Our first full day in the Maldives – and our luggage was still nowhere to be found.
As Diamond’s we were given the choice of two benefits: a free cocktail hour each day at Vilu bar or free breakfast buffet each day. We chose the breakfast buffet.
You are given the choice of two restaurants to eat breakfast at each day: Vilu and Atoll Market. Atoll Market is a full buffet and Vilu is a made to order breakfast restaurant with a smaller buffet.
Trip to the Maldives – the flights part 1
Trip to the Maldives – the flights part 2
Conrad Lounge in Mali and Seaplane to Rangali Island
Beach Villa at the Conrad Maldives
Euro swimsuits and Turtles
The main pool and snorkeling
Our luggage arrives, Vilu, and the Quiet Zone
The employee strike
The strike ends
Ithaa underwater restaurant, Water Villa, and sunset cruise
We chose to start with Atoll Market. As you approach the breakfast buffet, the food choices are endless. There is an asian food section, a bread section, an omelette station and best of all a fresh fruit juice station. You select the fruit you want (dragonfruit, pineapple,etc ) and then they create the juice right in front of you. It was pretty cool.
We returned to our room sufficiently stuffed and noticed that the housekeeping staff had been there to clean the room and had left a stuffed animal – a turtle. I was unaware that they gave stuffed animals at Conrads and this became one of our favorite activities – guessing which animal we would receive after housekeeping had been there. (Apparently most Conrads have small stuffed animals specific to the local region, and there are some out there with the goal to collect all the possible animals from all the different Conrad properties.)
We had hoped by this time that our luggage would have arrived but there was still no sign of it and no information from our island host as well. We therefore decided to visit the shops to shop for some swimsuits.
I quickly found out that I’m not as slender as I thought I was and advise others to always pack a swimsuit in your carry on luggage if you’re every going to be on a remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
I must have tried on at least 30 swimsuits – and finally found one that was 3XL and very, very form fitting. Perhaps the American clothing companies have tricked us into thinking that we’re “only” 2XL! The 3XL cost an incredible $200 but the sales person did give me 20% off bringing it down to $160. My wife had similar luck – finally finding a swimsuit – and we walked out having dropped $350 on swimsuits – ouch! I rationalized the purchase with the fact that our luggage may never arrive and there was no way I could go any longer without swimming.
With our new expensive Euro swimsuits on we headed out the back way from our beach villa to the ocean and jumped in. The water temperature was perfect.
We headed over to the free tea time at the Mandhoo Spa Restaurant. We walked over there barefoot. The pier to get from the main island to the Restaurant was scalding hot. I would recommend taking shoes with you!
At the Mandhoo Spa Restaurant, they had a wide selection of little sandwiches, sparkling water, and as many variety of teas as you could imagine.
For dinner – we ate at the Rangali Bar. The Rangali Bar is right next to the main pool and is the most economical of all the restaurants on Rangali island. We spaghetti Bolognese and the steak and cheese sandwich. Rangali always serves a little basket of different breads with any food order.
Sufficiently full and worn out from the jetlag, we headed back to the room to crash.
Observations after the first day:
Women don’t bring heels, men don’t need dress shoes at all
Robes and flip flop style slippers are provided in the room, overwater bungalows have two different styles of robes (four per room)
Bring your own sunscreen – a small bottle costs $20 at the gift shop
there is a place for an HDMI cable from the DVD player to the TV – but for some reason the resort chose not to hook it up and instead used analog cables – if you want full High Def, bring your own HDMI cable
only bring flip flops and gym shoes – most of the time you’ll be walking around bare foot. We brought coral shoes as well but didn’t feel they were entirely necessary