Let’s Break it Down: Our $59,000 Honeymoon – Abu Dhabi and The Maldives

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Let’s Break it Down: Our $59,000 Honeymoon – Abu Dhabi and The Maldives

Cost: The Park Hyatt Honeymoon

After leaving the Andaz we headed back home to plan our next adventure!  As I like to do with our big trips, I will use this post to try to breakdown the costs of the hotel and flight portion of the trip.  These costs include what I had to actually pay for as well as the the money it might have cost me to produce the points/miles we used for this trip.

The cost and/or fees are rounded to the nearest dollar and the actual cost of the flight or hotel is approximate at the time of booking.  For example if it cost $2,235.78, I probably just put $2,200.

If you missed our adventure, here is a recap

park hyatt honeymoon trip breakdown cost maldives abu dhabi wasington dc

Park Hyatt Honeymoon Trip Report:

HOTELS

Park Hyatt Washington, DC x 1 Night (usually around $320 or more/night)

This was our first hotel of the trip and a great place to start.  It cost us 20K Hyatt points.  I used a lot of Hyatt points on this trip so I had to kind of decide in my mind which ones came from where.  In the end I will explain why these are even cheaper than originally thought.  My manufactured spending method of choice at the time of this produces 1K points per $5.90 plus I always have some Hyatt points from different stays so that number is a bit diluted, but I will over estimate on this one.

cost park hyatt washington dc

Our cost: Manufactured Spending + points from stays =20K = <$118

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi x 3 Nights (usually around $450/night for suite)

We used Points + Cash for this stay.  As a category 5 hotel it is 10K Hyatt points AND $125 per night (20K for just points).  I then applied one of my Diamond Suite Upgrades to get us into a suite.  Using the same method as above we can figure out a rough estimate of what it cost me.  Again, I put a “<” in place because I am not really factoring in the points I obtain from just staying at Hyatt throughout the year.

cost points park hyatt abu dhabi

Our cost: MS + ($125×3) = 30K points + $375 = <$552

Park Hyatt Maldives x 4 Nights (usually $1000-$1400/night + $500/person transfer fee)

This hotel cost 25K a night and was a category 6 hotel when we booked it.  Now this is where the real savings compared to retail cost came into play.  For our first two nights I used 50K Hyatt points which cost me ZERO.  Katie’s parents got these points for our reception being at a Hyatt and gave them to us (along with more Hyatt points which won’t be in this analysis).  For our next two nights we used 2 FREE night certificates from the Hyatt Credit Card bonus that we met from everyday spending!

So what about the $500 per person transfer fee??  You can’t use Hyatt points for that!  True, but you can use Barclay Arrival points and during the couple months that you were able to load your Target RedCard for free with credit cards I racked up about $1200 worth of points, so that’s covered it with some to money to burn!

For 3 of the nights I paid for an upgrade to an Overwater room which was further upgraded to a Sunset Overwater room ($1200-1400/night) which was $450/night upgrade cost after tax and fees.  I had to do it, it was our honeymoon!! We can apply that extra $200 from the Arrival points to this cost.

cost points park hyatt maldives

Our cost:
*Free wedding points (50K)+ 2 Free night certificate + ($450*3) -200 = 4 night = $1150
*Transfer fee ($1000) = 100K Barclay Points = $0

Andaz West Hollywood x 1 Night (Usually $440/night)

This is yet another category 5 hotel which usually cost 20K points, but we used points plus cash so it was 10K Hyatt points and $125.  I then added another of my Diamond Suite Upgrades to put us in a suite!  We will use the same math as we did for the PH Abu Dhabi here.

cost points andaz west hollywood los angeles

Our cost: MS + $125 = 10K + $125 =<$184

But as I said in the beginning there was actually more value in this than originally thought.  During our trip Hyatt and the Hyatt Credit card were running a promotion that you would get 20% of all points redemptions back during the spring which is right when this trip took place.  It was actually going on during our trip to Tokyo but I forgot to mention it in that break down.

So, total points used were 110K, and 20% of them back would be 22K.  Not a bad gift to receive after an amazing trip!  If we want to we can apply the reverse math from previous manufactured spending to give us back 22 x $5.90 = –$130

FLIGHTS

1) United Economy SPI-ORD-DCA x 2   (20K United miles total)

Even though this is a seemingly unimpressive flight from a small town in IL to Washington DC, it still would have been a bit pricey.  If you want to fly out of a small airport on a Friday after work then it’s gonna cost you.  Luckily there would be very little money exchanged.  The cost for this flight would have been about $340 per person. However, I got the Chase United Airlines credit card which at the time came with a 50K miles bonus after spending $2K plus another 5K with an authorized user purchase.  The manufactured spending cost me about $16.  We used 20K of these miles plus $11 to get our 2 tickets to DC to start our trip!  That left us over 35K miles to use at another time.

