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Not surprisingly, food and activities on a remote island in the Indian Ocean are not cheap. Let me repeat, a trip to the Park Hyatt Maldives will not be cheap, even when your stay and airfare are booked using miles and points. If you are looking for a very inexpensive or almost free trip, keep on searching because this isn’t it. Allow me to recommend a Hyatt all-inclusive property you can book on points in Mexico or the Caribbean…
However, if relaxing on a private island in your own villa in the middle of the ocean is your version of paradise, then miles, points, and the budget friendly tips in this post can bring it into the realm of potentially doable for more people. Some unavoidable costs will still sting, but there are ways to enjoy food and activities at the Park Hyatt Maldives while still on a budget, so here are some tips.
Here are some other posts from our big around-the-world 40th birthday trip!
Food at the Park Hyatt Maldives:
One unavoidable cost at the Park Hyatt Maldives is going to be food, but food costs don’t have to be totally horrible if you are strategic.
Breakfast is free if you are on a paid stay or are a Diamond guest on an award stay. It used to be free for everyone, but now there is a fee if you are on an award stay and do not have Diamond status. However, it is a good value relative to other food costs as it is about $30 per person if you do not have it complimentary, but it will fill you up as you can have a set menu or order up to three items in addition to the tower of pastries and fruit that comes with every breakfast.
There are several set different options, but we loved the Asian Set that comes with your choice of: Steamed chicken dumplings, taosa bun, Vietnamese rice noodle soup, chicken noodle soup or congee, Stir fried rice noodle with chicken and vegetable or Thai crab omelet Jasmine, Oolong or silver tip white tea.
All Breakfast Sets come with Maldivian tun mushuni, seasonal fruit and a selection of pastries, your choice of fresh juice, coffee or tea.
There is no reason to leave breakfast remotely hungry because the food is both delicious and plentiful. We typically would be full enough from the breakfast to only have a snack or light lunch before a larger dinner.
For lunch we typically had room service or snacks from the bar that we enjoyed on the beach. Unlike at most other hotels, room service is actually a pretty good deal relative to the prices at the restaurant. The “create your own” dishes came with a main and two sides for prices starting at $28 each. The prices are the same for dinner or lunch, so this could be a good way to save on dinner expenses, too.
We also enjoyed noodles and rice dishes that were in the $30 range.
For days that we skipped a formal lunch we would have $7 – $10 drinks/smoothies and snacks at the bar or the beach.
Here are some of the menus from the bar and room service (2014 prices):
The bar would also open coconuts you found around the island for free, which I loved doing for a free and fun snack!
Complimentary Diamond Evening Sundowner:
If you have Diamond status you can get a free drink and snacks every evening before heading off to dinner. This means you can potentially use up some stomach space and not have to order as much as part of your meal.
Once a week there is also a manager’s reception with free drinks and snacks, though we did not attend that event on our stay.
Dinner is where things can get pricier, but again there are ways to keep that down somewhat. Believe it or not, some of the special dinners can actually be decent values. For example, we had hoped to do the “fisherman’s dinner” that is set up on the beach in front of your villa where a chef will come to prepare the daily catch, and serve it for you to enjoy “Maldivian style‟ with traditional condiments and local dessert. The chef will then leave you to enjoy your beach dining time. This four course private dining experience is $295 per couple, which of course is pricy, but not that much different than a meal in the restaurant. Weather prevented this from happening on our trip, but it sure sounded fun.
We did enjoy one private meal the night of my husband’s 40th birthday that was absolutely great. If you are going to come this far, I would do at least one private meal. You can see some Private Dining Experience Menus here.
We also had wanted to do the Traditional Maldivian Fishing excursion where you leave at sunset in a traditional Maldivian fishing Dhoni to catch reef fish. Your catch is then prepared for you for dinner. This combines an excursion and dinner for “just” $100 per person, but weather also prevented this from happening on our trip.
Depending on the day of the week, there are some themed dinners available, that can be pretty fun. One of them is the Beach BBQ for $115 per person that includes all you can eat dinner. We did participate in this and had our fair share of seafood, salad, desserts, and more. You could add a “wine buffet” for $38 if you wished.
You can compare some of the prices for the BBQ and other private dining experiences to the restaurant dinner menu here to get an idea of your options. In general you will find that your soup and appetizers run from $20 – $35, main courses start between $40 – $45, and from desserts $20 – $25, but amazing ice cream just $5 per scoop. They also have half-board, full-board, and all-inclusive food options available, though I generally think these are only good if you are going to order the most expensive items on the menu at pretty much every meal. Otherwise, you can do better by filling up at breakfast, having a smaller lunch, and then being strategic with your dinner selections.
If you can avoid drinking a ton of alcohol on the trip that will also save you a very large chunk of money.
Complimentary and Low Cost Activities at Park Hyatt Maldives:
Food is a cost you will have no matter what, but activities are something you can control. In addition to swimming in the pool or laying on the beach, there are several other free activities at the Park Hyatt Maldives including:
- Sunrise or sunset yoga classes
- “Back of the house tour” – was rained out every day we tried, but Travel Sort wrote about it here.
- Free snorkel gear to borrow
- Star gazing – use the resort’s telescope that is set up on clear nights
- Attend the weekly manager’s reception
- Play board games during the monsoon
- Enjoy the food and drink amenities in your villa (we had several different treats shown below left on various days in our villa)
If you want a low cost activity, consider a guided house reef one hour snorkel excursion for $65. Other activities like diving also sound amazing, but can add up quickly. You can save 10% on all activities booked before your arrival at the island, so it pays to plan ahead. If you are going to visit the spa frequently they also have some multi-day spa packages that are cheaper than paying for each service individually. The spa was one of the few activity options open due to weather on our stay, and we found the services to be excellent.
I strongly recommend looking at the special meals and activities available during your stay and planning out your trip ahead of time in order to book in advance and save money. If you know you will have a large dinner one night, perhaps you can plan a smaller lunch that day and just fill up at breakfast. If you know you are going to have an excursion that includes lunch, that can also help with your meal planning. Take advantage of the free snacks, drinks, and activities that the resort has available in order to save your money for the meals or activities you really want to splurge on.
I do not recommend coming all the way to the Park Hyatt Maldives if every dollar you spend on the island is going to stress you out, but you also don’t have spend unlimited amounts of money per day just to relax and have a good time. If budget is an issue, I also recommend just staying in the base villa type that you can book on points, because it was more than adequate!
I’m happy to answer questions about the food and activities on the island, and would love to hear from those who have also visited the Park Hyatt Maldives about their food and activity budget tips!