Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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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 14, 19, 9:16 pm
  #1606  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: FLL
Programs: United Premier Platinum; Marriott Gold; Starwood Gold; Hilton Honors Diamond; Hertz Pres Circle
Posts: 631
To the extent this info is helpful, I got them to upgrade me to a grand overwater room (from the basic beach villa on a standard redemption) for $250/night extra in Aug. I was pretty content with that based on what I have heard so far and they said they are exempt from the complimentary upgrade program.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 9:26 pm
  #1607  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
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Originally Posted by goldelite8 View Post
To the extent this info is helpful, I got them to upgrade me to a grand overwater room (from the basic beach villa on a standard redemption) for $250/night extra in Aug. I was pretty content with that based on what I have heard so far and they said they are exempt from the complimentary upgrade program.
Just confirming OW vs Reef OW. If so, that is a pretty amazing price.

I was quoted $200++ just to upgrade to the Grand Beach Villa. $400++ for the Grand Reef and $600++ for the Grand OW they quoted you $250++

Maybe the UG prices are coming down a little.

TD
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Old Jul 15, 19, 1:08 am
  #1608  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post


Speaking of food prices, I was at The Ledge the other night and one of their entrees was a type of beef I think prime rib listed at $350 per kg. That’s the exception though, of course, I think it was a special item for that night, they change the menu daily.

The free breakfast fast includes a full buffet and eggs cooked to order, choice from the menu of omelette, eggs Benedict, poached, over easy, sunny side up, etc. There’s no extra charge for the eggs.

Here’s a weird thing about the breakfast buffet. Every other buffet I’ve ever been to has packs of butter out, usually on ice, generally located somewhere near the breads.

Not here. The butter packs are kept squirreled away presumably under lock and key. You have to flag down a waiter and ask for butter. Then he’ll bring you a pack of Beillevaire butter a few minutes later. After a day or two you’ll learn to order butter when you arrive and order your orange juice.

I guess this is a luxury butter and the WA guests couldn’t be trusted to have free access to it on the buffet line, lest we would be lining our pockets with pack after pack of butter and stuffing our suitcases with it when we leave.

Now I guess their explanation could be “We want to make sure the butter is served at the right temperature, for your enjoyment and for food safety reasons, we don’t want to put out rock hard butter that’s hard to spread and then have it melt or get warm as it’s sitting out there on the line.” But they’ve got a yogurt/smoothie fridge they could keep the butter in there and give us free access to as much as they want, if they dare.





1st breakfast at tasting today :
Yes we also had to ask for butter.
It was a piece of cut butter and was tasteless.

We are foodie : breakfast comments
Selection are bare bone.
Quality surpar.
Regular coffee 2 thumbs down
Fresh juices weren't sweet rather tasteless too
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Old Jul 15, 19, 2:28 am
  #1609  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
Originally Posted by Smurfettepharoh View Post
1st breakfast at tasting today :
Yes we also had to ask for butter.
It was a piece of cut butter and was tasteless.

We are foodie : breakfast comments
Selection are bare bone.
Quality surpar.
Regular coffee 2 thumbs down
Fresh juices weren't sweet rather tasteless too
i found this post amusing.

We are foodie. Lol.

Barebones???? It is far from barebones.

The french toast I had today was one of the best I’ve had.

The butter is kept that way because it melts super quick. It’s a very good imported brand. I even showed the post to the restaurant manager.

I think this post is very unfair. It’s not the best breakfast but it’s not near to the disaster being described.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 2:34 am
  #1610  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
Originally Posted by goldelite8 View Post
To the extent this info is helpful, I got them to upgrade me to a grand overwater room (from the basic beach villa on a standard redemption) for $250/night extra in Aug. I was pretty content with that based on what I have heard so far and they said they are exempt from the complimentary upgrade program.
Based on my prior research and data checking, I believe that was at least a 3 level upgrade and a damn good value. Good work!
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Old Jul 15, 19, 4:19 am
  #1611  
 
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

The butter is kept that way because it melts super quick. It’s a very good imported brand. I even showed the post to the restaurant manager.

I think this post is very unfair. It’s not the best breakfast but it’s not near to the disaster being described.

