Return to the Maldives: Park Hyatt Dubai

Trip Report Index:

  1. Introducing and Strategy
  2. New York JFK – Abu Dhabi, Etihad First Class
  3. Park Hyatt Dubai
  4. Touring the Burj al Arab
  5. Tea at the Burj al Arab
  6. Abu Dhabi – Male, Etihad Business Class
  7. Male – Kaadedhdhoo, Maldivian and Transfer to the Park Hyatt
  8. Park Hyatt Hadahaa Maldives
  9. Kooddoo-Male-Abu Dhabi, Maldivian and Etihad Business Class
  10. Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
  11. Abu Dhabi – Dusseldorf – London, Etihad First Class and British Airways Club Europe
  12. London Heathrow – San Francisco, British Airways New First Class

The day prior to my arrival I received an email from the property offering me a complimentary car transfer to and from the airport. Suites at the hotel come with that, and I had booked my room the same way that Ben had and I applied an expiring Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond confirmed suite upgrade. That meant I was ‘confirmed’ in a Park Suite, and all suite guests receive complimentary airport transfers.

That was no use to me, however, as the hotel only provides complimentary transfers to and from the Dubai airport and I was flying in and out of Abu Dhabi. The hotel’s least expensive Abu Dhabi transfer is 750 AED (~ US$205)!

Not to matter, I was taken care of by complimentary car service through Etihad, offered to first and business class passengers anywhere in the UAE both directions. Not bad for an award ticket booked with American Airlines miles!

I declined the complimentary airport transfer but did email back that ‘my friend Ben’ had recently received a further upgrade from the Park Suite to a Park Terrace Suite and it would be great if one was available if they considered doing the same for me.

When my car arrived at the hotel it was a little bit after 9pm and I was pretty exhausted after a 10pm departure followed by 14 hour flight from New York. I had slept a little bit, but was ready to hit bed just as soon as possible.

I walked up to the checkin desk they informed me that I had been upgraded to a Park Terrace Suite! Not bad for the asking. .

We were escorted to our room, which was very much on the other side of the property (even connected by a glass walkway that looked out upon the pool) but once there was very pleased.

I was told at checkin that the minibar was free, although I never actually used it. I was also asked at check-in for my choice of newspaper, and I made an international selection, though it was never delivered (and was given Gulf News only).

The diamond amenity was already in the room — a bottle of wine, and three jars of treats (candy bars, nuts, and macaron cookies).

The room featured an entryway and large living room, a large bedroom, and a walkin dressing area/closet.

The bathroom was ‘open’ into the bedroom, though the shower was it’s own “room” so you weren’t really on display. Still it’s not a great room for friend sharing that aren’t intimates. I understand the hotel used to stock Blaise Mautin amenities (like the Park Hyatt Paris) but have now switched to the more common Park Hyatt Bergamot 22. I’m not sure when they made the switch, and wonder if it’s part of their chain-wide bath amenity consistency project although several Park Hyatts do deviate from the standard .. not just Paris but also for instance Tokyo uses Aesop. The Bergamot 22 stuff is fine, but I prefer when Park Hyatts select something locally (I like the consistency of standard quality amenities at Hyatt Regency properties, but really like the variation at the upper end).

There was also a balcony that could be reached either via the living room or bedroom, and that was of substantial size such that there were two different seating areas — one with lounge chairs and another with two chairs and a small table for eating. The terrace overlooked the lake.

I do have to offer serious compliments to housekeeping — they didn’t just tidy the room, they actually left personal items in better shape than they found them — they tied electric cords, providing a tie to hold them together properly. I haven’t seen that before.

Breakfast featured a modest though high quality buffet and also the option to order a dish off of the menu. I was especially pleased by the taste and quality of the food at breakfast, although sitting outside we could be occasionally forgotten and so I emphasized that it was ok to just assume I wanted more coffee rather than waiting for me to ask for it. ­čÖé

I had some money to spend on property so I decided to have dinner at the Thai restaurant on premises, Thai Kitchen, which features both an open kitchen inside and a nice outside seating area by the boat dock. We sat outside. I enjoyed their set menu, it was quite tasty although we were warned that some of the foods were going to be very spicy and that they had Thai chefs but none of that turned out to be the case at all. Food in Dubai seems generally bland, at least as served to Westerners, I’m certain that there are places catering to guest workers and those will serve authentic, spicy dishes from those workers’ home countries. This wasn’t that!

The hotel overall is quite lovely, though not as modern and gorgeous as what I found later in the trip at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. The food was excellent (better than in Abu Dhabi). I liked that the hotel was minutes from downtown Dubai but also removed from it. This isn’t a place you’ll walk out of the hotel and onto the street, but being removed isn’t especially problematic because while the hotel’s car to the Abu Dhabi airport would have been especially expensive, cars and cabs are otherwise quite cheap (presumably both because of cheap labor and cheap fuel).

I’d definitely return to the hotel if I was in Dubai, though I don’t expect to find myself there a great deal. As I’ll explain later in the report when I write up my experiences with the Burj al Arab, Dubai itself felt very much like Las Vegas — a bit city full of glitz in the middle of the desert — but also one that seemed to be trying too hard. The Park Hyatt was much more understated overall than the Dubai I experienced in my short trip. But because it was the desert I suppose, the sand in the air, I had a really difficult time with my allergies and it wasn’t until I had been in the Maldives for about 12 hours that I began to recover.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary ┬╗

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Comments

  1. I believe you are jewish. Do you have any concerns when you stay at a hotel in a moslem country or fly an airline that is based in a moslem country?

  2. What was your room rate? Whenever I’ve checked the prices for this hotel, they have been about $500-$600/nt, which is a bit steep for my taste.

  3. Gary – I know that UAE prohibits Israeli citizens from entry. Does the Maldives have a similar policy? I am a dual-citizen (US/Israel) so if I traveled on my US passport, would they have a way to check if I have an Israeli passport as well?

  4. @Alon, Of course they do! UAE has mapped out every Israeli, jew or arab around the world with dual citizenship.

  5. @Gary — Does Virtuoso offer better rates than Hyatt’s website? I thought that Virtuoso usually offered the BAR or BAR less 10%. How far in advance did you book the room?

  6. @Gene – I usually find Virtuoso matching Hyatt, I booked the room probably 6 months out when i noticed a price drop

  7. You used AA miles for the entire trip or just parts of it? I’d be interested to know how many this required as I’m looking to go to the Hyatt Maldives myself.
    Thanks

  8. Gary,

    Following up to AG and Alon, I’m curious if you have been to Israel and still have those stamps in your passport… I have heard that some countries give problems to US (or other nationality) citizens if they have Israeli stamps. My only experience was that I had no difficulties in Turkey with Israeli stamps, although that was just before the flotilla raid that cooled relations between the two.

  9. @David

    I’ve been told Israeli stamps are no problem and my research (admittedly brief) online has come up with the same info.

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