• Bruce

Day 8: Maldives

After a fantastic two nights at the Water Villa, it was time to experience the other side of the resort on the main island. We started the day with another fantastic breakfast at Vilu. We opted to sit inside this time as it was cooler.

Since we skip lunch, we tend to go all out for breakfast. The quality of the a la carte dishes at Vilu were excellent - better than what you would expect at a free hotel breakfast. Vilu definitely gave me some Al Maha vibes - see my Dubai blog from last year to check out that similarly amazing resort.

After breakfast, we packed our things and left our luggage in the water villa. The resort would handle moving our things to the new villa. Instead, we dressed up and went to the lobby for our complementary photo shoot. Conrad offers half hour photo shoots where you can select five photos free of charge and more for a fee. They can also do longer shoots but those can get pretty pricy.

This turned out really well. Although it was very bright out and hard to keep our eyes open, we got some excellent shots and were very happy with the results. Here’s a sneak peak.

Afterwards, we did our own little photo shoot since we were already dressed up. Look familiar?

By now, our deluxe beach villa was ready so a buggy came to pick us up. The deluxe beach villa is very different from the water villas. What it lacks in ocean it makes up for in space. The villa is 3200 sqft, with huge outdoor spaces in both the back and the front. It leads out to a private beach, facing the coral reefs. There is also a private jetted pool as well as a daybed and swing in the “backyard”. While there is no bathtub, it has both indoor and outdoor showers. The villa itself is newly renovated so it has a more luxurious feel.

This was definitely a place where you can relax the entire day without leaving. Since we were right by the coral reefs, I borrowed some snorkel gear from the hotel dive center. I’ve only snorkeled once in my life so I didn’t go very far, but we still saw lots of colorful fishes and sponges. This was a fun way to spend the afternoon on the beach. We even had our own private beach chairs to relax on afterwards.

I also spent some time in our private pool, which was surprisingly big.

Swinging in the backyard was also really fun and relaxing. The rooms are stocked with tons of water and the staff refill it every time you are out of your room.

Before long, it was time for dinner. Although initially we booked the Sunset Grill, after such a great experience at Uufa, we decided to go back.

This time, we sat right on the beach which was very beautiful during sunset. Once again we started with our favorite steamed bread.

They gave us double portions this time given how much we enjoyed it yesterday. We had another great feast at Uufa consisting of black cod with spicy black bean sauce, seafood fried rice, twice cooked pork, and once again the seafood vermicelli. Everything was delicious - especially that black cod.

After dinner, we stopped by the lobby to ask about our revised seaplane departure the next day. The desk agent was confused as the reservation system hasn’t updated with our shortened itinerary. The staff said we can go back to our rooms as they scrambled to arrange the transfer for tomorrow. Since we had a very late flight out of Malé, they originally said we could be on the last flight leaving the Conrad, giving us almost another full day here. Unfortunately due to the mix up, they said we should be prepared to go on a morning flight and they would try their best to arrange a later flight. Ultimately, they got us on a 1:30pm departure. To compensate, they waived the fee for the lounge at Malé, which usually costs $55 per person if you stay past 5pm.

While we did end up saving several hundred dollars from not having another lunch here plus the cost of the lounge, this was a pretty severe error from Conrad. I suppose that given the last minute change, these things might happen. I hope they learn from this so it doesn’t happen to other guests. Ultimately, it wasn’t that big of a deal, other than having to leave a few hours earlier. All in all, the service was excellent throughout our stay and I would consider this as a one-off mistake, not indicative of the overall great experience.