Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel or flight review.
Last February, I enjoyed a FABULOUS holiday in the incredibly beautiful Maldives. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Qatar Airways B787 Dreamliner Business Class Brussels to Doha
- Review: Qatar Airways A330 Business Class Doha to Male
- Review: Dhevanafushi Maldives Luxury Resort
- Review: Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane transfer
- Review: The St Regis Maldives Vommuli
- Review: Largest overwater villa in the Maldives
- Review: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa (today)
- Review: Transfer from Park Hyatt to Male airport
- Review: Soneva Jani (most amazing resort in the Maldives)
- Review: SriLankan A330 Business Class Male to Doha (via Colombo)
Today (May 10, 2017): Review of the Park Hyatt Hadahaa Resort.
- Location: Google Maps
- Hotel website: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
- Tip: get free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso
Situated on a private island 55 km (35 mi) north of the Equator in one of the world’s deepest atolls, Park Hyatt is a strikingly modern design resort. Featuring only 50 villas, the minimalist style interiors of the accommodation are designed with the utmost comfort and luxury in mind, whether nestled within the island’s tropical foliage, only steps from the ocean, or elevated above the water. All villas feature floor-to-ceiling windows, and every comfort you would expect, with some villas having the added luxury of a plunge pool. The resort is framed by one of the archipelago’s most unspoilt house reefs, providing easy access for exploration of the underwater marvels of the Indian Ocean.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury resorts in the Maldives, the world’s most remote luxury hotels, the world’s best hotel award redemptions, the most fabulous overwater in the Maldives, and the best resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip and slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- My review of other luxury resorts in the Maldives
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa enjoys one of the most remote locations in the Maldives. The resort is set on its own private island 400 km (250 mi) south of Malé and 55 km (35 mi) north of the Equator in the North Huvadhoo (Gaafu Alifu) Atoll, one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world. There’s literally no civilization in sight when you walk around the island, except for a few uninhabited islands at the horizon. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and to disconnect from daily life, far away from the more busy atolls around Male International Airport.
- Getting to the resort from Male does require some efforts, as you have to take a 60-minute domestic flight to Kooddoo Airport followed by a 30-minute speedboat ride (and that excludes waiting time at the airport, which may vary from a minimum of 1 hour to a maximum of 4 hours). The resort takes care of the booking of your domestic plane tickets, so there’s nothing you have nothing to worry about regarding the transfer, and you can wait in a lounge when connecting from your international flight to the domestic flight, or vice versa. The flight itself is on a small Bombardier Dash turboprop aircraft operated by Maldivian, the country’s national carrier, and the journey is a feast for the eyes as it offers bird’s-eye view of the Maldavian archipelago. I have published a separate review (with Youtube clip) of the transfer from Male to Park Hyatt Hadahaa, which you can read (and watch) here.
- Hadahaa is one of the smaller islands in the Maldives (you wan walk around the island in less than 15 minutes). But is also ranks without any doubt among the most beautiful and visually stunning islands in the archipelago. The island has an almost perfect circular shape, and the lush tropical scenery at its center is completely encircled by a breathtaking stretch of blinding white, powdered-sugary soft sand and a ridiculously clear lagoon. In fact, if a great beach is what you’re after in the Maldives, stop looking as the island boasts one of the most fabulous and picture perfect beaches in the country (although the beach surrounding Soneva Fushi is still my favorite). This is a private-island castaway experience that even Tom Hanks wouldn’t want to leave.
- The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa boasts one of the best house reefs in the Maldives, offering its guests some of the most eye-bogglingly beautiful snorkeling in the Indian Ocean archipelago. Just steps from the beach lies a mesmerizing and vast coral reef with diverse marine life, more abundant and varied than anywhere else in the Maldives. Snorkeling in the waters off the island’s shore can bring you face to face with everything from surgeon fish, tuna, and parrot fish, to eagle rays, turtles and even hammerhead sharks.
- The resorts features a modern and minimalist design that fits well with the Park Hyatt brand. The layout and decor were created by SCDA Architects, an award-winning and Singapore-based multi-disciplinary architectural company. The island is dotted with sleek and contemporary communal areas and villas, boasting clean lines and muted hues. The form of the main arrival space is inspired by a Maldivian Dhoni boat, traditionally used for inter-atoll navigation. The boat has a distinctive ribbed timber hull that was turned upside down to create a sheltered reception area. Traditional craftsmen were used to create the Dhoni hull, ensuring that it was authentic in its use of timber sizes and details.
