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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!
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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 ++)

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)




Print Wikipost

Old Aug 24, 19, 8:24 am
  #1546  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 813
Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
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!
Good eye...That’s what I get for trying to do math and chew gum at the same time.

Let me check on the 2020 upgrade(s) to see where that puts the numbers. I am trying to convince my wife it makes better financial sense to go back to the Maldives over BB next year so I need the correct numbers before I make my presentation.

TD
Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 9:03 am
  #1547  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Gold, UA Gold, HH Gold, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 150
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".
thats what i’ve been thinking all along. this is exactly what happens when you pump artificial sand in the middle of a natural lagoon to create a fake looking, man made island. it’s not going to go well and just as we can see right here, the sand is not settling very well. if i we’re paying a cash rate of 2.000 for this resort i would be very peeved if this was then lagoon/beach i found outside my villa.

the beaches at the conrad, PHH, and W are MUCH MUCH nicer.

ive been to 6 resorts in the maldives and even cheap 4* ones come way way ahead than the waldorf when it comes to beach and lagoon beauty. which at the end of the day is why i fly 30+ hours across the world and is also why i will never ever visit the WA.
rvlcr is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 12:31 pm
  #1548  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
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.
Hi Alan,

How was the noodles at Tangled? I love noodles but looked at some videos and the bowls look very small. Should we skip Tangled?

And does anyone have a full Terra menu? I see one with the $388 but I'm interested in the $298 menu also.
NightFury1 is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 12:51 pm
  #1549  
Hyatt 25+ BadgeMarriott 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Homeless
Programs: M&M SEN; AC SE100k; Qatar Plat; HH Dia; Marriott AMB; Hyatt Glob; Accor Dia; GHA Black; SLH Ind
Posts: 3,033
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post
Let me check on the 2020 upgrade(s) to see where that puts the numbers. I am trying to convince my wife it makes better financial sense to go back to the Maldives over BB next year so I need the correct numbers before I make my presentation.


I think you will need to settle for the non-Grand versions of various villa types in 2020 for your numbers to work! The cost of "Grand" has increased too much for what is only a marginal increase in available space.
escape4 is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 2:36 pm
  #1550  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,790
Originally Posted by rvlcr View Post
thats what i’ve been thinking all along. this is exactly what happens when you pump artificial sand in the middle of a natural lagoon to create a fake looking, man made island. it’s not going to go well and just as we can see right here, the sand is not settling very well. if i we’re paying a cash rate of 2.000 for this resort i would be very peeved if this was then lagoon/beach i found outside my villa.

the beaches at the conrad, PHH, and W are MUCH MUCH nicer.

ive been to 6 resorts in the maldives and even cheap 4* ones come way way ahead than the waldorf when it comes to beach and lagoon beauty. which at the end of the day is why i fly 30+ hours across the world and is also why i will never ever visit the WA.
I know how you feel. It's surprising just how many folks wouldn't notice or know what to look for. Just one thing, though. I think you needed to use the other pic in your quote of @WorldTravl's post.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 3:07 pm
  #1551  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, IHG Platinum, SPG Gold
Posts: 82
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!
The prices I was quoted from SAii last month (before hotel opening was delayed) to transfer to Waldorf was:

“Fjord (open boat) cannot be used if raining – USD 770

Al Safana (air conditioned boat) – USD 935”

I believe this was the per boat fee and not per person. Hopefully, Waldorf will at least allow transfers from other Hilton resorts.
BLTraveler is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 3:34 pm
  #1552  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 118

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru Beach villa Cost: 1880$ next April 1440$ this October

I'm grateful that I can redeem points at WA. But I don't get why anyone would want to pay for it. The water looks so bad. The most I would pay for WA in money is 800$. So I am really reconsidering if I want to stay at WA. The only reason I see people paying for WA now is because of the brand.
WorldTravl is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 7:10 pm
  #1553  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 813
Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
I think you will need to settle for the non-Grand versions of various villa types in 2020 for your numbers to work! The cost of "Grand" has increased too much for what is only a marginal increase in available space.
You could be very right about that!’

But I would think/hope that the upgrades will be similar to 2019 prices. That could just be wishful thinking.

Anyone out there have any 2020 upgrades prices to share?

