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[ARCHIVE 2014 to 2017] Conrad Maldives Rangali Island {MDV}

[ARCHIVE 2014 to 2017] Conrad Maldives Rangali Island {MDV}

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Old Aug 7, 17, 9:29 am
  #4786  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Only needs 2K of spend to get back up to Gold but if for some reason that doesn't happen by TEOTY I may indeed make use of a card to save us a couple K on breakfast next year.
I would! Complimentary breakfast, tea, and happy hour certainly softens the blow inflicted by the opportunistic F&B pricing.
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Old Aug 7, 17, 9:42 am
  #4787  
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Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
There's also the size of the resort and F&B options to consider. The PH is a much smaller resort and some folks prefer that. On the other hand there are only 2 restaurants to dine at. If you're planning on, say, a 5-night stay, then at the PH you will pretty much have to dine in two locations twice each for dinner (and the 5th night you'd have to do one of those restaurants again, IVD(in-villa dining) or a private beach dinner which will cost an arm and a leg like it does at practically every resort).....first world problem for foodies, I know but it's relevant when you're comparing it to Rangali, at which you will still not have the opportunity to dine at every outlet even if you stay twice as long as your current amount of points will get you. And I agree totally with alanslegal when he says that using them in high season is one of the best deals you will ever get, anywhere. If food and dining choices (not only the size of, and what's on the menus, but choice of location and ambience too) are going to be an important part of your trip, and you feel the F&B options at the PH will keep your interest over the 5 nights, I suggest getting hold of copies of the menus of The Dining Room and The Island Grill, IVD (if that's your cup of tea) and the beach dinners and see whether the menu items and choices will be enough for you.
The villas are very much the weak point of Rangali and this makes Rangali a different proposition to other resorts where you might spend quite a lot of time in your villa. This was very much rammed home to me during our recent stay at Vommuli.

I think that Rangali is the smart play for someone wanting to spend little time in their villa and enjoy the facilities (including the extensive F&B options), which will be my approach the next time we visit Rangali. This also probably means for those who don't consider anything novel about a water villa you are better off sticking with a beach villa and using the savings on enjoying the rest of the resort.

For those who want to minimise the cash cost of their redemption stay those F&B choices are more hypothetical than actual. You will be looking at a similar set of effective options to that you might find in the PH or other smaller resorts.

So the right question is what is the OP's priority, experience (with fairly chunky accompanying spend) which leans him towards Rangali or spend control in which case the PH may well be the much better option.
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Old Aug 7, 17, 10:45 am
  #4788  
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Originally Posted by ghandi1980 View Post
So I'm debating between Conrad and Park Hyatt properties. Can you guys help me decide? The consensus seems to be that strictly on the rooms itself, PH wins. What is giving me pause is that I'm a diamond with Hilton but a lowly discoverist with PH so certainly won't get any upgrades.

What are your thoughts?

Additionally, I have exactly 380k Hilton points so I would get the 5th night free.
Eventually I'll have a blog post comparing the two and will link to it, but I did a back-to-back last year and can say you are looking at two VASTLY different properties. I wouldn't recommend making a choice based solely on your status.

PH is intimate, relaxing, a world-apart. Indeed the base villa (what your points guarantee you) is much nicer at the PH for the mere fact that the villas are detached and have more of their own space around them. In terms of water villas I felt the Deluxe Water Villa at Conrad is the appropriate price-comparable to the Water Villas at the PH, and think the Conrad's villa beats out PH in terms of style, comfort and amenities (has it's own hot-tub), wheras the PH wins location (the house reef is but a few feet away)
My fiancée is an experienced diver and she is insistent that the PH was much better for diving. In my limited opportunities to snorkel though I saw more sea-creatures at Conrad (not specifically more fish, but the more exotic sea-life). What's more important to you, seeing turtles and rays or viewing a more beautiful/alive reef? Of course YMMV at either property in terms of sea-life.

