Conrad Hilton Maldives
After we left Thailand, to go to the Conrad Hilton Maldives and flew to Male-the capital of the Maldives islands-their island was full of high rises.
From there we took a Trans Maldivian airways seaplane to the Conrad Hilton Maldives. First time on a seaplane-smooth landings and take offs! It held about 12 passengers with 2 pilots and an open cockpit. The pilots attire was dress shirts, shorts and sandals. Maldivian laid back lifestyle!
The Maldives are located 9,350 miles from Oregon, SW of India near the equator. With over 1,200 islands, only 240 are inhabited and the tallest land elevation is six feet. The locals have said that they have not noticed any sea level change in the past 30 years. The official religion is Islam and the people are very friendly, with English readily spoken. The primary industry (by far) is tourism.
We arrived after a 90 minute flight to the the gorgeous hotel on two separate islands which are connected by a long bridge.
Besides walking or being transported by golf cart on the bridge, the hotel offered a boat shuttle as well.
With seven restaurants, food choices were plentiful. It IS hot in the Maldives, thankfully there was a usually a slight breeze, but still every day it was a humid 95+, so all the restaurants not only had ceiling fans, but delivered a free facial towel soaked in a different fragrance for each venue. From mango to lavender to lemon….it was fun trying to guess.
Everything was so casual, with shorts and bare feet being apropos attire as all the floors were sand. Even the front desk and the conciere!
The only exception was the 2017 Global restaurant of the Year winner, the undersea restaurant Ithaa which had wood floors. Since it had won so many awards, we HAD to eat here. Seating is very limited and the price very spendy: $210 per person for lunch, $350 for dinner. We chose lunch. 🙂 The service was impeccable and the Maldivian lobster salad, the artichoke veloute entree and the pumpkin cheesecake desert were out of this world. However, the main entree of chicken was just ok, it fell short for the price. But overall, I’m glad we did the splurge due to the experience and the views. Twice they feed the fish above us so hundreds of gorgeous fish (and sharks) showed up.
Later that night I went back and took this image of our server, a 4′ 8″ Maldivian woman, Aminath.
Ironically this was the only place in ALL our trips from Singapore to Thailand, that outside of the airport we encountered any Americans, Asian-Americans from San Francisco. Plenty of Germans, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, French, Indians, and Brits, but no North Americans . The hotel employs 75% Maldivians (by law) and workers from 50 countries. None were from North or South America. They have over 400 employees here.
Both my daughter and I are Hilton gold members, which meant the $75 per person all you can eat six station breakfast buffet (with a huge plethora of items) was free for us and one guest, so the three of us saved money by eating twice a day, once at a (free) late breakfast then later at one of the restaurants.
We used Hilton points for the first four nights, and because of that we got the 5th night free-so only costs was getting there via the seaplane, food and any activities we chose to do.When we arrived we checking into our good size over water bungalow taking this sandy path to it from the island forest.
My daughter loved it as not only did it had great views to the tranquil turquoise Indian Ocean and its own infinity mini pool and steps down to the water. She said she didn’t want to ever move.
After the second day, I convinced her to at least check out the newly refurbished garden view rooms. At almost twice the size of the bungalows with a Jacuzzi and an outdoor shower.
it also offered a lanai and a private sandy path right to the beach-just 20 yards away.Plus Sophia had her own curtained off room. It was a no brainer to switch.
After pushing my kids to do all the sights and activities in Singapore and Thailand, it was nice to just sleep in, relax, eat incredible food, swim in the relaxing 88 degree water and enjoy one of the three infinity pools at the resort.
Conrad Hilton Maldives was very relaxing. Plus the beach in front of our bungalow was so nice. The sand was like powdered sugar.
The water was so gorgeous….only Bora Bora compares…
They offered free snorkeling, paddle boards, and boating activities, so Harrison commandeered a small catamaran. He’s a good sailor, but it was his first cat. Unfortunately not too much wind, but it was fun nonetheless.
The only thing we paid for was for Harrison and I to go scuba diving. (Sophia declined.) Sadly, I got sick (you can’t drink the water, the hotel furnishes you with all the bottled water you want, but I may have swallowed some accidentally or ate something that caused me to throw up and have my ears get plugged), so I couldn’t go. It was the highlight of Harrison’s 17 day trip. He and his German instructor spent 40 minutes in the lagoon, then going out on a boat past the reef almost an hour being 40 feet down. She said he was the best pupil she ever had as he picked it up so quickly. He enjoyed being weightless and in a whole different world, seeing the water above him, a lobster, octopus, sharks and dozens and dozens of colorful fish. The Maldives are know for incredible scuba so I’m glad he got to experience that, but it will always be one of my greatest regret that I had to pass.
At night, besides seeing different starts, a resident huge white Manta Ray showed up beneath the bridge. It was joined by a gray Manta Ray about 1/3 of its size.
Sadly after 5 days, it was time to take the Seaplane back.
So many pretty atolls and islands.
Landing back at Male-so many sea planes~
From Male we flew to Bangkok for the night. No time to explore. The airport was huge and they had these cool statues inside.
From there we had a 4 hour lay over in Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) the 3rd top ranked airport in the world.
#1 and #2? Airports we had already been in. Singapore’s Changi aiport ( SIN) and Seoul’s Inchenon airport (ICN).
So many cool gift options in Tokyo…we spent a good hour just looking-and later had some wonderful Japanese food.
We got home at 1am and Sophia had a 12 hour work day….back to the grind until our next trip!
Conrad Hilton Maldives