Winter Sun & All Year Round Sun Seeking – CONRAD MALDIVES
Welcome to paradise.
If You follow me on Instagram and/or Snapchat – @iamchouquette you will know I was lucky enough to return to the Maldives in November, this time I stayed at the CONRAD MALDIVES. I first visited the Maldives in January 2016 for our honeymoon see here and here, for us it was the perfect place to honeymoon. We wanted the cliche romantic destination but we combined it with the adventure of Sri Lanka and the hustle and bustle of India. I recommend to combine your holidays to ensure you get the most out of the traveling. Most of you know Paris (my husband) works in travel at KENSINGTON & PEARL, contact them here to book this trip. We are both obsessed with traveling and spend our lives hunting down the dreamiest of all destinations. We both like opposite things whilst traveling, this means where ever we go we usually get our check lists covered which means we can show you something for everyone.
I like to relax, I love the spa, I like a little bit of luxury and I am happy to sit in the corner and not speak to anyone all day. Paris loves adventure, food (and alcohol) he loves to keep busy and socialise in the evening. Can you see how opposite we are? The Maldives kept us both happy. When I returned back to the Maldives I went with a group of girls. I honestly would not have imagined picking a resort in the Maldives for a girls trips, how small minded of me because it was the most amazing place to spend with the girls. The Maldives has so much to offer for couples but also group trips and people traveling alone. This article will tell you all about what the CONRAD MALDIVES has to offer, what you can expect and all the advice from my stay. It’s very over whelming choosing a resort in the Maldives because there are 105 resorts to choose from. I hope this review helps you narrow that down. If there is anything I didn’t cover please leave me a comment below and be mindful that in a few days I will be sharing my style dairy of some of my holiday looks as well as my video on YouTube.
Let’s start with talking a little bit about CONRAD as a brand. I am always reluctant to book a well know resort, I worry it will not live up to expectations, maybe they just have good marketing and sometimes I find they are not as intimate as the boutique/smaller brands. When I visited NYC in September with E! we chose the CONRAD NYC based on the room size. This hotel has the largest rooms in NYC. This trip made me trust the CONRAD as a brand and the Maldives made me fall in love with them. The CONRAD is brand I now love and trust and I will continue to travel with them. Basically they live up to the expectations and this is really important to me. The CONRAD offer a loyalty scheme “Hilton HHonours” which you can read more about here, it’s really worth checking this out.
WHAT I LOVED THE MOST
When I think of this trip or someone asks me “how was the Maldives” the first thing I think if was The Spa Retreat. Like I said earlier, I love the spa. I visit the spa on every holiday I go on as well as in the UK. I am very hard to please and very judge mental about EVERYTHING. The CONRAD spa is officially, as of yet the best spa experience I have ever had. I had a fantastic massage under the stars on my honeymoon, I had an unforgettable treatment in Ubud Bali and I will never forget my massage at the Tivoli hotel in Portugal. The CONRAD Spa Retreat just got added to my top spa treatments.
Why was is unforgettable?
I take all of the below into consideration when rating a spa:
The set up and spa area – 10/10
The Therapist in terms of customer service and skill – 11/10
Products used and actual treatment – 10/10
How I felt after – 10/10
This Spa Retreat is perfect, there was nothing to improve. The rooms are set in a row of huts which are on stilts in the ocean. The view is looking out into the open water, the room is spacious, there were flowers under the bed and there is even an open shower and toilet. The set up was simply breath taking. The treatment I had was the 90 minute full body massage. The therapist exfoliated my body for 30 minutes, I then showered in the private but open shower to then finish off an hour long body massage. I was rolled with a huge rolling pin, which made me feel like a slab of dough (in a good way.) It was heaven and I have never had a therapist massage my feet like this before. I suffer from arthritis in my feet which is why I concentrated on the feet and this treatment was the best I have ever had. Afterwards I felt 100% zen and ready to start my relaxation. I recommend booking a treatment here as soon as you land. There is nothing more perfect than starting your holiday with a spa treatment after a long journey. The spa is sensational and exceptional. Apart from the beauty of the island and one o the activities which I will mention later on, this was the highlight of my stay. To visit this resort without booking a spa treatment would be quite frankly hideous.
BEAUTY OF THE ISLAND
The Maldives is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The only down side to this is your future holidays will have a lot to live up to. You really will feel like you have just stepped into an Instagram photo or a Pinterest board. It felt pretty surreal to me the entire time I was there, even my second time visiting felt over whelming.