Conrad has a LOT more to do and see. It felt busier in general (even if "busy" in the Maldives is crazy slow), and as MF noted there are plenty more dining options.

I will say that if you are not big on diving, then IMO go to PH for 6 days for R&R or go to Conrad for 7-8 days to have fun.

BUT my strong recommendation is to pay up the extra $500++ per person and split it like we did 4 nights PH/5 Conrad or better yet 5 nights PH/6 Conrad.

Re-linking and shamelessly self promoting these relevant links and videos (videos not visible here on mobile devices):

http://joeprotravel.com/2017/04/25/d...adahaa-review/

http://joeprotravel.com/2017/05/10/d...dives-hadahaa/

http://joeprotravel.com/2017/06/10/d...island-review/

(my "what to do at the Conrad" post will be coming soon-hopefully :-p )


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Old Aug 7, 17, 11:06 am
  #4789  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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So I plan on writing up formal reviews at some point but I wanted to note a few things that may be relevant.
  • It was fun meeting and hanging out with alanslegal and his wife. Plus Maria and her family from Switzerland - she is a FT lurker
  • Our host Naoko was AWESOME! She sought us out at the bar the night before we departed specifically to outline the checkout process. Two friends we made and were having drinks with said their host was not so good. We went to Tokyo for part of our honeymoon so we loved talking about Japan with her too.
  • We were on last seaplane out and Naoko was able to get us a 3pm checkout which was much appreciated and allowed us to enjoy our last day so much more!
  • There were a lot of elite upgrades while we were there. As alanslegal said they got upgraded to both a DBV and DWV from BV and SWV. Another couple we met honeymooning were upgraded to a DBV for their 7 night stay from a BV. We were upgraded to a DBV for one night but no upgrades otherwise
  • We really enjoyed all the restaurants (and are tough food critics). Went to Mandhoo, Sunset Grill, Ufaa, and Vilu. Sunset Grill round 2 wasn't as good as our first trip though. I never send items back but my lamb was well done and I requested medium rare. For the $$$ that the food costs my husband convinced me I should sent it back. They had deep apologies and sent us ice cream on the house after the meal.
  • Our final bill was a rough moment

Also, really important! I would 100% recommend reef side when staying. We were in 112 for a beach villa and it does indeed not feel as private and we enjoyed 218 on our DBV night so much more as far as location.

I have a lot more to write up but a few points I wanted to get out before I forgot...
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Old Aug 8, 17, 1:45 am
  #4790  
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Hey there lizs, it was great to catch up with you and your husband Sorry that we missed you both on the day you left, no doubt we were gorging on free food somewhere around the resort trying to avoid final bill shock Hope your Etihad flight home was excellent BTW are you planning to go back?

Also, hey there Maria, I know you are reading
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Old Aug 9, 17, 1:15 pm
  #4791  
 
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CR or St. Regis Vommuli

I have a predicament and would love some input, especially from (but not limited to) people who have stayed at both the SR and CR (@joecool1885)

TL;DR: Is the Saint Regis significantly better than CR and worth blowing all my SPG points on?

I booked (the same) six nights at the CR and St. Regis Vommuli for a stay this January on points and am having difficulty deciding on which to actually take. Either reservation will essentially wipe out my Hilton or SPG accounts, respectively, and I've switched jobs and now travel very little, so I will not be rebuilding either set quickly.

From a status perspective, I'm SPG plat and Hilton Diamond, so breakfast is covered at both.

Pros for SR:
-I'm getting close to 7 cent value per point using the latest resort promo, which is great
-6 nights in a water villa that I think will be significantly nicer than a BV/SWV
-Better overall facilities and supposedly amazing breakfast
-Less cash out of pocket (i.e., I'm paying to upgrade to SWV at CR for three nights).

