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What are the best restaurants at Conrad Maldives – and how can you keep costs down? (Part 3)

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This is the third part of our in-depth review of the Conrad Maldives Rangali resort by reader Cat. In this part we will take a closer look at the restaurants and bars available at the resort.

Part 1 of our Conrad Maldives Rangali review is here and Part 2, looking at villa options at Conrad Maldives Rangali, is here. If you’ve got any questions, ask them in the comments – Cat should also be at the HfP party on Wednesday if you’re coming along.

The Conrad Maldives Rangali website is here.

Over to Cat:

“With ten bars and restaurants that serve food and three beach dining experiences, private dining options and an in-villa menu, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining at Rangali. The restaurants offer a wide variety of different cuisines, and while none of them are cheap, the quality of food we were served was consistently extremely good, and it was worth every penny.

Conrad Maldives Rangali 1200

Breakfast at the Conrad Rangali

For breakfast, you have two choices – the buffet at Atoll Market, and the a la carte menu at Vilu. If you are a Gold or Diamond Honors member, breakfast is free (if Gold, double check your ‘My Way’ benefits preferences on the Hilton website – you definitely don’t want to be taking the 1,000 points instead of breakfast here!). 

Breakfast at Vilu

Vilu is generally the choice for people travelling without children. This is partly due to proximity (children aren’t allowed to stay on the quiet island) and partly due to the ambiance of the restaurants.

You have two options if you are staying on Rangalifinolhu (the family-friendly island) and want to come across to Vilu but walking seems like too much effort. You can either call for a buggy to drive you across from one island to the other or catch the dhoni boat service between the islands. It seems to go every 15 minutes or so, and the dock is right by Vilu. 

While it lacks the plethora of choices on offer at Atoll, the Vilu menu had a wide variety of absolutely delicious options to suit any palate, and Em and I never got tired of the choices available. I think the stand-out options for us were the mango sticky rice, the scrambled eggs with crab, sour cream and chives, the smashed avocado with poached egg and the scrambled egg with walnut, asparagus and greens.

Conrad Maldives Vilu avocado toast

We sampled most of the menu between us, over the course of the nine breakfasts we had there and were delighted to discover that it was considered perfectly acceptable to order two or three dishes. We were absolutely stuffed when we returned to our villa, and perfectly content to subsist on snacks we’d brought with us, Gold Honors amenity snacks left in our villa (a fruit bowl, macaroons and some chocolates) and Gold & Diamond Happy Hour nibbles until our evening meal. 

Most mornings, we would choose a table in the pavilion, right by the impossibly turquoise water, but in the shade. Often George, the heron that seems to have made Vilu his home, would pop by to say hi, along with the occasional tern. The atmosphere was one of refined, calm indulgence. 

There is a small buffet selection available (pastries, muffins, fruit, cereal and bread) to help yourself to, and if you want extra mango (on top of the slices in your mango sticky rice), that can be provided too, on request.

Conrad Maldives Rangali mango sticky rice

Drink options include freshly pressed juices (the mango juice was incredible), a variety of teas (if you prefer your tea to be strong, I recommend that you request two teabags in one pot, otherwise it’s quite tragic and weak!) and coffee options, and if you give them 24 hours’ notice, they will make you proper Indian chai! It is worth noting that the milk used for tea and coffee is UHT milk only.

Breakfast at Vilu was nothing short of spectacular. 

Breakfast at Atoll Market 

Atoll Market offers a buffet breakfast with a wider variety of choice than that offered by Vilu but it lacks the serene, languorous atmosphere of Vilu. Most of the clientele are families, with people constantly leaving their seats to get a second helping. As such, we went once, mainly for the purposes of this review, but opted not to go back again. It was just a bit too hectic, and not in keeping with our lovely, relaxed, pampering holiday vibe. 

All of the options available at Vilu seemed to be on offer at Atoll, but with many additional international options like sushi, chorizo, an omelette station, a pancake and waffle station. There were some absolutely wonderful Chinese savoury options ….. that I’ve sadly completely forgotten the name of!

The mango sticky rice was completely different to that on offer at Vilu, and was nowhere near as good. Ice cream is available, as are smoothies made to order from an astonishing variety of fruit and veg.

I finally tried the Maldivian fish curry (also on offer at Vilu), and it was absolutely incredible, if a bit more spicy than I’m accustomed to in the morning! 

