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 Sep 13, 19, 9:09 am
  #2341  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by captainamerica View Post
Has anyone posted reviews of the BV, RWV, and OWV? I'm debating how to split my 10 night stay in 2020. I cant find any in depth reviews on the rooms.
We loved BV over the RWV. I would still split my time next time around but hanging out on the beach in shade is more fun than hanging out on hammocks on top of water in RWV.
whacky is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 7:11 am
  #2342  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,185
I'm trying to decide between the Conrad and WA for a week. The primary purpose of my trip is to SCUBA dive, and was wondering if there are any opinions out there. I checked availability, and would likely stay at the Conrad on a paid rate for five nights and use two free weekend night certificates. However, as the WA is significantly more pricey, I would stay on points and the free weekend certificates. I have never been to the Maldives, so I'm sure that either property would be amazing. I just didn't see much information posted about the diving.
TTT103 is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 8:37 pm
  #2343  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
Im here now!!!
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Prezlife is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 9:24 pm
  #2344  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,632
Originally Posted by Prezlife View Post
Im here now!!!
And? Don't hold back, tell us more! (with photos pref)
Prezlife likes this.
iluvdoco is online now  
Old Sep 15, 19, 10:58 pm
  #2345  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
Service here is amazing. Very attentive staff. Cannot guage the capacity level at this moment but would say about 20%. A few issues with the villa (Grand Reef)...mostly relating to privacy.
Prezlife is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 11:03 pm
  #2346  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
I will...just have to get my five post in so I can post pics lol
Prezlife is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 11:08 pm
  #2347  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
Nice. I can definitely echo the exceptional service you described here.
Prezlife is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 11:10 pm
  #2348  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
Currently at the resort for my honeymoon. Staying in the Grand Reef Villa. If anyone is around or coming soon, let me know so we can meet for happy hour or if you have any questions about the report I can help out.





Prezlife is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 11:51 pm
  #2349  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,359
What exactly are the privacy issues you're experiencing?
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Sep 16, 19, 12:09 am
  #2350  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,359
Originally Posted by TTT103 View Post
I'm trying to decide between the Conrad and WA for a week. The primary purpose of my trip is to SCUBA dive, and was wondering if there are any opinions out there. I checked availability, and would likely stay at the Conrad on a paid rate for five nights and use two free weekend night certificates. However, as the WA is significantly more pricey, I would stay on points and the free weekend certificates. I have never been to the Maldives, so I'm sure that either property would be amazing. I just didn't see much information posted about the diving.
For this kind of information I would suggest emailing the dive centres at both resorts and asking for their opinions. They should know the state of affairs at the dive sites around each property and could advise you accordingly.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Sep 16, 19, 3:37 am
  #2351  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: BHX
Programs: BA GGL CCR, Marriott Ti, HH Diamond, Cafe Nero Loyalty Card
Posts: 6,386
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
For this kind of information I would suggest emailing the dive centres at both resorts and asking for their opinions. They should know the state of affairs at the dive sites around each property and could advise you accordingly.
This guy posted a video of a complete walkthrough of CMRI. It's a long watch, but from 17:15 to about 22:00 he shows the dive boat and diving. Then watch from about 30:30 where he shows you the dive school and how they put out all the following day's dive sites, etc.

Video could use some clipping and editing, but I found it useful to get a good idea of what Rangali looks like.

Wozza2404 is offline  
Old Sep 16, 19, 3:53 am
  #2352  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by Prezlife View Post
If anyone is around or coming soon, let me know so we can meet for happy hour or if you have any questions about the report I can help out.
Just clarifying, is it one tier per person for the afternoon snacks at Peacock Alley? I've always assumed that to be the case, because usually the tiers come with two portions per item - here there is only one portion. It would seem rather ridiculous and comical to be cutting each tiny item in half to share.
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flyerchatter is offline  
Old Sep 16, 19, 5:55 am
  #2353  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,185
MaldivesFreak and Wozza: Thank you for taking the time to respond. The video was definitely helpful, and I will also email both properties to obtain more information.

After reviewing the video, the dive operation at the Conrad looks truly amazing. They really seem to deliver a seamless experience above the water.

Last edited by TTT103; Sep 16, 19 at 6:01 am
TTT103 is offline  
Old Sep 16, 19, 7:26 am
  #2354  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,907
Originally Posted by Prezlife View Post
Service here is amazing. Very attentive staff. Cannot guage the capacity level at this moment but would say about 20%. A few issues with the villa (Grand Reef)...mostly relating to privacy.
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
What exactly are the privacy issues you're experiencing?
I'm curious about this too, I thought the reef villas had walls so that neighbors couldn't see each other's decks.
jphripjah is offline  
Old Sep 16, 19, 9:51 am
  #2355  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,359
Maybe it was someone peeping in from the sandbar in front of the villa.
MaldivesFreak is offline  

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