Part 2 – Welcome To Paradise

Intro – Maldivian Paradise With A Little Europe Sprinkled In
Part 1 – Getting To The Maldives
Part 2 – Welcome To Paradise
Part 3 – A Couple Of Days In Kuala Lumpur
Part 4 – Paris On A Dime
Part 5 – My First Trip To Berlin
Part 6 – Going Home In Style: The Lufthansa First Experience

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Upon arrival at the Male airport, representatives from the Conrad Rangali met us to assist us with our accommodations for the night, and to give us information about our sea plane transfer the next day.  We arrived very late, so opted to stay  close to the airport at a small boutique hotel Le Vieux Nice Inn, which was clean, quiet, and perfectly comfortable for our quick 12 hour stopover.

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After a small breakfast, we were taken by hotel shuttle back to the airport, and dropped off at the Conrad private lounge to await our sea plane ride..  There were a few small snacks and the usual selection of beverages on offer, but with the exception of the stunning views and comfortable chairs,  nothing too spectacular.

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The Conrad Private Lounge
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View From The Lounge

Soon it was time to board.  The sea plane transfers are booked and arranged through the Conrad (though I think if one is really resourceful, they can be booked privately.)  Despite the steep price for what would amount to a 30 minute flight each way ($500 total) the short ride was spectacular.  Definitely a unique experience not to be missed.

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Our Taxi  To Rangali With Pilots In Their Uniforms Of  Shorts And Flip Flops

The views from the plane are simply breathtaking.  We passed several resorts and other deserted islands during the flight.

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One Of Several Resort Islands We Flew Past

After a quick stop off at another resort island to drop of a couple passengers, we  landed at the Rangali Airport

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The Rangali Island Airport

We were greeted by lots of local smiles, and offered cold towels and water as we deplaned.

The resort is composed of two islands connected by a long walkway.  The property is quite simply, stunning.  And much bigger than I thought it would be.

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Bridge Connecting The Two Islands

After check in at the outdoor reception area, our personal assistant  lead us to our Beach Villas.  Personal assistants are assigned pre-arrival, and are meant to be your one stop shop for everything from reservations to requests, though this wasn’t really explained very well to us when we arrived.  He  wasn’t very proactive, and we didn’t  see or use him much the rest of the stay.

The Beach Villas are located on the main island and are very large, and very beautiful.  The entire wall facing the water is made of glass doors that slide open.  The shower, tub, and vanity are outside.  If you are someone who likes a lot of natural light though,  these rooms might not be the best option given that they’re set back from the beach and nestled within a forest of large trees and other foliage.  There also wasn’t much of a breeze.

Each villa has a white sandy beach in front of it, with lounge chairs and umbrellas.  The house reef is also located close by, with excellent snorkeling.

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Beaches In Front Of Villas

The majority of the over water villas were located on the other island, though there were a few off the main island, close to the spa.

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Overwater Villas

There are restaurants on each island,  (including one that’s actually underwater) and if you needed it, a golf cart could be arranged to shuttle you around.  Each room has its own wifi router, and I did not find a anywhere on the entire resort without internet connectivity.

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Overwater Villas At Sunset

Our rooms were booked using HHonors points using an AXON award (no longer available, unfortunately.)  And though we are both top tier Diamond members, no upgrades were given.  We did receive a bottle of locally made champagne and a tray of chocolates to our rooms.  A small selection of fruit was (mostly) refreshed everyday, along with fresh bottles of water produced at the island’s desalination plant.

Complimentary buffet breakfast was provided each morning for Gold and Diamond HH members.  It was extensive, and delicious.  We made sure to fill up because everything else was as ultra expensive as you would expect on a private island.

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Breakfast Sushi

There were opportunities to spend the day off the island including excursions to neighboring islands and dive and snorkel trips.  It was officially the rainy season, and though we didn’t see a drop, the water was pretty choppy outside of the resort’s protected reefs.  I took a snorkel trip one day, and several guests opted to stay on board after our first stop, due to the rough seas.  Most of us on board were a bit queasy by the return.

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Paddle Boating In The Crystal Clear Water

Other activities included kayaking, paddle boats,  a full spa, complimentary afternoon tea, free happy hour drinks (for HH elites,) movie night under the stars, workout room/gym, and a kids program.

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Afternoon Tea And Cookies

Or you could lounge at one of the many pools and deserted beaches and watch the clouds float by

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One Of Many Pristine Deserted Beaches

Nothing was ever very crowded and I was never bored.

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Infinity Pool At Sunset

All good things must come to an end, and after four blissful nights our return sea plane landed just before noon to take us back to Male.  We would overnight at the SIN airport Crowne Plaza, and catch our shuttle to Kuala Lumpur the next morning.

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Staff Wishing Us Farewell!

NEXT – Part 3: A Couple Of Days In Kuala Lumpur

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