Conrad Maldives Rangali breakfast fish curry

What Atoll lacks in atmosphere, it certainly more than makes up for in choice. 

Hilton Honors Gold & Diamond Happy Hour

After our late breakfast, we would skip lunch, then head to the Gold & Diamond Happy Hour held at Vilu restaurant from 4pm – 5pm. The complementary drinks available included sparkling wine, the house red and white, a cocktail and a mocktail of the day, and beer.

The waiting staff would usually come round often enough that you could get a couple of rounds in, and they would also bring hors d’oeuvres, which went some way to preventing you getting too squiffy before dinner. 

Conrad Maldives Rangali champagne lobster

Lobster & Champagne dinner $275 pp

You’re right by the water’s edge, serenaded by cheesy live music. The array of fresh locally caught seafood – both chilled and grilled (including lobster, obviously) is astonishing. The prawns were huge, the grill featured beef, lamb and sausages as well as lobster and prawns. There was crab, scallops, clams, fish, and much much more. The champagne was free-flowing and marvellous. It was all very, very good (and we did attempt to go back several times to try it all).

Conrad Maldives Rangali Sunset Grill lobster

Unless you’re badly in need of a sugar hit, I would skip the desserts in favour of another helping from the grill, though. The crème brûlée was more crème and, disappointingly, less brûlée – attempting to crack it with a spoon was a gloopy exercise in futility. 

Sunset Grill

Easily my favourite, after the Champagne & Lobster. The views of the sunset over Rangali island were incredible, our table was on a little stilted platform over the water, we saw many, many reef sharks swim past, they (the staff, not the reef sharks) were happy for us to finish our happy hour jug of sangria from the nearby Rangali bar with our dinner, and the bread was glorious.

Conrad Maldives Rangali sunset grill

We went there twice, and between us, we tried the rack of lamb, the Maldivian lobster, the yellow fin tuna and the sirloin steak. All of them were absolutely perfectly cooked and divine. We always seemed to time our walk back across to the quiet island perfectly to see the resident manta ray gorging on the thriving ecosystem that exists under the inter-island bridge, which was such an exciting end to a lovely evening. 

Conrad Maldives Rangali vilu evening

Vilu Restaurant 

You’d think we’d have been fed up of this place. We really weren’t. 

Our haven of tranquillity felt like a different restaurant in the setting sun, and we chose a table underneath a palm tree, rather than in the shade of the pavilion. 

The amuse-bouche was absolutely divine here (our bouches were amused):

Conrad Maldives Rangali amuse bouche lobster dinner

As for the mains – my pork belly was lovely, but the crackling was disappointingly un-crisp (I imagine crackling, much like brulee, is harder to achieve in the humidity of the Maldives) but Em’s sea bass was amazing. 

Conrad Maldives Rangali pork belly

The Quiet Zone and the Manager’s Reception 

We came here on our first night – we had been planning to go to the Rangali bar, but we were lucky enough to be invited to the Manager’s Reception (held every Tuesday – usually only returning guests are invited), and we were too jet-lagged to be able to cope with hopping back and forth between the islands! 

I have to admit that evening was a bit of a sleep-deprived blur, but I think I had the club sandwich, and Em had the Mediterranean salad, both of which were perfectly pleasant, but nothing to write home about. The cocktails at the reception went down a treat, but we were far too tired to make small talk with the other guests and after the second cocktail we were ready to collapse and had to retreat to our villa for a much-needed early night. I think I would have preferred to be invited to this event on the second Tuesday of our stay! 

Conrad Maldives Rangali The Quiet Zone

The Quiet Zone, on the quiet island, is one of the options if you don’t get a restaurant reservation – they have a very limited lunch menu, which they take last orders from at 5:45pm.

Rangali Bar

Another option, if you have no reservation, is the Rangali bar. The menu here is more extensive, but the bar is much more busy. Again, last orders are at 5:45pm. As 5pm-6pm is half price happy hour, you can also get beer, cocktails or a jug of sangria at something more closely resembling London prices (well, probably more like Oslo prices). Wine is, sadly, not half price. 

I had the butter chicken, which was good, but just a bit more spicy than I could cope with. Em had the Caesar salad. The sangria was wonderful! 

Other restaurants that we didn’t try: 

Ithaa – an underwater restaurant, where you eat in a tunnel underwater, surrounded by reef sharks, rays and turtles swimming past. This incredible experience is matched by equally incredible prices – $340 per person. 

