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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Mar 5, 20, 9:51 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: Corridor!
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
• 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 Oct 11, 19, 3:49 pm
  #1876  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 808
Ok, I'm intrigued. I've been to some decent dinners, those in the top 50 list etc, and never managed to pay 950USD per person. (Robuchon chateau Tokyo would be closest, and with a few drinks was closer to 600).

So I really want to know how they justify that one. Can you ask for the menu please? Is it free flow vintage champagne or something?
Cynicor is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 4:12 pm
  #1877  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 31
We had dinner at Peacock Alley one night which shares the kitchen with Tangled and Tasting Table. Our dinner was private as there was no one else. They decorated our table, played music to our taste and provided a great service!
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rish is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 5:08 pm
  #1878  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,791
Originally Posted by lizakramer View Post
Well maybe I am missing something, but it sounds like you could basically do #5 just by picking up the phone and ordering room service. I doubt that would cost you $295pp++.
I know. It's pathetic, isn't it. And the options are so vague. I mean, what's the difference between PRIVATE SANDBANK LUNCH/DINNER, APHRODISIAC ROMANCE and the SANDBANK SUNSET DINNER? The first and second are the same price and the other is, just, well.....an even more ridiculous ripoff.....but all held at the same location. One could assume, from the limited description, that they'd turn the table round to face the sunset with the sunset dinner and charge you an extra $600++ for the view.....

The descriptions are so vague that most of the time there's no way to know exactly what you're getting so you'd have to ask again for more details and menus. That's a good way to lose sales. Amateur hour. In fact so amateurish it looks as if it's the winner for a Best: Advertise the Same Product & Service as Many Ways as You Possibly Can (While Slapping on Arbitrary Pricetags) competition.

And regarding the prices, It's gotta be the same guy greedy pr*ck setting these laughable prices who's also responsible for the prices for the transfer, 'dinner on a pole', shisha, noodles, breakfast egg, etc etc etc. I think he truly believes in the saying "a fool and his money are soon parted" and that guests at this property will somehow be turned into fools, read "Wow, they're really expensive so they must be really good! Oink! Oink!" - and fools with bottomless pockets. Oh well, at least the chefs assigned to these 'events' can twiddle their thumbs and play with their mobiles while waiting for bookings for these 'private and secluded' dinners. Anyway, more fodder for the Price-Gouging section of the wiki.

@james0499 I'd love for you to email them and ask for a map of the resort with the areas mentioned circled in red and numbers indicating which lunches / dinners are where. AFAIK they only have one sandbank and it's far from private and secluded
located on our private sandbank.....on the private sandbank.....a beautifully secluded sandbank
Do they mean this "private and beautifully secluded" sandbank?





I don't know about you guys but that looks pretty damn unprivate and unsecluded to me. It's visible to half the villas on the property!

And where the hell is this 'private beach'?? I suppose they think they're gonna put those fools and their money here



because that's the only truly private beach they have.....well, private from the guests (not the staff) that is.
I have a hunch that they will hold it on the private island if unoccupied and, if occupied with multiple guests / groups, will hold it there anyway and not tell the guests staying there that the folks having the dinners there are not staying on the private island themselves.....it will just look like they are. After all, no-one's going to ask, are they?

Originally Posted by aspenedelen View Post
My plan is to see how little I can spend in Cash at this place. I feel as long as I can eat a insane breakfast that'll hold me over until dinner then I'll gorge myself on half price drinks us free snacks which should hold me over until the following morning 🤔.. I like this idea
Careful! They'll ban you if you spend so little on purpose.


Originally Posted by lizakramer View Post
Just received this from the WA resort in response to an inquiry I sent them regarding the Reef Villas. This resort map shows not just the villa numbers, but also the type of villa (Grand vs Regular, 2BR, 3BR, etc...) for each category. Also, I noticed that they "fixed" the location of the Sunset and Sunrise locations from earlier versions of the map.
Nice one. ^ Adding to the wiki.....

Last edited by Canarsie; Oct 20, 19 at 5:41 pm Reason: Consolidation.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Oct 11, 19, 11:22 pm
  #1879  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by lizakramer View Post
Where are the Two Queen Grand Overwater Villas?
flyerchatter is offline  
Old Oct 12, 19, 8:23 am
  #1880  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 3,003
Am I correct that there are 11 one bed beach villas and 6 two queen beach villas? I'm surprised taht the demand for two queen bedrooms is so high and that there are so many guests looking to cram 3-4 people into a bedroom.
jphripjah is offline  
Old Oct 12, 19, 12:17 pm
  #1881  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,791
With mainland Chinese and wealthy Arab (families) as their primary target markets I'd say yes.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Oct 13, 19, 3:27 am
  #1882  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by lizakramer View Post
Just received this from the WA resort in response to an inquiry I sent them regarding the Reef Villas. This resort map shows not just the villa numbers, but also the type of villa (Grand vs Regular, 2BR, 3BR, etc...) for each category. Also, I noticed that they "fixed" the location of the Sunset and Sunrise locations from earlier versions of the map.

