The Park Hyatt Maldives is no small investment in terms of cost and time. But for my wife and me, it was a very special belated honeymoon trip.
When Heidi and I got married, we were both too busy to go on an extended honeymoon. Instead, we took a train from Stuttgart to Paris and spent a few days in the City of Lights before returning to Frankfurt.
Almost two years later, we finally had time for a real honeymoon and chose India and the Maldives. We figured after a fairly hectic schedule in India, we’d take a week to relax in the Maldives.
It’s difficult to consolidate all of my thoughts into a single review post, but I think having everything together will be more helpful than separate posts on the villa, the dining, and the activities. So here goes. As a reminder, this stay took place in 2016, though this review has never been published.
Park Hyatt Maldives Location
Let’s start with the difficulty in getting to this resort. Most see this as a big negative, but I was quite happy to truly be isolated. The fact that it took such an effort to reach meant that it would not be filled children with running around…the peaceful tranquility is a key selling point. And note that while children are permitted at this property, we did not see a single child during our stay.
I’ve already detailed here how to reach the property. It will require a flight into Male, then a domestic connection to Kooddoo, and finally a 30-minute boat trip to the island.
Upon arrival, a member of the staff was waiting at the dock to greet us, driving us in a golf cart to the Dhoni Lounge where check-in took place. A dhoni is multi-purpose sailboat resembling a traditional Arab sailing vessel. This lounge is like a boat flipped upside down.
Inside is an area to lounge or take part in dominoes or chess. Once a week, on Saturday evenings, a manager’s reception takes place. Although held on the beach as weather permits, ours was held inside the Dhoni lounge and featured complimentary drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a Boduberu performance, and even free chair massages.
One more note on the location. Do note that you truly are on a private island away from civilization. The island even has its own time zone separate from Male to better coincide with sunrise and sunsets.
Park Hyatt Maldives Park Pool Villa
We were assigned villa #21, a Park Pool Villa, which represented a one category upgrade from the baseline Park Villa room. The 180 square meter (~1937 square foot) villa included a private plunge pool and sun deck, large room with a king bed and chaise lounge, an outdoor bathtub and rain shower area, indoor shower, and spacious bathroom.
You are assigned a point of contact at the hotel. In our case, it was Ameez. We had exchanged emails setting up the domestic transfers and he also asked if we were celebrating a special occasion. I mentioned that we were celebarting our honeymoon and we found a bottle of champagne in the room with a note wishing us a wonderful honeymoon.
The room also included a fruit bowl replenished daily, bottled water (both sparking and still – bottled on the island in reusable glass jars), sweet and salty snacks, and an espresso machine.
An iPad offered not only news, but the ability to quickly order room service or make other requests without even picking up the phone.
Walking beyond the plunge pool, which was quite secluded and perfect for all sorts of activities, was our private beach…simply stunning in the afternoon sun.
Rather than a “do not disturb” sign, we were given the following to place beside our door when we did not want to be disturbed:
Finally, I’ll note that we did not have perfect weather our entire visit. A couple days we had storms.
The resort offers golf cart transport from your villa to the restaurants around the clock, though we just walked it, a nice 10-minute walk in the shade:
But the area did get a little damp ofter sudden downpours:
Park Hyatt Maldives Dining
Beyond the beautiful venue and company, the great highlight of the stay was the dining. Quite honestly, I did not expect great food on an island so remote. Instead, I enjoyed the best fish of my life. Even today…three years later…I have yet to encounter fish as fresh and tasty as we enjoyed here. My wife concurs.
Breakfast in The Dining Room
Thanks to my Globalist status, we received complimentary breakfast each morning, which was always a treat. In addition to nice buffet with cold items, hot items could be ordered off the menu. The menu included western, Asian, and Maldivian choices. Coffee and juices were excellent and the fruit was consistently ripe.
As you can see below, we tried many dishes but my favorite was the poached eggs with avocado on toast…simply fabulous.
Lunch and Dinner in The Dining Room
I’m sure there were some element of saving money in my subconscious, but if you sleep in and eat a leisurely, hearty breakfast, you’re set until evening. That said, we did not do what many Globalists do and just scraf down free appetizers during happy hour and then just wait until breakfast again. Each night we had dinner and found ourselves back at The Dining Room the majority of nights.
Let me again underscore how lovely the fish is…really whatever you order. I generally ordered the catch of the day while my wife fell in love with the tuna steaks. One night I tried chicken. You can view the full menu here. Expect $20-30 for an appetizer and $30-50 for a main course.
The Island Grill
This is the hotel’s luxury restaurant and the food is great here (again, we ordered fish), but I’ll tell you why I only went once: the floor is simply sand. As someone generally averse to beaches, you might ask why I would ever go to the Maldives in the first place. Fair question…I knew my wife would like it and it seemed like a rite of passage for any premium travel blogger. But I like wearing sock and shoes…sandals and barefeet just don’t work for me. And this restaurant filled my sandals with sand. Ugh…I hate that feeling.
But I can vouch for the food. It was tremendous. Here’s the menu. They even had white asparagus!
