Trip Reports

Conrad Maldives: Beach Villa vs. Water Villa

Conrad Maldives offers two types of villas as Standard Room Rewards. Here's what they look like.

Conrad Maldives: Trip Planning
The Arrival Experience
Beach Villa vs. Water Villa
Dining & Activities

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Conrad Maldives is rather unique among Hilton resorts in that it offers both Beach Villas and Water Villas as options for Standard Room Rewards, meaning that they can be redeemed for 95,000 points instead of sky-high figures that Premium Room Rewards cost.

95,000 Hilton points will get you access to both Beach and Water Villas

I’d recommended earlier just going for the Water Villa if you’re not keen on the hassle of shifting rooms during the stay, but I figure more details would be helpful to guide decision-making…

The Islands

First, some basic geography – the resort is actually spread out over two islands: the larger Rangali Finolhu (a.k.a. the main island), where the beach villas (and most of the activity) are, and the smaller Rangali Island, where most of the water villas are located.

To go between the islands, you can (take a pretty long) walk, call a buggy, or take a dhoni ferry between the two islands (the route’s marked on map above). Depending on how busy the buggy service is, the other two options might actually be faster.

What this means is that the Water Villas are generally located in a quieter area away from most of the major resort facilities, while the Beach Villas are in a more (but still not very) crowded area, with easier access to most of the restaurants and facilities. I had no problem taking my time getting to the main island from Rangali Island, but if you see yourself going on multiple snorkelling trips at the house reefs every day, for instance, that ‘commuting’ time does add up – in which case a Beach Villa might actually work better for you.

Beach Villa

King Beach Villa (image from Conrad Maldives website)

Essentially a miniature bungalow, some unique features of this 150 sq m/1614 sq ft area include a private path to a strip of the beach as well as an (enclosed) outdoor bathing area.

3D floor plan of King Beach Villa
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We were escorted by our island host to the main entrance of our villa (represented by the brown patch at the bottom of the 3D model above), off the sandy main path. The actual villas are pretty well covered by the walls and vegetation for privacy.

The villa markers also act as mailboxes for letters from the resort

Upon entering the villa, you’re presented with a corridor with a walk-in wardrobe on one side…

The entrance doesn’t seem all that impressive yet, but that changes with further exploration
Walk-in wardrobe with safe – beach towels and bag are also provided

…and the washing area on the other, with sliding doors leading to the outdoors bathing area.

Indoor washing area with dual sinks
They’ve repacked a few items, but it’s the standard Conrad bath amenities they’ve provided
Sliding doors to the outdoor bathing area just behind the sinks
Outdoor showers – don’t worry, it’s well enclosed by walls
Path to thatched roof bathing pavilion
Open-air garden bath

The outdoor bath takes a really long time to fill – you could actually request for it to be done for you, but it’s not all that difficult to do it yourself, really.

Back indoors, go down further the corridor from the main entrance and you’ll pass the toilet on one side…

The toilet itself is pretty basic and might be a little claustrophobic, but it gets the job done

…and an extended space on the other side that you can partition from the main bedroom with the use of curtains.

I imagine that sofa / day bed can accommodate children
The table in the extended space was where we found our welcome fruit, chocolates and bottle of wine

Just a little further in and you’ve (finally) reached the main bedroom area.

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Brightly lit with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors just beyond the bed
The sofa in front of the bed is perfectly positioned for watching the flat screen TV
Pantry area with Nespresso machines and mini-fridge

The large glass bottles at the pantry contain drinking water – they replenish it pretty often (as they should, given that you don’t really have many alternative sources) so do hydrate yourself well.

Beyond the next set of sliding doors is a private little terrace area.

Deck chairs and even an outdoor dining table

Beyond the terrace is a private path heading out of the Beach Villa…

Step 1: Reach the big jar
Step 2: Wonder what the jar is for, then figure out it’s for cleaning your feet
Step 3: Look out at the remaining path and realise you should probably have left the foot-washing for the return trip
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…where you emerge to your dedicated strip of the beach (well, the beach is open to all guests, but those deck chairs are reserved for you, I guess), where you can stare out into the lovely Maldivian sea.

How many deck chairs are there on this island?
Staring out towards Rangali Island

Moving during the stay

We were actually somewhat apprehensive about the mid-stay move, but the resort seems used to facilitating such transfers in a fuss-free way. The night before, we got a letter informing us of certain timings we needed to keep to.

