So my wife, daughter and I recently came back from a two week stay at the Conrad Maldives, and in one word I would describe the resort as “over the top amazing”. Oops that four words, there’s no way I could boil it down to one word, it would not do the property justice, and frankly I could not think of one word that would fit this amazing place.
For those of you that are not familiar with the Republic of Maldives, it’s a small island chain off the Western coast of India, on the Indian Ocean, consisting of 1192 islands with only about 200 of them populated. They span 35,000 square miles and have an average elevation of 4 feet. The islands lie about 250 miles off the coast of India and 700 miles from Sri Lanka, overall the chain has a population of about 340,000 people and the capital island Male is only two square kilometers in size but has almost 150,000 people. Because the islands lie at the equator, it has an average temperature of 80 degrees and receives upwards 100 inches of rain annually. The islands are actually part of 26 large atolls, which are coral islands and reefs completely surrounded by lagoons and sand bars. Due to all of these factors, this country has incredible bio-diversity in the ocean and land. And this is why over 90 resorts have been set up throughout the vast landscape, with some 600,000 tourists visiting annually.
Well that’s enough of a geography lesson. Let’s get down to the property and why we’ve not only decided to go there twice, but also choose this as my favorite vacation (although I’ll continue to try and find a more amazing place). The hotel consists of 150 villas on land and over the ocean, that are all separated from each other, so once you enter your villa you are whisked away to your own tranquil patch of sand and beach or stilted ocean escape. Because of the ingenious way that the property is designed you can live in this almost self-contained world and barring eating food at one of the eight or so restaurants not see another soul for days on end. At the time of our visit the property was 85% occupied, and we could hop in the ocean at 10 am do a 360 and not see a human anywhere. Truly truly amazing.
From the moment you get off the seaplane, yes that’s right the only way to get here is by a pontoon plane, how cool is that? You’re greeted by your island host that runs you thought the amenities of the hotel, the styles of cuisine of the eight restaurants/specialty meal events and ferries you to your villa to show you what your patch of paradise will be.
Each Villa is actually a compound, with outdoor shower and bath tubs. Trust me you’ve not lived till you’ve taken a shower in the rain. The vanity area is covered but also outside your villa too. Even though the areas are outside it is still very very private. Again they’ve done a great job of designing this property to feel warm welcoming, yet private all at the same time. Each room also has floor to ceiling glass doors that open on three or four sides depending on the Villa type your assigned. Ours had doors on all four sides, the one time I opened more than one set the humidity immediately made the tile floors slick. OOPS. But that being said when it’s not so hot it’s a great way to bring the outdoors inside.
Even though you’re in the middle of nowhere, and one plane trip from the capitol and a few plane trips from “civilization”, you can pretty much do most anything you could at any other beach resort. You just don’t have to deal with the hawkers, noise and mass groups of tourists you see when visiting parts of Hawaii, the Caribbean or Mexico for example. For me walking around the property and seeing, hermit and sand crabs scampering along the beach or fruit bats wandering the skies plus mantas, sting rays and sand sharks in the ocean, just makes my day. Again the diversity of life keeps me coming back.