Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Oct 23, 19, 2:42 am   -   Wikipost
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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 TO BE AWARE OF:
• 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 contains some mockery, necessary corporate-greed-bashing and warnings all rolled into one. Be prepared to be shocked and fleeced, all at the same time.....

The 'Price-Gouging, Dirty Trick & Sneaky-Sneaky' Charge 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
9. Ridiculously over-priced dinners - we're talking fifty bucks shy of $1000++ per person here (and some even more expensive than that) - at supposedly private and secluded locations. Click here for the list. Click here and here for comments and opinions
...and another corporate-greed-bashing post 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 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 - 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
Print Wikipost

Old Aug 6, 19, 9:59 pm
  #1816  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,362
Excellent, TD. Added to the wiki.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 6, 19, 11:42 pm
  #1817  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,634
Any success stories of early check-in or late check-out here?
iluvdoco is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 2:21 am
  #1818  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 27
Day 2 observations:

Housekeeping: while extremely aggressive (our bell
rings about 10x a day), they do a fantastic job and are very friendly.

Breakfast: they need to get the service aspect fixed. It is comparable to a Hilton Garden Inn type of experience. Again, food is solid and the venue is spectacular, so it’s fine, but they aren’t getting this right and it’s a major problem for them.

Personal Concierge: responsive, helpful and generally adding value to our experience. We’ve called the front desk with three requests so far that’s have been ignored, so the conciege has turned out to be important.

Resort: it takes a day or two to really grasp how amazing this place is. The build quality is excellent. This place is going to do very well with age too.

Privacy: we rarely see other guests here. We have not seen a single person while at our reef villa (other than the aforementioned housekeeping staff and 2-3 snorkelers 30 yards off shore).

Landscaping: they’ve done a good job on this too, but it’s going to take some time for it to grow in. It is generally better than I expected.

In room dining: Nothing positive about round 2 and 3 other than the speed. We will avoid this for the rest of the trip.

Moving around the resort: the resort is massive and it takes some time to walk from place to place, so catching a ride is best, especially in the mid-day heat. We asked the front desk to send someone to pick us up a few times but no one was ever sent. About 1/4 staff members on carts will stop to offer you a ride (another 1/4 will nearly run you over and the remainder will smile and waive). The bridges are a great place to stop and see fish. We saw a small reef shark yesterday.

Fish: we have an immense amount of sea life visible from our deck and pool area. Today we had a stingray floating around for a half hour, and then probably 2 dozen other types of fish in varying size and quantities. We had one ~10 lb fish and some barracudas.
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NYC_1 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 4:04 am
  #1819  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,362
Have you mentioned the service issues to management? What did they say?

And keep the updates coming!
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 4:28 am
  #1820  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: London
Programs: BAEC Silver, M&M, HHonors Gold
Posts: 1,058
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
And you mean the most expensive Waldorf, right? If this isn't, where is the most expensive one.....?
I thought there might be some Middle East Waldorf which I don't know about, which is equally expensive. For most expensive Waldorf it's pretty poor.
Richmond_Surrey is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 4:34 am
  #1821  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,700
Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
Any success stories of early check-in or late check-out here?
On arrival, we caught the 9am boat, arriving at he resort at about 1050am, and were able to get into our room at about 1130am.
On departure, we had a 5pm check out for 6pm boat ride out. W


Originally Posted by NYC_1 View Post
Housekeeping: while extremely aggressive (our bell
rings about 10x a day), they do a fantastic job and are very friendly.

Breakfast: they need to get the service aspect fixed. It is comparable to a Hilton Garden Inn type of experience. Again, food is solid and the venue is spectacular, so it’s fine, but they aren’t getting this right and it’s a major problem for them.

Personal Concierge: responsive, helpful and generally adding value to our experience. We’ve called the front desk with three requests so far that’s have been ignored, so the conciege has turned out to be important.

