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 13, 19, 6:03 am
  #1591  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
Originally Posted by NYC_1 View Post

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.
Ok, completely got it now.
His seemingly segregated term of "you" vs. the more appropriate classification of "us" had me perplexed. Thanks for YOUR explanation.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 6:18 am
  #1592  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 697
Originally Posted by NYC_1 View Post

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.
In speaking to several Hilton CSRs over the last few months I have been told by many they anticipate the WA to be a heavy points hotel. Similar to Conrad BB, Maldives and several Hawaii resorts. I presume all the points blogs will start adding the WA Maldives to their “best places to redeem points and free night voucher” articles.

TD
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Old Jul 13, 19, 6:32 am
  #1593  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


In speaking to several Hilton CSRs over the last few months I have been told by many they anticipate the WA to be a heavy points hotel. Similar to Conrad BB, Maldives and several Hawaii resorts. I presume all the points blogs will start adding the WA Maldives to their “best places to redeem points and free night voucher” articles.

TD
I don’t think his statement and what you have heard are mutually exclusive alternatives.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 6:35 am
  #1594  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 697
Originally Posted by NYC_1 View Post

I don’t think his statement and what you have heard aren’t mutually exclusive alternatives.
I agree. Think a fair mix of both will occur.

TD


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Old Jul 13, 19, 6:55 am
  #1595  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
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

I don't recall any pork except one pan of bacon. There's beef sausage and chicken sausage and no pork sausage. Oh, and ham is one of the omelette options. But I thought that's it.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 7:00 am
  #1596  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
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!

Originally Posted by scwam View Post
Ok, completely got it now.
His seemingly segregated term of "you" vs. the more appropriate classification of "us" had me perplexed. Thanks for YOUR explanation.
the difference is I can pay and afford to stay as well as use points. Whereas I feel like the people here who complain about the high prices can’t. It’s not to be mean. I am grateful I got to stay here on points.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 7:03 am
  #1597  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
I don't recall any pork except one pan of bacon. There's beef sausage and chicken sausage and no pork sausage. Oh, and ham is one of the omelette options. But I thought that's it.
pork sausage today. Some cold cuts were pork. Even if they were not available and alternatives were in place. My rating would not change.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 7:20 am
  #1598  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
the difference is I can pay and afford to stay as well as use points. Whereas I feel like the people here who complain about the high prices can’t. It’s not to be mean. I am grateful I got to stay here on points.
Well, I was one of those who also complained about prices. Yet, even so, I chose to still cancel my points reservation here and pay more than double the out-of-pocket cash expense for an alternative resort after consideration of posts here. Does that make me unable to afford W.A.?
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Old Jul 13, 19, 4:38 pm
  #1599  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by scwam View Post
Well, I was one of those who also complained about prices. Yet, even so, I chose to still cancel my points reservation here and pay more than double the out-of-pocket cash expense for an alternative resort after consideration of posts here. Does that make me unable to afford W.A.?
No it doesn’t. I’m sure you’ll have a great time at
that alternative resort, and I’m also sure that this resort will also be a smashing success despite the eggs that cost $7 more than some other place.
Originally Posted by scwam View Post
Ok, completely got it now.
His seemingly segregated term of "you" vs. the more appropriate classification of "us" had me perplexed. Thanks for YOUR explanation.
If you have a better one I’d love to hear it. The eggs are expensive I agree.

Last edited by Canarsie; Jul 17, 19 at 11:02 pm Reason: Consolidation.
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Old Jul 13, 19, 10:17 pm
  #1600  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
Here’s a review of something at the resort most visitors won’t be interested in.








The gym!




The gym is located next to the Spa. It’s got 5 bicycle-type machines, 2 treadmills, and 2 of those machines where you put your feet in the strips and run/bounce. There are also weight machines, freeweights, a yoga area, heavy balls, etc.




All the machines are very nice and modern though they don’t have them hooked up to TV connection yet so there’s nothing to look at except the canal in front of you, which isn’t so bad.




There’s a guy who works in there who I have heard is an accomplished personal trainer with experience working in Singapore. He seems a bit bored and spruced when guests actually show up to use the gym. My girlfriend and I went twice and we were the only ones there both times.




