“Conrad Maldives is a true gourmet’s delight with a choice of 12 world-class restaurants and bars including the globally renowned Ithaa Undersea Restaurant and celebrity chef restaurant Ufaa by Jereme Leung,” explained Lyle Lewis, General Manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. In an interview, we discussed the history of the property, luxury details of their award-winning suites, an amazing selection of culinary options on-site, and much more.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island enjoys the elite position of being located in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by the country’s best diving, whale shark areas and sprawling coral reefs, Conrad Maldives is the only resort to offer three distinct resort experiences spanned across two islands, offering luxury travelers a uniquely inspired experience. The resort features 150 architecturally designed villas of enviable calm and sophistication, two award-winning spas set on stilts above the lagoon and a dining destination in itself, Conrad Maldives is an epicurean delight featuring 12 restaurants and bars including the globally renowned Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. Conrad Maldives is the destination for the globally connected to disconnect from daily life and revel in the luxury of nature and time.
Tell me a little bit about the history and location of Conrad Maldives.
Reached by a 30-minute seaplane flight, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island enjoys the elite position of being the only resort in the Maldives that offers three distinct resort experiences spanned across two islands, offering luxury travellers a unique and inspired experience. Guests can enjoy the typical get-away-from-it-all Maldivian hideaway on Rangali Island while also having access to the facilities of the larger and livelier main island which is linked to it by a 500m bridge. The third resort experience is at the Spa Retreat, an over-water destination spa that operates as a resort-within-a-resort set 100m off the tip of the main island. Conrad Maldives is an inspired state of mind for the globally connected to disconnect and revel in the luxury of nature and time
The resort was built in 1992 and opened as Rangali Island with 40 beach villas, one restaurant and one bar and coffee shop. In 1997 the resort rebranded as Hilton Rangali and featured 120 villas. In 2007 the resort converted to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and since the resort now has 150 villas, 12 restaurants and bars and two spas. In 2014 the resort closed for three months for a USD 30 million redevelopment of the resorts team member island which houses over 50 percent of 570 team members and in 2016 the resort will be undergoing redevelopment of the resorts beach villas which will be completed in October 2016.
In terms of over-water or beach-side seclusion, how would you describe your most luxurious suites in terms of spaciousness, decor, and amenities?
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island features a distinctive mix of villa and suite accommodation that has been awarded “The Best Water Villas in the World”, “The Best Suites in the World”, “Best Spa Resort in the Maldives” and “The Indian Ocean’s Leading Resort” and most recently we are proud to announce we have been awarded “The Indian Ocean’s Leading Hotel 2016” and “The Maldives’ leading Water Villa Resort 2016” accolades we are immensely proud of.
There are a total of 71over-water villas and suites perched on stilts above the Indian Ocean. Each villa offers guests a completely different style of accommodation and overall island experience, so there is something to suit every taste. Each Villa and Suite also features its own private plunge pool or whirlpool and stairs leading into the Indian Ocean.
The ultimate luxury island escape, both Sunset Water Villas are set in their own private area of the lagoon and are reached only by jet boat or private walkway. An indulgent Maldivian hideaway, the Sunset Water Villas are the most luxurious accommodation, each offering two bedrooms, a large infinity pool and spacious living area.
Upon entering you will be immediately drawn to the unique glass flooring which centres the living area, offering views into the Indian Ocean below. The master bedroom is furnished with a rotating round bed, enabling guests to have a 270 degree view of the ocean and follow the breath-taking sunset as it descends over the horizon. Guests staying in the Sunset Water Villas also benefit from the service of a Personal Island Host 24 hours a day.
When it comes to culinary experiences, what kinds of dining options are available on-site, and what would you recommend as signature dishes and cocktails?
Conrad Maldives is a true gourmet’s delight with a choice of 12 world-class restaurants and bars including the globally renowned Ithaa Undersea Restaurant and celebrity chef restaurant Ufaa by Jereme Leung. The dining experience at Conrad Maldives is distinguished by the diversity of cuisine and uniqueness of settings.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island sets the trend for dining in the country, being the first to understand that a remote location needn’t prohibit fine dining and good wines. Conrad Maldives was the first resort to build an underground wine cellar; the first to create an undersea restaurant; the first to invite world-class chefs and winemakers to its islands and the first to establish a cheese bar. Conrad Maldives continues to offer the largest wine lists in the region with over 20,000 bottles and upto1,400 labels in The Wine Cellar, built two metres underground.
