The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort: Bentley Transfer & St. Regis Lounge
We arrived to Male airport after a short stay at Vista Beach Retreat on Hulhumale (airport island). It was nice to see the local side of the Maldives by taking the ferry into Male as well as exploring Hulhumale. I’d highly recommend it if you have some extra time or want to be on the first seaplane out to your resort. I didn’t hear from the hotel until around 7PM the night prior to our 8AM check-in for the seaplane. Trans Maldivian Airways sets the schedules the night prior based on passenger loads and weather so you are at their mercy. They only fly during daylight hours so if you don’t arrive by the afternoon you’ll have to wait until the next day to reach the resort.
Upon arrival to the airport, we waited in the international terminal pickup area for St. Regis personnel to transport us to the seaplane terminal which is short a 7 minute drive. My SPG Ambassador, Tiffiny, couldn’t guarantee the Bentley transfer as it’s reserved for Suite and Estate guests only. She did mention to arrive early so we were there at 7:15AM for the 8AM transfer. The previous day we did spotted transfers using a Land Cruiser GXR. While waiting we saw a Bentley pull up to drop off a guest. There is only 1 Bentley in the Maldives so there was a high probability it was going to transfer us to the seaplane terminal. We approached the driver and he confirmed the Bentley Flying Spur W12 was indeed for my reservation 🙂
They cleaned the car and then Shiyan, the airport pickup manager, escorted us to hop in to relax as they sorted our luggage with Trans Maldivian Airways. There is a limit of 30kg (66 lbs) per person which includes your checked bags as well as your carryon items (anything larger than a small purse). Our total luggage weight was 25kg over the limit therefore they stated it would cost us an additional USD 140 ($5.60/kg) each way. I did reach out in advance to see if we could leave luggage at the St. Regis Lounge and they informed us we could leave 1 bag at no charge. Once I pointed out the bag we were going to leave at the Lounge, all charges were removed and we were on our way to the Lounge near the seaplane terminal.
Given it’s just a drive around the runway, we never exceeded speeds of 50km/h (30mph) so it was a comfy ride. The Bentley is way over the top, but is perfect to add to the luxury experience. I wouldn’t pay for the W12 engine upgrade given the use, but it was purchased used so they didn’t have a choice.
We arrived to The Great Room (St. Regis Lounge) and were greeted by the Lounge host, Maiz. Maiz took our picture in front of the St. Regis sign which was then used as a memento upon leaving. After settling in, they offered complimentary breakfast, snacks and non-alcoholic (Maldives is a muslim country) beverages which were listed on an iPad. Bakery items were delivered fresh daily from a bakery on Male. I opted for a mint iced tea, passion fruit yogurt, almonds & cashews.
We also did the paperwork to check into our room from the Lounge so we could head straight to our room upon arrival. When reviewing the paperwork, the teammate informed me that we had been upgraded to a nice Overwater villa. It displayed our room # so I quickly pulled up the map of the resort a FlyerTalk member marked up. I discovered we had been upgraded to The St. Regis Suite which is most likely why they sent the Bentley to pick us up from the main airport terminal along with my SPG Ambassador requesting it. It wasn’t a Sunset Overwater Villa, but the Suite upgrade made up for it. The Suite was 50% larger than the Overwater Villa’s. After waiting around 45 minutes we were then escorted to the departure gate of our flight via a van with other guests. Off to the Resort!
When we were leaving to head home we stayed in the lounge for a couple of hours and they offered small meals such as a hamburger or pizza. These meals were heated in a microwave as they don’t have a full kitchen in the lounge. Not the best meal, but they are making the most of it. I also grabbed a shower in the lounge prior to heading to the airport as I was on a redeye to Dubai.
Conclusion: The transfer service with the Bentley and the Lounge prior the seaplane flight makes this an amazing experience before you even get to the resort. The staff were professional and passionate at their jobs creating a welcoming experience. Thank you to Maiz and the Bentley driver for your hospitality!
Professional Photography: Hans