Are you interested in staying at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island? Then you are in the right place! My Conrad Maldives Rangali Island review will include everything you need to know to inspire you to book this resort—or to help prep for your trip.
My review covers the benefits of being a Hilton Honors member, how to stay for FREE, how to get here, how many nights you should stay, our overall experience, and more. By the end of this post, you will be dreaming of Conrad Maldives.
Simply put, the Conrad Maldives is a slice of paradise. It is known for being the world’s first underwater restaurant and villa, making it one of the most popular and best places to stay in the Maldives.
The unique underwater architecture is one of many reasons to stay at this beautiful resort. The staff is warmhearted, there are award-winning restaurants, gorgeous villas, bucket-list-worthy excursions, and several fun activities for adults and kids alike.
It is no wonder why the Conrad Maldives has so many guests returning year after year.
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The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The Conrad Maldives has been wowing guests for over 25 years. I am happy to say we were one of those guests.
In 2022, the resort “relaunched” after significant renovations to help continue its success in the ever-growing industry in the Maldives. More than ever, Conrad Maldives is the perfect resort for luxury, relaxation, activities, and dining experiences that you will never forget.
While some resorts are built on artificial islands, one of the great benefits of staying at the Conrad Maldives is that it is on a natural island. Therefore, the flora and fauna are abundant, and the marine life is outstanding! There is a beautiful house reef to snorkel at, and you will see countless sea creatures every day, such as blacktip reef sharks, turtles, manta rays, spotted eagle rays, and more.
One of the most wonderful things about Conrad Maldives is that it is a paradise for everyone. It is a romantic couples getaway and a luxurious family vacation. Thanks to its private twin islands connected by a long bridge.
Rangali Island and Rangali-Finolhu Island
The twin islands are Rangali Island, also known as the Quiet Zone (adults-only), and Rangali-Finolhu Island, known as the main island (family-friendly). Rangali Island has one restaurant, bar, unique dining experiences, infinity pool, an overwater spa, and a majority of the overwater villas.
We thoroughly enjoyed the quiet island since this was our first kid-free trip in three years. The Conrad Maldives is not a small resort, but it always felt intimate, especially in the quiet zone.
Rangali-Finolhu Island has beach villas, larger overwater villas, several restaurants, including the buffet and underwater restaurant, a bar, a spa retreat, an infinity pool, a house reef, tennis courts, water sports and excursions, and more. It is a busier island, but it never felt like it.
The Maldives is one of those destinations that can be a once-in-a-lifetime trip simply because of how long it takes to get there. Coming from Texas, we had 30 hours of traveling and a 45-minute seaplane. So, roundtrip, we had 2-3 days of traveling.
People travel to the Maldives for the iconic overwater villas and a breathtaking R&R experience. Given the distance it can take to get here, and if you plan on embarking on several excursions, I recommend staying at the Conrad Maldives for 6-7 nights.
We only did five nights and agreed that one more night would have been perfect!
Keep reading to learn how you can get up to 6 nights FREE!
How to Get to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is located in the South Ari Atoll, more specifically, the Alifu Dhaalu Atoll. Once you arrive at Male International Airport, you can reach the resort by a 30-minute seaplane or a short domestic flight to a nearby island, followed by a speedboat transfer.
Most guests arrive at the resort via seaplane because it is part of the Maldivian experience. During the scenic seaplane flight, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Maldives and its many atolls. Additionally, there is a slight thrill of taking off and landing on the water’s surface.
After a long day of travel, I know you want your two feet in the sand at the resort, but you will have to contain your excitement a little longer. Before your arrival, you will not know when you will depart for the resort.
The only guarantee is that the seaplane transfer will be within two hours upon your arrival at the TMA terminal. The seaplane transfer could also take longer than 30 minutes if the plane has passengers going to other resorts.
Contact Conrad Maldives to make arrangements for your seaplane transfer. The seaplane transfer or domestic flight is not included in the room rate; it is an additional cost.
