Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
What We Love
- Beach stays cool even under the harsh midday sun
- Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is just that, underwater and with spectacular views of the sea
- The water sports center, with scuba diving, windsurfing and kneeboarding
What To Know
- Best suited for couples
- It's the only property in the area, so offsite excursions are limited
- The bug situation can be daunting if you’re at all squeamish about insects
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Room Service
Barefoot luxury. The resort encompasses two adjacent islands, connected by a 500-meter footbridge, and offers both beach villas and the coveted overwater variety. Teak and white stone evoke a feeling of peace and openness. Local artwork dots the walls, and seafoam-greens and blues are the palette of choice for the interiors. Everything is clean and pristine, much like the Maldives themselves.
Bed & Bath
The villas, whether on the beach or over the water, are spacious and private, with individual plunge or whirlpools. All are fashioned of white stone with traditional thatch roofs. The expansive 1,600-square-foot spa villas have turquoise and white sleeping areas with vaulted ceilings, ceiling fans and teak floors. Bathrooms have his-and-hers sinks, large Roman baths and separate spa areas for in-room massages. Of course, all rooms have amazing views of the ocean.
With numerous dining options, guests are spoiled for choice, especially those who love wine: The resort has the country’s first wine cellar. The Cheese and Wine Bar, with its cool black sand, is a refuge on a hot day. Sunset Bar and Grill is the best spot for savoring delicious local seafood while watching the sunset from your private dining deck. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is the choice boite on the island, as diners feel like Jacques Cousteau admiring the array of sea creatures swimming overhead. And if guests want sea views without dining, one of the spas is overwater and offers massages in rooms with glass floors.
In the Area
Situated in the southernmost section of the Maldives, the resort is fairly isolated. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be left with nothing to do. The kids-only Ice Cream Spa allows youngsters to enjoy facials and massages. Nemo, the resort’s three-person mini-sub, takes guests on 30-minute undersea adventures. Personal trainers are on hand to give you boxing lessons at the gym. The island’s three boutiques offer guests bathing suits and other essentials they may have forgotten. Nearby Mandhoo Island boasts a small village and gardens in which you can eat the local fruit.
How to Get There
Have just come back from an 8 day holiday here, there are some good things about the hotel and resort, but there are also some practical pointers which I never realised or was somewhat misguided when I did my research, hence i shall explain here.
Transfer to and from Male:
There is a seaplane transfer to and from, which works well. Bear in mind you have to pay approx US$500 person return. But the transfer only run during daylight hours which became a problem for me. I am from HK and my flight arrives at 8pm into Male, so there was no night transfer via seaplane, there is an option to stay in Male airport overnight or transfer via domestic plane to a Maamigli airport and then a 30min speed boat transfer to hotel. I took this as I wanted to wake up in the sun in the hotel. However, there is no apparent defined schedule for the flight to take off from Male, therefore by the time we got to the hotel it was midnight, Male time, and 1am Island time. So keep that in mind! On our return journey, we were offered and gladly took the seaplane, however, for similar reason for flying only in daylight hours, our plane took off at 4.30pm Island time, and landed within 1/2 hour at Male. With the one hour time difference, we landed at 4pm. Our flight was due that evening to HK at 10.20pm, which meant it was a 6 hour wait. Conrad offers a paid lounge service at US$55 per person where we can stay until the flight checks in. Photos of the lounge are available and seem nice, so we took it. The lounge itself was nice, but wifi was very slow, there is free soft drinks (not many options) and they serve a 3 course (salad, sandwich and fruit) meal, which we CAN ONLY ORDER ONCE. No buffet service, no unilimited food, or even snacks such as peanuts or crisps. There is a massage service (free 15mins), but that runs ONLY until 5pm. Most of the staff were nice, but the person that serve the meal was particularly rude. I'll comment on this inconsistent service level later.
So all in all, my take and advice is, if your flights come in late in Male and depart late from Male, think twice about booking this resort. See my last review on Como. I could have a relaxing dinner on the resort, before they take me my speed boat transfer for checkin in Male.
Now to the hotel itself. This is my second trip to Maldives, i enjoyed my last trip at a smaller resort closer to Male so much (Como, Coco Island), I wanted to see if I venture further south, is the scenery and the diving better? and also I wanted to stay in a larger property, to see if there are more facilities and therefore fun.
I have to say i was disappointed on both counts. The hotel and the facilities are good, don't get me wrong, but the question is, when there is so much competition out there, does this represent value for money?
