Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Last edit by: MaldivesFreak
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Welcome to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Wiki!
Notes: All prices are in US Dollars and are exclusive of taxes unless specified (by ++)

EXTRA CHARGES - BE AWARE FOLKS!
• A compulsory Christmas Eve Gala Dinner supplement of US$488++ per adult and US$150++ per child applies for stays on 24 December 2019
• A compulsory New Year's Eve Dinner supplement of US$800++ per adult and US$150++ per child applies for stays on 31 December 2019
This lamb to the slaughter approach will force a couple to cough up an extra $3176.63, or a family of 4 (2 adults & 2 kids) $3915.83, if you want to celebrate Xmas and New Years here


The following section is a pisstake and a warning all rolled into one. Be prepared to be shocked and fleeced, all at the same time.....

The 'Price-Gouging, Dirty Trick & Sneaky Sneaky' Section
1. Yacht transfer: At a mere 22.8km from Male, Ithaafushi originally started charging $378++ per person return but then (and even before the resort opened) went up to $350++ per person PER WAY. That's practically double the price; $1724.80 all up for 2 passengers and almost as much as a single night's stay in a base villa!
• See the story of the resort not allowing guests' own transfer arrangements and leaving a valued Diamond member out in the cold just ONE DAY before check-in! Or read about it here on the forum
Then read probably the best rebuttal to this ridiculous and hypocritical policy

Note that the resort has backtracked from its previous policy (set way before they opened and which all other resorts have) of allowing third party transfers, since they figured they could fleece guests for even more money by literally forcing every guest to take their yacht for the return transfer, not letting third party boats dock nor give them tender from the lagoon boundary (like what happened to BLTraveler above)

• Then, in true Ithaafushi prices-all-over-the-place style, they changed the price knocking $50 off each way, but only for some guests. And we still don't know who this applies to and who it doesn't apply to

2. Should you be unlucky enough to have to pay for breakfast, watch out for the $35 you'll have to fork out for a single egg!
3. A 106,000 dollar bottle of wine: Click here for a picture of the wine menu. Keep reading the next couple of pages to see reactions
4. $135 shisha! Check out this post
5. $64 for a bowl of noodles. Click here for the menu
6. Nearly a thousand dollars for a couple to sit in a bamboo cage on a pole at the restaurant Terra with nothing to look at after sunset
7. Compulsory Christmas Eve Gala Dinner supplement (see above)
8. Compulsory New Year's Eve Dinner supplement (see above)
...and a few corporate-greed-bashing posts for good measure and entertainment value: Click here and here

Cost cutting:
• True Waldorf Service Cost Cutting: Check out
this post
• Yasmeen's Set Menu: Check out the many reductions in offerings between the old and new menus in
this post



Tax Information
• 10% Service Charge (levied by resort. For info on this and how it's distributed, see this post)
• 12% T-GST (Tourist Goods & Services Tax, levied by the Maldivian government, current as of Oct 1, 2014)
• Total tax is 23.2%, not 22% as one would think. Example; $100 + 10% = $110, then add 12% on to $110 for a total of $123.20
• • Tip: To work out prices before the 23.2% taxes, multiply by 0.81169, i.e; 123.2 * 0.81169 = 100
• A Green Tax of $6pp/pn (levied by the Maldivian government) has been introduced starting from 1 November 2015. Points/Redemption bookings are exempt from the tax for up to two guests per room
Note: The $8pp/pn Bed Tax (previously levied by the Maldivian government) was abolished on Dec 1, 2014

Transfers To and From Resort
• How: Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi is located in South Malι Atoll, 23km southwest of Malι and Velana International Airport [MLE] (also known as Malι International Airport, previously known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport)
Private yacht transfer: $350++ per person per way ($1724.80 return inclusive of taxes for 2 passengers). If the yacht is not available, a speedboat will be provided by the resort. If this happens, you may be refunded the yacht transfer fee. See this post for more info
• Doing the dirty: Original quoted price was either $370++ or $378++ per person return but they thought that was too cheap and basically doubled it. Also note that the quoted transfer time on their website is 30 minutes but actual travel time is 40-50 minutes under normal sea conditions
• See this post for a detailed review of the yacht transfer (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• More sneaky business? Probably. Departure from Male to the resort was pretty much straight away but now we could wait up to 90 minutes to depart! Check out this post for a hypothesis


Alternative transfers to the WA and alternative destinations / resorts
• See this post for a success story in booking a very reasonably-priced transfer

