Maximizing Miles in the Maldives: Cathay First, Eating in Singapore, and a Park Hyatt Water Villa – Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male

  1. Introduction
  2. Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day
  3. Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge
  4. Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong
  5. The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore
  6. A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
  7. Eating in Singapore
  8. Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
  9. Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
  10. Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
  11. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I
  12. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II
  13. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III
  14. Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male
  15. Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore
  16. Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong
  17. Conrad Hong Kong
  18. Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago
  19. American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home

We put on our life jackets and sat down at the back of the boat. We were offered an ipod to listen to but were more than fine (though I felt, again, that a bit nicer boat would have been ideal, as would a bottle of water for the ride).

The boat sped away, leaving the resort behind

After a little bit shy of an hour we arrived at the airport’s boat dock.

Sitting at the dock were the folks who would shortly be our crew for the flight to Male.

As we arrived, a golf cart pulled up to take us the short dstance from the dock to the terminal

Interestingly, there had been two other passengers on the boat that I presumed were staff — either of the hotel, the chain, or were at least not guests. The golf cart took only us and not them, they walked to the terminal under their own power.

The terminal building itself is a small, older structure. There’s the arrivals side with baggage claim, and the departures side. That has a single security screening lane, though it was hardly enforced, they did screen somewhat diligently on the way in but people left the ‘secure’ gate area to go back inside and no one was around to re-screen them when they came back through.

Here’s the terminal

And the day’s flight board

Directly across from the terminal entrance is a small café, though I didn’t investigate.

There’s pay internet available as well, you buy online and text yourself a code.

Restrooms are on the outside of the terminal building, I considered using one before the flight but immediately turned around after walking inside, it was one of the worst smelling places I’d been. So I simply proceeded through security and into the gate area which are already nearly full though it was still about half an hour before flight time with no amenities airside.

Incidentally we weren’t weighed prior to this flight, that’s apparently only something that Maldivian does in Male.

Planespotting, such as it was, consisted of peering out the window of the terminal at our Q400 that would take us from Kaadedhoo to Male

Boarding was called and I snapped a photo of the plane while walking along the runway… as did several other passengers

The cabin was fairly standard for the aircraft type

Service was the same as the flight to Kaadedhoo — a small paper cup with juice, followed by a single candy. After about 55 minutes we landed in Male, and we disembarked at the domestic terminal and waited for our bags. Once we walked out of the baggage claim area we were met by a Park Hyatt representative who assisted with the bags for the walk over to the international terminal.

It was now three hours until our flight to Singapore, and we were really on our way for the long journey home!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Interesting report! While I may never get to the Maldives (beaches are not my thing) I have sent this to a coworker. She has way too many Aeroplan points and a wish to sit on the beach.

    Small error creeped into your report. The plane you are on here is a Dash8-300. The -300 is a previous generation of Dash8: slower, noisier (no active noise reduction), and smaller.

  2. Nice report. I agree the boats they use are not that great. Indeed ours broke down on the way out from the island which was a bit scary given our connections. Ended up bobbing around in the sea for over an hour as another boat had to manually find us without gps (not easy when all you can see is ocean)

    While I’d love to see them improve the boats, a direct sea-plane would be far better, or at least as one of your other readers mentioned an airport on the east side of the atoll closer to the resort.

    Though of course both of those will be the two edge sword of bringing more tourists to the area and inevitable crowding and spoiling of the best dive spots like you have in Ari or Male atolls

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed the boat ride, cruising past remote, isolated islands and less-impressive resorts. We elected to listen to the iPods, which included noise-cancelling Bose headphones. And it was less than an hour…

    The Hyatt employee who met us at MLE after the KDM-MLE flight told us that Hyatt plans to open a new Park Hyatt nearer to MLE, much more accessible by boat and with much better diving (which is hard to imagine). He even said that there may be a 3rd Hyatt in the works. He told us that Pierre Lang, PH Maldives’ GM, has confirmed the 2nd resort, but is hesitant to comment on the 3rd.

    When we arrived at KDM, we were told that the flight was delayed, and hadn’t yet left MLE. After waiting a bit at the cafe across from the terminal in the sweltering midday heat, the PH employee (who must have been waiting around for the next group of guests to arrive) told us that there was a VIP lounge inside the airport. It was no-frills, but kept us out of that cramped little waiting room and out of the midday sun. I don’t know why the PH employee waited to inform us of the VIP lounge after we’d already waited outside for like an hour, but maybe our tip influenced him, maybe he pulled some strings with an airline employee (they all seemed to be buddies), or maybe they paid for our access after the delay (but I didn’t see any exchange of money).

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