Maldives is already one of the most unusual and magical holiday destinations in the world, particularly as home to about two-thirds of the world's overwater bungalows.

But for those who want to take the sea-life observation one step further than watching through a glass panel in your bungalow floor, you can dine at the world's first undersea restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort.

Open since 2005, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is made of all glass and has 180-degree views of the magnificent tropical sea and plant life.

There are only 14 seats and 7 tables so it's wise to take advantage of the fact that you can make a reservation starting two weeks before you arrive, considering that the resort has 150 villas and rooms.

The cuisine is Maldivian-Western fusion with a seasonal menu, and it's open for lunch and dinner daily. Dress is “smart” and children under 12 aren't allowed to dine at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at all.

Contents [Show]

Conrad Maldives Resort is one of the finest in the Maldives

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Seeing that all Maldives resorts are on private islands that are usually quite far apart, this isn’t a restaurant you can visit if you are staying anywhere else. In fact, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is two islands connected by a unique walkway, with a special area on one island dedicated to adults only. For this reason it’s a great choice for those looking for Maldives resorts with no kids.

 

Those fortunate enough to be staying at the Conrad Maldives will be treated to 5-star luxury throughout, with 71 overwater villas and 79 island villas to choose from. There’s also the Sunset Grill, which is an overwater restaurant, allowing diners to observe things from yet another angle, as well as an overwater spa.

>More information about the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Attractive off-season online specials

Honestly, the Conrad Maldives is among the most expensive of all Maldives resorts, with high season (December through April) rates starting at around US$1,400 per night for the water villas. But during the summer months (June through September) you can get amazing online specials starting at only US$675 per night in a water villa if availability is high.

 

Even if you see a rate under US$1,000 per night at any time of the year, it’s good value considering the quality and popularity of this special private-island hotel. They also do wedding planning and services, plus it’s obviously very popular among honeymooners, so it’s an excellent choice for a romantic getaway.


Video showing the undersea restaurant from above and then entering below

 

Photo courtesy of memorypixel on flickr


RELATED POSTS
30 thoughts on "Where to stay near Malé, Maldives Airport for one night"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Comments
  1. Hi there thanx for the wonderful information. Please suggest me abt speedboat , are they operating only from male ? Because i want to go to bandos resort but wonder if speedboat does operate from hulhulmale ? Thnks a lot !

    1. Weeda,

      As far as I know, each of the resorts is on its own private island and each resort controls its own transportation. They own their own boats so they can shuttle guests back and forth. There is ferry service between the residential islands, but I think to get to a resort you need to go from the dock in front of the airport using the resort speedboats. -Roger

  2. I have a flight early in the morning at 8:30 am. So i have to stay one night in hulhumale. How do you suggest i book one of these hotels and ask them for to and fro airport transfers ? How much would it cost in October this year.

    1. Parth,

      Check the hotels in the article. I think the majority of their business is from people coming from the airport late or going to the airport early. Most of them provide free airport transfers so once you book you can just email them with your flight details and they will be ready for you. Those hotels seem to go for about US$100 per night any time of year. There is also a bus that goes from the neighborhood where the hotels are to the airport, but of course a private car is faster. -Roger

  3. Hi Roger, is there a way we can see the sea of stars at Velassaru Maldives. Booked there Aug 26-28, 2019. If not, how can we see ? thru another island, how , how much
    Thank you.

    1. Mallu,

      I just checked the Velassaru Island website and it doesn’t look like they offer an excursion that includes the Sea of Stars, or at least the famous one on Vaadhoo Island. Apparently that bioluminescence phenomenon can happen on any island in that area, so it probably does happen at Velassaru once in a while. On the other hand, it seems to happen rarely even on Vaadhoo, so it appears to be mostly a matter of luck.

      One challenge is that resorts like Velassaru run their own speedboats and there are no public ferries that stop there. You can reach Vaadhoo on a public ferry from the airport in about 15 minutes, but getting from Velassaru to the airport can only be booked through the resort and it’s expensive. I wish I had better news for you. -Roger

  4. Hi, my friend and I will be staying at Centara Ras Fushi(North Male Atoll) end of September. We will be arriving late at the airport and would require a hotel. Which is a better arrangment? to stay at Hulhule or Male? Coming back from Centara, we will have another day to spend before taking a night flight back. Again what will be the best place to stay?

