Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too: Part 6 – A ~$1,300 per Night Beach Villa for Free!

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Emily Jablon:   Daraius and I used our miles and points to have a fabulous honeymoon in Bora Bora.

We heard that the Maldives Islands rivaled the beauty and splendor of Bora Bora, so we planned a trip to decide for ourselves!

The Maldives is known for its luxury resorts, and most resorts have their own private island.  There are beautiful white sand beaches and crystal clear blue water.  The islands also have fantastic snorkeling and scuba diving!

We booked 5 nights using Hilton points at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.  The Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a 30-minute seaplane ride from Male, the capital of the Maldives.  We booked this trip to make the most of our Hilton points before the Hilton devaluation last year.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

You Can Use Your Hilton Points to Stay at the Conrad Maldives for Free!

Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do it Too Index:

The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean, just south of India.  Getting to the Maldives is a long journey, but the trip is definitely worth it!  Daraius and I have been to many beach destinations such as Bora BoraMaui, and Kauai on miles and points, but the Maldives tops them all!

Traveling to the Maldives is also very expensive, but you can do it for much less than the retail cost!  This trip would have cost us ~$27,000, but we only paid ~$4,300!! These series of posts will show you how you can also take a trip to the Maldives on miles and points!

Conrad Rangali Island King Beach Villa

Daraius and I booked the King Beach Villa at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

The retail cost is ~$1,300 per night.  But we used just 95,000 Hilton points per night to stay for free.  We paid no cash for our room for our 5 night stay. There are a lots of ways to earn Hilton points and you can use the 2 free weekend night certificates you earn with the Citi Hilton Reserve card after completing the minimum spending

We stayed in room 207.  I liked the location because it was close to the restaurants, the swimming pool, and the gorgeous snorkeling reef!  The room was very nice and almost felt like a suite!  It was luxurious, spacious, and had access to a deserted beach.

The overwater bungalow costs 95,000 Hilton points and $375 per night.  We booked our parents in this room for a special treat.  We will review this room in the next part of this series.

You can book a room at the Conrad Maldives up to a year in advance.

And here’s how you can collect points for your stay!

Tour of the Conrad King Beach Villa

When you walk in, you enter the foyer/bathroom area.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The Mini Bar Is There to Greet You As You Open the Door

The coffee and tea were free, but you had to pay for items in the fridge.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Fueling Up on Coffee and Tea Was Free, But the Other Mini Bar Items Were Quite Pricey!

The hallway opened up into the bathroom.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

A Different Take on Double Sinks

The bathroom had double sinks.  It had a clean, simple, and natural feel to it.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Behind the Sinks Was an Inner Courtyard

I really liked all of the natural light.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The Bathroom Was Bright and Airy

The bathroom had regular Hilton amenities, but we read that you can request Shanghai Tang (a luxury brand popular in the East) amenities.  So we decided to make the switch and we were glad we did.  All it took was a call to the Front Desk!  They smelled so nice and I loved the bright colors!

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Pamper Yourself with the Shanghai Tang Citrus & Green Tea Scented Amenities

The shower was outside.  The only thing I did not like about it was that the water often wasn’t hot, just lukewarm.  The shower was located outside in a private jungle setting.  So I was not worried about privacy.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The Outdoor Shower Was A Great Way to Cool Off After a Long Day in the Sun

Past the shower, at the end of the stone path, was a huge bathtub.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Follow the Path to the Bathtub

There was 4 seats, candles, bath salts, and a loofah.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Unwind in the Huge Outdoor Tub

There was a corridor separating the bathroom from the main living area.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

A Hallway Separated the Living Area From the Bathroom

To the right of the hallway was an inner courtyard with a fountain.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The Inner Courtyard Had a Small Fountain, But Was Otherwise Bare

To the left was a separate toilet room.

After passing through 2 doors was the main bedroom and living area.  The layout was a bit choppy because you had to walk through 2 doors to get from the bathroom to the bedroom and living area.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

A Big Comfy Bed Awaited Us

It was spacious and simply decorated with tropical accent colors.  We were so excited for our 5 night stay here!

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Using Our Hilton Points Was Definitely Worth It!

