The Maldives has been on my bucket list for awhile so when given the opportunity to stay at the twice voted “Best Hotel In the World” that features the “First Underwater Restaurant in the World” I jumped at the chance to stay at the Conrad Maldives. The Conrad Maldives is a ritzy island paradise surrounded by the Indian Ocean in South Asia commonly known for its overwater bungalows. This idyllic tropical resort is actually two islands connected by a bridge. The resort offers huge beach villas, overwater villas, an extremely expensive underwater residence, a world-class spa, award winning restaurants, and a plethora of excursions and activities.
How To Get There: To get to the Conrad Maldives you have to take a seaplane from Male International airport which Conrad arranges and charges for at $560 per person. While waiting for the seaplane they have a Conrad Lounge that offers 15 minute complimentary massages, food, wifi, and drinks. As an honest reviewer, I will say that the lounge is extremely outdated and needs to be revamped. The couches definitely need to be replaced. When I arrived at the lounge and saw how run down the furniture was I was nervous about what to expect when arriving at resort. The seaplane luggage is 25kg per person plus 5kg of hand luggage. Any excess baggage costs $5 per 1kg.
The seaplane ride was great and the views were phenomenal. It was an awesome way to see the other Maldivian islands.
Arrival: The seaplane flies to a dock that has a small waiting area where you meet a staff member who is personally assigned to you for the duration of your stay. Your bags are gathered, they offer you a welcome slushy and you are then taken to the main lobby where your personal Conrad “butler” takes you to your room via buggy or walking dependent on how close your room is. The scenery, design, and atmosphere of the Conrad Maldives is incredible and beyond what I could imagine.
The Conrad Lounge at the airport definitely does not do the resort any justice because you would have no idea that you would arrives to such an idyllic paradise based on the airport lounge. Upon walking down the bridge that connects the 2 islands, I knew we were in for a real treat. Our “butler” gave us the details about the resort and our room. Surprise! Surprise! We received an upgrade from the water villa to the Retreat Water Villa. The Conrad Maldives does not have to do this for Hilton Diamond members because of the status of the resort, however they did so and we were more than ecstatic. Paid upgrades are available if you don’t want to take the chance of not getting upgraded upon arrival.
We took a buggy with our “butler” to our Retreat Water Villa on the Spa Retreat side of the island. The ride was so exciting and I could not wait to see what our humble abode was going to look like.
We were placed in villa 417 which was located at the end of the boardwalk, allowing for us to have maximum privacy. It was absolutely gorgeous. he interior of this villa is unbelievably huge measuring at 1615 Sq. Ft., featuring two rooms, one with its own double spa treatment room as well as a jacuzzi on the large sun deck with steps leading down into the ocean below. The villa has large glass windows, glass doors, glass, walls, glass everything. You can see turquoise lagoons and coral reefs anywhere you look, you are completely surrounded by it. Compared to the basic water villa, this villa is beyond impressive. The tall ceilings, the wood, the blue and white tones, create a sanctuary of bliss. It was at this moment, touring the villa with the Conrad staff member, that I knew I was going to have a very hard time leaving. The bathroom was huge and featured an obscenely large bathtub and a rain shower that also led to the sundeck. Let’s just say the villa was unreal. I saw pictures of all of the villas prior to arriving and pictures do not do it justice, I was in awe at the largeness and beauty of the villa.
Retreat Water Villa:
Cost: ~ USD 1350 a night
Size: 1615 Sq. Ft.
Occupancy: 3 adults
Dining and Amenities: As aforementioned the Conrad Maldives has the first underwater restaurant in the world. It’s a very cool experience but it is also incredibly expensive. We had dinner there for $390 per person. For a more affordable option you can have lunch or cocktails and canapés there instead. However, the dinner was great and I’m glad we went to the dinner as the lunch menu didn’t interest me as much and my husband and I don’t drink so the cocktails and canapés didn’t interest us either.
It’s important to note though that all of the restaurants are pretty expensive and even a burger costs around $40 dollars at the resort. I would definitely recommend a dinner at Ufaa by Jeremy Leung and the Fishermans BBQ.
Some of the other restaurants are: •
The resort also offers so much to do in regards to excursions and activities. There are two spas and of course we went to both!
• A large spa positioned over the water at the northern tip of the main island (opposite Mandhoo spa restaurant) called the Spa Retreat. This was my favorite spa and the Private Heat Therapy is a MUST! Click here for more details and photos of Spa Retreat
• A smaller, 4-room spa off the smaller island called the Over Water Spa.
There is also an ocean dive centre, snorkeling excursions, jetpacks, jet skis, yachting, and so much more. All non-motorized water activities are free of charge, this includes are stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling at the house reef. All snorkeling equipment can be rented free of charge. We had so much fun snorkeling in the backyard of our villa and at the house reef we found no need to do a snorkeling excursion offsite. The water in the Maldives is the most clear and beautiful blue water I have ever seen in my entire life. Snorkeling and swimming in the Maldivian water on Rangali Island was such an amazing experience that I will never forget! Not to mention, I can never forget the soft white sand, huge palm trees, and gorgeous weather.
Another cool thing about the resort is that it is a shoeless resort so you can be barefoot your entire vacation. The lobby, restaurants, and walking paths all have sand floors. There is sand everywhere, the ritziest restaurant there even makes you take off your shoes before entering! I brought way too many shoes for no reason!
How To Stay For Free: 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night or 380,000 Hilton Honors points for 5 nights with fifth night free which makes it 76,000 Hilton Honors points a night
To sum this one up this resort is fantastic and you should not hesitate booking! The service was incredible and everybody was beyond friendly. The food was great and the villa was pure luxury. Not only that, but the location and the atmosphere was unreal and something out of a dream you once had of what heaven looks like. I will definitely be staying here again when I visit the Maldives for a second time which I absolutely must!