The resort is consistently evolving its culinary offering to ensure we are meeting and leading dining trends are guests are seeking. Most recently we entered into collaboration with international mixologist Grant Collins who has curated a bespoke menu of fun and playful cocktails inspired by the lush, tropical surroundings of the Maldives. The signature cocktail on the list is the Rangali Gin and Tonic it features fresh ingredients including cucumber, berries and rosemary topped with Fever Tree Tonic and served with hand chipped ice in a Coppa glass – it’s a lively and fresh botanical infused drink that is a Rangali Island favourite amongst guests.
Another favorite restaurant amongst guests is our organic spa restaurant Mandhoo. Set on stilts in the lagoon, this open-air over-water restaurant is the best kept dining secret on the island. The menu has been specially prepared to energize, nourish, detoxify, relax and fortify the body utilizing organic produce, some grown on the island grounds and imported from around the world. Diners should look out for sting rays and baby sharks which sometimes swim underneath the restaurant. A favourite dish on the menu is the crabmeat salad with avocado, mango and grapefruit and served with blueberry granite and Korean style seared tuna with stir fried bok choy, lime chili and coriander vinaigrette – the tuna is freshly caught from the surrounding ocean.
The resort was also awarded “Leading Culinary Hotel in the Indian Ocean” in 2015 an accolade that further cements the resort as the leading dining destination in the Maldives.
The Maldives is known not only for its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, but perhaps even more so for its incredible diving areas, snorkeling and a host of other water activities. What kinds of offerings are available at Conrad Maldives?
Guests can explore and be inspired at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. From world-class diving and snorkelling to luxe Robinson Crusoe inspired dining on a deserted island, Conrad Maldives connects you with the country’s postcard surroundings and helps you to make the most of them, ensuring you have the experience of a lifetime.
Both on land and at sea there are a host of recreational activities on offer to suit all tastes. Daily excursions to neighbouring islands, snorkelling safaris, diving, windsurfing, big-game fishing, catamaran sailing and cruising aboard the resort’s luxury yacht, are always popular. Fitness enthusiasts will enjoy the 24 hour fitness centre, yoga, tennis, and two infinity pools.
Our excellent house reef is just 50 metres from the beach and provides endless snorkelling opportunities. Thrill-seekers will revel in Rangalifinolhu’s water-sports centre and the unique activities on offer, including the exhilarating Jet Pack and X-Blade experience, underwater scooter and glass bottomed boat experience.
For those planning to truly unwind, relax and rejuvenate, what signature spa treatments would you recommend those traveling from afar needing to relax, and for those eager to treat themselves to a unique experience?
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is also home to two award winning and unique spa experiences, the Over Water Spa on Rangali Island is comprised of four thatched-roof treatment rooms set on stilts over the Indian Ocean. Three of these treatment rooms have glass floors, providing entrancing views of the colourful coral reef below, whilst a secluded serenity deck with open-air Jacuzzi and views across the Indian Ocean provides the perfect finale to the spa rituals on offer. The second experience The Spa Retreat is located 50 metres off of the tip of Rangalifinolhu Island; it is a luxurious sanctuary in which every aspect of health is addressed, from diet and exercise to body treatments and beauty.
The spas aim to provide effective personalized treatments for guests. Combining expertise from around the world with carefully selected products and therapies influenced by the environment, the two spas offer unique and effective experiences to suit the needs of every individual. The line of products used are produced using science findings born from the field of vitamins, minerals, marine and plant medicinal therapy to deliver result-driven, trialled formulations.
The resort has partnered with leading British skincare brand ELEMIS who has provided an array of treatments and designed an exclusive signature treatment for the resort.
Elemis Signature Treatment – Tropical indulgence – A traditional tropical recipe with Coconut, Mung Bean, spices and Papaya to polish the skin whilst exotic Frangipani Monoi Oil indulges your senses. Your entire body is cocooned in a comforting foil wrap. Nourishing, comforting opulence followed by a deep tissue massage technique targeting large muscle groups such as thighs, buttocks and back to broaden and stretch tight muscles resulting in a supple, realigned body. Further to that the resort has designed its own treatment that celebrates the local culture.
Conrad Maldives Maldivian Indigenous treatment – this localised blend of treatments and products is designed to relieve muscle tension, smooth skin, improve sleep and nourish the hair and body. It consists of a coconut scrub, Indian inspired head massage and full body massage using heated coconut sticks.
To learn more, visit Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.