Earlier I published how to fly to the Maldives using frequent flyer miles from several different programs, including the miles I used for a $17,000!!! ticket to the Maldives flying Etihad in Business and First class. This post will go over some of the hotel options you have in the Maldives, the hotel points you need for free nights and how we booked our hotel, the Park Hyatt Maldives.
Even though it is a distant, hard to get to tropical destination, there are several hotels you can use points at from the major hotel chains. Some of these options are much better than others with the Park Hyatt Maldives being the best option in my opinion. At a cost of 30,000 Hyatt points a night (25,000 points a night if you booked it before 1/22), this hotel seems to be the most affordable from a points perspective. The Park Hyatt is a true 5 star luxury hotel that encompasses its own private island – that’s right there is literally nothing else on the island except the hotel. See the photo below.
The Park Hyatt Maldives appears to me, at least based on the research I’ve done, one of the most luxurious properties in the Maldives you can use points at along with the W Maldives. So if your goal is true luxury, I recommend the Park Hyatt Maldives. Hyatt points are quite easy to obtain thanks to being a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards so any points earned from the Chase Sapphire or Chase Ink cards (hello 5x at office supply stores), can be transferred to Hyatt. This would also be an excellent place to use the two free nights you get for signing up for the Chase Hyatt Visa credit card. With room rates always over $1,000 (sometimes closer to $1,200) and this being a top tier Category 7 Hyatt hotel (there are only 6 others hotels in this category) this in fact might be the single best hotel in the Hyatt system to use your free night at. Free nights either via the credit card or points book into beach villas and you can upgrade to pool villas or over the water villas for $300-$450 a night.
Another option though significantly more expensive now after the big Hilton devaluation is the Conrad Rangali Island Resort. As a top tier category 10, this hotel costs 95,000 points a night! While it’s true that Hilton HHonors points are worth a lot less than Hyatt points and HHonors points can be acquired more easily and quickly, that is still a ton of points. If you have any form of Hilton elite status (and you definitely should if A) you are planning on staying here to get free breakfast and B) how easy it is to get status from one of their credit cards), you can get the 5th night free on award redemptions, dropping the cost to 76,000 points a night on a 5 night stay. Free nights book into a beach villa and you can upgrade for similar amounts like the Park Hyatt. Cash rates can fluctuate between $550-$800 a night.
The Starwood options include the Sheraton Full Moon and W Maldives but neither is a great option on points. The Sheraton Full Moon is a category 6 hotel that costs 20k to 25k SPG points a night. While I obviously haven’t stayed there, the reviews aren’t too great on this hotel and it costs a ton of SPG points for this level of hotel. The W Maldives, which by all accounts seems like a fantastic hotel, is a limited participant Starwood hotel, which means its costs a boatload of SPG points (upwards of 90k points a NIGHT!). With SPG points so hard to acquire, I don’t think either hotel is a viable option and other hotels in this post offer better value.
The IHG option in the Maldives is the Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives. This is definitely a lower tier hotel compared to others in this post but costs only 35,000 IHG points a night. Paid rates seem to range from $250-$300 for base level rooms. While not for me, this could be an attractive option for some looking to save money or save more valuable Hyatt or SPG points.
There are no Marriott nor Ritz Carlton hotels in the Maldives so you cannot use Marriott or Ritz Carlton points here. There were rumors of a Marriott property opening in 2015 but I can’t find anything on this.
Supposedly in July 2015, there will be an option to use Club Carlson points at the Radisson Blu Maldives Hulhumale but the projected opening date of the hotel has been pushed back many times already so I wouldn’t plan on this option until it actually opens (if ever).
As mentioned previously, we decided to book the Park Hyatt Maldives for our 2nd anniversary trip since I had abundance of Hyatt points and two free nights from Andrea’s application for the Hyatt credit card. While we don’t need luxury on every trip we take (we’re quite content to stay in 3 star hotels), this is a special trip so I splurged points-wise for both the flights and hotel to have a more luxurious trip. If I didn’t have Hyatt points, I would most likely focus on earning Hilton points and getting free nights from the Citi Hilton Reserve credit card to stay at the Conrad.