Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too: Part 9 – Breakfast Options at the Conrad Maldives

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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 Breakfast

A Lovely Breakfast by the Beach

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!

Eating at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Food is very expensive in the Maldives.  To save money, you can try to eat 2 big meals a day.  You can also bring your own food, but be aware of weight limits.  The seaplane airfare includes strict weight limits and you will be charged extra if you are over the weight limits.

If you want to save money on breakfast, I’d suggest packing some granola bars, dried fruit, and nuts.  The food is very expensive in the hotel, averaging $30 a dish for a basic meal, such as a sandwich or hamburger.  And the portions are also a bit small, which makes sharing difficult

You can save even more money by taking advantage of the free breakfast which you get with Hilton Gold and Diamond status.

The easiest way to earn Hilton Gold status is by signing-up for the Citi Hilton Reserve card, which gives you Hilton Gold Status for as long as you have the card.  This is a valuable benefit if you stay in lots of hotels.  If we had to pay for breakfast each day at the Conrad Maldives, it would have cost us hundreds of dollars.

In this post, we will review the Vilu Lounge and the Atoll Market

Vilu Lounge

For breakfast our 1st day, we met at the Vilu Lounge, which is located on the smaller, more residential island.  It’s in a beautiful location right by the beach.  Breakfast here is pricey, but we didn’t have to pay because we were Hilton Diamond members. 

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Vilu Lounge Has Menu Service and a Small Buffet

We were so lucky to be sharing a meal together in such a beautiful place!

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

You Can Almost Swim Right up to Your Table

Since we were Hilton Diamond members, we could have breakfast for free.  Hilton Gold members also get free breakfast.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Get Free Breakfast With Hilton Gold Status

We ordered from their iPad menus.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Conrad Maldives Is High Tech

They offered a fairly large selection of made to order foods, including eggs benedict, eggs Florentine, and various omelets.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Order Eggs Any Way You Like Them

You could also choose from up to 4 side dishes to go with your main course, in addition to having waffles, pancakes, and a traditional Japanese breakfast.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Sides Dishes Included Bacon, Sausage, Hashbrowns, Grilled Tomato, and More

Inside there was a small buffet area.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

And If the Menu Isn’t Enough There’s Also a Buffet

You can help yourself to anything that’s on the buffet, even if you ordered from the menu.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

My Mom, Connie, Getting Fruit From the Buffet

There was freshly baked bread…

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Wheat, White, and Whole Grain Breads

Maldivian tuna salad, chapati bread, and sliced meats….

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Or Choose Pastries and Local Food

There was cereal and fruit salad.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

There Were 7 Kinds of Cereal Including Coco Pops (Called Cocoa Krispies in the US) and Frosties (Known Back Home as Frosted Flakes)

There was whole fruit as well as sliced fruit and yogurt.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Yogurt and Fresh Fruit for a Light Snack

There were several different kinds of milk and apple juice.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

4 Kinds of Milk for Your Frosted Flakes

And cheese.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Cheese EPelection Was Sparse

They also had still water, sparkling water, and Prosecco.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Make a Mimosa!

They even had newspapers in various languages.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Read the Daily News While You Enjoy Your Meal

The view from our table was beautiful since we were so close to the water.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

You Don’t Have to Worry About Waiting in a Long Line or Fighting for a Table

Daraius’ dad, Rustom, ordered eggs benedict.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Eggs Benedict Looked Tasty

He was anxious to dig in!

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

“Enough With the Pictures Already!  It’s Time to Eat!”

