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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Aug 16, 19, 9:04 pm   -   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: MaldivesFreak
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Welcome to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Wiki!
Notes: All prices are in US Dollars and are exclusive of taxes unless specified (by ++)

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


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

The Rip-off 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!
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


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 new 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: WA Ithaafushi is located in South Malé Atoll, southwest of Velana International Airport [MLE] (also known as Malé International Airport, previously known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport)
• Private yacht transfer (50 mins from Malé): $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
Note: Original quoted price was $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 50 minutes
See this post for a detailed review of the yacht transfer (Courtesy of jphripjah)

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 to visit the resort's website for more information
• 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 for a comprehensive set of pictures (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

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 menu pictures: 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 - Set Menu B

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


Prices - Accommodation:

***** 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)

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


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)
• 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)
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Old Jul 11, 19, 5:07 pm
  #1561  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 62
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post


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.







I'm wonderıng ıf they have honey out and avaılable or ıs that also consıder "hıgh rısk" ıtem?
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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:47 pm
  #1562  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,860
They have jams and honey on the table in little glass jars.



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Old Jul 11, 19, 9:05 pm
  #1563  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,673
So we managed to fly Scare Asia then Lion Air to RGN, both flights costs less than a standard a la carte meal at the resort.

Anyway sorry to mislead you about the secret menu, there really isn't one That said, apart from the on-request french butter which was suggested to me by someone(/wont mention name or position) but high up on the WA/Conrad corporate ladder I would not have know either, anything you want or added to your dishes, the kitchen will gladly do it. For example we would ask for avocados (which is not listed or seen) with our eggs and out they would come, perfectly sliced. We would ask for certain cut fruits and out they would come, even though that fruit did not appear on buffet display in the week I was there.

Fruit juices; order what you want and in what combination thats not on the menu either.

It is a WA so I guess one should expect nothing less.

Do try eating the brown sugar, as I was suggested to do. And the yoghurt, apparently I have been told that its the only Maldivian property to serve that french branded yoghurt.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 9:11 pm
  #1564  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 79
@alanslegal
I'm sorry if I'm repeating a question asked before.
1) Have you stayed at any other resorts in the Maldives before
1b) How is the WA compared to those resorts
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Old Jul 11, 19, 9:17 pm
  #1565  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,673
So this yacht is leased from the Anatarra Resort (crewed by Anatarra staff wearing WA polo shirts as I was told by the crew) with at least one WA personal concierge on board. Soon there will be dedicated WA yacht concierge rather then relying on a personal concierge from the resort (who would be away from the property for 90 mins at the possible expense of their guests)

We had five on board and it felt rather cramped, we had to share a lounge with another couple. Onboard the WA yacht there is four separate inside areas for four couples could have their own space, some spaces could seat eight or so. Plus no wifi on board whereas the WA yacht did.

It is a nice yacht but, my comparison would be, like downgraded to business class after travelling first class.

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Old Jul 11, 19, 9:52 pm
  #1566  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,860
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
So this yacht is leased from the Anatarra Resort (crewed by Anatarra staff wearing WA polo shirts as I was told by the crew) with at least one WA personal concierge on board. Soon there will be dedicated WA yacht concierge rather then relying on a personal concierge from the resort (who would be away from the property for 90 mins at the possible expense of their guests)

We had five on board and it felt rather cramped, we had to share a lounge with another couple. Onboard the WA yacht there is four separate inside areas for four couples could have their own space, some spaces could seat eight or so. Plus no wifi on board whereas the WA yacht did.

It is a nice yacht but, my comparison would be, like downgraded to business class after travelling first class.

Did they discount the transfer cost due to the yacht downgrade or offer any additional discount or apology at check out due to the Wednesday night fire alarm incident?
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Old Jul 11, 19, 10:48 pm
  #1567  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,673
Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
@alanslegal
I'm sorry if I'm repeating a question asked before.
1) Have you stayed at any other resorts in the Maldives before
1b) How is the WA compared to those resorts
We have stayed at the Sheraton Full Moon once upon a time, the Conrad Maldives in 2017 and then this property.