The only reason we did not visit the CONRAD for our honeymoon was because of the sea plane flight from the airport to the island. Paris is terrified of flying to the point where a sea plane is a no go for him. I read that the further the islands are away from the airport the more beautiful there are. This is down to the more remote the better. I respected his fear and we looked else where. When I landed from the sea plane the first thing I did was call Paris and tell him about my flight. I was shocked how safe I felt in the sea plane. The plane only flies over the sea, if anything was to go wrong the plane can land on the sea. The plane also flies pretty low. The entire flight I was looking out the window and saying to myself “right, if we crash I can defiantly jumper from this height and survive,” I honestly felt safer than any other flight I have ever taken. Paris is now happy to try a sea plane next time round. If you are scared of flying I can assure you this is not as scary as it may seem. I thought it was a beautiful experience.
The CONRAD island is remote enough to feel totally secluded. The sea plane was around thirty minutes long and the island has their own time zone, they are an hour ahead of the main island. You feel like you are in another world.
I said before in my last Maldives article that the Maldivan people (sorry to stereotype) are so welcoming and kind. I have been to three resorts in the Maldives and they were all so lovely and friendly. I feel this kind of customer service/vibe really makes your holiday that little bit better. Speaking of vibes I remember saying to one of the girls “the vibe here is so zen”. The vibe of the island is so chilled peaceful but yet there is so much to do. If you are looking for seclusion and privacy there is plenty of that. But if you are seeking activities and adventure there is also plenty of that too (scroll down to activities.)
We were really lucky to stay in the Water Villas. This was a life goal for me, it’s a stay I will never forget. Waking up to this view will stay with me forever. There are wild sharks swimming passed the villas every day. There was never a dull moment. I would suggest to stay in one of the Water Villas but by all means consider the Beach Villas too. On arrival we were checked into the Beach Villas. I will be honest, I just wanted to get into the Water Villa. This however all changed the moment I stepped into the bungalow. The Beach Villas were refurbished a month before (October 2016) we were there.OMG amazing. Everything was fresh and new, the design and layout was really grand, I had a private outdoor bath and shower one end and a private garden on the beach the other. You could step outside your room and be on the beach. If I was staying here for the rest of the trip I would have been more than happy. I did not take any photos go the room because I filmed it all. There will be a room tour in the video so stay tuned for that.
There was a boat that took us from one island to another, as the water villas are on a separate island. You can walk across the bridge or take the water taxi.
There are other rooms available such as the Delux Beach Villa and the Superior Water Villa. To learn more about or connect with Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, please visit www.conradmaldives.com or call +960 668-0629. For more information about Conrad Hotels & Resorts, please visit news.conradhotels.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
ACTIVITIES – IS THE MALDIVES BORING?
The Maldives is known for it’s beauty and for its romantic setting. For me personally this is enough. I was so thankful to be there during both my stays. I go away to seek relaxation and I want to do it in the most beautiful places in the world. The CONRAD ticked all my boxes and exceeded expectations where the accommodations and spa was concerned.
If you need more than just relaxation and somewhere nice to sleep then this is what they have to offer:
Manta Ray watching, shark feeding, snorkelling with a whale shark, water sports (jet pack, jet skies) diving, beach yoga and boat cruises.
You can do some of these activities during the day and sometimes at night. Some are apart of the stay and some activities you have to pay for. There are also plenty of restaurants, if you are anything like Paris you will consider these as “activities”, for him eating and drink is the funniest of them all.
We did not even have time to cover all of the activities. We went of a sunset cruise in search of the dolphins. The boat was huge, a really impressive boat where we sipped champagne and watched the pink skies. I can honestly say if you are looking for a proposal spot this for me would be the best ever. It was very romantic and beautiful.
We did the sunset yoga which was another bucket list of mine. We did this on the beach with the most beautiful view on the white sand, perfectly blue ocean, pink sky and Water Villa huts in the distance. I know I keep using the word “beautiful” but it really is the best word to describe this resort. We did have the sunrise yoga planned but the weather was too stormy and we had to cancel. This brings me to talk about the climate and when are the best months to visit the Maldives. The best months to visit are between November – April. I went in November and in January. Even though these are meant to be the “dry” seasons I had heavy, heavy rain during both visits. It’s okay because they clear up fast and you can still be out an about. It’s a tropical storm not like London. There is still plenty to do like, swim in the rain, eat, drink, dive or go to the spa. However we all know you do not want pay to visit the Maldives in the rain. I am just stating that it can rain at any time and if it does there is nothing you can do but make the most of it. My friend went to the Maldives in October which is apart of the monsoon season which runs from May- October. He did not get one drop of rain. You can never be too sure, however I would prefer to pay a little extra to avoid the monsoon season.
The other experience we did was the Whale Shark snorkelling. The story I have is too funny and too amazing for me not to share. If you want to skip this story then just know that is one of the best experiences of my life and alongside the spa this was next level unforgettable.
