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The Conrad Maldives has a lounge at Male airport located on the second floor of the Trans Maldivian Airlines terminal. It’s claimed to the largest in the country and it definitely surprised me during my recent stay at the lounge. Here’s a review of the Conrad Maldives Lounge at Malé International Airport Seaplane Terminal (MLE).
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This segment of our journey started off in Paris where we we stayed two nights at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, which was an interesting experience since the service left a bit to be desired for us. We then made our way to the Qatar first/business lounge at CDG, which was a fantastic premium lounge.
We then flew out first class on the Qatar A380 from Paris to Doha on what was a great first class flight. After arriving in Doha, we got to experience the amazing Al Safwa First Class Lounge, a lounge that should be on every serious flyer’s bucket list.
Then we made our way on the Qatar A350 down to the Maldives on what was a pretty solid business class flight.
Arriving at Malé International Airport
Once we arrived at Malé International Airport t we didn’t have a lot of time to go get through immigration and to check our bags for our flight over to the Conrad Maldives, which is located on South Ari Atoll on Rangali Island, about a 30 minute flight on a seaplane.
This would my be first seaplane experience so I was very interested in seeing how it would feel.
It was a little hectic once we approached the check-in desk for Trans Maldivian Airlines but there was a Conrad staff member there who helped assist us with the check-in process.
Since we had so much luggage we had to pony up for the luggage fees.
The sea plane luggage allowance is 25 kg per person plus 5 kg of hand luggage and the maximum weight is 32 kg per piece of luggage. Any excess baggage costs $5 per 1 kg per way (plus taxes). Since this was our round the world trip, we ended up paying a couple of hundred dollars in baggage fees, which was a bit of a drag but we knew what we were getting into.
But once we got that figured out and paid for our luggage (roundtrip), we were ushered to a van that would take us to the terminal where the Conrad lounge was.
It was a nice little drive over to the terminal and us two were the only ones in the van.
The road was literally right next to the ocean and waves splashed onto the road which was slightly unnerving to watch for someone who has lived through one too many hurricanes.
We then arrived to the terminal and were helped out of the van by the Conrad staff member.
Admission to the lounge
Admission into the lounge is complimentary from 7am to 5pm.
However, you do have to pay to enter depending on the time of your visit. From 5pm to 11pm, you’ll have to $85 per adult and $42.50 per child under 12 and these prices subject to 10% service charge and T-GST. Read more here.
Entering the lounge
I had very low expectations for the lounge and envisioned it being on par with some of the lower quality Priority Pass lounges that I had visited in the past. However, that was not the case at all.
We were led up to the check-in desk and the staff member helping us out handled all of our check-in and then told us that it would be up to an hour for our flight to depart. It was a little unclear to me how they handled choosing which flight you board.
Some of the flights are straight shots to the resort while others have stops at other resorts. If you don’t want to have a stop (and add on about 15 minutes to your trip), you can probably try to request to be put on a straight shot though there’s no guarantee that will work.
At this point, I’d been awake for a very long time and I was very ready to get over to the resort but one hour wasn’t a bad wait time.
The lounge was much more spacious and elegant than I had imagined,
with plenty of seating options. I’m not sure if the lounge every truly gets packed but there were only a few other patrons during our visit (which admittedly did come later in the day).
There were some really cool day-beds that looked out to the view.
The view was somewhat limited due to construction so it wasn’t the greatest but you could see out to some of the sea planes and the air traffic tower.
There were some additional seating areas as well.
There was even an area for families and kids.
There was a decent selection of food and drinks to choose from at the lounge. There were plenty of water bottles and sodas to take and a lot of sandwiches and other hot food items.
The cheese sandwiches and cheese and tomato sandwiches were a bit plain for my liking but at that point I was just looking to put something into my belly. I did really enjoyed the fried rolls they had at the lounge. Not sure what was in them but they hit the spot.
Overall, if you’re trying to appease your appetite before you head over to the island, the lounge should easily have what you’re looking for.
The bathroom was very nice and there was a really nice hotel-quality shower in there as well, which I assume you need to inquire with the front desk before using. The bathroom was also surprisingly the coldest part of the lounge. I’d forgotten to take out some shorts from my luggage before I checked them in so I had been walking around in khaki pants in the humid Maldives and so stepping into that bathroom felt heavenly.
One cool thing about the lounge is they offer a complimentary neck or shoulder massage for you while you wait. They can also explain to you more about the spa treatment services available at the hotel so if you have any questions be sure to raise those.
The free wifi in the lounge was pretty solid and reliable.
After waiting a while in the lounge we were approached by a staff member that our plane was ready for us and they ushered us over to the waiting room in the terminal. We sat there for about 10 minutes until it was time to get outside and board the seaplane.
Everything was ran smoothly and before I knew it we were off to the Maldives and checking in to our retreat water villa.
The Conrad Lounge at MLE is actually a very nice lounge. It’s a beautiful area to relax in and there’s some decent food and drink options to help hold you over as you prepare for your short seaplane journey over to the resort. Being able to relax in this lounge was a huge relief for me as I was very tired.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.