Resort: it takes a day or two to really grasp how amazing this place is. The build quality is excellent. This place is going to do very well with age too.

Privacy: we rarely see other guests here. We have not seen a single person while at our reef villa (other than the aforementioned housekeeping staff and 2-3 snorkelers 30 yards off shore).

Landscaping: they’ve done a good job on this too, but it’s going to take some time for it to grow in. It is generally better than I expected.

In room dining: Nothing positive about round 2 and 3 other than the speed. We will avoid this for the rest of the trip.

Moving around the resort: the resort is massive and it takes some time to walk from place to place, so catching a ride is best, especially in the mid-day heat. We asked the front desk to send someone to pick us up a few times but no one was ever sent. About 1/4 staff members on carts will stop to offer you a ride (another 1/4 will nearly run you over and the remainder will smile and waive). The bridges are a great place to stop and see fish. We saw a small reef shark yesterday.

Fish: we have an immense amount of sea life visible from our deck and pool area. Today we had a stingray floating around for a half hour, and then probably 2 dozen other types of fish in varying size and quantities. We had one ~10 lb fish and some barracudas.
Hope your stay improves dramatically and keen to hear what else happens moving forward.

FWIW we had a fantastic stay especially found service at breakfast great (staff knew which table we preferred, what coffee we liked, and offered champagne upon arrival and kept on topping up, offered suggestions, wait staff would assist with bringing food/drinks/plates to our table, doors opened by staff, ordered items off menu without any issue, outdoor umbrella shades pro actively adjusted so we would never get sun on our face).

If we didn't ride our bicylces, we were picked up by our personal concierge about 80% of the time and had little wait. If someone else was picking up they would explain why our concierge could not come etc.
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alanslegal is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 4:38 am
  #1822  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 19
Thanks for all the updates everyone. Is anyone able to post some photos of what the view looks like from the southern facing villas ie 100s and odd numbered 200s? And is there much boat traffic from this side of the ocean?
flyerchatter is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 10:21 am
  #1823  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 14
I will be there next weekend. Aside from the previous post 1725 I mentioned receiving a reply that private transfer is not allowed, I did not get welcome email or room choices. Checked spam and it's not there. Did everyone get a welcome email and was able to choose a room?

By the way, I booked via atoll and was quoted $580 for round trip for 2 people. But they sent me a link for payment that charges 6% fee, which is weird and sketchy. Now I am debating to just pay the $1700 for the WA yacht transfer to save the hassle.
wekxbrainx is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 2:51 pm
  #1824  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,362
Originally Posted by wekxbrainx View Post
By the way, I booked via atoll and was quoted $580 for round trip for 2 people. But they sent me a link for payment that charges 6% fee, which is weird and sketchy. Now I am debating to just pay the $1700 for the WA yacht transfer to save the hassle.
Maybe they don't welcome folks who choose not to be fleeced, LOL.
But seriously, you are still saving more than $1100. If it's a hassle to pay 6% then it looks like you've got a few mil in the bank and aren't worried about a measly $1100.
I would bargain. Question the 6% (some credit card transactions add n% onto the total. Probably what's going on here) and tell them $500 all up or you'll take the MS Fleece (the WA's yacht). Nothing to lose, right?
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 9:02 pm
  #1825  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Programs: Continental; American; Delta
Posts: 12
These comments and reviews have been awesome! Thanks to all who have shared Intel. I’m going next month and the only thing that surprises/angers me is they don’t offer a welcome cocktail or glass of champagne on the $1000 dollar per person yacht transfer. I’m not being picky, that’s just to be expected from a five+ star hotel. I’ve been all over the world and stayed at places far swankier then the WA and some of the best memories are the little things (i.e. a cold towel upon arrival or welcome cocktail). With or without a welcome cocktail or glass of champagne on the yacht, I know it’s going to be a great experience.
mctravel1 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 9:59 pm
  #1826  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Have you mentioned the service issues to management? What did they say?

