Updated on January 26, 2016
HOTEL REVIEW: PARK HYATT MALDIVES
After a flight to spend a day in Washington DC, a flight to spend 3 days in Abu Dhabi, an Etihad A320, a puddle jumper and a boat ride, we had FINALLY arrived….the Park Hyatt Maldives!
This a truly special and amazing place. And because of that, I have decided to divide my review of the
hotel island paradise into three posts. This first post will focus on the island as a whole while the next two will be focused on the two different rooms types we experienced during our stay.
Upon pulling up to the arrival jetty at the Park Hyatt Maldives we were greeted by the general managers as well as almost a dozen staff members. We were immediately introduced to our personal host for the stay. She led us down to the check-in area inside a beautiful upside down Dhoni. We quickly signed a few forms and loaded into a golf cart with our luggage to go to our room – an OVER WATER VILLA! (Upgrade that I will talk more about in the next post)
As we were getting there at night we explored our new home for a few minutes and headed to bed, ready to wake up nice and early for a great sunrise!
As I mentioned earlier, the resort takes up the entire island. You can easily walk the circumference in about 10 minutes. When looking out you are able to see a few random islands in the distance depending on what side you are on. So, if you weren’t aware of how remote you were by the travel, you can certainly feel it when you are there.
This is a perfect place to disconnect and relax. One of the reason we actually ended up going to Abu Dhabi before the Maldives is because I usually need to be pretty active and I didn’t think I could just lay around for 6 or 7 days (I think I was wrong about that btw haha).
The resort is kind of designed with the guest villas around the outside of the island with the staff lodging in the middle of the island. The staff lounging is fairly well incorporated into the island and certainly not obvious when walking around.
The island also has a very “island feel.” By that I mean it feels like a hotel incorporated onto an indigenous island instead of some commercialized, all-inclusive resort that looks the same as any number of places. The Park Hyatt Maldives is truly unique.
There are 50 total villas and 3 different room types at the resort, all built from the same basic frame and then arranged to suit that villa type. The basic room is the Park Villa of which there are 16. The next room type is the Pool Villa. This is the exact same structure and design at the Park Villa except that the empty space at the front of the Park Villa is filled with a plunge pool. This is the most plentiful on the island at 20 villas and we stayed in one of these our last day/night.
Finally there are the Overwater Villas. These used to all be classified as the same room, but a few months before booking our trip they had divide these up into three different types so they could charge people more money the farther their villa is out into the water. There is a Park Water Villa for villas numbered 38-45, the Park Water Sunset Villas (what we stayed in) numbered 46-51 and if you want to guarantee you are in one of the last two villas that is an even further charge.
We will go more into the cost of these, how Katie and I got a Sunset Water Villa (because we certainly didn’t pay for one) and other aspects of lodging in our Park Hyatt Maldives Park Pool Villa and Park Water Villa later this week.
Obviously since you are stuck on a small island your only options are what they provide you at the resort. There are three dining area on the island which are all pretty much right next to each other as well as room service which can be ordered 24 hours a day and private beach dining options.
Island Grill– This is a restaurant set on the beach, just inside the palm trees, right next to the main complex of the resort. Even though we never ate here, it is certainly my kind of place as your tables are right there in the sand and they serve a variety of great seafood. You can see their menu HERE. It is open for dinner only.
The Bar– This is right next to the Island Grill and was a great place to relax in the evening or during sunset and grab a drink and a snack. This is also where Diamond Members can get their Sundowner benefit. We really liked this open air bar and spent every evening either here or on the beach in front of it. Along with the canapes which came with our free drinks each night we also tried the little personal pizza (one of the cheapest things on the menu) and they were actually REALLY good. I was pleasantly surprised. It is open from 10am until the last guest leaves.
The Dining Room– This is the main building on the grounds which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We went here every morning for breakfast which we were able to have for free as another Diamond benefit. I forgot to take a picture of the menu so here is the link to the breakfast menu. Each morning we were presented with a tower of food which usually had different exotic fruits on top, tuna mashuni on the second level and then pastries on the bottom. To go along with this we usually ordered 1-2 entrees and some juice as well as a cappuccino or coffee. You can order anything you want off the menu and looking at the online version I realize there are other selection that aren’t showing up on there. I tried different things every morning but I must say I was partial to the mashuni and the French Toast, very different but both AWESOME! You cannot get a better view for breakfast.
The rest of the Grounds
Let me walk you through the resort starting at the arrival pier, through the upside down relaxation dhoni, to the main complex and around the back to the gym and spa!
Now there are lots of different activities that can be booked while at the Park Hyatt Maldives and their iPad App does a good job at showing you all of them. They range from scuba diving, to a trip to the equator, fishing trip or even a private island picnic! There is also many different Spa and yoga options to choose from and a free back of the house tour to see how the island runs. Katie and I didn’t do any of these (except the Spa) but I am sure they are a fantastic time, but also as you would expect, a bit pricey. Here are some of the activities that we did:
Having Diamond status at this hotel is very very useful. Your benefits include:
The service was excellent and incredible friendly. It may not be as polished as some other very expensive luxury resorts, but they hire local people to work here and they need to learn on the job. You get a personal host when you arrive who will plan anything you need and is always available. We didn’t really use this but it is a nice perk and, during our massages, our host was sitting outside the Spa with a golf cart to drive us back to our Villa! That was a very nice touch. There was really nothing they could do to be more accommodating and they genuinely seemed to want to help and make sure you had the best time possible.
FANTASTIC! There were A LOT of expectations coming into this stay and it lived up to all of them! Is it far away and hard to get to? YEP! Because of that, is it super secluded, extremely quiet, and probably the most relaxing place I have ever been? YEP!
I don’t know if we will ever have the opportunity to come back here, but it was worth the trip. Being able to stay here for the fraction of the cost (as we will discuss in the ROOM REVIEWS) it really was just an unbelievable experience.
Later this week I will also have a post on the best ways to save big money when going to the PH Maldives!