area of any pool I’ve ever been to in the Maldives (the concept is great… quiet and in touch with nature) and is only complemented by a lagoon with the most electric shades of blue with no traces of anything except sand and a few pieces of coral rubble here and there. It is almost hard to put into words how at peace one may feel when visiting the quiet zone.
Every single beach on Rangali is totally picturesque and belongs on a Maldives brochure.
The sand around Rangali island is not necessarily the softest either. On the quite zone beach, the sand is powder soft, but as soon as you enter the water, it does start to get a bit corall-y and doesn’t turn into find sand until several meters later. Similarly, the sand area in front of the deluxe water villas is also extremely coarse and full of coral bits and almost impossible to walk on without water shoes which is a real pity.
If, like myself, you are a huge lagoon lover, please do not give Rangali a miss. I really believe that Rangali is one of the last-standing beautiful lagoons in the Maldives. Many old school iconic lagoon islands have since stopped maintaining their lagoons so that they are now sadly affected by unsightly, enormous patches of sea grass, algae, coral rubble and more which are not natural, despite claims that they are.
You will find none of that at Conrad Rangali. You are sure to be completely mesmerized by the colors, contrasts, and beauty of the island the second you arrive.
As I close my review, I wanted to also touch on some additional areas of improvement/cons that – if addressed - would only make Rangali better ……😊
House reef (this one is an observation rather than an area of improvement, since Conrad cannot do anything): the house reef at Conrad is sadly the poorest, most dead house reef I’ve snorkeled in the Maldives. Sadly, I cannot see this reef recovering any time soon. There is literally no sign of regrowth anywhere, and the entire top coral section of the reef is completely gray and graveyard-like. Fish life was also super poor. If you’re looking for a solid house reef, this is not your island.
Mass Market Feel in certain areas of the island: There is an extreme mass market feel by the main pool area on rangalifinolhu as well as by atoll market, and in general an overbuilt feel on rangalifinolhu compared to Rangali. It is comparable to the vibe that one might find at an AI resort in Cancun. I understand that rangalifinolhu is a family-centric island, but the bar is overcrowded with far too many tables and far too much stuff going on. In the evenings, when it is darker out and you lose concept of how large this place is, the bar becomes slightly more enjoyable, but it is far from an intimate setting. Since all venues on the quiet island is closed at night, this makes it impossible to enjoy a drink in a more refined atmosphere.
Buggy Shortage: Lack of buggy availability if not reserving one in advance. If you show up at the reception and ask for a buggy, be prepared to wait at least 10 minutes.
Lack of House Water: there is (to my knowledge) no option for house water at restaurants or bars... why do I need to pay $15++ for water when other, more expensive, resorts either offer free water during meals or have it at a nominal charge between 2 and 5 USD ++? Hydration should be a right not a privilege….
Lack of Management Intervention: Absence of management at sponsored HHonors cocktails, during breakfast, and in general around the resort was a tad disappointing. Conrad is one of the few islands where the GM did not come to introduce herself during our entire stay stay (feeding into the concept that at times, Conrad Rangali does feel too mass market despite the 5* rating, probably due to its sheer size). I would have loved to exchange some words with her about the property she is running, but nonetheless never had the chance to.
Newly renovated villas on Rangali: We toured the newer entry water villas that are due to open in the next month and were not impressed with the redesign… Considering that these are newly designed villas on the more exclusive of the two islands, I can’t understand why more thought was not put into the overall design to make them more competitive with the ever-growing 5* market in the Maldives. I am glad that I had a chance to see them im person so that I know to never book one in the future. Here are some aspects of these rooms that I just can’t for the life of me wrap my head around: o The barriers on the side of the rooms are extremely invasive and completely obstruct the view given that these barriers flap inwards towards the end of the deck, severely inhibiting the view when you’re at the top edge of the deck or in your pool. I wish that these rooms had been structurally redesigned (sort of like the superior and deluxe wv) so that these barriers would have been rendered unnecessary as they really are a huge eyesore. o The sunrise water villas, in addition to having the barriers on the side, also have railings on the deck further obstructing the view! o The pool for the new water villas is super small, bathtub like almost, and cannot be used to enjoy a nice swim. I can imagine it only looks good when taking pictures on iPhone using the .5 lens…. Why not make it bigger so one can enjoy it? o The sliding door/window is super short to the point that I (6ft3) had to lower my head in order to comfortably pass through
Despite some caveats (which hopefully will be addressed in the coming months/years etc.), we enjoyed our holiday to the fullest and this is for sure a property that I will be coming back to either this year or next year!
Conrad is the perfect example that shows that there still are some properties that are offering luxurious holidays without sacrificing the fantastic natural aspect that so many of us come to the Maldives to experience.
See you again soon!
We stayed here at the beginning of December, for 6 nights in a Grand Water Villa, and 6 nights in a Beach Villa. Both were beautifully designed, and the water villa is easily the best we have stayed in, with spectacular views of the ocean and the lagoon from the deck, lounge, bathroom and bedroom. We really enjoyed to outside shower and bathing pavilion in the beach villa too, and the provision of two pairs of sunbeds – one in a private shaded (and rainproof) area, and one on the beach...