You also make sure that when you book your flight to MLE, it arrives before 3:00 pm. The seaplane transfer only operates from 6:00 am to 3:30 pm.
Pro tip: If you have a Hilton credit card, make sure it is on file because the seaplane transfer is paid upon checkout so you can earn a lot of Hilton points! Otherwise, make sure you put your best travel credit card on file to maximize your dollar for points.
The Conrad Lounge
When you arrive at Male International Airport, a Conrad staff member at Counter B6 will assist you with your bags for the seaplane transfer. Then, you take a shuttle to the TMA terminal for seaplane arrivals and departures.
Once here, you will enter The Conrad Lounge, where the concierge welcomes you with cool hand towels and a seamless check-in process. We are fans of airport lounges, and as hotel guests, we were delighted to have complimentary access to The Conrad Lounge.
While you wait for the seaplane transfer, you can enjoy complimentary breakfast, lunch, snacks, and refreshments. There is also Wi-Fi and shower facilities with everything you need to freshen up and get ready.
You can also use The Conrad Lounge for departure but at an additional cost. Due to our late flight, we decided to utilize the lounge and found it as beneficial as our arrival. The concierge team was very helpful in making our departure effortless.
The Villas at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The Conrad Maldives has 151 luxurious water villas and beach villas. Emphasis on “villa” because almost every villa category is the size of a house.
The water villas are located on both islands, but the beach villas are only on the main island, Rangali-Finolhu Island. Of course, I cannot forget to mention The Muraka—the world’s first underwater villa.
I will briefly mention all the available villas, but will focus on the Sunrise Water Villa because that is the suite we stayed at. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with any villa. Prior to our arrival, we contemplated upgrading for a bigger room, but found the Sunrise Water Villa perfect!
I know the overwater villas are iconic in the Maldives, but these beach villas are stunning. The soft white sand and Indian Ocean views are just steps away from your bedroom.
There are four different beach villas, all elegant with a contemporary touch, spacious bedrooms, and an outdoor rain shower. Four categories are Beach Villa, Deluxe Beach Villa with Pool, Two Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villa with Pool, and Three Bedroom Beach Suite with Pool.
Remember when I said the Conrad Maldives resort is for everyone? One of the most family-friendly villas is the Three-Bedroom Beach Suite with Pool. The luxurious villa accommodates up to six guests. Perfect for a family of six or a family of four with grandparents!
The Deluxe Beach Villa with Pool and Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villa with Pool is also family-friendly and can accommodate two adults and two children.
The water villas have everything and more that you can dream of for the ultimate Maldivian overwater villa experience. A majority of the water villas are at Rangali Island, the secluded adults-only island. The grand water villas, perfect for families, are on Rangali-Finolhu Island.
There are NINE different overwater villa categories. All set on stilts, with a thatch-covered roof, spacious rooms, a bathtub with ocean views, a lovely sundeck with a private infinity plunge pool or jacuzzi, and steps leading to the crystal-clear, turquoise water.
Like the beach villas, as you browse the higher category water villas, they will have expansive sundecks, larger pools, more bedrooms, and other luxurious amenities— but you cannot go wrong with any. These are the dreamiest overwater villas!
Sunrise Water Villa
We stayed in the Sunrise Water Villa, which was the perfect romantic villa. Every morning, we enjoyed spectacular sunrises from the privacy of our sundeck.
The villa has great space to make you feel comfortable and at home. There is a small desk with a glass floor, so if you choose to do work, you can do so while watching fish, squid, and blacktip sharks swim beneath your feet. There is also a small minibar and a large walk-in closet.
The bathroom is almost the size of the bedroom. It has a rain shower, double sink vanity, water closet, lots of hooks to air dry swimsuits, and a large bathtub adjacent to a floor-to-ceiling window—what is more luxurious than soaking in a bathtub with ocean views?