• Transfer to / from Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: A private seaplane transfer from the Waldorf to the Conrad, taking approximately 25 minutes, is approximately USD 8,125++


Resort Information / F&B / Spa / Activities
• WA Ithaafushi is made up of three islands (95% man-made)
• The resort has 11 restaurants / bars
• There are 2 standalone OWVs (Over Water Villas) and 121 villas in total
• Click here (Hilton's website) or here (dedicated website) to visit the resort on the web
• The kids club (one of the biggest in the Maldives) is for children between 4 to 11 years. Click here for detailed information and here for the schedule. Click here, here and here for basic reviews and comprehensive sets of pictures (All courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Click here to visit the resort's listing on TripAdvisor
• Tennis courts: See this post
• For a map of the resort click here * Note that this map is orientated north and so the SUNRISE and SUNSET written on it are incorrect. Also note that you receive a black and white map when you arrive and this is not as good nor as detailed as the one posted here. For comments on the quality of the map, click here
• Snorkelling spots and other info 3e4sd:Link to post: (Courtesy of AirForceFlyer)
• Scuba Diving pics :Link to post: (Courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Activities Brochure (prices as of July 2019)
• Spa pics and review :Link to post: (Courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Wellness Programme :Link to post: (Courtesy of AirForceFlyer)

Resort Information - Menus
• Some restaurant menus are available in PDF format on the resort's website. Click here to visit the relevant page on their website
• For pictures of most of the menus: Part 1 and Part 2
• Dining Programme / restaurant opening times: See this post and the post below it
• IVD (In Villa Dining) menus: See this post
• Yasmeen - Menu version discussion here
• The Ledge - See this post. Note that this menu changes daily but there are probably only 2 for each day and 14 in total (7 for lunch and 7 for dinner)

Miscellaneous Information
• Villa pool depth: See this post
• Best snorkelling spots: See this post and this post
• Complimentary water (in villa): See this post
• Walking / getting around the resort: See this post
• Sunset / Sunrise at the resort: See this post and this post
• Power outlet configuration: See this post


Elite member benefits:

Hilton Honors GOLD MEMBERS:
  • Full breakfast at Tasting Table
  • In-villa VIP welcome Champagne, sweet and savoury amenities
  • Complimentary daily afternoon delights (see here for pic) with a fine selection of beverages crafted by mixologist and sommelier from 16:00 to 17:00 at Peacock Alley
  • 50% special offer on selected beverages at Nava Beach Club from 22:00 to 23:30
Hilton Honors DIAMOND MEMBERS:
  • Full breakfast at Tasting Table
  • In-villa VIP welcome Champagne, sweet and savoury amenities
  • [Diamond only benefit] With a selected 60-minute massage, enjoy a complimentary additional 30-minute at Waldorf Astoria Spa
  • Complimentary daily afternoon delights (see here for pic) with a fine selection of beverages crafted by mixologist and sommelier from 16:00 to 17:00 at Peacock Alley
  • 50% special offer on selected beverages at Nava Beach Club from 22:00 to 23:30

Accommodation:
At opening the resort defined Beach Villas as the lowest category of accommodation (only this category bookable with points). The next highest category was Reef Villas then above that, the Overwater Villas. Note: villas on the Private Island do not count.
This will change in 2020. Quote from the resort "Please be informed that for next year we have changed our villa category. Kindly note that the Reef Villa will be our base category, next will be the Overwater Villa and then the Beach Villa. Basically the Beach Villa will be a higher category compared to reef Villa and Overwater Villa."
See this post for the conversation related to this. Pricing has changed as well to reflect this. See below for 2020 pricing.
Note that as of August 2019 the BV is still available to book on points in 2020. This may change, however.

Prices - Accommodation (2020):

***** March 2020 Figures *****
• Beach Villa USD 2630
• Overwater Villa USD 2430
• Reef Villa USD 1930


Prices - Accommodation (2019):

***** July 2019 Figures *****
• 2 Bedroom Beach Villa with Pool USD 3850
• 2 Bedroom Over Water Villa with Pool USD 4350

***** October 2019 Figures *****
• Beach Villa USD 2100
• Grand Beach Villa USD 2300
• Reef Villa USD 2300
• Grand Reef Villa USD 2500
• Overwater Villa USD 2500
• Grand Overwater Villa USD 2700


***** Upgrade Costs - Jul 2019 *****
• Two Bedroom Beach - US 2000
• Two Bedroom Grand Beach - US 2200
• Two Bedroom Reef - US 2200
• Two Bedroom Overwater - US 2400

