Why I regretted going alone to Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort

It is so bloody romantic, so bloody romantic. Which is why a warning – don’t even think of going there without a love interest, like I did. It was a work trip  – I was supposed to review the property – but had I known about its insane and intimate beauty, I would have insisted on being accompanied. Anyway, every profession has its hazards and in this case, I suffered being alone.

This resort is a honeymooner’s paradise – no doubt about that; and after reading the lines below, you would be convinced too why it is.

CMRI_Mandhoo Spa Restaurant_resize

1. ROOMS CELEBRATE LOVE
A rotating round bed that follows the sunset? Yes, there you would be if you book the Sunset Water Villa and follow the crimson ball as it disappears in the horizon. Then you have the Beach Villas and the Water Villas that come with private plunge pools, infinity pools, whirlpools, private spas, and even private beach access. With indulgent room service on hand, your villa is your world where only Adam and Eve exist. Where is my Eve?

Conrad Maldives_The Spa Retreat Dusk

2. WORLD’S FIRST ALL-GLASS UNDERSEA RESTAURANT
This is really cool. But what the hell was I doing there alone? 16 feet below sea level, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant. Rated “the most beautiful restaurant in the world” by the New York Daily News in 2014, Ithaa sits five metres below the surface, offering 180-degree panoramic views of the vibrant coral gardens surrounding it. Ithaa, by the way, means ‘mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dihevi. I went for a six-course dinner with caviar and champagne, but missed the love of my life. Such fine indulgences are meant to be shared.

CMRI_Ithaa Undersea Restaurant_Couple Dining

3. PRIVATE BEACH DINNERS
For the ultimate romantic dining experience, book this private dinner for two on the beach under the stars. Your own personal chef, served by your own waiter in the most romantic of settings. Choose from ‘shipwreck’ style dining, where you are seated on comfy carpets on the sand or from a more traditional candlelight dinner with a table setting, as stars play above you and the breeze whispers through the palm trees.

4. LOBSTERS AND CHAMPAGNE ON THE BEACH
For an unforgettable romantic evening, book a sensational seafood feast with fresh lobsters and shell fish from the grill accompanied by champagne. With oysters and caviar playing the perfect aphrodisiacs, and free-flowing Champagne to pair, the food gets you on the mood for a long sensuous night. On my part, I went back to my room to sleep. How pathetic!

CMRI_Ufaa by Jereme Leung_Dumplings

5. THE WINE CELLAR
This is Maldives’ first underground wine cellar. Located two meters underground, the Wine Cellar is the setting for dégustation dinners hosted by a chef and a sommelier, who skilfully match a five-course gourmet menu with up to eight hand-picked wines. 12 guests sit around the table next to the sommelier and participate in an interactive journey around the best of the old and new world wine regions, presented on personal video screens. I downed my sorrows of being single on some most exotic wines.

6. THE QUIET ZONE
For adults only, The Quiet Zone is an open-air tented lounge on the beach, with a fully stocked bar and lunch and dinner menu. Comfy romantic daybeds set on the beach, chill out music and the dazzling water create the backdrop to The Quiet Zone. Enjoy the silence of the sea with wine, water and wooing. Of course, I had no one to woo, none to slice the silence.

Conrad Maldives_Sunset Fishing

7. THE OVER WATER SPA
The Over Water Spa on Rangali Island has four thatched-roof treatment rooms set on stilts over the Indian Ocean. With glass floors, these provide entrancing views of the colourful coral reef below, whilst a secluded serenity deck with open-air Jacuzzi provides the perfect finale to the spa rituals on offer. It was very relaxing for sure as colourful fish swam amongst the coral below.

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8. WATER SPORTS
With a coastline so vast and the water so pristine, it is natural that the resort will offer its adventurous guests water sports activities. Participating in activities together is a great start to married life because, marriage is truly an adventure, isn’t it? From catamaran sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, wakeboarding to knee boarding, kayaking and the exciting Jet Pack, throw caution to the wind, embrace your love and dive into the wildest part of your trip. Great for bonding.

9. MANTA WATCHING
The resort’s own coral reef is over 500 m long and inhabited by colourful fish, turtles, reef sharks and various rays. Conrad Maldives is the only place in the country where you can watch manta rays without getting wet. During the manta season (November until April) these remarkable creatures swim almost every night under the bridge between our two islands. Simply wander along the bridge any time after dark and the chances are that you will eventually get to watch a passing manta as it swims and loops through the ocean below you.

Conrad Maldives_The Spa Retreat Dusk

10. SNORKEL WITH A WHALE SHARK
Measuring up to 15 metres, whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean and are also among the friendliest because they can only eat plankton and very small fish. So enjoy the thrill of marine life with your significant other, safely ensconced in an azure blanket of water.

With all these on offer, you could well imagine my plight. Being single is torturous there.

Nishiraj A. Baruah

Former Executive Editor of Air India's in-flight magazine and Harper's Bazaar Bride. Lifestyle journalist, travel writer and blogger who collects knives and plays the drums.

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