Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: Sunrise Water Villas at the Conrad Maldives Rangali – worth it? (Part 2)

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is part 2 of Cat’s review of the Conrad Maldives Rangali, looking at the different room types as well as an in-depth look at the Sunrise Water Villas.

Part 1 of our Conrad Maldives Rangali review ran yesterday (click here), and it will conclude tomorrow with a review of the best restaurants at Conrad Maldives Rangali.

This resort is one of the most sought after hotel loyalty points redemptions, but does it live up to expectations?

The Conrad Maldives Rangali website is here.

Conrad Maldives Rangali 1200

Why you should stay in an overwater villa

Before I get to my review of the Sunrise Water Villa, I will say this – if you can stay in an overwater villa, I would.

Many people who are in a position to choose between an overwater and beach villa split their time – half of the nights in a beach villa, half in an overwater villa. I’d just stick to the overwater villas. There are many reasons for this:

  • it’s not that difficult to find a lovely villa in a nice hotel, right on the beach. It’s always delightful staying in a beach villa, but how often do you get the chance to stay in a villa built on stilts right over the water
  • the beach villa gardens and the stretch of beach on the house reef side are the places people tend to find themselves getting bitten by mosquitoes (and I can verify this, I don’t think I got bitten once on Rangali island, but was bothered by mosquitos every time we went snorkelling). I imagine Rangali management are, quite rightly, not keen on spraying insecticides near the reef.
  • the deck of the water villa will have an infinity jacuzzi (unheated, but with jets) or an infinity pool right above the water, all you can see is miles and miles of water, and it is absolutely *glorious* 
  • your deck has steps right into the sea. It’s fabulous. 
  • your desk in the water villa has a glass bottom to it, so if you’re stuck having to do something resembling work one day, at least you might have a reef shark or two to cheer you up
  • you can have a bath with a sea view
  • seriously – who can be bothered with moving rooms?

If you have children with you and aren’t in a position to upgrade to a Grand Water Villa (these are located on Rangalifinolhu island, so children under the age of 16 can stay if you sign a parental disclaimer form – all other water villas are located on the adults-only quiet island) then choose between the beach villas, but in all other circumstances I would stay in an over water villa.

All rooms have been recently refurbished, to a high standard, and reopened in March 2022.

Sunrise Water Villas (86 m2)

We stayed in the Sunrise Water Villas, which are the entry level water villas. They are stunning, spacious, and they sleep two people, with an extra single bed if you need a twin setup. They feature a huge king-sized bed (very, very comfortable!) a living area, a deck with infinity whirlpool (no, it isn’t heated!), sun loungers and parasol.

Conrad Maldives Rangali overwater villa bed 2

The bathroom has a bath with stunning lagoon views, a rainfall shower, a double vanity and a toilet tucked away, just off the bathroom behind a door. Here is a PR photo:

Conrad Maldives Sunrise Water Villa Bathroom 2

There are all sorts of wonderful touches, like the glass-bottomed desk, a walk-in wardrobe, the steps directly into the lagoon and the water gun, for spraying the saltwater off when you come back from a swim and don’t want to leave saltwater streaks on everything.

Conrad Maldives Rangali overwater villa privacy fence

The fences that separate the neighbouring villas give you a tremendous feeling of having your own private stretch of ocean, which is yours all the way to the horizon (photos never seem to show just how wide the gap between the fences and the edge of the deck is, but I think it’s about 2-3m from the edge of the deck to the fence on either side, so you really feel like you have this big, private space).

Conrad Maldives Rangali overwater villa view

Sometimes we saw our neighbours swimming out from their villa, but it was rare.

The only other thing that interrupted the sense utter isolation is the fact that the Sunrise Water Villas are overlooked by the Grand Water Villas on Rangalifinolhu Island:

Conrad Maldives Rangali view

Much is made of this fact by some people, who express a preference for the Sunset Water Villas because they prefer their deck not being overlooked. Honestly – the Grand Water Villas are about 800m away. Unless you’re a minor celebrity and you’re worried about paparazzi, I don’t see the problem. 

Many people spend significant amounts of time devoted to worrying about whether or not they will get a complementary upgrade to a Sunset Water Villa, because they are Diamond, or because they are a returning guest. You almost certainly won’t, and if you’re really that fussed, pay for the upgrade.

