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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Mar 5, 20, 9:51 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Corridor!
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:-: Welcome to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Wiki! :-:
Notes: All prices are in US Dollars and are exclusive of taxes unless specified (by ++)

Tax Information
• 10% Service Charge (levied by resort. For info on this and how it's distributed, see this post)
• 12% T-GST (Tourist Goods & Services Tax, levied by the Maldivian government, current as of Oct 1, 2014)
• Total tax is 23.2%, not 22% as one would think. Example; $100 + 10% = $110, then add 12% on to $110 for a total of $123.20
• • Tip: To work out prices before the 23.2% taxes, multiply by 0.81169, i.e; 123.2 * 0.81169 = 100
• A Green Tax of $6pp/pn (levied by the Maldivian government) has been introduced starting from 1 November 2015. Points/Redemption bookings are exempt from the tax for up to two guests per room

Booking with points
• Bookings must be cancelled 30 days prior in order to avoid one full night's charge at BAR. (previously 14 days)
• Website and phone agents state that a cash deposit equivalent to the BAR per night will be taken when booking stays with points. This is an error. NO CASH DEPOSIT IS TAKEN WHEN MAKING A POINTS BOOKING
• Free night certificate: The phone agent states that a cash deposit equivalent to the BAR per night will be taken when booking your free night. This is an error. NO CASH DEPOSIT IS TAKEN WHEN USING YOUR FREE NIGHT CERTIFICATE

Transfers To and From Resort
• Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi is located in South Malι Atoll, 23km southwest of Malι and Velana International Airport [MLE] (also known as Malι International Airport, previously known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport)
• Transfer experience includes personal service for your group after luggage pick-up until arrival on the yacht; yacht includes dedicated server for champagne, non-alcoholic beverages, and light snacks. Departure experience on the yacht is the same, and your group be personally escorted through airline check-in until airport security.
• Pricing in 2020 is $600++ per person, and in 2019 it was $350++ per person per way ($1724.80 return inclusive of taxes for 2 passengers). The price for kids 5 and under is complimentary while kids 6-11 years old are charged $300++ per person. If the yacht is not available, a speedboat will be provided by the resort. If this happens, you may be refunded the yacht transfer fee.
• See this post for a detailed review of the yacht transfer (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Third party transfers are not permitted by the resort.
• Transfer to / from Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: A private seaplane transfer from the Waldorf to the Conrad, taking approximately 25 minutes, is approximately USD 8,125++. Most guests travel between the resort booking the standard round trip seaplane from Male to Rangali and then the Yacht transfer round trip from Male to Waldorf.

Resort Information / Spa / Activities
• WA Ithaafushi is made up of three islands (95% man-made)
• There are 2 standalone OWVs (Over Water Villas) and 121 villas in total
• Click here (Hilton's website) or here (dedicated website) to visit the resort on the web
• The kids club (one of the biggest in the Maldives) is for children between 4 to 11 years. Click here for detailed information and here for the schedule. Click here, here and here for basic reviews and comprehensive sets of pictures (All courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• See this and this post for info on the Christmas Eve and New Years Eve Gala Fee
• Click here to visit the resort's listing on TripAdvisor
• Tennis courts: See this post
• For a new map of the resort click here
> For the old map of the resort click here * Note that this map is orientated north and so the SUNRISE and SUNSET written on it are incorrect. Also note that you receive a black and white map when you arrive and this is not as good nor as detailed as the one posted here. For comments on the quality of the map, click here
• Snorkelling spots and other info 3e4sd:Link to post: (Courtesy of AirForceFlyer)
• Scuba Diving pics :Link to post: (Courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Activities Brochure (prices as of July 2019)
• Spa pics and review :Link to post: (Courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Wellness Programme :Link to post: (Courtesy of AirForceFlyer)

