The Maldives has been at the top of my bucket list for ages, so I couldn’t have been more excited when we escaped the cold winter in Zurich this past March to visit the Maldives. Home to some of the bluest water in the world, white sand beaches, luxurious overwater bungalows, and abundant sea life such as blacktip reef sharks and stingrays – the Maldives have pretty much everything you can think of when it comes to paradise!
We were lucky enough to spend 4 nights in the Maldives at the beautiful Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort. We had originally planned to spend 9 days in the Maldives, but unfortunately due to the current Corona Virus situation, travel between islands was banned by the government just a few days after we had arrived. So for the sake of our safety, we had to make the tough decision to cut our trip short. We were so sad to have to leave paradise early, but the 5 days we had on Rangali Island were truly memorable. In this blog post, I’ll break down our entire trip, including how we spent our 5 days at Conrad Rangali Island and everything you need to know about getting here.
A little bit about the Maldives
Located in the Indian Ocean, about 500 miles southwest of Sri Lanka, the Maldives is about as isolated as you can get. It consists of 1,200 small coral islands and sandbanks grouped into a double chain of 26 atolls. There are over 130 resorts in the Maldives, where each resort occupies it’s very own island. So it’s important to pick a resort that fits your needs since it’s where you’ll be spending all your time while you’re here.
How to get to the Maldives
From Europe: To get to the Maldives from Europe, you can either take a direct flight (which is more expensive) or you’ll need to transit through the Middle East via Etihad, Emirates, Oman Air or Qatar Airways. Then from there, you’ll fly into Male, which is the capital city of the Maldives. The trip in total took a little over 13 hours, so I would suggest leaving on a flight the day before. This will allow you to get in early the following day to maximize your time here. Flights were only $750 from Zurich, which we thought was relatively inexpensive considering we were traveling during high season.
From the US: If you’re traveling from the US, your journey will be significantly longer (30+ hours) and more expensive – I’ve heard friends paying up to $1300 for round trip flight. You’ll most likely have to fly to JFK where you can take a direct flight to Dubai or another Middle Eastern country and then travel onwards to Male. I suggest combining your trip with a short stay in the Middle East or Europe (where you can catch direct flights) to make the cost less expensive.
When is the best time to visit
The best time to visit the Maldives is during the dry season, which is from November to April. During this time you’ll experience the best weather, warmest temperatures, and little rain – in fact, it only rained for 5 minutes during our entire time here. However, this is also the high season, meaning it’s the busiest time of the year and resorts will be significantly more expensive. May to October is considered the rainy season, where the islands get between 5-10 inches of rain per month and experience strong winds.
Since the Maldives is so close to the equator the average temperature is between 25-30C° or 77°-86F° and only drops a few degrees at night. On average, you can enjoy about 8 hours of sunshine every day and water temperatures that barely fall below 25°C/77F°.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a one-of-a-kind resort, which is spread across two interconnected islands nestled in the South Ari Atoll. It’s known for its abundant flora and fauna, rare marine life, and unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean. The resort is quite large, which makes it feel very private and secluded from other guests.
From the moment we arrived, the entire staff made us feel at home and took care of every need we had, including our endless smoothie and coconut requests. The entire resort is beautiful and ideal for anyone looking to experience the perfect vacation in paradise.
What I truly loved about this resort is that they practice environmental and social sustainability, with incredible initiatives like their coral reef restoration project where you can adopt and plant your own coral. It’s an experience I highly recommend and is a great way to support the Maldivian ecosystem!
How to get to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is located just a short 30 minute seaplane ride from Male airport. Once we landed in Male, we were warmly greeted by Conrad staff, who took care of our luggage and arranged our seaplane transfers. They escorted us to their private lounge for drinks, snacks, and massages while we waited for our seaplane to arrive. The entire seaplane ride is incredibly beautiful so you’ll want to make sure you get a window seat where you can admire the atolls and brilliant blue water from above.
When we arrived at the resort, we instantly felt like we had arrived in paradise. We were welcomed by our personal service agent who took care of our luggage and escorted us to our accommodation for the rest of our stay, a Deluxe Beach Villa. The resort features several different types of villas located both on the beach and over the water, spread across the two islands – Rangalifinolhu and Rangali. Rangalifinolhu is where most of the restaurants and activities are, making it great for families, whereas Rangali is more private and designated for couples. Due to the size of the resort, the best way to get around is by calling for a buggy, which picks you up directly from your door.
