Review: Maldivian Dash 8 Male To Kooddoo And Park Hyatt Boat Transfer

Filed Under: Travel

We left the lounge shortly after 7:20AM, and were through security by 7:25AM. Our flight was departing from gate 7, though upon arriving at the gate we found it hadn’t started boarding yet.

Male Airport domestic terminal gate

There were maybe 25 people in the gate area for the 37 seat Dash 8, so the flight seemed to be roughly two thirds full.

Male Airport domestic terminal gate

At 7:35AM boarding was finally announced, at which point all the passengers made a mad dash to the door. We waited till the end, since I sure as heck wasn’t excited about spending more time on a Dash 8 than I had to.

Male Airport domestic terminal gate

Maldivian 2275
MLE (MLE) – Kooddoo (GKK)
Sunday, April 5
Depart: 7:40AM
Arrive: 8:45AM
Duration: 1hr05min
Aircraft: Dash 8-200
Seat: 2D (Economy Class)

Once our boarding passes were scanned we walked onto the tarmac, where a bunch of Maldivian Dash 8s were parked.

Maldivian Dash 8 Male Airport

We were on one of the smaller ones, a Dash 8-200.

Maldivian Dash 8 Male Airport

Maldivian Dash 8 Male Airport

Maldivian Dash 8 Male Airport

We quickly settled into row two. I was surprised by how comfortable the seats were.

Maldivian Dash 8, seats 1C & 1D

The legroom wasn’t half bad, and the padding was good as well. I was surprised by how few tourists were on the plane. There were a total of five tourists, and the rest of the passengers seemed to be “locals.” Interestingly the tourists seemed to be seated in the first few rows, while the locals were sat behind.

Maldivian Dash 8, seat 2D

It’s worth noting that the legroom in row one is excellent, particularly on the right side of the plane. This is only the case on the Dash 8-200, though. On the Dash 8-300, there’s a rear facing set of seats right by that row.

Maldivian Dash 8, view from 2D

Maldivian Dash 8, tons of legroom in first row

Maldivian Dash 8, tons of legroom in first row

I looked through the seatback pocket, where I found the safety card, a guide for Chinese tourists vacationing in the Maldives, and a prayer card.

Maldivian Dash 8 safety card

Maldivian guide for Chinese tourists

Maldivian prayer card

Boarding was finished at 7:40AM, at which point a prayer was played over the PA. Shortly thereafter the flight attendant distributed refreshing towels.

Maldivian refreshing towel

The flight attendant then announced our flight time of 55 minutes, and did the safety demo while still at the stand.

It was only at 7:50AM that we began our taxi. Being seated in a right window seat I had a great view of the international terminal, and all of the significantly more interesting traffic there.

Other traffic at Male Airport

Other traffic at Male Airport

Taking off at Male Airport usually requires taxiing the length of the runway, since the only taxiway for the runway is in the center. However, since we were in a prop we just took off in the middle of the runway, given we didn’t need as much room. We were airborne at 7:52AM, just two minutes after we began our taxi.

Taking off Male Airport

The view on the climb out was beautiful.

View after takeoff from Male Airport

Though the views only got better the further into the flight we were.

View enroute to Kooddoo

View enroute to Kooddoo

About 10 minutes after takeoff the flight attendant pulled a curtain around the front of the cabin so she could serve the pilots.

Cockpit service on Maldivian

Shortly thereafter she offered a beverage service, with a choice between water or a couple of types of juice. The juices were thick and tasty.

Inflight beverage service on Maldivian

The flight attendant was rather quirky. She sat in her jumpseat for most of the flight and had facial expressions which cycled between looking like a motionless and expressionless mummy, to breaking out in laughter out of nowhere.

Eventually she randomly asked us if we were also flight attendants, because apparently that’s what we looked like. As it turns out one of the friends I was traveling with is a flight attendant, and she nearly bowed down to him when she found out the airline/airplane/position (suffice to say he’s not the inflight service manager on a Maldivian Dash 8). 😉

My eyes were glued to the window for the entirety of the flight, and before I knew it we were already on our descent into Kooddoo.

View enroute to Kooddoo

View on approach into Kooddoo

View on approach into Kooddoo

View on approach into Kooddoo

View on final approach into Kooddoo

View on final approach into Kooddoo

The runway seemed to be quite short, though we did have a smooth landing, and then rolled out to the end of the runway.

Taxiing Kooddoo Airport

Once we got to to the end we taxied back half of the runway to the taxiway, which took us to the small terminal.

Taxiing Kooddoo Airport

We deplaned within a couple of minutes, at around 8:50AM.

View upon arrival in Kooddoo

Kooddoo Airport’s terminal is tiny and sort of adorable.

Terminal at Kooddoo Airport

The arrivals hall consists of just a dozen chairs.