Hope this is helpful to others in this forum.
If I were to request my Grand OWV in the 100’s or 700’s... which would people suggest?! Especially people who have stayed in either of them, what was the view like at sunrise/sunset, trek time to breakfast/dinner etc.

thanks!
james0499 is offline  
Old Oct 13, 19, 3:30 am
  #1883  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 28
MaldivesFreak i will ask where each of the ‘secluded’ events takes place! But I totally agree with the other commenter who said just get room service - we’ll be doing that one evening I think
Cynicor and MaldivesFreak like this.
james0499 is offline  
Old Oct 14, 19, 12:07 pm
  #1884  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: LAX
Programs: SPG Plat, Delta Plat, AA Plat
Posts: 5
Multiple reservations

Because availability has been so spotty for next year, I haven't been able to book many consecutive nights or the same room type (i.e. King some nights, 2 queens others) but I have managed to book 7 nights across 4 different reservations. I'm also hoping to tack on one more night if the availability shows up. Given the cost of this hotel, I am ok with having to move rooms 1 or twice but moving 4 times would be extreme. Has anyone else done this and had luck getting them to combine reservations and/or provide some assurances that we won't have to move too many times. These are all beach villas so I guess a way around this could be to change to a reef villa as these are for April 2020?

Any help/tips is appreciated!
jthomasr21 is offline  
Old Oct 14, 19, 12:38 pm
  #1885  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by jthomasr21 View Post
Because availability has been so spotty for next year, I haven't been able to book many consecutive nights or the same room type (i.e. King some nights, 2 queens others) but I have managed to book 7 nights across 4 different reservations. I'm also hoping to tack on one more night if the availability shows up. Given the cost of this hotel, I am ok with having to move rooms 1 or twice but moving 4 times would be extreme. Has anyone else done this and had luck getting them to combine reservations and/or provide some assurances that we won't have to move too many times. These are all beach villas so I guess a way around this could be to change to a reef villa as these are for April 2020?

Any help/tips is appreciated!
If you are US resident, you should get Amex aspire before you go with Diamond status. Then buy some points to book 4+1 redemption to save one night and combine with your free weekend night from the card. It's hard to find 4+1 point night but still possible. Or switch to Conrad that will be easier to find point night.
Although Diamond will not help much on this place but better than none. It should not be a problem to stay in the same room if you request in low season, not really need to combine in advance. Without diamond, suggest you to stick with St. Regis on SPG plat for a more reasonable transportation.
Kimomo is offline  
Old Oct 14, 19, 1:22 pm
  #1886  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: LAX
Programs: SPG Plat, Delta Plat, AA Plat
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by Kimomo View Post
If you are US resident, you should get Amex aspire before you go with Diamond status. Then buy some points to book 4+1 redemption to save one night and combine with your free weekend night from the card. It's hard to find 4+1 point night but still possible. Or switch to Conrad that will be easier to find point night.
Although Diamond will not help much on this place but better than none. It should not be a problem to stay in the same room if you request in low season, not really need to combine in advance. Without diamond, suggest you to stick with St. Regis on SPG plat for a more reasonable transportation.
Sorry, realized my initial post wasn't that clear. I have managed to book 7 nights in a row using points but across 4 reservations as it wasn't all available at once. There have been reports that cancelling doesn't put it back in inventory so don't want to risk it. I already have diamond status through the aspire and given I am not paying for the room, I am not worried about the yacht transfer or the cost of food while there.

Appreciate your response, I will reach out to the hotel closer to my stay to see what they have to say but thought my situation might not be unique.
jthomasr21 is offline  
Old Oct 14, 19, 1:57 pm
  #1887  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,791
Kimomo They will be able to see if he has 'switched to Diamond via CC' (like so many people do). I doubt it will make a shred of difference, especially at this (stingy) property.

jthomasr21 They will be able to combine these so you have nothing to worry about.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Oct 14, 19, 6:35 pm
  #1888  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 3,003
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post

jthomasr21 They will be able to combine these so you have nothing to worry about.

Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post

jthomasr21 They will be able to combine these so you have nothing to worry about.

If you mean they can combine his reservations so he doesn't have to change rooms, that's right.


But it sounds like he has missed out on the 5th night free benefit by booking four 1-3 night reservations over seven nights and wants to cancel and rebook but doesn't want to risk losing the redemptions. My understanding is they can't just combine the reservations to give him the 5th night free but I'd say it's worth him calling or emailing the Diamond Desk to ask about it.
jphripjah is offline  
Old Oct 15, 19, 3:53 am
  #1889  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: Aegean Airlines Gold, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Malaysian
Posts: 1,586
Originally Posted by Michael19887 View Post
A couple of other quick questions - is there still heavy construction underway on the Stella Maris Villas and the private island? Also, do the 100s water villas appear to be open yet? Thanks!
Just seems to be still some scaffolding on one of the Stella Maris Villas but not heard any noise in last 3 days
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gallagher is offline  
Old Oct 15, 19, 7:40 am
  #1890  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by lizakramer View Post
Just received this from the WA resort in response to an inquiry I sent them regarding the Reef Villas. This resort map shows not just the villa numbers, but also the type of villa (Grand vs Regular, 2BR, 3BR, etc...) for each category. Also, I noticed that they "fixed" the location of the Sunset and Sunrise locations from earlier versions of the map.

Hope this is helpful to others in this forum.
Thank you for the updated map!
Casual Traveler is offline  

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