Koko grill – a Japanese set menu feast, that comes highly recommended for $270 pp

Ufaa – a Chinese restaurant that also gets rave reviews, the menu is à la carte, but relatively reasonably priced.

Mandhoo – the spa restaurant which also gets rave reviews (to be honest, the new age hippy presentation of the menu put me off a bit), the menu is à la carte, but relatively reasonably priced.

The Cheese & Wine Bar – this is supposed to be an excellent option too – their tasting menu is $145 pp, the cheese fondue is $105 pp and the wine cellar dinner, which comes with wine pairings, is $295 pp

Atoll Market – their buffet is, once again, a popular choice amongst families but at $140 pp it seemed overpriced. Nobody seems to sing the praises of the Atoll buffet, so we didn’t bother.

There are also various once-weekly options available: the Maldivian night ($195 pp) and the Fisherman’s BBQ ($255 pp) both of which seem to have a devoted following. 

How to eat cheaply at Conrad Maldives Rangali

At this point in my review, I have a confession to make – Em and I were acutely aware that, as a non-consultant doctor and a classroom teacher respectively, we were definitely on the lower end of the salary scale for Rangali guests.

We were aware that the bill at the end of a 10 night redemption stay is usually in excess of $5,000. We had no intention of remortgaging our homes to pay for a holiday, so we opted to keep our trip as cheap as possible by not partaking in any paid for activities, and keeping our F&B spend well below average.

After trawling the Rangali Flyertalk forum for restaurant advice, and checking out the menus, we decided that, out of the cheaper options, we were most interested in the Sunset Grill, Vilu, and Rangali bar, and maybe indulging in one splurge evening.

After deliberating over the relative merits of Koko Grill, the Maldivian beach dinner, the Fisherman’s BBQ and the Champagne & Lobster night, we decided on the Champagne & Lobster night (as we’re quite partial to both). We took the unusual decision to bring some dehydrated camping meals (of the type I will eat on a multi-day hike) for 4 of the 10 evenings we were there, requiring boiling water being added to the packet itself – easily do-able with the kettle in our villa. 

Conrad Maldives ready meals

Look – I know this approach to in-villa dining is not everyone’s cup of tea (and I’ll look forward to reading all of your views in the comments below), but the meals were a step up from the Pot Noodles that Em initially suggested, and at least we didn’t bring an electric hob and saucepan with us, like the chap who wrote this InterContinental Bora Bora review!

If we were to do it again, I think I would probably have enjoyed 10 nights eating in the Sunset Grill, Vilu or Rangali bar (and maybe Ufaa and Mandhoo too) more than saving on four nights’ meals to justify one night of indulgence. The total cost would have been similar either way. Em would have done exactly what we did again, as for her the Champagne & Lobster beach dinner easily justified four nights of eating like students – and lazy ones at that.

A word of advice – decide which restaurants you want to visit before your stay (the Murahaba app will help with this, as will Flyertalk), and then email two weeks before your stay to make bookings. The restaurants do book up, and friends we made on the island had a difficult time getting tables at the restaurants they wanted to visit. 

Conclusion

All of the prices quoted are subject to 23.2% tax and service charge being added on to your bill.  It is also worth noting that, while vast quantities of drinking water are provided in your villa free of charge in swing top reusable bottles, this is not the case in restaurants. Any request for water will result in a single use bottle of imported mineral water arriving at your table, for $12 +23.2%. I recommend coming to dinner well hydrated.

As long as you book before your trip, you will not find yourself lacking in choice for food at the Conrad Rangali.

For those that are wondering, our budget approach to the holiday was pretty successful. Our final bill at the end of our 10 night stay was £1,937.75 between the two of us, including our seaplane flights, our dinners at Sunset Grill, Vilu, Rangali Bar and The Quiet Zone, the splurge of the Lobster & Champagne dinner, taxes and tips we’d added to our restaurant bills and my two visits to the resort doctor (for my ear infection and perforated eardrum) and two courses of antibiotics. Not bad …..

For reference, tips that you sign for on your room bill are divided between all catering staff; if you want a tip to go to one particular member of staff you can either give it to them in cash, or leave it in an envelope on departure. We did a mixture of these things, to reward the excellent service we received, but to make sure some of the tip money went to those behind the scenes too. 

As a reminder, 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).