The accommodation is really well designed and superbly maintained by housekeeping, who rather spookily seemed to know when we were out, and made the room perfect again for our return.
The logistics operation is a well-oiled machine, from the warm greeting in Male airport arrivals, though the Conrad seaplane lounge, onto the seaplane, into the resort welcome lounge and then to the villa via the sand-floored reception.
The resort itself is spectacularly beautiful. It’s very hard to take a bad photograph here, even if you’re an amateur like me. We enjoyed the quiet buzz around the main pool area and Rangali Bar, and the tranquillity of the adults only Quiet Zone on Rangali Island.
There are enough dining venues – on the beach, underwater and overwater - to keep things varied over a two week stay. We tried them all, including the Fisherman’s BBQ on Koko beach. ITHAA was the most spectacular in terms of food and setting (and most expensive of course), but we loved dining on the deck, watching the fish and sharks at Sunset Grill and Mandhoo. We also tried the in-villa dining in both villas, which was excellent. The staff set the table and present the food to create a relaxing, private dining experience.
But what makes Conrad Maldives stand out from the other Maldives resorts we have visited are the amazing staff. They are without exception, exceptional, and are constantly trying to find ways to make your stay more enjoyable. They remember your name and what you like to drink, and never fail to acknowledge you when you pass one another. Special thanks to Hussain, our host, who along with Christy helped us to create a great dining plan and sorted out those pesky PCR tests, to Linda for making us feel so welcome at many of the dining venues, to Leo for his friendliness and personal service during happy hour, and to Moussa for the superb service he provided in Sunset Grill, ITHAA and Atoll.
We can't wait to visit again.
This was our second trip to the Conrad Maldives, both using Hilton Honors points. We stayed for 6 nights.
The islands are still as beuatiful as ever, but the Rangali Island villas (where we stayed before) were closed due to refurbishment.
The main island (where we had a beach villa for 2 nights and then a deluxe beach villa for 4 nights) is more family orinted and as a result MUCH noisier...
As someone who is quite noise sensitive, had we known this before booking, honestly we would not have come.
The beach villas were very close to the bar/restaurant and suffered from booming bass noise from DJ night which stopped all sleep. We let them know and they kindly moved us to a Deluxe Beach Villa. Sadly, this room was between two very noisy families with young children and meant we couldn't use the pool or garden after about 11am.
If you're looking for peace and tranquility then my advice is to wait until Rangali Island is open again and make sure you book a room over there. The noise issues spoilt our holiday somewhat, which was a shame.
Otherwise, the staff were unfailingly keen to please and the food was outstanding. Carla, the GM, is very hands on and approachable.
Finally, we did miss the afternoon tea at Mandhoo and the Oysters Rockefeller at Vilu - but I guess economies have to be made in these times. It just meant that our stay was a little bit less memorable or magical
Excellent service and cleanliness, high quality house reef / dive centre / sea sports facilities. Dual-island setup is spacious and never felt crowded. One side gives views of sunrise, the other, sunset...
There are few resorts we would visit multiple times, but we have already visited twice in the past couple of years!
My wife and I returned from a 5 night stay for our honeymoon in a Beach Villa from December 31-January 5. We are major travelers (though rarely use TripAdvisor) and are Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, members of various international members Clubs, etc.
We have been fortunate to travel to some of the finest hotels in the world, The Conrad Maldives is now at the top of the list.
It all stems from the resorts remarkable GM, Carla. Other reviewers are right to note her hand-on approach but it really is her humility that sets the tone of empowering her staff, regardless of their title, to ensure that every guest is treated like family...
We had a small issue with a seaplane that had nothing to do the resort, it actually had to do with the other 5 star resort we transited from, and Carla's team handled the situation with grace and speed to the point that we forgot about it an hour after arrival.
I'll leave it to others to comment on the extraordinary nature, and diversity, of food offerings, activities and ambiance. What stood out most to us, and is something truly to cherish, is the abundant wildlife on the islands and in the water which we all must preserve, through our tourism and economic support, for this incredible island state and these islands in particular.
I find some of the complaints to be genuinely out of touch with humanity, like someone stating on Tripadvisor that the sand isn't soft enough (it is incredibly fine), or that the resort isn't quiet enough (we practice daily meditation and were only disturbed, nay blessed, by a grey heron landing in front of us). If you are on the fence based on any of these doubts, disregard, book and have the most wonderful time.
We had friends staying in the Muraka where we were fortunate to spend time, along with dining at the fanciest of the restaurants...But at the end of the day, our best memories were sitting on the beach, hand in hand, enjoying fresh juice, admiring sunrise and sunset and feeling so grateful that we were able to travel to such a beautiful place in the midst of a pandemic with such a sense of security.
Finally, I'd like to acknowledge specific teammates who went above and beyond.
Ismael - At breakfast, a kind soul, full of insights about the water and always recommending unique dishes and drinks for us to try Anna - For her hospitality as soon as we met on the dock and for being our shepherd. Victoria - For her warmth at breakfast and Mandhoo Housekeeping - For cleaning our room to such a high standard, always with a smile
In closing, when one walks anywhere on the island, all staff greets you by covering their heart, a sign that we have brought home to NYC to offer respect and kindness to people we see. We wish everyone well and hope to return for our Anniversary one day!