I will not repeat all the nice things mentioned by others, but mention a few points that may help you make your choice of hotels.
1) We chose to stay in the deluxe water villa that looks west and have a beautiful view of the sunset and a jacuzzi outdoors. The sunset view is great. However the jaccuzzi runs a regular self cleaning program which can be disturbing if you are a light sleeper....beware.
2) The room is located on another island remote from the reception but connected by a bridge. Its walkable to the reception in the sand in about 15mins, or they have a buggy transfer which you can call for anytime. The buggy transfer and waiting time can be very variable, and almost invariably the drivers have an attitude. They are not suppose to use their phone, but they do. Poor training. Not what I expect from a 5 star hotel. On one occasion, 7 of us were asked to squeeze onto a 5 person buggy....seriously? I was appalled to find the person even suggest it!
3) I am a gold member and get free breakfast at the main buffet restaurant or a smaller a la carte restaurant (Vilu) on the island. The breakfast is great (esp if you do not have to pay extra for it). Worthy of note, if you do diving, the morning dives are at 9am, which means that you either get up very early to have breakfast or you cannot enjoy these sumptuous feast. Bad coordination between departments.
4) As gold member, you also get free afternoon tea at Vilu Restaurant between 3.30pm to 4.30pm, and then free drinks at happy hour 4.30pm to 5.30pm in Quiet Zone. The afternoon tea is nice to start with, particularly as its free! but again there is only one chef and one server, while they try their best, the level of service is well below that I would expect from a 5 star hotel. For the free drinks duing happy hour, they serve a limited drinks menu, but it was certainly enough to keep us happy and the staff try their best.
5) What surprised me is that on both these occasions, which are basically only gold and diamond members....the most loyal customers of Hitlon....and yet, not a single person from management comes to greet us or find out about our experience. It seems that the hotel is largely run by interns and it shows. The service level can significantly vary from the enthusiastic and personal service that I have come to expect, to the impersonal and downright rude.
6) In terms of meal venues and room service, there are many different choices, but bear in mind that the cost of dinner would be close to US$200 per person on average for a mean with wine....maybe even more. Even a room service bill for 2 bowls of noodles came to $80. Just be very prepared. The food is above average certainly, maybe even good, however, while we expect prices to be high, but to me for what we are getting, not worth it. Also bear in mind there is a 10% service charge and 12% state tax - 22% on top of everything,
7) Of major importance, most people expect in the Maldives expect to be able to snorkel around the hotel island and see some great fish. Not here, other than around the underwater restaurant where the fish are fed, the house reef is small and extremely disappointing. For newcomers to Maldives, my advice for you is to choose a location known to have a great house reef and lots of sealife around it.
8) We scuba dived most days, the dive instructor we had, Florian from France was fantastic. The dive sites we went to were all within 20-30mins of the resort. So that was nice. Some of the sites were interesting, loads of fish. Also saw some nice sharks and rays. So no complaints. Prices are not cheap, but you can email in advance for their price list and schedules. We learnt to dive Nitrox here and that was well worth it,
All in all, with my prior Maldives experience, this resort did not live up to my expectations, I think you could have a good experience here, but be mindful of the extra costs, the airport transfer issues and the impersonal hospitality.
I think management could do a lot if they actually listen to their most loyal customers.
From the moment the waterplane sets on the waters of the Lagune, great times start for you and your loved ones. Very warm welcome from the hotel staff, and you start forgetting after minutes what you left behind in your busy world at home. Beautiful beach & water villas, romantic sunsets, colourful fish right at the beach. Calm, private pools and beach spaces. We stayed at the Conrad Rangali for a week, enjoyed every minute, great facilities, excellent food in the various high-class restaurants, plentiful water sports opportunities. Most impressive was the friendliness of all staff from morning to late evenings always with smiles and very useful tips for activities or anything you may wish. Tennis great, and high class WiFi network in case you would like to send pictures from your retreat, remote island. Highly recommendable! We plan to return as many others we met already did! Management and staff take excellent care of their fine hotel, the environment and in particular on their guests. We left much happier than we came! Thank you all Conrad Rangali!
I’ve been in there,attended the wedding of my beloved lovely friends. Such a wonderful place!
If you want a quiet peaceful place then Rangali Island is one of the best places to be. Maldivians Spritz was very superb.love it! What a paradise!