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Dive Review of Sub Aqua DiveCenter in
Maldives/Conrad Rangali Resort

March, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Steve Giles, CA, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 5973
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Thailand, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Hawaii, Palau, Fiji, St.
Lucia, Bonaire, B.V.I., Roatan, Guanaha, Loreto, Cozumel, Mulije, Playa Del
Carmen, Belize, Channel Islands
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
84   to 90    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
A dive guide is assigned for every four divers.  All dives are timed at 60
minutes max. Those with "Open Water" certifications are limited
to 20 meters (60 ft.) / those with "Advanced" certifications are
allowed to dive to 30 meters (100 FT.) All divers must have/use a computer.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
The Conrad Rangali Resort is not a dive resort per se, but a very upscale
resort hotel for those willing to travel the distance.  Our trip via
Malaysia Airlines involved  four flights to arrive at the destination: LAX
to Taipei; Taipei to Kuala Lampur; Kaula Lampur to Male; and Male to
Rangali (by seaplane).  Total travel time (including layovers) = 48 hours.
The resort is beautiful and immaculately maintained.  All rooms consist of
villas, some located on the beach; others located over the water.  All
afford a great degree of privacy.  Probably most convenient for divers are
the beach villas numbered from 201-206.  We were in number 203 which was
located directly across from the dive center and close to the swimming
pool, workout room, child care center, shops, several restaurants, and the
snorkeling lagoon. There are a total of eight restaurants available to
resort guests, all of which can be described in two words:
"excellent" and "EXPENSIVE".  The Conrad Rangali boasts
one of only two underwater restaurants in the world: the Ithaa Restaurant,
which is truly unique. 
Something unusual about this resort:  you don't need shoes!  Other than the
shoes/sandals that you wear while traveling, you will not need a pair of
shoes while on the island.  Thong sandals are furnished in the rooms and
you will find that in most cases, shoes are an impediment to getting
around.  Even the exclusive Ithaa Restaurant requires that your footwear be
removed at the door.

The dive operation is extremely well run.  Nitrox is available to those so
certified at no additional charge.  The dive boats are spacious with a
fully covered deck plus a sundeck.  We are not U/W photographers, but there
seemed to be adequate acommodation for photographers and their equipment: 
water buckets furnished for cameras and a platform available for loading
film, etc.  Lots to see underwater in the Maldives: whale sharks, manta
rays, white tip, black tip and silver tip reef sharks, leopard sharks,
nurse sharks, stingrays, a variety of moray eels, grouper, tuna, jacks,
schools of reef fish, lion fish, stone fish, octopus, etc.
The people who run the dive center, the dive masters (Danny, Agnus, Jimmy,
Julia, Mohammad, and Elder), and boat crew are very accommodating.  On one
occasion, we were late in signing up for a dive trip, the boat was full,
and we were offered an early morning (unscheduled) trip to the same
Highlight of the trip, for us, was the sighting of two whale sharks: one
while snorkling; and a second while diving.
Currents can be substantial in the Maldives, yet we had only one dive (out
of 16) where it was an issue.  Water temperatures ran 90-degrees at the
surface; underwater the temperature varied between 84-88-degrees, depending
on depth and location.
The Maldives Conrad Rangali is definately NOT for the diver on a budget;
but if you are willing to pay the price and go the distance, it is truly
the trip of a lifetime!
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Other dive reports on Sub Aqua DiveCenter

All Maldives Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Maldives
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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