Leaving one Maldives island for another feels a special kind of exciting. Especially when your island hopping equates to speed boat, small plane and then sea plane! Our next stop the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island…
The seaplanes were moored at the domestic airport on Male and although we had a little wait it was quite the air-conditioned, luxe cream leather loungers and lots of snacks, kids play area and 20 minute neck & shoulder massage kind in the Conrad airport lounge. The seaplane itself is a fantastic experience, especially of you’ve got kids. Gus (ok, and us too!) were literally squealing in delight as the tiny 8-seater took off and soared higher than you would think! Incredibly exhilarating and quite cool dropping off some passengers at a floating pontoon before reaching the Conrad.
After the 30 minute or so flight, we were greeted by a lovely welcome party and cool drinks before being buggied to the our water villa in the spa arm of the family island. The Conrad, with its incredible 12 restaurants is split into two guest islands, one for families and one for the honeymooners. Larger than Hadahaa where we’d come from, the distances were best covered motorised when with small person in tow – Gus not a great distance walker yet! – although Myles and I separately enjoyed winding our way along the beaches from our villa to the main reception and pool area.
Before we start though, I just wanted to show you a few more holiday snaps from back in 1986 when I visited with my family. The magical memories have stayed with me over the years and were a big part of the reason for this trip with Myles & Gus!
I was completely at one with the clean lines, colours and uniformity of the water villas and utterly blown away by our interconnecting family, huge bathroom with seaview bath & shower, plus spa room, and deck, jacuzzi and steps down into the water – called the Retreat Water Villa. And excellent wifi, egad! These places are ideal for family downtime and private chilling – you could easily spend the best part of a day here not seeing a soul! The Conrad team had been super sweet and prepared some birthday treats for Gus. A welcome glass of champagne before dinner in the super healthy Mandhoo spa restaurant before crashing out for the next day.
The Mandhoo Spa restaurant serves organic dishes (with ingredients grown on the island and imported) to create dishes that energise and nourish. It was all mouth-wateringly delicious and not to heavy, so perfect after a day of travelling. The minute Gus got sleepy – post ice-cream gorging – our waiter pulled together two chairs and cushions for him to stretch out and sleep which honestly makes life so much easier!
The next morning, after sleeping like logs we mosied around sleepily before tucking into breakfast on our deck. Although you can see the other water villas you never see a glimpse of another person and it feels so incredible private and serene. The aim, I imagine, of creating the perfect conditions for switching off and winding down totally in your very personal space very much achieved! With Gus splish-splashing around in the jacuzzi, while we lazily drank coffee on the deck chairs could easily have taken up the best part of the morning. But with a massage treatment to try out, I managed to leave them to it 😉
Being right next to the equator, I was pretty worried about sun. The easiest thing for kids these days is to cover them up as much as possible, despite Gus being pretty good when it comes to sunscreen. He pretty much lived in this little Boden outfit…
I can’t get enough of massage treatments and like to give myself up fully with pressure ‘hard’. The spa complex, also over water, was just a few minutes away from our villa (opposite the Mandhoo restaurant) so I pottered over and was welcomed into a higher level of serenity. Super impressed with open air loos and baths, I mean, kind of amaze and also testament to the high levels of privacy which mean you don’t have to have your ‘on’ face on. I melted into my treatment with the gentle footbath and experienced for the first time a massage with hot bamboo sticks, rubbed over your back and getting into all those knots.
Next up noodle making, beach lounging and more eating, ahem! 😉