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 15, 19, 1:44 pm
  #1621  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,142
As I've said previously, some of you must be related to Summer Hull over on TPG. She is extremely critical of hotels and resorts when she stays on points, but is much more positive when paying for stays. She too tends to complain about the complementary breakfasts and lounge amaneities, but like her, now you can tell all of your friends and colleagues that you had a wonderful stay at the WA in the Maldives, despite living off of the breakfast buffet and evening snacks. BTW, can you shed any light on activities you participated in, such as SCUBA diving?
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Old Jul 15, 19, 1:57 pm
  #1622  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by Smurfettepharoh View Post


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.
Thank You for update what about drinks and mocktails?
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Old Jul 15, 19, 2:00 pm
  #1623  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Does anyone have pictures of the breakfast buffet items? I would love to see how the noodles and cold dishes look like. Thanks!
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Old Jul 15, 19, 6:51 pm
  #1624  
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Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post
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?
They had two tasting menus when we were there; 298++ and 398++. Terra iirc is a dinner only venue - unless you want to sit directly under a full sun in 90% humidity.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 7:55 pm
  #1625  
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
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.
I’m not sure (m)any people would get upset, but if you tried that and then missed your plane home I can bet you’d have a lot of people saying “I told you so”.

I genuinely think that if the cost of a 30min yacht trip is a major issue, then you are going to have other problems in your $1,500 a night villa with $30 eggs and $400 NV bottles of champagne.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 1:05 am
  #1626  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by TTT103 View Post
As I've said previously, some of you must be related to Summer Hull over on TPG. She is extremely critical of hotels and resorts when she stays on points, but is much more positive when paying for stays. She too tends to complain about the complementary breakfasts and lounge amaneities, but like her, now you can tell all of your friends and colleagues that you had a wonderful stay at the WA in the Maldives, despite living off of the breakfast buffet and evening snacks. BTW, can you shed any light on activities you participated in, such as SCUBA diving?
In my opinion it is legit to compare the breakfast offer with other maldivian hotels in the same price range.
According to the pictures and comments so far it is mediocre, subpar and of a limited choice.
I΄m happy if someone will convince me from the opposite.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 3:26 am
  #1627  
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Originally Posted by TTT103 View Post
As I've said previously, some of you must be related to Summer Hull over on TPG. She is extremely critical of hotels and resorts when she stays on points, but is much more positive when paying for stays. She too tends to complain about the complementary breakfasts and lounge amaneities, but like her, now you can tell all of your friends and colleagues that you had a wonderful stay at the WA in the Maldives, despite living off of the breakfast buffet and evening snacks. BTW, can you shed any light on activities you participated in, such as SCUBA diving?
I would have thought if there was a general tendency with regular people it is that people are positive when staying on points but more critical when paying cash because they demand more for their spend.

Perhaps she is critical when staying with points because she ends up staying where points have the most value rather than where she really wants to go so her natural inclination is to not be very happy because she is a slave of points valuation rather than making choices that suit her desires. Unlike when we book cash, we just go where we want to go
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Old Jul 16, 19, 5:34 am
  #1628  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
I plan to cancel my standard room points redemption this Friday evening U.S. time. It's two bookings Aug 10-15th and 15-17th.
In the meantime, I want to see if Hilton has those specific dates available for standard award over the next 4 days (didn't as of yesterday). Interested in seeing if they (won't) offer them again to someone else. It's become such a PITA over the past 4 years to use points anymore that cash bookings have increasingly better value with no-nonsense hotel options and much less time wasted. Still, I have had these points since 2011 to give you an idea. The idea of ease-of-use, less time spent, and real customer value for the $ paid comparatively to all options available aside of points within the same hotel class has been increasingly appealing over the years and points are well past the point of diminishing returns. To be honest, the only hotels I remember having been truly impressed were the ones where cash was paid.

Any of those here unconcerned about both value received for your dollars spent and affordability are welcome to rent out my beach house. Unfortunately they don't take points but I may be able to work out a small discount for you with the agent I promise you it's a tranquil experience worth your money. But then again, maybe for some of those here, money is no object. https://www.relaxonthebeach.com/gulf...azing-seahorse

Last edited by scwam; Jul 16, 19 at 6:39 am Reason: add tongue n' cheek link
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Old Jul 16, 19, 7:54 am
  #1629  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Originally Posted by Smurfettepharoh View Post


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.



Today's complimentary snack.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 8:12 am
  #1630  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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@Smurfettepharoh:
How was the freshness, taste, texture, & the delicateness of the 2nd round overall (1-10 scale)? Seems they might be reading the posts.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 8:34 am
  #1631  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 700
A picture for any shell hunters. Found these in about 5 minutes walking in front of our room.


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Old Jul 16, 19, 8:39 am
  #1632  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Originally Posted by scwam View Post
@Smurfettepharoh:
How was the freshness, taste, texture, & the delicateness of the 2nd round overall (1-10 scale)? Seems they might be reading the posts.
Nothing really “wowed” us. The 3 sweet ones on row two were very nice. The blue-cheese (far left bottom row) was tasty.

TD
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Old Jul 16, 19, 8:41 am
  #1633  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
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Turn down service treat.



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Old Jul 16, 19, 9:44 am
  #1634  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Originally Posted by scwam View Post
@Smurfettepharoh:
How was the freshness, taste, texture, & the delicateness of the 2nd round overall (1-10 scale)? Seems they might be reading the posts.

Please see post #1639 .
"wow factor" was absent I felt.
I passed on snacks and enjoyed fresh orange juice
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Old Jul 16, 19, 11:35 am
  #1635  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
I would have thought if there was a general tendency with regular people it is that people are positive when staying on points but more critical when paying cash because they demand more for their spend.

Perhaps she is critical when staying with points because she ends up staying where points have the most value rather than where she really wants to go so her natural inclination is to not be very happy because she is a slave of points valuation rather than making choices that suit her desires. Unlike when we book cash, we just go where we want to go
You raise an interesting point, but I just can't figure Summer out. She definitely comes across as feeling entitled. Now whenever I see her name on articles, I generally skip them or skim them. She may actually have something helpful to say, but her ripped jeans and living off of Brian Kelly paying her expenses to be an immature adult, clouds any substance she may write about.
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