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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Oct 6, 20, 12:44 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: joecool1885
Wiki Link
:-: 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
• Menus for most restaurants as of early October 2020: See this post
• 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)





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Old Sep 9, 19, 1:08 am
  #1711  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 78
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


Never got one of those. But I can tell you the only difference is the outside shower in the Reef unit, off of the inside shower. Looks like the OW does not have one of those.

TD
ahh ok thanks mate so the grand versions of the over water aren't that much different to the non grand versions? Just wanted to see the differences before upgrading
sambo150 is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 3:35 am
  #1712  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: Delta Kryptonium-Platinum Medallion, Hyatt/Hilton Diamond
Posts: 365
Amazing stay

Here are some more highlights from our one-week stay at this magical property:
  • The hotel itself is gorgeous. From the massive villas to the restaurants and common areas, everything was picturesque and looked elegant.
  • While the hotel has only been open for two months, the service was excellent throughout. From Hasan, our concierge to Sonny the F&B Manager, each person we met really cared for my whole family and made sure we had the best time possible.
  • As a Diamond member, I was upgraded to a Grand Beach Villa and then to a Grand Over Water Villa for our last two nights. These were upgrades that I was willing to pay for yet they gave it for free.
  • Handoko, one of the chefs at the Tasting Table, noticed that I liked the dim sum during breakfadt and proactively made me some even when they were not available in the breakfast buffet. Also, special thanks to Halu and Reiza for taking care of us every day at breakfast!
  • My wife joked that the massive swing in our villa would be perfect if she had a rope to swing herself with. Someone must have overhead us as 15 minutes later, 2 WA staff appeared in our villa and offered to install the rope. We politely declined. Amazing.
  • My wife also mentioned how she loved the macaroons that was from the turn down service. For our last night, WA staff delivered a huge jar filled with these treats.
  • We just cant say enough good things about the Kids Club. Special shoutout to Alma, Erin and Anas for taking care of our little one. My daughter did not want to miss a day there as she had so much fun with all the daily activities and the built-in water park.
  • The cheese burger at The Ledge is phenomenal. Again, the peking duck at Li Long is a must try.
  • Waheed along with the rest of the staff in Peacock Alley were always so warm and personable.
  • Scuba diving was a treat! From the diving boat and diving gear to the Ocean staff, everything was top-notch!
  • They accommodated my family that had three different flights out and let us stay in our villa until it was time to go in the yacht.
  • WA has four yachts. From what I was told, the 70-footer is reserved for VIPs and bigger parties. On the way back, I was at the 54-foot one which was the fastest and had me at the airport in around 40 minutes.
  • Upon arrival to the pier in front of the airport, a WA representative will escort you all the way to check-in. From the moment you land to the moment you leave, WA took care of us.
Finally, special thanks to our concierge Hasan who did everything to make our stay unforgettable. We’ve stayed at the Conrad Bora Bora, Conrad Rangali Maldives, Hilton Seychelles, Park Hyatts, as well as other Hilton resort properties around the world but the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is on a whole different level. The service we received was on par with our stays at Amanresorts. It really does not make sense for me to spend my points/money and spend my vacation elsewhere if this resort is available. Already planning our next trip back!
AirForceFlyer is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 6:47 am
  #1713  
wsc
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 46
I have some 111k Bonvoy points, and a free IHG night, realistically what resort could I do 1 night in before or after my 5 night WA Hilton redemption stay? I would need one of the hotel to take me from resort of resort...
wsc is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 8:28 am
  #1714  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,846
Originally Posted by flyerchatter View Post
I suspect that the transfer cost was recently revised to $300++, rather than this being a discount specifically offered to you due to your complaint. Here is an excerpt from an email in late July (copied from another FT thread) which also lists a transfer fee of $300++. Interestingly, they have also provided a new fee for children.

Our shared luxury yacht transfer fee is fee is at US$300+23.2% Tax and service charge per adult per way. For children below 5 years, the transfer is complimentary and US$150+23.2% Tax and service charge per child per way for children between 6 to 11 years.

Mary Ann Bascon
Reservations Sales Agent
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
.
Originally Posted by rish View Post
They haven't updated this on the website yet. I was quoted $350++ around end of May via email. Arriving at WA in <2 weeks and wouldn't mind saving money on this ridiculously priced transfer.
As of today this is still $350++pppw on the website. Looks like they're offering it to some but not to others. More inconsistency with their pricing. Go for it, WAI, you're on a roll! ^
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 9:00 am
  #1715  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 828
Originally Posted by sambo150 View Post
ahh ok thanks mate so the grand versions of the over water aren't that much different to the non grand versions? Just wanted to see the differences before upgrading
Just the added living room, and thus a little more space outside as well. That goes for all 3 of the main room types (BV, RV, OW).

