Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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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 11, 19, 12:12 am
  #1546  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 2
I currently have a Water Villa booked at the Conrad on points / 2 weekend night certs for 7 nights total in Jan. I have the points to switch to the WA. For those that have done both, would you change it? I've never stayed at either one before and probably won't be back for a very long time if at all. A sincere thanks from a longtime lurker to all of you who've taken the time to share your experiences here.
cnote2254 is offline  
Old Jul 11, 19, 12:24 am
  #1547  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 7
just released 12/23-28 but did not go back to inventory
dolceyoung is offline  
Old Jul 11, 19, 2:24 am
  #1548  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: Hilton Honors
Posts: 1
Food and Drink daily spend

We’ve been to the Conrad - so used to inflated prices in the Maldives, but the menu prices at this resort actually put us off going. Any feedback on daily spend yet?

Also - I know this has been covered at length already - but can you clarify that the complimentary breakfast for Gold/Diamond Hons does include eggs etc or do we have to pay the 30$ ++ extra!

We’re not big on the sweet offerings at Afternoon tea so are there options to go full savoury - are they flexible or is it one offering for all?

thanks guys - really enjoying reading the live feedback!
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Old Jul 11, 19, 3:05 am
  #1549  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,684
Originally Posted by Swiftexplorer1 View Post
We’ve been to the Conrad - so used to inflated prices in the Maldives, but the menu prices at this resort actually put us off going. Any feedback on daily spend yet?

Also - I know this has been covered at length already - but can you clarify that the complimentary breakfast for Gold/Diamond Hons does include eggs etc or do we have to pay the 30$ ++ extra!

We’re not big on the sweet offerings at Afternoon tea so are there options to go full savoury - are they flexible or is it one offering for all?

thanks guys - really enjoying reading the live feedback!
For meals, some restaurants have PDFs on the menu / pricing

https://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/e...staurants.html


For us, at dinner you can spend a lazy $200-$250++ as a couple without alcohol - at the a la carte restaurants. If you go for a set menu which they offer at a few of the restaurants, they range from $148++ to $398++ per person. In room dining if we order a pasta and a steak sandwich, it comes out to just over $100 inclusive of taxes.

Complimentary breakfast include eggs (scrambled, fried, poached, omelettes etc which you order off a menu aka piece of paper) plus the buffet spread. Also you get NV champagne, it was rotating between Billecart-Salmon or Moet & Chandon. Mind you, if you have a glass of the same champagne at dinner, it would be $62++!

Afternoon tea is pretty much identical - basically three tier snack food. One level savoury sandwiches (very very bite size only), then sweets, then fruits. Guess they want you to not be full and go spend another $400 on dinner later
alanslegal is offline  
Old Jul 11, 19, 3:14 am
  #1550  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
Originally Posted by Swiftexplorer1 View Post
We’ve been to the Conrad - so used to inflated prices in the Maldives, but the menu prices at this resort actually put us off going. Any feedback on daily spend yet?

Also - I know this has been covered at length already - but can you clarify that the complimentary breakfast for Gold/Diamond Hons does include eggs etc or do we have to pay the 30$ ++ extra!

We’re not big on the sweet offerings at Afternoon tea so are there options to go full savoury - are they flexible or is it one offering for all?

thanks guys - really enjoying reading the live feedback!
Speaking of food prices, I was at The Ledge the other night and one of their entrees was a type of beef I think prime rib listed at $350 per kg. That’s the exception though, of course, I think it was a special item for that night, they change the menu daily.

The free breakfast fast includes a full buffet and eggs cooked to order, choice from the menu of omelette, eggs Benedict, poached, over easy, sunny side up, etc. There’s no extra charge for the eggs.

Here’s a weird thing about the breakfast buffet. Every other buffet I’ve ever been to has packs of butter out, usually on ice, generally located somewhere near the breads.

Not here. The butter packs are kept squirreled away presumably under lock and key. You have to flag down a waiter and ask for butter. Then he’ll bring you a pack of Beillevaire butter a few minutes later. After a day or two you’ll learn to order butter when you arrive and order your orange juice.

