The Two Million Mile Honeymoon Luxury Travel at Budget Rates

Park Hyatt Maldives – Park Villa

Last year for Dhara’s birthday we spent 5 nights at the Conrad Maldives and she loved it so much that she asked to go back for her birthday this year. The only problem was that our trip to the Conrad last year was too perfect. So perfect in fact, that we decided it would be a bad idea to try to recreate it, so we decided to visit the Park Hyatt Maldives this time around.

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The Private Island the Park Hyatt Occupies is Spectacular

Planning, Costs & Arrival

We booked 5 nights at a rate of 25k Hyatt Points per night. We transferred in almost the entire 125k points from Chase Ultimate Rewards because we barely had any Hyatt points in our account. The base room, The Park Villa, goes for about $1300 per night during the January peak season, so this was a great deal on points.

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Park Villa – Base Room

The Park Hyatt Maldives was the first stop on our current 3 month trip that will also include India, Abu Dhabi, London, Madeira, New Zealand, and French Polynesia. We flew Etihad Business Class out here for 67.5k AA miles each.

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Etihad Business Class JFK-AUH-MLE

On top of the miles for the flights and the points for the villa any trip to the Maldives will incur a fairly large out of pocket cost for three things: transfers from the airport to the resort, food, and activities.

Airport Transfers - The transfers between Male International Airport and the Park Hyatt are downright terrible. On top of being expensive ($1040 for a couple) they’re gruelling and involve two domestic flights and a speedboat ride. Each way was an uncomfortable 4 hour ordeal as opposed to the Conrad transfers which (while just as expensive) consisted of a fun 40 minute ride in a cool seaplane.

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The Lounge in Male Airport While Waiting for the Domestic Flight

Before venturing to the Park Hyatt we spent the night in Male and asked to be scheduled on the first transfer the following morning. We were instructed to arrive at the airport at 5:30am and things started off nicely as a Park Hyatt staff member met us and brought us into the nice domestic lounge to await our flight. But after a delay, a 60 minute flight, 30 minutes on the ground at an intermediate airport, another 30 minute flight, a five minute ride in a golf cart and a 40 minute speedboat ride we finally arrived a full 5 hours later.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Speedboat

The transfer back to Male was even worse. It was the same ordeal but there’s no lounge to wait in and no clean toilets. Also, a Park Hyatt porter decided to try to lift Dhara’s luggage by the fabric instead of the handle, tore a huge hole in the side of it and then walked away as if nothing happened. After the 4+ hour transfer back to Male the Park Hyatt was a distant memory, we were exhausted, and felt like we needed a vacation.

Food - Eating and drinking are very expensive at the resort but it’s not too difficult to keep costs down with a little planning. The best thing to do would be to have Hyatt Diamond Status which gets you free Breakfast every morning and free Cocktails and Canapes every evening. Unfortunately, we only have Hyatt Platinum status which gets you exactly diddly and squat.

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Pancakes – Park Hyatt Maldives

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Breakfast Tuna & Poached Eggs – Park Hyatt Maldives

We had breakfast the first morning and it was fine, but at $95 for a couple I would recommend skipping it if you’re not getting it for free. We brought a $5 box of instant oatmeal with us and ate that for the next four mornings instead of spending another $380 on mediocre breakfasts.

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The Dining Room – Park Hyatt Maldives

For dinner, you have the option of eating at the Dining Room, the Island Grill, or the Bar. We ate at both the Dining Room and the Bar and found the food to be decent and not too outrageously priced considering how remote and high end the property was.

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Ribs in the Dining Room

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Mini Pizza at the Bar

A couple could easily rack up a $300+ bill each night at dinner with multiple courses and drinks, but we would generally just get an entree and a drink each and our bill would be right around $100 in the Dining Room or even less if we ate at the bar. A pretty reasonable price for dinner in paradise. What seemed unreasonable was the fact that they charge for drinking water in the restaurant. The same stuff that’s free and unlimited in your room is $10 per bottle at dinner.

