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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 25, 19, 10:16 am
  #1561  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 11,482
Thanks to posts from this thread, I was able to change my 2020 booking from BV to OWV without charge. As website still allows point bookings for BV, you can effectively choose between BV, RV and OWV for 120K for 2020 bookings. I don't think this will last.
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TerryK is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 11:31 am
  #1562  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,792
So far we have these 2 pics of Yasmeen's menu. The first one from @Stivelio and the second from @Traveler Dave





They are both $148++ but the first one says 'SET MENU B' and the other says 'SET MENU'. I'm wondering if there is a 'SET MENU A' or whether the A & B options were discontinued as Traveler Dave's one is the more recent photo as far as I can tell. There are also the differences of:
1. Having a fruit platter and the choice of 2 additional desserts for dessert in the first one and only 1 dessert in the second
2. A choice of 4 mains in the first one but only 3 in the second
3. 5 options for cold mezze in the first one but only 3 in the second
Once we figure it out I know which I should link to in the wiki. Input if you will. TIA.

Oh wait.....I know the answer! It's easy. Cost cutting is already in place and the one with the least options is the one that's current, LOL.
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MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 1:03 pm
  #1563  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 813
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
So far we have these 2 pics of Yasmeen's menu. The first one from @Stivelio and the second from @Traveler Dave





They are both $148++ but the first one says 'SET MENU B' and the other says 'SET MENU'. I'm wondering if there is a 'SET MENU A' or whether the A & B options were discontinued as Traveler Dave's one is the more recent photo as far as I can tell. There are also the differences of:
1. Having a fruit platter and the choice of 2 additional desserts for dessert in the first one and only 1 dessert in the second
2. A choice of 4 mains in the first one but only 3 in the second
3. 5 options for cold mezze in the first one but only 3 in the second
Once we figure it out I know which I should link to in the wiki. Input if you will. TIA.

Oh wait.....I know the answer! It's easy. Cost cutting is already in place and the one with the least options is the one that's current, LOL.
Mine was from July 19th if that helps...

TD
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Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 3:18 pm
  #1564  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Programs: Delta Gold Medallion, AMEX Skymiles Plat, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 187
Just wanted to remind travelers that are heading to the WA Maldives this year (and early in January 2020) that you can register for the Hilton AMEX double/triple points promo tomorrow

Promo:Power up with double points or triple points with Hilton Honors Amex cardsRegistration starts August 26
Double points on stays between Sept 9-Jan 5
Hilton Honors Amex cardholder will get triple points in addition to what they already earn from the card

https://www.hiltonhonors.com/en_US/2..._1780/landing/
Moflav is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 5:35 pm
  #1565  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: MAR Plat
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
Thanks to posts from this thread, I was able to change my 2020 booking from BV to OWV without charge. As website still allows point bookings for BV, you can effectively choose between BV, RV and OWV for 120K for 2020 bookings. I don't think this will last.
​​​​​​I left three nights out of seven as BV just in case.
noeatbutgo is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 7:08 pm
  #1566  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 813
Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
Thanks to posts from this thread, I was able to change my 2020 booking from BV to OWV without charge. As website still allows point bookings for BV, you can effectively choose between BV, RV and OWV for 120K for 2020 bookings. I don't think this will last.
But if they did imagine what a buzz that would create. All the big bloggers would tell that story. Would make headlines in every best “how to use your voucher nights” and “places in the World to use your Hilton points”.

TD
Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 7:11 pm
  #1567  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


But if they did imagine what a buzz that would create. All the big bloggers would tell that story. Would make headlines in every best “how to use your voucher nights” and “places in the World to use your Hilton points”.

TD
I'm actually quite surprised that this isn't already being covered by any blogger.
NightFury1 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 8:09 pm
  #1568  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 3,003
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
It's not easy. The obvious strategy is eat the free breakfast late in the morning, I recall they serve it until 10:30. Then skip lunch. The free afternoon tea/happy hour for Hilton elites isn't very substantial, the pieces of fruit/chocolate are pretty small.

One day my girlfriend and I were doing an excursion in the evening so we had a very early dinner off the Peacock Alley "all day menu" which they stop serving at around 6 p.m. I think. So those meals might have "only" been $40++ each.

Yes, Nava serves pizzas but only for lunch, and if you're trying to save money you'll be skipping lunch. In the evening Nava just serves room service food that will be delivered from Tasting Table, I think.

I never ate room service here but I recall there are some light options and sandwiches on the room service menu. And then you could drink the free water in your room instead of the $12++ per bottle water in the restaurants.