Daraius ordered fried eggs and bacon.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Daraius Has a Predictable Breakfast Choice

I got waffles.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

But It Was More Like 3/4 of a Waffle…

My mom and Mark ordered omelets.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Omelets Were Filling

Everything was delicious!  And the big breakfast filled us up so that we could have a light (and cheap!) lunch.  We went back to the Vilu Lounge a few days later to try another breakfast.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Meal Was Complete With a Fabulous Ocean Breeze

I ordered pancakes with maple syrup and bananas.  They were very tasty!!  The portion was a bit small though, so I’d recommend getting separate dishes and not sharing.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

I Recommend the Pancakes Over the Waffles

My mom got a ham and cheese omelet.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

You Can’t Go Wrong With an Omelet

Mark, my stepdad, ordered poached eggs.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Poached Eggs Looked Nice and Fluffy

Daraius ordered a regional Maldivian specialty.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Feeling Adventurous? Try Some Local Food for Breakfast

And Rustom had scrambled eggs, bacon, and ham.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Or Stick With the Classics

Again, everything was very good!

Atoll Market

Although we had 2 excellent breakfasts at the Vilu Lounge, we decided to also try Atoll MarketAtoll Market is located on the main island and is close to the swimming pool and activities desk.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Want a Big Buffet? Try the Atoll Market

The restaurant was located under the palm trees which gave it a nice ambiance.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Atoll Market Is Larger Than the Vilu Lounge

A lizard wanted to join us for breakfast, too.

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Our Little Friend Had Trouble Finding Breakfast Because She Didn’t Have Hilton Gold Status

Atoll Market offers a HUGE buffet.  The buffet usually costs $100 per person, but it was free for us because we have Hilton Diamond status.  You also get free breakfast with Hilton Gold status, which you can get with the Citi Hilton Reserve card.

It was almost too big for me, and I preferred Vilu Lounge because my food was made to order and I felt safer with my fish allergy.   Almost everyone else preferred the buffet though because of its large selection of all kinds of food!

There was so much food that I felt like I was in a large Las Vegas style resort.

There was freshly cut fruit…

 Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Food Seemed to Never End!

…including watermelon, figs, and apples.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

You Could Also Try Star Fruit at the Atoll Market Buffet

Whole fruit…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Apples, Bananas, and Oranges…Oh My!

There was fresh juice of your choice…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Fresh Juice Made to Order!

You could choose the following fruits and vegetables:

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Make Juice With 6 Fruits and Vegetables

I was excited to try my apple and carrot mixture!

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Apple and Carrot Juice? Yes, Please!

Also on the buffet were hot foods.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

There’s No Shortage of Hot Foods on This Buffet

The hot food selection was expansive.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Wait…Am I in Las Vegas??

There was a wide selection of hot food from different Asian countries.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

You Could Choose From Chinese, Japanese, and Indian Foods

There was also fish.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

The Large Selection of Sides and Garnishes to Go With the Fish Included Wasabi, Ginger, and Soy Sauce

Eggs and sausage…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

You Could Also Have a Traditional American Breakfast

mushrooms, baked beans, and bacon…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Warm Side Dishes

hashbrowns, pancakes, and waffles….

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Load Up on Carbs for a Long Day of Fun in the Sun

and an omelet station.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Ask for a Made-to-Order Omelette

The pastries looked divine…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

I Was in Heaven With all the Pastries!

I couldn’t wait to try a few!

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Which One to Choose…?

The buttery, flaky croissants were especially good.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

I Never Pass up a Good Croissant!

Next to the pastries, there was cereal.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

There Was a Lot of Cereal for Kids and Adults Alike

Yogurt…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Grab a Yogurt If You’re on the Go

…butter, Nutella, and peanut butter…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Even in the Maldives, You Can Get Your Peanut Butter and Nutella Fix

…and fresh bread.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Bread to Go With Your Spread

There was cheese….

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Pass the Cheese Please

…that looked very good!

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

I’ll Try a Little of Everything!

There were sliced meats…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

A Skimpy Sliced Meats Selection

and sushi…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

I’m Going to Just Slowly Back Away From All This Fish!

You could get local tuna salad……

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

There Were Also Maldivian Breakfast Options

…and make your own salad.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Eat Healthy and Have a Salad

You could choose from lots of ingredients.

