Review: Park Hyatt Maldives – Resort and Park Villa
Our time at the Park Hyatt Maldives was exotic, contemporary and idyllic at the same time. At one time, The Park Hyatt Maldives was one of the only points properties in the Maldives and is still well worth the effort to get there. I’ve split up our stay experience into three parts, the Resort and and Park Villa (this review), the The Park Hyatt Maldives Overwater Villa (and the world class house reef) and A visit to Gemanafushi Inhabited Atoll.
This post is one chapter in our trip to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and the Maldives on United Airlines and Etihad Airways. This trip was booked and credited to Aeroplan and Etihad Preferred Guest. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Trip Introduction: The Empty Quarter of the United Arab Emirates, Doha Qatar and Huvadhoo Atoll Maldives via United Airlines and Etihad Airways.
- United Airlines: Vancouver – San Franciso – Washington Dulles
- United Airlines: Washington Dulles – Dubai
- United Airlines: Dubai – Doha
- Oryx Lounge, Doha International Airport, Doha, Qatar
- Etihad Business Class: Doha – Abu Dhabi
- The Grosvenor House, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Qsar Al Sarab, The Empty Quarter, United Arab Emirates
- Qsar Al Sarab, Activities (Camels and Dune Dashing), The Empty Quarter, United Arab Emirates
- Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Getting into the Emirates Palace Hotel & Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi – Malé
- Sheraton Full Moon Resort and Spa, Maldives
- Maldivian Air, Malé – Kadhdhoo – Kooddoo
- Park Hyatt Maldives – Park Villa
- Park Hyatt Maldives – Water Villa
- Visiting an Inhabited Island, Gemanafushi Island, Maldives
- Maldivian Air, Kooddoo – Malé
- Etihad Airways, Malé – Abu Dhabi
- Etihad Airways Pearl Business Lounge, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi – Doha
- Marriott Doha Hotel, Doha, Qatar
- Doha, Qatar
- United Airlines, Doha – Dubai
- Marhaba Lounge, Dubai Terminal 3, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- United Airlines, Dubai – Washington Dulles
- United Airlines, Washington Dulles – Los Angeles – Vancouver
Review: Park Hyatt Maldives, Hadahaa, North Huvadhoo, Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Republic of Maldives – Resort and Park Villa
“Quite possibly the best private island beach hotel in the world”
There is a lot to talk about with this property and this part of the world. As a result, I’ll cover our four stay stay experience here in three separate posts:
- The Park Hyatt Maldives – Resort and Park Villa
- The Park Hyatt Maldives Overwater Villa
- A visit to Gemenafushi Inhabited Atoll
Booking and Getting there:
After some hunting around, as I had described earlier, we decided on the Park Hyatt Maldives. It met all the things we were looking for, remote location, excellent house reef, and a unique, isolated experience. Built in 2009, the resort was so remote and new on our visit in 2012, it had not even made it to Google Earth yet (although it did show up on Microsoft Bing maps). Even the airport we were to land at (GKK) hadn’t even made it to the Great Circle Mapper.
Thanks to another blogger, I discovered that Hyatt offered a 50% off rate (which was an actual true 50% off) advertising on the Ethiad UK version of the website under the specials page. The Terms and Conditions were that you had to fly into the Maldives on Ethiad and credit your resort points to Ethiad Preferred Guest (instead of Park Hyatt Passport). The Park Villa came to $540 per night and Water Villa came to $820 per night. The resort featured 50 separate villa’s, compared to the Sheraton’s 176 rooms, making for a much quieter and exclusive experience.
I covered the hotel arranged transfer in this earlier post on flying on Maldavian. The hotel typically books the transfers on your behalf as they have to co-ordinate boat, planes and hosts at each point in your journey.
A comment about the different rooms to those considering a stay here. There are three categories of rooms: Beach Villa, Pool Villa (a beach villa with a private plunge pool) and Water Villa. If you are watching your pennies, the beach rooms are perfectly fine. Although you won’t get the over water experience, when we visited, the resort was deserted enough that you essentially get your own private beach front with two lawn chairs. Aside from meal times, you might see one or two other couples the entire day. The main pool is always empty, and there is a general beach area in front of the pool that was deserted every single day we were there. Although it’s nice having your own plunge pool, I doubt that I would get the value out of it.
I’ve attached a resort map here in case you want to make specific room requests. Likely the worst room in my opinion would be Villa #1 facing the jetty as it’s the least private. The best rooms would be the west facing Villa’s for the sunset (#26-51 although you might not be able to see the sunset from inside your Park / Pool villa due to the vegetation growth). The Dawn Jetty was not used for passenger transport during our stay, it was used for food deliveries at odd hours, so there wasn’t a lot of traffic too and from it.
