Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Welcome to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Wiki!
Notes: All prices are in US Dollars and are exclusive of taxes unless specified (by ++)

EXTRA CHARGES 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 20, 19, 11:51 am
  #2026  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Programs: HH Diamond, DL PM, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 745
Originally Posted by beefninja View Post
Yes, that is all correct. Originally, Beach Villa was the cheapest room and the points option. Now, it is the most expensive of the (non-2BR) rooms, but is still the points option.

Definitely will not be paying to upgrade. Am mostly trying to determine if I'm missing something, so that I can confirm my "downgrade" to a OWV before the resort changes its mind again.
Wow, this is definitely bizarre. I had booked a king beach villa on points and agreed to a $200++ upgrade to a king grand beach villa, which I am now booked in. Now, it looks like king grand beach is the most expensive room type during my stay, and that every other category (sans 2-br) as you said is less expensive. Good upgrade value I guess?
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Old Aug 20, 19, 12:05 pm
  #2027  
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by Michael19887 View Post
Wow, this is definitely bizarre. I had booked a king beach villa on points and agreed to a $200++ upgrade to a king grand beach villa, which I am now booked in. Now, it looks like king grand beach is the most expensive room type during my stay, and that every other category (sans 2-br) as you said is less expensive. Good upgrade value I guess?
The upgrade from BV to grand BV, from RV to grand RV, and from OWV to grand OWV is $200 for all of them in 2019 if I am not mistaken. Now based on the 2020 pricing, the upgrade to "Grand" regardless of which type (BV, RV, OWV) seems to be a whopping $1600. So to answer your question, possibly yes good value for Grand at $200.

The value of "Grand" is another head scratcher. I can see them revisiting the add-on but from $200 to $1600...
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Old Aug 20, 19, 1:40 pm
  #2028  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Originally Posted by pointsmanager View Post
When I saw your post I decided to email them (my stay is in February). This is what they answered:
"Please be informed that for next year we have changed our villa category. Kindly note that the Reef Villa will be our based category next will be the Overwater Villa and the Beach Villa.
Basically the Beach Villa will be a higher category compared to reef Villa and Overwater Villa. If you need any further assistance please do let us know."
I can't see any reason they are doing this, why they structure their prices in such a manner? Anyone that stayed in the OWV or RV saw any downside to stay there?
I can only guess a supply/demand issue and/or competing with the other hotels. To the later, Conrad BB offers a full OW option with points. They may just be trying/needing to provide a similar offering. It could also be they are finding people are going beach and full OW and that the Reef is the red headed step-child in the mix.

I know many would feel the beach is the "downgrade" option. But the reality is that option is the one they have the fewest rooms available. So families not wanting to sign a waiver to stay in an OW or Reef may feel a need to stay in the beach. Others may just like it more. So by making the Reef the points "free" option they can get a little more $$$ to "upgrade" you to the beach. Their logic of supply/demand may be a little off however, given that currently the beach room is the cheap option. Once they start charging a premium for the BV my guess is the demand with settle down.

We stayed in the Grand Beach and Grand Reef. We wanted to try both options. We were happy we did. It was a nice balance to walk out the back and take a stroll down the beach. Then nice to jump off our deck for a little snorkeling.

To answer your question, not sure there is any benefit (other than to say you did it) paying for the full OW. Once you are past the gates for your suite (Reef and OW) you can not tell the difference. The OW are also the farthest away from everything. May be a plus for some. But even a room close to the "action" is very secluded and quiet once inside. I am sure they will still be able to command a higher price for the OW, just because it is what people come to experience. But I would place it 3rd on where I would pick on our return. Even if the prices were the same for the OW vs RV I would pick the RV every time...but I have done the OW thing a few times so YMMV.
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Last edited by Traveler Dave; Aug 20, 19 at 2:02 pm
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Old Aug 20, 19, 1:43 pm
  #2029  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post
I can only guess a supply/demand issue and/or competing with the other hotels. To the later, Conrad BB offers a full OW option with points. They may just be trying/needing to provide a similar offering. It could also be they are finding people are going beach and full OW and that the Reef is the red headed step-child in the mix.

I know many would feel the beach is the "downgrade" option. But the reality is that option is the one they have the fewest rooms available. So families not wanting to sign a waiver to stay in an OW or Reef may feel a need to stay in the beach. Others may just like it more. So by making the Reef the points "free" option they can get a little more $$$ to "upgrade" you to the beach. There logic of supply/demand may be a little off however, given that currently the beach room is the cheap option. Once they start charging a premium my guess if the demand with settle down.