Why don't they put it in the fridge with the smoothies? Or in a special butter fridge? The last day I was there, I asked for butter when I arrived and it never came. Having a system where guests have to ask for butter, and then wait for butter, and staff has to make special trips to the kitchen to bring out a single pad or pack of butter for each guest on request is just silly.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 4:56 am
  #1612  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
I wonder what the cost of butter is there. I mean you can get extremely good butter in Poland or fine Hokkaido butter here in Japan, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I got a feeling I know why they are hiding it based on personal experiences living in Asia, but would be too culturally insensitive to mention why in this forum. It kind of reminds me of the norm of going to the toilet and not finding toilet paper.... BYOB
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Old Jul 15, 19, 5:06 am
  #1613  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: FLL
Programs: United Premier Platinum; Marriott Gold; Starwood Gold; Hilton Honors Diamond; Hertz Pres Circle
Posts: 631
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


Just confirming OW vs Reef OW. If so, that is a pretty amazing price.

I was quoted $200++ just to upgrade to the Grand Beach Villa. $400++ for the Grand Reef and $600++ for the Grand OW they quoted you $250++

Maybe the UG prices are coming down a little.

TD
Yep, it’s overwater. They even said it would normally be more but could do it for less if I confirmed right away. Perhaps they wanted to free up some more standard redemption space to bring more people to the resort.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 5:17 am
  #1614  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
By the way, one reason why many staff members have now moved from Conrad to WA is that when they worked at Conrad there was no way on or off the island except by seaplane, and sometimes it was hard to get a seat on the seaplanes, so they might only leave the resort once a month or so.

Working at WA, the can go home to Male by speedboat when they finish work or when they have a day off.

There does seem to be some kind of "public ferry" speedboat service that staff members use to commute from Male to the resorts.

This raises the question of "Could guests who don't want to pay $700++ for a round trip yacht transfer use the same type of speedboat that staff uses to travel from Male to the resort?"
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Old Jul 15, 19, 6:24 am
  #1615  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
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Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
This raises the question of "Could guests who don't want to pay $700++ for a round trip yacht transfer use the same type of speedboat that staff uses to travel from Male to the resort?"
Very good question;

Some of the rich(er) folks here who can afford to pay cash might get a little bit upset (or maybe laughing and possibly chocking on their marble grade 8-9 wagyu steak) that cash poor - points peasants e.g Alanslegal, need to resort to such unproper behaviour.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 6:27 am
  #1616  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 63
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?


Here's the complimentary afternoon snack.
The left bottom row is a sample of some kind of meat, perhaps turkey.
Right bottom row is sample of salmon on cucumber.
1st top row sample of cut fruit.
Middle tow sample of desserts.
I passed on savory.
The desserts are mediocre.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 8:54 am
  #1617  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
@jphripjah I am wondering what all the stuff is in front of villa 311. Could you take pictures of the beach in front of (reef villa) 311.
Thanks

There is a house keeping pantry adjacent to villa 311

Last edited by Smurfettepharoh; Jul 15, 19 at 8:56 am Reason: Add
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Old Jul 15, 19, 9:27 am
  #1618  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,886
I can also confirm that I was not charged the $6 per person per night "green tax" on my points stay. My bill specifically says "Total Green Tax" $0.00.

I did have to "remind" the resort, both before arrival and upon check out, that my quoted transfer rate (pre-February 15 booking) was $370 per person round trip. They sent me a pre-arrival email stating that the transfer fee was $350 per way, and they also tried to charge me $350 per way upon check out.

Check your bill carefully if you expect to pay the lower transfer fee they were quoting up until February 15.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 10:17 am
  #1619  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 95
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post

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

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



We were on the (mistake) $370++ per person round yacht trip deal so weren't too fussed at that point, and the fire alarm incident, we totally forgot about it at check out nor was it raised.
Glad you had a good time!

They had a $298 set menu at Terra? Was that lunch or something or just a level lower than the $400 one?
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Old Jul 15, 19, 11:09 am
  #1620  
Hilton 25+ BadgeMarriott 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Homeless
Programs: M&M SEN; AC SE100k; Qatar Plat; HH Dia; SPG AMB100; Hyatt Globalist; Fairmont Plat
Posts: 2,198
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
I’m just lucky I was able to stay on a points redemption and as a diamond member am treated quite fairly.
Originally Posted by Rizla View Post
Staying in an overwater villa. Probably the best room I’ve ever stayed in.


Thanks for the numerous updates in this thread - appreciate very much.

Do you mind sharing if you received a complimentary upgrade or if you paid to upgrade, and if so how much?

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