Conrad Maldives Final Thoughts: The good, the bad, and the expensive

Star Alliance First Class Lounge at LAX
Star Alliance Business Class Lounge at LAX
Asiana A380 First Class Los Angeles to Seoul
Asiana Business Class Lounge in Seoul
Thai Airways 777-300 Business Class Seoul to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
Qantas Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Sri Lankan A321 Business Class Hong Kong to Colombo
Serendiva Colombo Airside Transit Hotel
Serendib Lounge
SriLankan Airways A330-300 Business Class Colombo to Male
Conrad Maldives:
– Seaplane Ride, Male Airport Lounge, and Arrival
– Beach Villa
– Deluxe Beach Villa
– Superior Water Villa
– Ithaa Undersea Restaurant: Cocktails
Hilton Gold and Diamond Benefits: Mandhoo Tea, Free Breakfast at Vilu and Atoll Market
– Conrad Maldives Final Thoughts: The good, the bad, and the expensive
Etihad A320 Business Class Male to Abu Dhabi
First Class Etihad Lounge Abu Dhabi
Etihad A380 First Class Apartments

Wrapping up my trip reviews of the Conrad Maldives is almost as tough as leaving the Maldives itself! I wanted to wrap up with a mishmash of thoughts on the Conrad Maldives, from the good, bad, and surprising.

#1: The Water Situation

Yup, water. The rooms and breakfast offered glass bottles with filtered water (refilled daily in room). The bottles even said how much more sustainable it was to use them. Yet every time you went to a restaurant and wanted water there came a $13 bottle of Voss. Made for nice pictures but it got expensive. We tried to hydrate in the room but ultimately it’s hot in the Maldives and we got thirsty! Our final bill probably was probably an extra $150 due to this.

Mandhoo Conrad Maldives
It’s like a Voss commercial!

#2: The Cost…of EVERYTHING

Don’t get me wrong, the $13 bottles of Voss weren’t appreciated. But, the cost of everything at the Conrad is pricey. Which, we 100% knew going in but it still ends up being rather shocking when you’re actually looking at the prices in person. Here is one page of the menu at Rangali Bar (the general main bar where you can pop in for food at any time).

Conrad Maldives Rangali Bar Menu
Conrad Maldives Rangali Bar Snack Menu

In addition we decided we wanted to do a water activity. We debated the whale shark snorkeling tour like crazy but eventually decided to pass at $200 each (before tax and service charge of course!). Luckily we did because there was no whale sharks sighted the day we went!

We ended up doing a 45 minute jet ski for $250 where an employee led us around neighboring islands and we saw a school of dolphins. It was gorgeous but jet ski rentals in Mexico never looked so good at those prices.

#3: The Awesome Service

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to recruit and keep good employees without island fever making them go crazy. Yet somehow the service was consistently outstanding. Many employees are Maldivian but many more are from other countries.

In addition I’ve mentioned our awesome host Naoko in other reviews. Not only was she there for every transfer and took care of every tiny need, she also worked very hard to get us late checkouts from each room when possible – much appreciated! Naoko even found us the evening before checkout at the Rangali Bar where we were having cocktails with friends we made to make sure she explained the checkout/seaplane process to us in person.

Conrad Maldives Welcome
Conrad Maldives employees greeting us upon our arrival

Each and every employee was a pleasure to interact with and it truly made the experience so much more special than just the scenery and accommodations would have.

#4: Temperature – Both of the Water and Outside

The Maldives may be beautiful and picturesque but they were also hot and sticky. Often unbearably so where even at the gorgeous happy hour we were sweating like crazy. When advice says to bring very light and airy clothes, definitely do!

That being said, the water temperature from the Deluxe Beach Villa plunge pool, to the ocean, to the main pool was perfect. Refreshing and cool but not chilly in the slightest. It definitely made the idea of paradise feel real!

Conrad Maldives Deluxe Beach Villa Seating on water

#5 How Valuable Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond is

I wrote about the perks of status extensively but it really saved us a tremendous amount of money. It is a no brainer to not pick up the Hilton Surpass from Amex before heading to the Conrad Maldives. We easily saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Bottom Line

No property is perfect, even somewhere this stunning. And at 95,000 Hilton points per night (or 76,000 if you stay 5 due to 5th night free) it is not a low end redemption. However, I personally have never stayed somewhere that felt so special, despite a few minor complaints. I wasn’t sure if I would “get it” before I got to the Maldives. Rest assured, I get it now.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to the Maldives. It’s not a short trek from my home in Phoenix but it absolutely is a bucket list destination that everyone should try to get to (using points!) at some point in their life.

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