Maximizing Miles in the Maldives: Cathay First, Eating in Singapore, and a Park Hyatt Water Villa – Introduction

  1. Introduction
  2. Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day
  3. Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge
  4. Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong
  5. The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore
  6. A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
  7. Eating in Singapore
  8. Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands
  9. Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
  10. Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
  11. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I
  12. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II
  13. Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III
  14. Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male
  15. Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore
  16. Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong
  17. Conrad Hong Kong
  18. Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago
  19. American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home

Two things happened last year which inspired this trip:

  • Hyatt took over management of the Alila Villas in the Maldives, rebranding it a Park Hyatt, meaning that I could use my Gold Passport points for a redemption. The hotel is a top category redemption (22,000 points per night) but that’s actually a great value considering the high room rates there. The base room is a villa, as well.

    Still, a trip to the Maldives is an expensive proposition — you don’t just have to get yourself to the middle of the Indian Ocean, but for a resort as remote as this one you have to get yourself there, and airport transfers from Male to the resort involve a domestic flight and a boat ride, something that costs ~ $500 per person. Plus actually being in the Maldives is far from inexpensive, you’re going to run up quite a tab on food alone. (Though the Park Hyatt offers complimentary breakfast to all guests in sharp contrast to the Conrad Maldives which no longer even honors the breakfast benefit to Hilton Diamond members.)

  • Fortunately, I had just taken advantage of the Capital One 100,000 point signup bonus. And at the time the best redemption value was converting points to hotel gift certificates, a 70% better return than just redeeming points for travel directly. Most international hotels hit you with a currency conversion charge, but the Park Hyatt Maldives bills in US dollars to begin with so there’s no such charge. Even better.

Thanks to Capital One, I had Hyatt dollars burning a hole in my pocket. And thanks to some generous promos last year (not quite Faster Free Nights, but still lucrative), I had Hyatt points to burn too.

And while I haven’t been the Maldives before — I’ve been to tropical paradises before, and had an overwater bungalow at Bora Bora Nui back when it was a Starwood property, before joining Hilton — I have some sense of the chain properties there. I can’t compare the Park Hyatt experience to places like One & Only Reethi Rah or the Four Seasons — and I won’t — the Park Hyatt seemed like the best option for me and indeed I think it’s one of the very best hotel redemption values that there is, anywhere, right up there with the Conrad Koh Samui.

Starwood’s W is impossibly expensive as a redemption. The Conrad looks nice but isn’t kind to elites. It’s also expensive to upgrade a villa. The Waldorf=Astoria Beach House is tempting even at the top HHonors redemption level. There are certainly lesser chain hotels, a Holiday Inn even, but that’s not my style and not what I wanted to experience if I was going to spend the time to get to and be in the Maldives. The Park Hyatt it was.

Now how in the world to get there? The goal with miles is to get to Male, but that’s hardly easy, the only oneworld carrier that flies there is British Airways, three days a week, and the flight departs London Gatwick. Star’s only flight there is on Singapore Airlines from Singapore. The Middle Eastern non-alliance carriers can take you there, and indeed long after I booked this trip Etihad became a partner of AAdvantage. They’re even starting Washington DC service next yaar, and in the future I’d likely fly them Washington Dulles – Abu Dhabi – Male and call it good. But I set this trip up without that option.

I started looking at flying in and out of Colombo, less than 500 miles away and an inexpensive city to buy tickets from. I could do an add on to Male without too much expense. Thai Airways flies there from Bangkok, Cathay Pacific flies there via Singapore and also Bangkok (depending on day of the week). I decided against, it’s an extra flight and in the case of Cathay it’s two business class flights from Hong Kong with still the need for the purchased flight to get to Male, before needing the domestic connection.

Instead I decided to break up the trip — I booked a Cathay Pacific first class award to and from Singapore using American miles, and a separate Singapore Airlines Krisflyer award for business class Singapore – Male. Getting that award with Star Alliance partner airlines can be tough in business class, certainly getting more than one seat is a real challenge (despite the flights ultimately being mostly empty). It’s more doable with miles in Singapore’s own program, miles I got through transfers from American Express Membership Rewards. Singapore does add fuel surcharges to their awards (~ US$300 per ticket for taxes and fees), and also gives a 15% discount for redeeming miles on Singapore flights using their website.

But putting this together, and for February travel, I had concerns about pulling off the flights with the potential for bad weather. I was going to need to get out of DC, certainly subject to snow storms in mid-February. And my logical gateways for Cathay Pacific are New York, Chicago, or Toronto (which is dropping first class unfortunately). But weather in those cities hardly seemed something to bank on, either. So I decided to grab seats out of San Francisco, probably the easiest market to get two first class Cathay awards from. And I gave myself about a 24 hour cushion to make it there. I’d fly out on Friday after work, send all day on Saturday in San Francisco (giving myself a buffer in case of weather-related irregular operations), and catch the midnight flight Saturday night to Hong Kong connecting onto Singapore.