The $65 peri peri chicken for two plus fries plus one appetizer plus two soft drinks at the Ledge would probably come out to like $105++ for two for dinner. We also went to Ledge one night and tried splitting like 3-4 appetizers and a salad and the tuna "main course" and that was OK and probably priced out the same.

There are also some $50 per person dinner items at Tasting Table. My girlfriend and I don't drink much or order the crazy expensive food items so average dinner bill for us was like $150 after the taxes/fees. We had two dinners at Glow, two at Ledge, one at Tasting Table. We had an after dinner drink at Amber one night and one at Nava. So for 5 nights our Food and Beverage bill was around $1000. Then add the transfer cost at $370++ RT and two excursions (whale watching and Male tour) and my total bill was $2200.
jphripjah is offline  
Old Aug 25, 19, 10:47 pm
  #1569  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: ZRH
Programs: M&M SEN (*G), HH Diamond
Posts: 2,382
Originally Posted by Moflav View Post
Just wanted to remind travelers that are heading to the WA Maldives this year (and early in January 2020) that you can register for the Hilton AMEX double/triple points promo tomorrow
It's not just for the Hilton Amex, many (all?) other Hilton branded credit cards worldwide count for the triple points promo as well (see the fine print on the promo page).
goliath is offline  
Old Aug 26, 19, 12:33 am
  #1570  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 725
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
It's not easy. The obvious strategy is eat the free breakfast late in the morning, I recall they serve it until 10:30. Then skip lunch. The free afternoon tea/happy hour for Hilton elites isn't very substantial, the pieces of fruit/chocolate are pretty small.

One day my girlfriend and I were doing an excursion in the evening so we had a very early dinner off the Peacock Alley "all day menu" which they stop serving at around 6 p.m. I think. So those meals might have "only" been $40++ each.

Yes, Nava serves pizzas but only for lunch, and if you're trying to save money you'll be skipping lunch. In the evening Nava just serves room service food that will be delivered from Tasting Table, I think.

I never ate room service here but I recall there are some light options and sandwiches on the room service menu. And then you could drink the free water in your room instead of the $12++ per bottle water in the restaurants.

The $65 peri peri chicken for two plus fries plus one appetizer plus two soft drinks at the Ledge would probably come out to like $105++ for two for dinner. We also went to Ledge one night and tried splitting like 3-4 appetizers and a salad and the tuna "main course" and that was OK and probably priced out the same.

There are also some $50 per person dinner items at Tasting Table. My girlfriend and I don't drink much or order the crazy expensive food items so average dinner bill for us was like $150 after the taxes/fees. We had two dinners at Glow, two at Ledge, one at Tasting Table. We had an after dinner drink at Amber one night and one at Nava. So for 5 nights our Food and Beverage bill was around $1000. Then add the transfer cost at $370++ RT and two excursions (whale watching and Male tour) and my total bill was $2200.
Many thanks for your reply. We learnt the "fill up at breakfast" trick when we stayed at the Conrad Maldives so a great one. Didn't realise pizza was only lunch - ohh! We are Gold so would be making use of the afternoon Tea also everyday. We looked last night at all the menus available online, saw pasta dishes not too bad on price, crispy half duck with pancakes etc, noodles, the perI chicken. We did wonder about the room service menu as sometimes that is a gold mine at some resorts offering better options and cheaper than dining out, like you mentioned free water also - has anyone been used room service - any good?
Looks like Peacock alley is ok for atleast three meals on our list.

Last edited by Tilly71; Aug 26, 19 at 1:31 am
Tilly71 is offline  
Old Aug 26, 19, 2:32 am
  #1571  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 3,003
Originally Posted by Tilly71 View Post
Many thanks for your reply. We learnt the "fill up at breakfast" trick when we stayed at the Conrad Maldives so a great one. Didn't realise pizza was only lunch - ohh! We are Gold so would be making use of the afternoon Tea also everyday. We looked last night at all the menus available online, saw pasta dishes not too bad on price, crispy half duck with pancakes etc, noodles, the perI chicken. We did wonder about the room service menu as sometimes that is a gold mine at some resorts offering better options and cheaper than dining out, like you mentioned free water also - has anyone been used room service - any good?
Looks like Peacock alley is ok for atleast three meals on our list.