Arriving to the Park Hyatt Maldives:
After the high of the dolphin sighting before we knew it, we were at the welcome jetty of the resort. I will just come out and say it – after traveling through more than 50 countries throughout the world, this resort stay experience was the best of them all to date. We had such a fantastic stay that the memories of it will be etched into our minds for the rest of our life.
A whole army of staff had come to meet us, including the general manager Pierre Lang and the operations manager. There were at least 5 hosts greeting us on the jetty. We were escorted into the dhoni (a relaxing area in the form of an upside down boat sculpted to look like local transport) for check in. We were given iced tea while our information was obtained. Once that was completed, we were led into a golf cart to be taken to the room.
We had designed our stay for two nights in a Park Villa and two nights in an Over Water Villa. This way, we’d get to experience the best of both worlds.
We were assigned Park Villa #23, which was located on the SSE portion of the island.
The Room: A Park Villa
We were led to Park Villa #23 by golf cart to start our stay. The bags were transferred separately and discreetly. It was a south facing separated villa. The design of the building was fabulous. The villa had a separate bathroom and sink area for men and women, and was complete with an outdoor AND indoor shower. It was, in my opinion, supreme luxury. Needless to say, Ms WT73 was very impressed. Everything was to her expectations – and believe me sometimes they are high expectations!!
The bedroom to the villa was very spacious. As a detached private villa, there was ample room to move around. Being situated in the tropical forest on a private island, there wasn’t much noise around.
The bedroom led to a massive indoor / outdoor washroom which included an outdoor shower.
The villa was equipped with an iPad that contained all the features of the resort, including menus for all the restaurants. In essence, the iPad replaced the usual worn information binder that is found everywhere else. The iPad also contained information surrounding the common flowers, fauna and fish seen around the resort.
The room was super comfortable. Although it did not have a private plunge pool, we often were up at the main pool. We’d later stay in a Park Hyatt Maldives Pool Villa on a separate later stay.
Around the Park Hyatt Maldives Private Island Shoreline:
We were at the edge of the world. Spending days at the beach on Hadahaa was like spending time in complete solitude. There wasn’t a plane seen overhead, a boat passing by on the horizon or the polluting lights of the big city. There was almost nothing between us and Antartica to the south, and Africa to the west.
Meanwhile, the resort continued to impress. The resort had a total feel of exclusivity to it. We were the only guests on the main beach area and had the whole place to ourselves. The entire time we were there, I never saw anyone in the main swimming pool. ! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves here.
The Park Hyatt Maldives Pool and Beach Area:
Since we were in a Park Villa, there was no attached pool to the villa. This meant that we needed to use the main pool or official beach area if we were seeking a lounger to relax on. Since about half of the Island villas are Pool Villa’s, and there are a substantial amount of people enjoying the Overwater Villas’, the pool and beach area were mostly deserted throughout our stay.
Near the beach area was also the hotel beach bar.
Food and Beverage:
There are two primary food and beverage outlets at this resort. Being that you’re on a private island, there’s the hotel restaurants and nothing else. The “Dining Room” and the “Island Grill” are the two outlets. The Dining Room is located just off the main pool area and offers all day dining with breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Island Grill is located a short distance away and is highlighted by having a sandy bottom floor.
During our stay, breakfast was included on all stays and rates, including Hyatt Gold Passport reward stays. However, this has since changed where it is not included with all rates so make sure you check your inclusions prior to stay. The included breakfasts included the freshly baked pastries, fresh fruit and juices. Most interestingly, there were the transitional Maldivian tuna offered at breakfast (second level of the etagere) which I really enjoyed.
We did enjoy some dinners at the Island Grill. The Island Grill features meats and fish in the a la carte format. It’s a neat experience to have any dinner with your toes resting on top of silky white sand. We had several memorable meals here on this trip.
The Park Hyatt Maldives Summary:
The Park Hyatt Maldives has been one of my most exotic and exciting hotel stays ever. It offers a private island experience with luxurious villas and crystal clear blue waters. The villas are stylish and comfortable, and the private island of Hadahaa is a wonderful get away that is ringed by a sandy beach. Not to mention the isolation of the property, it’s a great hide-away if you are lucky enough to get here.
In the next post, we’ll explore other aspects of the Park Hyatt Maldives by taking a look into these areas:
- The Park Hyatt Maldives Overwater Villa (and the world class house reef)
- A visit to Gemanafushi Inhabited Atoll