Travel – Maldives still rocks

2012-04-05 08:44

Tranquillity, seclusion and intimate luxury are the order of the day at the Conrad Maldives Rangali.

Recently renamed from Hilton Resort, it spreads across two islands just 35 minutes by seaplane from the capital Male.

The main island of the resort is family orientated and it’s where everything is. The smaller one is adults only and caters for couples and honeymooners.

My water villa is tucked away on the edge of the main island in the Spa Retreat. Built out of wood with glass walls that give a full view of the endless turquoise sea, the villa stands a few metres above the water on a coral reef. Decor in all shades of blue sets a calm atmosphere.

I am excited when I notice a Jacuzzi on the sun deck. I also feel less guilty about all the food I’ll be eating at the sight of the mini gym in the private spa room added to the villa.

“My trainer would be happy to know I’m still exercising even though I’m on holiday,” I tell my island guide.

Before the fun begins, I settle down and watch the sunset from the edge of my queen-sized bed, breathing a sigh of relief after a full day of travelling.

Dinner is served at Mandhoo restaurant. The spa restaurant offers meals based on categories
of the five elements of nature – fire, water, air, earth and plants – based on the Spa Retreat’s treatments.

Conrad is a five-star luxury resort that boasts five restaurants, two wine cellars – with more than 15 000 bottles – three spas, a gym and plenty of water activities.

The hotel was named the best spa hotel and resort in Asia last year and it’s easy to see why. The Conrad offers an impressive range of treatments at their colour-coded Over-Water spa.

My favourite is the children’s Ice-Cream Spa, which is an ice cream parlour that treats patrons from three to 12 years old.

Their largest restaurant is Atoll – a sandy buffet-style establishment?– situated in the centre of the main island.

This “barefoot heaven” offers a variety of mouth-watering cuisines from around the world.

I had the luxury of having breakfast there. Their six buffet stands offer a great variety of food – from exotic to cultural and traditional food.

For the best cocktails and a good night out, pop in next door at Rangali Bar. Have your drinks served in a coconut or pineapple shell while you drum your feet to a local tune performed every Monday.

A feature that stands out for me is Ithaa, an underwater, aquarium-like dining hall with a 360-degree view of the ocean and its inhabitants. Having lunch with the fish is a memorable experience.

Even though their signature dish is seafood, I feel a little guilty ordering it. So I opt for a succulent serving of veal.

The set four-course meal ends with a chocolate mousse dessert. Conrad has the best desserts ever. I’m a chocolate lover and they find ways to wow you every time.

Besides the ultimate adventure in wining and dining, Conrad Maldives is the best place to do nothing.

One can’t help but fall into the tranquil atmosphere that surrounds the island. The calming effect of the clear blue sea with no waves is something to behold?– it feels as warm as a bath and the water is as calm as one.

The powdery beaches complete this postcard-material piece of heaven.

» Sejake was a guest of Emirates Holidays

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