Check-in: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

- Bradley Cocks, our SVP of Business Development for the Asia and Pacific region, has been part of the Kiwi Collection team for over seven years. Originally from Canada, he relocated to Sydney, Australia in 2004 and still resides there today.

Another week, another check-in from Bradley Cocks on assignment in the Maldives. His next stop, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. He supplies the 411 and plenty of photos. PS you’re not the only one praying for a Freaky Friday sort of body swap with him.

This luxurious resort, with three separate experiences, all with the overarching theme of “the luxury of being yourself,” is a 30-minute floatplane ride from Male. Those experiences range from an adults-only island with an overwater spa; a main island with a kids club and spa, tennis court, underwater restaurant and wine bar; and a brilliantly-designed Spa Retreat sectioned off on a jetty with overwater villas, and its own spa and restaurant.

One might think this large-scale resort would be crowded. Not at all, the separation of areas combined with the beautiful array of jungle tracks gives a sense of complete tranquility. It’s also helped by its location, there’s nothing around for miles except a small island used to grow vegetables and flowers.

My overnight experience was in The Spa Retreat. The overwater villas—complete with an outdoor deck, Jacuzzi, sun beds and a ladder for ocean access—offer private, open-living design with one master bedroom and a separate room that can be used for children, friends or doing yoga (they provide all necessary equipment, which was brilliant).

There is a strong sense of fun here with glass-bottomed boats, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, sailing and jet skiing.

Two memories that will stay with me for a while both relate to their fabulous food and beverage offerings. The first was a dinner at their intimate beachside Teppanyaki restaurant Koko Grill. It was perfection from start to finish. The Maldivian head chef, who had trained in Japan for over eight years, served and presented a degustation menu. Candlelight, a curved palm tree, waves lapping the beach and twinkling stars set the perfect ambiance.

The second was a short, after dinner stroll to the long, main jetty which connects both islands. In the middle, lights shine into the ocean attracting the largest Manta Rays I’ve seen. Guests gather to take in the sights, some for hours at a time. It’s quite magical to see these creatures swim, dive and breach the water as they swallow up plankton. An especially great experience for those who do not wish to enter the water in order to experience such a unique sight. Apparently this is one of the few, if only, resorts in the Maldives where you can experience rays up close and personal without getting wet.

“The luxury of being yourself”, I quite agree.

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