- The barefoot luxury resort features only 50 villa accommodations: 36 are located on land (nestled in the lush tropical greenery with direct beach access) and 14 over the ocean (all enjoying direct access to the coral-filled waters below and breathtaking panoramic sunset views). During my holiday, I stayed in a Park Pool Villa, located on the island’s sunrise side. The villa had a spacious bedroom (with a king bed, an armchair and a writing desk) at its center and featured floor-to-ceiling windows with doors that lead out to a private deck fitted with a small plunge pool (not all beach villas have this feature though). The villa’s highlight was the bathroom, which had an outdoor, enclosed terrace with rain shower and terrazzo bathtub. The design of the villa was kept clean and simple, with the focus being the framing of views while maintaining privacy.
- The resort has two gorgeous pool areas, which is great thing since most villas don’t come with a private pool. The hotel’s main freshwater swimming pool is quite large and is located at the resort’s center, along the main restaurant, offering some glimpses of the turquoise sea through the tropical foliage. From this pool area, you can directly access the beach club, where you find some sun loungers set in the shade of some palm trees on a wide stretch of sugar white beach on the island’s western tip. The hotel also features a tranquility pool, which is located within the shaded garden pavilions of The Vidhun Spa.
- Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is home to two excellent restaurants, including the resort’s signature restaurant, The Island Grill. The latter serves regionally inspired dishes and features an open kitchen’s where guests can watch the chefs at work, with tables and swing chairs set on a blanket of fine white sand. The resort’s other restaurant, the Dining room, is located along the main pool and serves all day dining, including the breakfast, which is composed of lovely buffet spread complemented by an à la carte menu.
- There’s a weekly cocktail party on the beach each Saturday, giving guests the chance to enjoy complimentary canapés, mingle with the management, and dance with the locals.
- The lush green gardens of the island’s center harbors the serene Vidhun Spa village, featuring an infinity pool and five private couples treatment villas, each with beautifully thatched roofs. I had a massage, which was terrific, so I highly recommend booking a spa treatment here. Each treatment begins with a mineral salt foot scrub. After your treatment, you are invited to unwind in the villa’s private shaded garden where you will be served refreshing herbal teas and sorbets.
- The level of service is on a par with the very best in the country. And the good news is that it is one of the least expensive ultraluxe hotels in the Maldives, often offering good deals (less than $600 USD per night) probably because it’s more difficult to get there and since the competition in the Maldives is stiff with new mind-blowing resorts opening each year.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa ranks among the finest luxury hotels in the Maldives. The highlights are the natural lush beauty of the island and the superb snorkeling. Yet, the hotel does have some cons that you need to beware of before booking a stay here:
- As explained above, getting to the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadadaa resort requires an often lengthy and tiring trip, something you may not be looking forward to after your long-haul flight arrives in the Maldives. Besides the 60 minute domestic flight and the 30 min speedboat trip, you also have to take into account waiting time – varying from one to maximum five hours – at Male airport, both at the start and the end of your journey. All in all, it means that the transfer to the Park Hyatt resort (including waiting time) may take a large chunk of your holiday time on the day of your arrival and departure, making the resort not ideal for a short trip. I suggest you stay at least 5 nights to make the most of the long journey getting there. The good news is that once there, you will completely relax in otherworldly tropical scenery.
- While the villas are great, they aren’t among the largest accommodations in the Maldives. I feel that the villas would benefit from the addition of a separate entrance or hallway, as you now enter the villa directly in the bedroom, which is somewhat weird. Nevertheless, although there are larger, more luxurious and more flashy all pools villas on other Maldivian island, I feel that the floor space planning and execution is still quite generous given the small size of the Hadahaa island.
- Food is expensive, however the pricing is not different from other five-star hotels in the Maldives and this is solely due to the inevitable fact that almost every item used in the resort’s kitchens is imported into the Maldives. More problematic though is that the resort only has two restaurants, so the food offerings can become boring during a longer stay. Some more variety could be introduced in the menus to take the dining experience for long-stayers to another level.
- From a design perspective, the overwater villas look beautiful. However, the outdoor terraces of most overwater villas lack privacy, as anyone walking on the jetty has a direct view on the overwater balcony. In addition, the view of some overwater villas is partly blocked by the villa in front of them (so this isn’t the uninterrupted sea view you may have been looking forward to).
- The airconditing in our beach villa did not work properly, and consequently, it was quiet hot in the room, both during the day and at night (when it was difficult to sleep). From my understanding (and by reading trip advisor reviews), this is a common and recurrent problem with some of the villas at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, although that could be easily fixed.
