Review: Beach Palace Hotel / Ui Inn Maldives

Introduction
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER New York JFK To Hong Kong
Qantas Lounge Hong Kong Airport
Dragonair G16 Lounge Hong Kong Airport
SriLankan Business Class A330-200 Hong Kong To Bangkok
SriLankan Business Class A330-200 Bangkok To Colombo
SriLankan Serendib Lounge Colombo Airport
SriLankan Business Class A330-300 Colombo To Male
Beach Palace Hotel / Ui Inn Maldives
Domestic Maldivian Moonimaa Lounge Male Airport
Maldivian Dash 8 Male To Kooddoo And Park Hyatt Boat Transfer
Park Hyatt Maldives Park Villa
Park Hyatt Maldives Park Pool Villa
Park Hyatt Maldives Park Water Villa
Park Hyatt Maldives Breakfast & Diamond Cocktails
Park Hyatt Maldives Resort Overview
Park Hyatt Boat Transfer And Maldivian Dash 8 Kooddoo to Male
Leeli Lounge Male Airport
Cathay Pacific Business Class A330-300 Male To Hong Kong
Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class 777-300ER Hong Kong To Newark


As I explained in the introduction post, I unfortunately had virtually no flexibility with the outbound portion of this trip, since I had a commitment in New York two days before I was supposed to check into the Park Hyatt Maldives.

Due to how things worked out I ended up arriving at Male Airport at 1:25AM, and then had arranged a transfer to the Park Hyatt Maldives for 7:35AM, so had about six hours to kill. And to clarify, 7:35AM was the time at which the flight to the Park Hyatt Maldives departed, and not the time I had to wake up.

As a result it would be a very short night, and I decided to book the Ui Inn, which was really close to the airport and only $65 per night. There aren’t many hotel options on the airport’s island, so this seemed like the most logical option, given the circumstances.

Ui-Inn-Rate

Upon clearing customs I met up with one of my friends, who had just arrived from Dubai shortly before I landed. We had arranged for a car from the hotel to pick us up in advance, though we had to wait for the car in the arrivals area for over 30 minutes.

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Male Airport arrivals area

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Male Airport arrivals area

Once the car finally arrived it was a 10 minute ride to the Ui Inn, so we got there at around 2:15AM.

Our bags were brought into the reception area, and we were invited to take a seat.

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Ui Inn Male lobby

We were offered juice and cold towels. Of course at this point it was after 2AM and all we wanted to do was sleep.

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Ui Inn Male welcome drink & towel

After sitting there for about 15 minutes we were informed that we would actually be staying at a different hotel, which was a few minutes away by car. Presumably the Ui Inn was overold, so we were driven to the Beach Palace… with a name like that, I figured it had to be an upgrade!

The Beach Palace was a rectangular four story building…

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Beach Palace Male exterior

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Beach Palace Male exterior

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Beach Palace Male signage

…which had beautiful grounds.

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Beach Palace Male landscaping

In fairness, the guy working at the hotel was extremely friendly.

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Beach Palace Male reception

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Beach Palace Male lobby

He insisted on carrying our bags up four flights of stairs to our rooms. On the plus side we had the floor all to ourselves, since the fourth floor is about half the size of the other floors and only has two guest rooms. The downside of being on the fourth floor was that the wifi didn’t seem to work that high up.

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Beach Palace Male staircase

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Beach Palace Male floorplan

The rooms had slightly different designs. One had a double bed with a nightstand next to it, which featured a couple of magazines about the Maldives and a box of tissues.

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Beach Palace Male room

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Beach Palace Male room nightstand

There was also a TV.

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Beach Palace Male room

Then under the TV was a mini-fridge with two bottles of water and a phone.

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Beach Palace Male room fridge/nightstand

And in the corner was a closet which was basically useless, for reasons demonstrated in the picture below.

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Beach Palace Male room closet

The room had a bathroom which literally smelled like death, so we left it closed for the entire stay.

Meanwhile the other room had similar features, though the closet could actually open due to how it was positioned.