The room was warm and inviting.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

An Oversized Sofa and Desk Were Also in the Room

I liked the bright colors.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The King Beach Villa Includes ~1,600 Square Feet of Space!

The villa felt spacious and inviting.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The Bright Colors Added Some Personality

The inner courtyard brought in lots of natural light to the bedroom and living area as well.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

This Villa Costs ~$1,300 per Night!

There was a king size bed with 2 nightstands.  According to the Conrad Maldives website, the room sleeps 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

We Were Glad to Have the Villa All to Ourselves!

Directly across from the bed was the sofa with a small coffee table.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

What’s That on the Table?

We received fresh fruits, champagne, chocolates, and an adorable manta ray stuffed toy.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Welcome Gifts From the Conrad

The champagne was Duval Leroy.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Cheers to the Conrad Maldives!

The chocolates looked delicious!

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

It Was So Nice to Have Some Treats Waiting for Us After the Long Trip

There was a large desk with marketing pamphlets on top.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Million Mile Secrets’ Temporary Headquarters

There was also a large flat screen TV…

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Who Wants TV When You Have the Beach?

…along with an iPod loaded with music.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The Room Included an iPod With Pre-Set Music

We thought that our backyard was extremely private.

I really liked having such close access to the beach and thought the beaches and snorkeling were much better than the water by the overwater bungalows.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The King Beach Villa Had a Private Back Patio

There were 2 lounge chairs, table, and 2 chairs.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Time to Relax!

There was a curvy pathway to the beach.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Get Ready for Some Incredible Views When You Come Around This Curve

From the beach you could not see inside our room.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

The Jungle Setting and Curvy Path Ensured Privacy

It was very secluded.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Our Backyard Felt Like a Mini Jungle

The beach outside of our room was picture perfect.  There was no one at the beach and during our entire stay we saw only a few people.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

True Paradise

Daraius camped out on the many lounge chairs lined up along the beach.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Lounge Chairs Dotted the Deserted Beach

It was so peaceful.

Conrad Maldives King Beach Villa

Thank You Miles & Points!

Some of his favorite days at the hotel were just relaxing outside of the room, reading a book.

How You Can Do It Too!

Our favorite way to get to the Maldives from the US is with American Airlines miles on Etihad or Qatar Air.

If you’re willing to book separate award tickets (i.e. 1 award ticket from the US to Hong Kong & another from Hong Kong to the Maldives), you could even fly on Cathay Pacific or Malaysia Air using American Airlines miles to the Maldives.  

Here are ways to get lots of American Airlines miles.  And here’s my series on using American Airlines miles.  It could also be worth using an award booking service to book the flights for you.

You can also use Alaska Airlines miles on Emirates or Cathay Pacific. And folks say you can get the Alaska Airlines credit card multiple times.

We used United Airlines miles because we wanted to go to India first.  But folks who only want to fly from the US to the Maldives would likely use American Airlines miles or Alaska Airlines miles.

1.   Using American Airlines Miles

Link:   American Airlines Award Chart

A flight from the US to the Maldives costs:

  • 45,000 American Airlines miles 1-way in coach
  • 67,500 American Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class
  • 90,000 American Airlines miles 1-way in First Class

You can use American Airlines to fly many different ways to the Maldives, including on Etihad, Sri Lankan, Qatar, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airways.  If you want to book on Etihad, first find the available flights on the Etihad website and then call American Airlines to reserve the tickets.  See this step-by-step guide for more information.

2.   Using Alaska Airlines Miles

Link:   Alaska Airlines partner award chart to Middle East

From the US to the Maldives you’ll pay:

  • 42,500 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in coach (Emirates)
  • 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in coach (Cathay Pacific)
  • 62,500 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class (Cathay Pacific)
  • 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in First Class (Cathay Pacific)
  • 72,500 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class (Emirates)
  • 90,000 Alaska Airlines miles 1-way in First Class (Emirates)

You can book Emirates flights on the Alaska Air website, except for Cathay Pacific, which has to be reserved by calling Alaska Airlines customer service.  See this post for more ways on using Alaska Air miles to get to the Maldives.

And folks say you can get the Alaska Airlines credit card multiple times.