- Last but not least, my travel partner and myself became both quite sick on our very first night at the resort. It was a bad gastroenteritis, which only lasted one day, so nothing to worry about but inconvenient nonetheless. I do want to mention it, although I realize that it may put off some of you to visit the resort. In all honesty, the chances are great that this wasn’t the fault of the Park Hyatt, since we had just arrived at the island after completing a stay at another resort – Jumeirah Dhavanfushi – where the food presentation and quality was troublesome (although I cannot 100% rule out the role of Park Hyatt food department on our one day illness). Having said that, I was warmly touched by the genuine care of the hotel staff during our sick off day, and also impressed by the management, including the very professional GM, who took this issue very seriously and did all he could to speed up our recovery.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Pool: 10/10
- Resort grounds (beach): 10/10
- Rooms (villas): 8/10
- Food: 7/10
- Breakfast: 9/10
- Spa: 9/10
- Service: 9/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8,8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadadaa (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: enjoy exclusive VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily breakfast, $100 USD spa credit, early check-in and late check-out).
- Save money: make use of Hyatt’s best rate guarantee. If you find a better rate, the Hyatt Hotel Group will match it and give you $50 toward your next stay.
- Elite members of Hyatt’s loyalty program, World of Hyatt, are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complimentary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and free breakfast. Click here to read my review of the World of Hyatt program (with pros & cons).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
MY REVIEWS OF OTHER LUXURY HOTELS IN THE MALDIVES
- Review: Soneva Jani Chapter Two (Maldives)
- Review: Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas
- Review: Soneva Fushi Maldives
- Review: Velaa Private Island (Maldives)
- Review: Soneva Jani, the Maldives’ most famous resort
- Review: Soneva In Aqua, the Maldives’ most exclusive yacht
- Review: Soneva Fushi (Maldives), my best holiday ever!
- Review of Soneva Jani, the Maldives’ most fabulous resort
- Hotel review: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
- Review of the largest overwater villa in the Maldives
- Review: The St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
- Review: Dhevanafushi Maldives Luxury resort
- Hotel review: Maalifushi by COMO (Maldives)
- Hotel review: Naladhu, South Male Atoll (Maldives)
- Hotel review: One&Only Reethi Rah (Maldives)
- Hotel review: Gili Lankanfushi (Maldives)
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best weather in the Maldives is between January and April, which also means high season (with low availability and very expensive room rates). The monsoon runs from May to October, peaking in June. It is worth paying higher prices and sticking to the dry season as there is nothing to do on a rainy day except drink, eat, work out or scuba dive. Especially November and December, which are often labelled as dry season months, have been very unsettled in recent years.
HOW TO GET THERE
Getting to Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa requires a 60-minute domestic flight from Male International Airport (MLE) to Kaadhedhoo Airport followed by a 30-minute speedboat ride. Check the Wikipedia page of Male International Airport for an updated list of airlines that offer flights to Male International Airport:
- From/via Asia: Bangkok Airways (via Bangkok), Tigerair (via Singapore), Singapore Airlines (via Singapore), Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong), Air India (via Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvanathapuram), China Eastern Airlines (via Colombo, Kunmnig), Cina Southern Airlines (via Guanghzou), Hainan Airlines (via Bejing), Korean Air (via Colombo and Seoul), Shanghai Airlines (via Shanghai), Srilankan Airlines (via Colombo), Maldivian (Chennai, Chongqing, Colombo, Dhaka, Thiruvanathapuram), Mega Maldives (via Bejing, Hong Kong, Shanghai).
- From/via Middle East: Emirates (via Dubai), Flybudai (via Dubai), Qatar Airways (via Doha), Etihad Airways (via Abu Dhabi), Oman Air (via Muscat), Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul).
- From/via Europe: Austrian Airlines (via Vienna), British Airways (via London), Thompson Airways (via London), Monarch Airlines (via London), Condor (via Frankfurt), Edelweiss Air (via Zurich), Meridiana (via Rome or Milan), Neos (via Rome or Milan), Transaero Airlines (via Moscow), Lufthansa (via Frankfurt), Air France (via Paris).
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More photos of same pool over and over and over does not make a great review!
Very nice write up, thanks. But boy you weren’t kidding about the entrance to the pool villa. From the picture, it looks very odd. Good job.
We have stayed there and loved it. I honestly could not fault them. We got married there and Anna our host was so amazing. At anyone point it felt like there were only 20 people on the island. Amazing.