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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Oct 6, 20, 12:44 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: joecool1885
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
• Menus for most restaurants as of early October 2020: See this post
• 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 Jan 5, 20, 3:04 pm
  #2371  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by Bellerin View Post
brandonpkt and persoid interested to hear your thoughts on option available to us. Looking at booking early 2021 on points (gold member) and could do 7 nights at WA or 9 nights at CRM...we are with two kids also - 7yrs and 9yrs. I read your comments of past couple of weeks (thanks very nuch for those!) and given that room refurb at CRM would be completed by then, would you go for the extra nights option and stick with CRM? Or 7 nights at WA enough? We are first time visitors to Maldives... Thanks and apologies for multiple posts, just joined and getting up to speed with the site!
In my view, your decision should come down to what you're after. If I had to give my opinion to someone, I would say:

If you're after a pure luxurious experience, definitely choose the WA. It is pure luxury hands down, and I obviously agree with @brandonkpt, and many others on this point. If you're after dining experiences and daily spending is not too much of an issue, again choose the WA. That's not to say the Conrad is not luxurious. Without wanting to offend anyone, I would like to offer my opinion that the reason this discussion of a significant drop in level of service at Conrad is happening now is because there's yet an added option available to the Hilton community of travelers. And that option is the WA. If the Conrad was still the "sole" top property in the Hilton portfolio, I'm sure folks would be more forgiving and planning to return to the Conrad, as they've done for years (80% of visitors at the Conrad are repeat guests). Again, that's my opinion.

Now, if you want to be dazzled by natural beauty, as did this entire community for years, and kept going back year after year, choose the Conrad. Believe me when I say that the water and its colors are more beautiful at the Conrad. But with the caveat that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. If you enjoy snorkeling, again choose the Conrad.

My personal experience was that the level of service had not dropped at the Conrad. I may even say that it was even slightly better in 2019 than in 2018. Yes, they lost the tea hour, but I personally did not miss it. There was plenty of alcohol to go around, and a good time was had every afternoon during the happy hour.

With the Conrad, you'd still be choosing one of the best, if not the best Hilton property in the world (I've been to Conrad Bora Bora, Conrad Koh Samui and WA, and still think the views at the CM are unmatched).

Depending on how far you're traveling to get to the Maldives, you'll want to choose whether to stay 7 nights or 9 nights, but even if you were to pick the WA, I think 7 days should be sufficient to experience the Maldives. Your decision could also be based on how likely you are to return to the Maldives to either of the two properties. If you were to return, I'd start with the Conrad this time for 9 nights. You would not go wrong with any of the two choices in my opinion.

Those are my two cents. Good luck!
persoid is offline  
Old Jan 5, 20, 3:14 pm
  #2372  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by Jamal06 View Post
Are you factoring the 5th night free benefit when using points to calculate the number of nights you can stay at each property?
Jamal06 makes an important point here. Make sure to maximize for the 5th night free. You may be able to get 5 nights at each property depending on how you structure the booking. And given that you've got gold status, you should be eligible. If you've already thought of this, please disregard.

Staying 7 nights at WA
7*120 = 840k points
total: 840k points

Staying 9 nights at Conrad
9 x 95k = 855k points
total: 855k points

vs Staying 5 nights at each of both properties
4 x 120k = 480k points + fifth night free
4 * 95k = 380k points + fifth night free
total: 860k points
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persoid is offline  
Old Jan 5, 20, 10:14 pm
  #2373  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 14
Originally Posted by m0s1n0 View Post
Thanks for all the great info in this thread! Does anybody who's been at the WA lately tell me anything about the tennis court? Is it fully operational already? Is there a charge to use it and/or a charge for the equipment? I'm looking forward to my stay in March and tennis is always a big thing for my wife and me during vacation! Thanks a lot

Obviously a gaudy picture because I’m in it...we were there early November and it was good to go...I did not inquire about fees or anything. I was waiting for Serena Williams to show up but she never did.
iluvdoco likes this.
Falcons05 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 1:23 am
  #2374  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Malta
Programs: HH Gold member
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by persoid View Post
Jamal06 makes an important point here. Make sure to maximize for the 5th night free. You may be able to get 5 nights at each property depending on how you structure the booking. And given that you've got gold status, you should be eligible. If you've already thought of this, please disregard.

Staying 7 nights at WA
7*120 = 840k points
total: 840k points

Staying 9 nights at Conrad
9 x 95k = 855k points
total: 855k points

vs Staying 5 nights at each of both properties
4 x 120k = 480k points + fifth night free
4 * 95k = 380k points + fifth night free
total: 860k points

Ahhhhh, I hadn't thought of that or factored it in. Thanks very much persoid and Jamal06 !!!
Bellerin is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 2:05 am
  #2375  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Programs: HHonors Diamond; Royal Ambassor
Posts: 177
Originally Posted by setho212 View Post
Whether its worth it or not, $650 is way out of my budget for one tour. Does the hotel permit outside tour vendors to pick up at the hotel? If so, are there less expensive options for snorkeling with whale sharks.
No outside vendors allowed, the reason, why the trip from WA is so expensive, is becausethere are no whale sharks in this area, depending on water conditions it will take about 2hours by speed boat to go to south ari atoll, whereas from conrad or Lux it will only take a few minutes
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mb123 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 4:58 am
  #2376  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by Bellerin View Post
Ahhhhh, I hadn't thought of that or factored it in. Thanks very much persoid and Jamal06 !!!
But then you have an additional transfer charge though. I bet you could pull off two separate 5-night bookings at the CRM if the goal is to maximize points and not incur extra hard costs.

