COUNT SHOOTING STARS
- Gaze at the Milky Way and stare across clear skies to see stunning constellations
- With your feet in the sand, recline and relax at a world-class astro-tourism site
Near-zero light pollution here in South Ari Atoll and a calendar full of clear skies makes your villa a world-class venue for stargazing, nearly on par with the Atacama Desert in northern Chile or the Arctic Circle, both meccas for astro-tourism. After dinner but before climbing under the covers of your cushy pillow-top bed, recline on your deck chairs or on the still-warm sand and stare at the Milky Way overhead. Even to the naked eye, the skies above Rangali and Rangalifinolhu are clear enough to count shooting stars and to see the major constellations including Orion and Ursa Major, albeit at slightly different orientation than in the northerly latitudes. For those who can’t tell the North Star from the Southern Cross, download the Star Walk app, an interactive guide which turns even newbies into experienced astronomers.
UNWIND TO NATURE’S OWN ACOUSTICS, WITH EQUALLY MESMERIZING COCKTAILS
- Escape to a private sun and shade cabana nestled along the shoreline
- As the sun sets, sip an Island Coco by the infinity pool and capture a glimpse of the hotel’s resident grey heron couple
The resort is designed so you don’t see anyone unless you want to. When you feel like socializing a bit, set off toward the overwater infinity pool on Rangali Island to stake out one of the six white tented lounge pods for two, strategically scattered along the sand with privacy in mind at the Quiet Zone. These may well be the comfiest sun (and shade) beds in the Maldives, perfect for reading, napping, or for seeing how many hues of blue you can count in the Indian Ocean ahead of you. Though this grown-ups-only waterfront hideaway is open from morning until late evening, the ideal time to be enveloped by its palm-fringed silence is the late afternoon, when another couple, the grey heron pair affectionately known here as George and Georgina, often alight along the ridge of the infinity pool. (If you want the closest spot to their perch, we suggest staking out the duo of chaises immediately in front of the pool.) Now order a round of the Island Coco (a delicious rum-and-vodka creation stirred with fresh lemon juice plus slivers of flesh from the island’s own kurun’baa coconuts) and take in the Technicolor sunset.
TWIST IN THE WIND
- Find inner tranquility at a sunset yoga class in an open-air thatched roof pavilion
- Calm your morning mind with sunrise yoga that changes the whole day’s perspective
Seven ocean hues, seven body chakras. Though you may be full of excuses to skip yoga back home, you won’t want to miss Sunset Yoga with Manesh Johny, the Conrad Maldives’ longtime Keralan yogi. His 6:30 p.m. class in the open-air thatched roof pavilion at the Over Water Spa ensures one hour every day entirely dedicated to inner tranquillity, the ultimate purpose of your Maldives holiday. Manesh himself calls this outdoor yoga shala “incredibly spiritual” and adapts each class to its participants, incorporating his own takes on Flow, Hatha, and Vinyasa yoga. When it comes to calming our minds, nothing beats breathing out as the dusk sky blushes and the sun sinks gently beneath the darkening horizon. If you loved sunset, we suggest trying his 6:30 a.m. Sunrise Yoga class too. It’ll change your perspective on the whole day.
GO CLIMB A TREE
- The complete coconut experience; tag along with the locals who scale the swaying palms
- Identify the ripest fruits and discover which types are best for drinking and cooking
- Quench your thirst with fresh, young coconut water or try coconut-inflected mixology
National emblem the coconut palm can be found on every Maldivian island, including Rangali and Rangalifinolhu—both of whom boast far too many trees to count. Some grow as tall as 100 feet, and indigenous folklore credits a magician, or fanditha, with coaxing coconut palms into existence to appease the hunger of the atolls’ first settlers. A little coconut intel: there are multiple words for this fruit in the local language. See if you can tell an immature kihaaku from an adolescent gabulhi or fully grown kaashi. We do know that nothing quenches an equatorial thirst like electrolyte- and vitamin-rich kurun’baa (young coconut) water. If you love coconut water, join the Conrad team members tasked with scaling the swaying palms to cut down the coconuts. During this experience, you’ll learn how to identify when the fruit is ready to be cut, which types are best for drinking, and which ones the Maldivians use for their fiery curries. Once you realize that you may not be cut out to shimmy up palm trees, it’s time to try your hand at coconut-inflected mixology at Rangali Bar or to watch staffers weaving the emerald-hued coconut palm fronds into sustainably chic sun hats.