Resort Information - F&B and Menus
• The resort has 11 restaurants / bars
• Some restaurant menus are available in PDF format on the resort's website. Click here to visit the relevant page on their website
• For pictures of most of the menus: Part 1 and Part 2
• Dining Programme / restaurant opening times: See this post and the post below it
• IVD (In Villa Dining) menus: See this post
• Yasmeen - Menu version discussion here.
• Terra is $298.00++ per person. As of December 2019, the set menu includes Amuse Brioche (3 selections per person), a starter (tuna, avocado, caviar), 2 courses highlighting lobster and wagyu beef with a pallet cleanse in between, a dessert course, then finishing with 3 additional sweet selections per person.
• The Ledge - See this post. Note that this menu changes daily but there are probably only 2 for each day and 14 in total (7 for lunch and 7 for dinner). Chefs rotate to the resort from Burnt Ends in Singapore.
+ Peacock Alley 1/2 priced drinks daily after 9:30pm. High-quality cocktails and liquors available at a very affordable price ranging from $13-$15 post discount
+ Tasting Table full buffet breakfast with made to order entrees and complimentary Champagne for $65++/person or Free for Hilton Diamond / Gold
+ Glow and Yasmeen wine selections are priced in the $65 - $85 ++ range per bottle.
• Lunch can be purchased at the main pool or beach from Nava or The Ledge. The majority of lunch entrees cost $30-$50++. Lunch is also available at Tasting Table, Tangled, or In Villa Dining.
• A new pizza oven was flown in from Italy to replace the original oven installed at Nava, and an Italian chef traveled to the resort to work with the team to elevate pizza quality in early December of 2019.
• During festive season 2019, the resort introduced a lobster & champagne dinner on the beach, including tasting stations, free flow champagne, and a live band for $298++ per person.

Miscellaneous Information
• Villa pool depth: See this post
• Best snorkelling spots: See this post and this post
• Complimentary water (in villa): See this post
• Walking / getting around the resort: See this post
• Sunset / Sunrise at the resort: See this post and this post
• Power outlet configuration: See this post



Elite member benefits:

Hilton Honors GOLD MEMBERS:
  • Full breakfast at Tasting Table
  • In-villa VIP welcome bottle of wine and fruits
  • Complimentary daily afternoon delights (see here for pic) with a fine selection of beverages crafted by mixologist and sommelier from 16:00 to 17:00 at Peacock Alley
  • 50% special offer on selected beverages at Nava Beach Club from 22:00 to 23:30
Hilton Honors DIAMOND MEMBERS:
  • Full breakfast at Tasting Table
  • In-villa VIP welcome Champagne, sweet and savoury amenities
  • [Diamond only benefit] With a selected 60-minute massage, enjoy a complimentary additional 30-minute at Waldorf Astoria Spa
  • Complimentary daily afternoon delights (see here for pic) with a fine selection of beverages crafted by mixologist and sommelier from 16:00 to 17:00 at Peacock Alley
  • 50% special offer on selected beverages at Nava Beach Club from 22:00 to 23:30

Accommodation:
At opening the resort defined Beach Villas as the lowest category of accommodation (only this category bookable with points). The next highest category was Reef Villas then above that, the Overwater Villas. Note: villas on the Private Island do not count.
This will change in 2020. Quote from the resort "Please be informed that for next year we have changed our villa category. Kindly note that the Reef Villa will be our base category, next will be the Overwater Villa and then the Beach Villa. Basically the Beach Villa will be a higher category compared to reef Villa and Overwater Villa."
See this post for the conversation related to this. Pricing has changed as well to reflect this. See below for 2020 pricing.
Note that as of August 2019 the BV is still available to book on points in 2020. This may change, however.

Prices - Accommodation (2020):

***** March 2020 Figures *****
• Beach Villa USD 2630
• Overwater Villa USD 2430
• Reef Villa USD 1930


Prices - Accommodation (2019):

***** July 2019 Figures *****
• 2 Bedroom Beach Villa with Pool USD 3850
• 2 Bedroom Over Water Villa with Pool USD 4350

***** October 2019 Figures *****
• Beach Villa USD 2100
• Grand Beach Villa USD 2300
• Reef Villa USD 2300
• Grand Reef Villa USD 2500
• Overwater Villa USD 2500
• Grand Overwater Villa USD 2700


***** Upgrade Costs - Jul 2019 *****
• Two Bedroom Beach - US 2000
• Two Bedroom Grand Beach - US 2200
• Two Bedroom Reef - US 2200
• Two Bedroom Overwater - US 2400

***** Upgrade Costs - Oct 2019 *****
• Reef Villa USD 200
• OWV USD 400


Villa Types and Abbreviations used in this thread (listed in order from most basic to most luxurious)

-- BVs (Beach Villas) --

BV (Beach Villa)
GBV (Grand Beach Villa)

