Review: Park Hyatt Maldives Park Villa

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


In terms of my review of the Park Hyatt, I’ve decided to reverse the order in which I’m reviewing the property. First I want to review the three room types, and then I’ll talk more about the resort as such.

Before my stay at the Park Hyatt I wrote a post entitled “Park Hyatt Maldives Upgrades — My Head Hurts.”

The Park Hyatt Maldives has four room types. When you redeem your Gold Passport points you’re automatically booked into a Park Villa. There are three other room types which you can upgrade to for cash (see the previous post for a much more detailed explanation), but basically:

  • The category above the Park Villa is the Park Pool Villa, which is the same type of room but has a plunge pool. As a Diamond member you receive a space available upgrade to this room type, or you can pay a supplement of $250.10 ($205 plus 22% tax/service charge) per night to confirm an upgrade to one.
  • The category above the Park Pool Villa is the Park Water Villa, which is the “base” overwater villa. There’s no way to get upgraded to this room type for free, so you can pay a supplement of $494.10 ($405 plus 22% tax/service charge) per night to confirm an upgrade to one.
  • The category above the Park Water Villa is the Sunset Water Villa, which is the overwater villa with the best view. You can pay a supplement of $744.20 ($610 plus 22% tax/service charge) per night to confirm an upgrade to one. This is actually a new room type, as previously all overwater villas were considered the same.

Suffice to say my head hurt trying to make a decision. I was already redeeming a good number of points and the transfer to the hotel isn’t cheap. I didn’t see the value in paying ~$250 per night to upgrade to a room type I might get a complimentary upgrade to, and frankly I didn’t think I’d get ~$500 per night of value out of upgrading to an overwater villa, since there are many other ways I’d rather spend that money. At the same time, when I think of the Maldives I think of overwater villas, so flying all the way there and not staying in one didn’t feel right either.

Before the stay I eventually decided just to do the Park Villa. I stayed six nights, and in the end:

  • I spent the first two nights in a Park Villa
  • I spent the next three nights in a Park Pool Villa
  • The last night I upgraded to a Park Water Villa, since I figured it was worth at least experiencing, so I could report back

With that in mind, let’s talk about my first two nights in a Park Villa.

We arrived at the hotel quite early, and upon arriving at the jetty were greeted by the general manager, front office manager, etc. They really make the arrival and departure experience a “ceremony” of sorts. They took us to the reception area, which is near the jetty and basically a big, upside down boat. Pretty cool!

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa reception area

They explained our room would be ready within about two hours. The great thing about a secluded resort is that they schedule all the transfers, so they can say with near pinpoint accuracy when a room will open up. The general manager was awesome, and explained it would be one of the Park Villas with the best view.

Sure enough before 11AM our villa became available, which was Park Villa 31.

Most of the resort’s “public” areas are on one side of the island, and then the 50 villas (36 on land and 14 overwater) are on the other side. Here’s a map of the property:

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa property layout

Villa 31 was fortunately quite close to the public areas, so it was only about a three minute walk to the pool/restaurant.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa walkway to villa

The surroundings of the villa are extremely lush, and therefore private, since you really can’t see any of your neighboring villas.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Villa 31 entrance

There were a handful of steps leading up to the villa itself, which featured a pretty basic looking exterior, but once you view it from the other side it’s quite modern, with a lot of glass and an angled roof.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Villa 31 entrance

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa 31 exterior

Here’s the Park Villa’s floorplan, from the hotel’s website:

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Upon entering the room was a king side bed with drapes. The bed was surprisingly comfortable.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa

When standing behind the bed you were facing towards the ocean, and also towards a daybed and a chair with an ottoman.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa daybed

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa chair with ottoman

To the left of the bed was a desk and TV.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa desk

The desk had a Nespresso machine, and then the minibar was housed under that. There was also bottled water — both still and sparkling — which you can get as much of as you’d like. It’s complimentary everywhere except in the restaurant, which I find odd, especially since it’s the same bottling. Speaking of which, the hotel purifies all their water on property.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa Nespresso machine

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa minibar

There were also six types of snacks waiting, including nuts, marshmallows, olives, etc.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa snacks

There was an iPad, which had all the hotel’s services on it, from the spa menu to room service menu to excursions.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa iPad

I also appreciated that the desk had universal outlets, which meant there was no need for those annoying adapters.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa outlet

This hotel is rather generous when it comes to the welcome amenity (which I chose in lieu of 1,000 Gold Passport points). In addition to the snacks pictured above, we were offered a plate of fruit, as well as a bottle of champagne. Very impressive!