Terminal at Kooddoo Airport

Upon arrival we were greeted by people from the Park Hyatt, who loaded the five of us headed to the resort onto a golf cart. He explained that checked luggage would be collected for us.

Terminal at Kooddoo Airport

It was a roughly five minute golf cart ride from the airport to the dock.

Driving to pier in Kooddoo

Driving to pier in Kooddoo

Driving to pier in Kooddoo

Once at the dock we were directed to the Park Hyatt’s boat, which featured seating for a bit over a dozen guests.

Walking to pier in Kooddoo

Port in Kooddoo

Park Hyatt boat in Kooddoo

Park Hyatt boat in Kooddoo

We were offered cold towels and water, and were give life vests to wear. We waited for about 10 minutes, until checked bags were loaded onto the boat. In total there were three staff on the boat, plus five guests.

Enroute to the Park Hyatt!

The boat ride to the Park Hyatt took about 25 minutes. I was quite surprised by how fast the boat was — this was a true high speed boat.

Enroute to the Park Hyatt!

Enroute to the Park Hyatt!

Eventually we arrived at the Park Hyatt, and had made it to paradise.

Approaching the Park Hyatt!


Maldivian & Park Hyatt transfer bottom line

Getting to the Park Hyatt wasn’t easy… at least in my case. It involved five flights, a night at a not-so-nice hotel, and a boat ride. When I started the boat ride to the Park Hyatt I told my friends “there’s no way this is worth it, I’m beat.”

But once we actually arrived at the resort my impressions changed considerably. When we arrived and the boat’s engine was cut and I had the view of the last picture above, I think my exhaustion turned into excitement. How gorgeous!

  1. It sure seems like quite a haul to get there, but it looks absolutely worth it!

    Looking forward to the review of the resort!

  2. There is a reason Maldives is the most travel destination in the world. Yes, even more expensive than Easter Island, Marituts and Tahiti.
    I personally traveled to both Tahiti and Maldives, and I would I would definitely recommend Maldives over Tahiti. That view is unbeatable.
    I have been to Easter Island too, (It’s also great, but a lot cheaper than Maldives, you can easily find 787 business class from Santiago to Easter Island around $700 but that shitty dash 8 and boat transfer cost around $500.
    Maldives is expensive, it is worth it. Tahiti and Easter Island also have nice things about them though

  3. Such a neat treat to see you reviewing a Dash-8! Not that I don’t love (and value) the premium cabin reviews, mind you, it’s just fun and off the beaten path

  4. I can see why people can just get there and lay out for a week because you are completely exhausted from getting there. Once you recovered you have to prepare to get home, which you probably need another vacation to recover from.

  5. I’d have slapped you & sent you straight back home the same way you came if you didn’t get excited on arrival at the resort!

  6. I love dash-8! Those seats look good for dash-8. For me dash-8 feel like muscle car. The engine usually really laud and you can feel the vibration. Everytime I have a chance i fly with them on us air lga-phl, bwi-phl and dca-phl. Another great review Lucky.

  7. The supposed “Maldivian guide for Chinese tourist” is actually entitled: “Chinese Embassy in The Maldives reminds Chinese Citizens holidaying in The Maldives of some heart-warming tips.”

    For those who are curious, it then goes like this:

    “The Chinese embassy in the Maldives welcomes you to your holiday in the Maldives . In order for you and your family to have a smooth, safe, and happy vacation, we would specially remind you to pay attention to the following:

    1. Appropriately store your personal belongings: …passport, air tickets… make photocopies… avoid passing them to strangers to store on your behalf… carry passport and valuables with you or store in the hotel safe… lock door and window upon leaving hotel room… If your valuables are lost, please contact the hotel to investigate… If your passport is stolen, make a police report… bring the photocopy of your passport to the Chinese embassy to apply for return documents…

    2. Pay heed to safety when undertaking water activities: …wear life jackets… do not go into the water in bad weather, or after taking alcohol or medicine… if you encounter underwater current, do not forcibly resist, should go with the flow and get out oblique to the current… if water gets into scuba diving breathing tube…. every year, there are many incidents of Chinese citizens drowning, so please pay special emphasis!

    3. Obey Maldivian law and resorts’ rules: The Maldives is an Islamic country… strictly forbids the transport of drugs, alcohol, pork products, articles pertaining to other religions, sexual….”

  8. Argh when are you going to do the next instalments of the trip report? I’m dying to see what the resort is like and it’s taking days (days!!) 🙂

  9. Is there an option to get to the Hyatt on a seaplane?
    I see where some resorts that is the case.
    Also. Is there no way to use points for the Maldivian flight?
    I don’t think there is. But I figured you would know


  10. The Maldivian Prayer is just the generic Arabic/Islamic travel prayer that you’re so fond of on Etihad but expressed in a more primitive medium. It’s standard on most airlines in Islamic countries.

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