Our $27,000 Vacation to the Maldives for ~$4,300 & How You Can Do It Too: Part 5 – Exploring Conrad Rangali Island Hotel

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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
Daraius & Emily Enjoying Their Family Vacation

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 Hotel

The Conrad Rangali Island in the Maldives is spectacular.  Not only is it set in a beautiful location, with crystal clear blue waters and white sand beaches, but the hotel grounds are equally luxurious.

If you don’t want to use Hilton hotel points, you can also use Chase Ultimate Reward or Hyatt hotel points to stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa.
Conrad Maldives
My Parents Were Looking Forward to Their 1st Full Day on the Island

The day after we checked-in, we walked around the resort.

Conrad Maldives
The Best Part of the Maldives Are Its Beaches

We discovered restaurants right by the beach.

Conrad Maldives
Watch the Waves Crashing on the Beach While You Dine

Everywhere we looked, it was beautiful!  There was a walking path by the restaurant.

Conrad Maldives
Enjoy a Romantic Walk on the Beach After Dinner

There were beachside cabanas that you could relax in (free of charge).

Conrad Maldives
Yay for Free Beach Cabanas!

There were also lounge chairs with umbrellas for some welcome shade.

Conrad Maldives
Daraius’ Dad Could Sit Here All Day

There were lounge chairs with thatched roof umbrellas, too.

Conrad Maldives
The Lounge Chairs Had Comfy Cushions

After walking out on the boardwalk…

Conrad Maldives
Emily Found 1 of the 2 Swimming Pools

we discovered an infinity swimming pool!

Conrad Maldives
We Were Faced With the Difficult Decision of Choosing Between the Pristine Pool and the Natural Lagoon

I decided to go for a swim in the pool to cool off.

Conrad Maldives
My Favorite Part of the Trip Was Just Relaxing in the Water

The water was the perfect temperature and felt great!

Conrad Maldives
The Turquoise Water Was Breathtaking

After our swim break, we decided to continue our walk.  We found some cozy cabanas on the beach.

Conrad Maldives
If You Prefer, You Can Swim in the Lagoon

We found a bar that wasn’t very busy.

Conrad Maldives
There Was a Quiet Bar by the Beach

We posed for a group picture!

Conrad Maldives
The Conrad Has 11 Restaurants and Bars From Which to Choose

This bar seemed like a great place to have a drink.

Conrad Maldives
Hmm…Margarita or Tequila Sunrise?

We found 2 meditation pavilions.

Conrad Maldives
Find Your Center in the Outdoor Meditation Pavilions

They both had fantastic views of the water!

We appreciated how well laid out the hotel was, with ample space to relax.  We hardly saw any other people even though it was high season.  It was nice to feel like we had the resort almost to ourselves.

Conrad Maldives
We Absolutely Loved the Maldives!

The Conrad is spread out over 2 islands.  One is more residential.  The other island is larger and has more restaurants, a fitness center, the activities desk, and a larger pool.

There was a long bridge that connected both islands.  It was about a 5 minute walk.

Conrad Maldives
Walk on the Boardwalk or Take a Boat Between the 2 Islands

The walk was very pleasant, though sometimes the sun was very hot.  There is no shade on the bridge, so be sure to load up on sunscreen!

Conrad Maldives
Remember to Pack Your Sunscreen, A Regular Bottle Costs ~$30 at the Hotel!

Daraius and his dad enjoyed the walk.

Conrad Maldives
Getting in Some Male Bonding Time

If it’s too hot, you can stay in the shade by taking the boat.

Conrad Maldives
The Boats Come Every ~10 Minutes

There is also a golf cart to ride.  This made getting around very quick and easy because it’s door to door service!  Just call from your hotel room, and they will be there to pick you up in 5 to 10 minutes.

Conrad Maldives
Hotel Staff Will Pick You at Your Door for Free

The other island was larger and had more restaurants and activities.

Conrad Maldives
No Matter Where You Are on the Island, the Beach Is Gorgeous!

There was also a larger swimming pool!

Conrad Maldives
My Mom at the Larger Infinity Pool

It had several lounge chairs.  I liked the hotel because the resort had a much smaller feel than other hotels I’ve been to, that literally have hundreds of lounge chairs by the pool.

Conrad Maldives
The Pool Wasn’t Too Crowded

This pool was not as secluded as the other pool, but I liked that it was close to the restaurant and other activities.

It was an infinity pool and it felt like you were swimming in the ocean!

Conrad Maldives
A Bird Even Stopped By For a Quick Dip

The island was not too crowded.  There is plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the scenery.

Conrad Maldives
There Was Another Restaurant Nestled Amongst Trees

Did I mention the beaches were fantastic?

Conrad Maldives
Really, Do Beaches Get Any More Beautiful?!

There were several lounge chairs to relax.

Conrad Maldives
The Palm Trees Provided Plenty of Shade

We still couldn’t believe we made it here with mostly credit cards!

Conrad Maldives
Cha – Ching!

It was so pretty, and we were both extremely grateful for the opportunity.

Conrad Maldives
The Conrad Would Make an Excellent Honeymoon or Anniversary Vacation

Daraius found a hammock and pondered where our next vacation would take us…

Conrad Maldives
“Which Credit Card Shall I Apply for Next?”

The hotel also had 2 spas, 1 on each island.

Conrad Maldives
A Visit to the Spa Was Very Tempting and Expensive!

One of the spas is made up of several over-water treatment rooms.

Conrad Maldives
Take in Views of the Coral Reef Through the Glass Floors

You can take a look at the Spa Retreat and Over-Water Spa brochures to see the treatments available.

Conrad Maldives
You Can Get a Couples’ Massage

There was also a fitness center in the hotel.

Conrad Maldives
Stay in Shape at the Fitness Center

I went to work out every other day and they had a great selection of equipment.

Conrad Maldives
All the Gym Equipment Looked Very Well Maintained

There were weights. bikes, and treadmills.

Conrad Maldives
Everything You Need to Work Up a Sweat

Even the fitness center had incredible views!

Conrad Maldives
The View During My Workout

There was also a dance and yoga room….

Conrad Maldives
Have Your Own Flashdance Moment Here
…that had stability balls and mats.  I love to dance and thought about having a dance class! 🙂
Conrad Maldives
Plenty of Room and Equipment to Practice Yoga

Fresh fruit and bottled water was also available.

Conrad Maldives
Power Up Before Your Workout With Complimentary Fresh Fruit and Water

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 Conrad Rangali Island is the best resort we have stayed at so far!  The beaches are incredible, the rooms are comfortable, and you can relax as much as you like.

The grounds of the hotel are spread out and often it felt like the we were the only ones on the island.  The amazing views were never ending.  And I really can’t imagine a better vacation spot!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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