I put my Cathay award on hold, booked my Park Hyatt award stay, then went back and ticketed Cathay and my Singapore Airlines awards. Then I had to decide where to stay in Singapore? I picked the Grand Hyatt because I had two expiring suite nights from the Hyatt Visa, and still had a confirmed suite I could use on paid stays that would be expiring as well, so I combined two free nights with two paid nights upgraded. Last year I stayed at the Intercontinental, and despite a huge upgrade to an Ambassador Suite I wasn’t especially fond of that hotel and didn’t want to return. I considered the Conrad as well but the time-sensitivity of my Hyatt award certificates made the decision for me.

Hong Kong would be another challenge, I considered an award at the two Intercontinental properties, but neither treats Royal Ambassadors especially well on award nights (though the Grand Stanford is more generous than the Intercontinental Hong Kong, though the latter is the better hotel). I considered the Grand Hyatt but didn’t want to burn points, a paid night was prohibitively expensive. So I settled on the Conrad, where a Cash and Points award was available and where Diamonds are treated well, I was confident not just in lounge access and internet but also a Harbour View.

I opened a correspondence with the Park Hyatt, asking about confirmed upgrades. I figured that if I was going to make it all the way to the Maldives, I wanted the full Maldives experience. The base room is a villa, and it seems that Diamonds tend to get upgraded to villas with private pool subject to availability on arrival, though this is not guaranteed since with ‘all suites’ there’s nothing due Diamond members ‘by right’ in the program. Many prefer the villa with pool for its privacy and overall spaciousness. But I wanted a water villa, because that’s one of the things that’s archetypical of resorts in the area. Plus I had an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora and loved it — the direct access to the ocean, the uniqueness, the beauty walking to and from the room.

I was quoted rates to confirm upgrades at booking that I thought were quite reasonable: $200++ per night (10% service charge, 3.5% Goods and Services Tax, $8 per person bed tax) to upgrade to a pool villa or $350++ per night to upgrade to a water villa.

I’m since heard that they’re charging more than that now for a similar confirmed upgrade, so I considered myself to be getting a ‘deal’. I booked a 5 night award, so $350++ times five was hardly cheap, but I had plenty of Hyatt Gift Certificates and I felt a bit flush. Plus the flights to and from Male, and the base room rate, were ‘free’ with miles. So I went for it, and I requested that they assign us to the most private villa possible.

Now I was excited. And I just had to wait. And wait. Other trips came and went, and even the best ones seemed like vacations I had to ‘get through’ before finally being able to visit the Maldives. Now that I’m back I can say that I’m thrilled with the whole trip, that I would do it over. But before we get ahead of ourselves, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride through my eyes..

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 InsideFlyer.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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  6. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  7. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  8. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  9. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  10. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  11. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  12. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  13. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  14. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  15. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  16. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

  17. […] Introduction Positioning flights to San Francisco, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, and Some Dim Sum for the Day Cathay’s New San Francisco Lounge Cathay Pacific First Class, San Francisco – Hong Kong The Wing and Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Singapore A Grand Suite at the Grand Hyatt Singapore Eating in Singapore Dinner at Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male Transfer to the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives Park Hyatt Maldives – Part I Park Hyatt Maldives – Part II Park Hyatt Maldives – Part III Maldivian, Kaadehdhoo – Male Singapore Airlines Business Class, Male – Singapore Cathay Pacific Business Class, Singapore – Hong Kong Conrad Hong Kong Cathay Pacific First Class, Hong Kong – Chicago American’s Chicago Flagship Lounge and the Final Journey Home […]

Comments

  1. Been waiting for this report Gary! Very exciting. We did this trip two years ago and seems we took nearly the exact same route. This is a real highlighter of points value. I recently looked up how much that vacation cost us (back then Park Hyatt was Alila Villas and we paid cash) and we paid a whopping $17k for 10 nights (we paid for the pool villa, ate at the restaurant every night and did 18 dives along with a couple of advanced dive courses, but still at least half was just the base price). Plan to return using Hyatt points, this time flying QR via DOH from YUL. Very interested in your take on it

  2. Also let’s see what you think of the OWB but we actually declined. We were offered to upgrade at the property for $100 per night and went to look, but preferred the pool villa we had. It was just so nice to have a “private” beach in front of the villa and you could go out and snorkel right in front. I tried both areas and found the snorkeling in front of our room superior to that near the water villas where the water was choppier and shallower. Then when you get back covered in salty sea water you just take a nice dip in the pool, followed by an outdoor shower at the back ­čÖé Ah the memories… truly best vacation we ever had. In fact we were only supposed to do 5 days, with 5 days in Bali. Ended up just cancelling Bali to stay 10 at this place

  3. Nice setup to the trip report. Really interesting to hear about the thinking behind the decisions on which hotels to stay at, and what airlines to consider based on positioning/availability. Stuff like that is what makes this blog stand out above the rest!