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa welcome fresh fruit

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa welcome champagne

There was also a letter explaining the Gold Passport Diamond benefits, including:

  • A welcome amenity and fresh fruit
  • Complimentary late check-out subject to availability
  • 20% off cocktails and wines from 7PM until midnight
  • One daily Sundowner beverage at the bar between 5PM and 7PM

There’s a weekly cocktail reception on Saturdays, though go figure we arrived Sunday morning and left Saturday morning, so missed that.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa welcome letter

Anyway, back to the room. On the other side of the bed was the massive bathroom, which probably took up at least half the square footage of the villa.

There were double sinks overlooking the outdoor shower/bath area.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa bathroom

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa bathroom

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa sink

Then when walking towards the bathroom, the shower was located on the right side. The water pressure and temperature control were excellent.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa shower

To be environmentally friendly, the hotel refills the toiletries in ceramic bottles, and they were good quality.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa toiletries

Opposite the shower was the toilet, which was also in a separate room.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa toilet

The outdoor shower area was pretty spectacular. There was a large soaking tub, as well as a rainforest shower. There was even a bench.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa outdoor bathroom

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa outdoor shower area

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa outdoor shower area

As I explained above, this is the most “basic” villa. There’s not a plunge pool and it’s not overwater.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa terrace

It does still have a nice terrace, though, with two seats.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa terrace

The real awesome thing, though, is that each villas has direct beach access. All you have to do is walk down a few stairs.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa beach access

There’s even a water “bucket” in which you can rinse your feet.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa water

And then you’re literally on one of the most gorgeous, secluded beaches I’ve ever seen.

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa beach access

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Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Park Villa beach

Now, I’m not usually a big beach person, but it’s tough to argue with this one.

In terms of the room, there are two other things worth noting:

  • The air conditioning worked extremely well, so you could get the room as cold as you wanted (stay tuned for more on why that’s an important thing to note)
  • The wifi worked reasonably well, certainly better than I was expecting; it wasn’t true high speed internet, but I was mostly able to go about my business as usual without being hindered by the internet too much

Stay tuned for the next installments, where I’ll cover the two other types of rooms I also stayed in, and the resort as such.

Park Hyatt Maldives Park Villa bottom line

The Park Villas at the Park Hyatt Hadahaa are fantastic. Admittedly everyone is looking for different things. I’m the type of person who likes having a plunge pool to look at, but would never actually use one. So I’d personally never pay to upgrade to a villa with a plunge pool, especially given how nice the hotel’s other pools are. That being said, I’ll certainly take an upgrade for free.

But if I returned I’d just book a Park Villa again, and wouldn’t pay to upgrade. My concern was that I’d be “missing out” by not being overwater, but the resort as a whole is so gorgeous and has so many amazing views that I really didn’t feel that way.

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Comments

  1. The letter from the manager doesn’t mention breakfast, but I assume you got free breakfast as a Diamond?

  2. hmmm I wonder what activities happen on the bed, tub and benches at this resort. For those with OCD and remembering Lucky’s comments of preferring twin beds, this must have been a horrifying experience. ops …

  3. Have never been to the Maledives, but will do it during the next 2-3years, as it’s my gf’s dream. Anyway, the overwater villas look quite close to each other and I heard that there often is a mosquito problem .can you confirm that? The beach villas look way more private to me.

  4. Hi Ben,
    I was wondering, when you stay in a secluded hotel, you cannot go to somewhere else, like downtown or a village. So you basically have to eat and drink at the hotel. How is the piece for food and drinks? Is it expensive? Are there any other alternatives?
    Thanks and nice review as always!