The best part is the sundeck. We spent just as much time outside as we did inside. Whether we were drinking champagne in our plunge pool or taking a refreshing swim in the Indian Ocean, the sun deck is pure bliss.
The Sunset Water Villa is almost the same as the Sunrise Water Villa. The subtle difference is the sundeck and pool. The Sunset Water Villa has a larger sundeck with a lengthy infinity plunge pool. And, of course, you watch the sunset instead of the sunrise.
If you are lucky to stay at The Muraka, prepare for one of the best experiences of your life. The Muraka is the world’s first underwater suite, submerged over 16 feet below sea level in the Indian Ocean.
The two-level residence is full of luxury. It can accommodate up to 10 guests and includes a 24-hour private butler, a private chef, on-site security, and private jet skis to make your stay a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Above water is a kitchen, living room, dining room, two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a gym, and a sundeck with a dining area, an infinity pool, and an array of hammocks, sofas, daybeds, and loungers. From the inside out, The Muraka is nothing but sleek and extravagant.
Make your way down the spiraling steps, or take the elevator and enter an underwater oasis where dreams become reality. Sleep beneath a 180-degree curved underwater dome and watch countless fish swim in the endless ocean you now feel a part of.
There is also a small observation area and a bathroom— and yes, you can watch fish swim by while you sit on a toilet.
Dining at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
The Conrad Maldives has almost endless dining options for your stay, with 12 restaurants and lounges. From the iconic underwater restaurant to contemporary Chinese, traditional Italian, an international buffet, a holistic-inspired restaurant, a poolside bar, and more.
There are also special beach dining experiences, such as the Maldivian night, fisherman’s barbecue, lobster & champagne night, and a private beach dinner.
Everything we ate was exquisite, and the service was world-class. I wish we could have enjoyed all the restaurants and dining experiences, but sadly, there was not enough time. So, I will touch on a few of our favorites.
The resort will email you before your arrival requesting your dining reservations. I would contact the resort if you do not receive an email two weeks before your arrival.
Breakfast at Vilu Restaurant & Bar
There are two dining options for breakfast—a widespread buffet at Atoll Market or an a la carte at Vilu Restaurant & Bar.
Every morning, we enjoyed a heavenly breakfast at Vilu. We liked breakfast at Vilu because it’s on Rangali Island (the Quiet Zone), which was quiet every morning, and we prefer an a la carte experience.
In addition to the a la carte menu, there is a small station of freshly baked pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, and cereal. Breakfast at Vilu was almost like a buffet because we could order as many a la carte entrees as we pleased.
Vilu Restaurant & Bar sits on the beach with beautiful views of the turquoise lagoon and Rangali-Finolhu Island. The menu options include everything from traditional Maldivian breakfast items such as mas huni to class egg dishes, waffles, pancakes, and Asian-inspired dishes.
A few of our favorite dishes were scrambled eggs with crab meat, Maldivian-style omelet, mango sticky rice, muesli, French toast, and fresh coconut pancakes.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant
This spectacular restaurant is almost the entire reason we booked our stay at the Conrad Maldives. And I am glad we did because it is an unbelievable dining experience. Ithaa is the world’s first underwater restaurant, sitting 16 ft. below sea level, providing guests with an aquatic adventure they will always remember.
The first few minutes of entering the glass-bottom dining room with 180-degree panoramic views are jaw-dropping. Countless blacktip reef sharks swim right towards the glass, making eye contact with you as they move straight towards you, then effortlessly glide above the dome. It is an unreal encounter that makes you feel like a part of the ocean.
The food parallels the marine life. Every bite is exquisite. The thoughtful menu blends local flavors with Western influences, such as tuna ceviche with mango and passion, caviar on buckwheat, quail breast with truffle sweet potato, and Maldivian lobster tortellini (more like a wonton).
Every guest should indulge in this surreal experience during their stay, whether for visiting hour with champagne and canapés, a four-course lunch, or a seven-course dinner.