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

You Could Make a Good Salad With Their Selection of Fresh Vegetables

There was such a big selection that it was difficult to decide what to eat!

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Is There Really More Food?!

There was also honey…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Does Honey Get Much Fresher Than This?

Daraius loaded up on Asian food…

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Daraius Loves Asian Food…the Spicier the Better!

…while I ate packaged foods to avoid a possible allergic reaction.  I’m sure I could have asked the chef to prepare something separate for me, but I was perfectly happy with my croissants and yogurt (and peanut butter and Nutella!!).

Conrad Maldives Breakfast

Don’t Worry, I’m Getting Seconds

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

The Vilu Lounge had excellent made to order dishes.  There wasn’t much of a buffet, but I liked that it was a smaller, more private setting.  Also  it was closer to the beach.  Everyone else preferred the Atoll Market because of the huge selection.

Breakfast at the Maldives is NOT cheap and you could pay $100 per person each day!  But if you have Hilton Gold or Diamond status, breakfast is free!  If you don’t have Hilton Gold status, you can get it by signing-up for the Citi Hilton Reserve card.

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6 responses to “Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too: Part 9 – Breakfast Options at the Conrad Maldives

  1. We’re in the Malaysian Airlines Business Class lounge in Kuala Lumpur right now waiting for our flight to Male to go to the Conrad Maldives.  Booked 3 nights with Weekend Certificates and 2 nights for 95k points each (kinda jealous we weren’t able to book it pre-devaluation like you guys).

    It’s worth mentioning that there’s another great way to get to the Maldives on miles going over the Pacific.  In fact, its the cheapest way to fly there in First Class and comes with two stopovers.

    Instead of booking two awards with AAdvantage miles via Hong Kong, you could book an award on AA to Southeast Asia, and then use US Airways miles for a round trip from Southeast Asia to the Maldives for just 30k miles round trip in Business Class because US Airways considers it all as one region.  That’s half of what AA charges.

    So, for First Class on the longhaul and Business Class the rest it would be 135k AA miles and 30k US Airways miles instead of 195k AA miles (Cathay) or 180k AA miles (Etihad).

    That’s what we did, and not only did we save a bunch of miles but we got a stopover in Malaysia on the way there and one in Thailand on the way back.

  2. excellent pro-tip Matt. Gracias!

  3. I love all the pictures! Thank you so much. It makes me want to go there!

  4. This Maldives stuff got old after the 1st posting. How many pictures of buffets and you guys lounging on the beach can one be expected to look at. I’d suggest focusing on the meat of the matters and less on what Jack and Jill did on their vacations. Sure, throw a shot of either of you into a post here or there, but your advice blog is beginning to look more and more like a travel blog set up for yourselves and relatives. I have gained some valuable insights from your blog in the past year, but I spend a lot of time scrolling past the unending photos. Really, one column on the Maldives with two or three photos would have been enough.

  5. @Matt: Thanks for sharing that great tip. I hadn’t noticed that sweet spot on U.S.’s award chart, and will keep it in mind since I’ll be in S.E. Asia beginning at the end of this month (apropos of which, how’s the weather in K.L. right now? Wondering whether the monsoons that have been flooding N. Malaysia are impacting things in the capital). I’m not sure I’d want to contend with that $500 sea plane expense on this trip, but the Maldives are a place of interest, and I gather I’d have to act on this before Dividend Miles convert into AAdvantage Miles in 2Q.

    And as for that $100 buffet breakfast, that’s purely insane. Even Bally’s Sterling Brunch in Las Vegas is only $85 per person, and that features prime rib, crab, lobster, caviar and champagne. Thank God I have HHonors Gold awhile yet.

  6. @Scott: We spent two weeks in KL (10k hilton points a night at the doubletree, which was pretty nice) and the weather was great. There was some minor flooding in some parts of the city on Christmas but nothing around us. It was sunny and about 80 degrees most days. But it was pretty humid.