***** Upgrade Costs - Oct 2019 *****
• Reef Villa USD 200
• OWV USD 400


Villa Types and Abbreviations used in this thread (listed in order from most basic to most luxurious)

-- BVs (Beach Villas) --

BV (Beach Villa)
GBV (Grand Beach Villa)

-- RVs (Reef Villas) --

RV (Reef Villa, the Garden Villa category shown in the pre-opening promo video)
GRV (Grand Reef Villa, also a type of Garden Villa shown in the pre-opening promo video)

-- OWVs (Over Water Villas) --

OV (Overwater Villa)
GOV (Grand Overwater Villa)
SMR (Stella Maris Residences)

-- Occupancy Information --
See this post for maximum occupancy of each villa type

Villa Selection
• See this post and this post
• Privacy - Beach Villas: For pics, info and opinions, see the following posts; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


Travel & Safety Information
• The Maldives is listed in Category 1 (the highest category) on the
WHO Zika virus classification table. However, don't let that scare you because as of April 13, 2017 there has only been one confirmed case of Zika in the Maldives
• Click here for information related to the single Zika infection in the Maldives (reported in January of that year)


Contact
• General Enquiries: [email protected]
• Reservations Department: [email protected]
• Tel: +960-4000-300


Weather:
Note: since the resort is close to Mahibadhoo (where there is a weather station), I have added this info from the Conrad Maldives thread as both resorts are close by and the weather will be the same as far as forecasts go (MaldivesFreak)
• General info on weather in the Maldives: Link 1 Link 2 (Maldivian government website)
• Recommended Android weather app: eWeather HD. See this post for detailed info on the app, settings, tips and general weather info (Courtesy of MaldivesFreak)
• Want to get an idea about the weather in the month of August? Click here to read a post from a FT member that spends 2 weeks at Rangali during this month (Courtesy of Splotly)


Pictures - Resort under construction:
• January, 2018 :Link to post:
• June, 2018 :Link to post:
• Approx October, 2018 :Link to post:
• January, 2019 :Link to post:

Pictures & Videos - Post-opening:
• General pics of the resort (July, 2019) :Link to post: (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• The Stella Maris exclusive! :Link to post with links to videos: (Courtesy of alanslegal)
• Breakfast buffet at Tasting Table - Post #1 :Link to post: (Courtesy of alanslegal)
• Breakfast buffet at Tasting Table - Post #2 :Link to post: (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Breakfast buffet at Tasting Table - Post #3 :Link to post: (Courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Breakfast buffet at Tasting Table - Post #4 :Link to post: (Courtesy of Another Getaway)
• IVD(in villa dining) :Link to post: (Courtesy of Stivelio)
• Terra (views from all 7 'cages') :Link to post: (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Terra and Family Pool :Link to post with link to video: (Courtesy of alanslegal)
• Reef Villa with sunset view :Link to post: (Courtesy of Stivelio)
• Views in the direction of Male (night & day pics) :Link to post 1: (Courtesy of wekxbrainx) :Link to post 2: (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Bicycle tour :Link to post:

Reviews:
Review by goldelite8
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Old Jul 8, 19, 10:43 pm
  #1486  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,593
I wonder if a connection can be constructed to link the 1XX villas and the villas by the arrival pier? Although unsightly, it would ease island traversal. I'm curious how long it takes to walk from the 2XX villas to Tasting Table for breakfast.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 11:04 pm
  #1487  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: HHonors Diamond; Royal Ambassor
Posts: 101
Does every villa have a set of bikes or do you have to request them?
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Old Jul 8, 19, 11:06 pm
  #1488  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 627
Originally Posted by Prezlife View Post
Have anyone stayed and reviewed the yacht costs? When first booking it stated it was $370/PP RETURN (roundtrip). Did any early bookers confirm that they honored the $370 roundtrip?
Yes the $378 RT + taxes was honored for us without any issues
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Old Jul 8, 19, 11:07 pm
  #1489  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 627
Originally Posted by mb123 View Post
Does every villa have a set of bikes or do you have to request them?
If you request your concierge he will have them arranged to have those parked outside the villa
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Old Jul 8, 19, 11:09 pm
  #1490  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,885
I'd guess it takes about 22-23 minutes for the average person to walk from the middle of the 200's villas to Tasting Table for breakfast/Peacock Alley for Happy Hour. And though the resort is not the barren, treeless wasteland that some suggested it might be, it doesn't have a lot of protection from the sun along the paths, so the walk would not be comfortable by the time the sun is up. You're better off riding one of the complimentary bicycles (just ask your concierge to have them delivered to your villa) or calling to request a buggy. Or stay in the 600s, 500s or low 300s villas if you want to be within comfortable walking distance to breakfast/happy hour.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 11:55 pm
  #1491  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,885
I rode around this morning an took a lot of photos of the views from different parts of the island and, where possible, trying to show to approximate views from various villas.