TD

Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Aug 24, 19, 9:10 pm
  #1554  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SIN
Programs: KF, MPC, BAEC // Bonvoy, WoH, Honors
Posts: 1,244
Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
I'm grateful that I can redeem points at WA. But I don't get why anyone would want to pay for it. The water looks so bad. The most I would pay for WA in money is 800$. So I am really reconsidering if I want to stay at WA. The only reason I see people paying for WA now is because of the brand.
Yes, with all the amazing options in the Maldives it makes little sense to actually pay for a property like WA (or even Conrad for that matter, unless you find a very good rate) -- I bet most of the guests are either redemptions (on which they make money on transfers and F&B/other incidentals) of different kinds of package tours.
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Kilian Zoll is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 1:31 am
  #1555  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 725
Looking for some advice on food costs, we want to pay minimum prices whilst there. So far we've seen pizza, the chicken & fries to share but can anyone who has stayed there on a budget offer some more ideas for budget dining. Thx
Tilly71 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 2:21 am
  #1556  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: MAR Plat
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
The only reason I see people paying for WA now is because of the brand.
​​​​​In my case, I don't care about thw WA brand but 1) good value for point redemption (120,000pts for OWV w/ new spacious interior compared to Conrad) and 2) a chance to try a new resort. So yeah in case of cash booking, I would be keen to find other options with greater lagoon and marine life.
noeatbutgo is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 4:28 am
  #1557  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,790
Originally Posted by Tilly71 View Post
Looking for some advice on food costs, we want to pay minimum prices whilst there. So far we've seen pizza, the chicken & fries to share but can anyone who has stayed there on a budget offer some more ideas for budget dining. Thx
To be frank: you're looking in the wrong place. This resort has set a new standard for not-able-to-be-done-on-a-budget properties.....unless you do what some others do and take instant noodles and chocolate bars. Ugh.


Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
Yes, with all the amazing options in the Maldives it makes little sense to actually pay for a property like WA (or even Conrad for that matter, unless you find a very good rate) -- I bet most of the guests are either redemptions (on which they make money on transfers and F&B/other incidentals) of different kinds of package tours.
I agree. A cash stay here is only for those who don't know any better or have money to burn. Most of the people paying cash here are Arabs, celebs and mainland Chinese (see this review a few pages back where, as a good example of what's being offered on the mainland as far as package deals go, they paid about 17K*+ all up for 5 nights for a family of 4 in a single room). Note that the Chinese are now a much bigger piece of the pie for new resorts. They are much fewer in number at places that have already been open for a couple of years or more. Cash-paying Westerners will be few and far between.

You mentioned the Conrad. On the up side here they occasionally have specials from around $350++ in low season (around 50% off), normally with 30-35% off you're still only looking at about $450-500++ which, considering their BVs have recently been re-decorated, is pretty good value. I'm pretty sure that this isn't going to last much longer though, as they will surely be raising their rates after the OWVs on Rangali Island have been replaced early to mid 2020.

* if you take out the return air tickets to China
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MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 7:31 am
  #1558  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 725
I was looking for replies from people who have already stayed at the WA and their experiences of the best value dining options..😤
Tilly71 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 8:34 am
  #1559  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,790
Have you looked at all the menus? They've already been posted. I've put links to all of them in the wiki. Like @alanslegal said
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
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.
Pizzas, noodles, salads etc are the cheapest things at any location and it's no exception here. Apart from appetizers & side dishes, eggs are the cheapest thing on the menu. Only $35.72 each. A steal by Ithaafushi's standards. So your baseline is going to be at bare minimum, $40++ for anything substantial, i.e; not an appetizer, side or drink.

Oh, the only other option (which would be a little difficult to pull off) is this one courtesy of our resident out-of-the-(kids)-box thinker, @WorldTravl. @:-)^ JK!
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Last edited by MaldivesFreak; Aug 25, 19 at 8:57 am Reason: Correction
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 9:25 am
  #1560  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,790
Originally Posted by rvlcr View Post
thats what i’ve been thinking all along. this is exactly what happens when you pump artificial sand in the middle of a natural lagoon to create a fake looking, man made island. it’s not going to go well and just as we can see right here, the sand is not settling very well. if i we’re paying a cash rate of 2.000 for this resort i would be very peeved if this was then lagoon/beach i found outside my villa.

the beaches at the conrad, PHH, and W are MUCH MUCH nicer.

ive been to 6 resorts in the maldives and even cheap 4* ones come way way ahead than the waldorf when it comes to beach and lagoon beauty. which at the end of the day is why i fly 30+ hours across the world and is also why i will never ever visit the WA.
The Reethi Rah, another predominantly man-made resort, has a lot of the same beautiful colours but if you want a typical marine life and coral on your doorstep experience you're out of luck.

MaldivesFreak is offline  

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