You may not know that Park Hyatt Hadahaa is number two on PADI Travel’s list of properties in the Maldives for diving. It’s a user generated list and, as you will see, there’s ample justification for the resort’s position. This North Huvadhoo Atoll property enjoys a pristineness that’s hard to find elsewhere.
“We’re very lucky to be where we are,” says Rilwan Mohamed, base leader for dive and activities at the property. “We have over 30 dive sites nearby and I’d consider at least half of them world-class.”
The dive centre was established in 2009 when the resort was run by the then Singapore-based hospitality group Alila Hotels and Resorts.
“We became part of the Hyatt family in 2011 and we were the first established dive base of the Hyatt Group,” explains Rilwan. “We’ve maintained our reputation as a five-star dive centre and for us, the safety and security of our guests are top priority along with giving them a memorable dive or snorkelling experience.”
“With us, it’s not just about providing a service,” Rilwan adds. “Here, we’re all about giving our guests an experience, we take them on a journey.” Fitting for a dive base that’s dubbed Blue Journeys.
The centre bagged the PADI Green Star in 2016, an award recognising dive centres and properties dedicated to ensuring sustainability and conservation. And Rilwan is visibly pleased with the PADI Travel ranking.
“I think it’s because we’re very committed to delivering excellent results,” he says. “We put a high premium on taking care of our guests. So, if they have an experience with us, they will go back feeling that they’ve been well cared for. Plus, we never make promises that we can’t keep. And of course, having a wonderful, highly experienced team with us is obviously a huge help.”
Huvadhoo Atoll is known for its unique marine topography and underwater life, especially among divers.
“This is one of those places where you can dive and really be amazed,” says Rilwan. “You can go on a dive and see all sorts of marine fauna and in huge numbers. For example, here, you won’t spot just a few eagle rays, it’ll be an entire school of them. Add to that some of the largest green turtles that you’ll ever encounter and you have a diver’s dream.”
“I’ve dived almost everywhere in the Maldives,” he continues. “Something that’s special about this atoll is that you’ve got dive sites for all levels of divers, from beginners to experts. Also, if you’re into corals, we have sites like Doragalla, which I’d liken to a coral city. It’s a lush cosmos of coral, fit for connoisseurs.”
The atoll’s untouched nature may be short-lived as tourism continues to expand.
“Where humans gather in large enough densities, other living creatures are pushed out to the fringes of existence,” says Pravin Kumar, Park Hyatt Hadahaa’s general manager. “Us being far from the epicentre of human activity in the Maldives, by that I mean Male’ Atoll, that really helps a lot. There’s very little going on here [in Huvadhoo Atoll], very little disturbance to the natural rhythms.”
However, the mysterious El Nino is an even greater threat to the beautiful southern reefs – 2016 witnessed the death of most coral life above five metres, while human-led climate change further imperils the ecosystem.
“There’s not much we can do to be honest,” admits Rilwan. “But we remain positive and hope that we can find ways of mitigating the effects in the coming years. For the moment, we can be happy as the corals are recovering.”