TD
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Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 9:32 am
  #1716  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 68
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
As of today this is still $350++pppw on the website. Looks like they're offering it to some but not to others. More inconsistency with their pricing. Go for it, WAI, you're on a roll! ^
The dedicated Waldorf Astoria Maldives website now shows the transfer as a "shared return transfer" for "US $700 subject to 23.2% tax and service charge per adult" instead of the "US $350 subject to 23.2% tax and service charger per adult per way."
They must think this will convince more people that the transfer price is justifiable.
j.cerda is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 9:56 am
  #1717  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,846
Yeah, pretty laughable isn't it. It doesn't take half a brain for the average Joe to realize it's a complete and utter ripoff but they still probably think it will make some difference. Wish someone would hack their website and stick @BLTraveler's price comparison onto that page, pointing out the obvious. Now that would be good for a laugh!
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MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 10:16 am
  #1718  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: NYC
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by j.cerda View Post
The dedicated Waldorf Astoria Maldives website now shows the transfer as a "shared return transfer" for "US $700 subject to 23.2% tax and service charge per adult" instead of the "US $350 subject to 23.2% tax and service charger per adult per way."
They must think this will convince more people that the transfer price is justifiable.
When they raised the price, someone here mentioned that all other hotels quote RT. I think that's the reason they changed it, not to be misleading.
Traveler Dave likes this.
Israshot is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 12:39 pm
  #1719  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,846
I woudn't say that "per person per way" is misleading. It just flies over some people's heads, the ones that aren't paying attention, that is.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 12:43 pm
  #1720  
soy
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: DUB-BOS
Programs: various
Posts: 2,826
Originally Posted by wsc View Post
I have some 111k Bonvoy points, and a free IHG night, realistically what resort could I do 1 night in before or after my 5 night WA Hilton redemption stay? I would need one of the hotel to take me from resort of resort...
Read up thread - third party transfers are not possible. You will have to pay the WA to collect you (likely astronomical cost), or go back to Male and board the yacht from there. I don't see this idea of an extra one night stay at some other resort working
soy is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 5:02 pm
  #1721  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 68
My partner and I were discussing the reasoning behind the high cost of the hotel transfers at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives. Our theory is that the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is setting the price of the transfers based on the idea of the transfer "business" as a separate entity from the hotel. In order for the "business" to be profitable, the price of the transfer must account for the cost to purchase and maintain the yachts used in the transfer separately from the hotel.

They probably got this idea from the Conrad Maldives where the transfer "business" is profitable and probably treated as a separate entity. In that case it should be treated separately as the hotel doesn't own the seaplanes.
j.cerda is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 6:17 pm
  #1722  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by j.cerda View Post
My partner and I were discussing the reasoning behind the high cost of the hotel transfers at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives. Our theory is that the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is setting the price of the transfers based on the idea of the transfer "business" as a separate entity from the hotel. In order for the "business" to be profitable, the price of the transfer must account for the cost to purchase and maintain the yachts used in the transfer separately from the hotel.
They probably got this idea from the Conrad Maldives where the transfer "business" is profitable and probably treated as a separate entity. In that case it should be treated separately as the hotel doesn't own the seaplanes.
I remember I took seaplane from Saipan to Tinian, schedule flight RT is like $100~120/each, private charter is like $500~550/each. Distance is 10.6 mile compare to MLE-WA 14.9 mile if fuel makes difference. Therefore $860 RT for a none charter yacht is too self-complacent that probably only want to focus on business class, not coach. You can also tell from the top 120000 redemption to previous 95000 top. Only competition may change their management, otherwise eat the bullet.
Kimomo is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 8:34 pm
  #1723  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,204
Originally Posted by Kimomo View Post
<snip> otherwise eat the bullet.
With all due respect, I believe that the phrase that you are looking for is "bite the bullet".

Back in the days of the US "old west", before there was reliable anesthesia, the story goes that when you were having a painful medical procedure, you would drink a shot of whiskey and then put the soft lead part of a bullet between your teeth and bite down to manage the pain. So, "bite the bullet" basically means to "suck it up" when dealing with something unpleasant.

On the other hand, "eating" a bullet is more recent slang which describes committing suicide by putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger.

$700+ per person is definitely an unpleasant proposition for something as mundane as a boat transfer, but I don't think that very many people are going to kill themselves over it. :-D
i.am.lost and NightFury1 like this.
Qwkynuf is offline  
Old Sep 9, 19, 10:37 pm
  #1724  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 79
600s Villas

Originally Posted by husky96821 View Post
However, based on the beaches we did visit, the sand quality is quite mixed. There are areas where the sand is very fine, while there are others in which it's quite rocky (think mostly small pebbles that hurt to walk on if you have a white collar job).
Could someone please comment on the quality of the sand around the 600s villas - both sea and lagoon facing to the extent there is any difference in sand between the 2 sides?
samuelo is offline  
Old Sep 10, 19, 8:36 am
  #1725  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 37
Hello. Just an update on the more positive side of pre-arrival contact. I was really disappointed with the service - different people giving different messages, one person being unaware that the boat transfer was the return price for me as i received the error email initally, wouldn't change the room to OWV where others had etc. Combining this interaction with experiences of other guests actually led to me cancelling my reservation. It's our honeymoon and quite simply didn't want to risk it.

However, to their credit, they caught wind of this and got in touch with me being very apologetic, promising to make amends and offering to re-instate my redemption booking at the 120k rate (availability was not showing on the Hilton site so they made an exception). They called me and whatsapped to confirm the booking, and all in all its just felt better.

They're not perfect just yet and teething problems without doubt still exist - but this, and comments from others above - suggest they are learning fast. Felt it was only fair to share this positive experience as I was very quick to share the negative!
james0499 is offline  

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