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Drinking Water – Free in the Room, $10 in the Restaurant

On the topic of eating and drinking, there is a once a week Manager’s Cocktail Reception that all guests are invited to. We enjoyed it, especially the complimentary cocktails. Don’t skip it.

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Manager’s Cocktail Reception – Held Inside on Account of Rain

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Canapes and (First Round of) Cocktails

Activities - I spent almost $300 on a couple of dives last year in the Maldives and was planning on doing the same this year but snorkeling on the house reef at the Park Hyatt was so amazing that I didn’t even bother with diving, which saved me a bit of cash. I went snorkeling every day, often straight from the beach in front of our bungalow and always seemed to find something new and exciting each day including Sharks, a Sea Turtle, a Moray Eel, and an Octopus. We loved the house reef at the Conrad last year but the one at the Park Hyatt is considerably better. Truly stunning.

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Black Tipped Reef Shark – Right by Our Villa

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Blue Surgeon Fish

Speaking of stunning, the water was mesmerizing. It was easy to spend an entire day swimming in it or just staring into it.

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Snorkeling

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Just Enjoying the View

 Park Villa - The base room at the Park Hyatt Maldives, the Park Villa, is fantastic. It is private, well appointed and larger than the base room at the Conrad.

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Park Villa from the Beach

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Park Villa – Floor Plan

The bedroom section contains a very comfortable king bed, as well as a daybed beside the floor to ceiling windows which look out to the ocean.

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Park Hyatt Maldives – Bedroom

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Park Hyatt Maldives – Bedroom

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Park Hyatt Maldives – Bedroom

The bathroom was even more impressive. The interior section contained separate his and hers sinks and storage areas, as well as an indoor shower, outdoor shower and outdoor tub.

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Park Hyatt Maldives – Park Villa

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Park Hyatt Maldives – Bathroom

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Park Hyatt Maldives – Bathroom

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Park Hyatt Maldives – Outdoor Shower & Tub

The best part of the villa, by far, was that it was just a few steps away from our own perfect little paradise.

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Park Hyatt Maldives

Around the Resort - Like the Conrad Maldives, the Park Hyatt Maldives is postcard perfect everywhere you look. It’s also a bit smaller than the Conrad (just 51 villas) which makes it feel incredibly secluded and quiet. There were several times when we would go swimming in front of our villa and not see another person for 30 minutes.

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Park Hyatt Maldives

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Park Hyatt Maldives

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Park Hyatt Maldives

Another thing that stood out to us was that the staff seemed a bit…weird. Last year at the Conrad our personal attendant was really friendly and helpful. The attendant the Park Hyatt assigned to us was awkward, and quite frankly, a pest. He called our room several times to talk about nothing but wouldn’t get off the phone. He was always trying to sell us on some expensive dinner, spa treatment, or excursion and didn’t seem to respond to any normal human social cues. He seemed to watch us while we had dinner and then sprung upon us as soon as our food arrived and kept us from eating by asking a series of questions that were either nonsensical, irrelevant, or borderline inappropriate.

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Can’t you see how busy I am?

The day before Dhara’s birthday he tried to sell me on a very expensive private dinner on the beach, and when I declined he offered a complimentary birthday cake which he said he’d bring to our table after we finished dinner. He showed up to our dinner table the next night and, as usual, prevented us from eating by mumbling nonsense for ten minutes but didn’t bring a cake. 30 minutes after dinner he called our room to ask me why he forgot to bring the cake. Seriously, that’s what this imbecile asked me. He then said he’d bring the cake to our room and I told him not to bother. About 90 minutes later, after we had gone to sleep someone started banging on our door. I opened it to find a room service attendant with a birthday cake. We ate it for breakfast the next morning.

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In fairness, it was a nice cake

Aside from the bizarre personal attendant assigned to us our five nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives were blissful. It is truly an amazing paradise island.

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Our Last Day in Paradise

But, despite the Park Hyatt Maldives itself being a slice of heaven I think the awful transfers to and from Male will keep us from making a return trip.

 

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