And keep the updates coming!
Not yet. I’ll tell them when they ask, but there’s nothing serious enough that I’m going to go out of my way and invest my time.

Breakfast today was much improved - menu cards delivered at the initial conversation, food came out without follow up, etc, except we obtained our own milk for our first cups of coffee (they did bring some when I asked for another cup of coffee). Water appeared without multiple follow ups or finding it myself like I did yesterday. Things are a little inconsistent at times, maybe because they’ve recently opened, but there are more staff members than guests so it’s strange. The food quality and variety is very good.

On our walk to/from breakfast, we had the following experience with the carts:

- three offered us a ride
- one empty cart drove by with a smile and hand to the chest thing they do
- two staff carts were on the “nearly ran us over” category (which is actually kind of fun now that we are expecting it, just watch your kids)
- one staff cart pulled to the side and waited for us to go by before proceeding (similar to what they did at the Ritz Dorado Reserve a few weeks ago and anywhere else I’ve ever been like this)

We are going to do the sunset fishing activity tonight and if we catch anything, we’ll do the option of having it cooked for us at one of the restaurants (not sure which one but the excursion details indicate they do this). Just with the amount of fish we see off our deck, this is going to be fun.

Tomorrow we will switch from our reef villa to the grand overwater villa for the rest of our stay. I’ll update as to how that process goes (and whether we are given another bottle of champagne for the second reservation!). One aspect I’m curious about is whether the full overwater villa is “worth” the extra cost. Our reef villa is approximately 1/2 over water as it is, including our deck. Only the front 12 feet of the villa is on land. Watching the fish from our deck has been a major highlight so far. And they say it’s going to get better as the fish return post construction. Wow.
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NYC_1 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 10:08 pm
  #1827  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
On arrival, we caught the 9am boat, arriving at he resort at about 1050am, and were able to get into our room at about 1130am.
On departure, we had a 5pm check out for 6pm boat ride out. W




Hope your stay improves dramatically and keen to hear what else happens moving forward.

FWIW we had a fantastic stay especially found service at breakfast great (staff knew which table we preferred, what coffee we liked, and offered champagne upon arrival and kept on topping up, offered suggestions, wait staff would assist with bringing food/drinks/plates to our table, doors opened by staff, ordered items off menu without any issue, outdoor umbrella shades pro actively adjusted so we would never get sun on our face).

If we didn't ride our bicylces, we were picked up by our personal concierge about 80% of the time and had little wait. If someone else was picking up they would explain why our concierge could not come etc.
We were given cold towels on the boat and in the waiting area when we arrived and a non-alcoholic welcome beverage, which was quite good (and they offered more as we waited to be taken to our room). Champagne would have been great. Maybe they do different beverages on different days.
NYC_1 is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 11:03 pm
  #1828  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,362
Originally Posted by NYC_1 View Post
Breakfast today was much improved - menu cards delivered at the initial conversation, food came out without follow up, etc, except we obtained our own milk for our first cups of coffee (they did bring some when I asked for another cup of coffee). Water appeared without multiple follow ups or finding it myself like I did yesterday. Things are a little inconsistent at times, maybe because they’ve recently opened, but there are more staff members than guests so it’s strange.
Nice turnaround, huh. What's the bet they are reading this thread to help iron out any service issues.

Originally Posted by mctravel1 View Post
I’m going next month and the only thing that surprises/angers me is they don’t offer a welcome cocktail or glass of champagne on the $1000 dollar per person yacht transfer.
To my surprise, I'm going to write in their defense and say that they may not be allowed to give alcohol on board when departing from Male (due to the restrictions / law). Does anyone know if this is actually the case?
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 7, 19, 11:20 pm
  #1829  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 721
Originally Posted by NYC_1 View Post
Tomorrow we will switch from our reef villa to the grand overwater villa for the rest of our stay. I’ll update as to how that process goes (and whether we are given another bottle of champagne for the second reservation!). One aspect I’m curious about is whether the full overwater villa is “worth” the extra cost. Our reef villa is approximately 1/2 over water as it is, including our deck. Only the front 12 feet of the villa is on land. Watching the fish from our deck has been a major highlight so far. And they say it’s going to get better as the fish return post construction. Wow.
My suggestion would be to check out the OW before you move. I think you will find you don’t get much more “OW experience”....especially for the cost. You are also much farther away from basically everything “to do” at the resort.