The question is, which one do you choose? It is definitely worth the dinner splurge because you can enjoy the vibrant marine life in daylight and at night.
Lunch is a great option too. Families can also dine during this time. I have heard that because the sun beams down on the glass dome, it can quickly feel hot. So some suggest wearing sunglasses and shorts for lunch.
Mandhoo Spa Restaurant
Mandhoo Spa Restaurant is an organic restaurant that offers a holistic dining experience to discover your body, mind, and soul through food. It uses five elements: air, earth, fire, water, and plant.
Instead of a traditional menu showing appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts in order, the menu is methodically put together to represent each element. So “air” could have two appetizers and two entrees, while earth has one appetizer and three entrees.
Every dish of each element also serves a purpose for the body, mind, and soul. Menu options in “water” hydrate the skin and inner peace, while “fire” has spicy and sour options for detox and emotional uplift.
Overall, we enjoyed Mandhoo for its soothing ambiance and sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, and we always left feeling full, rejuvenated, and peaceful. Of all the restaurants for dinner, we dined here twice because the food was delicious, and we liked the concept.
Activities at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
One of the many great things about Conrad Maldives is the ability to relax or play in paradise. There are plenty of activities to keep anyone active and having fun, including a restless traveler like me.
On both islands, there are long stretches of white, soft sand with umbrellas and loungers to sit back and relax. There is also an amazing house reef on Rangali-Finolhu Island. At the dive center, you can get complimentary snorkel gear and identify species of fish swimming amongst the vibrant coral gardens.
If swimming in the ocean is not your thing, enjoy a refreshing dip at one of the infinity pools. The main infinity pool overlooks the sea and active beach with an adjacent pool for small children.
Alongside is Rangali Bar, which serves an array of delicious food and drinks. There is often live music and events near the main pool as well. It is perfect for families or guests who want to be close to entertainment.
The Rangali Island Quiet Zone adults-only infinity pool stretches out into the lagoon overlooking the turquoise blue water for a calmer swim. There are daybeds and an open-air tented lounge on the beach. You can order handcrafted cocktails or Asian-inspired plates of food such as sushi and sashimi.
Every guest can book a complimentary photo shoot with the resort’s professional photographer. It includes a 30-minute session in three locations with two jpeg photos by email. You can also upgrade the session with other package options.
The Rangali Island adults-only infinity pool stretches out into the lagoon overlooking the turquoise blue water for a quieter swim. There are daybeds and an open-air tented lounge on the beach. You can order handcrafted cocktails or Asian-inspired plates of food such as sushi and sashimi.
One of the coolest and most unique activities at Conrad Maldives is the nightly manta rays. Every night, you can watch manta rays glide back and forth under the long bridge that connects the twin islands. Our nightly walks across the bridge were our favorite, so we could watch the manta rays do their acrobatics in the water.
If you are lucky, you can encounter spotted eagle rays, turtles, and other marine life during the daytime.
Read next: Fun Activities in Bermuda You Cannot Miss!
There are plenty of fun activities and programs for kids to enjoy at Conrads Maldives—and it starts at Majaa Explorers Hub.
The Majaa Explorers Hub has an outdoor playground, splash park, and kids club for children 3-11 years old. Kids will enjoy arts and crafts, games, dress-up, culinary workshops, and more. Children under three need adult supervision, or you may request a babysitter.
Next to the Majaa Explorers Hub is the Furaavaru Teens Club. If your energetic adolescent needs an escape from paradise, they can hang out at this cool club. It has air hockey, ping-pong, foosball, karaoke, PlayStation, and comfy bean bags.
Teens looking for cultural immersion can also partake in culinary classes and marine biology sessions. Some evenings, the resort will also host outdoor movie nights.
One of the most unique programs for kids at Conrad Maldives is the Undersea Academy. A special program that you don’t typically find offered at other resorts. The Undersea Academy is a three-day educational journey for children aged 5-12 years old.
