Male Airport VIP Leeli Lounge

Mention the Maldives and images of pristine turquoise blue waters come to mind. Overwater bungalows with direct jump-in access to the water and romantic sunsets are commonplace in this island paradise.

While it’s on almost everyone’s wish list, getting there can be a challenge. Flights are often ridiculously expensive and once you DO get to the islands, a barrage of expensive hotels with overpriced meals await. Never mind the flight distance involved, those expensive factors are enough to turn some people off and have them looking for cheaper destinations.

a palm tree on a beach

Lonely Palm Tree

Getting to paradise and back doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We booked a ridiculous, normally unattainable luxury vacation valued at almost $46,000 for a grand total of $1,818… for two people!

Considering that’s usually the price of a regular coach class ticket to the Maldives, that’s one heck of a steal.

In the series of posts to follow, we’re going to walk you through all the experiences that we enjoyed on this trip. While most people would consider this once-in-a-lifetime, with just a little legwork and dedication you can have a luxury getaway to make Instagram followers drool with envy.

Our $46,000 vacation to the Maldives for only $1,818

After the awesome experience at the St Regis Maldives Airport Lounge and the VIP Airport Experience, we thought we’d continue the VIP experience by visiting the Leeli Lounge, an airport lounge in the Maldives airport.

It’s a shared use lounge, operated independently and almost all the airlines use it for their premium cabin passengers.

It’s a bit hard to find once you pass security, and even though we followed the signs it was hard to find the exact entrance. Follow the signs to the smoking room (and the lounge) as they’re next to each other.

a glass door with a sign on the wall

Once we approached the lounge, we showed our Emirates first class boarding passes and were admitted without so much as a 4 or 5 seconds wait time.

Inside of the lounge you could see the flights lining up. An Etihad A340 was parked next to our bird, the Emirates 777.

a plane on the tarmac

The lounge itself was massive and I’d say about 30% of the seats were occupied. The lounge just kept going and going, so much to the point that I can’t imagine that they were actually ever used to its fullest.

a room with chairs and tables a group of people sitting in a room with computers

There were two business center-esque computers if you wanted a Wi-Fi connection to reconnect to the outside world.

two computers on a table

If you wanted to connect via WiFi you could get a code from the front desk and that’ll allow you to connect to the WiFi on your own device.

The space for the food was limited, but the spread was pretty good.  There was a cream of chicken soup and rolls, Sauteed vegetables, and whatever the hell deviled chicken is.

a group of silver pots on a counter a close up of a sign

If you wanted something lighter there was also a fruit salad and vegetable salad mix.

a buffet line with different food items on it

Enough coffee and tea to make a Starbucks blush.

a coffee machine on a counter

There was a aslo a huge fridge stocked with a massive amount of soft drinks.

a woman looking at a refrigerator

Feeling like something to go? How about the sandwiches or even some brownies for dessert?

food on a trays with plastic wrap

Lastly, there was also a selection of cookies and marshmellos and merengiues.

a table with food containers and plates

It’s not a lounge that’s going to stick in your memory as the best of all time, but considering the other option is to be stuck in the outside with a bunch of sunburned foreign tourists, then I’d call this a win.

Considering you’re in the middle of the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles away from the mainland, what are your thoughts about this lounge?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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