-- RVs (Reef Villas) --

RV (Reef Villa, the Garden Villa category shown in the pre-opening promo video)
GRV (Grand Reef Villa, also a type of Garden Villa shown in the pre-opening promo video)

-- OWVs (Over Water Villas) aka Ocean Villas in rewards booking --

OV (Overwater Villa)
GOV (Grand Overwater Villa)
SMR (Stella Maris Residences)

-- Occupancy Information --
See this post for maximum occupancy of each villa type

Villa Selection
• See this post and this post
• Privacy - Beach Villas: For pics, info and opinions, see the following posts; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


Travel & Safety Information
• The Maldives is listed in Category 1 (the highest category) on the
WHO Zika virus classification table. However, don't let that scare you because as of April 13, 2017 there has only been one confirmed case of Zika in the Maldives
• Click here for information related to the single Zika infection in the Maldives (reported in January of that year)


Contact
• General Enquiries: [email protected]
• Reservations Department: [email protected]
• Tel: +960-4000-300


Weather:
Note: since the resort is close to Mahibadhoo (where there is a weather station), I have added this info from the Conrad Maldives thread as both resorts are close by and the weather will be the same as far as forecasts go (MaldivesFreak)
• General info on weather in the Maldives: Link 1 Link 2 (Maldivian government website)
• Recommended Android weather app: eWeather HD. See this post for detailed info on the app, settings, tips and general weather info (Courtesy of MaldivesFreak)
• Want to get an idea about the weather in the month of August? Click here to read a post from a FT member that spends 2 weeks at Rangali during this month (Courtesy of Splotly)


Pictures - Resort under construction:
• January, 2018 :Link to post:
• June, 2018 :Link to post:
• Approx October, 2018 :Link to post:
• January, 2019 :Link to post:

Pictures & Videos - Post-opening:
• General pics of the resort (July, 2019) :Link to post: (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• The Stella Maris exclusive! :Link to post with links to videos: (Courtesy of alanslegal)
• Breakfast buffet at Tasting Table - Post #1 :Link to post: (Courtesy of alanslegal)
• Breakfast buffet at Tasting Table - Post #2 :Link to post: (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Breakfast buffet at Tasting Table - Post #3 :Link to post: (Courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Breakfast buffet at Tasting Table - Post #4 :Link to post: (Courtesy of Another Getaway)
• IVD(in villa dining) :Link to post: (Courtesy of Stivelio)
• Terra (views from all 7 'cages') :Link to post: (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Terra and Family Pool :Link to post with link to video: (Courtesy of alanslegal)
• Reef Villa with sunset view :Link to post: (Courtesy of Stivelio)
• Views in the direction of Male (night & day pics) :Link to post 1: (Courtesy of wekxbrainx) :Link to post 2: (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Bicycle tour :Link to post:
• Various resort and villa pics from a stay in November 2019 :Link to post: (Courtesy of aspenedelen)

Reviews:
• Review by goldelite8
• Review by escape4
• Review by Falcons05 (text only)

Historical Information for high rollers:
+ $135 shisha, Check out this post
+ If you do NOT have Gold/Diamond status with Free breakfast AND you decide NOT to pay the $65++ for full buffet at Tasting Table, then you may or may not encounter a $35 charge for a single egg
+ 106,000 dollar bottle of wine: Click
here for a picture of the wine menu (reactions follow on subsequent pages)




Print Wikipost

Old Aug 27, 19, 1:29 pm
  #1591  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,793
I'm really dumbfounded by some of the things I'm reading here. Down right inexcusable but even weirder is that these things are, well.....weird. I mean, amongst everything else that's weird like ghosts, can they not afford to fork out a few bucks on each bicycle and install dynamo-powered lights with an ambient light sensor on them (so they only shine at night)?


Originally Posted by Moflav View Post
Do you know sometime we don't know or are you thinking that the WA is hearing enough flack that they will have to play nice??
You mean "do you know something we don't.....?"
Yes.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 2:26 pm
  #1592  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 143
Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
What have I missed -- are there free upgrades to OWV? We got an April 2020 stay as well.
it's a free downgrade. beach villas are now considered a higher tier than OWV

can confirm it's good for March 2020 as well
htran88 is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 3:11 pm
  #1593  
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: Ronin - churn and burn
Posts: 648
Originally Posted by AirForceFlyer View Post

Thanks for the insight! Staying there next week and was wondering how much it costs to dive there? We are PADI Advanced Divers and would not need a refresher dive if that makes a difference.
I could have sworn that somebody posted the full price list from Ocean Dive but I can't seem to find it now.
I've emailed them and will upload it once they send it over.

