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Cash Cow 💸
Conrad Maldives is a fantastic place, no doubt. We had a wonderful holiday, but I guess this review should rather concern the resort than our holiday, so I will try to stick to the resort… Despite the harsh conditions of being a luxury resort in the middle of the ocean, it is well kept, and efforts go into maintenance. Still, it seems like it is quite hard for them to keep up… When we arrived at our ‘grand water villa’ there were quite some issues, and our hostess, Jamie, had given us a very superficial and incomplete introduction. There was an abundance of things that she had not mentioned, and we spent a lot of time on the first day to make the resort aware of the problems and not least to have them fixed: 1) The air con in the master bedroom did not work. A very nice man who spoke very little English came and pressed a button and made us aware that now it was working. I told him that I had pressed that button a ton of times, and nothing happened; but he did not understand a word. Of course, the air con did still not work… Second time someone else came, and he made it work, so that was fine; but the nuisance of it all was totally annoying, especially at the incredible prices you pay at the resort. 2) We could not make the jacuzzi work, especially not the heater (and Jamie had not shown us how to work it at all). Another man dressed in blue came, and he was very nice, and he stayed about 1½ hours in the villa to try to make it work… Imagine… How much does a villa cost per hour? Well, he made it work, and that was very fine; but it should have worked from the minute we arrived! Basically, we spent the first ½ day with getting the place into shape! 3) Also, the plug in the zinc did not work. It’s no big deal, but stuff like that should be in 100% perfect shape at a very expensive place like Conrad. 4) Our children were woken up every morning by an alarm that went at 6 o’clock. We told housekeeping to please turn it off, and we thought he had done so; but no – next morning it went off again… We ended up pulling all the plugs to that clock, as it seemed the only way to turn it off. 5) The blinds were automatic, and each day at daylight they pulled themselves up, and that was making a lot of noise. So, it was very difficult to sleep just a little bit into the morning in our villa. It was totally annoying! :-/ A place like Conrad – with the exorbitant prices they charge – everything should always be tip top; else you cannot ask people to pay so much. There is quite a mismatch at Conrad between the service/maintenance and the price, and it seems that now they have established themselves and just have to keep it going without too much extra effort, the place is turned into a good, old-fashioned cash cow💰. Adventure snorkeling 🥽: We participated in such tour one afternoon, the sea was rather rough. We did not see mantas at the manta place but were lucky to see a whale shark in the place where they are often spotted. Luckily, at that same place we also saw mantas. So big success and big waves! Scuba diving: My husband and daughter had one dive, and it was fine, but not better than snorkeling, so please consider if it is worth the effort and money. Snorkeling 🐡: Snorkeling at the house reef is quite good. Sometimes there is a lifeguard, sometimes not. Most often there are no beach towels and you must bring from the room… Food: The restaurants we visited were good, but unbelievably expensive. For an informal, slightly less expensive meal, I recommend the Rangali Bar. Please see details in the restaurant reviews. We asked Jamie when we arrived, if you could buy fruit or biscuits somewhere, but you cannot do that. So unless you want to spend most of your stay at a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I suggest that you bring some snacks or cup noodles or the like with you to get through the day instead of having lunch. We did attend a lobster 🦞beach barbecue, where (unlimited) champagne 🥂 was included in the (very high) price. It was a totally wonderful evening, and the lobster and all the other food was delicious! Please note that you will normally not find any insects 🦟 at Conrad. That is of course very nice; but please be aware that it comes at a price. My son and I met the men who spray against insects, and that is toxic business, I can tell you. I do understand the dilemma that they want to keep the grounds as nice as possible for the guests, but I guess in the long run thinking about the environment, it has to be abandoned, or at least minimised from the MASSIVE amounts of insecticides ⚠️ they are currently using :-/ Another good thing about Conrad is that there are two (actually three) islands (the third is for the staff), so you will not feel that you are trapped in one island 🏝. I can recommend Conrad if your budget allows.
Read this before you go...