    TQ

    1. Hatta,

      If you arrive after sundown (6pm or so) then I’d definitely recommend staying on Hulhumale Island at one of the hotels mentioned in the article. If you arrange for a ride from the hotel then it’s by far the easiest and least-stressful option. The little area in the north of Hulhumale Island is pleasant and you’ll have a few restaurant options at places catering to tourists who are in town for one night.

      After your stay at Centara Ras Fushi I’d probably lean towards staying on Male Island itself as long as you are feeling a bit adventurous. As I mention in the article, I’m a hard core traveler and I’ve gone out of my way to visit nearly every major city in the tourist regions of Asia and I’m never really disappointed. But, Male is really kind of a dud, which really surprised me. As a curious traveler and a travel writer it was definitely my duty to experience it for myself. That said, I think most people are better off skipping it. It’s really crowded and business-focused with surprisingly little charm. I think you could probably get a better sense of Maldives life by doing one of the "island hopping" day trips from your resort where they take you to an inhabited island that shows the traditional Maldives crafts and fishing and food and such.

      If your resort is going to take you back to the airport area in the early afternoon then staying on Male might be interesting. It would still be easier to stay on Hulhumale Island and I wouldn’t blame you if that was your choice. I hope this helps. -Roger

  5. Hi brother..your website is really useful.I am having three and a half days at maldives including three nights.I am a solo traveller and its a budget trip for me.so i wish to stay in guest houses.i am plannimg to go only to hulhumale and mafushi.so which is the better plan.shall i go to male through ferry from airport and then to mafushi.and in return to hulhumale?

    1. Rijo John,

      I’m glad you enjoy the website. Interestingly, I’ve spent literally years traveling around Asia (and Europe) as a solo traveler and this overwater resorts thing is something I do a bit on the side, so I’m normally in your travel mode.

      That said, I find the Maldives to be a bit underwhelming for backpacker types like us. There is no alcohol except at the private-island resorts, and so most of the "nightlife" are tea shops and that sort of thing. There are nice beaches along northern Hulhumale Island, but most people are only staying there for 8 hours or so before or after a flight. I haven’t been to Maafushi, though I have heard that is the better island for independent travelers, and you obviously can reach it on an affordable ferry.

      As mentioned in the article above, Male itself is also kind of a dud. Hearing that it was among the most densely populated cities on earth and with its remote location I expected it to be fascinating in some ways, but there honestly isn’t much to see. I was shocked. So considering how hard the Maldives is to reach, I’m not sure it’s worth it for a backpacker when you could instead go to Thailand or Cambodia or the Philippines and have much more to see and do there. I’m not sure how helpful this is. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  6. Hi Roger! I’m planning a solo travel in the Maldives to do an 8D/7N liveaboard at the end of March. I would like to experience staying on an overwater bungalow and hence, plan to stay for one night on my last day. (1) Would that be enough? I would like to stay for at least two nights but the resort I’m considering costs around $1k a night for an all inclusive. I saw some resorts that are cheaper for about $400. (2) Are the resorts at this price good enough? Any input would be great! Thanks!

    1. Eris,

      That is a tricky situation because almost all of these Maldives water villa resorts price their water villas for two people, even if you want to go alone. The only resort I know of that I’ve seen with great rates for water villas for solo travelers is Angaga Island. They start under US$400 per night and it’s a really nice place.

      As for how long to stay I think you’d enjoy two nights much more than one night, but personally I’d never pay near US$1,000 per night as a solo guest. One thing about these resorts is that the tides go up and down and you usually only get really nice swimming conditions under your water villa for about 4 to 6 hours every 12 hours. So if you stay one night and check in at 3pm and check out at 10am the next morning, you might not have many great chances to enjoy it. But if you add 24 more hours to that you definitely will.

      The most affordable all-inclusive resort is Meeru Island and you can get an amazing Jacuzzi water villa for around US$600 during most of the year. If you can afford two nights there you’d love it and it’s quite easy to meet people there because it’s a fairly large island with lots going on all the time.

