Monday, February 18, 2013

Spending Christmas and New Year in Paradise: Seaplane Transfer to Conrad Maldives


I didn't sleep too well probably due to the excitement of finally being back in the Maldives and heading to Conrad. I got out of bed around six and woke up a grumpy wife before heading for a nice morning walk around Male. We strolled along the water heading to the fish market hoping to see some tuna but was disappointed by the lack of bustle at the market. Maybe we were too early?

Fishing boats
A Conrad rep picked us up from our hotel at the pre-arranged time and helped us with the luggage and transfer to the seaplane terminal. Again, we really didn't need this service and there was no charge from Conrad for this but the help with the luggage was much appreciated and we left the rep a nice tip.

Trans Maldivian Seaplane Check-In counter
After check-in, we had to wait a couple of minutes before being driven to the seaplane terminal and escorted to the Conrad lounge to await our flight. The lounge was perfectly air-conditioned and we got some breakfast.  Conrad also offers a 15 minute complimentary back massage (I presume to entice folks to sign up for a Spa package) which we enjoyed so much that we did pay for an hour long massage once we got to the Conrad. The massage therapist also provided us with a 20% discount for use on our first few days once we got to the island.

I spotted the "Conrad seaplane" from the lounge and was hoping we were going to getting on that plane since it was supposed to be more exclusive.

To save time when reaching the island, most of the check-in formalities like credit card authorization was completed in the lounge itself.

Outdoor Smoking Patio

45 minutes or so after, a lounge attendant came around when it was time for boarding and we were herded to another waiting room where we had to wait for the rest of the passengers who were getting on the same seaplane. The seaplane today was making 2 stops with the first stop at the Conrad.

Basic Seaplane Waiting Room

I was slightly disappointed to find out that we would not be taking the "Conrad seaplane". There's no assigned seating and being the last to board, I was surprised that what I found to be the best seats on the plane, i.e. right behind the pilots, to still be available.

8Q-TMI taking us to the Conrad

As usual on seaplane flights in the Maldives, the flight provided wonderful views of various atolls and islands. I was also caught up in observing how the pilots were flying the plane. Maybe if I struck it big in the lottery, buying and flying my own seaplane would be a fun thing to do.

A quick forty minutes later, the pilot made a turnaround and started descending to Conrad. We were greeted at the seaplane jetty with a refreshing cold towel by our island host.

Descending to Conrad

Seaplane Jetty
We were then escorted to the lobby where our island host elaborately explained the island and perks of my newly acquired Diamond Status such as the free breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails. It did take a while longer for our host to return with disappointing news that our room wouldn't be ready until later that afternoon but he arranged for us to change and shower in the showers nearby the gym and minutes later, we were swimming in the clear crystal blue water around the island.

Conrad Lobby

1 comment:

  1. Tourism in Maldives is really great, which is not a surprise because the place is inviting. There are a lot of beach resorts there that will accommodate you and will ensure that you'll have a fun stay. I'm envious of the wonderful trip you've had there in the island, Calvin. It's one of the places in the world that I really wanted to visit. The turquoise blue water, tropical sunsets, white sand, gorgeous villas, scrumptious seafood, and diving are just few of the things I want to experience once I go there. :D