Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Last edit by: Traveler Dave
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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


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 Malι Atoll, 23km southwest of Malι and Velana International Airport [MLE] (also known as Malι International Airport, previously known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport)
Private yacht transfer: $350++ per person per way ($1724.80 return inclusive of taxes for 2 passengers). If the yacht is not available, a speedboat will be provided by the resort. If this happens, you may be refunded the yacht transfer fee. See this post for more info
• Doing the dirty: Original quoted price was either $370++ or $378++ per person return but they thought that was too cheap and basically doubled it. Also note that the quoted transfer time on their website is 30 minutes but actual travel time is 40-50 minutes under normal sea conditions
• See this post for a detailed review of the yacht transfer (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• More sneaky business? Probably. Departure from Male to the resort was pretty much straight away but now we could wait up to 90 minutes to depart! Check out this post for a hypothesis


Alternative transfers to the WA and alternative destinations / resorts
• See this post for a success story in booking a very reasonably-priced transfer

• Transfer to / from Conrad Maldives Rangali Island: A private seaplane transfer from the Waldorf to the Conrad, taking approximately 25 minutes, is approximately USD 8,125++


Resort Information / F&B / Spa / Activities
• WA Ithaafushi is made up of three islands (95% man-made)
• The resort has 11 restaurants / bars
• There are 2 standalone OWVs (Over Water Villas) and 121 villas in total
• Click here (Hilton's website) or here (dedicated website) to visit the resort on the web
• The kids club (one of the biggest in the Maldives) is for children between 4 to 11 years. Click here for detailed information and here for the schedule. Click here, here and here for basic reviews and comprehensive sets of pictures (All courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Click here to visit the resort's listing on TripAdvisor
• Tennis courts: See this post
• For a 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
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Old Aug 10, 19, 4:16 pm
  #1891  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,358
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
we had the Ithaafushi Princess inbound and left with Nirvana, the latter was definitely a downgrade imo.
I wonder if this is another one of their 'cunning plans' - to prioritize their best boat for pickups and to take guests back on something less luxurious.

Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Yeah, we know who Michael M is.
It's interesting as at the moment there are no 4s, only 15 5s and 5 3s or less. And of the 15 that are 5s, 6 are from accounts that are new with only 1 contribution.
Speaking of which.....the 2-star review that was posted by Michael M has basically now turned into a 5-star review and the username has changed to MikeM and suddenly there are now 3 contributions. Didn't think we'd notice eh, @NYC_1? What did they give you to change the review to 5 stars.....??
Edit: The TripAdvisor servers are still updating so sometimes the 2-star review is there, sometimes not.
2nd edit: The original 2-star review appears to have been deleted / changed permanently so am unable to C+P its contents.

Stunning property, excellent leadership from management
My wife and I are about to finish a weeklong stay at the new Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. I recommend that you strongly consider this resort if you are planning a stay in the Maldives.

First, the property itself is spectacular. The property itself is even better than it looks in the videos and pictures. The design and attention to detail is world class and exceeds the highest expectations. The ambition of this project is difficult to process at first becomes more and more apparent with more time on the island. The villas are brilliant - they have spared no expense on the design and construction, and the attention to detail is remarkable. Even the smart features of the room control (which always seem to be like more of a bother than anything else) added value to our stay.

Guests have certain expectations about service and staff interactions at a resort like this, and frankly our expectations were not met during the first half of our stay. I find discussing issues with management to be a waste of time that usually yields nothing other than empty promises and apologies.

This was not the case here. The management team, in particular Simone C. and our concierge, Aida, stepped up and addressed each issue and then some. Last night at dinner it was immediately apparent that things had changed and after Simone introduced himself we understood why. The professionalism and competence of these two individuals completely altered our experience for the better in a way I did not think was possible. It is clear that the staff here is working very hard on delivering for guests. Work needs to be done and certain things, such as the transfer from MLE need to be materially improved, but expert leadership is in place and I expect that they will get there quickly.

The excursion team with Ocean is fantastic – do not hesitate to invest your time and money in activities managed by this company.

So folks. We now know they're up to bribing guests who write negative reviews and are still at the property.

Last edited by MaldivesFreak; Aug 10, 19 at 4:48 pm Reason: Added info
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 10, 19, 4:20 pm
  #1892  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,358
Originally Posted by Abidjan View Post
This is funny.
Yeah. No doubt in a few days there'll be a 5-star review on TA with a similar nick and content and from a member that has only 1 contribution.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 10, 19, 5:02 pm
  #1893  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: HH Diamond, BAEC
Posts: 1,310
Did I miss something? Who is MikeM or Michael M? What’s going on?!
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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:13 pm
  #1894  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 26
+ 1 who is this Michael guy?


