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Know before you go: Conrad Maldives travel tips

Conrad Maldives beach and huts

Planning a trip to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island? Check out these five Conrad Maldives travel tips you should know before visiting!

1. IT’S IN ITS OWN TIME ZONE

Yep, you read that right. The Conrad Maldives operates one hour ahead of Malé, the country’s capital. Your phone won’t make this change automatically, so it’ll be up to you to either set your own clocks or remember to factor in the difference when you’re making restaurant reservations! You may want to consider arriving in Malé in the morning, as the 30-minute trek to the hotel becomes 1 hour 30 minutes when you factor in the switch. 

Conrad Maldives overwater villas

2. YOU CAN ONLY ACCESS IT BY SEAPLANE

This might be the most important of these Conrad Maldives travel tips: There’s only one way to get to the Conrad Maldives, and this is it! The flight, operated by Trans Maldivian Airways, takes about 30 minutes each way, but it can be a little longer if you drop other guests at their hotels on the way. The plane is small—and your pilot miiight just be barefoot—but just go with it! If you’re nervous, rest assured that you’ll stay pretty low to the water. Try to get a window seat and let the beautiful views distract you. If you’re excited, good! It was a really neat experience, and taking off and landing from the water was very cool. 

One thing to note: The seaplane ride, which is $500 roundtrip per person, will appear on your room bill. While we had budgeted for it, seeing it on top of the room charges gave us a little sticker shock! The good part about that is that if you have a Hilton credit card, you can earn extra points on the charge by paying for it as part of your room bill. More about that in this post!

Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane
Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane propellor

3. FOOD AND DRINK PRICES ARE NO JOKE

Let’s put this way: We got both our flight tickets to the Maldives and our entire stay at the Conrad for free, and this trip still cost more than any trip I’ve ever taken! The Conrad takes “resort prices” to a level unlike any I’ve ever seen.

On the bright side, the food is amazing and diverse, and the staff is friendly and SO accommodating. Both of those factors make the prices easier to swallow. Plus, Hilton Honors elites have plenty of opportunities to eat and rink for free: As a Diamond member, I had access to daily afternoon tea (with snacks), an all-you-can-drink happy hour (again, with snacks), and breakfast that was included in the room rate. I also got discounts at certain restaurants, including Chinese food concept Ufaa (our favorite!), and I used the $250 resort credit from my Hilton Honors Aspire card at undersea restaurant Ithaa

To learn more about how to gain elite status and use points and miles to travel for free, check out the 52 Cities free resource library or register to join me on a future masterclass!

Ufaa Chinese restaurant at the Conrad Maldives
Chairs on a deck by the beach
Edamame beans and cucumbers

4. IT’S EXPERIENCING LOW OCCUPANCY

Employees told us visitors to the hotel haven’t been as numerous lately, and it definitely felt empty when we were there. We had the pool all to ourselves whenever we went and never had any trouble making restaurant reservations at whatever time we liked. The best part of going when there’s nobody around? Upgrade potential for Hilton Honors members. The hotel upgraded from a standard water villa to a superior water villa that had a private hot tub on the deck (!!). 

Sun setting behind overwater villas

5. RAINY SEASON ISN’T ALWAYS ALL THAT RAINY

When I hear “rainy season,” my inclination is to think, “no way” when it comes to visiting a resort, but my last couple trips to Southeast Asia have proven me wrong. I visited in May, at the early part of the rainy season, and while it did rain close to once a day, it was almost always right after lunch in short, heavy spurts. It didn’t interfere much with our activities, and if you get caught in a downpour, golf carts are available to give you a ride wherever you need to go!

Carly walking by infinity pool
Palm trees from below

For more on the Maldives, check out these posts on staying at the Conrad, dining at undersea restaurant Ithaa and touring Malé.

Hope you found these Conrad Maldives travel tips helpful! Are you planning a trip to the Maldives? What other questions do you have? Let me know in the comments! >>

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Know before you go: Conrad Maldives
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