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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Oct 6, 20, 12:44 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: joecool1885
Wiki Link
:-: Welcome to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Wiki! :-:
Notes: All prices are in US Dollars and are exclusive of taxes unless specified (by ++)

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

Booking with points
• Bookings must be cancelled 30 days prior in order to avoid one full night's charge at BAR. (previously 14 days)
• Website and phone agents state that a cash deposit equivalent to the BAR per night will be taken when booking stays with points. This is an error. NO CASH DEPOSIT IS TAKEN WHEN MAKING A POINTS BOOKING
• Free night certificate: The phone agent states that a cash deposit equivalent to the BAR per night will be taken when booking your free night. This is an error. NO CASH DEPOSIT IS TAKEN WHEN USING YOUR FREE NIGHT CERTIFICATE

Transfers To and From Resort
• 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)
• Transfer experience includes personal service for your group after luggage pick-up until arrival on the yacht; yacht includes dedicated server for champagne, non-alcoholic beverages, and light snacks. Departure experience on the yacht is the same, and your group be personally escorted through airline check-in until airport security.
• Pricing in 2020 is $600++ per person, and in 2019 it was $350++ per person per way ($1724.80 return inclusive of taxes for 2 passengers). The price for kids 5 and under is complimentary while kids 6-11 years old are charged $300++ per person. 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 a detailed review of the yacht transfer (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Third party transfers are not permitted by the resort.
• 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++. Most guests travel between the resort booking the standard round trip seaplane from Male to Rangali and then the Yacht transfer round trip from Male to Waldorf.

Resort Information / Spa / Activities
• WA Ithaafushi is made up of three islands (95% man-made)
• 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)
• See this and this post for info on the Christmas Eve and New Years Eve Gala Fee
• Click here to visit the resort's listing on TripAdvisor
• Tennis courts: See this post
• For a new map of the resort click here
> For the old 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 - F&B and Menus
• The resort has 11 restaurants / bars
• Some restaurant menus are available in PDF format on the resort's website. Click here to visit the relevant page on their website
• Menus for most restaurants as of early October 2020: See this post
• 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.
• Terra is $298.00++ per person. As of December 2019, the set menu includes Amuse Brioche (3 selections per person), a starter (tuna, avocado, caviar), 2 courses highlighting lobster and wagyu beef with a pallet cleanse in between, a dessert course, then finishing with 3 additional sweet selections per person.
• 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). Chefs rotate to the resort from Burnt Ends in Singapore.
+ Peacock Alley 1/2 priced drinks daily after 9:30pm. High-quality cocktails and liquors available at a very affordable price ranging from $13-$15 post discount
+ Tasting Table full buffet breakfast with made to order entrees and complimentary Champagne for $65++/person or Free for Hilton Diamond / Gold
+ Glow and Yasmeen wine selections are priced in the $65 - $85 ++ range per bottle.
• Lunch can be purchased at the main pool or beach from Nava or The Ledge. The majority of lunch entrees cost $30-$50++. Lunch is also available at Tasting Table, Tangled, or In Villa Dining.
• A new pizza oven was flown in from Italy to replace the original oven installed at Nava, and an Italian chef traveled to the resort to work with the team to elevate pizza quality in early December of 2019.
• During festive season 2019, the resort introduced a lobster & champagne dinner on the beach, including tasting stations, free flow champagne, and a live band for $298++ per person.

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 bottle of wine and fruits
  • 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) aka Ocean Villas in rewards booking --

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:
• Various resort and villa pics from a stay in November 2019 :Link to post: (Courtesy of aspenedelen)

Reviews:
• Review by goldelite8
• Review by escape4
• Review by Falcons05 (text only)

Historical Information for high rollers:
+ $135 shisha, Check out this post
+ If you do NOT have Gold/Diamond status with Free breakfast AND you decide NOT to pay the $65++ for full buffet at Tasting Table, then you may or may not encounter a $35 charge for a single egg
+ 106,000 dollar bottle of wine: Click
here for a picture of the wine menu (reactions follow on subsequent pages)





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Old Aug 23, 19, 1:09 am
  #1516  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 3,011
That's what you get for $65. You're meant to share it.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 2:56 am
  #1517  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: BHX
Programs: BA GGL CCR, Marriott Ti, HH Diamond, Cafe Nero Loyalty Card
Posts: 6,596
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
That's what you get for $65. You're meant to share it.
Nandos should open up on the island.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 3:15 am
  #1518  
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: Ronin - churn and burn
Posts: 652
Bloody hell.
$80 for an imitation of what Nandos sells (for one person) at $9.25
I thought the markup on the wine was bad...
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Old Aug 23, 19, 9:24 am
  #1519  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London
Programs: BA GGL, ICC Amb Plat, LH Freq Fly, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 633
Isn't that only half a small chicken too?
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:06 am
  #1520  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA Plat 1MM, HH Diamond, MR Gold
Posts: 1,120
I've been following this thread with interest for a while now, and I'm just really struggling to see what the value proposition is for this property over the Conrad (or some others in the Maldives). What is it about this place that makes it worth all of the extra money?
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:24 am
  #1521  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 818
Originally Posted by Scotland View Post
Isn't that only half a small chicken too?
It is 1/2 a chicken, but I would not call it small chicken. As someone mentioned upthread it is meant to be shared by two people. That assumes you order other sides. First time my wife had it was for a late lunch. She just ate that, but finished it. Second time was a dinner and could only eat about 2/3rds. As with all things WA Maldives, you should never compare the price to somewhere else. You will be frustrated with the cost most of the time.