Just a little back story. My wife and I stayed in a Retreat Water Villa for 7 nights, and traveled from the East Coast of the US. It all started when we FINALLY arrived at the Conrad via Seaplane where we were greeted by Hassain. Hassain immediately picked myself and my wife out in the crowd of 10 others deplaning and introduced himself...probably because Americans stick out abroad. He seemed to be our liaison with the hotel for our stay. His apparent job was to make sure we got checked in okay and to tell us all about the 2 islands (i.e. where to eat, relax snorkel, etc). The first few minutes at the resort set the tone for how our entire stay would shape out. It is easy to look at pictures and see what the resort will look like, what sort of condition it is in, and the like...so I will skip that nonsense. You can have the nicest resort in the world, but if the service sucks, you have nothing. I want my review to center around the staff at the resort. And they are unparalleled. From arrival to departure, everyone was friendly, polite, and attentive. House keeping especially stood out to me. They took notice of our habits and started to fix our room up in the manner we lived. They proactively placed glass bottles of water on either side of the bed, took note of the specific coffee I was drinking and made sure to include many extra so I did not run out. Most impressively, house keeping would take note of when we went to breakfast and when our dinner reservations were so that they could refresh the roof during those time periods of vacancy. We saw the same sort of hospitality from the multinational wait staff. It was very easy to build slight rapport with them. Very quickly they remembered what liked for breakfast each morning, our drink orders, our villa number, etc. More over, they were personable, conversational, and always had a smile on. It was obvious to me that they were genuinely happy and not putting up a facade. I will only add one more thing before I conclude. Take a look at the prices of the food and drink before you go. The one common complaint that I read from people is how surprised people are at the price of food and drink. Just remember that everything has to be imported to a small island country, THEN transported to a small resort island. There are a lot of logistics in getting alcohol to a dry country, to your resort. So just remember that. You will enjoy your time better if you go in knowing and expecting to pay more than usual for your food and drink.
Very good 5 stars at Maldives!
Very good 5 stars at Maldives. It was one of the 1st luxury hotels at Maldives (opened 20 years ago) with fist underwater restaurant in the world. It’s still keeping up the level. Everything is renovated, villas are big and clean, service is top class. 40mins flight from Male on a seaplane with 1 stop. Hotel consists of 2 islands: a bigger one with beach villas, deluxe villas, majority of restaurants and a house reef & another smaller one with adults only area and water villas. We stayed at the beach villa 122-highly recommended location: sunset side with sun till 7pm, no waves, no wind, calm ocean, close to reception& restaurants area -can be easily reached by foot. Perfect for holiday with children. The house reef side is much more windy, very wavy and sun goes away very early in the afternoon. The price we paid for the hotel included only breakfast-be prepared that you spend at least the same amount (or more) as the night rate daily on food & drinks (without drinking luxury champagne). Alcohol is expensive - wine bottles start from 100-120$/a bottle. Each check includes 10% service charge & 12% tax (+$18 if you order delivery to your villa). Average bill for lunch for 3 (2 adults & 1 child) with 1 bottle of wine is 350$, for dinner 600-800$ depending on the restaurant. There are 11 restaurants & bars at the island. For breakfast there are 2 options: a big buffet on the big island - huge variety of great food! And a smaller buffet (rest can be ordered a la carte) at Vilu restaurant on the smaller island. For lunch there are 5 options to choose from. You should definitely visit Ithaa Undersea restaurant at least once to experience dining under water (lunch 250$pp, during the dinner children are not allowed). Koko grill is a Japanese open air restaurant on the beach-very nice view & great food (dinner set menu is 250$pp). Mandhoo is a healthy food option - a la carte menu available for lunch & dinner. Ufaa Chinese restaurant (a la carte)- open for lunch & dinner: great food, but service is a complete disaster: very long, lots of mistakes by stuff, it requires a lot of patience. The biggest choice for lunch you will have at Rangali bar (a la carte). There are beach parties organized regularly: great selection of seafood, champagne and fireworks for some of the events (fix price). Buffet dinner is not a good option - very limited food choice (200$ for 2 adults & 1 child) We enjoyed a lot personal butler service - our butler Nazima was super reactive & helpful. It was very convenient to have a personal 24/7 on-line connection with her via whatsup. She booked all restaurants, spa reservations and managed all our requests for the villa. There is a big variety of water sports available: non motorized options & snorkeling equipment is free of charge. Jet ski 200$/30mins, seabob 150$/30mins, wake board 165$/15mins, etc. There is a dive center at the island & there are diving trips organized regularly. House reef is also a great part of the experience: it’s very interesting to snorkel around. It’s cool that you do not have to go by boat to reach the reef -like in other hotels. You can start off exploring the reef straight from the beach. For kids there is a kids club with regular activities, kids menu available at all restaurants - the choice & quality is quite good. We visited the spa on the big island - very beautiful place, good therapists -very professional! Highly recommended. Prices are moderate (179$ for 60mins Thai massage, $219 for 90mins) All employees at the hotel are very friendly & reactive! Service is organized on a very high level. Overall great holiday! One of the best beach holidays we ever had, so the hotel is highly recommended.
Conrad Maldives really give us special experience compare to previous resort, this resort stand on 3 different island that make it so big with 8 restaurant and 2 spas location with different ambience each Realky recommended Conrad Maldives
We had a great few days relaxing at this pristine resort. The pictures look exactly like the reality and service was flawless from Adam in cleaning the room, Shareen at breakfast and all made possible by our great Concierge Maren. We also had the best meals with chef Mahesh, he went out of his way to make off menu specials for us which made our trip!
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