This post on the Park Hyatt Maldives transfer from Male, Maldives to the resort is part of a trip report including Qatar Business Class and the Park Hyatt Maldives. For prior posts please see:
I knew going in that the domestic transfer to the Park Hyatt Maldives was going to be several hours, from our arrival in Male until we reached the resort, and involve both a domestic flight and a speedboat ride. The cost of the transfer for us was $486 roundtrip per person (same cost for all passengers 2 and older). Note that Maldivian Air charges foreigners higher ticket prices than it does for Maldivian locals, so don't be fooled into thinking Hyatt is somehow making a profit on the transfer, given the high cost of domestic transfers for foreigners.
We arrived in Male (MLE) about 8am on our flight from Doha, and barely had to wait at passport control or at Customs, where baggage is x-rayed (to check that no drugs, alcohol etc. is being brought into the country).
We were met by a friendly Hyatt representative with a Hyatt sign (note that it says “Hyatt” not “Park Hyatt”) who helped us with our luggage and brought us to the Maldivian Air counter to check in for the domestic flight. Each of us was weighed along with our carry-on luggage, then, since it was technically before the check-in officially opens, the Hyatt rep ushered us to the lounge and promised to come back with our boarding passes when they were ready.
The lounge had plenty of seating, but was pretty average looking. Not an issue, since you likely won't spend much time there anyway.
He brought them in about 15 minutes, and we spent perhaps another 45 minutes in the lounge, where I caught up on some email (just ask at the lounge reception for WiFi code) and my husband and the munchkin had some yogurt and fruit. Don't expect a stellar selection–there was fresh watermelon and papaya, but the other offerings weren't that appetizing–some sausages, bread for toast, low quality jam, etc.
There was at least an espresso machine, although I didn't try it out.
The Hyatt representative came to tell us our flight was boarding, so we got in line. It seemed to take a very long time to get through security, even though there were only about 20 people in front of us. Not quite sure why there was such a wait.
Eventually we made it out to the tarmac and walked over to our Maldivian Air plane, a Dash-8 Turboprop. Here's a photo:
And the inside of the plane:
It was quite warm inside, and we did wait for a good 25 minutes or so before taking off, bound for Kadhdhoo first, then our destination of Kooddoo. Here's the Male runway, right before takeoff:
And goodbye to Male:
The munchkin and I loved looking out the window, transfixed by the amazing aerial view of the various islands:
While there was a complimentary drink served on board, it looked suspiciously like an orange drink, so we politely declined and stuck to our water bottle. In about 1 hour, we were ready to land at Kadhdhoo.
At Kadhdhoo, pretty much everyone deplaned except a few locals and us. But it turned out that a rather large Chinese group mixed up their destination, so they rather sheepishly reboarded, and were on the plane with us for the last 20 minute flight to Kooddoo.
Kooddoo Airport itself is very new, and is on an otherwise uninhabited island. Can you tell by the size of the airport building? 😉
At Kooddoo, we were met by two Hyatt representatives who, after our luggage was unloaded, whisked us in a buggy to the pier. It was a pleasant 3 minute or so ride.
At the pier, there was a boat for The Residence, which the Chinese group boarded, and a Park Hyatt speedboat, which we boarded as the only passengers:
We were offered cool towels and ice water:
Goodbye to Kooddoo:
I must confess the speedboat ride was a LOT bumpier than we expected. It was about a 30 minute ride, and the last 15 minutes in particular were pretty miserable for all of us, but especially for the munchkin, who was getting so seasick I was worried he would throw up. Luckily they had a bag for that purpose on board, and fortunately we ended up not needing it. But I would really warn anyone who suffers seasickness to come prepared with Dramamine, and would also be careful if you have a bad back, as the bumpy ride will be pretty challenging. For those that don't get seasick and aren't affected by the bumpiness, the ride shouldn't be an issue, however.
All that said, the Park Hyatt Maldives was well worth the long trip of ~4 hours door to door (including waiting time in the airport lounge and the difficult speedboat ride). More coming soon in future posts!
If you've been to the Park Hyatt Maldives, what was your transfer experience like?
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