** I just discovered (March 2019) that the Plaza Premium Lounge at Male’s Velana Airport is now called Leeli Lounge. It is still the only Business Class Lounge at the Male airport and from what I have read is pretty much the same (starting to show its age) as this review covered. Hopefully my wife and I will be returning to The Maldives next February and I will update anything new with the lounge at that time. I don’t think there has been any change to entry and covers all the international flights departing MLE. **
We were flying Business Class on Singapore Airlines and that is what gave us entrance into the lounge. If we were flying Economy my Star Alliance Gold status would have also given us entry (I think – it does, I just asked)
Because there are a handful of late evening flights from Male and the seaplanes do not fly at night you usually have a lot of time on your hand prior to these flights. We were lucky enough to get the last seaplane from the Hilton Iru Fushi so we arrived at the airport at 6:45 for our 11:25 flight. The airport is currently being remodeled and there are only 2 small places to eat before the departure area, and neither look appetizing. We had already took the tour of Male on our last trip to the Maldives (it is not worth it – plus they take you to some overpriced restaurant) so we had a lot of time to kill. We decided to wait in the departure area as it was air-conditioned and it was still hot outside. Thankfully Singapore opens the counter for check-in a little after 8pm so we were able to get to the lounge three hours (4 now that our flight is delayed) before departure.
The lounge is located past passport control in the main (only) shopping area. The signage is very clear and large so it is hard to miss. Upon entering the lounge, we handed our invitation to the attendant, who welcomed us and gave us the WiFi password. Immediately to your right there is a small room with four reclining chairs for resting. It is not in the best location to rest or sleep as the window looks out onto the shopping area and it is adjacent to the walkway into the lounge. There is a dining area that has a few hot dishes to choose from. Small selection of breads, a soup and some sweets. A couple whole fruits and vegetables. A refrigerator that has soft drinks, water, some cold sandwiches, and small cut fruit bowls. A small coffee maker, hot water for tea, and two juice dispensers. There is no alcohol served in the lounge. I am not sure if there is any alcohol served in the airport. I do know the hotel next to the airport serves alcohol. In the dining area there are 10 tables with seating for 20.
There are plenty of seats in the lounge. Smartly decorated in sets of brown and grey. In-between there is a small table to put your drink on that also has an electrical outlet on the side (Maldivian only – same as England). There are a few more chairs at the back that have tables in front of them and a small side room with additional seating (maybe 20 more seats) and another refrigerator. Also towards the back of the lounge is the men’s and woman’s toilets. Smallish, but clean enough. In addition, there are a few TV’s with CNN International on throughout the lounge.
Besides the free WiFi password for your laptop there is also a bank of five Dell computers with large screens between the dining and seating areas. The connection is as good as I’ve gotten in the Maldives (still not that good though). Also along the counter with the computers are outlets with plugs for all voltages (so I was able to charge my phone). There are also many English speaking newspapers and magazines throughout the lounge from Singapore, Qatar, UAE, Oman, and England. They do make announcements when each flight is boarding.
Overall the lounge is nicely decorated, clean, the staff very helpful and friendly and while it doesn’t have alcohol or even that great of a food selection it is a welcome relief from having to spend time in Male or at the airport (at least until they build the new terminal).