Discover museums, souqs and one of the most impressive mosques in the world as you explore Abu Dhabi and the surrounding desert before flying to the white sands and crystal waters of the Maldives for a relaxing week on the beach.
3 nights in Abu Dhabi including breakfast and excursion; 7 nights Conrad Maldives Rangali Island including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers.
12 days from £3,900pp
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On the beach - 8 days
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
An idyllic location, outstanding amenities and superb accommodation are hallmarks of the uncompromising design and service at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.
The resort is set on two separate islands connected by a bridge and shuttle boat. Rangali is the smaller of the two, while Rangalifinolhu Island is larger and offers excellent facilities for families. Both islands have a relaxed Maldivian character, a feature that is unique for a resort this size. The extravagant underwater restaurant is one of the resort’s most memorable features, but if the idea of watching tropical fish as you dine does not appeal there are seven other dining venues as well as an enviable 20,000-bottle wine cellar to choose from. The hotel also has two beautiful spas, one in stilted over-water buildings where glass panels in the floors allow you to watch the fish below while you enjoy your treatment. There is a good choice of water sports and other activities available including diving, snorkelling and trips on a glass-bottomed boat.
All rooms are decorated in a refined and elegant style. Beach Villas feature leafy courtyards with a sunken bath and some also have a private pool. Spa Villas have private treatment rooms, while all over-water villas come with private whirlpools or plunge pools.
Before the beach - 3 days
Abu Dhabi Yas Hotel
Despite its status as the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi enjoys a slower pace of life and smaller population than its more famous neighbour, Dubai. A thoroughly modern city with contemporary high rise buildings sitting on a picturesque coastline, it overlooks the Persian Gulf. There is a strong focus on culture in the city with a wealth of museums, markets, souqs and the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque, one of the grandest in the world. The waterfront area is perfect for a gentle stroll or bike ride with water views. Alternatively Yas Island offers less sedate attractions including Ferrari World, Water World and the Grand Prix circuit. Being close to the desert means you can also explore a very different landscape from desert dinners and breakfasts to dune bashing and desert safaris.
The Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi straddles the Yas Marina Formula 1 race track, making it a striking landmark from which you can watch thrilling high-speed races and practice runs. A large, contemporary hotel with unique design features, it has a great range of facilities including six restaurants, a rooftop lounge bar, two pools and a spa.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Conrad Maldives is an island paradise with some of the most incredible facilities in the entire country. It still has a surprisingly relaxed Maldivian feel, which is rare for the larger resorts.
The resort is made up of two separate islands which are connected by a bridge and a shuttle boat. Rangali, is smaller and quieter, while the larger, Rangalifinolhu has excellent facilities for families.
There are all sorts of water activities to enjoy, as well as some of the most memorable restaurants you're likely to find anywhere, with highlights including the 20,000 bottle-strong wine cellar and underwater restaurant.
The resort's spa is in a series of over-water buildings and although open to all guests, is a resort within a resort, with its own accommodation and restaurant. Glass panels in the floors of the treatment rooms allow you to watch the fish below while you enjoy a massage — the ultimate in relaxation. If spa treatments play an important role in your trips then ask about the Spa Water Villas, each with its own attached two-bedded treatment room.
The resort is situated 90 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of Malé, and is reached by seaplane. In no way just a resort transfer, this is a scenic 30 minute flight over the atolls and islands of the Maldives which will be one of the trip highlights. While waiting for your seaplane, you can relax at the Conrad Rangali private lounge in Malé Airport.
The two islands are surrounded by soft, white sands, backed by swaying palms; your archetypal tropical paradise.
This is one of the best resorts in the Maldives, offering superb service and facilities. It's one of the larger resorts with plenty of restaurants, bars, activities and spa options. It might lack the personal touch of some of the smaller places but has some incredible experiences that you would not get at a smaller resort.
The main island consists of 79 luxurious Beach Villas and 21 Spa Water Villas, while on the smaller island the accommodation is made up of just 50 Water Villas.
Guests staying in Beach Suites, Deluxe, Premier and Sunset Water Villas enjoy the services of a private Island Host.
All room types have air conditioning, radio with MP3 connection, DVD/CD player, hair dryer, minibar and tea and coffee facilities.
There are 35 Beach villas set in tropical gardens, that are up to 150m2 in size. The bedroom has a sliding glass door which leads to the garden and a pair of sun loungers. The bathroom is outdoor and has a thatched bathing pavilion with a large bath, perfect for a relaxing soak.
