Is the Maldives Getting an International Chain Airport Hotel?

a aerial view of a resort
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The Maldives archipelago is a special place to visit. I had a spectacular time at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa and loved the secluded island feel, the snorkeling, the beaches, and of course the food!

a pool with palm trees and chairs
Park Hyatt Maldives

There are many other amazing properties in the Maldives, some of which you can stay at by redeeming hotel loyalty points for like the St Regis Vommuli, and others that you cannot (such as the Four Seasons).

Soon, another new resort with points redemption options will take its place on one of the Maldivian islands.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced earlier this month that they’ll be opening a Radisson Blu Resort Maldives.

a close up of a card

The resort is rumored to have been in the works for a long time now, with an original opening date set for early 2017. Obviously that timeframe has passed, but things are still progressing.

Called the Radisson Blu Maldives Hulhumale, there is slightly conflicting information on exactly where the new property will actually be. According to Radisson’s website, the resort will be in Hulmumale on the Kaafu Atoll, which according to Google Maps, happens to be MLE airport adjacent.

a map of a city
Photo credit: Google Maps

There aren’t a ton of great hotel options by the Male airport. After arriving, most visitors either catch a connecting flight that gets them closer to their resort so they can then take a short boat ride the remainder of the way, or hop on a seaplane for about 30 minutes before it delivers you right to your resort.

a wooden dock leading to a building

Seaplanes only fly during daylight, and I believe the last ones leave the Male airport around 4/5pm. If you don’t arrive by 3pm because of weather delays or such and are hoping to take the seaplane, you’ll get stuck staying the night at a hotel and leaving in the morning. Lucky with One Mile at a Time stayed at a Male airport hotel and his stay made me shudder. Thank goodness when I stayed at the Park Hyatt Maldives the timing was such that I didn’t have to stay at any other hotels in the Maldives, and after reading about his experience it made me really not need to stay near the airport.

However, if a Radisson Blu hotel is coming to Male this would brighten the hotel situation. You could arrive into Male at any time, spend an easy night at the Radisson Blu, and continue on to your resort in the morning. At the end of your resort stay, you could then come back to the Radisson Blu for the last night, and take a flight out in the morning. This might also be a smart way to shave off the cost of an extra night at a resort where you’d end up leaving right around breakfast, positioning a swanky hotel stay in-between an airport hotel night stay on each end.

a waffle with fruit and sauce on a plate
Delicious Cherry Almond Apple Waffle with honeycomb butter, at the Park Hyatt Maldives

After getting excited about the possibilities that come with an airport hotel in Male, I then realized that the press release about the Radisson was different that the website. The press release says that the property will be nestled on the Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, about 65 miles away from Male International Airport which will require either a seaplane transfer for 30 minutes, or that you can also fly into the nearby Maamigili airport and take a 15 minute speedboat transfer.

a map of the island

Looking at the photo of the resort from the press release and the corresponding villas, the resort definitely doesn’t look like it is Male airport-adjacent.

I put much more faith in the press release than the website, but regardless, it is great that Radisson Blu is coming to the Maldives.

The website also says that the resort will open January 2018, while the press release states first quarter of 2019. As opening dates often get pushed back, I find the first quarter of 2019 to be more reasonable.

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives will have 128 villas, some of them perched over the Indian Ocean in dreamy Maldivian resort style. There will also be family villas. Zooming in on the photo from the press release it looks like there will be tons of overwater villas stretching in both directions, with some beach villas and what appears to be a large shared main beach area.

an aerial view of a tropical island

The property is set to have a yoga pavilion and spa, as well as a sea sports and dive center. No word just yet on what category this property will be.

A visit to the Maldives can be expensive, especially when you consider that after you manage to position yourself in Male you still usually have to pay per person for that seaplane out to your chosen resort. Redeeming points for a weeklong stay in a villa at a resort is a great way to lower costs.

I’m really looking forward to having yet another property in the Maldives that will offer the option of points redemptions, and stay tuned for more details as they become available.

Update: Here’s a link to the Radisson Blu Resort Maldives, so you can check out the resort and plan your next holiday!

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