Our cost: United Card Bonus + MS ($16) + $11 = 20K = $27

2) Etihad First Class IAD-AUH x 2   (180K American Airlines miles total)

For all of our international flights I used American Airlines miles.  As I talk about in our Tokyo/Seoul Breakdown, at the time I booked this flight the vast majority of my large stockpile of America Airlines miles were from getting the 100K mile sign-up bonus over and over from the Citi/AA Executive card.  Due to getting this bonus and some creative manufactured spending combined with prompt cancellations, I was able to obtain well over 600K miles for around $0.0017 per mile.  This mile cost is what I will use for each of these flights to see how much they cost.  In reality the miles could have been cheaper as I was also obtaining miles through flying, shopping portals and everyday spend.

This flight had a telephone booking fee (which no longer exists for flights not bookable online) of $70 total and tax of $8 total.  At the time of booking, two tickets on this flight cost $29,000.

etihad first class cost miles

Our cost: 180K*0.0017 + $78 = $384

3) Etihad Business Class AUH-MLE x 2   (50K American Airlines miles total)

For this flight we will use the same mile cost as above.  With this flight there was again the telephone fee of $70 and tax of $44.  At the time of booking,  two tickets on this exact flight cost $3000.

etihad business class cost miles

Our cost: 50K*0.0017 + $114 = $119

4) Cathay Pacific Business Class MLE-HKG x 2   (60K American Airline miles total)

Again we will use the same calculation as above with the mile price of $0.0017.  There was a total fee of $202 for this flight and the next flight combined so I will just add it on to the next flight calculation.  At the time of booking, two tickets on this exact flight cost $3900.

cathay pacific business class cost miles

Our cost: 60K*0.0017 + (fee is included in the next ticket price) = $102

5) Cathay Pacific First Class HKG-LAX x 2   (135K American Airlines miles total)

For our final calculation for a flight that used AA miles we will again use the $0.0017 value.  As I mentioned above there were a total of $202 in fees for this and the last flight combined which I will put into this cost.  At the time of the booking, two tickets on this exact flight cost $14,000.

cathay pacific first class cost miles

Our cost: 135K*0.0017 + $202 = $431

6) United Economy LAX-ORD-SPI x 2   (25K United miles total)

For our final flight of the trip we used more of our United miles from the sign up bonus.  The calculation would technically be without the manufactured spend that we added before because these are the same group of the miles and that cost is already added in on our first flight so really it’s just the fee.  This flight at the time of booking was $350 per person.  And we still has over 10K United miles left from that one bonus!

Our cost: Sign up bonus + $11 = $11

CONCLUSION

  • 9 Total nights at PH Washington DC, Abdu Dhabi and Maldives (& transfer cost) and Andaz WH for 2 people= <$1874  (This is with the cost of the 20% rebate points subtracted)
  • 3 Flights (Economy, First and Business)to the Maldives for 2 people = $530
  • 3 Flights (Business, First and Economy) back from the Maldives for 2 people = $544

****TOTAL COST OUT OF POCKET of hotels and flights on this trip = $2948

****RETAIL PRICE of these flights and hotels = $59,500

Now, could I have done this trip in a similar fashion but for a cheaper cost?  Absolutely!  At the cost I was getting my Hyatt points, it would have been cheaper to pay all points at some places and not use my Suite upgrades.  I could have saved over $1100 by not upgrading us in the Maldives also.  Finally, I could have taken a cheaper route in terms of airline miles, but you know what? It was my honeymoon and I didn’t care!!!!

So, is traveling in this luxury style free? Of course not!  But being able to travel like this, and for a tiny fraction of the cost, is what I LOVE about miles and points!!

(As I mentioned in our 10 ways to save money at the Park Hyatt Maldives post, we were fortunate to get a lot of Hyatt gifts in our Hyatt honeymoon registry which actually lowered our cost much further 😉 )

4 Comments on “Let’s Break it Down: Our $59,000 Honeymoon – Abu Dhabi and The Maldives

    • Thanks! For this itinerary it did cost extra miles because we spent 3 days in Abu Dhabi and with American Airlines miles you can’t have a stopover of more than 24hrs. Therefore is had to be 2 separate tickets. I certainly could have constructed an itinerary where we could have flown there for just the 90K miles per person but I wanted to spend some time in Abu Dhabi since I didn’t know when I would be flying through the area again.

  1. I have a question. What is the baggage allowance on the maldivian flights? (local to park hyatt) and what is the charge for extra baggages? Thanks!

    • I’m actually not 100% sure. We had 2 fairly large, heavy suitcases and then 3 total small carry-on bags and there were no problems or extra fees. Since the hotel takes care of everything and even checks you and your bags in while you wait in the lounge I didn’t actually look much into it. However, here is a page I found that seems to have more information: http://maldivian.aero/flying-with-us/before-you-fly/faq.html

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