Pros for CR:
-Bigger island(s) and nice common facilities (i.e., quiet zone pool looks nicer than common pool at SR) -- note that I don't value the wider array of F&B venues
-Get great redemption value from Hilton points that would be hard to recreate while saving my SPG points
-Complimentary happy hour drinks, which adds up

Really, my question is whether the SR is truly an "out of this world" experience far beyond CR that is worth blowing all of my SPG points even when I can do the CR as an alternative. I'd much rather use my less valuable/less flexible Hilton points on CR and get one of the better Hilton redemption values and leave my bank of SPG points for other trips if the SR is not head and shoulders better.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by bwh3m; Aug 9, 17 at 2:46 pm
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Old Aug 9, 17, 2:39 pm
  #4792  
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Originally Posted by bwh3m View Post
I have a predicament and would love some input, especially from (but not limited to) people who have stayed at both the SR and CR (@extremeromance, @joecool1885)

Any thoughts?
Have not been to SR. PH and Conrad only.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 2:46 pm
  #4793  
 
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Originally Posted by joecool1885 View Post
Have not been to SR. PH and Conrad only.
My apologies . . I thought I remembered seeing you say you had
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Old Aug 9, 17, 5:13 pm
  #4794  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
Hey there lizs, it was great to catch up with you and your husband Sorry that we missed you both on the day you left, no doubt we were gorging on free food somewhere around the resort trying to avoid final bill shock Hope your Etihad flight home was excellent BTW are you planning to go back?

Also, hey there Maria, I know you are reading
alanslegal, we would LOVE to go back but it's pretty far from us, as you know. We're thinking of trying Bora Bora next after seeing so many of your pictures from there! Mainly because it's significantly closer. PM me your final thoughts on Bora Bora vs. Maldives if you have a moment, would be really interested to hear.
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Old Aug 10, 17, 12:21 am
  #4795  
 
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Originally Posted by bwh3m View Post
I have a predicament and would love some input, especially from (but not limited to) people who have stayed at both the SR and CR (@joecool1885)

TL;DR: Is the Saint Regis significantly better than CR and worth blowing all my SPG points on?

I booked (the same) six nights at the CR and St. Regis Vommuli for a stay this January on points and am having difficulty deciding on which to actually take. Either reservation will essentially wipe out my Hilton or SPG accounts, respectively, and I've switched jobs and now travel very little, so I will not be rebuilding either set quickly.

From a status perspective, I'm SPG plat and Hilton Diamond, so breakfast is covered at both.

Pros for SR:
-I'm getting close to 7 cent value per point using the latest resort promo, which is great
-6 nights in a water villa that I think will be significantly nicer than a BV/SWV
-Better overall facilities and supposedly amazing breakfast
-Less cash out of pocket (i.e., I'm paying to upgrade to SWV at CR for three nights).

Pros for CR:
-Bigger island(s) and nice common facilities (i.e., quiet zone pool looks nicer than common pool at SR) -- note that I don't value the wider array of F&B venues
-Get great redemption value from Hilton points that would be hard to recreate while saving my SPG points
-Complimentary happy hour drinks, which adds up


Any thoughts?
Hi there bwh3m.

First of all and just to let you know, I haven't yet stayed at the St. Regis. I was going to visit earlier this year but unfortunately plans changed.

Originally Posted by bwh3m View Post
I'd much rather use my less valuable/less flexible Hilton points on CR and get one of the better Hilton redemption values and leave my bank of SPG points for other trips if the SR is not head and shoulders better.
You are most defintely right about the value of points as Hilton's aren't worth that much, the lowest out of all the loyalty programs AFAIK. The choice to keep the SPG points is probably the better one, especially since Hilton could devalue their points again soon and if they do, you're going to need way more than 76K/N at top properties like Rangali.


Originally Posted by bwh3m View Post
-Complimentary happy hour drinks, which adds up
And don't forget about Afternoon Tea at Mandhoo. This is a really good time to get a snack and keep the hunger at bay before dinner and especially good if you like to snorkel after breakfast and/or have dinner late.

