Maldives Trip Review, the Hotel Jen, Male
There are dozens upon dozens of 5 star luxurious resorts in the Maldives. It just so happens that all of them are also a speedboat or seaplane ride away from the main island. With a dirth of options for luxury on the capital island itself, it was nice to see that the Hotel Jen by Shangri-La takes pride in providing an excellent 5 star experience in decidedly less luxurious surroundings.
Our $46,000 vacation to the Maldives for only $1,818
- Part 1 – Introduction and Planning
- Part 2 – Flights to London and Hamilton
- Part 3 – Refined Luxury London’s St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
- Part 4a – The House Lounge, London Heathrow
- Part 4b – Etihad First Class Apartment LHR-AUH
- Part 4c – Etihad First Class Lounge, Abu Dhabi
- Part 4d – A340 Etihad to Male, Flight Review
- Part 5 – A day in the life of Male, Capital City
- Part 6 – St Regis Airport Lounge and Seaplane Ride
- Part 7 – The St Regis Hotel Arrival Experience
- Part 8 – Overwater Villa, $3000/night for FREE
- Part 9 – Things to do at the St Regis Maldives
- Part 10 – Free Breakfast at the St Regis Maldives
- Part 11 – How to not go broke eating in the Maldives
- Part 12 – Snorkeling at the St Regis Maldives
- Part 13 – Male Airport VIP experience
- Part 14 – Emirates First Class Male to Dubai
- Part 15 – Dubai Transit Hotel – Amazing Value
- Part 16 – Emirates First Class Dubai to Los Angeles
- Part 17 – Conclusion and Giveaway
Mention the Maldives and images of pristine turquoise blue waters come to mind. Overwater bungalows with direct jump-in access to the water and romantic sunsets are commonplace in this island paradise.
While it’s on almost everyone’s wish list, getting there can be a challenge. Flights are often ridiculously expensive and once you DO get to the islands, a barrage of expensive hotels with overpriced meals await. Never mind the flight distance involved, those expensive factors are enough to turn some people off and have them looking for cheaper destinations.
Getting to paradise and back doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We booked a ridiculous, normally unattainable luxury vacation valued at almost $46,000 for a grand total of $1,818… for two people!
Considering that’s usually the price of a regular coach class ticket to the Maldives, that’s one heck of a steal.
In the series of posts to follow, we’re going to walk you through all the experiences that we enjoyed on this trip. While most people would consider this once-in-a-lifetime, with just a little legwork and dedication you can have a luxury getaway to make Instagram followers drool with envy.
How We Booked
We booked our room using our Hotels.com free night. At a rate of $152/night, it was on the pricier side for Male hotels. We knew that we could find cheaper, but we also wanted to make sure that we started the Maldives out the right way.
Using our free night certificate from Hotels.com brought our out of pocket down to only $42.
How to get to the hotel
Once you get to the airport, you’ll pass through customs and immigration into the main waiting area. Look for the Tourist Counters where almost every hotel has a stand. We found the one with the hotel Jen but there was no one there… but luckily, someone was nice enough from the Holiday Inn stand next door to give them a call. A short 5 minute wait and our representative was there.
We made the walk over to the jetty where the Hotel Jen speedboat was waiting to take us to the property! The ride is included in the cost of your hotel room.
When it came time for us to leave, the hotel Jen coordinated with our next hotel to make sure that there was no delay in moving from property to property.
Hotel Jen’s Double Room
We booked a double bed room which, I find when in a tropical place, is a must. The idea that air-con sometimes blows heavy or light and body heat being what it is, I like being able to adjust my own temperature without disturbing Ben.
The hotel was crisp, clean, and modern. Plug ins were available in the center console with adaperts available at the front desk.
The bathroom was spacious with a big soaking tub, free amenities (like toothbrush, comb, etc), and a nice remind that if you want a spa service, it’s 15% off for hotel guests!
A large, spacious closet with iron, ironing board, AND umbrella were in the room. I appreciate the umbrella, as rain storms come at a moment’s notice.
Coffee was also free, but you had to call down to the front desk to ask for it. Bottled water will be replenished as well simply by asking. This seemed to be the norm for most of the hotels, which was a great relief!
The “I’m Staying with Jen” pillow will be stolen by anyone named Jen or friends with someone named Jen I’m sure.
The view, while not sexy by any means, was pretty standard for the hotel. There are ocean view rooms but they were all full for our stay. Just check out the “construction??”
I love that this hotel offers a variety of day trips. If you want to come to the Maldives on the cheap but still enjoy the bungalows and overwater excitement that those resorts afford, you can book day tours from the hotel.
There are plenty of packages depending on your budget and what you’d like to include. Some have food and drinks included, while some are just access to the beaches.
Check out this one, the Embudhoo Village, for only $65USD, including transfer, lunch, 1 bottle of water, beach, pool, and a shower. WHAT! That’s a steal.
How about the Cinnamon Dhonveli? At $130 Net it includes Lunch, beverages, transfer, beach, etc, etc,
There are literally dozes of options and you can gauge your level of spend and desire to have more activities. I think this is a fantastic way to experience both the local and exotic in the Maldives.
Around the Area
The Hotel Jen is located just a block off from the main drag and the water front. It’s an easy 5-10 minute walk from the hotel to some great local restaurants. You can also go to the fish and fruit market that we mentioned in our previous post about a Day in the life in Male. If you’re looking for something truly authentic, it doesn’t get much more real than that!
Skip it. They charge a ridiculous amount, I believe t was $18 pp, for a basic buffet. We’ve already established that there are bakeries on every corner and a quick google search and 5 minute walk will get you much better food at a much better price.
The Maldives have a plethora of luxury hotels and over the top destinations, but the main island doesn’t have much in the way of the fancy destinations. The Hotel Jen was clean, crisp, conveniently located with good wifi, cold air con, and being able to use our hotels.com free night was a win.