Deluxe beach villa
There are 42 Deluxe beach villas, each having up to 300m2 of space. In the private garden there's a plunge pool for cooling off, while the open air bathroom has a large bathing pavilion with bath.
There are 28 Water villas, which are 86m2. These beautiful rooms have a private sun deck with plunge pool and steps that lead straight down into the sea. There is excellent swimming and snorkelling directly from the deck. The bath also has lagoon views, so you can enjoy a soak looking out over the sea; should you need to use the glass desk, any task will be enlivened by the glass panels allowing you to keep an eye on the fish swimming below.
Superior water villa
There are 12 Superior water villas that are 76m2. In addition to what you get in a Water villa, you'll find a Jacuzzi bath and a Jacuzzi on the sun deck. Best of all, these villas face the sunset, so you can lie back in the Jacuzzi with a glass of something chilled to enjoy the spectacle.
Deluxe water villa
There are six Deluxe water villas. These are very large at 115m2, and the Jacuzzi on the sun deck changes colour, creating a unique atmosphere. The DVD player and iPod connection are connected to a surround sound system that works throughout the villa and deck so you can enjoy music wherever you choose to relax. The villas all face the sunset.
Premier water villa
There are two Premier water villas that are 152m2. These villas are decorated with designer furniture and paintings by a Maldivian artist. The sunken bath in the bathroom is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows for amazing views out over the sea. The deck has a large infinity pool to cool off in, while enjoying views out over the lagoon.
Junior beach suite
There are Two junior beach suites with living area, private plunge pool and garden.
Premier water suite
There is one Premier water suite, a two bedroom haven of luxury on the water.
There are two Beach suites that are the combination of two Deluxe beach villas.
Sunset water villa
There are two Sunset water villas set in their own private area of the lagoon. The glass floored living room allows you to enjoy aquatic views while sipping your morning coffee, while the circular rotating bed lets you follow the sunset in your pyjamas. The deck has a chromotherapy infinity pool, and there is a Bose sound system throughout. A butler is on hand around the clock.
Retreat water villa
There are 21 Retreat water villas located at the Spa Retreat. These are 150m2. Each villa has its own private spa treatment room and mini gym with medicine ball, so you can work on your fitness in between spa treatments. There is a Jacuzzi on the deck, and steps lead down to the lagoon below.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
Being surrounded by a perfect lagoon means plenty of action takes place on or below the water. You can look forward to island-hopping, dolphin spotting, glass bottom boat trips, and submarine trips. Diving and snorkelling are excellent and you can take out the resort's catamarans, windsurfers and canoes. For exploration further afield you can charter a yacht to take you wherever you want.
On land, inner peace can be achieved at the spa or through yoga and Pilates sessions, or you can bring out your competitive side with ping pong, beach volleyball and tennis. A two-storey gymnasium houses the very latest in cardio equipment.
A small shopping arcade is on site for picking up souvenirs, clothing and gifts.
The dive centre is managed by Sub-Aqua and offers both PADI and SSI courses. There are numerous local dive spots, of which Manta Point is one of the most famous.
Snorkelling is popular too, either straight from the beach or by joining one of the tours which take you to the best places in the vicinity and give you a chance of spotting turtles, sharks and manta rays.
Food & drink
This is not an island where you will lack choice; in total there are seven restaurants and four bars, catering for every taste and mood.
The main restaurant, Atoll Market, has no fewer than eight different types of cuisine cooked by eight show kitchens. Choose from Asian, Italian, Japanese, Indian, the grill, the deli, the bakery and desserts. The sandy floor of the restaurant encourages a barefoot dress code and a relaxed atmosphere.
Koko Grill is a Japanese cooking station on the beach, for just 12 diners.
Mandhoo is the spa restaurant, serving European/Asian fusion food and organic wines over the water.
Over water Vilu is the fine dining restaurant, and the place to go for romantic Mediterranean meals that are matched with fine wines.
Sunset Grill is a winning combination of impossibly pretty Maldivian sunsets and grilled meat and fish.
The resort has a couple of extra special dining experiences that gourmands will not want to miss. The Wine Cellar holds 20,000 bottles and hosts dégustation dinners, with food and wine matched by the chef and sommelier, while Ithaa is a glass undersea restaurant where you can enjoy spotting fish in between the seven courses.
The bars are the place to enjoy a drink with a view or a snack, with the Sunset Bar popular for sundowners, and the Cheese and Wine Bar a great spot to explore the resort's seemingly endless wine list. The Quiet Zone has chilled out music and day beds, for a relaxing apéritif, while Rangali Bar is more lively, with musicians and events providing the entertainment.