The Bar – Globalist Happy Hour
We began our evening at the bar each night, where Hyatt offers Globalists a complimentary drink and appetizers. These appetizers included a trio of amuse-bouches.
While wine, beer, and cocktails were complimentary, I found the affogato (espresso poured over ice cream) the best option and highly recommenced.
But the Mai Tais and Mojitos were also refreshing.
One night Heidi was tired and I did not feel like eating alone, so I ordered in room service…a filet mignon. It was my only piece of red meat for the entire week and was cooked a perfect medium rare. While tasty, a steak is a steak…stick to fish and seafood while you are there.
Overall, an excellent dining experience. Look at the fresh-caught fish being delivered in the morning:
Park Hyatt Maldives Activities
You personal concierge will push you to do activities. That was a tad annoying, though I knew Ameez did it due to obligation, not because he liked putting pressure on us. But I came here to relax…to eat, sleep, and well, you know. I really was not interested in going fishing in a glass-bottom boat or deep sea diving. We did enjoy a couple spa treatments, which were obscenely priced, but I do love massages. Honestly, I wanted to use the time to finally catch up on some reading…and I did. I found that so much more enriching than a kayaking trip.
Heidi tried out deep sea diving…it cost $800 for certification and she quit after the first day because she felt uncomfortable with the instructor. I figured the $800 was lost, but the hotel graciously only charged me $400…I didn’t even ask, they just proactively offered me the partial refund. As an aside, when I met the instructor he seemed like a fine man to me. There was certainly nothing inappropriate said or done. But he and Heidi did not click and I was not going to force her to take more classes, even if we lost the money.
She did drag me out snorkeling on the last day and despite applying sunscreen, look what I came back with:
The hotel does have a sort of formal lobby that was I was only introduced to when I settled up the bill on my way out. If you’re into movies, you can rent DVDs and play them in their room.
Park Hyatt Maldives Fitness + Spa + Pool
The resort has a small fitness center that was quite popular. We used it every day and we noticed the same people using it every day as well…there’s no need to set aside your fitness regimen, even on holiday.
The spa is located nearby and quite luxe.
We never used the hotel’s main swimming pool when we had our own and the ocean. It was a beautiful pool though.
Park Hyatt Maldives Service
I do want to give one more shout out to Ameez, who was a most excellent host during our stay. We had some deep conversations from time to time and he provided an interesting perspective on life in the Maldives.
I must admit my favorite member of staff was the lovely Fiona, who worked in The Dining Room. Each day we were greeted by her lovely smile and she was so kind and happy. I wonder if she is still at the hotel?
> Read More: Amal Clooney Cautions Against Visiting Maldives
My wife and I came back with a wonderful souvenir from the Park Hyatt Maldives…our first born son. For that reason, the Park Hyatt Maldives will always have a special place in my heart. But beyond that, it’s a lovely little island paradise with wonderful staff and surprisingly scrumptious food.
If you consider the trip there part of the adventure, then by all means this is a superb choice of hotel and a particularly compelling World of Hyatt redemption option.
I’m glad you and your wife enjoyed your stay, and of course you’ll always have the joy of your son to remind you of the Maldives. But to me this Park Hyatt looks almost creepily stark and soulless. If I’d traveled half-way ’round the word and arrived at this resort I’d be thinking “Is this IT?” – before phoning my travel agent. Of course different strokes…
I have to agree. It all looks so blah.
Sorry -’round the world
Nice, Matthew. Thanks for the write-up.
Sometimes you just gotta take one for the team, LoL 🙂
I loved the Park Hyatt as well. It is a great resort. We were on our honeymoon as well, and there were 2 kids there (whom I referred to as satan-spawn) because the parents let them run around freely and get in everyone’s way and scream. A staff member told me they hated the kids, but the couple is very wealthy and visits quarterly so they don’t dare tell them to stop.
We did the all inclusive, which for only about $500/day for a couple is well worth it. One rainy afternoon we spent at the bar reading and going through a few bottles of wine. Well worth it if you don’t have globalist. Plus you can enjoy the chilled gazpacho everyday for lunch which is so refreshing in the heat!
“A staff member told me they hated the kids, but the couple is very wealthy and visits quarterly so they don’t dare tell them to stop.”
Yet another reason to give this place a pass…
Nice review. Were you bothered with mosquitos at the property? Being such a small and isolated island with so much outdoors space, that could be a problem.
We were. Not too bad, but did get several bites over the stay.
“But I came here to relax…to eat, sleep, and well, you know.”
This hotel has been overrun by unruly, loud and obnoxious Mainland Chinese tourists. Very unfortunate. Their packages booked through Mainland Chinese travel agencies usually include breakfast, hence the prevalent Chinese language on the breakfast menu – but you’ll notice the restaurant dinner menu is entirely in English. These Mainland Chinese tourists will eat for dinner instant ramen noodles cooked in the electric kettle provided in room meant for boiling water to make tea. The Conrad Koh Samui and countless others getaway resorts have suffered the same fate. In my last visit, there were several of them happily clipping their nails at breakfast in the restaurant. Just lovely.
It looks like heaven !