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 14, 19, 10:41 am
  #1951  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,359
Originally Posted by alice50734 View Post
I contact the resort stating that “there’s no mention of compulsory yacht transfer in my booking nor was it on the website when I booked”
However, they replied
“Regret to inform that we’re unable to allow third party transfers as transfer policies has been finalized based on guests feedback to ensure safety and security of all our guests.
The BS keeps on coming.....
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:44 am
  #1952  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
The BS keeps on coming.....


what would happen if you booked a third party transfer and they dropped you off? I dont think they would tell you to leave.. but maybe they would still charge you the yacht transfer fee for both directions still?
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:49 am
  #1953  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
The BS keeps on coming.....
If they had stated clearly on their website, then I would have booked another resort...
It’s nothing wrong about not allowing third party transfer, it’s that they changed the policy without any notice.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:54 am
  #1954  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by alice50734 View Post


If they had stated clearly on their website, then I would have booked another resort...
It’s nothing wrong about not allowing third party transfer, it’s that they changed the policy without any notice.
wow that is BS. WA being Sneaky. That's rude.
llfoster and BLTraveler like this.
Eyesonthepoints is offline  
Old Aug 14, 19, 11:25 am
  #1955  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,359
That's hardly anything new.

Originally Posted by Eyesonthepoints View Post
what would happen if you booked a third party transfer and they dropped you off? I dont think they would tell you to leave.. but maybe they would still charge you the yacht transfer fee for both directions still?
They wouldn't dare to do either. There would be fallout not only from Hilton USA but from lawyers all around the globe.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 8:26 pm
  #1956  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: NYC
Posts: 6
Looking to extend my stay on February, if anyone has a points booking that he's planning to cancel on 1/31,2/1 or 2/2 - please let me know. It will be much appreciated.
and thanks everyone for all these amazing detailed reviews, I enjoyed a lot reading all this thread.

Last edited by pointsmanager; Aug 14, 19 at 8:37 pm
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Old Aug 15, 19, 5:18 am
  #1957  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 97
Honestly better to just ignore non informational stuff and move on as it’ll just devolve even further.
Traveler Dave likes this.

Last edited by NightFury1; Aug 15, 19 at 5:37 am
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Old Aug 15, 19, 10:10 am
  #1958  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Programs: Delta Gold Medallion, AMEX Skymiles Plat, HH Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 172
Latest trip advisor review blasts the private yacht experience and pricing.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...ale_Atoll.html
Moflav is offline  
Old Aug 15, 19, 12:44 pm
  #1959  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,359
And the one after it also. Well.....what did they expect. That it was somehow going to be ignored? Makes you wonder how much they think content posted on TripAdvisor is going to affect their bottom line.

And here's the link to the review you are talking about: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...ale_Atoll.html
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Old Aug 15, 19, 1:20 pm
  #1960  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,359
And the GM, Etienne Dalancon, has replied to the 1-star review. You can read it here. I mention this as this is the only time so far that he has replied in person.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 1:40 pm
  #1961  
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Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
And the GM, Etienne Dalancon, has replied to the 1-star review. You can read it here. I mention this as this is the only time so far that he has replied in person.
That was a pretty inconsequential and disconcerting response from the GM to my mind! The review was pretty clear on the various issues...and the GM disputed not one.

At first I was a bit cautious to believe the review and thought it a bit more bitter grapes than necessarily all issues in every case--since the reviewer has but 6 reviews in total. But the details involved made me a bit more believing. The GM's response made me much more believing, actually.

To be fair, anyone who visits a brand new luxury resort within a few months of opening is begging for teething issues and problems. The true measure will be honestly positive reviews in the early days and the reviews after the first 6 months.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 8:41 pm
  #1962  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: HKG
Programs: MPC, KF, BAEC // SPG, WoH, Honors
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
To be fair, anyone who visits a brand new luxury resort within a few months of opening is begging for teething issues and problems. The true measure will be honestly positive reviews in the early days and the reviews after the first 6 months.
Very true - staying here within the first six months is a huge risk to take, particularly if you are paying cash.

That being said, the transfer experience does seem incredibly underwhelming and it wouldn't be a surprise if the resort will be rated a star below it's 'true rating' on Tripadvisor because of (edit: sp) this alone, unless they re-think it.

Last edited by Kilian Zoll; Aug 15, 19 at 10:04 pm
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Old Aug 15, 19, 9:26 pm
  #1963  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,359
Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
To be fair, anyone who visits a brand new luxury resort within a few months of opening is begging for teething issues and problems.
Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
particularly if you are paying cash.
+1

Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
That being said, the transfer experience does seem incredibly underwhelming and it wouldn't be a surprise if the resort will be rated a star below it's 'true rating' on Tripadvisor because if this alone, unless they re-think it.
You mean "because of this alone".
I think it could well result in 2 points less a lot of the time. One point off for the transfer and, if they encounter service or other issues, another point.
Kind of unbelievable about the room card though. Why didn't they just replace the lock and fix it later? Engineering could've gone there, tested it (as you would expect them to do) then replaced it within 15min while the guests were out.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 10:04 pm
  #1964  
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
To be fair, anyone who visits a brand new luxury resort within a few months of opening is begging for teething issues and problems. The true measure will be honestly positive reviews in the early days and the reviews after the first 6 months.
We went there expecting some minor flaws issues but believe it or not, we had an excellent stay. My wife and I had a chat the other day just to reflect about our visit and we still conclude that our stay was overwhelmingly positive. There are some minor things they can improve on eg. better afternoon tea offering, better offering on the yacht. We might write a hotel review down the track but don't know when as I am a serious procrastinator.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 10:05 pm
  #1965  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
+1
You mean "because of this alone".
Yes, I have edited the typo in my previous post.
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