The program is designed to inspire young minds to become excited and educated about marine biology through immersive experiences. Kids can visit Ithaa, the underwater restaurant, embark on a glass-bottom boat excursion, and create underwater crafts.
It even finishes with a small graduation ceremony honoring everything they learned. The Undersea Academy is undoubtedly an experience they will cherish forever and, hopefully, return home with a new love for marine biology.
Excursions You Cannot Miss!
The excursions are another great reason to stay at the Conrad Maldives! Since the resort is located in the South Ari Atoll, you have the potential to swim with whale sharks and manta rays.
Moreover, we have traveled worldwide and experienced some epic adventures—the Ocean Dive Centre is a world-class tour operator. We had so much fun on our whale shark excursions we booked two more tours. I highly recommend you book at least one excursion with Ocean Dive Centre and ask for Jess!
There are so many excursions to choose from. You can go on a thrilling, bucket-list adventure of swimming with whale sharks, enjoy a leisurely picnic on a sandbank, go on a dolphin, sunrise or sunset cruise, guided safari snorkeling, visit a local island, and more.
In addition to excursions at sea, you can also take a deep dive. Guests can learn to scuba dive during an entry-level PADI scuba diver course, enhance their skills with an advanced course, go on night dives, and more.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
Swimming with whale sharks is exceptional in the Maldives because they are residents of the South Ari Atoll year-round. Thanks to the South Ari Marine Protected Area, the gentle giants are renowned for almost daily sightings at any time of year. If you are lucky, you find and swim with at least one whale shark.
Our experience of swimming with whale sharks at Conrad Maldives was a thrilling adventure, unlike anything we have ever done. The excursion begins at the dive center, where you learn about the gentle giants. This was helpful because my husband still thought he would get eaten by one. Do not worry. We learned that is impossible.
Then, the fun really begins when you board the boat and start your search. Optimistic excitement that we would find a whale shark starts settling in. And we did!
We swam for an hour with one whale shark, which was incredible. Our marine biologist and her team were the best because they picked us up and took us to the front of the pack. We watched the whale shark swim straight towards us!
I know luck plays a part in finding and swimming with whale sharks but ask for Jess. She is the best marine biologist and tour guide who will ensure you have an awesome experience.
Swimming with Manta Rays
Similar to the whale shark excursion, the swimming with manta rays excursion begins with a presentation to learn about the acrobatic swimmers. The Maldives has the highest concentration of manta rays, so you have a strong chance of swimming with these majestic sea creatures.
We were lucky to swim with at least eight manta rays—usually one to two at a time, and it was magical!
The manta rays swam leisurely around us, flipping and gliding past us.
The best part is that you do not have to exert much energy to swim with them. Instead, you float in the ocean, and the manta rays circle you.
Coral Conservation Project
As briefly mentioned, we fell in love with the people and marine life at Conrad Maldives. So, we did one more excursion to help give back to a place now dear to our hearts. And I encourage you to do the same.
The coral conservation project is a program under the care of the Marine Biologists looking after
coral nurseries planted around the resort. Guests will learn about coral, adopt a coral line by making it and placing it in the nursery, and finish with a short snorkel in the house reef.
You will also receive a certificate of your adopted coral line and updates on its growth. Once the corals mature, they will be replanted in the house reef, and you will become a big part of the contribution to protecting our oceans.
Spa and Fitness
If you want to relax, rejuvenate, and enhance your well-being in paradise, then the Conrad Maldives is for you. It is a destination spa resort with several ways to improve your health.
On Rangali Island, there is a gorgeous overwater spa with massage, facial, and body treatments. Watch fish swim beneath you as you go through a mind, body, and soul journey.
The Spa Retreat on Rangali-Finolhu Island is a sanctuary for tailored holistic massage, facial, and body treatments for all ages. Yes, children and teens can also enjoy the Spa Retreat. It also has a hair and nail salon, boutique, couple’s treatment rooms, sauna, jet bath, and private steam room.
