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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Mar 5, 20, 9:51 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: Corridor!
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
• 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, 2:28 pm
  #1531  
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: Ronin - churn and burn
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I get that this place is expensive but personally I feel that once you've covered the cost of expensive accommodation you shouldn't keep paying for the location over and over again.
It's like the WA has an implicit Tobin tax on all consumption of any kind (beyond the ++ charged elsewhere in the Maldives).

Moreover the pricing is erratic and seemingly capricious. A bottle of $30 champagne? $260. A bowl of noodles? $60. One full day of childcare including activities and lunch? $25.
One day the grand villas are $400 more than their standard counterparts the next they're $2000 more.
Let's not even get into the whole issue of the transfer cost doubling within a week of reservations being open.

You can get a pool villa at Amanoi and cover the cost of your meals (with cash to spare) for $1000 a night.
When you're there the price of F&B is certainly not immaterial and you don't have any nearby alternatives to speak of.
However, the hotel doesn't engage in distasteful pricing and presumably still manages to turn a profit.

Don't get me wrong, getting the bill at any Aman is still a moderately harrowing experience but the WA seems to be charging a lot more for a lot less...

I'd be really interested to hear from anybody that has been to both the WA and Pulo, Noi etc and can compare the value propositions.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 3:10 pm
  #1532  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 117
I'm boutta to sign up for kids club for 25$ and make food worth 40$ LOL
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Old Aug 23, 19, 3:58 pm
  #1533  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
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Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
I'm boutta to sign up for kids club for 25$ and make food worth 40$ LOL
Please upload a picture of yourself on the waterslide after lunch

TD
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Old Aug 23, 19, 7:33 pm
  #1534  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: MAR Plat
Posts: 207
Given WA requires tons of points for redemption bookings, I have another quick question popped up in my mind.

"How much price do you need to pay per a point?"

I think there would be a separate thread but I couldn't find it. But in Korea (not North for sure! ) I can buy it 3.6-4.0 cents (depending on FX) per point from other Hilton members.
So for a 7-night stay at WA next year, compared to Conrad, the premium is about US$560 for the entire stay or US$80/night. (WA BV vs Conrad OWV).
And now WA offers 'downgrading' BV to RV/OWV... so US$80/night premium is well offset by that I don't need to pay US$200/night extra.

I have been seriously considering a switch back to Conrad w/ SWV which offers wonderful marine life and decent sunset view.... but given the reduced premium I need to pay and my desire to enjoy a new property, I think I would stick to my current booking at WA.

Well I am still concerned about limited (likely) marine life at WA but hopefully paid tours would provide much nicer conditions!
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Old Aug 23, 19, 7:58 pm
  #1535  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 812
Originally Posted by noeatbutgo View Post
Well I am still concerned about limited (likely) marine life at WA but hopefully paid tours would provide much nicer conditions!
Perhaps someone who has been to both can comment. But I can tell you there is great fish life (on the outside) of the WA. We dove off our suite (303) all four days. Lots of fish life and some decent Coral growth. If you don’t mind paying for a tour they will take you to even better fish/coral life.

TD
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Last edited by Traveler Dave; Aug 23, 19 at 8:06 pm
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Old Aug 23, 19, 8:20 pm
  #1536  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: MAR Plat
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


Perhaps someone who has been to both can comment. But I can tell you there is great fish life (on the outside) of the WA. We dove off our suite (303) all four days. Lots of fish life and some decent Coral growth. If you don’t mind paying for a tour they will take you to even better fish/coral life.

TD
This is exactly what I wanted to hear, thanks TD!
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Old Aug 23, 19, 8:52 pm
  #1537  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 117

Park Hyatt

Waldorf Astoria

Did anyone who stayed at WA find lagoon to be disappointing for the Maldives. (Especially considering this is 1000$ a night). From pictures I have seen, it looks "meh" like something I could find in the Caribbean (which is much close to where I live). Like, the Park Hyatt makes me go "wow" in pictures while the WA is like "eh".
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Old Aug 23, 19, 9:10 pm
  #1538  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 812
Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
Did anyone who stayed at WA find lagoon to be disappointing for the Maldives.
+1

I have no Maldives comparison, but I was thinking there would be more. I guess I was thinking we would be snorkeling in the “protected” lagoon. Not that there was massive traffic, but with jets-skies, day boat tours, sail boats, banana boats, etc all coming out of the water sports area I never would have snorkeled in there. Very not-protected. The little diving down I did on the sea-bob all I saw was sand and the rare fish swim by. We did see fish and rays from the bridges from time to time in the lagoon.

TD
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:09 pm
  #1539  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,777
Originally Posted by Jermyn View Post
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...
Yup, it's IthaaMarkupFushi.....