  4. Thanks so much for giving this detailed introduction. For us poor (teacher’s salary :D) but curious burgeoning points addicts, your run through of exactly why you did what with what is very valuable

  5. We just returned from the Maldives today using AA miles on Etihad for first class, JFK-MLE. Stayed at the Conrad using points and was grandfathered in for the diamond benefits. Fantastic trip but a hell of a time getting there from/to DFW. Flight times don’t match up very good.

  6. Really looking forward to this one. Just wonder why you chose to redeem the Sin Male leg on SQ separately given the lousy award chart, biz surcharge and fuel surcharges. Was it impossible to get the award otherwise?

  7. Gary,

    One little tip about using CX to CMB — AA considers it an “Asia 2” award (as opposed to an India/Middle East which is a bit more expensive). I get your arguments about the quality of service with this option (namely CX J HKG-CMB) but if one can’t fork over the needed points for an I/ME award, it’s a reasonable option.

    That said, thanks for the FYI on the EY service from IAD. I was thinking about doing the CX thing that I mentioned above, but if I can leave straight from my backyard and not have positioning flights, well, that’s a tough choice.

  8. @John – I can tell you from my own experience SQ are no longer opening up any J (or hardly any) to *A partners. When we went we were able to do it with US Airways miles for 30k each round trip. With SQ it is more around 55k as long as you do it online. I see 2 seats available to SQ KrisFlyers members on just about each and every day. Really don’t know why they don’t open this one up. There is one daily and another one every other day and I am sure J goes out half empty most of the time. It is a pretty nice product though, basically the same seat you get on long haul AA business class, just with better service!

  9. Sorry to hog the post but this is my fave topic. To those of you looking at using AA points on EY it is not as easy as I would have hoped. First off EY do not publish any fares between the US and Maldives. So you are looking at using two awards (one to get to AUH then one to get to MLE). Oddly enough they do publish fares between Canada and MLE so you could do, for example YVR-JFK-AUH-MLE on one North America-Middle East but JFK-AUH-MLE requires one North America-Middle east for JFK-AUH and then a Middle East-Middle East for AUH-MLE.

    Personally I think ANA remains the best way to get EY awards via Amex Membership rewards. In first class East Coast USA – MLE is 160k and you can do free stopovers on the way. Just you can’t mix carriers on ANA single partner awards, but otherwise this is a much better value

  10. For us from JFK to AUH in Etihad first class diamond suites and from AUH to MLE in business (no first class on this flight) and back was 180k AA miles. Unfortunately we didn’t have any other miles in sufficient quantity to use.

  11. BBD – Villas No 12. See our gallery here: http://gallery.me.com/hallphilip#100078

    You got lucky with the AA booking. I had a similar booking made (4xF JFK-AUH and 4xY AUH-MLE) but had to cancel due to change in plans. If AA ticketing do things the way they are supposed to, they should be charging two separate tickets. However there have been other reports of mistakes being made, though plenty of reports of them saying no it has to be two awards

  12. Booked a similar trip last week: I’m headed to PHM at the end of the month with my wife. Hadn’t planned on doing any diving, but we just hastily got certified so that we can enjoy the world-class diving in the Maldives.

    We’re flying coach LAX-ORD-CDG on AA metal, then CDG-AUH-MLE on Etihad (I’m 5’8″ and she’s 5’1″, so the trip is do-able in coach). Breaking up the travel like this saved us 10k points, since LAX-ORD-CDG and back is just 40k off-peak. CDG-AUH-MLE is also 40k, so we burned 80k per person for the r/t (also built in a trip to LIH on the return, so it was a pretty good value).

    Booking CDG-AUH-MLE was super-easy, in contrast to what folks have said about booking directly from the U.S. But if you’re flying first class, I’ve got no doubt that the extra hassle to book the whole trip on EY is worth it.

    We’re going to spend a few days in France, probably in Paris and Honfleur, then overnight in Abu Dhabi at Le Royal Meridien (which has great rates right now)during our transfer. For the Hyatt stay, we used 110k Sapphire UR points and 2 Hyatt Visa award nights. I also purchased the $325 “Inpsire” certificate from Hyatt to add a night (necessary because EY availability 30 days out left us in MLE for 8 nights, and I figured it was worth the money to stay another night at the Hyatt versus some motel in Male).

    Looking forward to the report.

  13. “That’s not my style.”

    It will never cease to amuse me how entitled you are, and this novel of a trip report is the epitome of that.

  14. Just a heads-up in regards to the Park Hyatt Maldives, they currently have a discount offer for any Etihad Guest members. The promo code is PHMEY1 – takes the price down nicely.

    The terms of the rate say you need to present your Etihad card and claim Etihad miles rather than Hyatt points, but for the savings it’s probably worthwhile still.

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