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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.
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 ~$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.
The day after we checked-in, we walked around the resort.
We discovered restaurants right by the beach.
Everywhere we looked, it was beautiful! There was a walking path by the restaurant.
There were beachside cabanas that you could relax in (free of charge).
There were also lounge chairs with umbrellas for some welcome shade.
There were lounge chairs with thatched roof umbrellas, too.
After walking out on the boardwalk…
we discovered an infinity swimming pool!
I decided to go for a swim in the pool to cool off.
The water was the perfect temperature and felt great!
After our swim break, we decided to continue our walk. We found some cozy cabanas on the beach.
We found a bar that wasn’t very busy.
We posed for a group picture!
This bar seemed like a great place to have a drink.
We found 2 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.
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.
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!
Daraius and his dad enjoyed the walk.
If it’s too hot, you can stay in the shade by taking the boat.
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.
The other island was larger and had more restaurants and activities.
There was also a larger swimming 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.
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!
The island was not too crowded. There is plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the scenery.
Did I mention the beaches were fantastic?
There were several lounge chairs to relax.
We still couldn’t believe we made it here with mostly credit cards!
It was so pretty, and we were both extremely grateful for the opportunity.
Daraius found a hammock and pondered where our next vacation would take us…
The hotel also had 2 spas, 1 on each island.
One of the spas is made up of several over-water treatment rooms.
There was also a fitness center in the hotel.
I went to work out every other day and they had a great selection of equipment.
There were weights. bikes, and treadmills.
Even the fitness center had incredible views!
There was also a dance and yoga room….
…that had stability balls and mats. I love to dance and thought about having a dance class! 🙂
Fresh fruit and bottled water was also available.
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!
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!