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.
Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too Index:
- Part 1 – Introduction & Planning
- Part 2 – Flights from US to India
- Part 3 – Flights from India to the Maldives
- Part 4 – Conrad Airport Lounge and Seaplane Ride
- Part 5 – The Grounds of the Conrad Rangali Island Hotel (Conrad Rangali Island Base Room)
- Part 6 – A ~$1,300 per Night Beach Villa for Free
- Part 7 – Saving ~88% on a $3,000 per Night Overwater Bungalow
- Part 8 – Activities at the Conrad Maldives
- Part 9 – Breakfast in the Maldives
- Part 10 – Cheap Food
- Part 11 – Underwater Restaurant
- Part 12 – An Afternoon in Male
- Part 13 – Male Airport and Plaza Premium Lounge
- Part 14 – Conclusion & Blog Giveaway
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 Bora, Maui, 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 ~$5,000!! These series of posts will show you how you can also take a trip to the Maldives on miles and points!
Conrad Rangali Island Resort & Spa Arrival &
We chose the Conrad Rangali Island hotel because we have a lot of Hilton points. And with our Hilton Diamond status we got free breakfast everyday, which is a big money saver!
We used 39,000 Hilton points per night because we booked before the devaluation. It was $375 per night to upgrade to an overwater bungalow.
I reviewed the King Villa Suite, which also cost 39,000 Hilton points, but we didn’t have to pay the extra $375 per night to upgrade.
In today’s post, we will share our experience with the overwater bungalow, where our parents stayed.
When we arrived at the hotel by the seaplane, the staff excitedly greeted us and checked us in. Because we had booked 3 rooms, they were careful to ensure the correct baggage was sent the right rooms.
We took a boat to the island where our parents were staying. The Conrad is comprised of 2 separate islands, which adds privacy to the resort.
The water looked so blue and inviting. I could hardly wait to go for a swim!
We sat down in the reception area while the employee checked us in.
We were each given fresh coconut water that was very sweet and refreshing.
My mom and Mark were really enjoying themselves. We were all so excited for our stay!
My mom grew up on welfare with 7 other kids, and worked hard to provide for me growing up. This trip was a way for me to give back to her for all she’s done for me.
After a few minutes, the staff member escorted us to our parents’ rooms. It was another ~5 to 10 minute walk from reception. It was a beautiful walk to our rooms.
Soon, we had reached a small row of bungalows.
Conrad Rangali Island Overwater Bungalows
The overwater bungalows or King Water Villas go for ~$3,000 per night (depending upon your travel dates).
However, we used our Hilton points, so it cost us “only” $375 per night for a guaranteed upgrade, which is still quite a splurge for us, but our parents are worth it!
After checking in, we were escorted to our rooms. The wooden bungalows were built on stilts over the water.
It was very peaceful and quiet.
My mom and Mark were so happy!
The bungalows looked beautiful!
Our parents stayed in rooms 321 and 322. The rooms were very spacious, open, and airy.
There was 1 main bedroom and living area with a bed, desk, and couch.
I liked that there were several places in which to sit and relax.
The king size bed was accented with green pillows and a throw blanket.
It was very comfortable!
On the opposite side of the room was the desk. There was a glass bottom floor and large windows that let in lots of natural light.
Near the desk, was another chair. It was a cozy little nook to relax and read a book or enjoy a glass of wine.
They received a bottle of champagne, fresh fruits, and chocolate.
The champagne was Geoffroy Nuance.
And the chocolates looked delicious!
The couch was large enough for 3 people.
There was a flat screen TV, which we used before we left to play a slideshow of the pictures and video we had taken during the trip. Connecting our laptops and video cameras was very easy!
There were also iPods in every room. I liked that there was some romantic music to set the mood.
There was a minibar with a fridge and coffeemaker.
There was complimentary bottled water and a Nespresso machine.
The closet was large enough to store all of our luggage. But it would have been nice to have more light for packing and unpacking.
The closet had a safe, beach towels, and a beach bag for trips to the water!
There was a big bathroom with a walk-in shower, bathtub, and double sinks.
There were double sinks with various amenities.
Toothbrushes and soap were left out for us.
The bathroom was very luxurious.
The window above the bath tub had a gorgeous view of the lagoon.
The bath tub looked comfortable, but was not a jetted tub. It was also on the small side, and it would be difficult to fit 2 people.
Included in the amenities were candles and matches.
There was also a walk-in shower, but it was on the small side for rooms that cost ~$3,000 per night.
The shower head was a rain shower.
The best part of the room, however, was the view from their patio.
The calm blue water seemed to go on forever.
The patio had lounge chairs, a dining table and chairs, and even a jacuzzi!
The table and chairs would have been a great place to enjoy some champagne and strawberries while watching the sunset.
I was really impressed with their room.
The Jacuzzi was large enough for 2 people.
Their neighbors were separated by a wooden privacy fence on either side of them. You could not see your neighbors, but you could hear them if they were also out on their patio.
I also enjoyed having a private entrance into the lagoon.
There was even a shower for rinsing off after a swim in the lagoon!
We loved the Conrad Maldives and are already planning our return trip!
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
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
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
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!
Booking the bungalow was a nice treat for our parents, but Daraius and I were extremely happy with our beach side villa (which required no extra cash).
The overwater bungalow made for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we are happy we booked it for our parents.
We hope we can go back one day!