Pat's Travel Reviews

Male Airport (Maldives) Business Class Lounge Review

** 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)

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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 Maldives 2013 509handed 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. Maldives 2013 510A 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.

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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.

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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).

2 thoughts on “Male Airport (Maldives) Business Class Lounge Review

  1. Larry

    Thank you. I am flying business class on Singapore Air and they now only have the 11 PM flight. We are flying in on the sea plane. It still seams that waiting until 8 PM will be a challenge, as I expect that we will arrive around 4-5 PM. We have never been to Male, do you still advise just cooling our heals at the airport until they open the check in, or should we take the ‘guided tour’? Are you able to leave your bags at the airport if we take the tour of Male?

    1. Patrick Post author

      Hello Larry,
      First off I am very envious. I would love to be going back to the Maldives, as it is truly paradise.
      My wife and I have been to the Maldives twice and both times we flew the SQ 11pm flight. The one problem flying back to Male from one of the Islands is there is a time difference of 1 hr. So you basically arrive at MLE the same time you left your island (depending how far it is from Male). Our first visit we took an afternoon departure from The Conrad that arrived in Male around 2pm. We were encouraged to take a tour, and as we had 5 or 6 hours before we could check-in, it was either that or pay a day rate at the Hulhule Hotel. Male has some interesting sites, but after spending time at a beautiful hotel with beautiful beaches and complete quite, being in a busy city was not that appealing. Worse, your guide takes you to places to buy souvenirs and a restaurant to eat (to which they are getting a kick-back for) that is overpriced and average at best. Our most recent trip we were fortunate enough to get the last seaplane from the Hilton, so we arrived at MLE after 6pm. Still a long to time to kill, but more manageable. After getting to the airport, retrieving our bags, and walking around to check the airport out, we only had a little over an hour to wait before the Singapore counter opened for check-in. There is nothing to do in the waiting area and if memory serves me there was no wifi available. There was a restaurant at the entrance to the airport that did not look inviting, but there was quite a bit of construction last year to renovate the airport so my guess is they have improved that area and hopefully the eating options as well. Being able to check-in 3 hours before the flight and using the Plaza Premium Lounge made the wait much easier and preferable to taking the tour to Male.
      So to answer your question – it depends 🙂 (sorry) If you arrive before 4pm that is a long time to wait around the airport. If you take the tour they will hold your luggage and outside of tipping the guide you do not need to buy anything at the shops nor eat at the restaurant. There are one or two things that are interesting to see. Arriving at that time is probably too late to booking a hotel room for the day as you would only spend 4 or 5 hours there. However, you could go to the hotel to have a bite to eat, but you would need to contact the hotel to pick you up. You could also take a water taxi to Male on your own, but you would need to deal with your luggage. I think a lot depends on when you actually arrive (the minute you get off the bus from the seaplane you will be asked about the tour) at the airport, how you feel, and if the restaurant at the airport has improved. As nice as the Maldives are, the airport does a poor job in giving people options to pass the time. There are 1000’s of people every day in this same situation as there are several late flights and to have such few options is a bad way to end your stay in the Maldives.
      Here is a link to a review of SQ’s Business Class to and from MLE and some photo’s of the Maldives (they are that beautiful).

      Hope this helped a little and you have a great trip!!!!!


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Pat's Travel Reviews

Pat's Travel Reviews