Whilst the UK Hilton Honors credit card is closed to new applicants, Hilton is a 1:2 transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards. For high value redemptions like this, it can also make sense to buy Hilton Honors points to top up your balance when they are being sold at a 100% bonus, which takes the cost down to 0.5 cents each. 0.5 cents x 95,000 points per night is just $475 (£400) per night which is a fraction of the cash cost.

The Conrad Maldives Rangali website is here if you want to find out more or make a booking.


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

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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 (175)

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

  • 1ATL says:

    Ahhhh it’s still as expensive as I remember it was when I stayed there way back when it was a Hilton!

    My tips from the time were a few boxes of Ryvita, a jar of marmite and a few bottles of squash in my checked bag as my way to keep costs down. I also befriended a couple who were staying on Half Board and who weren’t getting up for breakfast. I ended up trading bottles of water placed in my room for their breakfast. I seem to remember they were being ripped off a good’n for the privilege. I also made friends with my villa butler from day#1 with a few boxes of walkers shortbread and packets jelly babies. He’d in turn bring me different fruits every afternoon and extra bottles of water at turn down which of course I was using as my breakfast currency. I remember amazing satay in the bar by the pool was quite cost effective too which relieved the boredom of eating cardboard every day.

    • Sarah says:

      Your comment made me chuckle! Like your style and ingenuity. 😆

    • Cat says:

      🤣 There seems to be a bit of a tradition of trading or passing on unwanted / unused food items! We made a few friends during the Vilu happy hour. There was a lovely family who left 3 days before us, so they left us their unopened crispbreads, salsa dips and Bombay mix, as well as the two bottles of Prosecco they got as Diamonds – amazingly no-one in the family likes sparkling wine. When we left, we passed on our unopened snacks (the wine was long gone!) to a couple who had just arrived.

      I’m amused that this is a long-standing tradition!

      • Sarah says:

        Eventually someone will have to check the ‘use by’ dates depending on how many times the food has been passed on! A great idea though!
        I have enjoyed your review as I am off to the Maldives in November.

        • Cat says:

          🤣 Enjoy the Maldives in November, I wish you good weather, yummy hand-me-down snacks and long distant use-by dates (in the future, obvs!).

        • 1ATL says:

          May I suggest a headforpoints sponsored foodbank for future redemptions? 🤣

    • 1ATL says:

      As a lone traveller in my early 20’s at the time (and on not much more than basic salary) I was by far the poorest guest on the island I had to think smart lol. I was on a travel agent offer of $29 per night at the time, room only. I think my extras entire bill for 10 days came in at under £800 for the entire time and that included a couple of meals in the buffet too. I was quite impressed with that considering the inflated cost of everything. By contrast 20+ years later I was pleasantly surprised at Soneva Fushi this year how reasonable by comparison to Rangali alcohol was.

      • Cat says:

        $29 per night??? My, things have changed!

        I feel like we did a pretty good job of keeping it to £1937.75 between two of us 20+ years later! Did you include your seaplane in the ‘extras’? If so, that would be well under £1600 + inflation!

        Would you recommend Soneva Fushi overall?

        • 1ATL says:

          I can’t remember how much the seaplane was exactly but it was the most expensive component out of international flights/room rate/transfer. I think my flights were in the region of £300rtn with Sri Lankan so guessing around £400 rtn for the seaplane at the time.

    • GeorgeB says:

      This comment thread has made me realise that HFP definitely needs a like button on the comments! 😂 Absolutely the way we travel too, save your cash for the travel you love… not the overpriced snacks!

  • TimM says:

    Many thanks Cat for an excellent review.

    This last part has certainly convinced me that if I ever go to the Maldives, it must be all-inclusive! I know standards would not be the same but not quite as bad as living on Pot Noodles while in paradise.

    Being slightly nomadic, wherever I travel I am always asking myself the question, ‘How much would it cost to live here, full time?’. The Conrad Maldives Rangali does not appear suitable for that 🙂

    Thanks again. I most enjoyed it.

    • Rebecca says:

      Have stayed on AI and non-AI in the Maldives at mid-range resorts (and one where everyone is on AI), and the food quality has always been amazing. Might be a few pricey special dishes/restaurants you don’t get included, and it’s usually non-premium drinks unless you pay extra, but still very good. Not really comparable to AI somewhere in Europe, for example.

