"A Secluded Island with the Best Snorkeling Ever"
Park Hyatt Hadahaa
Situated a considerable distance of 400 kilometres away from the bustling capital city of Malé, and a mere 50 kilometres from the Equator, you'll find what might just be the epitome of honeymoon destinations. For those in pursuit of an unparalleled blend of romance and relaxation, this spot is undoubtedly a dream come true.
What amazed us most?
The island is so compact that one can circumnavigate it in a mere 15 minutes. With only 50 villas, 14 of which are water villas, the setting is intimate, making it an idyllic destination for honeymooners. Each villa is strategically placed away from communal areas and enveloped by verdant foliage, ensuring unparalleled privacy for guests. These villas boast floor-to-ceiling windows and doors which open onto a private deck.
Some come equipped with a personal plunge pool and offer direct beach access. The king-size bed, draped elegantly, faces the expansive windows, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle garden. On our first day, as I enjoyed tea on the terrace, a shadow resembling Batman flitted across our deck. Initially, I assumed bats inhabited the island. However, upon closer observation, I spotted flying foxes in the trees. While they are a species of bat, their diet consists exclusively of nectar and pollen. The island is teeming with them.
All guests are invited to join a tour of the staff area, where we were given insight into the operational aspects, such as water filtration, energy sourcing, and waste treatment. This was particularly intriguing for me, as I had never seen the "behind the scenes" of a hotel before.
The hotel places a high emphasis on environmental sustainability. Efforts have been made to ensure the island retains its pristine condition. Any vegetation displaced to create pathways was transplanted elsewhere on the island. Instead of plastic, refillable glass bottles are used for water, drinking is facilitated with paper straws, and ceramic containers hold toiletries, all in an effort to minimize waste on the island. Additionally, the wooden deck is constructed from bamboo timber, known for its durability. Notably, the hotel has earned the Gold EarthCheck Certification this year.
Located just 50 metres from the land villas and directly beneath the water villas is a vibrant underwater realm, home to approximately 1,200 species of fish and 250 species of coral. We were informed that the house reef at Hadahaa ranks among the best in the Maldives, and it certainly lived up to our expectations.
During our guided snorkelling tour, we encountered a vast array of coral and fish. As soon as we entered the water, vibrant schools of tropical fish surrounded us. It was an experience unlike any I had ever had before. The highlight was our encounter with a shark. While they maintain a vigilant presence in their territory, they are not aggressive – Ingus even playfully chased one! Another captivating species we observed was the parrotfish. When we heard a peculiar sound, reminiscent of crackling fire underwater, we realized it was a shoal of parrotfish nibbling on coral. All the sand on the island has passed through these fish's digestive systems - a single fish generates 90 kg of sand annually.
On Saturday evening, we attended a cocktail event hosted right on the sandy shores of the beach. The hosts served an exquisite array of drinks accompanied by gourmet canapés that truly tantalized our taste buds. As we settled into the comfy bean bags, the cultural essence of the Maldives enveloped us. We were thoroughly captivated by the intense beats and pulsing rhythms of the traditional Boduberu performance, which was made even more magical with the backdrop of a vibrant and colourful sunset painting the horizon. There's an inexplicable joy in dancing barefoot on the sand, feeling its warmth and texture beneath your feet while being immersed in such an atmosphere.
How to get there?
The island's remoteness requires a 1-hour domestic flight followed by a 30-minute speedboat journey. However, the profound sense of seclusion you feel upon arrival justifies the travel. At the airport, representatives from Park Hyatt greeted us and facilitated our domestic transfers, ensuring a seamless transition.