We decided to spend our honeymoon in the Conrad Rangali Island, since we experienced several Conrads worldwide. After a 10-hour-flight from Zurich directly to Male, we were instantly picked-up by the Conrad people and brought into the Conrad Lounge at the Male Airport (air conditioned, clean, offering fruits and danish as well as different beverages). After a while, when other passengers arrived, we were escorted to the seaplane (laud, not air-conditioned by 35°C and high humidity). The flight took appr. 30 minutes - luckily as soon as we were high enough, the temperature in the cabin became slightly agreeable (for us coming from European winter...). This way of "wow" transport costs appr. 200 $ (even though there is nothing "wow" about it, apart from full body sauna).
As we arrived, we were served drinks and cook towels and soon welcomed by our "island host", who did not bother that we had a long flight, a jet lag and a temperature shock behind us, he just began to summarize everything about the island in 30 minutes. One gets several prospects, island plans, etc. to study at the same time... The only thing we wanted was to get to our room, refresh and think later about what we could do. Finally, we were to stay for 14 days, which gives you a long time to think about what you want to do...
Being honeymooners we got a fruit basket and a champagne bottle offered in our villa. Concerning the sunset cruise, our island host missed to tell us that it is happening every day – instead he pointed out that it’s exclusively on one particular day. So we had beautiful sunsets behind us, when the weather changed, our cruise began, while our boat was rocking and rocking…. The service on board consisted of several canapés and a lot of champagne (was the idea to make us drunk???), turning into sunset boose…
We had one of the beach villas on the riff side of the main island, which was for us a very good choice, sine we had a beach (not only a beach line) and were quite away from other people. But this is when the sunchair horror began - there was no way that you could reserve you sunchair (even if it was just in front of you room). You needed to hunt for one (beginning at 8 a.m.) if you wanted to stay in the vicinity of your villa. The island hosts pointed out that there are no reservations; you can take any sunchair (and put your towel on it). Which just reminded us of cheap hotels in Europe, frequented by Germans (like ourselves), who wake up early every day just to be able to reserve the sunchair…. or in Conrad Maldives for 700$/day…. Since we got new neighbors every couple of days, the discussions began every time when somebody threw out towels and took our chairs (e.g. while we were snorkeling). Beach service (drinks & food) was available only once daily. If you missed it, you needed to call the concierge from your room, get connected with the kitchen, etc… i.e. waist time on nothing. The prices were higher as in Miami Shore Club!
Food and prices are a special chapter in this hotel. First of all, you needed to reserve in all of the à la carte restaurants, even if they were completely empty (again you needed to call the concierge, get connected with Restaurant call center, etc). We once appeared without reservation and collected brittle looks as if we were trying to rob the bank… We live in Zurich, where everything is expensive – but being here we learned the new definition of expenses. Each night we spent at least 200$ for a simple dinner (incl. wine)! The back-up option was to get the buffet, which was so unauthentic that we decided to try something else. The buffet consisted of 5 separated areas, including Asian (I just don’t know what was Asian about it, the curries were as in the worst restaurant in Thailand) and Japanese food (I wonder what Japanese thought about it, since we found it rather doll). Our top spots were restaurants in the Spa and the Vilu, since they offered balanced and delicious food (the later could have also been somewhere in Italy…). However, nothing was true Maldivian or Asian food! We had the feeling, as if we were in the Hilton in Connecticut or Munich. They even had yogurts from Germany!!! (feels like home, but not on Maldives). The rest of the restaurants (underwater, sunset grill, tepan-yaki) were just not worth the money, unless you don’t know better. For us, it was just fake (eg. after eating the best tepan-yaki in Kyoto!).
Snorkeling on the house riff was much more exiting than diving (really great!). We were truly disappointed with the diving landscape – cannot match ones in Southeast Asia or Australia. The diving team was OK, but we’ve seen and experienced better. Still the prices were high and the service average. We had the feeling that the diving guides only wanted to finish their jobs, without caring for fun or any other kind of improvement. We did 11 dives – only one was really good (not excellent).
We could not get to the Spa, since what we wanted was always booked out (again call through concierge…). Other time slots were offered, but we did not want to loose our diving time for a massage (since the one we wanted happened 2-3 times/week).
After 14 days and additional expenses of 6500$ (hotel not included!!), we came back home disappointed. If we ever come back to Maldives, we will surely choose another, more authentic hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Barefoot luxury meets unpretentious style at this five star hotel in the Maldives. Home to whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and turtles, Conrad Maldives is set on two islands and is reached by a 30-minute seaplane flight. Select from 12 restaurants and bars including Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the Cheese Bar featuring 101 of the world's best cheeses, and an underground Wine Cellar with 20,000 bottles of fine wines. Relax at one of two spas or on the beautiful white sand beaches. Go diving and exploring on the many excursions available, including luxurious sunset cruises, big game fishing expeditions and local island hopping trips. Conrad Maldives is included in Conde Nast Traveler's 2013 Gold List of the Best 100 Hotels in the World and The World's 10 Best Beach Hotels. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Hotel Rangali Island
- Conrad Rangali Island
- Rangali Island Conrad
- Rangali Island Maldives