To be honest, I wouldn’t bother though. The rooms are exactly the same, the only differences are what time of day the sky is prettiest, whether you have a whirlpool or a plunge pool (honestly, we preferred the whirlpool – the jets were awesome), and whether you can step straight from your villa into the lagoon, or the shallow water fringing the deeper blue of the ocean (it looks stunning either way). Oh, and the fact that the views of the ocean from the sunset water villas are entirely unobstructed. 

Conrad Maldives Rangali overwater villa bed

Toiletries are Shanghai Tang Mandarin Tea, but are packaged in refillable ceramic pump containers (be careful not to knock them over in the shower!) in order to cut down on single use plastic waste. 

Rooms come equipped with an ironing board, a safe, and a luggage rack that’s large enough for two cases (all in the walk-in wardrobe), lots of shelves and drawers for storage space, large mirrors in the bathroom and a full length mirror in the walk-in wardrobe.

There is the usual mini-bar (although the mini-bar prices are a new level of absurd), a Nespresso machine and separate kettle (a variety of teas and pods are left for you in your room. If you need more of any tea or Nespresso pod, or a particular tea that isn’t there, you can ask the person who comes to clean your room. Milk is provided in the fridge, but it is UHT milk only.

There are USB charging sockets and British sockets dotted around the room in useful places. Staff come round every day for housekeeping and turndown service.

Sunset Water Villas (86 m2)

Sunset Water Villas are the same size as the Sunrise Villas, but these apparently allow you to sleep 3. Up until recently, both Sunrise and Sunset Water Villas fell under one category and were available as standard redemptions. People generally preferred the sunset side, and are upset that they now have to pay extra for them, rather than request them. 

Don’t get overly stressed about this – both are amazing. The Sunset Water Villas have plunge pools (slightly bigger, but without jets), unobstructed views of the ocean and rather lovely sunsets. 

Superior Water Villas with pool (76 m2)

Honestly, I’m not sure why anyone pays significant money to upgrade to these either. They are actually smaller and seem to have pretty much the same facilities. They do have a slightly bigger gap between villas and are angled such that the unobstructed views of the horizon are much wider, so the sense of having an enormous area all to yourself is greater. I suppose it comes down to the perception of private space vs actual private space.

Conrad Maldives Deluxe Water Villa bath

Deluxe Water Villa with pool (115 m2)

I didn’t see this room in person, unfortunately, but the bathroom on the website looks amazing. For some the upgrade would be worth it, just for the bathtub alone (pictured above!)

Grand Water Villas (150 m2)

If you are travelling with children, and are desperate to stay in an overwater villa, you can stay in a Grand Water Villa as long as you sign a parental waiver. The sense of space, privacy and standard of decor of these villas is noticeably higher than the other room categories that I saw. Here is a PR photo:

Grand Water Villa Conrad Maldives

The Grand Water Villas come with pool or whirlpool, and as one bedroom or two bedroom options. All looked absolutely lovely, and the bathrooms are divine.

Two Bedroom Rangali Ocean Pavilion with pool (451 m2, sleeps 6)

A whirlpool and a really big pool (this one is big enough that you can actually swim in). A gorgeous sandbar pretty much all to yourself (well, you share it with the other two bedroom Rangali Ocean Pavillion). The pool comes with a resident heron (well, it didn’t seem to want to move while I was there ….) There is a kitchenette, and the Pavilion appears to come with its own a private chef. The views are glorious, and the decor is stunning. It’s lovely, and absurdly spacious.

This is the only accommodation on Rangali island that families with children under the age of 16 are permitted to stay in if you sign the parental waiver.

The Muraka Residence (652 m2– 102 of which is 5m underwater, sleeps 9, but only 6 adults)

This has three bedrooms, one of which is an underwater suite. The master bedroom is hemicylindrical in shape, with transparent acrylic curved sides, so that you can see the marine life surrounding the room:

Muraka Residence Conrad Maldives

The lounge, bathroom (shower only) and walk-in wardrobe also feature enormous windows, so that you can enjoy the incredible underwater views of the Indian ocean from any part of the master suite. Above water, the Muraka Residence features a sunrise deck and a sunset deck, an infinity pool, a lounge and dining area, a kitchen, two ensuite bedrooms (one with bath and shower, the other with just a shower) and its own gym. It also comes with a 24-hour butler service. Food is apparently included in the price.

I did request a tour of the Muraka, when it was empty, but apparently this is no longer allowed.

Beach Villa (150 m2, sleeps 4)

This is the only room type that doesn’t come with its own pool. It features floor to ceiling windows, is mere metres from the water’s edge and has an outdoor bathroom with shower and open-air bathing pavilion.