I’m not sure who this Mr Chak is, but at least the actual move process was done pretty smoothly.

So all we needed to do was to pack our bags (painful but unavoidable, I guess), leave them in our rooms, and then report to the reception at a later time to be introduced to our new villa, with our luggage waiting for us.

Water Villa

Water Villa (image from Conrad Maldives website)

The 86 sq m/925 sq ft Water Villa is far less massive as compared to the Beach Villa, but it does offer the experience of being propped up just above the sea, with a private sun terrace from which to soak in the ocean views.

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3D floor plan of King Water Villa

Most of the Water Villas come in clusters of three – though they share a boardwalk link to the island, once you step into your villa you’re effectively walled off from the others and, if you’re lucky enough, might even forget that you have neighbours.

The path to a cluster of Water Villas
This little installation at the entrance features sliding doors you can use to request cleaning or indicate DND

The comparatively cosy nature of the Water Villa is apparent on stepping into the room.

Sofa near the entrance, with pantry to the side

Pretty much beside the entrance are the walk-in closet and bathroom.

Small walk-in closet beside the entrance, with bathroom entrance on the right

The bathroom is large and spacious. No special stuff like the open-air equivalent at the Beach Villa, but plenty nice.

Shower, toilet and sinks
You can raise the blinds beside the bathtub if you wish, but all we could really see from ours was some water and the wooden walls separating us from our neighbours
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The indoor bedroom area is laid out pretty similarly to the typical hotel room, but the wooden finishings (and unique shape of the roof) make it clear you aren’t.

Main bedroom area
Nothing says you care like names in TV welcome messages. Names of other people.

One unique feature of the Water Villa is a small strip of glass floor – to be honest though, it didn’t really do all that much for me. You do get to see some fish swimming under, but it doesn’t happen particularly frequently (and the fish you might see here usually aren’t particularly spectacular).

Glass floor under the work desk, for all those times you wanted fish swimming under you while replying emails

The personal sun terrace at the end of the Water Villa is probably its highlight, really. With a plunge pool, deck chairs, outdoor dining table and even the option of getting into the sea directly (via stairs), it offers a great way to enjoy the calm of the sea.

Looking out from the Water Villa
Shaded lounge chairs and a jetted plunge pool

 

Steps leading down to the lagoon below
You can sometimes find marine life in unexpected places
Step into the water and enjoy the sunset!

Other Villa Types

I was perfectly happy sticking with the Standard Room Reward types (and not paying to upgrade), but you can take a look at the other villa types at the Conrad Maldives website, including the Muraka (their upcoming underwater suites):

In practice, many of the villas will be out of reach for many of us, even with the magic of miles and points. Updated prices for paid upgrades can be found on the FlyerTalk wiki for the property; the Deluxe Beach Villa and Superior Water Villa in particular might be worth considering, since it’s possible to get them at less than US$100 per night.

Conclusion

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island’s Beach Villa and Water Villa products both present unique experiences, but if I had to pick just one I’d go for the Water Villa. That said, many guests choose to move mid-stay in order to experience both – you might want to do the same if it’s your first time, in which case I’d suggest doing two nights in a Beach Villa and three in a Water Villa (assuming a five-night stay).

The property usually connects via email about two weeks before arrival, and that’s when you could probably make special requests such as switching villa types, paid upgrades, and even requesting specific villas (although I didn’t get what I requested – given high occupancy I suppose it wouldn’t be possible to accommodate all requests). For advice on preferred villa locations I’d look at the FlyerTalk wiki (search for ‘Villa Selection’).

Next up: Dining & Activities

After a 30min seaplane flight you’re pretty much a prisoner on this island resort – what can you do (and eat), and how much does it all cost? I’ll share some thoughts on this in the next post.


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Louis TanThe Skint TravellerSULTANVkRTK Recent comment authors
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RTK
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RTK

Thank you Luis for a pretty comprehensive report this far. Looking forward for the last one!

We booked 5 nights in Water Villas for stay next year. But with a little kid along, we look forward to breaking our trip across Beach & Water Villas.

Vk
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Vk

Hi louis any updates?

The Skint Traveller
Guest

Love your pictures of the resort and the beach villa / water villas. We plan to return next year using AA miles to fly on Etihad business this time rather than on BA which we were not very impressed of their CW offerings. We loved the quiet side of the island low 200’s due to its location on the lagoon. Rangali bar was very relaxing for an early dinner.
Are you planning on going back soon?