We stayed in the Grand Beach and Grand Reef. We wanted to try both options. We were happy we did. To answer your question, not sure there is any benefit (other than to say you did it) paying for the full OW. Once you are past the gates for your suite (Reef and OW) you can not tell the difference.
If you had a choice between a BV and the OWV (based on what you think it might be like from your experience in the RV), what would you pick?
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Old Aug 20, 19, 2:02 pm
  #2030  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 97
Whoever is managing the hotel prices should get fired. I get that most people probably pay 1/2 the online price via a travel agent, but the price of reef villa during my stay in early April is 4000$. From a consumer perspective actually wanting to book this hotel without a travel agent, these rates would be laughable. Also, 1/2 of the people who stay here probably stay for free, cause their Instagram shows them going to 4-6 different resorts Well good for us points people cause the resort gonna be abandoned next year unless WA compts these travel "advisors" free stays. For example, look at the Westin on Instagram, it looks like they give free stays to relatively famous people (500,000 followers+) while at WA most only have like (1000-5000) maybe one or two over (500,000).
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Old Aug 20, 19, 2:10 pm
  #2031  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
The value of "Grand" is another head scratcher. I can see them revisiting the add-on but from $200 to $1600...
For $200++ to upgrade from the standard to grand was a no-brainer for us. Especially with our 10 year old. It gave her space and more importantly us space. If we ever went back without her I would pocket the $200++. No need to upgrade to the grand if there are just two people. But if they really think they can get $1600++ for a grand upgrade they are smokin' some really good stuff. You could get an extra room (on points purchased) for less than that.

TD
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Old Aug 20, 19, 2:29 pm
  #2032  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Originally Posted by beefninja View Post
If you had a choice between a BV and the OWV (based on what you think it might be like from your experience in the RV), what would you pick?
For me, I would go with the OWV over the BV...if they are priced the same. I like laying in bed looking out at the water. Or being able to jump in to the water right off the room. I know people have complained that the BV rooms don't have enough foliage between the rooms (ours did), but I feel there is way too much foliage in front of the suite. I came to the Maldives to enjoy the ocean, not look at a hedge. I get it provides privacy, but I would rather see the ocean and close the blinds at night.

TD


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Old Aug 20, 19, 4:25 pm
  #2033  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Question...is it "Maldives" or "the Maldives"?

I came to the Maldives to enjoy the ocean
or
I came to Maldives to enjoy the ocean

TD
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Old Aug 20, 19, 5:15 pm
  #2034  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 667

The Republic of Maldives.
So "Maldives."
apparently i'm wrong thinking it was The Maldives.

Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post
Question...is it "Maldives" or "the Maldives"?

I came to the Maldives to enjoy the ocean
or
I came to Maldives to enjoy the ocean

TD
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Old Aug 20, 19, 5:15 pm
  #2035  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
They must be tinkering with the website again regarding cash rates and points bookings. As others have stated the pricing make no logical sense. I have to assume they will update it soon. Currently for 8/20/20 the cheapest room is the King Reef @ $1600++, but has "Book with Hilton Honors Points Call 1-800-WALDORF" which traditionally means that this is a premium room commanding more than the 120K base room stay. The first, and only, room bookable for 120K is the King Beach with the cash rate of $2300++. The Double Queen Beach is not even showing a points rate plan option. Where every other plan/room style does.

I'd say Hilton may want to find another web page guy.

TD
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Old Aug 20, 19, 6:59 pm
  #2036  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Rewards booking

Is the system broke again?
I can’t change nor cancel my rewards booking, but cash booking works.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 7:12 pm
  #2037  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Originally Posted by alice50734 View Post
Is the system broke again?
I can’t change nor cancel my rewards booking, but cash booking works.
Looks like it is site wide...I get the following when looking at my Conrad BB reservations....

Your reservation summary is below. For assistance or questions about this reservation, please call Customer Care at +1-855-271-3617 or visit Customer Care.

From the app it shows I can’t cancel my points reservations because the date to cancel had passed...the reservation is for July next year....Great work Hilton I.T.!

TD
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Old Aug 20, 19, 8:30 pm
  #2038  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


Looks like it is site wide...I get the following when looking at my Conrad BB reservations....

Your reservation summary is below. For assistance or questions about this reservation, please call Customer Care at +1-855-271-3617 or visit Customer Care.

From the app it shows I can’t cancel my points reservations because the date to cancel had passed...the reservation is for July next year....Great work Hilton I.T.!

TD
It showed that I booked five nights king beach villa with 0 points. LOL
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Old Aug 20, 19, 8:59 pm
  #2039  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 97

Price for my dates. LOL. WA ithaafushi is drunk
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Old Aug 20, 19, 11:03 pm
  #2040  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post

Price for my dates. LOL. WA ithaafushi is drunk
Well that makes the boat transfer seem far less expensive, by comparison. Nice wag the dog work Hilton. Maybe they will announce a desire to buy Greenland next week.

TD
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