HBA / Hirsch Bedner Associates, global leader in hospitality design, lent its design expertise to breathe new life into the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Hyatt’s only five-star luxury hotel in the Maldives. Nearly every facet of the resort was touched by the re-design that was completed in April 2013, from the 50 Maldivian guest villas to the magnificent ‘beached’ Dhoni.
The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is situated on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll near one of the largest and deepest atolls in the world. Nestled within natural vegetation and only a few steps from the sparkling turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the resort embodies secluded luxury. Previously a privately owned resort, the two-year-old property was given a greater sense of place once designers from HBA’s Dubai office were enlisted to elevate it to Park Hyatt standards.
“We worked closely with the Hyatt team at Hadahaa and Hyatt in Dubai to really see where we could enhance such a beautiful resort”, says Lead Designer, Michelle Evans. “Our journey started in paradise and took us across Bali, Bangkok, Europe, and back to Dubai as we custom-designed each item from bathroom accessories to the private pagodas for the beach".
The resort features 50 villas including 14 Park Water Villas perched above the Indian Ocean, 16 Park Villas, and 20 Park Pool Villas. HBA designers were tasked to work with all the villas’ existing furniture; all wood finishes was stripped and re-purposed. To create an elevated room experience, soft furnishings, artwork, and accessories were brought in featuring vibrant colours that add to the luxury in-room experience. The rooms’ minibar and desk units were re-designed with timber block tops and feature custom-designed minibar trays and an espresso amenities station. Designers worked with Compete, a manufacturer in Dubai, to design and develop a complete range for Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa branding coasters to compendiums, which each reflect the brand’s tan colours with a flash of orange.
HBA designers reassessed the use of a structure designed to replicate the traditional Indian Ocean sailing vessel known as a “Dhoni”, giving it a complete refurbishment. After careful planning, designers were able to create separate spaces for lounging and introduced a raised stage area for functions. The partially outdoor space was designed to be more versatile and easily re-arranged based on each event. The room developed a distinct character once personalized, regionally-sourced artwork and ceramics were brought in.
HBA boosted the sense of arrival by completely re-designing the reception area; designers infused brilliant hues of fuchsia and orange to stand out among an underlying soft grey colour palette. A series of artworks based on coral formations were installed against the textile wall panels and provided the bases for accent colours. Tailor-made book and display cases in the reception were made with wood that was sourced and hand-crafted in Bali. Additionally, HBA advised on the placement of a retail area within the space, as well as sourcing retailers for high-end jewelry, beachwear and accessories.
Challenged with a long room that had no discernible focal points, HBA designers were tasked with giving the resort’s restaurant, The Dining Room, a new layout. Designers introduced raised platforms at either end of the room to break up the space, one with sofa seating and the other with a chef’s table. Large-scale, intricate filigree metal pieces of artwork were commissioned and placed at the end of the wall to create a central focal point to complement the sweeping views of the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, the back bar, spanning the full length of one wall, was re-configured to introduce wine towers and screening to break up the long expanse. The screens were imaginatively designed to be lit up in the evening to provide subtle lighting that casts shadows to help transition the space from lunch to dinner service.
Inside the property’s stylish cocktail lounge, Bells Bar, the HBA team added ambiance by creating a more tranquil and functional space. A bar was designed and built to meet all operator requirements while capitalizing on the views that encompass the heart of the resort. A high-top counter bar table was created from a stunning timber slice, which encourages guests to sit and watch the resident mixologist concoct the resort’s signature cocktails. The ambiance was further enhanced with specially designed lighting, soft furnishings, drapery, and accent candle lighting. Plush sofas, swing chairs, and six intimate beach cabanas that face the breathtaking ocean views bring a sense of secluded romance to the space.
To capitalize on the resort’s most valuable asset - the beach - HBA designers incorporated bespoke gazebos for both day and evening beach set ups. The gazebos can be used for formal private dining, causal beanbag seating, or to accommodate fire pits and exterior cooking with barbeques. The jetty was completely re-designed as well, to be more inviting and create a more notable arrival experience. Taking into account the region’s changing seasons and climate, HBA designers introduced a commissioned sail canopy, which could be anchored to the jetty and removed during the winter. Custom seating tables and lanterns that could be secured to the jetty were also introduced.
In order to better utilize the outdoor area at the Vidhun Spa, HBA designers created luxurious pagodas with lounge seating that feature the resort’s signature colour scheme. Plush rugs, soft cushions, candle lighting, and artwork were brought in to better accessorize the space.