The resort has two spas, the Overwater Spa and the Spa Retreat.
The Spa Retreat
This resort within a resort has water villas with attached treatment rooms for those wanting to make the spa the focus of their trip. Treatments use Terraké by Thalgo and Eminence products and are based upon the five elements of air, fire, earth, water and plant. Mandhoo restaurant serves spa cuisine that is the ideal accompaniment to a spa programme.
For children aged 3 - 16 there is a special ice cream inspired spa menu.
The Overwater Spa
This is a luxurious and secluded spa that offers signature Siddhartha rituals designed by Doris Brügger, and Valmont products. The glass floored treatment rooms give you the chance to watch the fish while being pampered, and after any treatment you can relax on the Serenity Spa Deck with open air Jacuzzi.
Abu Dhabi Yas Hotel
Location: Abu Dhabi
The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi lies on a T-shaped island jutting out into the Gulf, less than 250 metres from the mainland and joined by several bridges. It originally built its wealth on the pearl trade, before turning to the oil industry in the 1930s, and is now one of the wealthiest places on Earth, greeting visitors with a growing number of ultra-modern high rises, which sit on a picturesque coastline looking out across the Persian Gulf.
Less populous than Dubai, it boasts a wealth of culture, with museums, markets, souqs, the corniche and the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which is one of the grandest mosques in the world, featuring a huge Persian carpet, crystal chandeliers and 118 white marble domes.
The coastline offers excellent white sand beaches, while being close to the desert means you can try camel riding, dune bashing and desert safaris to explore the rolling sand dunes. With a long and fascinating history, there are plenty of museums to browse, or you can simply soak up the Arabian atmosphere in the bustling souqs and sheesha cafés. The diverse range of nationalities, faiths and cultures is evident in the restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, while impressive historic buildings such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Emirates Palace are a reminder of the country's rich heritage.
Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi
Accommodation: Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi
The Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi is just a ten minute drive from Abu Dhabi airport and is famously built straddling the Yas Marina Formula 1 race track, making it a striking landmark from where you can watch thrilling high-speed races and practice runs. If Formula One isn't your thing, there's also a relaxing beach.
A large, contemporary hotel, the building has a unique design, featuring an amazing LED canopy roof that changes colour throughout the night. All rooms have modern amenities such as tea/coffee making facilities, minibars, Wi-Fi access and LCD TVs, as well as en suite bathrooms and views of either the marina or the F1 Circuit.
There are six restaurants on site, offering everything from seafood and sushi, to modern Italian and regional Indian cuisine; while the rooftop lounge bar provides a relaxing space in which to enjoy a drink while taking in wonderful views. Guests can also make use of the two swimming pools, trendy nightclub and award-winning ESPA spa, which has nine treatment rooms.
The hotel provides a free shuttle to the Yas Island beach, which is ten minutes away, as well as free transfers to Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World, which is five minutes from the hotel. If you enjoy playing a round of golf, the Yas Links course is also nearby, while the centre of Abu Dhabi is just 25 minutes away.
Day by day
Board your flight to Abu Dhabi where you are met on arrival by our representative who guides you to your private transfer to the hotel.
Today is free to explore Abu Dhabi. A visit to Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a must; one of the most impressive buildings in the UAE it's a striking sight. The waterfront area of the Corniche is perfect for a stroll while in contrast, Yas Island is home to Ferrari World and the Formula 1 Yas Marina Circuit.
More time at leisure to explore Abu Dhabi today before you are collected from your hotel mid-afternoon and taken into the desert for dinner under the stars.
Today you are collected from your hotel for the private transfer back to the airport.
A four and a half hour flight brings you to Malé, the capital of the Maldives and here you are met and escorted to the seaplane. The short, scenic flight is a great way to arrive at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, your home for the next 7 nights.
Relax in a quiet spot on the beach or take to the water using the complimentary snorkelling equipment to explore the house reef. Just a 10 metre swim from the shore, you can see a wide variety of marine life including bannerfish, clownfish, angelfish and batfish among many others.
If you fancy something a little different, located a short boat ride away, Mandhoo is a local island where you can go to discover what life in The Maldives is like for the locals. You can tour around the village and then explore the gardens which are full of trees, plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Here you can even try fruit fresh from the trees, as well as the ultra-refreshing coconut milk.
Days 7- 10
Today you'll take the seaplane back to the airport in time for your flight home.
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