Deluxe beach villa Conrad Maldives

Deluxe Beach Villa with Pool (300 m2, sleeps 4)

You can request a rectangular, oval, or kidney-shaped pool. The room has both outdoor and indoor showers and a jetted bathtub. They feel spacious, and significantly more luxurious than the base level beach villas. The deluxe beach villa also comes as a 2 bedroom option, but with similar bathroom facilities and the same floor area.

Three Bedroom Beach Suite with Pool (668 m2, sleeps 6)

Apparently, this comes with two pools and two bathrooms, as well as its own kitchenette. The main living area looks lovely and spacious, and it does look like a rather fabulous party pad.

Conclusion

I hope this gave you a good overview of your options at Conrad Maldives Rangali.

If you book the Conrad Rangali as a redemption – and frankly you’d be crazy not to, as it’s far cheaper to buy Hilton points in a points promotion and book a redemption than to pay cash – you have the choice of a Beach Villa or a Sunrise Water Villa.

Both of these options are available as Standard Room Reward redemptions for 120,000 points per night (or 96,000 if you have Hilton Honors Silver status or above, and book 5 nights for the price of 4). We were lucky enough to book before the redemption rates went up, and managed to book for 76,000 points per night (95,000 points per night, with 5 nights for the price of 4).

In Part 3 tomorrow we will look at the dining options available at Conrad Maldives Rangali – click here.

The Conrad Maldives Rangali website is here if you want to book or learn more.


How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (August 2022)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

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

Comments (44)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • YC says:

    For a newly refurbished Conrad, the bedroom and deck area does not look that impressive. As a comparison, JW Marriott looks superior on hard product while WA/STR are in a different league.

    • Cat says:

      That’s probably down to my photography, rather than the actual refurb! It looks very impressive in person!

  • Tony says:

    A long time since we visited the then Hilton Rangali but the snorkelling was much better on the island that had the beach villas? Do the meta rays still visit the bridge between the islands?

    • Tony says:

      Manta!

    • Kevin C says:

      Yes manta rays come to the bridge around nine to ten pm at night.

      • Cat says:

        Yes, there was a manta that we saw repeatedly, when we came back from the Sunset Grill (as Kevin C said – about 9-10pm). It was absolutely marvellous! The house reef is still the best spot for snorkelling, on the beach villa island, yes.

  • Gordon says:

    Great second part Cat, Looks fantastic I must put the Maldives on my itinerary, It would have to be a resort as close to Male as possible as my OH suffers from motion sickness so a sea plane or speed boat transfer will not go down too well, A commercial flight is a happy compromise, Re Air Tags I found Amazon to be the most competitive price I paid £85.50p for 4. But still worth a look around.

    • Cat says:

      Thanks Gordon, I’ll have a look before I head to Costa Rica this summer!

      Does anyone else have any recommendations for resorts that are just as gloriously beautiful, that are closer to Male? Although 30-40 minutes on a seaplane isn’t too bad with prescription medication, I’m told!

      • Gordon says:

        We have several flights a year which are mostly ok as My OH takes Kalms which help.Will have to look at maybe something else. But she is not keen on anything too strong. I’m sure we will get there on way or another. Thanks 🙂

    • Benilyn says:

      WA Maldives take you on a very nice yacht which is decent sized, which was not rocky.
      IMO sea plane is vey uncomfortable (squashed, no AC) but it wasn’t very rocky.

    • Tracey says:

      There are resorts which are a small plane ride rather than sea plane away. Anything near Malé is going to require a boat if not a sea plane.
      Kwells are my sea sickness tablet of choice.

  • 1ATL says:

    We did Soneva Fushi earlier this year. Partner is similarly affected with motion sickness. We took a domestic flight from MLE to a neighbouring island and then a 20 minute speedboat from there. On departure we were told the domestic flight had been cancelled and we were going back to Male by seaplane. We had the Soneva branded seaplane configured for 8 passengers (1-1 leather seats). The consensus was the seaplane was far more enjoyable than the speedboat transfer we’d taken on arrival and why hadn’t we just done this in the first place…. I had to take a moment to bite my tongue…. I’d have happily taken the seaplane all day long had it not been for their apartment montion sickness!

    • Gordon says:

      That’s good to know, Thank you for your insight 1ATL. It’s really good to know peoples experiences first hand this kind of feedback is so valuable….

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.