Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The aftermoon: Rangali Island (a.k.a Paradise)

In case you haven't noticed... I have a severe crush on islands.


Stef and I have a serious travel bug, once the thrill of the wedding had past, and work had calmed down a bit, we decided that the premoon and the short honeymoon in Formentera weren't really enough. We wanted more sun. So we finally took our "real" honeymoon.



...in the Maldives.

I have say, it was the trip of a lifetime. Well... ok, it might be tied with the Bali trip, but it was certainly an unforgettable week.

We flew to Malé for a short one night stay before being whisked away to our private island paradise by seaplane.


We stayed at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, a resort that actually proclaims to have 6 stars. After staying there, I sort of believe them. The trip was luxury from the very beginning. The Conrad scheduled our seaplane for us so that we left on the first flight out in the morning. We didn't have to do a thing, except tell them which hotel we were staying at in Malé. They communicated with the hotel to make sure we were at the airport on time and the transported us from there to the seaplane terminal. On arrival at the terminal we were escorted to their private lounge.



The seaplane journey was pretty exciting. I have to admit I was a bit nervous at first, but once we got going the adrenaline took over and I actually had fun. Perhaps it had something to do with the bare-footed pilots, and the salty breezes, but I had already started to feel at home.


Flying over the atolls was quite and experience. The colors speak for themselves.








Arrival on the island made me realize it was nothing less than pure Paradise! Our plane splashed into the turquoise waves and pulled up to a dock between the two islands where we were greeted by our host.

Normally this place would be a bit over my budget, but I had a ton of Hilton points saved up, so that helped lighten the sticker-shock. We negotiated some room upgrades however, because after all, it was our honeymoon, and how often dose one get to go to paradise?


The first room we stayed in was an over-water villa. It was located on the water-villa island, which is a dreamy tropical oasis.



Not a bad start.  The room even has its own private plunge pool.

I was happy.


This island was home to the Overwater-spa, and the Quiet Zone, an adult only beach bar with its very own over water infinity pool.




They sure know how to do pools at the Conrad Maldives. I didn't even know over-water pools existed before I came to this place.

After a couple of days we moved to our second room which was a dreamy over-water Spa-Retreat villa

with a very nice tub...

or two.,

and and a private entrance to the crystal clear sea.


This villa was located far out over the water in a cluster of villas next to the other Spa. Two islands, two spas.. duh.

It was definitely our favorite. It was much more private and we just loved the jacuzzi, and the view. At night we could slide the windows all the way open on each side of the bed and sleep with the sound of the splashing waves underneath us ...sigh,

until it rained of course and then we got a little wet.




Our only real activities were snorkeling, diving, spa-ing,





shark spotting...




and of course, eating. There were 9 or so restaurants on the island. Too many to count really. For a special honeymoon gift, the Conrad was nice enough to offer us one complementary  dinner. We ate at Mandoo, which is the beautiful spa restaurant (yes, also over-water) which serves a healthy take on fine dining... and it was amazing.


We sampled most of the other restaurants restaurants, but our wallets definitely felt it. In the end we decided it was absolutely worth it.  As you may have guessed already, food is one of my life passions, and this place had nothing but the best.  They even had a wine cellar restaurant, well two actually, with nothing but the best wine and cheese from all over the world.  Yum... I was in absolute heaven.


We did one excursion, to... you guessed it...



another private island.

Somehow its the exclusivity and the natural beauty of it made it even more amazing.

One of my favorite parts about the Conrad was the long bridge that connected the two islands.

Almost every night we walked across the bridge and spotted enormous mantas doing saltos in the lights underneath the dock.  

They were breathtaking creatures.

All in all, it was probably one of the best weeks of our lives.


I don't know if a trip like this will ever be in the cards for me again.  But a girl can dream, cant she?



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