In the meantime I've added the activity list to the wiki, this includes a limited selection of dive prices:
Activities Brochure (prices as of July 2019)
Jermyn is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 5:42 pm
  #1594  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,814
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
If instead of having, say, 200 bikes in green they got 50 each in green, blue, red, and yellow, I think it might cut down on this confusion. Or they could number the bikes. Or just make some removable luggage type tags saying "Villa 104, Villa 609, etc." and put those on the bikes when they are assigned to a guest at the start of the guest's stay.
Tags would be ideal or otherwise coloured bicycles, like they do at Conrad Bora Bora. Our bicycles got pinched three times, twice after breakfast and once after afternoon tea. We would inform staff of the situation and we would either be driven by cart to wherever we needed (usually our villa) and then delivered fresh bicycles to our room, or we'd wait a few minutes for new bicycles to be brought to us. Once we just decided to walk along the 'beach' to our villas and by the time we got back, our bicycles were already replaced at our room.
alanslegal is offline  
Old Aug 27, 19, 6:20 pm
  #1595  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 55
Just got upgraded (downgraded?) to OWV from BV on a 5 night award stay in February 2020. It's what the wife wanted, so it works for us. Thanks everyone that alerted us to this.
marcmsj is offline  
Old Aug 28, 19, 1:52 am
  #1596  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 13
Has anyone with a 2019 points booking successfully up/downgraded to OWV from BV without charge?
i.am.lost is offline  
Old Aug 28, 19, 5:30 am
  #1597  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by i.am.lost View Post
Has anyone with a 2019 points booking successfully up/downgraded to OWV from BV without charge?
I tried to but they wouldn’t make an exception for the booking I have in Nov. Going to switch to Conrad as it’s our first time in the Maldives (maybe last) and
we want over water I think.
james0499 is offline  
Old Aug 28, 19, 6:23 am
  #1598  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: BHX
Programs: BA GGL CCR, Marriott Ti, HH Diamond, Cafe Nero Loyalty Card
Posts: 6,591
Originally Posted by james0499 View Post


I tried to but they wouldn’t make an exception for the booking I have in Nov. Going to switch to Conrad as it’s our first time in the Maldives (maybe last) and
we want over water I think.
This is my current mood as well. Booked 5 nights at Conrad and 3 at WA - Coming from a Superior Water Villa at Conrad might feel odd going into a BV at WA. And I'm not keen on paying $400++ a night to go overwater when the only reason it isn't free is because we're a month too early.
Wozza2404 is offline  
Old Aug 28, 19, 6:37 am
  #1599  
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 11,482
Originally Posted by james0499 View Post


I tried to but they wouldn’t make an exception for the booking I have in Nov. Going to switch to Conrad as it’s our first time in the Maldives (maybe last) and
we want over water I think.
Website lists villas by category as BV-RV-OWV for 2019 and RV-OWV-BV for 2020. Changes from BV to OWV is an upgrade for 2019 but a downgrade for 2020. I know it is weird but that's what WA decided.
TerryK is online now  
Old Aug 28, 19, 6:46 am
  #1600  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by Wozza2404 View Post
This is my current mood as well. Booked 5 nights at Conrad and 3 at WA - Coming from a Superior Water Villa at Conrad might feel odd going into a BV at WA. And I'm not keen on paying $400++ a night to go overwater when the only reason it isn't free is because we're a month too early.
Agree - doesn't seem logical. Also, I just find the WA are really weird in their correspondence to the point where I simply don't feel like I want to go anymore! I'm emailing about the possibility of changing to an OWV, and in the response they randomly add the party line about the bleeding yacht transfer!

"Delighted to inform you that we have luxury yacht transfers for all our guests and it will take around 30 to 45 minutes from Velana International airport which can be arranged 24/7 according to your international flight arrival time.
Transfer fee is at US$350+23.2% Tax and service charge per adult per way. For children below 5 years, the transfer is complimentary and US$100+23.2% Tax and service charge per child per way for children between 5 to 11 years."