  5. @ Adriano — In this case you’re totally “captive” to the hotel, so you basically have to eat/drink there. I’ll have more on prices and food quality in a future installment. 🙂

  6. @ Philip — They are fairly close to one another, though they’re angled in such a way that they feel quite private. There are indeed bugs and mosquitos — I wouldn’t call it a “problem,” necessarily, though.

  7. @ Andy — Indeed, that’s included for all guests, except non-Diamonds on points stays.

  8. Wow the resort looks fantastic.
    I can’t wait for the rest of your installments on this property Ben.

  9. Hey Ben, Enjoyed reading your review of the Hyatt Hadahaa as it brought back good memories of our stay there this last February. We did 3 nights in a park villa and 2 nights in on over the water villa. Enjoyed both accommodations but also felt the difference in cost was not worth paying in regards to the over the water unit. In fact we actually preferred being on the beach. After our stay we decided to book 10 nights for next year and plan to stay in a park villa. The Hadahaa is the most relaxing destination and experience we’ve discovered so far.

  10. Great comparison review, and I look forward to reading the rest. Was always curious about the differences between the three.

  11. They want you to pay $500 a night plus 30,000 hyatt points to get an over water villa!? It would leave a bad taste in my mouth and seems a bit greedy of them. A five night stay is gunna run $2500 so it kinda defeats the point of using points. I know the rooms run $1200 plus a night but still….. Yuck!

  12. Can you hear the generators running from the common areas or from the cottages? Is there a background hum and can it ever be really silent?

    I’m glad to see that there’s an indoor shower also. If the water comes from the island locally, there must be enough rain to keep the fresh water table stable for wells and that means a lot of rainy days, at least during the monsoon. When is the monsoon, anyway?

    You might be able to have a visit without bugs by coming long after the monsoon; most tropical places get nice and dry in the dry season and mosquitoes need standing water to hatch. Doesn’t help much with biting gnats and other bugs, though.

  13. Sorry Ben, was there a direct view of the sea from the Park Villa? I note you say direct beach access and the room looks nice but it seems a long way to go for a room with no view….Agree with you on pointless plunge pools btw altho am a definite beach person.

  14. You neglect to mention that Villa 31 is next to a jetty. When we stayed there in January that jetty was used for all arrivals, departures, various boating excursions, and for transport of provisions onto the island and garbage off the island. When used for these purposes Villas 31 and 32 afford no privacy whatsoever and should be avoided at all costs. They attempted to put us in Villa 32 and I rejected before setting foot in the villa.

  15. @Lucky how about a review on American Entrepeur George Weinmann’s Maldives startup Mega Airlines?
    Not too many foreign airlines are managed by American. I know the ex-CEO of Cathay Pacific was American

  16. @ Owen — I didn’t hear any generator noise, though I’m also a fairly firm sleeper, so it wouldn’t have bothered me either way. The hotel actually desalinates all their own water for drinking, showering, cooking, etc.

  17. @ PointsPinnacle — In fairness, they’re just charging you what the rate difference would be between room types. So the co-pay is just the difference on a paid stay between a Park Villa and a Park Water Villa, for example.

  18. I agree, the upgrade costs were not worth it for my 4 nights on the island. The first night was in the basic and the final 3 nights they did a complimentary upgrade to the pool villa for my Diamond status. It was nice, but the pool was really not worth the significant additional cost, plus the amazing beach just beyond the pool is priceless. I did not care for the overwater bungalows and prefer the land villas far better.

  19. As Diamond we didn’t get upgrade at all during our 5-night stay, although, it was during high season between xmas and new year. We were offered OW villa for $500 per night but didn’t bite.

    We didn’t not experience any mosquitoes at all during our stay. Our host mentioned that the island is sprayed twice a day to keep the mosquitoes away.

    @Lucky – It looks like they have a new GM. The last GM, Julian Moore is gone? What’s your impression of the GM and his management style?

  20. Hey Lucky! Will be there in less than a month. Thanks for the reviews.

    Are the upgrade costs you noted in advance or at time of check-in? Just curious since I’ve been quoted $465 + taxes/fees in advance for upgrade to the Water Villa, while you stated $405 + taxes/fees and that’s the difference in price on Hyatt too. Feels like I’m being overcharged.