    • Cat says:

      🤣 I mean, the Firepot meals are way better than Pot Noodles, but…

      To be fair, if I did it again, I’d eat at the cheaper restaurants, like Rangali Bar, Vilu, Mandhoo, Ufaa and Sunset Grill for all 10 nights, and skip the (absolutely divine, but expensive) L&C dinner. Our final bill would have been roughly the same, but I think if I compared my total enjoyment from the L&C dinner and the 4 Firepot meals, to my total enjoyment from the other 5 meals at Vilu, Sunset Grill, Rangali Bar and The Quiet Zone, the latter would win!

      You’re right though – Conrad Rangali does not do well on the ‘How much would it cost to live here full time?’ test! Glad you enjoyed it, I did have an entertaining time writing this part of the review for this audience!

  • T says:

    Most enjoyable review! Thank you, great read

    So you go to “paradise”, but eating will easily set you back 5000 dollar plus 23% tax, plus tips??

    Mmm, my idea of paradise is not taking food on holiday, to keep the cost down. It sounds nothing like paradise to me.

    • Cat says:

      If we had eaten all of our evening meals at at the cheaper restaurants (like Rangali Bar, Vilu, Mandhoo, Ufaa and Sunset Grill) all of which get rave reviews from most people, and skipped the (absolutely divine, but expensive) L&C dinner and (not great, but cheaper) camping meals, our final bill would have been roughly the same (about $1200 each, including the seaplane fare, which was $600 each). 10 nights’ meals wouldn’t need to set you back more than $600 per person (and that includes the 23.2% tax).

      That’s fair though – it’s not everyone’s idea of paradise!

      • T says:

        Doesn’t take away from the fab review! HFP should give you a regular review spot! Refreshing to NOT having to read about master switches and ample sockets next to the bed for a change.

        Well done Cat!

  • Tracey says:

    What works for one person clearly doesn’t work for others.
    The idea of eating so much at breakfast that you don’t need to eat until dinner is not for me, then again I’m not a morning person.
    You really are a captive audience in the Maldives, so I have only been all inclusive. Maldives AI bears no resemblance to AI in Western Europe.

    • Cat says:

      That’s fair!

      For me, my appetite is always far lower when it’s insanely hot, so I can never cope with much more than a snack for lunch, while in the tropics. Having a big breakfast while it’s cooler in the morning, and then dinner while it’s cooling down again is what I would normally do in Thailand or India, where food is marvellously cheap! This worked for me, but I can see it’s not for everyone!

  • Andrew says:

    I’m torn between it being a mandatory bucket list destination and discounting it as simply too expensive as nowhere can be that unique and worth the premium over multiples of holidays elsewhere.

    So I’m curious – what alternative destinations would anyone recommend that give you 80% of the same natural beauty and relaxation?

    • aseftel says:

      You can do the Maldives more cheaply – there’s no shortage of islands with sandy beaches, marine life, sunsets etc. You’re paying the premium for the imported luxury/food/service.

      French Polynesia and Seychelles are obvious comparators, but not much cheaper. In my opinion, the 80/20 is in South East Asia. There are some lovely spots in Thailand/Malaysia/Indonesia (I’m told Vietnam too but I haven’t been). I’d still rank Maldives #1 for relaxation and beauty though.

    • John says:

      Somewhere else in the Maldives. I spent £1500 on 10 nights in 2004, including flights, economy obviously. Stayed in Male for the first night and stocked up in supermarkets before going to a resort by ship (no baggage weight limit)

      Alternativees might be Seychelles or Mauritius

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Thailand / Bali.
      I’d feel bored after 4 days on a single island beach. After 2 days I’d probably spend my time counting the cost of meals or finding the cheapest combination of food.
      In SE Asia, I wouldn’t have that problem.

    • T says:

      Sri Lanka for sure!! Amazing food! Nature, beaches, culture, whale watching, nature reserves. And if you venture to Bucharest, qatar airways sells £950 business class tickets to Colombo. Just for some extra comfort!!

      • john says:

        Apart from Sri Lanka is undergoing something of a crisis at the moment, with petrol about to run out, and no re-supply due for two weeks, and the government having no money to pay for the re-supply and already owing $800m for fuel from earlier in the year..!

    • Adam says:

      Gili Islands off the coast of Bali/Lombok.

      Marine life is amazing.

      3 islands to choose from.

      Gili trawangan – back packer island with most food options for all budgets.

      Gili Air. More family and slow paced.

      Gili Meno – as above but more for couples.

      I’m going again to Air end of month and we have a two bedroom villa with private pool got 9 nights for £600.

      Having been to Maldives, French Polynesia, Tonga, Cook Islands, Seychelles and a few others in SE Asia, the Gilis win all day long in a balance between beauty and price.

