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How is it?

Denver, CO
4 posts
How is it?

My wife and I are booked to be at Rangali for 15 days and 14 nights in December 2010 (6th - 20th). I've been reading mixed reviews, but really believe this will be a fantastic vacation regardless of what we read!

Can folks help us understand their experiences at this hotel during December or that timeframe and as Hilton Diamonds?

We are going to be Scuba diving, relaxing on the beach, eating and drinking and hopefully getting an eStandby upgrade and just want some other inputs to experiences had.


Divide, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Maldives
Level Contributor
15,471 posts
23 reviews
1. Re: How is it?

wonderful island .. you are going to love it.

Beijing, China
Level Contributor
96 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: How is it?

Hi hyprspeed,

I would recommend you to book your dinning experience before you arrive to the resort, as December is going to be very busy and some of the restaurants are with limited seating, and I would say that you sent a email with all your needs to the hotel, and they will get back to you, I think they only book and confirm the dining events 14 days before you arrive to hotel.

Mostly from November until March is the most busiest time in Maldives, and you should book in advance and have your holiday itinerary ready, (Dinner's and Spa) as your going to do diving you don't need to book excursion in advance,

As a Diamond member you will get a half day excursion as well.

I hope this info is helpful for you to plan your vacation...

Denver, CO
4 posts
3. Re: How is it?

Thanks for the great tips!

We are so excited. I just emailed the Scuba center today with some questions and I think my wife & I are going to book a 12 dive package.

We definitely want to do the Wine Cellar dinner. I think we might do that one twice and skip the others and then just dine at Rangali Bar and the Mandahoo restaurant. We'll toss in a lunch-time visit to the Ithaa too I think.

Does anyone here have any experience being upgraded as Diamonds during the December time frame when on a special occasion? My wife and I are celebrating our 5th anniversary so we are hopeful (and also on eStandby).


United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,659 posts
4 reviews
4. Re: How is it?

It's always good to drop the resort an email to let them know that you're celebrating a special occasion (and let them know the date of the occasion). I'd advise not being too hopeful for an upgrade because December is a busy month and remember that at least half the guests on the island are celebrating special occasions too.

Miami, FL
Level Contributor
12 posts
284 reviews
5. Re: How is it?

We have been to Rangali 2 times. Once we were upgraded. Once we were not. Each room category has it's benefits. So even if the upgrade doesn't come through, you will still be happy with the beach room. They are some of the largest and well appointed. Besides, the beach rooms are where the house reef is. So if you upgrade to the water bungalow, you are going to have a long walk from other other island every day to the house reef and the dive center. The reefs under the water bungalows are dead. The reef by the beach bungalows is thriving. You will see giant clams, rays, sharks, schools of fish...Exceptional snorkeling.

Lower your expections about the resort a notch. It is a big resort with nearly 1000 guests and employees on the island. The resort spreads it out well. BUT Diving is incredible and the real reason to go to the Maldives (and Rangali in particular). But the underwater life is amazing. Manta Season starts in November. So lucky you, you will see Mantas on dives. Be sure to book the Whale shark dive when you arrive. It fills up. And it only goes once a week. So if you miss the booking - you will miss your chance.

As for your free excursion - take the early morning snorkeling and it will go to Manta point. If you take it in the afternoon - the Mantas will not be there.

Denver, CO
4 posts
6. Re: How is it?

This is great information, thanks so much!

We actually upgraded our accommodations to a Superior Water Villa. Why go 1/2 way around the world to be on the beach there? It's on our bucket list to be on stilts over the water so we confirmed the upgrade. We are also going to do a 6 dive package while we are there and maybe more, but we'll plan that when we are there. I don't think we are going to do the Whale Shark trip as it's nearly $500US/person which is a lot.

Regarding the walk to the other side, we are fine with that. We are younger and were in the Riviera Maya at the Fairmont this Feb/Mar and did a lot of walking. Actually enjoy it and would gladly take the quiet at our room for that :)

Have you seen the SWVs? If so, what did you think of them?

Thanks for the tips regarding the Mantas; we cannot wait to see those!!


London, United...
Level Contributor
19 posts
74 reviews
7. Re: How is it?

I just wanted to say that we have been to the Conrad 3 times (once before it changed from the Hilton to the Conrad). Every time has been absolutely fantastic and I cannot recommend it highly enough. We were there in December 2008 (the exact week as you go) and we had no problem in booking restaurants etc . whilst there.

We booked the Shipwreck Dinner one night and whilst it is expensive, it is absolutely beautiful and they go to so much trouble for you. The only tip I would give is that if you are going to book this Dinner, take the option to sit on chairs! They give you so much food, sitting on cushions does not help the digestion!!!! I dare you to eat everything!

We did, however, book this in advance as it was for a special celebration and I believe they can only accommodate about 4 of these per day.

The Sunset Restaurant is wonderful and worth booking in advance and without a doubt, you must have a cocktail in the Vilu Bar and take in the view!

Now that is a "bucket list" bar.

We did not eat in the undersea restaurant but we took the cocktail hour option which allows you to sip champagne in the restaurant for an hour and enjoy the experience. This, I believe was about $50.

With regard to breakfast, if you prefer not to take the buffet option, you can go over to the Water Villa Island and have waiter service breakfast there with everything you could possibly want. In 2008 it was included in the price we paid for Room & Breakfast. Not everybody realises they have this option!

The spa is fabulous.

With regard to "lower your expectations a notch" in my own personal opinion, I don't agree with this.

Having been to the Maldives 7 times this is without doubt, the best island we have been to so far. It is the benchmark we use when considering other islands. Everybody we have recommended this island to, has come back spellbound!

I have no idea how many guests are on the island at one time but even if it is 1000, it never feels like that and we would go back in a heartbeat (funds permitting!).

You will absolutely love it! I am VERY JEALOUS!

Edited: 22 September 2010, 21:47
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
96 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: How is it?

I would say that MrsColes, comments and feedback about Rangali, is very true.

With regards to Manta's if your not able to see them during the dive, I would say that you can see the on rangali lagoon during the night, as they have big lights lit up under the bridge and it attracts the Manta's so most of the nights you will be able to see about 5 to 6 Manta's.

I would say that we all are coming from a very busy hectic life from different parts of the world and my personal opinion is to be on foot, no need to have car, bikes and so on... as this is the best time that we can get away from this...

9. Re: How is it?

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