Enjoy daily yoga sessions by the resident instructor, complimentary power walking and morning stretching sessions, an array of set workouts at the gym, or keep up your fitness regime with a personal trainer.
Benefits of Being a Gold or Diamond Member
It is well-known in the United States that Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members see few benefits. Maybe a complimentary upgrade, but many members will complain the lack of perks is not worth the status.
Luckily, that is not the case at the Conrad Maldives. Being a Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond member at this breathtaking resort is well worth it. There are several great benefits.
Here are the benefits (subject to change) of being a Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond member at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island:
- Daily full buffet breakfast or a la carte breakfast for cardholder and one guest per day
- One bottle of wine upon arrival (sparkling wine for Diamond members)
- Chocolate and fruit basket upon arrival
- Daily Happy Hour at Vilu Restaurant for you and your guests staying in the same villa from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Manager’s Reception (held every Tuesday for Diamond members and returning guests)
- Discounted upgrade supplements.
- For example, upgrading from Sunrise Water Villa to Sunset Water Villa with pool is $115 + 10% service charge + 16% T GST per night (prices subject to change).
Happy Hour and Manager’s Reception
As Diamond members, we were invited to daily happy hour and the weekly manager’s reception on Rangali Island. The daily happy hour is at Vilu Restaurant & Bar, and the manager’s reception is at the Quiet Zone Lounge.
Happy hour is a sit-down service, whereas the manager’s reception is a social gathering where people pass canapés and replenish your drinks. These events are a great way to mingle with other guests on the island or to hang out with a few of your favorite staff members.
The happy hour is casual, and if you are not staying on Rangali Island, it can be a nice change of scenery from Rangali-Finolhu Island. It includes complimentary sparkling wine, a house red and white wine, a cocktail, a mocktail of the day, beer, and delicious canapés.
The manager’s reception is a special treat, especially if you are near the end of your stay. We were fortunate to attend the day before we left, and it was a wonderful experience to spend time with all the lovely staff members we connected with.
How to Stay at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island for FREE
The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a beautiful resort that most people only dream about. They think staying here on a budget is unattainable, but that is far from the truth. We stayed here for FREE, and you can too!
The nightly rate varies throughout the year. A stay in a Beach Villa can range from $690 during monsoon season to $1,022 during high season. A stay in the Sunrise Water Villa can range from $828 to $1,150.
The cash price can fluctuate throughout the year, but the amount of points per night does not. Both the Beach Villa and Sunrise Water Villa cost 120,000 points per night.
When you pay for four nights with points, you automatically get the fifth night for FREE! So, for a total of 480,000 Hilton points, you can be in paradise.
To really take advantage of staying at Conrad Maldives for free, you want to get the AMEX Hilton Honors Aspire credit card. This travel credit card includes a yearly complimentary free night reward. So you can stack your reward night for six nights at the resort completely FREE! Plus, you get diamond status with the card, so you will also receive complimentary breakfast.
Overall Review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
We are lucky to have the privilege of staying at some of the best resorts in the world—and our stay at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is, without a doubt, one of the best experiences of our life! We would stay here again in a heartbeat.
The moment our feet touched the seaplane dock, a manager and our host greeted us with a tropical, warm welcome. And yes, I am just now mentioning how every guest has a host to help make their trip perfect!
Every single person working at the resort is friendly and incredible! The dining options are almost endless, and every meal was exquisite. The entire property is breathtaking, with unparalleled views.
Some of the experiences on the island are unmatched by any other resort, such as the manta rays swimming beneath the bridge every night. And the excursions are bucket list worthy! I could go on and on.
The Conrad Maldives is the perfect place to stay!
I hope you have found my Conrad Maldives Rangali Island review helpful. We cherished every second of our time at the resort. So much so that I literally shed a few tears as we departed. I have no doubt you will have an amazing experience, too.