I guess this is a luxury butter and the WA guests couldn’t be trusted to have free access to it on the buffet line, lest we would be lining our pockets with pack after pack of butter and stuffing our suitcases with it when we leave.

Now I guess their explanation could be “We want to make sure the butter is served at the right temperature, for your enjoyment and for food safety reasons, we don’t want to put out rock hard butter that’s hard to spread and then have it melt or get warm as it’s sitting out there on the line.” But they’ve got a yogurt/smoothie fridge they could keep the butter in there and give us free access to as much as they want, if they dare.





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Last edited by jphripjah; Jul 11, 19 at 3:33 am
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Old Jul 11, 19, 4:31 am
  #1551  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
Thank you jphripjah for taking the time out of your vacation to explain and take photos for us eagerly waiting FTers!!

In your photo (which I've resized), how deep is the water in the light blue and dark blue areas?

I’m guessing the light blue/green water is about four feet drop but I don’t know for sure. I think they designed things here to have 10-40 meters of four foot deep water all around and then it drops off.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 6:37 am
  #1552  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: KR
Programs: MR Gold, HH Gold, QR Gold
Posts: 186
Just grabbed a twin-bed beach villa at BAR, which was the last one. I am not sure if I could successfully convert this cash booking into point redemption.
Anyway based on previous posts, it looks snorkeling at WA would be at least as good as Conrad? A sharp drop-off sounds a bit scary though!
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Old Jul 11, 19, 6:50 am
  #1553  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 62
Does the Diamond breakfast include the a la carte menu, or items are extra charge?
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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:24 am
  #1554  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
Originally Posted by Smurfettepharoh View Post
Does the Diamond breakfast include the a la carte menu, or items are extra charge?
The ala carte items are included. The full buffet is included. The still water is included. The butter’s included. The bacon’s included. All the food that you can see or smell or touch or that’s on the menu they hand you is included.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:44 am
  #1555  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
jphripjah! You make me laugh with your comments!
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:20 am
  #1556  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,684
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post


The ala carte items are included. The full buffet is included. The still water is included. The butter’s included. The bacon’s included. All the food that you can see or smell or touch or that’s on the menu they hand you is included.
Just like the french butter, there is a special menu that is available, is not listed but one can access if you know. Tell you guys more later

I have left the resort and wow did the six nights just fly past, felt like yesterday we had arrived.

We rode the hired yacht and gosh was that a downgrade. Tell you more later too.

Boarding flight to DMK, Scare Asia flight 178 is back!
alanslegal is offline  
Old Jul 11, 19, 8:55 am
  #1557  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Programs: Delta Gold Medallion, AMEX Skymiles Plat, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 167
Bigtime thank you Alanslegal for all the tips and info!

Safe travels!
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Old Jul 11, 19, 9:08 am
  #1558  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: CLE
Programs: UA Gold, HH Diamond, Marriott Gold
Posts: 3,549
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


Once I used the FFM I will NEVER go back to a traditional snorkel. Buy the FFM and try it out in a controlled environment at home. Your pool. A friends pool. I did purchase several from Amazon and found the one I liked best. Returned the others. Having the “correct” one does help.

Not sure how deep people want to free dive, but have gone 20+ feet with no issues. I SCUBA so no need to dive deeper when snorkeling for me.

If you look in the WA activities list I posted a week or so ago it mentions snorkeling with something I had never heard of. So I Googled it. Looked interesting so I bought one. Tried it in the pool at home and loved it. Going to try it out in the ocean tomorrow.

https://www.powerbreatherusa.com/

TD
If you are going FFM, make sure you do not get one made in China. They have been implicated in deaths in Hawaii because of CO2 buildup. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hawaii-...elated-deaths/
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Old Jul 11, 19, 9:22 am
  #1559  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 696
I think I found a new favorite!

Using my SCUBA mask and this new “snorkel” was pretty sweet. You do have to practice a little with it, but we’ll worth it!

https://www.powerbreatherusa.com/

TD

PS....I have no stock in this company.

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Old Jul 11, 19, 10:05 am
  #1560  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 62
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post


The ala carte items are included. The full buffet is included. The still water is included. The butter’s included. The bacon’s included. All the food that you can see or smell or touch or that’s on the menu they hand you is included.


Kheily mamnoon.
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