How does a Luxury Hotel on a Private Island Work? The Guided “Back of House” tour at the Park Hyatt Maldives
The Back of House Tour at the Park Hyatt Maldives generated an interesting look at how a luxury hotel on a private island operates. I certainly had lots of questions: What do they do with all the trash? How to they fix the broken chairs? How is the laundry completed – on site or off site? While an operations tour isn’t something that I’d typically be in to when I would travel, the Park Hyatt Guided Back of House tour was an interesting experience and view into hotel operations.
This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. 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: Vietnam, Maldives and India. Round the World #3 in Star Alliance Business Class via Air Canada, Asiana, Singapore, Air India, Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver International
- Air Canada Business Class: Vancouver International – Seoul Incheon
- The Nest Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class Lounge: Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers, Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Restaurant Review: Nhà Hàng Ngon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
- Trading at Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. Travelling Ho Chi Minh City to Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. The Canals of Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City Airport Lounge – Fin Bar
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore
- Westin Singapore
- Shopping at Retail Giants on Orchard Road, Singapore
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge: Changi Airport Terminal 2
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Hotel Jen Maldives Malé by Shangri La, Malé, Maldives
- Street Life in Malé. A Day Walking the Republic’s Maldivian Capital
- Maldivian Moonmia Domestic Lounge, Malé Ibrahim Nasir Domestic
- Maldivan Airlines: Malé – Koodhoo
- Park Hyatt Maldives
- Circumnavigating Hadadaa Island, Maldives
- The Guided Back of House Tour, Park Hyatt Maldives
- Snorkelling the Park Hyatt Maldives House Reef
- Sunsets on Hadahaa Island, Hudavdoo Atoll, Maldives
- The Leeli Lounge – Male International Airport
- Air India: Male Thiruvananthapuram
- Air India: Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai
- Air India Maharajah Lounge: Chennai Madras International Airport
- Air India Business Class: Chennai – New Delhi
- The Leela Palace, New Delhi, India
- Jama Masjid, New Delhi
- Stepping into Chandi Chowk, New Delhi, India
- Overland Travel: New Delhi to Agra by BMW Luxury Sedan
- The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
- The Walled City of Agra, Agra, India
- Air India Maharajah Lounge, Indira Ghandi Domestic, New Delhi
- Air India: New Delhi – Jaipur
- The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
- Walking the Old City of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and City Palace, Jaipur
- A Day in the Footsteps of Royalty, Touring Amber Fort, Jaipur
- Air India: Jaipur – New Delhi
- ITC Muraya Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, New Delhi
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, Indira Ghandi International Airport, New Delhi
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: New Delhi – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk Business Lounge
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Montreal
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Montreal Domestic
- Air Canada Business Class: Montreal – Vancouver
How does a Luxury Hotel on a Private Island Work? The Guided “Back of House” Tour at the Park Hyatt Maldives.
“The Back of House Tour provided insight on how to run a sustainable luxury hotel in a remote and difficult to access location.”
On this visit to the Park Hyatt Maldives, we stayed in a wonderful Park Hyatt Maldives Pool Villa. We also had the opportunity to circumnavigate the Hadahaa Island, took in a back of house tour, explored and snorkled the wonderful Hadahaa house reef, and enjoyed many sunsets on Hadahaa.
One of the interesting features that the Park Hyatt Maldives had formalized since our last visit is the “back of house” tour. The tour features a walk through of the living areas of the private island, and what it takes to run a hotel in the middle of nowhere. During our visit, the tour was running twice a week in the early afternoon and was offered on a complimentary basis.
The Guided Back of House Tour:
Overall, it’s a pretty impressive effort of what it takes to make all the magic happen. Its easy to be critical about things when travel. Requests don’t get completed, room service arrives cold or late. One thing I learned about the Hadahaa adventure is that the total service experience doesn’t happen by accident. It’s even more staggering when you consider that this place is in the middle of nowhere and everything has to be shipped in at great distances.
The back of house is in the center of the island of Hadahaa. The staff compound is in a circular format. There are up to 175 staff working for the Park Hyatt Maldives (including the part time ones; gardners, plumbers etc) and 90 staff living on site. Most of the staff are double, if not dormitory style bunked.
The resort has it’s own waste management facility which includes organic composting, manual separation of all trash for recyclables and solid wastes. Amazingly, someone is sorting all trash from the villas and other areas to minimize the waste footprint.
How Laundry is Done:
There were giant laundry machines responsible for the crisp sheets in our villas.
How the Resort gets Power:
The resort is powered by diesel generators that extend power across the island. There are four of them on site, with extras in case mechanical failure.
Where the staff eat and exercise:
There was also an area for general administrative offices a staff canteen for food, in addition to a soccer field for some healthy exercise.
What happens to things that break?
Being in the middle of nowhere, all repairs need to be made on site. Staff were repairing office chairs and other assorted pieces of furniture that needed attention.
How does the Resort communicate with the outside world?
There was also a large cell tower in the middle of the island for all of the digital communications. They’ve done such a good job hiding this thing, because it’s not visible from other parts of the island unless you are looking for it. Overall, I found the cellular coverage good to very good throughout the villas. I didn’t use Skype or VOIP, or download movies, but the coverage for email was excellent.
Where does the Resort get their drinking water from?
The resort desalinates their own water, instead of bringing in more expensive bottled water. The bottling station uses high temperature washing to clean all the water bottles prior to re-filling them. Any glass bottles that are accidentally broken on site are taken off the island and disposed of by crushing in an organic manner.
How I felt that the Back of House Tour generated goodwill:
The back of house tour was a pretty fascinating insight into how the resort runs. It’s probably not something I’d be interested in seeing at every hotel I stayed at. Given the unique remote distance challenges here in the South Maldives, I found the experience to be engaging and fascinating on how they execute a luxury stay in the middle of nowhere. It also built a lot of goodwill on my part towards the staff in how they deal with problems. Many of them have to make substantial sacrifices to move to paradise. The ninety staff have to stay on site since there is no commuting to and from the private island. When they do so, they have to double bunk in order to serve guests, with limited privacy compared to the opposite end of the spectrum for their fortunate guests who get among the most private hotel rooms in the Hyatt franchise. The staff also live in basic accommodations, compared with the luxury that Hyatt aims to achieve for their guests. Indeed, the tour was a terrific look into a day in the life of hotel operations. It’s highly recommended if you happen to stay here and have an interest in the travel industry.