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-   -   Maldives hotel recommendations (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxury-hotels-travel/1835939-maldives-hotel-recommendations.html)

MilaidhooMaldives May 11, 17 11:48 pm

akiangel: most resorts in the Maldives have beach villas, so it depends on what type of luxury you're looking for in the Maldives. A few questions to think about:

Do you want a man-made island with no coral reef and truly fabulous designer villas that could be anywhere in the world, or do you want a natural island with a coral reef and a more Maldivian style?

Do you want things like a private pool or jacuzzi in your villa or are you happy with the ocean on your doorstep? Do you want to see the ocean from your bed or do you prefer to have a private garden giving your privacy? Are you happy with an open air garden-bathroom (a Maldives tradition) or do you need high-powered air con to bathe comfortably?

Do you want a busy island that's buzzing with watersports, activities and things to do or do you want to lie on a beach that feels like you're the first person to ever be there and just read your books?

Do you need an adult-oriented resort or are you happy with one that's got family-friendly vibes?

Are you looking for a teeny-tiny boutique resort or a larger place that has many restaurants and activities?

Do you want barefoot informality style or dress-up-and-look-at-me style?

Do you want to swim with whale sharks and manta rays, or is that not important to you?

Kat

ChocolateFactory May 15, 17 5:12 pm

My uncle is in the process of booking a trip to the Maldives for the first week of December.
(Before that, he'll also be in Sri Lanka for a week, any recommendations on where to go and where to stay are also much appreciated.)

He would be in the Maldives for 7 nights and he'd be willing to spend up to ~450 USD per night (or less).
I saw that by buying HHonors points during a promotion and using the new points pooling feature, he'd probably be able to book the Conrad Maldives for about that rate (provided there's enough award availability).

However, I don't know if it would be a good choice. The photos I've seen didn't look that spectacular, and from what I've read, you'd only get a beach villa for points anyway.

Are there any other hotels you can recommend in that price range (of course, transferring points from his German Amex or simply buying hotel points is an option as well).

He likes small, boutique hotels with great, personal service.
I don't think a family resort would be his kind of thing.

Any suggestions?

DavidO May 15, 17 5:14 pm

IMHO, beach villas are better than over-water bungalows.

Think of over-water bungalows as a way to create real estate where none exists. Beach villas let you step right out on the beach and are usually larger rooms with landscaping and more privacy.

ChocolateFactory May 15, 17 5:17 pm

Ok, that makes sense.
Would you recommend the Conrad?
What other alternatives can you recommend in the given price range?
I'm sure the Park Hyatt or St. Regis would be great, but my uncle doesn't want to spend that much money.

Epicura May 16, 17 3:55 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28315932)
Ok, that makes sense.
Would you recommend the Conrad?
What other alternatives can you recommend in the given price range?
I'm sure the Park Hyatt or St. Regis would be great, but my uncle doesn't want to spend that much money.

I am afraid USD 450 is a bit tight for the luxury hotels of Maldives as discussed in this subforum. For points bookings I would suggest to have a look at the master threads in the relevant forum (Hyatt, Hilton, ...).

ChocolateFactory May 16, 17 4:08 am

I thought some hotels have "7 nights for the price of 5" promotions?
At 700 USD per night, that would mean 500 USD per night using the promotion...

But that aside, would the Conrad even be a good option?
Juding by the photos I've seen, the rooms looked rather basic (not bad, but not really luxurious either)?

jp-mco May 16, 17 5:35 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28317547)
I thought some hotels have "7 nights for the price of 5" promotions?
At 700 USD per night, that would mean 500 USD per night using the promotion...

But that aside, would the Conrad even be a good option?
Juding by the photos I've seen, the rooms looked rather basic (not bad, but not really luxurious either)?

We've stayed at the Conrad and, whilst it's a solid choice for the Maldives, I do think there are better resorts there. The biggest problem with the Conrad is point burners. A lot of guests there are staying on points which means the hotel has less to spend on extras for the guests. We paid cash for our room which meant we didn't feel, compared to the Reethi Rah, that the hotel offered as much back. For example, at the Reethi Rah there's an extremely good afternoon tea for all guests every day. They also lay on a manager's champagne reception each week. They're not serving pre-mixed cocktails (Conrad I'm looking at you) they're serving Laurent Perrier from Jeroboams! I guess you just can't do that if a huge proportion of your guests are getting their rooms for nothing.

There's all sorts of stories on the internet of people going to the Conrad and taking dried noodles with them, filling their bags with food at breakfast (which they get free because of Hilton status) or only eating room service because it's cheaper. Whilst I certainly don't begrudge anybody doing that it does have a knock on effect for those staying who are paying cash.