      No cars on the island either which is nice

      • Niall says:

        I love the Gili islands. But I think they are in the category of cheap/affordable paradise and Gili t maybe isn’t ‘food to suit all budgets’. It doesn’t go that high end. There is a very expensive hotel there now I think on Gili Meno(?) but I would say it doesn’t quite hit Maldives levels of luxury. No end of inexpensive and nice accommodation and food!

        Wonderful place!

    • John says:

      I’ve stayed at a couple of amazing hotels, which whilst they weren’t AI they were very nice and far far cheaper than this.

      https://www.samedresorts.com/paradee/. We had a villa on the beach and a similar beach BBQ that was mentioned in this review but was less than a third of the cost and amazing.

      https://www.pangkorlautresort.com/ – water villa on stils. Food bill was totalling £100 a night.

    • Cat says:

      I mean, if we’d eaten just in the cheaper à la carte restaurants it would have still cost around $1200 pp for 10 nights including seaplane (but not flights to Male), but it can be done for cheaper, certainly. I’d love recommendations for cheaper Maldivian islands / resorts to stay on for future trips (and I’m sure others would too).

      In terms of cheaper but equally stunning alternatives – the Gili islands, La Digue and Praslin in the Seychelles (which can be done for cheap very easily) or various locations in the Philippines. My absolute favourite is the Seychelles – to me they are more beautiful than the Maldives.

  • aseftel says:

    It seems at odds with the idea of luxury to have to decide what you want for dinner two weeks in advance at your $1000+ per night hotel. It’s in the same category as having to reserve a sun lounger at dawn.

    • Cat says:

      Someone who went to Conrad Rangali before the WA opening and the pandemic may need to confirm this, but as I understand it that’s just a recent thing due to circumstances. The Conrad Rangali lost loads of staff to the Waldorf Astoria when it opened, and they limited guest numbers to facilitate social distancing (while upgrading the rooms) during the pandemic, but have only recently opened up to 100% capacity. I *think* they’re still having post-pandemic staffing issues (as are many places), which is why it’s harder to get restaurant bookings at the moment.

      That might not be the case in a year’s time.

      I didn’t find it a major imposition though – the menus are pretty extensive, so there was always a good variety of choice at any restaurant! We didn’t have to choose a meal two weeks in advance, just a restaurant!

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Would be good to get an idea of HB and FB rates and discounts for gold members, if any.

    • Cat says:

      Has anyone here booked a HB or FB package before? This isn’t something I looked into, sorry!

      • 1ATL says:

        You can book a half board/full board supplement with the hotel as an extra

        Half board (breakfast and dinner) circa £90pp per night using the Atoll Market. A credit amount will be allocated for the a la carte options. Theres also a Half board Plus option that includes a selection of drinks at meal times for around £170pp per night.

        Full Board circa £180 pp per night to include breakfast, lunch and dinner and £370pp per night for Full Board Plus which again includes drinks at meal times.

  • MQ says:

    This was an absolute treat to read. I always wanted to stay here but I will give it a miss. F&B is just extortionate, guess my city job isn’t that great after all.

    • Erico1875 says:

      IMO this sounds like holiday from hell, rather than in paradise. Imagine arriving at a destination, finding nearly all the restaurants fully booked up, however the good news is, you couldn’t afford them anyway!
      So you sit in paradise eating camping meals hoping to last until you can get a 2 for 1 happy hour drink.
      We went to Meeru, ate and drank as much as we wanted for less than £200 a night at the time.
      I just wouldn’t feel comfortable at Rangali

      • Chris H says:

        We’ve stayed at Meeru as well (the only place in Maldives we’ve been so cannot offer a comparison with anywhere else). The full board menu includes three meals a day and all the water, tea and coffee you need. Purchased drinks are amazingly affordable i.e. $5 a beer and $8 for a G&T. No need for camping meals or holding on until dinner time!

      • Cat says:

        Fair enough

      • patrick says:

        This is a wonderful mis-reading of the situation. Cat very sensibly explains how you cave save $1,000 a day should you so choose. And we do, every time. Snacks in the pool at 9.00pm suited us very well.

    • Cat says:

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      I did only give the details of the prices for the buffet / set menu options. The à la carte restaurants were generally much cheaper – we spent about $60-70 per person (including taxes and tips, but not including alcohol) on average in the cheaper restaurants, and the food was really very good.

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