The Maldives has always been one of the places on our bucket list. Pristine overwater villas on top of the clear turquoise waters are sights that we’ve seen countless on social media.
These are places that seem out of reach to most people and are only available to the most affluent and wealthy.
As a points and miles enthusiast, the Maldives is one of those places where it’s truly aspirational. It is the pinnacle of points redemption as these are typically very expensive places to visit on cash.
The Conrad Maldives Rengali Island is one of the best and most popular resorts in the Maldives. There is even a FlyerTalk forum that is dedicated specifically to this property.
After accumulating the necessary points through various signing bonuses, we were initially booked for our stay in May 2020. Unfortunately, we all knew how that went and the property was closed for 6 months in March.
We’ve had to move our reservations back several times and finally, in May 2022, we were finally heading to the Maldives!
Conrad Maldives – Booking
The sunset water villas go for US$1,450 per night including tax for the period we’re staying. During peak season, we see rates that go for more than US$2000 a night.
We used 380,000 Hilton points total for our stay, making our points worth US$0.019 per point. That’s almost 4x the normal redemption value of US$0.005 per point!
Conrad Maldives – Getting There
Getting to the Conrad Maldives is a journey by itself.
Guests will have to take a seaplane operated by the Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) which goes for US$600 round trip including taxes. The ride is approximately 45 minutes and is my least favourite part of the entire trip.
There is no air conditioning inside the plane and the engine sounds are deafening. Given the hot and humid Maldivian weather, this makes for a very uncomfortable journey.
Seaplane to the Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives Lounge in Male
Once the administration work is settled for the seaplane ride, we headed over to Conrad’s lounge located just 5 minutes away from Male International Airport.
Upon arrival in the lounge, the staff served us some drinks and offered us a food menu which we could order anything from.
We waited for approximately 20 minutes before the staff informed us that our seaplane is ready. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to enjoy our food due to the tight time constraints.
Trans Maldivian Airways Waiting Area
The staff from Conrad then transported us to TMA’s holding area where we waited for final confirmations of our flight. About 5 minutes in, the staff on-site told us that our flight was ready for boarding.
Arrival at the Conrad Maldives
As the seaplane arrives at Conrad Maldives’ pontoon, a group of staff were already standing by waiting for us.
As we departed the seaplane, the staff brought us into a small lounge area where they served us some refreshments and gave us some briefings about the resort.
Conrad Maldives – Sunset Overwater Villa
We were assigned room 308, the second group of overwater villas after Vilu restaurant. This set of villas faces the insides of the islands.
Do note that the Conrad Maldives does not participate in the free room upgrade scheme that other Hilton properties participate in. However, guests are given the option before check-in to pay to upgrade their rooms.
As Hilton Gold members, we were given a bottle of red wine, a box of chocolates and some marshmallows as welcome gifts.
The room features one of the most extensive minibar areas I’ve ever encountered. There are rows and rows of tidbits available so guests can always snack on something if they want to.
Almost everything from the minibar is chargeable except for the complimentary water and coffee capsules which they are generous enough to refill every day during housekeeping.
The bathroom in the overwater villas is enormous. It is almost as big as the room itself.
Once you enter the bathroom, you’ll be greeted by the large free-standing bathtub and the his-and-hers sinks.
Every overwater villa in Conrad Maldives comes with its patio area.
There’s typically a private pool and stairs that provide direct access to the ocean on the patio. There are also lounge chairs that guests can use for sunbathing.
For the sunset overwater villa, the private pool is really small which doesn’t make for a great photo. In our experience, we did not swim in the open waters much as the waters are always murky and there are a lot of barnacles surrounding the steps.
Conrad Maldives – Restaurants
When you’re staying at Conrad Maldives, you have to dine at their restaurants at some point during your stay. There are no other food alternatives nearby, and guests can’t easily go back to Male City for cheap food.
Luckily, the food here at Conrad Maldives is amazing. Although they are on the pricier side, they all taste incredibly good and are well worth the money spent.
During our 5 night stay, we managed to try most of the restaurants at the property.
As we visited during the shoulder seasons, not all restaurants are open every day as compared to the peak seasons. Only 2 of them will be open on any single day and it changes. Our butler gave us a schedule of the restaurant’s opening schedules during check-in.
As the name suggests, this restaurant is best visited during sunset. It provides an amazing sunset view of the island, with fishes swimming under you while you dine.
Before our meals arrived, they served us a complimentary basket of bread. The spread is pumpkin truffle and avocado butter.
Besides the basket of bread, there was also a small potato purée which tasted very good.
I got the Grilled Tiger Prawn (US$59) while M got the Sea Scallop (US$49). On top of that, we also got a plate of prosciutto (US$35).
Our total bill came up to US$190.96.
Vilu Restaurant (Breakfast & Dinner)
The Vilu Restaurant is located on Rengali Island, right beside the quiet pool. This is a contemporary Mediterranian restaurant that serves both breakfast and dinner.
For breakfast at Vilu, guests can order their food from the servers directly.
They have a wide selection of pastries available for guests to choose from.
Atoll Market (Breakfast)
Atoll market serves a buffet-style breakfast. For most days during our stay, we chose the Atoll Market over Vilu for our breakfast. This is because we prefer having smaller portions but a wider variety.
The food selections in Atoll Market differ very slightly every day, even though most of the main foods will be the same.
Unfortunately, we didn’t try the dinner buffet (US$125 per person) here at the Atoll Market. There are different themes for the buffet every night so be sure to check with your concierge manager.
Mandhoo Spa is located on the far end of the main island. If you’re not staying on the island, it’s best to grab a buggy as it can be quite a walk.
