Am I a real travel blogger if I haven’t been to the Maldives?

Park Hyatt or Conrad Maldives – the two main points options.

If you’ve read any travel blogs over your entire life you know it appears to be a requirement to go to the Maldives on points, more specifically the Park Hyatt Maldives.

photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Maldives

 

Now that I’m an official blogger (I guess they let anyone do it) it’s good timing that the Maldives has been a topic of discussion for about the past 6 months in my house. When planning for our honeymoon we discussed it extensively but really wanted to do Tokyo as well. With American miles finding availability on Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong proved too difficult with our dates so we settled on Bali. Sidenote: definition of #firstworldproblems is “settling” on Bali over the Maldives – gotta love the points game!

Luckily I’ve been working on my stash of points for quite awhile and now am able to pull it off with a big combination of points and more flexibility on dates. Unlike many bloggers we will be staying at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

This looks pretty awful too. Photo courtesy of Conrad Maldives.

The plan, or lack thereof:

Exactly how this is happening is still unfolding. At one point we were going to Dubai first which is a logical stop but…we live in Phoenix. So the idea of going to Dubai in the summer doesn’t sound like much of a vacation from the heat here and for some reason it’s not a city we’re that interested in anyways. And we were considering Israel, and Jordan, then we thought we had settled on stopping in Europe on the way and going to Vienna and Budapest.  Then we decided the Middle East really does make sense to use a little less PTO (yes, sadly I don’t travel full time). And here we are today. Still unsure.

What we ARE sure of is that we will be staying at the Conrad Maldives. There are a couple reasons for this.

  1. I am not a big deal since I’m not a Hyatt Diamond like every other person into the points game.
  2. As a lowly Hyatt Platinum (due to the Hyatt credit card) I don’t get free breakfast or any of the perks Diamond members receive.
  3. I have Hilton Gold Status through the AmEx Hilton HHonors Surpass which gets free breakfast, afternoon tea, and free happy hour at the Conrad. Between those 3 perks our cost for meals shouldn’t be too terrifying…except for that whole underwater restaurant part.
  4. Through Hilton’s many generous promos and the fact you earn 12x base points with the Hilton Surpass I have a huge stash of Hilton points from work travel and got 2 free nights with the Citi Hilton Reserve.
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Yeah, this look cheap.

 

Ultimately the Maldives will still be very pricey. With a $500 per person seaplane transfer from the Male airport and drinks, food, and excursions we still will be shelling out quite a bit for this trip. However, without points this trip would never be possible. Spending $800 on a hotel for even one night isn’t something I would ever consider, much less that much per night for a week unless I felt like selling off my future first born. By getting flights to Male covered and 5-7 nights at the Hilton for free this will be a bucket list item made possible due to the amazing world of hotel and airline points.

Once this all gets nailed down more installments to come. Of course we’re trying to book Etihad Apartments from Abu Dhabi to JFK by cleaning out our AA miles stash but still lots of logistics to figure out, stay tuned!

 

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