Hilton Maldives Amingiri Review – Overwater Bungalow with a private pool
- Each bungalow is a "standard room" and comes with a private pool
- Close to airport - 20 minute speedboat ride was mostly smooth even when it was windy/rainy
- Service from the airport was great, as well as getting through airport security
- Perks for diamond members: breakfast with bubbly, and daily happy hour
- Food is pricey - a pizza or burger is around $38 USD, glass of wine is over $20 USD
- 12% taxes and 10% service charge on everything
- Unclear daily/weekly schedule - phone app didn't match with actual activities offered
- Level of service varied greatly - some hospitality staff were stellar but some were awkward
- Weather is unpredictable - affects activities/offerings like outdoor yoga, etc.
If you stay, I recommend having at least Hilton gold status (through Amex Platinum (referral link here) or other Hilton Amex card (Aspire link here for 150,000 Hilton Points) to maximize covering costs.
You can get an overwater bungalow, or a beach villa, with a 2 bedroom option/suite if you can splurge:
- Overwater villa (with a few 2 bedroom for families/double couples?)
- Beach villa (also with a few two bedrooms)
Based on the Hilton Honors app/website, the rooms can be priced starting at ~$800 USD after taxes for an overwater villa per night, which at least includes breakfast.
I used 440,000 points for 5 nights, and wish I used a free night certificate for an extra night.
Getting to the Hilton & Checking-in
I landed in MLE super late (close to midnight), which is poor timing since I essentially wasted a day's stay (but it rained that day in Maldives anyways). After clearing immigration, a Hilton Rep was holding the resort sign and helped roll our luggage to the boat.
The speedboat looked rocky (it was rainy and windy) but it was smooth inside and had wifi.
The shared speedboat is the only way to get to and from the resort - and is $300 USD + 12% tax + 10% service charge, so over $700 for two people.
Our arrival was late, but 6-10 staff members were still waiting at the lobby to get our things on a buggy/cart, hand us a welcome tea, and escort us to the room.
The standard overwater villa is described as over 1500 square feet, with a private pool and a ladder to the ocean. The room looked like the renderings on the Hilton app:
Since we arrived late, our concierge did not give us a tour until after breakfast the next morning. There were a lot of controls (i.e. air conditioning/ceiling fan/certain light switches) that were semi-confusing, and the ceiling fan was sometimes a bit noisy, but otherwise no other complaints about the room.
The room was refreshed every morning and dinner. There are supply rooms in between rooms with new towels, tea and coffee, refills of the 3 large bottles of water, and bathroom things.
I wish I used the bathroom amenities more (besides toothbrush kits), as there was a body scrub, comb and other things I didn't notice until the last day.
Other aspects of the room:
The price for alcohol and soda was pretty crazy, with hard liquor being $70+, wine bottles being $50, and the coke and beers around $8-10 a bottle/can.
TV: Limited offerings - lots of Indian MTV. You can also connect your phone via bluetooth/wifi.
The resort has several dining/drink options:
- Habitat- breakfast and dinner, main restaurant, international offerings
- Sip, a cafe by the lobby that offers daily happy hour
- Aura- a grill with American options,
- Origin- local seafood,
- Eden - upscale champagne and whiskey bar, and
- room/service delivery.
They also had an international dinner buffet one night- that was around $100-120 per person. Habitat is "international" themed anyways and I think they used some leftover food from brunch. Highlights were meat carving (beef, chicken, fish), and some fancy prepared desserts.
One of the first things we did after breakfast was get fitted for snorkels. The hotel can schedule dives (with a photographer), but I opted to just use the vest and snorkel to see what was around the villa. While the reef seems to be redeveloping there were still schools of tiny fish!
Another activity was the art studio. I did a complimentary "coffee" painting, and painted my cat Meelo with coffee and it turned out to be a perfect color match!
Not pictured: Jet ski, kayak, paddleboat - unfortunately water was rocky most of the days and these activities were weather permitting. Glass kayak was also extra per hour. I also wish weather would've been better to do a dolphin viewing boat trip or that I learned scuba.
The Hilton Aminigiri offers privacy without pretentious luxury, and there were moments when I was just looking at the endless ocean feeling truly relaxed. If you want to treat yourself there are options to splurge on an all-inclusive package or extra spa treatments. But it's also possible to book here without spending a ton if you have Hilton points, and are diamond and get breakfast/brunch covered.
I feel fortunate to have experienced this resort in its first year of opening, and if you have the right strategy accumulating Hilton points or pooling with someone with points, this hotel is slightly more achievable than the Conrad and Waldorf in the Maldives!