Sunday, March 6, 2016

D.C, Dubai, & The Maldives: Pre-Trip Report.

Photo Courtesy Hyatt

THE BIG ONE: Pre-Trip Report

The idea to travel to the Maldives first came to me in 2013, while visiting the Grand Hyatt in Kauai.  I figured if we could utilize points and miles, I could save some significant money to do the trip.  While I originally envisioned travelling there in February of 2015, my booking ended up being for April of 2016.  Even with free hotels and airfare, I needed to budget a lot of funds.  In the end, I booked 16 nights across 6 different hotels for our vacation. 

The booking process was extensive, and everything had to come together in a short period of time.  Unfortunately it was not a perfect process, and on top of the booking fees, I spent an additional $300 to change our flights once the bookings were made.  As for the flights: for a grand total of $3636.80 and 350,000 United Miles I have the following:

First Class on United Airlines from San Francisco to Washington D.C
Business Class on Lufthansa from Washington D.C to Dubai (With a stop in Frankfurt)
Economy Class on Emirates from Dubai to Male
Seaplane flight to/from the Park Hyatt Maldives
Seaplane flight to/from the Conrad Maldives
Business Class on Turkish Airlines from Male to San Francisco (With a stop in Istanbul)

In a sadistic twist of irony, $1650 of the $3650 will get me 36 out of 45 hours in-flight in lie-flat business class seats, but I will be forced to shell out an additional $2000 for two round-trip <1 hour seaplane flights to and from our hotels in the Maldives.

For our hotels: For a grand total of $785.10, I will have: 1 night at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, 2 nights at the Park Hyatt in Abu Dhabi in a suite, 3 nights at the Park Hyatt Dubai in a suite, 4 nights in a Beach Villa at the Park Hyatt in the Maldives, 5 nights in a Beach Villa at the Conrad in the Maldives, and one night at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Of course, I plan to upgrade our rooms to Water Villa's many of the nights, which will add a hefty fee to the total cost of the trip, but I'll leave that out for now.

Thus far, we've only run into a couple of hiccups: the first being the changes we had to make for our flights, and the bigger one being United's announcement in December of 2015 that their direct-service flight from Washington Dulles to Dubai would be terminated at the end of January 2016.  I quickly rebooked into the best available alternative: Business class on Lufthansa.

While the change adds a bit of travel time into the equation, it also enabled us to move the flight back a day without charge, and I'm expecting service and comfort will be better overall on Lufthansa.

Additional plans are:

Dinner at an underwater restaurant
Camel Rides
A trip on the world's fastest roller coaster
A day trip in Istanbul

I look forward to bringing you reports from all our hotels in the coming couple of months.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to the posts to come! This trip sounds so amazing and I loved being able to chat with you while you were on the plane starting the vacation. I would rather stay a week in the Park Water Villa at the Park Hyatt in the Maldives because those photos I've seen of it make it look like an unforgettable experience. To be able to wake up and be in the water in approximately 3 seconds seems ideal for me :)