Anyone who has endured the haul from Male International Airport south across the Maldives to Gaafu Alifu knows that getting there is definitely not half the fun. But that two-hour-plus turboprop and speedboat combination has been cut by at least half with the September debut of Kooddoo Airport, a domestic hub right on the doorstep of The Residence Maldives and a 20-minute speedboat ride to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa. With nine more luxury retreats slated to open in the near future around Gaafu Alifu—one of the world’s largest atolls and a must for serious divers—the airport couldn’t have opened at a better time. From Male, national carrier Maldivian takes only 45 minutes to fly over the archipelago’s full spectrum of nautical hues and reef-fringed islets to Kooddoo, a twice-daily service that gives resort-bound guests an extra hour or more for tanning and other paradisiacal pursuits.
Originally appeared in the October/November 2012 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Kudos For Kooddoo”)