I presume everyone on this thread has purchased a bottle of water? Did it taste so much better than filtered water out of your tap at home? If you compare the cost of a unit of water vs. that 12oz bottle you are paying 1000's of times the cost. But there are so many reason you can not compare the two...which is why millions of plastic water bottles are purchased monthly around the world.

By comparison the $65++ 1/2 chicken is a "steal"!

TD
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:55 am
  #1522  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London
Programs: BA GGL, ICC Amb Plat, LH Freq Fly, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 633
So I have our final night to book, I'm almost wondering about booking an Overwater Villa at the SAii Lagoon ($800 ish) which looks very nice on the Hilton Site for our last night, could I get them to pick me up and save on the transfer too!
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:58 am
  #1523  
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Join Date: Sep 1999
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Posts: 11,492
Originally Posted by Scotland View Post
.............could I get them to pick me up and save on the transfer too!
Was that a question or a statement?
TerryK is offline  
Old Aug 23, 19, 12:11 pm
  #1524  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 818
Originally Posted by coolbeans202 View Post
I've been following this thread with interest for a while now, and I'm just really struggling to see what the value proposition is for this property over the Conrad (or some others in the Maldives). What is it about this place that makes it worth all of the extra money?
I have never stayed the Conrad Maldives so I can not compare the two. Look upthread and there are some comparisons.

But by comparison I have stayed at many upscale places (i.e. overpriced/luxury) and can tell you the hard product (i.e. property infrastructure) is better than any Conrad, Ritz, Four Seasons and other WA I have stayed in. I found the soft product (i.e. service side) to be equally great or better than those as well. When we were there I did ask a few people who had stayed at the Four Seasons Maldives (both locations) how they compared. All agreed the hard product was much better at the WA. But most said they preferred the soft product at the Four Seasons. I agree Four Seasons is top-notch in customer service. But for me it is a little too pretentious sometimes. You don't have to serve me from my right side every time! For me I like good service, with a personal touch of the person who is serving me. I feel Four Seasons can be too robotic at times. YMWV.

Note: All prices below are upgrade prices beyond the base point/voucher room charge

Related to the Conrad Maldives I would have needed to spend a minimum of $1351++ for a Premium Water Villa per night to got us something close (and not really even that close) to what the $400++ upgrade cost me at the WA. Hysterically, the Conrad Maldives wanted $2330++ per night for the Premium Beach Suite that is a closet compared to the Grand Beach Villa we had at the WA for $200++ a night. That would have been almost $13K++ for the 6 nights we stayed on the beach for a much less impressive (even after renovations) room.

Here is a comparison of the cost I saved going to WA Maldives over Conrad Bora Bora last year. All the rooms at the WA are suites with pools and a great for two people. But we prefer a little more leg room. So we upgraded to the Grand versions. Our cost to upgrade to a Grand RV was $400++ (in 2020 it will be free). For a similar configuration the cost was $900++ per night at the Conrad BB. My wife asked that we go to BB next Summer. So for the 10 days we are going to be spending $9000++ in cash upgrades to get a similar (and smaller and older) room than the WA. You can buy a bunch of Peri Peri chicken for $9K! I realize the points to stay at the WA are higher (120K vs 89K) than the Conrad BB, but you get a hotel room for 89K and a massive suite with a pool for 120K. Each voucher I use (4 per stay) get me a free night, so much more value spent at the WA over either Conrad.

Just one persons perspective, but I saved thousands of dollars going to the WA over the Conrad BB or Maldives this year. Yes the FB and activities cost me more, but my total trip cost was much lower.


TD
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Last edited by Traveler Dave; Aug 23, 19 at 12:23 pm
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Old Aug 23, 19, 12:13 pm
  #1525  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 818
Originally Posted by Scotland View Post
So I have our final night to book, I'm almost wondering about booking an Overwater Villa at the SAii Lagoon ($800 ish) which looks very nice on the Hilton Site for our last night, could I get them to pick me up and save on the transfer too!
I presume, but don't know for sure, that they will charge you the cost of a heart transplant to "pick you up".....

TD
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Old Aug 23, 19, 12:24 pm
  #1526  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21
I know in a previous post there were some great pictures but does anyone have anymore information/photos re: the kids club?

I am traveling with 2 children (3 & 6) and pretty much my sole reason for picking the WA over Conrad was because it appears that the kids club is far superior.

Any feedback on this?
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Old Aug 23, 19, 1:02 pm
  #1527  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 818
Originally Posted by kellyjo7 View Post
I know in a previous post there were some great pictures but does anyone have anymore information/photos re: the kids club? I am traveling with 2 children (3 & 6) and pretty much my sole reason for picking the WA over Conrad was because it appears that the kids club is far superior. Any feedback on this?
Anything specific you wanting to know about?

