Malé International Airport (MLE) is the main gateway to the Maldives, a romantic destination for many visitors. It is not a big airport, but many departing visitors come here from the resorts and either wait at the airport in the heat, or store luggage and take the harbor ferry to the capital city. Thankfully there is a small Maldives Airport Lounge called WELLNESS that is available if you have a Priority Pass card. You can stay here and enjoy the air conditioned space along with small snack and drinks. You can also get some last minute pampering before your long flight out. Extra charge for this, of course!
Male International Airport’s landside waiting area is mostly located outside in the Maldivian heat and humidity. You only come into the air conditioned indoor space when you are ready to check in for your flight and proceed through immigration and to your gate. There is a small food court, a few restaurants, and an air-conditioned café, but these places are always packed with passengers seeking relief from the heat. They are also very expensive. A regular coffee at the café will set you back about $4.50.
How to get to the WELLNESS Airport Lounge
The WELLNESS Maldives Airport Lounge is located landside, outside in the main waiting room and in between the arrival hall and the departure hall. It’s just across from a small information booth. There’s a baggage storage place and a small post office next door to the WELLNESS Airport Lounge. You won’t miss it.
Getting into the WELLNESS Maldives Airport Lounge
Thankfully, we are Priority Pass holders, which gives us access many airport lounges around the world. The WELLNESS Maldives Airport Lounge is the only accessible lounge for Priority Pass holders in the International terminal. Another airport lounge is located in the Domestic Terminal.
The WELLNESS Airport Lounge is open from 8 AM to 11 PM, and only allows a maximum of two hours per visit. We left after two hours and came back a little later in the day. It wasn’t an issue.
You may also bring a guest with you for free. At check-in, they’ll take an old-fashioned imprint of your Priority Pass membership card. Then, you just sign the receipt which shows the time you came in and the limit of your stay.
WELLNESS Airport Lounge Layout
This is a small lounge! After you check in at the front desk, the lounge opens up with a limited seating area for about 20 people – maybe fewer. There are three small booths for four people each on the left. There’s a bar with seating on the other side of the room. The lounge also has 3 workstations.
If you explore a little further inside the lounge, you’ll find the part where the WELLNESS is supposedly happening. There are pampering stations, massage chairs, and even a pedicure station, where you can get your toesies done and relax.
Food and Drink
The WELLNESS Maldives Airport Lounge offers a very limited selection of drinks, both hot and cold, and almost no food – only small cookies and apples and oranges. You need to ask the attendant for drinks, as they are all stored behind the beverage bar. Keep in mind that there is no alcohol here. The Maldives has a strict anti-alcohol and drug policy. You generally cannot buy alcohol here. The notable exceptions are the resorts and liveaboard dive boats, like the one we were on.
The interior designer did an amazing job in designing the finish and lighting of the WELLNESS Airport Lounge. It is properly lit, and all details are constructed very well, including the bathrooms and waiting room.
- Pampering Stations. As the name implies, the WELLNESS Maldives Airport Lounge focus is on the Wellness of the visitors. You can get a lot done here: massages, relaxing chairs and manicure/pedicure. There are private spaces where you can relax, and the room is kept relatively dark for privacy. They have a great selection of nail polish, too, if that’s your thing.
- Shower: There’s a small shower you can access. Ask the attendant for a clean towel.
- Wi-Fi: It is reliable and password protected. You’ll get a password when you check in.
- Charging Outlets: There are plenty of electrical outlets throughout the lounge.
Things to consider
The space inside the WELLNESS Maldives Airport Lounge is small, and can be crowded in the evening when most flights leave from the International terminal. The hallway in the back also functions also as a storage area for bags. Be mindful that some of the bags are out of your sight and they are not secured.
Add buffer time to get to your gate. You will have to check in with the airline, pass through immigration and security, and walk to your gate. It can be heavily backed up and you don’t want to miss your flight!
Do not expect to eat a full meal here. Only cookies and limited selections of fruits are available.
Want access to this lounge? Get a Priority Pass and get access today!
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