Edit: Or am I totally reading this wrong? Just re-read and got confused at the goal.
cnote2254 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 5:56 am
  #2377  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 54
Originally Posted by cnote2254 View Post
But then you have an additional transfer charge though. I bet you could pull off two separate 5-night bookings at the CRM if the goal is to maximize points and not incur extra hard costs.

Edit: Or am I totally reading this wrong? Just re-read and got confused at the goal.
If you have Silver or better status at Hilton, you can redeem points for a 5 night for the cost of 4 nights. You can do this is in any multiple of 5 consecutive nights at the same property. Booking 5 nights will cost you 4 nights of points and 10 nights will cost you 8 nights of points, etc. There is no good reason to book 9 nights of points stay at one property, since it costs the same as 10 nights. Even if your schedule only allows a 9 night stay, you can use the 10th night booking to guarantee yourself either early or late check-in/out.

10 nights here is 960K points. 10 nights at conrad maldives is 760k points.
persoid likes this.
Jamal06 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 7:06 am
  #2378  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 4
King Reef vs King Overwater

What exactly is the difference between King Reef and King Overwater villas? I can't really tell the difference from the images on the website. They both look to be Overwater and look very similar.
Carlos Adrian Cueto is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 7:42 am
  #2379  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,814
Originally Posted by samuelo View Post
Today my butler informed me that I forgot to sign at the end of the night yesterday. Told him that I didn’t realise it was necessary since the dinner was compulsory. Turns out they needed my signature for the bottle of still and sparkling water that we had.....
That's disgusting!

Originally Posted by samuelo View Post
Even by the standards of the Maldives an U$800/pp dinner that does not even include complimentary water or drinks is a complete rip-off. The food was good but it seemed the pricing was based on we have a captive audience so let’s fleece them.
You got it, buddy.
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MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 7:56 am
  #2380  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,814
Originally Posted by Wozza2404 View Post
It's weird. I read the last few pages and think "Oh, they're finally getting the message. Maybe I'll give this place a try after all" and then I see a post like this and I just think "Nope".
+1,000,000. @NightFury1 obviously doesn't understand that their attitude towards ripping off the guests slaughtering of the lambs isn't limited to 1 out of the 365 days of the year.


Originally Posted by persoid View Post
What devaluation and downgrade in service do you speak of? We just returned from our third trip to the CRM and felt the service was once again stellar. Returning again next year, and skipping the WA.
The service at CMRI is indeed as it always has been and it keeps getting better, especially for returning guests.
persoid likes this.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 9:52 am
  #2381  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 3,011
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post

The service at CMRI is indeed as it always has been and it keeps getting better, especially for returning guests.
That's not what I have read on the CMRI thread. I've read numerous reports of FT posters complaining about a decline in service at CMRI. Let's not disregard all the online reports of the decline in service at CMRI while simultaneously crowing about every negative Tripadvisor review of WA Ithaafushi.
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jphripjah is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 11:53 am
  #2382  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 93
Originally Posted by Jamal06 View Post
If you have Silver or better status at Hilton, you can redeem points for a 5 night for the cost of 4 nights. You can do this is in any multiple of 5 consecutive nights at the same property. Booking 5 nights will cost you 4 nights of points and 10 nights will cost you 8 nights of points, etc. There is no good reason to book 9 nights of points stay at one property, since it costs the same as 10 nights. Even if your schedule only allows a 9 night stay, you can use the 10th night booking to guarantee yourself either early or late check-in/out.

10 nights here is 960K points. 10 nights at conrad maldives is 760k points.
I just booked 9 nights at WA Maldives. 5 nights with points and 2 nights with my weekend certs and another 2 nights with my husband's certs.
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joytatee is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 1:57 pm
  #2383  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by joytatee View Post
I just booked 9 nights at WA Maldives. 5 nights with points and 2 nights with my weekend certs and another 2 nights with my husband's certs.
That's the absolute best way to do it, even taking it up one level by doing 3+5+2, if you can secure an extra free weekend night cert.
persoid is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 2:34 pm
  #2384  
was sjmoss23
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: New York City
Programs: UA 1K, CX Dia, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Dia
Posts: 364
Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
The King Ocean Villas has no photos but appears to have the same square footage as the King Overwater Villa with Pool, so I assume they're the same room.
If this is the case then this would be by far the best deal for OWVs in the world as no co-pay would be required for upgrading at such a luxurious property. I might have to book one of these rooms and hope for the best.
dvo1029 is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 2:36 pm
  #2385  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 246
Service at CR only good for certain number of returned guests not to apply to all returned guests .

I do not think I have any chance to stay at WA for my next trip since less and less reward room available as day goes by.

Last edited by vnfilm1; Jan 7, 20 at 3:54 am
vnfilm1 is offline  

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