Thursday, February 21, 2013

Spending Christmas and New Year in Paradise: Routine in Paradise


Our days in paradise starts of with a morning walk/run before breakfast at one of the three available locations. There's the large buffet at Atoll market which we stop going after the first day since it seemed rather chaotic. We also gave up on breakfast at the Mandhoo after the first try even though it was less chaotic but the food selection was limited and was "too healthy" for us. Our favorite option was breakfast at Vilu on the water villa island. It was serene enjoying a late breakfast of good food accompanied with sparkling wine and good coffee overlooking the crystal clear blue water. We particularly enjoyed the daily changing curry of the day for breakfast.

Atoll Market

View from Mandhoo

Breakfast Selection at Mandhoo

The rest of the day was spent the way we like it with multiple trips to the house reef with breaks by lazing around the beach or one of the two pools at the Conrad. Having been to two other Maldives resorts with their own house reef, the house reef at the Conrad was our favorite due to size of house reef itself and the amazing sea life. We saw plenty of fishes including sharks and a couple of manta ray.

Lazing by the beach and pool:

Main Pool

Adult's only pool

After plenty of good food from the first class flights and stops along the way to the Maldives, we weren't in the mood on splurging on food at the resort. There were several tempting options like lobster dinners that would cost up to $200 USD a person. We would usually just skip lunch after a heavy late breakfast and would either eat at the Rangali Bar for dinner or go cheap on some instant noodles in the room. A simple meal of burgers for the both of us would cost around $60 USD.

The Conrad offers many activities. Most of the non-motorized water sports like kayaking was free. We did splurge ourselves on an hour long massage at the spa that was wonderful. There are also excursions such as snorkeling safaris on offer daily but we only went on the whale shark excursion since the snorkeling on the house reef itself was already so good. We ended up disappointed by the whale shark excursion since we didn't see any whale sharks but at least some of the $200 USD fee was going to whale shark research. However, we got lucky the next day and actually saw a whale shark swim by while we were snorkeling at the house reef. That has got to be the one of the most memorable moments in our life so far.

Whale Shark Excursion

Swimming with the whale shark:

After such a relaxing day, what else could be better than free drinks during happy hour at the Vilu bar thanks to my Diamond status. On offer was either a cocktail of a day or beer or wine. The staff would also bring out a snack that changed daily.
Amazing View during Happy Hour

Vilu Bar

1 comment:

  1. Looks like the Conrad is truely a class higher compared to the Hilton. Although what I noticed is that the HHonors Happy hour at the Conrad seems to have very limited selections while here at the Hilton, there is quite a large selection. Maybe the next time I will splurge at the Conrad with the new redemption rates.