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 Malé Atoll, 23km southwest of Malé and Velana International Airport [MLE] (also known as Malé 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 30, 19, 10:47 am
  #1786  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by thetaxman29 View Post
There was a previous post a couple weeks ago about "glitches" where you couldn't see availability if you didn't have enough points in your account. Try searching incognito and you will see some availability. You're not going to find a lot of consecutive nights and there's still "very little" award availability, but not zero. I see the following availability currently for Jan/Feb:

1/6, 1/11, 1/12, 1/16, 1/25, 2/8, 2/14, 2/19, 2/22
Thanks. Finally got my weekend cert and enough points was hoping to do a 5 night weekend trip around MLK or President Day weekend.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 11:11 pm
  #1787  
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Over at the IHG forum there is a thread that is about to "blow up" because IHG proposes to be more environmentally friendly and remove all single use plastic products such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc.

Now for those who have stayed at this Waldorf Astoria, bath wash/soap/lotion are dispensed by way of large ceraimic dispensers which I think is a positive; not only are they saving plastic, I felt it more luxurious than dealing with plastic bottles and it looked more visibly appealing in the bathrooms and shower areas - some may agree and some may not. I personally have no hesitation with these type of dispensers. Those that disagree believe it is risky, unhygenic or that it exposes for someone to tamper with it, like putting hydrochloric acid in the bath wash etc. In all my years of travelling, reading travel news and what not, I have not read of a single situation where someone wanted to tamper with these things especially at higher end properties anyway.

What are your thoughts about these dispensers?

Last edited by alanslegal; Jul 31, 19 at 12:23 am
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Old Jul 31, 19, 12:22 am
  #1788  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
Over at the IHG forum there is a thread that is about to "blow up" because IHG proposes to be more environmentally friendly and remove all single use plastic products such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc.

Now for those who have stayed at this Waldorf Astoria, bath wash/soap/lotion are dispensed by way of large ceraimic dispensers which I think is a positive; not only are they saving plastic, I felt it more luxurious than dealing with plastic bottles and it looked more visibly appealing in the bathrooms and shower areas - some may agree and some may not. I personally have no hesitation with these type of dispensers. Those that disagree believe it is risky, unhygenic or that it exposes for someone to tamper with it, like putting hydochloric acid in the bath wash etc. In all my years of travelling, reading travel news and what not, I have not read of a single situation where someone wanted to tamper with these things especially at higher end properties anyway.

What are your thoughts about these dispensers?
Which thread? I assumed the new IHG opening soon, but did not see this topic mentioned.

I have no issue with them. I can see/understand people’s thought on “gross factor”. If they bother you bring your own. My wife/daughter bring their own stuff from home, in travel bottles. Sometimes I use that sometimes I grab the hotel stuff.

I am no ecofreak, but the single use (effectively what hotel products are) products is getting out of hand. Having just spent a week on a boat in the Maldives I can tell you the waters around “the perfect vacation destination” are a floting trash can. I realize not everything a saw came from the Maldives. But I support their efforts to do their part.

TD



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Old Jul 31, 19, 12:25 am
  #1789  
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Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


Which thread? I assumed the new IHG opening soon, but did not see this topic mentioned.

I have no issue with them. I can see/understand people’s thought on “gross factor”. If they bother you bring your own. My wife/daughter bring their own stuff from home, in travel bottles. Sometimes I use that sometimes I grab the hotel stuff.

I am no ecofreak, but the single use (effectively what hotel products are) products is getting out of hand. Having just spent a week on a boat in the Maldives I can tell you the waters around “the perfect vacation destination” are a floting trash can. I realize not everything a saw came from the Maldives. But I support their efforts to do their part.

TD
IHG to Eliminate toiletries single use across all brands
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Old Jul 31, 19, 12:32 am
  #1790  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 563
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
Over at the IHG forum there is a thread that is about to "blow up" because IHG proposes to be more environmentally friendly and remove all single use plastic products such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc.

Now for those who have stayed at this Waldorf Astoria, bath wash/soap/lotion are dispensed by way of large ceraimic dispensers which I think is a positive; not only are they saving plastic, I felt it more luxurious than dealing with plastic bottles and it looked more visibly appealing in the bathrooms and shower areas - some may agree and some may not. I personally have no hesitation with these type of dispensers. Those that disagree believe it is risky, unhygenic or that it exposes for someone to tamper with it, like putting hydrochloric acid in the bath wash etc. In all my years of travelling, reading travel news and what not, I have not read of a single situation where someone wanted to tamper with these things especially at higher end properties anyway.

What are your thoughts about these dispensers?
They need to do that. Honestly, those mini bottles have crappy shampoo anyhow and are a complete nuisance. While they're at it, might as well switch up the miniature toothpaste that only squeeze out 1 1/2 brushings and replace it with a similar sort of dispenser. I think those shampoo/conditioner dispensers here in Japan would be a little difficult to tamper with. I've shared communal meals with tons of people in China over a two-year span and have yet to catch any form of std or stomach bacteria as a result (tested multiple times since).
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Old Jul 31, 19, 12:52 am
  #1791  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 694
Most of the WA items were re-fillable, but they also offered bars of soap and mouthwash, not in “bulk”...

