Review: Boat Transfer and Maldivian Domestic Flight from the Park Hyatt Maldives to Male

The Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives is a remote property, when the stay is over you have a boat ride to the island with an airport and then a Maldivian domestic flight to get back to Male before you’re able to leave the Maldives.

The roundtrip transfers are ~ $500 per person, which includes the domestic flights and the boat rides (as well as lounge access on the way to the resort in Male).

You provide your flight information to the hotel, and they arrange the transfers, the domestic flight schedule isn’t firmed until close to departure. They try to accommodate late checkout or at least provide a temporary villa or worst case spa villa for you to use if you don’t need to leave until late afternoon.

On this trip our flight out of Male was in the afternoon, so we didn’t need a late checkout. Here’s the trip back by boat and plane, as we made our way to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Previous installments:

  1. Introduction, overview, and costs
  2. Star Alliance first class and business class lounges, LAX
  3. Etihad First Class, Los Angles – Abu Dhabi.. the 3rd Longest Flight in the World!
  4. Premier Inn, Abu Dhabi International Airport
  5. Etihad’s new business class lounge, Abu Dhabi
  6. Etihad Business Class, Abu Dhabi – Male
  7. Male Domestic Lounge and Maldivian, Male – Kooddoo, plus boat transfer to the Park Hyatt
  8. Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
  9. Park Hyatt Maldives Menus and Pricing

The hotel suggests visiting the resort office a couple of hours prior to departure to settle your bill. Like most hotels in the Asia Pacific region they want to run your card again at checkout.

I don’t stop by so early — if I pay my bill, and then want to charge something else (a meal in the restaurant, a drink at the bar) I’m going to need to go back and pay again. So I tend to handle this all last thing.

About 30 minutes prior to planned departure I checked out, and then walked over to sit by the bar area for my last 15 minutes. Our host came over to get us to head off, and walked us through the Dhoni to the jetty and onto the boat. There was another couple departing at the same time.

Several hotel staff were waiting there to say goodbye, including the food and beverage manager (the general manager was off on the day we left).

The staff put our bags on the boat and then we climbed aboard, and we were off to the island of Kooddoo half an hour’s ride away.

I do wish that the hotel would upgrade the boat, it’s fine for the 30 minute ride to Kooddoo (and it’s nice not to have the 50+ minute ride any longer to Kaadedhdhoo, which used to be the closest airport). But a boat with enclosed interior, maybe couches and tables, and snacks enroute would be a nice upgrade.

Kooddoo is a very different place from the resort, with working ships and an airport and what appear to be dorm-style apartment homes.

We docked and the staff took us over to the airport by golf cart.

The airport is just a single building with a ‘departure hall’ (check-in desk and security), a gate area, and an arrivals room for picking up baggage.

There are restrooms accessible both from outside the terminal and airside.

Our Maldivian Dash 8 Q300 landed, dropped off some passengers, and then was ready for us to board.

Seating pitch is standard turboprop tight, but perfectly fine for an hour long flight.

The trip was completely uneventful and we were soon back in Male. They offload us onto the tarmac where we walk inside to the domestic terminal to pick up checked bags.

There’s not far to go, so back come out pretty quickly.

Once you pick up your bags and walk out of the baggage claim area a representative from the Park Hyatt is waiting to take you over to the international terminal. It’s a short walk we’ve done many times before.

For the first time we weren’t asked to show our printed itinerary to get into the international terminal, where we’d wait to check in for our Emirates flight to Colombo.

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, 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. I know these things are unpredictable…but how smooth was the boat ride? My wife gets seasick so any boat ride is a concern. But obviously would love to stay here.

  2. During your visits to the PH Maldives, how long was your wait in the Kooddooo airport when you departed? On our trip, the departure letter with the estimated time frame forgot about the hour difference between the resort time and airport time so we arrived over an hour early and had to wait and wait.

  3. @Mike we probably arrived about an hour prior to departure, it didn’t feel like much… they check you in pretty slowly, tag bags, go through security slowly (even though there’s no wait) then sit in the departure hall..

  4. @Gary — does the PH charge for the roundtrip transfer before you arrive, or does it go on the room charge?

  5. On our Maldives trip (Not to the Hyatt) we had a seaplane transfer from Male, and that was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Paid about the same ($500/person) for that transfer.

  6. Gary, thanks for the write-ups. Were there a lot of mosquitoes at Kooddoo airport?

  7. just booked my first PH Maldives trip! – about how long is the trip (plane, boat, waiting, etc) from MLE? no Qatar award space on the early flight, had to get the one that arrives at 3:00pm – won’t have to overnight in MLE right?

  8. @TJ – no overnight in MLE. You’ll probably catch a flight to Kooddoo around 530pm. A Park Hyatt representative will meet you after customs and walk you to the domestic terminal and into the lounge, and come get you when it’s time to board. Flight is ~ an hour. Then the boat ride is around 30 minutes. Time on the island is one hour ahead of MLE. Roughly speaking without unexpected delays you arrive at the resort ~ 820pm.

  9. Will international carry-ons fit into the overhead space on the Maldivian prop plane? Hate checking bags period.

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