When I went to the Maldives before I went out on the boat and went snorkelling. I am not scared of much but the sea is one of the things in life I am scared of. My mind runs wild because I have seen too many films and spend too much time googling shark attacks. I do not like the deep water and not knowing what could come near me at any moment. I am also a bad swimmer. Paris is the opposite, he is a professional diver and has a sailing licence (of course he does) therefore he made me go snorkelling before. I saw small shark, which was enough to make me get back on the boat. This shark was the same size as the ones you see swimming around the island. They are no huge like Great White but it’s still a shark that darts in diagonal lines…. makes me shudder thinking about it. Anyway I did not actually know what a “Whale Shark” was when I happily jumped onto the boat. I only agreed to do it because A. I did it for Paris, he would be so disappointed in me if I passed up a great opportunity like this. B. I do not like to pass things by or miss or not challenge myself and C. the PR girl Nicole that was with us was really adventures, her no fear attitude rubbed off on me and she made me feel like I could do it.
We were having so much fun on the boat that I forgot about the whales. The staff on the boat explained that there is a good chance that we will not find any whales but if we do, we must jump into the water immediately because they swim away. The whales are wild so if they want to carry on swimming they will.
We were on boat and then suddenly the boat stopped, the driver said “JUMP!” I quickly said to Nicole “what am I looking for a small shark right?” The entire boat said “NO Claire the whale will be bigger than this boat”. Guys the boat was BIG. My face dropped, my mouth was open and I said “WHAT! I can’t go in then” and before I knew it two girls were already in. Two of the girls were gone and in the water and the other two were sea sick and not going in. I was in two minds. One of the CONRAD members said you have to go now because it’s already swimming away and he gave me a very tiny little push off the boat. I think he could sense that I really wanted to do it but needed a little push. I also had Danielle screaming “GO you can do it”. I jumped into the water and it was right there, literally right there beneath me. Everyone was swimming above where it was thirty seconds ago but the whale had already swam away which happened to be beneath me. There I was above this gigantic Whale Shark, it was so over whelming because it was so beautiful (there I go using that word again) and it all happened so fast. My imagination started to run wild and I imagined the whale rapidly spinning around and swallowing me whole. One of the CONRAD divers was right near me and in my fear I held his hand, I mean how embarrassing.
I have screen shot some stills from the Go Pro footage but stay tuned of the video because it has everything in there. When you scroll down to see the images, bear in mind the whale shark is very deep and appears smaller than it actually is.
This was the other highlights of my trip. I hope you experience the unique experience as I did.
FOR FOODIES THE FOODIES
I am not a huge foodie, this is mainly due to my never ending list of allergies; I am every restaurants worst nightmare. Although I don’t love food I am still a fussy eater so I do need to make sure there is food I can eat. I also understand that food is a huge part of someones holiday (PARIS) so I made sure to try as much as possible.
Drinks are another story. I love nice wine with dinner, I love a cocktail in the evening and I love iced coffees. The cocktails were sensational and so pretty (I was going to say beautiful but I didn’t) 10/10 for the cocktails. We even did cocktail tasting on the last night. The cocktails are created by Grant Collins (the mixologist) so expect big things from the cocktail menu.
There are 12 restaurants on the resort, yes 12; you can read all about them here. We experience most of them and visited all of them. My favourite was the Sunset Grill and the Champagne and Lobster on the Beach. The Sunset Grill is a hut above the ocean, we had sharks circling us whilst we were eating, imagine? Although I am allergic to fish I still enjoyed the Lobster Beach restaurant, the chef came out to see me and made me a separate dinner from a separate grill. I loved eating on the beach it was a really amazing dinner. There is so much choice when it comes to dining. I have heard people say that they worry you can not venture off the island to the local town but the way I see it is there are already so many options on the island so why go else where. Not only are there plenty of options but you also know they will be amazing because it’s apart of the hotel. I love the feeling of being secluded on an island, it’s so much more appealing to me.
The CONRAD Maldives are known for their Ithaa under water restaurant. This restaurant won “Under Water Restaurant of The Year 2015.” This is a must to experience. This place is another proposal hotspot.
The Mandhoo Spa Restaurant is 100m out to sea and this is where the shark feeding takes place.
I have included some photographs that I took of the food so you can see for your self how it looks.
I hope you enjoyed my Conrad Rangali Resort review. I hope I covered everything to help you decide if this trip is for you.
Please leave a comment in the box below if you need to ask me anything about this resort. Do not forget that KENSINGTON & PEARL are offering 10% off booking promotion for the Maldives if you contact them.
Stay tuned for my Maldives style dairy this Sunday as well as the video which I am so excited to share with you.
Thank you to the Conrad Maldives and Grif Co PR for hosting me.