Peacock Alley stops serving their "all day menu" at like 6pm and then reverts to a tapas only menu. Then Tasting Table opens and many of the items from the Peacock Alley "all day menu" are on the menu at Tasting Table for the same price.
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jphripjah is offline  
Old Aug 26, 19, 4:59 am
  #1572  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,814
Originally Posted by Tilly71 View Post
Many thanks for your reply. We learnt the "fill up at breakfast" trick when we stayed at the Conrad Maldives so a great one. Didn't realise pizza was only lunch - ohh! We are Gold so would be making use of the afternoon Tea also everyday. We looked last night at all the menus available online, saw pasta dishes not too bad on price, crispy half duck with pancakes etc, noodles, the perI chicken. We did wonder about the room service menu as sometimes that is a gold mine at some resorts offering better options and cheaper than dining out, like you mentioned free water also - has anyone been used room service - any good?
Be mindful that Afternoon Tea will not fill anyone up but guests can order snacks/tapas and that could be one's late lunch/early dinner.

Can someone correct me here but I think the in-villa dining prices (ableit a smaller menu) were the same price as if you were dining at the respective restaurants? We ordered in-villa dining once, just two mains and it set us back around $110 which was the cheapest meal per couple we had during the week. Once we went to a restaurant we felt that we had to order some starters, plus our mains, then a dessert, and hence you can easily spend $200++ without even trying.
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alanslegal is offline  
Old Aug 26, 19, 6:59 am
  #1573  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 3
I also emailed them to change 2/5 nights from BV to OWV free of charge for our April 2020 stay! Thanks all for sharing this (we saved 400x2x23.2%!)
windk is offline  
Old Aug 26, 19, 7:49 am
  #1574  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: FLL
Programs: United Premier Platinum; Marriott Gold; Starwood Gold; Hilton Honors Diamond; Hertz Pres Circle
Posts: 631
Just finished a stay here and thought I would add my two cents on the property. Happy to answer any questions people have with respect to pricing, logistics, etc.

Villa

Easily the nicest hotel room I have ever stayed in. I posted a few weeks ago that they quoted me an upgrade charge of $250/night + 23.2% service charge/tax in order to go from the beach villa booked through points/certificates to a grand overwater villa. This was a great deal, and I was floored with the shear size of the villa along with the outdoor deck, pool area, etc. The room was stocked with every amenity you could imagine, and we were discovering things right until check out, such as a beach bag, sun umbrella, and more. They did a fantastic job on these rooms and if you can get a cheap rate to upgrade to a grand villa, I think it is worth it because having the living room area makes the villa feel much more spacious (and also means a much larger outdoor deck).

Housekeeping did a fantastic job ensuring that our room was in good shape and came multiple times in the day. When they came, their work consisted of a very deep clean, which was nice to see.

Transfer

I recognize that there has been a lot of discussion here with respect to transfer pricing, and, prior to actually enduring the experience, I was in the camp of folks who were of the impression that these prices were simply outrageous. After experiencing the yacht transfer, I actually think the price of $300/pp + 23.2% service charge/tax each way is kind of reasonable. Note that I got them down to this price after complaining about the fact that the "mandatory" aspect of the transfer experience was not disclosed at booking. The yachts we took in both directions were stunning, and the bedroom setup was outrageous. They literally have Waldorf Astoria beds on these things, and, having never really spent any time at sea, I found the experience of flying through the Indian Ocean in my own luxury bedroom to be something quite special. Don't expect much in terms of the food/beverage offerings onboard the yacht. This is a major area of improvement for them, and I already let management know.

Hilton Honors Perks

Gold members are the real winners here. The only difference between Gold and Diamond benefits is that Diamond members get a complimentary 30 minutes tacked onto a 60 minute massage but this is really only worth $20 since that is the difference in cost between a 60 minute and a 90 minute massage. I addressed how absurd this pricing differential was to the spa staff, and they agreed it made no sense, but, alas, these were the prices.

The complimentary breakfast is insane. Easily the best breakfast I have ever had at a hotel -- in terms of both quality and quantity. Usually, you would eat at the buffet and then get a choice of one item off the menu. Here, you could literally get everything off the buffet and then order absolutely everything off the menu. We had the buffet, along with waffles, pancakes, French toast, made-to-order eggs, eggs benedict, and six or seven fresh-pressed juices every morning and nobody even blinked. If you come here later in the morning and eat a huge meal, you can easily make it until dinner.

The daily reception at Peacock Alley was also great in the sense that the free non-alcoholic/alcoholic beverages were also unlimited. You could have six or seven drinks and no one will say anything. The food is not substantial but was generally of a high quality.

The welcome package was quite nice. It included a bottle of champagne, fruit, and cookies.

Upgrades seem to be virtually non-existent here, though I realize some have reported success. They claim they are exempt from the upgrade program given the unique nature of the property.

I was given a 8 PM late check out. Enough said.