TD





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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:30 pm
  #1792  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,294
Personally I agree with what IHG are going to do and it's about time. I absolutely hate making waste, especially plastic which almost never gets recycled. The only problem for me is I prefer a real bar of soap, you know, a solid object that you can actually scrub with and that gets a lather up. All this lotion-to-clean-your-body nonsense.....I don't know how folks can clean themselves properly with a liquid - it takes so much longer and you end up using a huge amount of it which in itself is a waste. When travelling I always tell housekeeping to not replace bars of soap until I ask and stick the bars together when the first one gets too small and then take the remainder with me in a travel soap box when I check out. Zero waste.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:52 pm
  #1793  
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Amanresorts, the most luxurious brand of all by almost any accounting, has been doing this with shower/bath products for decades at some of the world’s most impressive and most expensive resorts.

This outcry is about a whining and paranoid minority who don’t like change, don’t travel as much as much as they think they do, and see conspiracies at every turn—and/or those who don’t care at all about environmental health.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:55 pm
  #1794  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Typical. So they are not allowing people with luxury yachts, i.e; their primary target market, to sail to the resort. Complete BS! Just ignore it.



Exactly! For a good deal of the passengers, the only unforgettable thing they will experience is how their pockets were sucked dry by this joke of a transfer fee.

Oh, and just a tidbit FEI. Adam Areef used to work at Rangali.
I can’t believe the major positive to come out of this story about people not being allowed arrange their own transfer hasn’t been mentioned yet .... It means The World won’t be docking outside the WA lagoon anytime soon Every cloud eh!
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Old Jul 31, 19, 2:59 pm
  #1795  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by goliath View Post
Correct for base points, i.e. USD 10k spend. Plus any bonus you may get through status / promos etc., so up to 400k+ redeemable points with the right status and promos (not factoring in credit card points).
goliath, just on this - I thought the base points only was capped but it looks like the double points promo (double points after 2nd stay) is also capped? So if your base points get maxed out, then your bonus is only the base points. Previously bonus points didn’t have the cap?
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Old Jul 31, 19, 3:02 pm
  #1796  
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Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post
I have no issue with them. I can see/understand people’s thought on “gross factor”. If they bother you bring your own. My wife/daughter bring their own stuff from home, in travel bottles. Sometimes I use that sometimes I grab the hotel stuff.


Same as my wife, we rarely use hotel products because she packs our own things because she says its bettter and also minimises unnecessary waste at the sme time
Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Amanresorts, the most luxurious brand of all by almost any accounting, has been doing this with shower/bath products for decades at some of the world’s most impressive and most expensive resorts.

This outcry is about a whining and paranoid minority who don’t like change, don’t travel as much as much as they think they do, and see conspiracies at every turn—and/or those who don’t care at all about environmental health.
Exactly, imagine those same folks arriving at an airline lounge (ohhhhhhhhh) or public bathrooms (ooooooooh) only to find dispensers. Shock horror.

Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
The only problem for me is I prefer a real bar of soap, you know, a solid object that you can actually scrub with and that gets a lather up. All this lotion-to-clean-your-body nonsense.....I don't know how folks can clean themselves properly with a liquid - it takes so much longer and you end up using a huge amount of it which in itself is a waste.
We are also bar soap fans. Plus bar soaps last a much longer time, so if we are away for a month, we might only need one bar versus a decent sized liquid dispenser bottle if we went that route.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 3:19 pm
  #1797  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Originally Posted by pineapple_09 View Post
goliath, just on this - I thought the base points only was capped but it looks like the double points promo (double points after 2nd stay) is also capped? So if your base points get maxed out, then your bonus is only the base points. Previously bonus points didn’t have the cap?
No, the current double points promo is like any other similar promo before.

If as a Diamond, you spend 10k USD, you get

100k base points
100k double points promo
100k Diamond bonus

Total 300k (+ any other promos / credit card points if you are eligible)

If as a Diamond, you spend 57k USD (just as an extreme example), you still get

100k base points
100k double points promo
100k Diamond bonus

Total 300k (+ any other promos / credit card points if you are eligible)

The same was true for any other "multiple points" promos I can remember, the were always based on the amount of base points received. See also the FAQ on the current promo.

As I mentioned above:

Originally Posted by goliath View Post
Correct for base points, i.e. USD 10k spend. Plus any bonus you may get through status / promos etc., so up to 400k+ redeemable points with the right status and promos (not factoring in credit card points).
400k+ are possible based on spending 10k USD, but with the right promos. The current "double points" isn't one of those "right ones". For example in Q4 last year (10SEP2018 - 03JAN2019), there was a promo that gave you "triple points" for "Luxury & Resort" stays, there you would have received 400k, based on spending 10k USD.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:16 pm
  #1798  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Australia
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Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Personally I agree with what IHG are going to do and it's about time. I absolutely hate making waste, especially plastic which almost never gets recycled. The only problem for me is I prefer a real bar of soap, you know, a solid object that you can actually scrub with and that gets a lather up. All this lotion-to-clean-your-body nonsense.....I don't know how folks can clean themselves properly with a liquid - it takes so much longer and you end up using a huge amount of it which in itself is a waste. When travelling I always tell housekeeping to not replace bars of soap until I ask and stick the bars together when the first one gets too small and then take the remainder with me in a travel soap box when I check out. Zero waste.
This must be a cultural thing. In Australia and most of Asia Pacific, the hotels would provide shower gels whereas the ones in America would often provide bars of soap. I personally can't stand soap because most tend to leave the skin dry.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 11:22 pm
  #1799  
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Or just take your own empty little bottles and fill them up from the big ones
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Old Aug 1, 19, 4:39 pm
  #1800  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 694
Can confirm both my wife's Aspire card and mine posted the $250 credit. We had them run $250 on each card with no hassle.

As a side note, before arriving in the Maldives we had a stop-over in Singapore. I had them put my incidentals of $244.92 on my Aspire card. Those never triggered the credit.

TD
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