If you're curious about the view from any particular villa, let me know, and I'll try to post a photo of the beach in front of that villa or the nearest photo I have if it's a water villa.

I'll try to post a comprehensive overview soon with recommendations and warnings about certain villas.




In the meantime though, here are a few photos I took from the "excursion pier." If you look the right side of the map above, the excursion pier protrudes out between villa 628 on the beach and overwater villa 701 that faces out the opposite way. If you walk out to the end of this pier and face the water, you can get a panoramic view of almost the entire resort, with the private island and Stella Maris to your left, and then the 700s overwater villas and 600 villas behind you, and the lagoon, the 200s beach villas and 100s overwater villas to your right.

Here's the view from start of pier to the 700s overwater villas, the two Stella Maris standalone overwater villas, and the private island. The odd numbered 700s villas are in the immediate left foreground to the left of the wooden path and the even numbered 700 villas start to the right of the wooden path a bit further out facing the opposite way.





Below is the view from start of pier to the end of pier with part of the private island



Below is the view from the end of the excursion pier looking at villa 628 in immediate far right foreground, and the "arrival pier" in the distance just to the right of the center of the photo with the white yacht docked there. Then the sandy part behind that and to the left are where the 200s beach villas are located, then the 100s overwater villas to the left. The 500s and 300s villas can't be seen, they're behind the arrival pier and to the right. There's also a small sandy island in the middle of the lagoon in the left part of the photo with a few trees but nothing else on it.

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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:03 am
  #1492  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,885
Originally Posted by crombiestone View Post
Firstly I would like to chip in with some thanks to the FT "pioneers" . Some very helpful information already . If I could ask a couple of questions they would be . What are the selected drinks that are available in the Nava Happy Hour ? and I read somewhere that one establishment has Shisha water pipes . Did anyone notice the price for this ? Im sure it will be a little more than the $5 I'm used to paying here in El Gouna Egypt ;-) . Responses appreciated .

I saw shisha pipes at Nava. Don't know the prices. I didn't see what drinks are 50% at the 10pm happy hour, maybe they rotate those. Mocktails were priced around $15 and cocktails around $24 on the regular menu.

Last edited by jphripjah; Jul 9, 19 at 5:04 am
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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:12 am
  #1493  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 91
@jphripjah I am wondering what all the stuff is in front of villa 311. Could you take pictures of the beach in front of (reef villa) 311.
Thanks
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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:12 am
  #1494  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,684
A big thank you to fellow flyertalker @jphripjah for dropping off the bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Blanc de Blanc this morning! We will definitely enjoy the bottle off our deck sometime this afternoon.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:16 am
  #1495  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
A big thank you to fellow flyertalker @jphripjah for dropping off the bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Blanc de Blanc this morning! We will definitely enjoy the bottle off our deck sometime this afternoon.
I wonder if they will have an alternative welcome amenity for non-drinkers. Especially considering the amount of guests who are muslim.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 12:24 am
  #1496  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: Hilton Honors
Posts: 2
Do they provide free water bottles in the room on a daily basis?
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Old Jul 9, 19, 1:00 am
  #1497  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
Interested in the first snorkeling report.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 1:42 am
  #1498  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 627
Originally Posted by Seemilsma View Post
Do they provide free water bottles in the room on a daily basis?
2 big bottles each day and housekeeping also comes 2 times a day
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Old Jul 9, 19, 1:45 am
  #1499  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 627
Originally Posted by dimmedlights View Post
What is the invoice like for this option B including all taxes and excluding tip.

Thank you,
I think it was around $395. I was a little surprised that they charged us for 2 bottles of water (not sparkling water) as well
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Old Jul 9, 19, 2:49 am
  #1500  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,885
Has anyone tried the Tasting Table dinner buffet and what's the cost and is it any good and does it include any water or soft drink?

Edit: it’s not a buffet it’s regular table service with the menu available online. It was pretty good, particularly the sea bass with mussels dish.

Last edited by jphripjah; Jul 10, 19 at 12:18 am
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