Stay Here: Conrad Maldives Rangali IslandBy Suzi Malin
London is grey and miserable, and we’d like to be whisked away, thank you very much. If you’re dreaming about your next sunshine-filled holiday, then we can’t recommend the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in the beautiful Maldives enough. Here’s what you need to know about the incredible resort:
The second you step off the boat, you will experience the magic of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, a tropical paradise on two private islands in the Indian Ocean among miles of idyllic white-sand beach surrounded by unspoilt vibrant coral reef. The island has to be seen to be believed; arriving at Male, one has the first glimpse of the most amazing turquoise water as you board the tiny seaplane going South. It takes thirty minutes to reach the resort; looking down on a scatter of tiny islands and horseshoes of rock formations which, from the sky, look like pastel doughnuts, but are in fact coral reefs.
It’s hard to describe the beauty of Rangali Island and the Conrad Hotel. It is one of 1,190 islands in the archipelago, of which only 200 are inhabited. It looks like a film set; you can easily see why the resort has the reputation of being the 2nd most luxurious hotel in the world. At the resort, the overwhelming feeling is of complete peacefulness. It takes few days to get into island life after frantic London – the slow pace in the Maldives is the answer to a tourist’s prayer.
The Conrad Maldives is ritzy, glamorous and luxurious – you can see why it’s the chosen destination for many honeymooners and celebrities from all over the world. However, you hardly know that they are here because there is an amazing level of privacy throughout the island. The island is s split into two – the main Rangalifinolhu Island, and Rangali Island, the second island, which is a spa retreat accessible only by boat and buggy.
Rangalifinolhu Island has the most activity. Expect live music every night, a lovely waterfront chill-out area, as well as the famous underwater restaurant. The Rangali Island, the smaller island, is home to water villas with jacuzzis and steps to the sea. On this smaller island, you’ll find the quiet zone, which is serviced by man with a stream of cold perfumed towels, and no children under sixteen. Bliss.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island offers luxury accommodation spread across the two islands. The main Rangalifinolhu Island houses all of the resort’s Beach Villas, whilst smaller Rangali Island is home to luxurious Water Villas and the Spa Retreat with both family Water Villas and Retreat Water Villas with private spa.
For the first days of our trip, we stayed on Rangalifinolhu Island with direct access to a private beach. In the Beach Villas, you can expect private beach access and an intimate terrace area, as well as a unique open-air garden bathroom with a thatched roof bathing pavilion, perfect for romantic evenings or indulgent afternoons. In the Beach Villas, the patio is screened by vegetation so one is totally private with just a few paces to one’s own private beach with sunbeds. Because there is so much to do there is hardly anyone on the beach and it is unusual to find two people on the white sand stretch at the same time.
At the Water Villas, you can find a private sun deck with jetted plunge pool, wooden sun loungers, umbrella, and steps leading into the enticing lagoon below.The highlight of the architecture is the glass desk which is set over glass panels, giving the impression that it is floating over the water below. Simply incredible.
There’s a whole host of fabulous outdoor activities at this tropical Rangali Island, such as the resort’s Dive Center, where you can watch manta rays during the manta season, and whale shark snorkeling excursions. For the sport-lover, you can choose from exciting water sports, everything from catamaran sailing and windsurfing to canoeing. What’s more, take advantage of the resort’s excursions, such as trips to local fishing villages to experience Maldivian life and local shops offering handcrafted souvenirs, sarongs and local island crafts.
If you want to take it easy, the infinity pool at the Conrad Maldives was the most beautiful experiences I have ever known. The pool has beds with legs submerged in the water around the circumference of the pool for ultimate relaxation. After a swim with uninterrupted ocean views, you can lie on a double bed with legs dangling over the edge of your sunbed maintaining coolness. Finish it all off with a cocktail; a piña colada is all it takes to complete the utter decadence and luxury.
Conrad Maldives is a true gourmet’s delight with a choice of 12 restaurants and bars featuring unique and individual menus, including the newly opened Ufaa by Jereme Leung as the 12th dining outlet. The restaurants here are beyond compare.
At each restaurant, there are a variety of taster menus on offer, with master chefs flying in from across the globe to curate special menus for the resort. The Koko Restaurant offers a sensational Japanese-themed menu. Here, one sits along a bar, facing the ocean listening to the lapping waves whilst enjoying one of the best meals one could ever eat. It is a nine course tasting menu for $250 including specialist wines, champagne, Sake and dessert wines. The lobster is served in a delicious sake cream sauce created by their celebrity chef from Abu Dhabi and the wagyu beef was so tender it literally melts on the mouth. Heaven. At Vilu Restaurant, a seven course taster menu is served at $350 dollars per head, with all specialist wines.
For wine lovers, every month the resort hosts a specialist dinner in their wine cellar, with descriptions of each wine, guest talks and the perfect food to accompany the wine. The experience is sensational; it’s not surprisingly people travel from all over the Maldives for one of these gourmet wine and eating experiences.
On Saturdays, you can enjoy a BBQ buffet, where the champagne keeps on flowing. You can enjoy
lobster, king prawns and scallops to your heart’s content, alongside the accompaniment of live music, on the sandy beach set with white linen and sparkling tableware. It is an epic dining experience for sheer indulgence.
Conrad Maldives caters for everyone’s fitness needs, with two luxurious Spas and a Fitness Center. The Spa Retreat on the Main Island is set on stilts over the ocean and boats a holistic spa experience that combines therapies, cuisine and holistic and lifestyle classes, including naturopathic and complementary healing therapies.
The Over Water Spa epitomizes barefoot luxury with glass-floored treatment rooms set on stilts above a coral reef in the resort’s lagoon. This spa features an array of luxury treatment rituals designed with couples in mind using precious oils, colors and crystals to create an air of seduction and mystique. The massages are like nothing you’ve tried before – face down, one can see the fish swimming beneath, as hypnotic music and the effect of the superb massage ensure that one drifts into the most relaxing slumber. The spa, the resort, the food – Conrad Maldives is the ultimate holiday dream.