Hotel review: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives

Experience elegant luxury and dine in the world’s first undersea restaurant at the twin island resort of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

CONRAD MALDIVES l_The Spa Retreat
The Spa Retreat on Rangali Island (c) Justin Nicholas

Conrad Maldives resort on the South Ari Atoll  comprises two idyllic islands: Rangali Finolhu and Rangali Island, connected by a long, wooden bridge. Getting there is just a 30-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport. 

Conrad Maldives resort opened in 1997 as Hilton Maldives Resort and Spa and was rebranded in 2007 as part of their high-end luxury collection of Conrad Hotels and Resorts. Recently they opened the world’s first undersea restaurant and the world’s first undersea residence, The Muraka.

The resort has a sustainable hospitality strategy pledging to eliminate the use of plastic on the property by January 2020. They have also invested in a long-term coral conservation project to aid in repopulating the reef. 

Also read ⇒ Sustainable travel in the Maldives

Who for

The Conrad Maldives is a high-end resort that attracts jet setters, business executives and even the odd celebrity. Honeymooners are attracted by the remote atmosphere of the island – even at peak season you can find a private spot on the beach.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Pure relaxation in a remote setting at Conrad Maldives (c) Lucy Woods

It’s luxurious yet pleasingly unpretentious and even in the fanciest of restaurants guests sit bare footed with barely a suit in sight.

Young families can come too. The Majaa Kids’ Club ensures your little ones enjoy their holiday as much as you do, with a variety of marine adventuress, sports, arts & crafts and culinary workshops.

Accommodation

There are several options at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, starting with 1600 square foot beach villa and culminating in the exclusive Muraka residence.

Rooms have contemporary interiors, a glass wall overlooking the beach and a pretty private courtyard with outdoor shower and large bathtub. There is also a walk-in wardrobe, large comfortable bed and remote control blinds.

The Deluxe Beach Villa offers access to a private plunge pool.

Alternatively there’s a choice of water villas. These sit on stilts above the water and have steps that lead directly into the Indian Ocean. Here you’ll spot tropical fish, rays and even black tipped reef sharks (don’t worry – they’re harmless to humans).

The “basic” Water Villas have a private plunge pool and bathroom with ocean-facing tub, while the Deluxe Water Villas have a whirlpool and sunset views.

The ever-so-high-end Sunset Water Villa is set on its own private area of the lagoon and has its own infinity pool and a personal island host 24 hours a day. Interestingly the master bedroom features a rotating circular bed. 

Undersea suite at The Muraka
Undersea suite at The Muraka (c) Justin Nicholas

You may want to book your stay at secluded The Muraka Residence which can host a total of nine guests. Get there by private seaplane and enjoy a 24-hour butler and private chef. Lounge by the infinity pool or break a sweat in the private gym, or simply enjoy the views from your master bedroom, which doubles as a private underwater aquarium.

Lie in bed and marvel at the underwater tropical paradise, before heading upstairs for a cocktail and a bite to eat. You will need deep pockets to stay here as prices start from $22,000 + tax for per night.

Facilities

Book a massage at one of the award winning spas at Conrad Maldives, and take relaxation to the next level. We enjoyed a tailored hour-long massage with coconut oil, and it was a challenge not to fall into a deep, blissful sleep.

Infinity pool by Rangali Bar Conrad Maldives
Infinity pool by Rangali Bar (c) Justin Nicholas

The large, very well-equipped 24-hour gym is manned by a receptionist between 6am and 8pm every day. It comes with views of the sea and surrounding vegetation. 

Daily classes include bootcamp and circuits, private tennis court and a beach volleyball court. There are also two outdoor infinity pools: a 430m pool next to the Rangali Bar and a smaller pool overlooking the lagoon in the Quiet Zone.

Food and drink

Conrad Maldives has a spectacular selection of restaurants and bars, with 12 options to choose from. Some, such as Mandhoo Spa Restaurant, serve food grown on the island.

Ithaa undersea restaurant Conrad Maldives
Ithaa undersea restaurant (c) Justin Nicholas

The jewel in the crown at Conrad Maldives is Ithaa, the underwater restaurant located five meters below the surface of the Indian Ocean.

Book a romantic lunch or dinner, or splurge on a cream tea for two. There’s nothing quite like sipping champagne and tucking into a warm scone while watching shoals of brightly colour fish dart above your head.

Ufaa restaurant (meaning “happiness” in Maldivian), serves handmade noodles, dim sum and Chinese hot pot. The seafood at Vilu Restaurant is also second to none, and the scallops were a revelation.

Guests can also enjoy a five-course set menu in the award winning wine cellar, where the sommelier hosts an immersive dinner with eight different wines.

In the evening, the Rangali Bar offers live music and great cocktails.

Is WiFi available

Yes, WiFi is free of charge and has a very good connection.

What’s nearby

At Conrad Maldives it’s about total immersion in privacy, relaxation and pampering. For a change of scene explore the surrounding area or participate in watersports from snorkelling to jet skiing. There’s a dedicated diving centre on the island. All guests get complimentary use of masks, snorkels and fins.

Watersports at Conrad Maldives
Watersports at Conrad Maldives (c) Justin Nicholas

The resort can also arrange a trip to one of the local islands to learn more about the Maldivian way of life and sample some delicious Maldivian snacks.

Room rates

Overnight accommodation in a Beach Villa at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, bed and breakfast costs from £530 per night.

Booking.com

Getting there

The nearest international airport to Conrad Maldives is Malé International Airport (also known as Valena). From here you can catch a seaplane to the island that takes around 30 minutes. This costs $526 per adult and $263 per child under 12 (subject to 12% Goods and Services Tax).

MORE INFO: Visit Maldives