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Beach Palace Male room

The bathroom in this room didn’t smell quite as bad. It took me a while to figure out the hot water tank when trying to shower.

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Beach Palace Male room bathroom

While we were both dead tired and wanted to sleep, the beds were full of bugs. I’m not saying they were bed bugs, but there were too many bugs for me to comfortably sleep. After surveying the situation we figured we were best off just staying up.

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Beach Palace Male room inhabitants

We noticed that there was a beautiful patio across from our rooms, so we went to check that out.

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Beach Palace Male patio

In the morning it boasted some picturesque views over the water in the distance.

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Beach Palace Male view from patio

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Beach Palace Male view from patio

We ended up staying up for most of the night watching the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber (for the umpteenth time, in my case), which just seemed like a better idea than sleeping in those beds.

However, at about 5AM exhaustion really kicked in, and we took a 45 minute nap.

In the morning the host insisted on making us breakfast. I passed, though my friend at least had something to eat.

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Beach Palace Male breakfast

At 6:15AM we had arranged a car to take us to the airport.

Ui Inn / Beach Palace Male bottom line

Getting walked from a hotel at 2AM sort of sucked. And beyond that these certainly aren’t luxurious hotels. Many come to the Maldives seeking out luxury accommodation, and there’s no denying that getting to the Maldives is a struggle. First you have to fly to a major hub airport, then you have to connect to Male, then you have to take a flight within the Maldives, and then you have to take a boat transfer to the resort (at least in the case of the Maldives).

If anything, it almost builds up the anticipation of when you actually get to your destination.

In the future I’d do everything in my power to arrives at Male Airport much earlier in the day so I could avoid an overnight near the airport and connect same day. And if I had a similarly timed overnight I might just stay at the airport next time.

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Comments

  1. Finally! None of this Aman or Park Hyatt nonsense, this is really what I’m after in life. Thanks for showing me the light. I’ll book a 6 week stay immediately.

    P.S. “(at least in the case of the Maldives)” I think you meant “Park Hyatt” there

  2. I’ve always wanted to go to the Maldives. I am keeping my fingers crossed that your review of the Park Hyatt makes up for the process of actually getting there.

  3. I have to admit a guilty pleasure of reading your reviews when you have to stay in a (relatively) dive hotel. It reminds me of Eva Gabor on Green Acres. 🙂 I wish I could have been one of the flies on the wall.

  4. Your comment about bugs reminded me of what a friend told me when he spent a month in a small town in Puerto Rico. The home he stayed in was nice but bugs were everywhere, including in the bed. I’ve never stayed in a tropical area. Do all of the hotels, even the fancy resorts, have bugs in the rooms ?

  5. @ tara — There’s always going to be some wildlife/some number of bugs, though the nicer resorts do manage to keep them out a bit better, in my experience.

  6. Nice way to proverbially poke a finger in the eye of those who say you only review fancy honkin’ aspirational products. I think you missed taking pictures of the pool.

  7. Lucky sez:

    “there’s no denying that getting to the Maldives is a struggle. First you have to fly to a major hub airport, then you have to connect to Male, then you have to take a flight within the Maldives, and then you have to take a boat transfer to the resort (at least in the case of the Maldives).”

    I am denying.

    Our last visit consisted of a direct flight ZRH-MLE with Edelweiss (a subsidiary of LX with the same business class seats as LX on their A333, bookable with LX miles) and a direct flight by seaplane to the resort. This was the Conrad, but many others can be reached by direct seaplane, too.

    OS has direct flights VIE-MLE as well, LH soon will have directs flights FRA-MLE, too.

  8. @David – That will certainly depend where you’re flying from. For example, that’s like me saying Hawaii is a total pain to get to, yet as someone in England that would be hard to dispute vs someone who lives in LA. In my case, we stayed at Huvafen Fushi and it was a direct BA flight LHR->MLE and then a 30 minute boat ride from the airport, which is a lot easier than many places in far-east Asia I’ve been to before.

  9. @ Tom C: exactly my point 😉

    Just a reminder that not all of Ben’s readers live in (or travel from) the US of A.

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