  21. @ JimC — That’s supposed to be the price in advance, though it could be the rate difference has changed, or that it’s busier when you’re going. The upgrade fee should be whatever the difference in cost is between a Park Villa and Park Water Villa if paying cash.

  22. @ Pegasus — The new GM was awesome, and is a lifelong hotelier. He started at the Park Hyatt Mendoza, moved to the Grand Hyatt Dubai, and then to the Park Hyatt Shanghai. He has been at Hyatt all his career, so he “gets” the Hyatt philosophy, which is good news. While I heard good things about the previous GM, he wasn’t originally a Hyatt guy, so if anything I’d expect positive changes.

  23. Hi Lucky! Thanks for your quick response.

    Just a quick update for you and other readers. I was quoted that price ($465) months ago when I first made my reservation so that’s the price they quoted me during reconfirmation. I pointed out that the price difference is only $405 on Hyatt website now and they were very helpful and quick to reprice the upgrade.

    I don’t think it’s malicious on Park Hyatt’s part, just that they went with whatever they had put down on their form initially. So, possibly worthwhile to recheck prices at reconfirmation.

    Looking forward to your Park Water Villa review, Lucky!

  24. @Lucky, interesting that he’s from PH Shanghai. The head chef is a young Australian of Indian descent who was at PH Shanghai. He brought over a whole crew of Chinese chefs from Shanghai. They can cook to order any Chinese specialties not on the menu upon request. I’m not surprised, there’s a high percentage of Chinese guests at this property. During Chinese holidays, I’m told, the occupancy could be in the 80-90% mainland Chinese.

  25. @Leo. great point RE: beach access without any beach view.. vast majority of Park Villas offer no beach view outside of a tiny blue sliver… I had a specific discussion with GM about what a cheap/easy fix this would be.. Simple landscape architect/tree-trimmer combo could create direct ocean views, retain privacy and raise the price point. Same for view from restaurant– overgrown palms/palmettos/shrubs block the entire view of the main beach from outdoor dining at restaurant.

  26. I am writing this from Villa 29. We spent two nights in Villa 33, preferred to be a little farther from the jetty and moved to 29. The beach here is deeper and has shade for the chaise lounges on the sand. Our neighbors moved to a water villa two nights ago and state it is noisier and feel less private. They are exposed and can be hotter also.
    It is very quiet and I have not heard any generator noise.
    The villas are beautiful in a clean, uncluttered way and it would be my first choice to stay in the park villa again. The setting in the trees is hard to beat.

  27. How did you get there before 11am? Would really like to know. Our plane from Doha is scheduled to lane in Male at 9:15am or so, and I did not think there would be a plane ready to take you to Hadahaa right away.

    Please advise of your experience re/ the times the planes come and take you to the resort. Just trying not to wait in Male for hours if it can be avoided. What is your estimate of resort arrival time with a 9:15am arrival in Male? Park Hyatt won’t tell you and is vague about it, saying the airline doesn’t finalize it’s schedule until the day prior. it would be nice to have some idea if we are arriving at the resort at noon or have to wait until 2-3pm. We will be flying from Doha starting at 2am, so hanging out in Male for hours would not be preferred.

  28. Insect fogging twice daily at the resort is something they don’t tell you about. It’s not subtle, either- clouds of insecticide fog roll past the windows in your villa and are pretty thick. Made one of my children feel nauseous and throat closed up. Clouds of insecticide then rolled into the small private pool attached to our villa.

    Beautiful resort and attentive staff but dealing with thick clouds of insecticide twice daily was not fun.

  29. I think people make the mistake of thinking of it as a somewhat “free” trip when they stay on points. Big mistake to think that.

    Required boat and small plane transfer to the hotel is $1,020 for two people. Food costs per day are easily $350 per couple and that is without alcohol.

    Almost every excursion costs between $400-$1,000 for two people- and that is per excursion.

    That also does not include 22% tax and svc charge on everything, from dinners to expensive excursions. That $600 excursion you and your wife took? Yes, add an additional 22% tax and service charge onto your $600 excursion cost to equal over $800 for just one two hour excursion.

    $777 USD per couple Champagne brunch, anyone? Yes, that is a number on their menu. Beautiful resort but please be aware.

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