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 22, 19, 5:14 pm
  #1711  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 91
Some of you may have already seen this video.
But it is a drone view of some of resort.

I wonder what drone they have its in 4K!
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WorldTravl is offline  
Old Jul 22, 19, 8:54 pm
  #1712  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
I wonder what drone they have its in 4K!
There are several drones that film in 4K (or it could just be upscalled).

On that note, does anyone know the drone policy at the resort?
marcmsj is offline  
Old Jul 22, 19, 9:18 pm
  #1713  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 72
While I haven’t yet been to this WA, I have taken my drone to many of the other top properties in the portfolio as I take at least one of my drones with me on all my travels. In my experience, even at the properties with no drone signs or a declared policy, permission is often granted with full disclosure of intentions and purpose up front. As expected, the hotels primary concern is the privacy of other guests.... something I respect at all times. I have often been told where and when I could fly, with strict guidelines pertaining to where I could not. We have also been “monitored” by security at times to Make sure our films are being made within their guidelines. Bottoms line, I view flying the drone as a privilege, not a “right” of any sort. Please do the same.
Ask the hotel and adhere to their policies. Don’t ruin the experience for others- if told not to fly, please don’t-

For what it’s worth, my go to drone on travels is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro-
KRUXED is offline  
Old Jul 22, 19, 11:07 pm
  #1714  
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Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
Some of you may have already seen this video.
But it is a drone view of some of resort.
Thanks, looks like the video was taken prior to the official July 1 opening. Resort looks pretty much deserted, no towels etc on any of the villas, no other water sports boats in the lagoon etc.

For anyone interested in the 60minute guided snorkelling tour, I was told the route occurs at the the drop off that can be seen from 3m38s to 3m55s.
alanslegal is offline  
Old Jul 23, 19, 8:23 am
  #1715  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 1
Hi all! First post here! After reading hundred pages of the thread, I am wondering if anyone have successfully prepaid some expenses using credit auth form?
trimal is offline  
Old Jul 23, 19, 6:39 pm
  #1716  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: KR
Programs: MR Gold, HH Gold, QR Gold
Posts: 186
Just cancelled one cash booking to change it to point redemption but it didn't go back to inventory unfortunately Is there a certain delay? Thanks
noeatbutgo is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 2:20 am
  #1717  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
Originally Posted by noeatbutgo View Post
Just cancelled one cash booking to change it to point redemption but it didn't go back to inventory unfortunately Is there a certain delay? Thanks
I'm not sure what you mean because you said you cancelled a cash booking. Of course cash bookings will go back into the inventory if nobody else takes the room. But about canceling point bookings - a week ago, I canceled my two bookings Sat to Thurs, and Thurs to Sat but they only immediately put the longer points booking back into inventory. And then suddenly for only 24 hours the entire 7 days was available in the inventory. Then the 7 days changed back to the 5 days ever since. So, they play with these points inventories.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 5:18 am
  #1718  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: KR
Programs: MR Gold, HH Gold, QR Gold
Posts: 186
Originally Posted by scwam View Post
I'm not sure what you mean because you said you cancelled a cash booking. Of course cash bookings will go back into the inventory if nobody else takes the room. But about canceling point bookings - a week ago, I canceled my two bookings Sat to Thurs, and Thurs to Sat but they only immediately put the longer points booking back into inventory. And then suddenly for only 24 hours the entire 7 days was available in the inventory. Then the 7 days changed back to the 5 days ever since. So, they play with these points inventories.
Thanks for sharing your experience. What I previously cancelled was a single night stay. And it didn't go back to inventory although it was a BAR one. But luckily I just decided to take a risk and cancelled another one, 2-night stay based on BAR. And it was redeposited right away so I could grab it with 240k points. So I have completed a 7-night stay based on point redemption in late Feb... awesome
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Old Jul 24, 19, 5:33 am
  #1719  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
Which two days were they? Like I mentioned before they seem to be not willing to release the Thurs/Frid I canceled. Also, what is BAR?
scwam is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 5:35 am
  #1720  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 95
Originally Posted by scwam View Post
Which two days were they? Like I mentioned before they seem to be not willing to release the Thurs/Frid I canceled. Also, what is BAR?
Not OP, but Best available rate.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 8:22 am
  #1721  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: KR
Programs: MR Gold, HH Gold, QR Gold
Posts: 186
Originally Posted by scwam View Post
Which two days were they? Like I mentioned before they seem to be not willing to release the Thurs/Frid I canceled. Also, what is BAR?
They were for Mon/Tue.

Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post


Not OP, but Best available rate.
Thanks
noeatbutgo is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 8:27 am
  #1722  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,290
Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
Where I draw the line is on things like 2,000% markups on champagne as mentioned above which to me seems much, much more egregious - but I guess we all have our own priorities.
We certainly do. We've never wasted a single cent on alcohol poison so lucky for us the only 2000% markups we have to worry about are the transfer fees to and from the resort.....oh, and the food, LOL.


Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
Once again, here's a map of the property. I recommend printing this map out and bringing it with you as it is far superior to the not at all detailed black and white map they give you on arrival.
Jeez. 2K for a room and they aren't even giving colour maps. WTH?
And very useful post, BTW!
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 8:36 am
  #1723  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, IHG Platinum, SPG Gold
Posts: 79
Originally Posted by Moflav View Post


I booked with GetMyBoat. Once booked, the company sent me Mr. Moosa as my contact. Most likely, the company will not assign an operator until booked. According to the terms, there is a 100% refund if cancelled 5 or more days prior to the departure date. My experience so far is that my operator/contact responded to all of my questions promptly and in detail. His responses gave me some comfort in my decision to use this company. Perhaps, there will be reports of third party transfers to the WA prior to my booked transfer which is in November. I have not booked my return transfer to the airport as I want to see how the transfer from the airport to the resort goes first.
seems like the interface has changed since you last booked. Looks like you have to search the operators and coordinate with them.
BLTraveler is offline  
Old Jul 24, 19, 8:46 am
  #1724  
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: 2,194
Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post
TD, how does this place compare to Bora Bora, I've read that you've been numerous times to BB and am interested in planning a trip myself after visiting this place.
Top hotels in the Maldives are significantly more luxurious than in Bora Bora. However you are stuck on your island / resort so there is less to do and you are captive. So if you want to relax, stay put, and be pampered, Maldives is better. If you are active and what to get around, Bora Bora is better.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 11:19 am
  #1725  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by Moflav View Post


I booked with GetMyBoat. Once booked, the company sent me Mr. Moosa as my contact. Most likely, the company will not assign an operator until booked. According to the terms, there is a 100% refund if cancelled 5 or more days prior to the departure date. My experience so far is that my operator/contact responded to all of my questions promptly and in detail. His responses gave me some comfort in my decision to use this company. Perhaps, there will be reports of third party transfers to the WA prior to my booked transfer which is in November. I have not booked my return transfer to the airport as I want to see how the transfer from the airport to the resort goes first.
I am going in August. Just got an email from the hotel:

Kindly note with respect for our guests’ privacy and security, third party/ own transfer is not permitted to enter the resort.

Did anyone arrange their own transportation would like to share? Or everyone paid the $350+23.2% per person per way? Really not looking forward to pay the $1700 round trip for 2 people.
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