      Another thing to consider is the transfer charges from the airport to the resort and back. They will be the same (and it’s not cheap) whether you stay one night or two weeks, so at least if you stay two nights it stings a bit less. Have a great trip and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  7. Hi Roger,

    Thanks for all your info. Really valuable.

    Just wondering if you could give some advice as we are struggling to pick a resort to stay at for our honeymoon. We are tossing up between Meeru Resort, Paradise Island Resort and Vilamendhoo. They are all around the same price for all inclusive as well as transport to the island. Do you have a preference or any insight on these?

    Thanks very much
    Luisa

    1. Luisa,

      The only one of the three I’ve stayed at is Meeru Island and it’s amazing, but I’ve heard very good things about the others. All three are among the largest private-island resorts in the Maldives, which is the reason they are so competitive in price for what they offer. I’m sure you’d be thrilled at any of those resorts. There were quite a few honeymoon couples staying at Meeru when I was there, but to be honest I didn’t get the sense that the island specialized in that. The island is so large that it’s very easy to get privacy even when it’s fully booked, but still I think if it were me I’d look for a smaller island with fewer guests.

      Did you look at Veligandu Island? It’s a sister resort of Meeru Island and a few others and they only have 64 water villas (most with a private Jacuzzi) and 12 island rooms, so it’s much smaller and more intimate than those you mentioned. It’s usually a little more expensive than Meeru Island, but people say it has a more romantic feel.

      Honestly, the Maldives is made for lovers and you will be blown away by any of these resorts we are discussing. The reviews are all so positive that it’s hard to imagine they are legit, but when you get there you’ll be ready to write your own glowing review. I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  8. Dear Mr. Roger Wade
    Good day!

    I want to choose between Male and Hulhumale for my last day and night stay in Maldives. I wanted to stay in Hulhumale but want to wonder some places in Male city. I heard recently they have opened a road bridge connecting Male Airport and Male city. And it has a pedestrian and cyclist lane. If it is possible, I can visit Male on cycle and return back to Hulhumale, or if there is any car/bus service, how much it will cost?

    What you recommend where to stay based on my Male wandering ambitions.

    Thanks and Peace Dear
    Jehanzaib

    1. Jehanzaib,

      I hadn’t heard that the bridge was open yet but you are right. I’m sure there is bus service as well as taxi service between the islands now, but that doesn’t change the fact that Male Island is still incredibly crowded and has almost nothing worthwhile to see. I’d still stay on Hulhumale Island if you are going to or from a resort. Sorry I can’t answer the rest of your questions. -Roger

  9. My plane is arriving at night at 2050. Where will you recommend to stay for the night. I will be taking the seaplane to Conrad the next morning. Do you know how early I can get on the seaplane?

    1. Sin,

      I definitely recommend booking a place on Hulhumale Island, and specifically the Maakanaa Lodge if it’s available. At the bottom of the article I list a few other really good hotels in that same area that all specialize in exactly what you are doing. Hundreds of people each day arrive at the Male Airport in the evening and then have early morning transportation to a resort. Those hotels I list all have their own cars and will be there to pick you up and also drop you off at the sea plane port in the morning, usually included in the price. The alternative is to stay on Male Island, but that requires taking the ferry (which does run all night, in fairness) back and forth and then getting a taxi to your hotel if it’s not one of the hotels right on the dock. As I mention in the article, Male isn’t very interesting, so Hulhumale Island is the best and simplest choice.

      The sea planes start going shortly after sunrise, but your resort will give you a specific departure time when you check in at the airport. I have a video explaining all of it on this page about landing at Male Airport and getting to your resort. After you get your luggage you’ll be in a big room with a desk or office for each resort. Check in with them and they will give you the time of your plane the following morning and tell you where to go to check in. Your plane may stop at one or two other resorts on the way, and the sea plane ride itself will be one of the highlights of your trip. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

  10. Hi Monty,
    Thank you for publishing your wealth of knowledge. Your website is very informative and I am glad I have come across it. My partner and I are spending 3 nights in the Maldives- the first night at the lodge listed above and 2 nights at the adaaran prestige voodoo. Any reviews regarding this accommodation? any suggestions on companies or transport to use to get from the lodge to adaaran? costs?
    Thank you kindly!

