Six days in Paradise: Review of the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

In this first installment on the Maldives, I cover the accommodation and dining options at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa. Stay tuned for my upcoming posts on the diving and other activities, the spa and my one-on-one interview with the hotel's General Manager!

The Maldives has no shortage of luxurious resorts to choose from, but the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is truly something special. 

Upon arriving at either the Dawn or Dusk jetty (on the east and west ends) of the resort, guests are individually greeted by the General Manager, before being transported by buggy to "The Dhoni", the hotel's reception area which is designed to resemble a traditional Maldivian fishing boat.

After the check-in formalities, which are completed efficiently and over a cheerful welcome drink, we are taken to our villa and given an overview of the hotel and the room by our personal butler. My joy and utter amazement at the beautiful surroundings is only slightly tainted by the thought in the back of my mind that I shall have to leave the island and return to reality in a week's time.

The resort offers a wonderful seclusion, with non-intrusive yet attentive service, providing the perfect backdrop to escape from it all. 

The Rooms

For travelers looking for a secluded getaway, this is one of the most intimate resorts in the Maldives, with only 50 villas on the island, including 14 over-water villas.

We opted to stay in the Park Water Villa (a tick off my bucket list), but another couple told us they were thoroughly enjoying their stay in the beach villa.

The villas were designed by Singaporean architect, Chan Soo Khian of SCDA Architects, and is an award-winning combination of modern luxury and sustainable design principles.

We were impressed with the spacious feel of the room (an ample 110 square metres) and clever use of angles to provide unobstructed views while maximizing privacy. We also liked the use of natural materials with the wood paneling, reminiscent of the interior of a boat, and the floor to ceiling glass, so you can admire the stunning views over the Indian ocean while lying in bed or soaking in the tub.

As the hubby is a Lifetime Diamond member of the Hyatt's loyalty programme, we received a little extra surprise on arrival: a bottle of champagne, a bowl of fresh fruit and an assortment of snacks.

Each of the water villas opens out to a outdoor deck, from which you can climb down your own private ladder and jump straight into the coral reef. When you initially look down into the water from the deck, it doesn't seem as though there are any fish - however, once you jump in, it literally is a whole other world (underwater camera photos to come).

There is also a large day-bed and deck chairs, which we used mostly in the cool of the evening to savour the night sky.

One of my concerns about staying in an over-water villa was the heat, but as it turns out, the rooms were very well air-conditioned. There were also block-out screens (in two different intensities) which were useful for temperature control and privacy.


The hotel offers three dining options: the Dining Room, the Island Grill and the Pool Bar.

The Dining Room

One of the perks of the hubby being a Hyatt Diamond member was that our accommodation package included daily breakfast at the Dining Room, overlooking the pool. I was surprised but delighted by the extensive menu, which included a variety of breakfast sets and a wide range of a la carte offerings.

Once seated, every table is provided with complimentary (three-tiered) breakfast appetizers. It was the first time I had ever seen this done at a hotel, and it was a great thing to wake up to every morning!

I made it a point to try something different every morning of our stay, and my favourite breakfast set would have to be the "Asian Set" (pictured below), which comes with congee, some dumplings and stir-fry noodles.

For something light, the "Healthy Set" was guilt-free and refreshing, with fresh fruit and yoghurt. I especially liked the egg white frittata, with spinach and a hint of lemon. (Actually, I felt so guilty and over-indulgent that I tried to make amends by ordering this twice.)

For the indulgent, the chef's signature "Twice Cooked Egg" was a crumbed egg with a still-runny yolk topped with a delectable mushroom truffle sauce. This was the hubby's breakfast of choice.

The Dining Room is the hotel's main restaurant, and is also open for lunch and dinner. We tried both during our stay, and were happy campers each time.

Angus beef burger for lunch by the pool
Maldivian reef fish with vegetables and rice
The Bar

Adjacent to the Dining Room is the more casual Pool Bar, which serves up light bites and cocktails. If I haven't yet convinced you of the value of the Hyatt Gold Passport Program, here's another: one of the other benefits of the hubby's loyalty was complimentary daily cocktails and canapes each evening.

Assortment of canapes

The quality of the food at the Pool Bar is equal to, if not better than, the main Dining Room. We absolutely loved the calamari and pizza we ordered for a light lunch. The calamari was fresh, lightly battered and really well seasoned. The hot chips were not on the Bar Menu, but the staff knew how much I had enjoyed them from the Dining Room, and happily arranged for this to be brought over.
Pizza, calamari and chips (holiday mode!)
Different canapes each night

The Island Grill

I loved the concept of the Island Grill, with swinging chairs, an open kitchen and a floor of sand, encouraging barefoot dining.

We opted to dine here one night after hearing rave reviews from some of the other guests. Bookings are recommended, and are easily secured through your personal butler.

 We ordered the lobster thermidor and the pork belly, with sides of asparagus and potato gratin. The lobster thermidor was meant to be shared between two, and we were given three lobster halves (more than enough!). We thought the lobster thermidor was above average, but a few elements were missing (such as grilled breadcrumbs).

On the other hand, the pork belly was sadly below average, dry and overcooked. The hubby (a braver soul than I) sent this back to the kitchen, and it was written off our bill.

While the restaurant setting was lovely (and worth a visit if you are staying here), I preferred the food at the Dining Room and Pool Bar overall.

  1. All of the water villas are identical in terms of layout, however, for the best concentrated coral reefs to step out directly from your room to, we would recommend Villas 44, 45 and 46. Other reviewers have raved about Villa 50 having the most privacy, but in my view, privacy was not a problem for any of the rooms. The downside for being further out is that it becomes a very long walk back to your room after dinner!
  2. Complimentary still and sparkling water is provided in the rooms (and replenished twice daily). The Park Hyatt bottles its own water (as one of its many eco-sustainable initiatives) but you will be charged for water (US$8) when dining in the restaurants.
  3. Travelers are not permitted to bring alcohol into or out of the Maldives, so you will have to purchase alcohol at the resort (at a relative premium).

xx Amanda


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