I really wanted to stay in one of the water villas, but at the time they were redoing them. However, the Deluxe Beach Villa was recently renovated and felt extremely new and luxurious. My favorite part was having private access to the beach and snorkeling just outside our door and a private pool for night swims in our backyard!
What to do while staying here
While staying at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, there are endless water and land activities to experience that you’ll never find yourself bored. We spent most of our days, swimming and snorkeling in the nearby reefs, where we saw vibrant fish, sharks, rays, and sea turtles.
- On the beach, there are plenty of options to try including catamaran sailing, stand up paddleboarding, canoeing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, kayaking and the thrilling X-Jet Pack.
- Take a tour with the Ocean Dive Centre team on the island where you can discover an abundance of colorful fish, vibrant coral, sea turtles, rays and sharks. Some of my favorite tours include the Whale Shark Tour, Turtle Safari, and Snorkel hopping.
- Go on a sunset dolphin cruise for a chance to spot dolphins and experience stunning sunset views.
- Experience a sunset champagne cruise, where you can enjoy champagne and canapés while watching the sunset
- Take a dip in one of the resort’s two infinity pools – one designed for adults on Rangali Island, and another for families, on Rangalifinolhu Island
- If you stay at Conrad Rangali Maldives Island, you must experience their beautiful spas before leaving. There are two spa centers located on each of the islands. The one on the main island, The Spa Retreat, has some of the most beautiful treatment rooms I’ve ever seen and the one on the other island, Over-Water Spa, has a glass-bottom treatment room.
- Take part in a daily yoga session led by the resident instructor, while taking in the views of the Indian Ocean
- Keep active during your stay by visiting the 24-hour fitness center, tennis court, or beach volleyball court
- Learn the art of making dumplings, handmade noodles and dim sum wrappers with a celebrity chef – Jereme Leung
Conrad Rangali Maldives Island is home to 12 award-winning restaurants and bars. Each is delicious and unique in their own ways, and offer a wide variety of cuisines.
- Atoll Market: We had most of our breakfast and dinners at Atoll Market, which is a buffet featuring a wide variety of cuisines including Indian, Japanese, Chinese and plenty of delicious breakfast options and tropical fruit. We absolutely loved Atoll for its selection and taste. My favorite part was the fresh juice bar and Indian and sushi options.
- Ithaa Undersea Restaurant: By far one of my favorite things we experienced on the island was Ithaa. Ithaa is the first undersea restaurant in the world, where you can dine 5 meters underwater alongside sharks, rays, and colorful fish five meters below the surface. It’s one place you have to visit before leaving the island, even if it’s just for a cocktail.
- Mandhoo Spa Restaurant: If you’re looking for good views and equally good food, then Mandhoo is the perfect restaurant for you. The entire restaurant is set on stilts above the ocean, where you can see sharks and rays pass by while enjoying lunch or dinner. The menu is based on the 5 elements — air, earth, fire, water and plants — each designed to affect the mind and body in different ways. It’s filled with plenty of healthy dishes and vegetarian options, my favorite being the quinoa cakes and seared tuna.
- Ufaa: Ufaa offers a wide range of Chinese dishes filled with flavor. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch here alongside the beach, opting for the Seafood crystal dumplings, Sichuan style poached reef fish, and my personal favorite — the mango and shrimp spring rolls.
- Champagne and Lobster Night: On our first night in the Maldives, we had an incredible seafood feast with endless champagne – a winning combo if you ask me. If you’re into seafood, then you’ll love the fresh lobster, tuna, prawns, and calamari they cook on the grill right in front of you. Watching sunset and having dinner on a candle-lit table by the beach is the perfect romantic experience for any couple.
- There are plenty of other dining experiences at the resort that we didn’t get a chance to try. These include Vilu Restaurant and Bar, Wine and Cheese at the Wine Cellar, Koko Grill, Maldivian Nights and many other Beach Dining events, which are perfect for Honeymooners or couples.
Before we knew it, our 5 day stay in the Maldives with Conrad Maldives Rangali Island had come to an end. It was so hard to say goodbye to such a beautiful place in paradise and I will definitely miss our daily swims and strolls along the white sand beaches. We felt more relaxed and energized than ever after our stay here, and left with full hearts knowing we would be back again sometime soon. Based on our own personal experience, I can highly recommend staying at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island if you’re looking for the perfect island paradise to escape to.
I hope you found this Maldives guide helpful to plan your very own trip to the Maldives. If you have any other experiences from the Maldives that you loved and would like to share, let me know in the comments below!
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