    1. Jessica,

      I haven’t stayed at any of the Adaaran resorts, but I’ve talked to some representatives from the company and I was really impressed. They seem to have a very good reputation and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time.

      In my experience, the resort insists that you book the airport transfers through them. Fortunately that resort is fairly close to the airport so the speedboat transfer only costs US$130 per person, return. Believe it or not, most resorts cost between US$200 and US$600 to reach from the airport, and most are only accessible by sea plane. Have a great trip. -Roger

  11. Hi Monty. I will be in Bangalore for work at the end of Nov and really want to take advantage of being so far from home (US) to go to the Maldives for a long weekend for pure relaxation and ocean peace. Can you recommend a place that is not completely breaking the bank, while still having a spa/luxurious feel and is safe for one person?

    1. Maia,

      The good news is that virtually every overwater resort in the Maldives has a spa and a luxurious feel. The tricky part is getting an affordable deal for one person. A few years ago I saw that Ganghi Island had a rate of US$160 per night for an overwater bungalow for one guest, but that was the only time I’ve seen a rate like that for a solo visitor. For the most part the water villas are priced for two guests whether you are 1 or 2 people, so you’ll be paying US$400 and up even as a single.

      My advice is to check Ganghi Island and if they no longer offer single rates you can check for your dates on Agoda.com. Change it to one guest and see what comes up. I’m sure the majority of them will start at US$400 per night and be the same as two guests, but you might get lucky and find a resort that is offering deals for solo guests. Best of luck and I hope this works out for you. -Roger

  12. Roger, I happened to find your site. You have a wealth of info on the Maldives so I was wondering… would I be happy at the Shangri-La resort in an over water villa (flying in directly from CMB to GAN and then a speedboat) for about $800 all inclusive with alcohol (for 2) the end of September for 5 days, or should I look elsewhere for a better deal/quintesstial Maldivian experience. We are a middle aged couple who like the finer things in life but we are value buyers… not doing what the Jones’ do… Any comments would be appreciated.

    1. MohanP,

      I’ve been studying the Maldives resort scene for 8 years now and I’ve visited a few places, but unfortunately it’s not an easy place to gain complete knowledge of because each resort is private and it costs quite a bit to get between them, as you know. That said, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa has always impressed me and it’s received very good reviews through the years. That room rate of US$800 for all inclusive looks quite good for a place like that. The last time we checked rates there it was starting around US$1,000 per couple for a water villa.

      It’s one of the larger islands and that can give you more privacy because the couples tend to spread out more on larger islands. As for the quintessential Maldives experience, I think you can get it at any of the nicer resorts, and it’s not really just one thing. Many of the resorts there are Asian chains that have a theme of their home country (Thailand etc), but all of them feel very international and like paradise. There are a few resorts that struggle with poor reviews, but most of them get glowing reviews because they offer such a great product. I’d say you might also want to look at Veligandu Island, which might even be cheaper for all inclusive and is an excellent resort. It can be difficult to give advice for Maldives resorts because most of them are as amazing as they look in photos, so people tend to be very happy with the one they’ve chosen. I wish I could help more. -Roger

    1. Monty,

      As mentioned near the top of this article, the only place in the Maldives (aside from the private-island resorts) that serves alcohol is that one hotel by the airport – Hulhule Island Hotel. But it’s pretty expensive.

      As for Hulhumale Beach, there are a bunch of restaurants and maybe a coffee shop or two, but no nightlife to speak of. Most people seem to arrive late and leave early the next morning. If you stay on Male close to the ferry terminal there are some places where there will be people at night, but again, no alcohol at all. -Roger

  13. hi thanks for information. i thought this is the best solution than stay to male. it’s more closer and cheaper

    but how i can go from hulhumale to maafushi?

    1. Chitoo,

      The ferry to Maafushi leaves from Male, so if you are staying overnight before or after going to Maafushi it would probably be better to stay in Male. The ferry dock at the airport has ferries leaving every 15 minutes or so for Male though, so it’s simple enough and Hulhumale is much more pleasant and actually cheaper for what you get. -Roger