This is the first of six posts on the Maldives. Check out our other posts here:
- Getting to the Conrad Rangali
- 3 Nights of Paradise at the Conrad Rangali
- Relaxing in Paradise: Activities at the Conrad Rangali
- You Can Swim with Whale Sharks in the Maldives!
- Trying to Eat Cheaply at the Conrad Rangali
- Our Brief Time in Malé, Maldives
When Mrs. Selfish and I started talking about our Thanksgiving trip, I had originally planned on traveling to the Maldives to stay at the Conrad Rangali before the great Hilton devaluation. Unfortunately, Mrs. Selfish, sensing a large number of flights, axed the trip. I kept our reservation, however, secretly hoping something would change.
Fortunately, luck was on my side when Cathay Pacific announced the opening of their Hong Kong – Male route back in July 2013. The trip was on!
Sea-planing to the Conrad Rangali
The Conrad Rangali is in no way a cheap, or affordable hotel. While you can get a room for free with HHonors points the food, activities, and extras can add up very, very quickly.
Case in point, the sea plane. At roughly $450 per person, this sucker ain’t cheap. It is luxurious, however, as is the entire experience from beginning until end.
Mrs. Selfish and I ended up landing in Male around 9pm our first night in the Maldives, which was a good 4-5 hours after the last seaplane had left for the Conrad Rangali. Fortunately, I had booked us at the Hotel Octave, a small hotel in Male, which is a good 20 minutes by boat and car from the airport.
Transportation to and from the hotel was free, fast, and efficient. The next morning we were dropped back at the airport to the welcome counter for the Conrad Rangali.
The Male airport has a large section dedicated to small hotel counters, which is something I hadn’t really seen before. We later learned that there are something like 108 different hotel islands, which explained their massive presence in the Male airport. Fortunately, finding the counter for the Conrad is pretty easy.
After checking in, we were whisked away by private mini-van to the Conrad’s seaplane lounge.
The lounge is a pretty slick, relatively new operation, with tons of food options and even more seats. They also offered free shoulder & back massages (for 10 minutes). Unfortunately, Mrs. Selfish and I arrived pretty close to the time of our flight, so we missed out on the free massage. Bummer.
The lounge was very nice, however. Given that our return flight left us with 6 hours to kill in Male, I was tempted to come back, but the $89 pp entry fee axed that idea pretty quick.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat and downing some more coffee, our plane was here!
Mrs. Selfish and I quickly maneuvered to the front of the line and boarded the plane. The flight was almost entirely full – with the population being roughly 45% Asian (mostly Chinese), 40% European (mostly Russian), and 15% North American. We found that this was about right for the resort itself.
After a few quick announcements from our (shoeless) pilot, we were off!
PRO-TIP: sit on the right side of the plane for views of the hotel.
After a little less than 30 minutes we landed at the Conrad Rangali. I had expected stormy weather after reading reports on flyertalk, but we somehow lucked out. Not a cloud in sight!
Join us again tomorrow when I’ll go over the accommodations.