Last edited by MaldivesFreak; Aug 24, 19 at 12:33 am
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:35 pm
  #1540  
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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?
This property is the pinnacle of the Hilton hotel and resort porftolio. Add the ability to redeem nights with standard* (if 120K is considered that) award points where you good value for your points, that's why many people are interested. Now once you book with points and then look at the menu prices, photos, and read past guests experiences - you start to realise that this place is (mostly) over the top expensive. In my entire life I have never paid $60 for a standard pizza or $55 for a bowl of noodles anywhere in the world but for this resort it is baseline.

Now, if I was paying cash for my room, I personally would be tempted to stay elsewhere, especially when there are sites like Luxury Escapes (and a few others) that from time to time offer some very good value.

For example, this expired Shangri La Maldives deal was pretty hot imo.

https://luxuryescapes.com/au/offer/s...I00000Y4cuvQAB


Now, compare this to the Conrad, I felt the Conrad prices were about 15-20% less than this property. That the Conrad had more actual over water dining experiences (Vilu, Mandhoo, Sunset Grill) versus a few tables over the water at Li Long only. For me the Conrad had more of a beach island / maldivian / tropical vibe to it whereas I didn't get that feeling staying at the Waldorf, especially when it came to dining. Apart from breakfast where we sat on the deck & over the beach, other dining options were indoors, in air conditioning, we could have been dining anywhere in the world thousands of miles away. Sure we could have gone to Yasmeen and experienced an arabian themed dining but the resort is supposed to be a tropical island eating bbq seafood and drinking coconuts, sand between my toes. Ok we can uplift the elegance a little from that scenario but (hopefully) you get my drift. The Conrad had some nice beach events (seafood / lobster bbq on the beach, maldivian nights, japanese grill overlooking the beach) so that complimented the tropical beach island theme very well. Hopefully the Waldorf can implement some of that in the near future.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:42 pm
  #1541  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London
Programs: BA GGL, ICC Amb Plat, LH Freq Fly, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 632
Sorry a question, that resort looks like it's roughly only the same distance to the WA as they are from the Airport and they do Airport runs for $185 each all inclusive.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:52 pm
  #1542  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: ZRH
Programs: M&M SEN (*G), HH Diamond
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Originally Posted by noeatbutgo View Post
"How much price do you need to pay per a point?"

I think there would be a separate thread but I couldn't find it. But in Korea (not North for sure! ) I can buy it 3.6-4.0 cents (depending on FX) per point from other Hilton members.
I hope your decimal point is off and you're not paying that amount of money for HH points.
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Old Aug 24, 19, 12:24 am
  #1543  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: MAR Plat
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by goliath View Post
I hope your decimal point is off and you're not paying that amount of money for HH points.
Oooops... per 10 points then...!
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Old Aug 24, 19, 2:42 am
  #1544  
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Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post
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).
Thanks for the detailed analysis and comparison. Just one clarification however: next year the "Grand" version of everything (BV, RV, OWV) will be a massive cost compared to less than $200 now. The cost of your extra legroom in the Maldives is about to get astronomical in 2020 at $1300-1600 per night for the additional living room... Definitely not free!
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Old Aug 24, 19, 7:16 am
  #1545  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,777
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
That the Conrad had more actual over water dining experiences (Vilu, Mandhoo, Sunset Grill) versus a few tables over the water at Li Long only. For me the Conrad had more of a beach island / maldivian / tropical vibe to it whereas I didn't get that feeling staying at the Waldorf, especially when it came to dining. Apart from breakfast where we sat on the deck & over the beach, other dining options were indoors, in air conditioning, we could have been dining anywhere in the world thousands of miles away. Sure we could have gone to Yasmeen and experienced an arabian themed dining but the resort is supposed to be a tropical island eating bbq seafood and drinking coconuts, sand between my toes. Ok we can uplift the elegance a little from that scenario but (hopefully) you get my drift. The Conrad had some nice beach events (seafood / lobster bbq on the beach, maldivian nights, japanese grill overlooking the beach) so that complimented the tropical beach island theme very well. Hopefully the Waldorf can implement some of that in the near future.
Exactly.


Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post

Park Hyatt

Waldorf Astoria

Did anyone who stayed at WA find lagoon to be disappointing for the Maldives. (Especially considering this is 1000$ a night). From pictures I have seen, it looks "meh" like something I could find in the Caribbean (which is much close to where I live). Like, the Park Hyatt makes me go "wow" in pictures while the WA is like "eh".
If you're talking about the lack of coral formations (less of a natural look), it's not surprising really. They had to put so many sandbags and sand in that lagoon to widen the sand bars (and perhaps make them higher in altitude also) and extend the usable area of land that they probably covered up a good deal of the coral formations.
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