1) I didn't mention transfer. Not once.
2) Everyone else seems to be getting quoted $300 nowadays. So what is the price.
3) I booked on day 1 and you wrongly sent me the 'mistake' price of it being for a return journey, and you emailed me saying you would honour it.

It just comes across really poor IMO. Inconsistent from one person to the next and incredibly impersonal. I just got married at the WA in Rome and they couldn't be more different. If they can't get their service right over email, it doesn't really fill me with confidence for when I arrive on the island...
james0499 is offline  
Old Aug 28, 19, 12:31 pm
  #1601  
wsc
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 43
What is the privacy like in the pools in the Beach Villa and Overeater Villa?
for the beach villa does the folliage give you good privacy?
And for the ovwr water villa can the person in the villa next to you see you when you are both in the pool? (Obviously someone in the sea will be able to see you)
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Old Aug 28, 19, 7:56 pm
  #1602  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: DL DM; Hilton Diamond; Marriott LT Titanium; Long live SPG... f MAR
Posts: 196
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
If instead of having, say, 200 bikes in green they got 50 each in green, blue, red, and yellow, I think it might cut down on this confusion. Or they could number the bikes. Or just make some removable luggage type tags saying "Villa 104, Villa 609, etc." and put those on the bikes when they are assigned to a guest at the start of the guest's stay.
I saw some bikes with numbers on them (ours did). A little wooden looking tag with the Villa number under the seat, like a license plate. Perhaps this is a new process they're slowly putting in place.

Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
I do recall riding our two bikes to Tasting Table, and then when we were leaving only two bikes were parked there, but when we started to ride off some guests said "those are ours," and I said "Well, ours were here and now they are gone I think they're first come first served" and then a staff member intervened and said I could take them, but maybe I was being a dick there.
If they had numbers on them, then yes, I'd say you were being a dick. Ours got taken at breakfast one day, we walked back to our villa as opposed to taking other bikes, but used WhatsApp to tell our personal concierge. The bikes were replaced quickly (even the same bikes, and I'm sure because there was a mark on the bell). When the bikes were re-delivered, he even took a picture of them parked outside out villa and sent it in the WhatsApp convo.
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Old Aug 28, 19, 8:00 pm
  #1603  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Programs: DL DM; Hilton Diamond; Marriott LT Titanium; Long live SPG... f MAR
Posts: 196
Originally Posted by wsc View Post
What is the privacy like in the pools in the Beach Villa and Overeater Villa?
for the beach villa does the folliage give you good privacy?
And for the ovwr water villa can the person in the villa next to you see you when you are both in the pool? (Obviously someone in the sea will be able to see you)
We were in a BV and I would say the privacy was ok, though that also depends on which Villa you're in. When I walked to the sides of my patio (towards either of the swinging bed things), I could see into the neighbor's pool. Now, I'd have to really look, but I could see there.

One day we rode our bikes to a spot between Villa 617 and 619. The privacy for the guests in 619 was not good to say the least. I would not recommend nude sunbathing next to the pool there, even though that's what was occurring...
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Old Aug 28, 19, 8:13 pm
  #1604  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by hoyt View Post
I saw some bikes with numbers on them (ours did). A little wooden looking tag with the Villa number under the seat, like a license plate. Perhaps this is a new process they're slowly putting in place.
It would be even better if WA could provide personalised license plates with our initials or names on them, a la SS Laamu or FS Landaa Giraavaru. It wouldn't cost them very much (the initials could be recycled for reuse), and these small added touches go a long way in improving the guest experience.

Hopefully someone from WA is reading this thread, or maybe a FTer here could bring up this suggestion to management during their stay.

Last edited by flyerchatter; Aug 28, 19 at 8:19 pm
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Old Aug 28, 19, 9:28 pm
  #1605  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 3,003
Originally Posted by hoyt View Post
I saw some bikes with numbers on them (ours did). A little wooden looking tag with the Villa number under the seat, like a license plate. Perhaps this is a new process they're slowly putting in place.



If they had numbers on them, then yes, I'd say you were being a dick. Ours got taken at breakfast one day, we walked back to our villa as opposed to taking other bikes, but used WhatsApp to tell our personal concierge. The bikes were replaced quickly (even the same bikes, and I'm sure because there was a mark on the bell). When the bikes were re-delivered, he even took a picture of them parked outside out villa and sent it in the WhatsApp convo.
I think the numbering is very new, I stayed in early July. It was just a free for all.
jphripjah is offline  

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