You might find the Grand version of the Reef Villa a nice upgrade. But with massive size of the base rooms not sure 2 people need the extra space. Other than a living room the two are identical inside and out. My wife and I agreed if we did not have our daughter with us the base room would have been more than what we needed.

TD
Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Aug 8, 19, 2:43 am
  #1830  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, IHG Platinum, SPG Gold
Posts: 79
Angry

Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Maybe they don't welcome folks who choose not to be fleeced, LOL.
But seriously, you are still saving more than $1100. If it's a hassle to pay 6% then it looks like you've got a few mil in the bank and aren't worried about a measly $1100.
I would bargain. Question the 6% (some credit card transactions add n% onto the total. Probably what's going on here) and tell them $500 all up or you'll take the MS Fleece (the WA's yacht). Nothing to lose, right?
Hey guys, just an update on those seeking to use 3rd party transfer. They are entirely inflexible about letting anyone enter unless you take the rip off “yacht” ride to the resort. They make the boat sound like a yacht from Monaco, but in reality it looks like your average boat from the jersey shore. With that transfer price you would think Gordon Ramsey was on board serving beef Wellington.

Anyway, I was supposed to go to the Waldorf tomorrow but this morning I received an email from the manager saying the 3rd party transfers were not allowed, even if I was coming from a nearby resort. They expect customers to travel all the way back to Male to ride the rip off express back to the waldorf. I explained I was coming from and departing to other resorts and had already arranged prepaid transfers that were past the refundable period of time.

For those interested in the communications time line, I contacted them 8 days prior since I had received no emails yet. Got response and they asked my arrival times, I responded saying I’ll be coming from nearby resorts via private transfer. No response from hotel for three days, however I started forwarding the email to any Waldorf Maldives email I could find. Four days out, front desk emailed and said thank you for choosing us and all that standard stuff. Three days out, got email from reservations saying no 3rd party boats due to “privacy”. Nonsense, how is this more/less private than “yacht.” I responded asking for boat tender from the resort boundary. That’s when this morning I received email from manager that said not even boat tender was feasible and they only he can offer refund, which I took.

So now I’m in the process of getting Waldorf to refund the points so I can use them at Conrad but it is radio silence. Even Hilton support has been emailing and calling Waldorf to get them to refund the itinerary but no one answers the phone or responds to emails in a timely fashion.

This is some hardball fleecing folks. I’m surprised that even though the website, mobile app, and confirmation emails make no mention of transfer restrictions, along with the lack of timely communications, Waldorf still threatened to deny entry into the resort and would rather me go rebook elsewhere on one days notice.

Others here mentioned they were contacted 30 days out. I suspect many canceled their reservation upon hearing of the transfer fee (which is not clearly stated during booking). My theory is that they started contacting people 7 days out and informing them of the transfer fee then since 7 days prior is beyond the cancellation window of 14 days. Really shady if you ask my opinion. Conrad and Hyatt contacts folks 30 days out in my experience. Heck, even SAii Lagoon contacted me 30 days prior... that is before they cancelled all bookings in August.

Ironically, the intent of my whole trip to the Maldives was to visit the Curio SAii Lagoon and The Waldorf so I could review these new resorts on my travel blog. Well, 2 week prior, SAii lagoon said they had to postpone opening the hotel and Waldorf just gave me a giant middle finger. So now I’m here for no reason wondering why the hell I should ever stay at another Hilton. What a waste of time and flyermiles.
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