For us, we are likely to spend 75% of our time in our villa and the WA villas blow everything out of the water (even comparing it to the Intercontinental Thalasso Bora Bora and Conrad Bora Bora). The base beach villas are special and I can say the photos/videos you seen online do not do it justice. High ceilings up to ~20 feet in some places, everything can be operated by an ipad (lights, curtains). There is a 2 meter high pendant light hanging off the ceiling, like really? You see these lights in hotel lobby / atriums or high void spaces. The pool, the gazebo, the day bed, the swinging bed, one had three areas to shower @ the beach, in your room, or your outdoor shower. Sure I miss a hot tub and the greenery is six month away from decent improvement but these are a negligible after seeing the benefits.

Service is superior to the Conrad Maldives - it is a Waldorf Astoria but maybe the staff are super excited and happy so that reflected in their work towards guests. Staffing knowing you, greeting you, opening doors, I had all levels of staff (director, managers, room boys) spend time with me chatting about the resort and life. Staff genuinely sad to see you leave (and vice versa). Blows away any service levels in French Polynesia (it's always 'island time' over there?)

Food and beverage - I was pleasantly surprised with what we sampled :- Tasting Table, Glow, The Ledge, Li Long and in-villa dining. We did not try The Rock US$295++ pp set menu or Terra US$298++ / US$398++ set menu as we could not justify the cost and Terra looked underwhelming from an ambience point of view. We try to be foodies and chase / hunt down Michelin starred restaurant / Top 100 restaurants etc but for some reason did not feel the energy in going to these fine dining restaurants.

There are a few other view points, some much more well travelled than I can chime in about their experience / comparisons.

Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
Did they discount the transfer cost due to the yacht downgrade or offer any additional discount or apology at check out due to the Wednesday night fire alarm incident?
We were on the (mistake) $370++ per person round yacht trip deal so weren't too fussed at that point, and the fire alarm incident, we totally forgot about it at check out nor was it raised.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 11:01 pm
  #1568  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 79
@alanslegal Thanks for the response! I am just debating between St Regis, and WA.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 11:30 pm
  #1569  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
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Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
@alanslegal Thanks for the response! I am just debating between St Regis, and WA.
Can't help you with that comparison; the only St Regis properties we have stayed is Bangkok, Rome and New York.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 1:00 am
  #1570  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
Just checked in

After spending weeks on this post I was nearly put off staying here...

i will say, it’s absolutely fantastic.

I have nothing to complain about so far.

Lets see what the food and the rest of the stay will be like but the staff are excellent.

Now that I’ve been on the yacht transfer. I’d say that it adds to the experience.

This resort was not made for you HH point redemption people honestly. I’m just lucky I was able to stay on a points redemption and as a diamond member am treated quite fairly.

Dont be put off. The resort is fantastic.

Only hotels comparable for me to Waldorf is the st Regis. Ive found mandarin and the four seasons to be below both these brands.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 1:22 am
  #1571  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: ZRH
Programs: M&M SEN (*G), HH Diamond
Posts: 2,255
"Just checked in"
"I will say, it’s absolutely fantastic.
I have nothing to complain about so far."

Looking forward to a review later on.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 1:54 am
  #1572  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: KR
Programs: MR Gold, HH Gold, QR Gold
Posts: 177
Originally Posted by goliath View Post
"Just checked in"
"I will say, it’s absolutely fantastic.
I have nothing to complain about so far."

Looking forward to a review later on.
​​​​​​
I would love to see your review on snorkeling and marine life experiences
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Old Jul 12, 19, 3:43 am
  #1573  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
Staying in an overwater villa. Probably the best room I’ve ever stayed in.

Im 100% glad I picked this over the Conrad.

I am travelling with the family (wife and child) and therefore my objectives may not be the same as yours. For me the reef activities are not exciting. I’ve been to the barrier reef so this is just an added touch. If they didn’t have reef activities I would still stay here.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 5:14 am
  #1574  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 562
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
This resort was not made for you HH point redemption people honestly. I’m just lucky I was able to stay on a points redemption and as a diamond member am treated quite fairly.
What do you mean by these sentences?
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Old Jul 12, 19, 7:00 am
  #1575  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
@alanslegal Thanks for the response! I am just debating between St Regis, and WA.
I'm having the same debate myself with both reservations made for June '20. May wait for reviews from someone who has stayed at both.
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