Independent
Maldives resort reviews

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

83%
Overall Rating
from 1 ratings
Rating criteria
Rooms
9
90%
Service
8
80%
Beach
10
100%
Activities
4
40%
Dining
8
80%
Bar experience
7
70%
House reef
10
100%
Environment
10
100%
Look and feel
9
90%
Value
8
80%

Our Review

And now it's time to dispense with the idea that something worthy must be dull, or if it's eco-friendly it's probably uncomfortable. This resort describes itself as an 'ultra premium property' with innovative excursions and experiences. My visit just before it opened confirms this, though I greatly look forward to returning to the resort when it is in full flow.
There are, in all honesty, just a handful of resorts that truly care for their environment. I am delighted to introduce a new one that just opened in August of this year, in the most beautiful atoll in the country.
 
Right in the middle of Huvadhoo Atoll, the largest and deepest atoll in the country, Alila was planned, designed and constructed to be as ecologically sensitive as it is reasonable to be. In respect of this, the resort received the Green Globe 'Building, Planning and Design Standard' certification. The first and only in the country. The standards are based on the Agenda 21 principles for Sustainable Development endorsed at the UN Rio Earth Summit.
 
And now it's time to dispense with the idea that something worthy must be dull, or if it's eco-friendly it's probably uncomfortable. This resort describes itself as an 'ultra premium property' with innovative excursions and experiences. My visit just before it opened confirms this, though I greatly look forward to returning to the resort when it is in full flow.
 
The island is small, round and verdant, surrounded by a fine beach and a nearby housereef. Then nothing. The nearest inhabited island is ten kilometres away. Far away from artificial light sources, the stars are wonderful to behold in the night sky. And so close to the equator, you can see stars from both hemispheres. The place to gaze at them is the open rooftop lounge and library.
 
The most remarkable thing about the resort is just how grand the public spaces are. Without building above the line of the coconut palms, there is a mezzanine floor and a rooftop that give you views and sensations that you simply don't get on other resorts.
 
As an introduction to these magnificent spaces, the reception welcomes you off the jetty to sit under an extraordinary roof. It is, in fact, a real upturned dhoni hull, built on-site by craftsmen from the boatbuilding capital of the country.
 
The private room spaces, on the other hand, are compact. Small but perfectly formed, in a contemporary minimalist style with rustic touches. And with sightlines right through the rooms to give you a continual connection between inside and outside.
 
There are 14 Aqua Villas and 36 Island Villas, 20 of which come with a private pool. As an example of the resort's green modus operandi all building work on the jetty and the Aqua Villas was carried out during extreme low tide only, to minimise silt disturbance. This would, amongst other things, give the housereef the best chance of staying pristine.
 
Similarly, when the resort was designed, priority was given to the environment rather than the siting of the buildings. They had to shift the rooms rather than the trees. The Aqua Villa jetty was reset three times to avoid damaging resident corals.
 
The dive centre is likely to be a key attraction for many guests here. The huge atoll offers a range of diving topography that few others can match. And the marine life is as abundant and varied here as anywhere in the country, if not more so. Sightings have included blue marlin, giant groupers, moray eels, manta and eagle rays, and many species of shark such as leopard, blacktip reef and giant hammerheads.
 
One thing that resorts could improve on, in my opinion, is local island excursions. In truth, many resorts don't have interesting or historical islands in the neighbourhood to visit, but Huvadhoo Atoll is very special and Alila is taking the excursion list to the next level.
 
The leisure concierge team have done fantastic research to put together different 'Journeys'. These unfold over several days and encompass all the topics that might enrich a guest's experience: from the underwater world to photography to cultural history, story telling and much more. As a writer and photographer on the Maldives, I got really excited when I heard about this project.
 
I think we have a new star in the Maldives firmament.
 
Review by Adrian Neville.
 

Reader Reviews

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Advice Forum Posts

January 27, 2012 - 18:53 - Neil Merrett
December 17, 2011 - 19:26 - Neil Merrett
1 Replies
November 16, 2011 - 17:45 - Neil Merrett
November 12, 2011 - 17:16 - Neil Merrett
October 27, 2011 - 16:32 - Volunteer Maldives
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