Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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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 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 12, 19, 11:18 am
  #1576  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
Day 1 review

Yacht transfer. Met expectations
Check in: above expectations. Staff and GM were very friendly
villa: exceeded expectations. You can tell that the villas are “new”. Lots of cool features. I’ve enjoyed the different areas and it feels very comfortable.
Food: only had the chance to do inroom dining twice. I would say that this has fallen short of expectations massively. I ordered a steak sandwich which I would say was cooked just ok. Truffle fries are decent. Salad was just ok. Chicken tikka wrap was decent if not slightly messy. late evening dining was a disaster. Most of the food was cold. If I wasn’t hungry because of having had food poisoning for the past few days I would’ve sent it back. The “hot dog” was a icecold dog. Lol.

Rating for the day 7/10 (mainly because of the food). Without the food it’s 9.5/10.
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Rizla is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 11:33 am
  #1577  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,687
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
Food: only had the chance to do inroom dining twice. I would say that this has fallen short of expectations massively. I ordered a steak sandwich which I would say was cooked just ok. Truffle fries are decent. Salad was just ok. Chicken tikka wrap was decent if not slightly messy. late evening dining was a disaster. Most of the food was cold. If I wasn’t hungry because of having had food poisoning for the past few days I would’ve sent it back. The “hot dog” was a icecold dog. Lol.

Rating for the day 7/10 (mainly because of the food). Without the food it’s 9.5/10.
Looking forward to your review of the tasting menus at Terra and The Rock, thanks in advance.
alanslegal is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 1:01 pm
  #1578  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 190
Could someone can make review of afternoon delights 4-5pm which is free for diamonds
What kind of snack and drinks can you get at Peacock Alley?


Any chance kids club photos and review is so.eone going g with you kids to stay at Waldorf?
mobilemario is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 1:03 pm
  #1579  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 127
Originally Posted by mobilemario View Post
Could someone can make review of afternoon delights 4-5pm which is free for diamonds
What kind of snack and drinks can you get at Peacock Alley?


Any chance kids club photos and review is so.eone going g with you kids to stay at Waldorf?
Check instagram, there is someone posting pictures of their child at various places on the island.. I recall one of them being the kids club.
mikewhyatt is online now  
Old Jul 12, 19, 4:16 pm
  #1580  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 645
So what I'm reading is- if you want decent snorkelling and marine life choose the Conrad. If you want a nicer overall hotel/room/transfer/stay then choose the WA.

As there have been almost no updates on the snorkelling I'm assuming that no one has found the unicorn patch of live coral and lots of macro sea life...
Cynicor is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 7:52 pm
  #1581  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 700
Originally Posted by Cynicor View Post
So what I'm reading is- if you want decent snorkelling and marine life choose the Conrad. If you want a nicer overall hotel/room/transfer/stay then choose the WA.

As there have been almost no updates on the snorkelling I'm assuming that no one has found the unicorn patch of live coral and lots of macro sea life...



I believe you read that from a single review in the Conrad blog from someone who has never snorkeled at the WA, much less even been there. Could end up being correct, but I am waiting to hear a review someone that has actually been there

TD
Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 7:55 pm
  #1582  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 645
Not at all. There have been 2 or 3 here that have snorkelled now. Did you miss all the bit about the drop off etc?
Cynicor is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 8:29 pm
  #1583  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
I’m not a snorkling person. Don’t really care to do it and prob won’t.

If it helps I’ve seen a ton of fish from my room in the glass floor panel both day and night.
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Rizla is offline  
Old Jul 12, 19, 9:41 pm
  #1584  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
An update on the breakfast. It’s more than acceptable. Good selection. Good additional items.

If its good enough for the cliche fat Arab kids then I’m sure it’s good for us points redemption stayers.

Breakfast rating is a solid 8.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 9:50 pm
  #1585  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,687
Originally Posted by mobilemario View Post
Any chance kids club photos and review is so.eone going g with you kids to stay at Waldorf?
Another couple who we bumped into several times said that the kids club is excellent; their child has an instgram account (found it by luck as he had tagged waldorfastoriamaldives on the postings) and boy I wished I had that life when I was 5 or so years old.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 10:48 pm
  #1586  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: HHonors Diamond; Royal Ambassor
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
Another couple who we bumped into several times said that the kids club is excellent; their child has an instgram account (found it by luck as he had tagged waldorfastoriamaldives on the postings) and boy I wished I had that life when I was 5 or so years old.
https://instagram.com/ethanhenriarou...d=bt6g980ow4r1

that’s the Instagram account of that kid.
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Old Jul 12, 19, 11:34 pm
  #1587  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
My girlfriend and I did the dolphin cruise a few nights ago. It goes from 6-8 pm. We saw lots of dolphins and it’s a nice cruise of the atoll and only $75++ per person. Only two other guests were on the cruise.

Since we skipped lunch, we ate an early dinner beforehand by ordering off the menu in Peacock Alley at the end of happy hour, they’ve got a full menu there until 5 pm then they switch to tapas only.

Oh, and our transfer back to the airport was a private transfer on the luxury yacht, just us and a concierge.

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Old Jul 13, 19, 1:23 am
  #1588  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: KR
Programs: MR Gold, HH Gold, QR Gold
Posts: 186
Originally Posted by Cynicor View Post
So what I'm reading is- if you want decent snorkelling and marine life choose the Conrad. If you want a nicer overall hotel/room/transfer/stay then choose the WA.

As there have been almost no updates on the snorkelling I'm assuming that no one has found the unicorn patch of live coral and lots of macro sea life...
​​​​​​Hello Cynicor, I am also super keen to read more reviews on snorkeling and marine life at WA. I am holding bookings for both but would like to settle as early as possible also to finalise flight schedule.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 4:30 am
  #1589  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by scwam View Post
What do you mean by these sentences?
He’s saying that the resort was designed as an exclusive, high end resort, aimed at a clientele who are less price sensitive than those whose only means of staying here is on points.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 5:42 am
  #1590  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
Day 2

Today has been a better day for food.

Breakfast was very good. Lots of choice. No complaints apart from wish there was less pork (would mean more options for me). 8/10

lunch we visited the ledge. Very interesting concept. Food was good. It’s worth going once and better than in room dining! 8/10

spa: had a massage. The jet lag one. The spa is huge. I had my treatment in an overwater room. Incredible experience to be looking down at the water rather than empty space! Therapist was from Bali. Clearly experienced. I fell asleep. Felt a little short at 90mins. 8.5/10.

Note: I’ve given very few things a 10/10. For me those are outstanding experiences/almost once in a lifetime.

Great day spent swimming and relaxing. Life couldn’t be better!

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