Originally Posted by bwh3m View Post
-6 nights in a water villa that I think will be significantly nicer than a BV/SWV
Will this be your first time in the Maldives? If that's the case, your choice of beach & overwater, and in that order, i.e; a BV then upgrading to a SWV, is a very good one. Of course there's nothing wrong with staying in a SR OWV for all 6 nights, just that doing it that way (BV--OWV) will let you experience both land and overwater accommodation, and in the generally preferred order. The only thing is, as previously mentioned a page or so back in the thread, is that the CR OWVs are indeed showing their age. Everything at SR is all new. Having said that, you are planning on upgrading to a SWV which have had their interiors spruced up just a few months ago so that's a small plus in CR's favour. EDIT: I don't mean the SWVs are better than the OWVs at the SR, just that it's a little more advantageous for you to upgrade to that category, rather than any other OWV category.

Originally Posted by bwh3m View Post
Really, my question is whether the SR is truly an "out of this world" experience far beyond CR that is worth blowing all of my SPG points even when I can do the CR as an alternative.
If I wanted super luxury, I'd choose the SR. There is an advantage that CR has over the SR however, and that is quality of service. If you read the last few pages of the SR thread, you will see that the level of service and experience of the staff is still lacking, severely in some cases. The SR hasn't been open even a year whilst the Conrad has been open for more than 20 and there are a lot of staff members who have been there 10+, 15+ years, and some even since it opened. They will not forget how you like your drinks made, forget orders and so forth. Both properties are very proactive in this area but it's going to take some time for the SR to catch up. This is one of the reasons we keep going back to Rangali (5 visits so far). If you are looking for out of this world as far as hard product goes, then by all means choose the SR. If service screwups can easily ruin your holiday then choose the Conrad. Whatever property you choose, you are looking at a holiday that is going to blow you away.

Last edited by MaldivesFreak; Aug 10, 17 at 9:20 am Reason: Edited for clarity (see 'EDIT')
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Old Aug 10, 17, 5:32 am
  #4796  
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Originally Posted by bwh3m View Post
I have a predicament and would love some input, especially from (but not limited to) people who have stayed at both the SR and CR (@joecool1885)

TL;DR: Is the Saint Regis significantly better than CR and worth blowing all my SPG points on?

I booked (the same) six nights at the CR and St. Regis Vommuli for a stay this January on points and am having difficulty deciding on which to actually take. Either reservation will essentially wipe out my Hilton or SPG accounts, respectively, and I've switched jobs and now travel very little, so I will not be rebuilding either set quickly.

From a status perspective, I'm SPG plat and Hilton Diamond, so breakfast is covered at both.

Pros for SR:
-I'm getting close to 7 cent value per point using the latest resort promo, which is great
-6 nights in a water villa that I think will be significantly nicer than a BV/SWV
-Better overall facilities and supposedly amazing breakfast
-Less cash out of pocket (i.e., I'm paying to upgrade to SWV at CR for three nights).

Pros for CR:
-Bigger island(s) and nice common facilities (i.e., quiet zone pool looks nicer than common pool at SR) -- note that I don't value the wider array of F&B venues
-Get great redemption value from Hilton points that would be hard to recreate while saving my SPG points
-Complimentary happy hour drinks, which adds up

Really, my question is whether the SR is truly an "out of this world" experience far beyond CR that is worth blowing all of my SPG points even when I can do the CR as an alternative. I'd much rather use my less valuable/less flexible Hilton points on CR and get one of the better Hilton redemption values and leave my bank of SPG points for other trips if the SR is not head and shoulders better.

Any thoughts?
SR Vommuli in a heartbeat. I have done both. The bigger island and far higher occupancy at CR is not in itself a virtue, it's made into a positive by the large number of dining choices which naturally result.

Even paying $$$$ in supplements doesn't get you anywhere close to the quality of the WV at SRV. The dining choices are also pretty broad and they seem to be buffing out some of the minor imperfections (far more minor than my experience at CR which was good but with a fair number of niggles). The accommodation at the CR is just a world away from that at SRV The WV becomes your centre point in a way that we never found the DWV at CR did.