As usual, they served us a basket of bread containing various flavours. There’s a Tumeric, Multigrain and Sourdough option complemented with chickpea and butter as our spread.
Another complementary dish we got was the Lamb Cofta. Even as a non-mutton eater, I liked the Lamb Cofta as the game taste was noticeably absent.
I ordered the Grilled Tiger Prawns (US$59) and M got the Handpicked Crab Meat starter portion (US$36) and the Warm Cured Char starter portion (US$29).
At the end of our meal, we got an Earth – Chocolate Brownie (US$22) to share.
For our second time here, we decided to try different dishes from the menu.
I got the Black Angus Beef Tartar (US$32) and the Gravlax Spiced Tiger Prawn starter portion(US$30). M got the Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin (US$60).
This time for the bread, we were given 3 multigrain bread, salted butter and coconut carrot.
Ufaa is an oriental Chinese restaurant that primarily serves Asian dishes.
At Ufaa, the pre-meal basket of bread was replaced with a basket of Mantous. This typically plain Chinese bread is made slightly different here with 4 different unique flavours.
To top it off, guests are given a unique passionfruit dip.
For our main courses, I ordered the Grilled Cod with Brocolli (US$50). M got a plate of Seafood Fried Rice with Shrimp and Salad (US$29) and Prawns with Wasabi Mayo (US$26).
Rengali Bar is located between the reception area and Atoll Market. It only serves food from lunchtime until 4 pm, therefore it’s not an option for dinners.
At night, it serves simple bar food and drinks with live music. We’ve seen a lot of people hanging around here after their dinners to enjoy the atmosphere.
Before our trip, I’d heard good reviews about the Maldivian Lobsters served here in Rengali Bar and always wanted to try them. Unfortunately due to our plans for activities, we didn’t get to try eating at the bar.
Conrad Maldives – Amenities
There are 2 gym centres in Conrad Maldives. 1 on the Main Island and 1 on the Rengali Island.
During our stay, we visited the gym on the main island for a quick workout. We’ve tried visiting the one on the Rengali Island, but oddly enough our keycard didn’t grant us entry. There was also no one around to help us, so we just gave up on that.
The gym on the main island is very well equipped with modern fitness equipment.
The gym on the main island is open 24 hours with staff available during work hours while the gym on Rengali Island only opens from 6 am to 9 pm.
There are fitness activities that you can book. Some of them are complimentary while some require US$20 to US$30 per person. You can book them through the operator a couple of hours before the activity starts.
There are 2 spa locations on the property. The Mandhoo Spa is located on the main island while the Overwater Spa is on the Rengali Island.
During our stay, treatments between 8 am to 1 pm are given a 20% discount and 1 pm to 5 pm a 10% discount.
We decided to go for massage sessions at the Overwater Spa as it has a more novelty factor. It costs a cool US$250 for a 90-minute spa session.
Like everything else here in Conrad Maldives, there are 2 main swimming pools on the property.
One of them is located right beside the Atoll Market on the Main Island. This is where most families and kids go to.
The other is called the quiet pool and is located on Rengali Island. Children are not allowed here, so this might be more suitable for people looking for some peace.
Conrad Maldives – Activities
There are many activities that you can do at Conrad Maldives. We find that 5 nights is not enough to finish doing all the activities here.
Here are some of the activities we’ve done during our stay.
Snorkelling gear at Conrad Maldives is provided for free at the dive centre.
There are many places around the property to snorkel at, however not all locations are the same. The staff told us that the areas surrounding the Main Island have more fish as compared to the Rengali Island.
We’ve seen plenty of reef sharks and some corals while snorkelling along the coast.
There are many water sports activities available at the Conrad Maldives Sports Centre. Most activities cost money and they don’t come cheap. However, kayaking is one of the few activities that guests don’t have to pay money for.
On one of the sunnier days, we rented a kayak and explored the area between the two islands. It takes a lot of effort to paddle as the waves in the Maldives are very strong.
Scuba diving is one of the highlights of our trip! The Maldives is known to be one of the best places in the world to scuba dive. Although the corals here are mostly bleached, there is a huge variety of marine life here.
Divers can get to see whale sharks, sea turtles and even manta rays during their dives here.
It costs US$115 per dive including equipment rentals and US$15 extras for the night dive. We’d highly recommend doing the night dive if you have the chance.
Before the start of your dives, divers will have to go through a free orientation dive conducted near the Ithaa restaurant. This is as good as a dive by itself as you’ll get to swim around the famous underwater restaurant and see the fishes up close.
Conrad Maldives – Wifi
The WiFi at Conrad Maldives is barely passable, and it’s understandable. Most people coming to this resort will not be planning to do any work. Therefore, fast WiFi is not a requirement.
How much did we spend in Conrad Maldives?
This is perhaps the question we get asked the most when we were in the Maldives.
It is not cheap to visit the Maldives, even if you’re paying for your room with points. Our 5 nights stay at Conrad Maldives came up to a total of US$3,497.48.
This includes the seaplane rides, the spa session, diving trips and meals we’ve had.
The Conrad Maldives is one of the best resorts that we’ve ever stayed in. After years of planning, we’re glad that it finally happened for us.
Our 5-night stay in the Maldives has been nothing short of memorable. The service at the Conrad Maldives is impeccable and would be hard to top, even considering the wonderful experience we’ve had at the Hilton Playa-del-Carmen all-inclusive resort.
Although the Maldives is well-known for being an expensive destination to travel to, it doesn’t have to be! With some smart planning, you can significantly lower your overall cost of visiting the beautiful country.