We were staying in a Premier Water Villa which cost around $2k a night (and was stunning!) and for that amount we didn't feel we got anything included. The contrast with the Reethi Rah was like night and day where you constantly felt like they offered something - whether it was fruit at the beach club, Evian misters, cold lemongrass scented towels, free bottled water, afternoon tea or the champagne drinks reception. The ironic thing is we were paying less at the Reethi Rah per night!

Oh and whilst we're at it the food at Reethi Rah was on a completely different level to Conrad where I didn't eat anything the whole week that was outstanding. Every single meal at Reethi Rah was great - especially breakfast which is still the best hotel breakfast I've ever eaten and is unlikely to ever be topped.

ChocolateFactory May 16, 17 5:45 am

I've only stayed at a Hilton property on points once, and that was at the WA Conquestador in Puerto Rico.
Which was a very... standard family resort (people were showing up for breakfast in nightgowns and PJ's!), definitely not worthy of the WA brand.
Their cafés had plastic chairs.
Then again, I sort of knew what to expect, so it was still ok.

However, if this is what the Conrad is like, I think he'd be better off somewhere else. Anywhere else really.
But comparing a 400 USD hotel (when buying the points) to a 2000 USD hotel is a bit unfair. ;-)
I do understand that you'd be disappointed when you pay cash.

jp-mco May 16, 17 5:55 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28317752)
But comparing a 400 USD hotel (when buying the points) to a 2000 USD hotel is a bit unfair. ;-)
I do understand that you'd be disappointed when you pay cash.

That's a fair point but to be honest I'd have been disappointed drinking pre-mixed cocktails for $400 a night considering the cost of F&B, excursions and the seaplane to reach the resort.

kmd0506 May 16, 17 12:13 pm


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28315899)
He would be in the Maldives for 7 nights and he'd be willing to spend up to ~450 USD per night (or less).
I saw that by buying HHonors points during a promotion and using the new points pooling feature, he'd probably be able to book the Conrad Maldives for about that rate (provided there's enough award availability).

One thing to remember is that food, beverage and activities can very quickly add up to the cost of the room (or more). We went with a higher budget, even with breakfast included in the cost of our room our "additional" costs almost equaled our room cost at the end of our last visit- full disclosure we did 2 days of diving and had 2 higher cost meals.

DSI May 16, 17 8:33 pm

That price will be tough, especially with airline transfers. They can always just eat breakfast and fast but it won't make for a great vacation. Eating out with a postcard from the Maldives might be more fun.

We stayed at the COMO Cocoa Island and loved it. The transfer is included and not costly and they do run some 4/3 specials. Won't hit the budget, but it won't bust it like other super lux resorts there.

m3red May 16, 17 9:37 pm

I'm just back from 5 days at Gili Lankafushi and loved it - so relaxing, amazing food and great snorkelling- 20 mins boat from Male too.

Expensive but worth it. I would caveat that if you like dressing up and wearing shoes it's not the place for you.

ChocolateFactory May 17, 17 2:53 am

I spoke to a travel agent and he suggested:

- Cocoon Maldives
- Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Resort & Spa
- Angsana Resort & Spa Velavaru

How do these compare to the Conrad?
The total budget for 7 nights would be about 5000-5500 USD for two people including transportation from/to Male, breakfast and dinner, but excluding activities like diving etc.
That should be enough for the Conrad on points, but maybe there is something better in that budget?

MikeFromTokyo May 17, 17 6:56 am


Originally Posted by ChocolateFactory (Post 28322157)
I spoke to a travel agent and he suggested:

- Cocoon Maldives
- Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu Resort & Spa
- Angsana Resort & Spa Velavaru

How do these compare to the Conrad?
The total budget for 7 nights would be about 5000-5500 USD for two people including transportation from/to Male, breakfast and dinner, but excluding activities like diving etc.
That should be enough for the Conrad on points, but maybe there is something better in that budget?

If you have the points, I say go for it. You should also get on a meal plan, so that most meals will be included at a fixed predictable cost. That will make it easier to budget for activities and incidentals.

There's absolutely no way seven nights at the higher end properties primarily discussed here will be doable for $5500. That might pay for two nights at some of them, if that...

ChocolateFactory May 17, 17 7:37 am

Thanks.

I just found out that Hyatt are running a points sale at the moment.
The Park Hyatt should be available for 450 USD or so per night by buying points.
But judging by the reviews I've read, the Conrad is a much nicer property (and also much easier to get to)?


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