My daughter is 10 and she had a great time. Most of the kids I saw were more in line with your kids ages. My wife and I make most "helicopter parents" look irresponsible. We are very picky on who we leave her with. We had zero concern leaving her there. We actually tried to get her to stay a little longer one day so we could get a couples massage.

As I am writing this I just realized something....we have taken Summer trips every year since she was born. With the exception of a 1/2 day kids camp in Bora Bora we have never left her at any resort kids program. Most have them, but when we have checked them out they are mostly sad rundown room with old toys. Usually staffed with employees looking like they are being put in the kids club as punishment for something they did wrong. Not at the WA Maldives. The place looks/runs like a pre-school you would send your kids to at home, But they also have activities for kids my daughter's age. I think 11 is the oldest they allow. And I could see a 12 year old thinking they are too cool for the kids club.

Several kids clubs at other resorts charge an hourly fee. The WA is free...mostly. If I remember correctly there is one activity (activities are broken down by hour) a day that has a fee. You are not required to attend that activity. One day she made slime. Another day cupcakes. She did not do them, but they made cookies, pizza and burgers on other days we were there. I think the cost was $20-25 for each, but not 100% sure on that. Pretty spendy slime, but if you went on pizza or burger day you just fed them lunch. :0 But if you chose to have them there all day it costs less than $25 bucks.

Here are some other pics I took.....





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Last edited by Traveler Dave; Aug 23, 19 at 1:11 pm
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Old Aug 23, 19, 1:07 pm
  #1528  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post
Anything specific you wanting to know about?

My daughter is 10 and she had a great time. Most of the kids I saw were more in line with your kids ages. My wife and I make most "helicopter parents" look irresponsible. We are very picky on who we leave her with. We had zero concern leaving her there. We actually tried to get her to stay a little longer one day so we could get a couples massage.

As I am writing this I just realized something....we have taken Summer trips every year since she was born. With the exception of a 1/2 day kids camp in Bora Bora we have never left her at any resort kids program. Most have them, but when we have checked them out they are mostly sad rundown room with old toys. Usually staffed with employees looking like they are being put in the kids club as punishment for something they did wrong. Not at the WA Maldives. The place looks/runs like a pre-school you would send your kids to at home, But they also have activities for kids my daughter's age. I think 11 is the oldest they allow. And I could see a 12 year old thinking they are too cool for the kids club.

Several kids clubs at other resorts charge an hourly fee. The WA is free...mostly. If I remember correctly there is one activity (activities are broken down by hour) a day that has a fee. You are not required to attend that activity. One day she made slime. Another day cupcakes. She did not do them, but they made cookies, pizza and burgers on other days we were there. I think the cost was $20-25 for each, but not 100% sure on that. Pretty spendy slime, but if you went on pizza or burger day you just fed them lunch. :0 But if you chose to have them there all day it costs less than $25 bucks.

Here are some other pics I took.....
Thanks this is helpful, what/how did the activities look besides paid ones ($25 is no big deal all things considered)? I believe I read that the Conrad had a pirate day or something like that.

Also, what were the facilities like, water park playground etc.?

P.S. the picture's didn't show up. At least not on my end.

Thanks again!
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Old Aug 23, 19, 1:34 pm
  #1529  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 818
Originally Posted by kellyjo7 View Post
Thanks this is helpful, what/how did the activities look besides paid ones ($25 is no big deal all things considered)? I believe I read that the Conrad had a pirate day or something like that. Also, what were the facilities like, water park playground etc.? P.S. the picture's didn't show up. At least not on my end. Thanks again!
Hit refresh. I was uploading when you posted

Here are the pics I posted previously
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31387329-post1815.html

From the link there is a picture I posted showing a days activity list. Little something for everyone. My daughter enjoyed the water park, but it is geared (size-wise) towards your kids age. We went to the Atlantis waterpark in Dubai on our way home so her post-trip review of the WA "water-park" fell a little short.

I am not sure they have a pirate day style activity. But I know they did a scavenger hunt one day. Another day they adventured out to find leaves for a project they did. I do believe they go to the wood-fire pizza oven (just around the corner from kids club) on pizza making day. So they do get the out a little bit to keep them engaged. I was told the only time they watch TV/movies is after lunch while everyone finishes up eating. Think I only saw the TV on one time.

Here is a link to my previous post with the weeks activity list I took off the iPad in the room:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31322821-post1685.html

Anything else let me know ;0

TD
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Old Aug 23, 19, 1:51 pm
  #1530  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 818
Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post
How was the dive in the lagoon/outside. I've never been scuba diving before and am planning to take the discovery scuba diving in the lagoon. Do you recommend it?
I highly recommend diving with them. Did not find one person that did not give 100%

Not sure if they dive "inside". I don't think there is much to see. We rented Sea-Bobs for an hour (great fun) and used them in the lagoon, but all I saw was sand. I saw them teaching classes, most days, and they go out next to the wedding dock. I heard from most people that was one of the best places. I presume that is where they would take the discovery scuba people?

TD
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