Hilton Maldives Amingiri Review – Overwater Bungalow with a private pool

The Hilton Maldives Amingiri opened last year, and if you have Hilton points to spare/free night certificates (get automatic diamond status, an annual free night certificate + $250 annual resort credit if you open the Aspire amex, referral link: here), or want to go to Maldives and are Hilton Diamond and want to stay in a room with a private pool- this is the stay for you. 

Overwater villa #28 
Infinite ocean

PROS: 

  • 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 

CONS:

  • 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.

Rates/Booking:

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 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: 

They can decorate if its a special occasion, and our welcome gift was a bottle of white wine, a bowl of fruit, and veggie sandwiches.

The bathroom with shutters up

Balcony view

Outdoor shower

Glass floor section was huge! 

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.

Turndown service: 

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. 

    Food/drink

    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.
    Our main eatery was Habitat:


    Habitat breakfast/brunch was the highlight of the day- with some favorites such as congee and a make your own noodle soup bar, and fresh fruit. There was also a dim sum station and omelet station, but those were average. 

     


    Egg options include benedicts 




    "American" breakfast options 
    The Za'atar Pita was one of my favorite eats 










    Bagel station and fruit station sampling

    Dinners at Habitat: 

    Each entrée ranges from $30-50 USD

    Burger & fries

    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. 




    My other favorite part of dining at habitat was the live music performance - mostly by a guy on a guitar and female vocalist covering pop hit songs. 

    Sip: 
    Happy hour - great mocktails, and basically whatever alcohol you wanted if they had it (wine, beer, and some cocktails). You can also order tea and coffee.

    My favorite part of the happy hour was that some folks were friendly and it is a chance to socialize if you feel like it- I met other points travelers from Quebec! (and also played board games)

    Origin is its own freestanding villa that specializes in sustainable seafood (online menu). 


    It was nice for outdoor dining our last night, which happened to be more clear than the other nights.
    Cheers with a complimentary palette cleanser
    Amuse bouche
    Goat butter and normal butter with bread

    Crab cake appetizer 

    Coral snapper

    Barramundi BBQ

    Activities/Amenities:

    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! 



    Another activity is to swing in the water- but make sure your phone is in a waterproof case! 

    There's also the spa- diamond members get an extra half hour with any treatment:

    Yoga pavilion next to fitness center:
    Fitness center: 
    Tennis/basketball court- needs to be reserved in advance

    Photoshoot with 2 complimentary pictures- you get a free 30 min photoshoot with a photographer around the resort and can pay for more.

    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.

    Final thoughts:

    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! 

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