SRV isn't cheap mind you even with a redemption stay and we only spent about $4k less than at the CR which was mainly down to the fact we didn't need to pay anything extra for the WV at SR.

Last edited by Land-of-Miles; Aug 10, 17 at 5:40 am
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Old Aug 10, 17, 4:32 pm
  #4797  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 399
I am interested in knowing for those that stayed for 5-7 nights, what does the final bill look like

While I can get to Male for relatively free - using points, the transportation from Male to the island is just hard to swallow (2 adult & 7 and 5 year old).

Should I budget at least $3k just on food and excursions or does the number look more like $5k - $6k ?

I am a Diamond member (until March 2018) but will still be Gold status afterward and can still enjoy the breakfast.
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Old Aug 10, 17, 4:59 pm
  #4798  
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Originally Posted by ponickka View Post
I am interested in knowing for those that stayed for 5-7 nights, what does the final bill look like

While I can get to Male for relatively free - using points, the transportation from Male to the island is just hard to swallow (2 adult & 7 and 5 year old).

Should I budget at least $3k just on food and excursions or does the number look more like $5k - $6k ?

I am a Diamond member (until March 2018) but will still be Gold status afterward and can still enjoy the breakfast.
Your budget will depend on the sort of experience you want to have. I would have thought a sensible budget would be between $7k and $10k including the seaplane transfers.

You can spend a lot less than this but then I think you miss some of the real positives of CR.
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Old Aug 10, 17, 7:06 pm
  #4799  
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Originally Posted by ponickka View Post
I am interested in knowing for those that stayed for 5-7 nights, what does the final bill look like

While I can get to Male for relatively free - using points, the transportation from Male to the island is just hard to swallow (2 adult & 7 and 5 year old).

Should I budget at least $3k just on food and excursions or does the number look more like $5k - $6k ?

I am a Diamond member (until March 2018) but will still be Gold status afterward and can still enjoy the breakfast.
Gold & Diamonds have complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and cocktail hour - so could easily make do with these offerings if you had to or want to. Have a long/late breakfast, which we did & stayed till midday on most days chatting to staff etc, then it is only four hours till afternoon tea (have multiple sandwiches there ) and then its cocktail hours. You could easily get away with it at that point. We were often feeling quite full after cocktail hour but would still head up to happy hour and have a drink before dinner which we had around 630-700 because we wanted to feel the sun-setting island vibe and try out the various restaurants.

At most restaurants you could spend US$100 for two courses per person and you might be able to squeeze in a glass of wine at that price point - that's inclusive of taxes.

There are specialty dinners most nights such as Champagne & Lobster BBQ on the beach, BBQ Grill on the beach, Maldivian Feast, Japanese Degustation and more, they would each set you back around US$175 - $270++ per person. The underwater restaurant dinner will cost $325++ per person, it is slightly cheaper for lunch and cheaper for cocktail hour. If you don't drink or plan not to drink a lot, you can ask for the meal only option which we did at the Champagne and Lobster BBQ bringing it down from $260 with champagne to $175 without (apparently it was supposed to be $195 but I think our host managed? to get a $20 discount without asking).

For excursions, we were extremely lazy and went only on one - being the Island Hopping Tour and that was $170++ per person including lunch.

We skipped the spa because we felt for the cost and for what we got, would have been better served elsewhere - yes I am thinking of you Elemis Spa at the St Regis Bangkok which we will see you in two weeks!

Without excursions as we are lazy travelers (who sit on the deck or the beach and laze around) I think US$100 per person per day would be easily achievable
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Old Aug 10, 17, 10:48 pm
  #4800  
 
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post

For excursions, we were extremely lazy and went only on one - being the Island Hopping Tour and that was $170++ per person including lunch.

achievable
Can you let me know more about The island hoping tour. What do you line and do not like about this excursion. Is it worthy to spend $170++ per person for this tour.

Thanks.
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