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REVIEW – Conrad Maldives : Seaplane Lounge MLE [Evening Departure]


Conrad Maldives Seaplane Lounge [Morning]
Malé Airport – Seaplane Terminal


  • Access:
    • All guests staying at the Conrad Maldives have regular access on their way TO the resort
    • Guests on their way BACK from the resort can use the lounge as follows:
      • Conrad Lounge Package: $50++ per adult / $25++ per child under 12. Snacks only.
      • Deluxe Conrad Lounge Package: $85++ per adult / $42.50++ per child under 12. Includes full dinner buffet.
    • Hilton Diamond Status holders have complimentary FULL use of the seaplane lounge at all times.
  • Date: May 2016


FOR INFORMATION ON HOW I BOOKED THIS STAY AT THE CONRAD USING POINTS, CHECK OUT THE INTRODUCTION TO THIS TRIP REPORT HERE:

Trip Report: First Class Apartments to the Maldives


On our final evening our island host came to inform us that we would be required to move out of our Retreat Water Villa at the standard time of noon, the following day. Whilst you can generally expect to be granted a 4pm late checkout as a Hilton Diamond member, I was half expecting this given the level of occupancy at the resort and couldn’t really complain given the wonderful upgrade that we’d been given.

So, we got our things together early the following morning and enjoyed a final breakfast at Vilu before being taken to the main lobby to complete our checkout. Our main bags were kept for us and we just took a small bag to carry with us for the rest of the day.

With no villa to hang out in the choice was obvious; we were going to spend our last few hours in paradise, at the Quiet Zone pool.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

What better place to wait for the seaplane home?

Just as we were settling down to our second drink Naeem came running over and told us that he’d been looking all over for us. Apparently a storm was closing in and no matter the onward flight time, everybody would have to leave the island asap.

We jumped into a buggy and quickly settled up the bill for our drinks at the Quiet Zone, then headed to the gym to shower and change.

There were four planes lined up, ready to take all the day’s leavers to Malé. Thankfully we were on the last one, which meant we had a little bit of extra time to dip our feet into the water next to the lounge.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

Storm clouds closing in.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

This has to be the saddest flight that I’ve ever taken. The views were spectacular but I was so sad to be heading home.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

As soon as we got clear of the Conrad, any trace of a storm disappeared. Which only made leaving seem worse!

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

Approaching MLE. One of the most unique looking airports in the world.

We were warmly welcomed back to the lounge by Afeef and told that since we had been forced to leave early (through no fault of the Conrad, as the schedules are set by the airline not them) we were welcome to help ourselves to whatever we wanted. Now the rules have changed and all Diamond members automatically get full dinner service for free, however back when we visited this was not the case. We would have been forced to pay $100 each for the privilege, if Afeef hadn’t extended us this generous gesture.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

Kamara enjoys a final meal looking across the perfect turquoise water of the Maldives.

The dinner spread was quite limited, with only one hot meat dish, two types of vegetables and vegetarian spaghetti. The cold items were basically a pared down version of the offering at the Atoll Market breakfast.

I can’t imagine that anybody would ever pay $100 for this, after actually seeing what’s on offer.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

Pineapple, passion fruit and a salad bar selection.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

The cheese and ‘ham’ were exceptionally low quality. The nutella was unexpected.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

This chicken dish was the highlight, on a par with a well cooked chicken main served on a plane.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

Overcooked mixed vegetables.

 

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

Crispy potatoes

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

Spaghetti a la school cafeteria

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

My final dinner in the Maldives. Not quite on a par with dinner on the deck of our Retreat Water Villa the night before.

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

After a couple of hours spent relaxing and charging our devices we were ready to head over to the main airport terminal for our flight back home.

Our driver was extremely friendly and keen to talk to us about photography, he could see that I was busy taking pics and asked if I wanted to see some pics he had taken at the resort on his phone. His shots were great! As we made our way around the runway and towards the main terminal, he stopped so that we could get a shot of the sunset:

Review - Jarvis Marcos- Conrad Maldives seaplane lounge

Our final Maldivian sunset

Conclusion

The staff at the Conrad Seaplane lounge are extremely friendly, the space is clean, the seats are comfortable and the views are great. However, the dinner buffet seems like one last desperate attempt by the Conrad to extract cash from people for something that really isn’t worth the money. It’ a shame that the hotel has decided to leave customers with this as their parting memory.

 

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