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A review of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island – on Hilton points (Part 4)

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This is part four of our reader’s review of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. It focuses on snorkeling and diving, something we wouldn’t normally cover on HfP.  However as the images are stunning we had to include them.

The full four part HfP version of the review can be found starting here.

The author’s original version of this review, which includes larger and additional pictures, is here.

Snorkeling / Diving

This is still my primary reason for visiting the Maldives, we snorkelled every day. Even on our first afternoon at the resort we spotted a stingray within 10 minutes of being in the water.

If you are interested in snorkelling, you can rent a free life vest from the Watersports centre. The Ocean Dive centre will provide free masks, snorkel and fins. They will also show you how to use them, including tips on how to prevent the mask fogging up and how to clear it.

Our Snorkel Route from our Retreat Water Villa, heading south along the entire reef dropoff, at a depth of 10m+. It’s only recommended for experienced snorkelers equipped with a buoyancy aid.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Life on the reef

The El Nino event in 2016 resulted in many reefs in the Maldives being exposed to coral bleaching. These next two photos are of the same coral structure at the edge of the reef drop off. If you compare them you’ll see it highlights the effect of the warmer sea temperatures, especially on table/plate corals.

February 2015.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

February 2017.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Whilst the corals have been affected, there still appeared to be lots of interesting sea-life to enjoy. I’m fairly certain that some Rays and Turtles are the identical creatures we saw two years ago.

Here’s some examples of the diverse variety of life on the reef.

School of Blue Striped Snapper.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Black Spotted Eagle Ray.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Titan Triggerfish.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Stingray.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Turtle – (Video here).

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Hunting Octopus – (Video here).

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Here’s another Octopus.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

The same Octopus in flight moments later.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Stonefish (Venomous – photo taken using camera zoom).

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

White Tip Reef Shark.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Black Tip Reef Shark.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Giant Moray Eel – (Video here).

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Yellow Pufferfish.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Another Turtle.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Baby Squid.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

SCUBA Diving – Ocean Dive Centre info (pdf)

I didn’t feel the need to dive on my last trip but as soon as I learnt that there had been recent sightings of Manta Rays I made sure I registered with the Ocean Dive centre to try and see them!

Dives are $90++, Equipment is also charged per dive. (BCD $8++, Regulator $8++).

Even though I’d dived recently and my qualifications and experience didn’t require it, they offered a complimentary “shake down” dive in the safety of the lagoon. I was more than happy to go along as it’s also useful to orientate yourself with any equipment you’re hiring.

All went well with a short dive to 6m. The purpose of the dive was basically so we could prove to the instructor that we could confidently control our buoyancy in the water, clear our masks and cope if our regulator got knocked out accidentally. All good sound diving practice.

Approximately 10 of us departed from the Pontoon Bridge on a Dhoni Dive Boat.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

As I’m a reasonably experienced diver, I was paired up on my own with an understanding instructor which I really appreciated as she allowed me the freedom to do my own thing and stop to take photos.

First dive was a scenic drift dive at RehiThila which is about a 20 minutes boat ride to the south, where I saw a pretty cool Ghost Pipe Fish.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

For the second dive we moved to Rangali Madivaru (Manta Point) which is just south of the Conrad Resort. Where at an approx depth of 15m, I was lucky enough to be treated to 30 minutes with the spaceships of the sea (Video Here).

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Acknowledgements

Conrad staff: Bobby,  Alex, Anees, Kurt, Ahmed and the attentive F&B team at Vilu.

The lifeguard Muhusin and the teams at the Watersports and Ocean Dive centres.

review of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

NB: Whilst I endeavoured to use my own photos, occasionally I felt some were lacking in sufficient quality,  in those instances I linked directly to the Conrad website (Seaplane Lounge, King Beach Villa and Special Dining Opportunities)

If you want to learn more about the resort, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island home page is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (48)

  • Arun T says:

    Great set of articles. Rob, I would very much encourage more HFP ‘community’ reviews/articles of aspirational properties/trips when the spend is done on points (after all, isn’t that the point of this website!).

    As long as the quality of the review itself (as this one was) is good, and it isn’t done too often – it’s a nice change to mix things up a bit.

    • AndyF says:

      I completely agree I think it should be a section on the site where readers can discuss the most aspirational places to visit and how they did this with points etc to give possibly inspiration to other readers and targets to work towards. Great work.

      • Anna says:

        Fantastic idea for those, who like me, read travel blogs like other people read about houses and food lol.

  • Martin Barber says:

    We were lucky enough to enjoy five nights here last year on points, no thanks to BA who cancelled our flights and refused to rebook.

    Thanks for the stimulating some nice memories.

  • Tracy says:

    I read the articles with interest as I had considered using my points to book a week here. Decided against it as I don’t swim and have a fear of water lol (not even joking). Do like sunbathing though 🙂
    I used the points to book family trip to Florida instead. Have started accumulating Hilton points again so you never know…..

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Thanks for the great review Anon/TripRep was a great read and just shows you exactly what this game is all about

    76k points for a room than can be $2k a night, amazing.

  • nogoodboyo says:

    Hi Rob
    As a matter of balance I am willing to do a 4 part review of the Hampton Inn Newport East which at 10,000 points a night is the cheapest Honors stay in UK ( I stand to be corrected) I also have a camera (box brownie and polaroid so you need not worry about the picture quality)

    • TripRep says:

      You’ll need to cover the one in Newcastle as well to compare with another 10k, maybe as a follow up ? 😉

      • nogoodboyo says:

        What a brilliant idea I could start from 10,000 and work my way up.
        Would fill this blog for years!

    • Sundar says:

      Few hotels – 2 in Sheffield, 1 in Liverpool, 1 in Corby and 1 in Bristol are all 10K.

      • nogoodboyo says:

        Got to say I loved the octopus/ octopi? photos and another one? then the same one later WTF how the hell does this refer to HFP and its alleged banner “Helping UK business and leisure travellers maximise their miles.”
        This is a blatant advert for one hotel chain by some who is brown nosing and hoping for a gratis upgrade on their next trip.
        How does this help people maximise their miles collection?

        • Rob says:

          ‘Maximising’ miles and points means earning smartly and spending smartly. And, pound per point, this is the best way of spending Hilton points.

          In general, we only review hotels which can be redeemed via the major loyalty programmes.