3.   Using United Airlines Miles

Link:   United Airlines award chart

To fly from the US to India, you’ll pay:

  • 42,500 United Airlines miles 1-way in coach
  • 70,000+ United Airlines miles 1-way in Business Class
  • 140,000 United Airlines miles 1-way in First Class

Here’s a post on how to use United Airlines miles.

And here’s how you can get the airline miles and hotel points for your trip to the Maldives!

Bottom Line

Daraius and I loved staying in the King Beach Villa at the Conrad Rangali Island Resort and Spa!  We paid $0 for the room, and 39,000 Hilton points per night.  Currently, the room can be booked for 95,000 points.

Even though our room wasn’t a bungalow we had direct beach access.  As an added bonus our room was located very close to the best snorkeling spot on the island, which we will describe later in this series!

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9 responses to “Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too: Part 6 – A ~$1,300 per Night Beach Villa for Free!

  1. What was your room number for the beach villa? Mine was 208 when I was there last March. My last night I upgraded to an OW villa just to check it out and although it was nice if I ever were to go back I would just stick to the beach villas as they are very nice. One thing about the OW villas is all the moisture of being over the water there seemed to be a musty smell to them that was not present in the beach villa. Did you have any problems getting the AC to stay on? I noticed that if you didn’t close the interior doors between the bedroom and the closet and/or bathroom just right then the AC would turn off. They have sensors to make sure the AC doesn’t stay on when all the doors are open. I really liked the electric blinds that you could open and close with a remote, neat!

  2. Looks great. I always love your website as I get exactly what I would want to see before deciding if/when to go (where it goes on the list.) I think it just went up a few notches on the list. Thank you Darius for all the work you do. It is truly a service to the frequent flyer and the not so frequent. Any hints on how to use a 2 for 1 avios in first? That seems to be VERY challenging. Rod

  3. So which is it Darius? Did you book for 39000 or 95000? And was it really just $4300?

    Let’s see. $500 x 4 for the plan rides from Male. $375/night x 5 upgrade for your parents = $1875. Already at $3875 without food, activities, tips, souvenirs in one of the most expensive destinations? $425 is all you spent for 5 people for 5 days? Where dinner can be $100 per person? Somebody’s telling a big fat fib…

  4. @ Buddy- We stayed in room 207! I agree that the beach villas are very nice. If I returned, I would stay in them again (versus the bungalow). I didn’t notice any musty smells and we didn’t have an issue with the AC staying on (as long as we kept the doors closed).

    @ Roderick Scott- Glad you like the blog and trip reports! Daraius can help answer your Avios question. 🙂

    @ Paul- We booked at the cheaper Hilton rate before the devaluation. The $4,300 cost is for 2, and so is the ~$27,000 cost. You can check the complete cost breakdown in our first post. http://millionmilesecrets.com/2014/12/29/our-best-vacation-yet-the-maldives-part-1-introduction-planning/

    We didn’t pay for any activities and did the free ones on the island (swimming, snorkeling, table tennis, etc). We managed to spend about $60/day for 2 people to eat. We had free big breakfast, a very light or no lunch, and regular priced dinner. Souvenirs are cheaper at the Male airport and we usually don’t buy a whole lot of souvenirs (other than for our readers). 🙂 Hope that helps!

  5. Guys, holy crap!! This place looks unreal. Cannot imagine walking out onto my own ‘private’ beach after staying in that villa. Hats off to you, you won the points superbowl!

  6. Hi Daraius,

    Is it possible to book a “Standard Room” for 95,000 points/night, and then use one’s Hilton Gold or Diamond status to upgrade to a Premium Room (such as an overwater villa?) or would they require extra payment??

  7. Thanks for the posting! No adorable manta ray toy, but everything else, yes as Gold!

  8. Hi. Has anyone been to the Maldives and/or Conrad end of November (Thanksgiving week)? I am thinking of going this year but am reading conflicting things about the monsoon rains. Any experiences/thoughts? Thanks very much

  9. Hi,
    Thank you for this excellent post. Now i can give an excellent gift to my wife.
    I am planning to conrad maldives in mid September 2017.
    Any thoughts or comments on the weather..

    Thanks
    Nikhil