I'll be here in a couple weeks. I'm not getting my Hope's up as we have been to conard maldives and conrad Bora Bora which both exceeded our expectations. But do I have something to worry bout???
Eyesonthepoints is offline  
Old Aug 10, 19, 5:13 pm
  #1895  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,358
@pineapple First read this post https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilt...l#post31399851 then re-read my post.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Aug 10, 19, 5:14 pm
  #1896  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 97
I'll gladly write a 5 star review for them if they throw me a bone.
NightFury1 is offline  
Old Aug 10, 19, 5:15 pm
  #1897  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 719
Originally Posted by pineapple_09 View Post
Did I miss something? Who is MikeM or Michael M? What’s going on?!
The people with the aluminum hats have now joined the thread....

This AM there was a 2-Star review on TA from a MichaelM. That post is now gone. There is now a 5-Star post from a MikeM that was not there this AM.

So if you are following the conspiracy theory the WA pulled a Jedi Mind Trick on the poster. Got them to change their TA handle and update their 2-Star review to a 5-Star.

TD




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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:17 pm
  #1898  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: HH Diamond, BAEC
Posts: 1,310
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
@pineapple First read this post https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilt...l#post31399851 then re-read my post.
was there a post prior to that post? Because that post mentioned we know who Michael M is ... but who is he?
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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:19 pm
  #1899  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: HH Diamond, BAEC
Posts: 1,310
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


The people with the aluminum hats have now joined the thread....

This AM there was a 2-Star review on TA from a MichaelM. That post is now gone. There is now a 5-Star post from a MikeM that was not there this AM.

So if you are following the conspiracy theory the WA pulled a Jedi Mind Trick on the poster. Got them to change their TA handle and update their 2-Star review to a 5-Star.

TD
I don’t wear an aluminium hat and I haven’t just joined the thread, I’ve been on this thread since Day 1! And on the Rangali thread for the last decade. I wear a pineapple hat though Tin hats don’t really suit me. Looks good on that cat though, haha!

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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:21 pm
  #1900  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 26
O dang thanks guys for clarifying. Ya they threw him a bone so that he would change his review. I'm sure this is going to continue to happen till they establish enough reviews. This is the beginning so they need as many 5 star reviews. Write a review and you might get thrown a bone or two 😉
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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:26 pm
  #1901  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: HH Diamond, BAEC
Posts: 1,310
I’m wondering if mgmt are following this thread, the way Rangali used to. They have to be. Although the Rangali rep used to actually post on the thread back in the day, not anymore though. I guess they don’t need to.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:31 pm
  #1902  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 719
Originally Posted by Eyesonthepoints View Post
+ 1 who is this Michael guy?


I'll be here in a couple weeks. I'm not getting my Hope's up as we have been to conard maldives and conrad Bora Bora which both exceeded our expectations. But do I have something to worry bout???
No you don’t, assuming you understand the costs for FB and activities are sky high. Good with that and you will have an amazing time. We were at the Conrad BB last year and IHG Thalasso the year before. WA Maldives hard/soft product blow both of those away...even if you combine the best of both those places vs. WA.

My comments are based on the resorts themselves. But I will say I prefer BB scenery and off property opportunities over the Maldives.

TD
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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:39 pm
  #1903  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


No you don’t, assuming you understand the costs for FB and activities are sky high. Good with that and you will have an amazing time. We were at the Conrad BB last year and IHG Thalasso the year before. WA Maldives hard/soft product blow both of those away...even if you combine the best of both those places vs. WA.

My comments are based on the resorts themselves. But I will say I prefer BB scenery and off property opportunities over the Maldives.

TD

Thanks @Traveler Dave appreciate it. We are prepared. Or as prepared as one can be. Haha. It's not cheap. That yacht though $$$$$ haha
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Old Aug 10, 19, 5:57 pm
  #1904  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,907
Originally Posted by Michael19887 View Post
For those who have stayed in a beach villa, how is the privacy when you are on the deck between the units? I like how you have a view to the beach/ocean from the deck with the lower shrubbery, so I am not concerned with people potentially seeing in from walking on the beach. I did want to make sure that you can't see your neighbors next door on their deck. Is there fencing/taller shrubbery between the units for privacy?
This is going to vary a bit among the villas. I was in 623 and couldn't see neighbors. But I recall when walking the beach around some of the 200 villas that there was less privacy. 213 was OK, but some of the other villas nearby (which may not be base beach villas) has less privacy. For example I noted that 205 was ringed in by other villas that jut out around it and that the fence between 205 and 207 doesn't extend far enough out to block the views from one deck to another. 218 also had a deck that lacked privacy but they were still finishing those villas maybe they will add more fencing.

They told me that the King Beach Villas are 208, 216, 220, 213, 601, 605, 609, 612, 613, 618, 622, 623, 625, and 628. That list may not be 100% accurate.

I recommend emailing them and double check that and request 213 or one of the odd 600 villas, or 618 or 622.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 6:50 pm
  #1905  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,697
Originally Posted by Eyesonthepoints View Post
I'll be here in a couple weeks. I'm not getting my Hope's up as we have been to conard maldives and conrad Bora Bora which both exceeded our expectations. But do I have something to worry bout???
This is my comparison review between the Conrad Bora Bora, Conrad Maldvies and this WA.
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