They have bottled water and a small towel at each machine and more bottled water in the fridge.




The bottled water is served in those glass bottles with the plastic clasps attached to a a metal clasp and can be a little tricky to open/close while you’re running/walking on a treadmill. You might want to being your own reusable plastic water bottle.




The also have a bowl of fresh apples.




There are lockers by the entrance that are lockable with a one time electronic code like an in room safe. You put your stuff in and hit star , 4 digit code, pound to lock and then the same sequence to unlock.


There are men’s and women’s restrooms which each include a private shower stall.


You don’t need to bring a gym bag on vacation, there are free tote bags in the villas and you could use that to carry your clothes to the gym if you want to shower and change there. It’s not necessary though, I just rode the bicycle to the gym in my workout clothes and rode back to my villa in the sweaty clothes after working out and showered there.


Anyway, my overall impression is that’s a very nice gym and good amenity to help people keep off some of the breakfast buffet and happy hour weight while on vacation.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 11:08 am
  #1601  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
the difference is I can pay and afford to stay as well as use points. Whereas I feel like the people here who complain about the high prices can’t. It’s not to be mean. I am grateful I got to stay here on points.
The irony is that over at the Conrad Maldives thread where many of FT guests are points stayers, many of those points guests want to maximise/optimise their paid dining options and try to plan their many days worth of meal options prior to arriving at that resort, I have not seen this at this property yet. And to rub salt into the would so to speak, the prices at the Conrad is only a fraction less than the WA. Many points guests may or may not be able to afford the room like you or the next person after you but many are prepared to spend because it is the Maldives and more importantly they are grateful to be able to stay on points.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 12:07 pm
  #1602  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,301
Originally Posted by Gold_Member View Post

Originally Posted by Moflav View Post
New review from The Telegraph gives the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi 9/10 points

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/d...aafushi-hotel/
Paid reviews. I doubt the reviewer even stayed at the property.
Exactly; ".....the journey to the island is only around 30 minutes." but we know it actually takes 50 or more minutes.


Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
What do you mean when you say it's a suite? A two bedroom villa? I don't see "suite" as a room classification at this resort. I just copied and pasted the list of King Beach Villas numbers they sent me, it certainly could be wrong.
They look to be 2 bedroom villas. (Sorry if this has been addressed, just catching up on the thread and replying as I do so.)
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Old Jul 14, 19, 12:52 pm
  #1603  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,140
I'm chuckling at some of the posts on this thread and the Conrad thread. It's not a crime if individuals can't afford to stay at these two properties. They certainly aren't for everyone, but for goodness sakes, choose a destination you can afford. Even if staying on points, the reality is that food, beverages, and activities cost money. Why travel halfway around the world if you plan on filling your suitcase with snacks, and skimp on meals and experiences. That doesn't sound like much fun.

I'm currently in the Caribbean for a couple of weeks, and the family in the room adjacent to mine have five people sharing the room. BTW, the children are teens. That sounds more like summer camp than a vacation. Of course, then they can go home and tell everyone that they stayed at a Sandals/Beaches resort.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 5:14 pm
  #1604  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 63
We arrived yesterday and did not get to experience the WA yacht, was also informed it is held in customs.
Snack on board is beyond surpar.
The tuna whatever sandwich mayo was warm.
The fruit offerings was not fresh.
​​​​


Check in was seamless.

After 30 minutes waiting for our luggage to be delivered, had to call twice for status.
Finally. After 45 minutes was reunited with our luggages.

We missed the afternoon snack.

Dinner was at glow.
We shared appetizer and Dessert.
Husband and I had our own main.
He had fresh orange juice and we shared Evian still bottle.
I invoice was $225 with all taxes. Excluding gratity so I'm thinking $225 is very lazy meal.
It's very easy to reach $300 for 2 person.
Glow was delicious.

We received welcome amenity roombottle of champagne. Small fruit plate, and chocolate.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 8:13 pm
  #1605  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
I didn't eat a Terra but I was riding my bicycle around one day and went up there to take photos. There are seven tables/nests/cages at Terra. Here's a photo of the view from each one. In my opinion, the views from Terra are quite poor as the nests overlook the photograph studio and the kids' discovery center and water sports center.








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