Dining

We dined at Li Long, Tangled, The Ledge and Tasting Table. If you steer clear of some of the more expensive items on the menu -- and do not drink -- you can keep costs under control. Of these restaurants, The Ledge and Tasting Table were the highlights. The Ledge had a tremendous meat offering, and we also enjoyed the tapas appetizers (some of which are just $10-$12). Tasting Table is the winner in terms of a bargain. We went on the sunset fishing excursion and caught a couple fish. A few others folks on our trip caught fish, as well, but did not want to eat them. We were informed by the staff that the fish you catch on the excursion can be prepared for a meal at Tasting Table for $65 per person + 23.2% service charge/tax. BUT, once you pay that amount, there is no limit to how much fish you can eat. So, we each caught one fish but then the other folks on our cruise gave us their fish. So for that same $65 per person++, we both shared five full entrees (each with a side). We picked how we wanted each fish prepared, what sauce, etc. and it felt like a steal. So much food we could not finish it and was just $120++.

Li Long and Tangled were great, too. All the food at the resort is very high quality but a lot of the pricing, as discussed already, makes no sense at all. For example, the cheeses you can have on a basically unlimited basis at breakfast go for $68 in room service. Or a single egg costs the same thing as a complete omelette breakfast? Crazy.

And as a FYI, you can get unlimited free water in the gym. You get a few bottles every day in your villa but it's amazing how quickly you go through them. Some restaurants were charging $12 or $13 for one bottle of water so the costs can add up quickly and you should figure out ways to avoid paying it.

Oh, and I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would pay to eat at Terra. The bamboo cages are awkward and, even in daylight, you barely have a view. Li Long and Tasting Table seem to offer the best views.

Personal Concierge

A joke. Our personal concierge, after checking us into the villa, literally disappeared. We were unable to make contact on our first day, and, after many phone calls, we went back to the reception area only to discover that our concierge had left the island. No one informed us of this, reservations we wanted had not been made, and management did not really seem to care. We got a replacement concierge but this kind of left a bad taste in our mouths. When a resort is charging these amounts, they need to be flawless when it comes to this sort of thing. They also need to implement some sort of system that tracks all of your reservations (perhaps accessible on the in-room iPad?) because it was difficult to just remember everything we booked, and, at times, even our concierge was confused as to when things were booked. We also learned that if you want something, expect to ask for it multiple times. Maybe the concierge staff is just overwhelmed but they seemed to often lose track of our requests.

Overall, they need A LOT of help in this area.

Spa

Beautiful. Had a great massage and only complaint is that the pricing makes absolutely no sense. A 60 minute massage is $180 and a 90 minute massage is $200. So the Diamond massage perk amounts to $20.

Watersports

It was dead when we were there so the staff members were incredibly attentive and they have some very cool gadgets that make for a memorable time on the water. Totally worth it, even though it is a bit expensive.

We were blown away by the house reef tour, available for $35 pp + 23.2% service charge/tax. I thought there wouldn't be much action based on what I read here but it was absolutely gorgeous, and we saw tons of fish, an Eagle ray, etc.

Miscellaneous

You get around the resort on bikes (or you can be driven in a buggy). At night time, there are virtually no lights anywhere and the buggies go at exceptionally high speeds. As an attorney, I could never imagine approving this setup from a liability perspective. You need to be VERY careful at all times, especially at night, as the buggies are going quickly and often from hidden turns and, sadly, think it's only a matter of time before someone gets injured. There are not any lights on the bikes. Be careful.

DO NOT leave anything out in the open on your villa deck. Our bikes were stolen from our villa, which means that someone literally went through our front door and onto our deck to retrieve them. There's no way to prevent this as you cannot lock the outside door to the villa area (you can obviously lock the villa itself). Thankfully, there was nothing of high value in the bikes but disconcerting that this happened at all. What was even more alarming was that the staff did not seem particularly upset about this. We spoke with a couple other guests who reported that the same thing happened to them so seems to be a common occurrence and hopefully they figure out a way to prevent this in the future.

Take advantage of the photo shoot. They don't really advertise that you can have a professional 45-minute photo shoot done and then you can keep some of the photos. The book in the room said you could only keep one photo, but we were able to keep more than that and they were REALLY high-quality photos. You'd need to pay hundreds of dollars to have done what we had done for free at the resort.

Overall

It's a beautiful resort but cannot give it more than a 8/10 as a result of the various service issues we encountered, as well as the apathy of staff when it came to very serious issues like someone coming into our villa area and taking our bikes (and the contents therein). Much work to be done but they certainly have a beautiful property to develop.
Morgo, gaz1, jphripjah and 9 others like this.
goldelite8 is offline  
Old Aug 26, 19, 7:59 am
  #1575  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 149
Awesome review,

although I don't understand why they would only let you keep one photo...
NightFury1 is offline  

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