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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Old Jan 2, 19, 4:02 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: libuser
:-: 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)
16% T-GST (Tourist Goods & Services Tax, levied by the Maldivian government, current as of Jan 1, 2023). Old 2022 rate was 12%.
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. New total tax for 2023 is 27.6%.
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. (some days cancellation period is 14 days check your reservation details for the exact applicable cancellation policy)
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
This hotel is extremely popular. Rooms are released to be booked with points about 1 year in advance. It seems to be a partially manual process so it's not an exact science. After being released those rooms get booked within a matter of minutes. If you have specific dates you want you need to book them one at a time a year in advance, or risk booking last minute. Yes that makes it hard to use the 5th night free. You can book 5 individual nights and cancel them all to rebook getting the 5th night free, but there's only about a 50% chance the rooms go back into inventory so it's risky. There is no secret, just check Hilton.com all the time. If you don't want to do that, someone else will and they'll get the rooms.

Transfers To and From Resort
Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi is located in South Mal Atoll, 23km southwest of Mal and Velana International Airport [MLE] (also known as Mal 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 2021 is $650++, 2020 is $600++ per person, and 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.
Pricing for 2022 will increase to $730++ for adults and $365++ children 6-12, see website by clicking here.
Pricing for 2023 will increase to $780++ for adults and $390++ for children 6-12
The resort offers the ability to redeem Hilton Honors points for your transfer, .strValue1=all&promoGroupList[1].strValue1=en_US&qt[0].type=fieldsearch&qt[0].name=panname_country_s&qt[0].value1=MDV&rc=24&sort=timeleft_asc]click here.
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.

Time
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi time has been set one hour ahead of Male time to give an extra hour of daylight each day. For ease, set phone or Dhaka Sri Lanka time zone.

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
Kids under 6 eat free when ordering from the dedicated kids menu (all restaurants except the adult only ones have kids menu; does not apply to in-room dining)
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. Note The afternoon delights have been removed and replaced with a bowl of nuts or crisps for example
  • 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
  • Free item from the kids menu for kids under 6 y.o. (staff are somewhat flexible on this age limit)
  • In-villa VIP welcome Champagne, sweet and savoury amenities, note this could be downgraded to a bottle of red wine.
  • [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. Note : The afternoon delights have been removed and replaced with a bowl of nuts or crisps for example
  • 50% special offer on selected beverages at Nava Beach Club from 22:00 to 23:30 (January 2021: Currently at Peacock Alley as Nava closes at 7pm due to Covid-19 service changes)

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
Click here for hilton site and click here for Waldorf Maldives website

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 Jermyn
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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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Old Jan 1, 23, 6:40 pm
  #3106  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 64
I'm sure every serious diver knows this by now but you're really doing yourself a huge disservice by not buying your own gear and traveling with it.. Having your own jacket (I personally use a backplate & wing), wetsuit, reg, booties and fins makes all the difference once you're use to your own gear. Even if you only go on 2-3 dive locations a year.
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Old Jan 1, 23, 8:13 pm
  #3107  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,118
Originally Posted by Alfonso904 View Post
I'm sure every serious diver knows this by now but you're really doing yourself a huge disservice by not buying your own gear and traveling with it.. Having your own jacket (I personally use a backplate & wing), wetsuit, reg, booties and fins makes all the difference once you're use to your own gear. Even if you only go on 2-3 dive locations a year.
Id agree with this for nearly everywhere. The only exception would be the Maldives where seaplane weight limits (not a WA thing of course) and the excellent quality of the gear means its simple to just jump into their gear.

Ive had some regs in Fiji etc try to kill me.
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Old Jan 1, 23, 8:19 pm
  #3108  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 64
Originally Posted by Cynicor View Post
I’d agree with this for nearly everywhere. The only exception would be the Maldives where seaplane weight limits (not a WA thing of course) and the excellent quality of the gear means it’s simple to just jump into their gear.

I’ve had some regs in Fiji etc try to kill me.

Yup, I have to plan my weight with my scuba gear for the girlfriend and I. Both of our gear combined combined is about 47lbs but that is absolutely everything and a few misc scuba things. I also have a steel backplate that adds about 6lbs so most setups would be lighter.

I would trust the rental gear for quality and reliability at any top notch resort like the Waldorf but it's more of just being proficient as well as comfortable in your gear from sheer number of dive reps. I can't even begin to tell you how many reef kickers I've seen who aren't use to their rental gear and end up burning through air because they aren't comfortable. Whether their BCD is off, the fins are half a size too small or the wetsuit is too tight somewhere..
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Old Jan 2, 23, 2:19 pm
  #3109  
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 9
Has anyone used points for the private dinner? Wondering if it was worth it.
so.fly is offline  
Old Jan 4, 23, 4:59 am
  #3110  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Glasgow / London
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 3,435
Originally Posted by so.fly View Post
Has anyone used points for the private dinner? Wondering if it was worth it.
Yes! I bought the beach dining package before we flew out last year and absolutely loved it. It was definitely worth the points we spent, in comparison to how much the cash price was.
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Filthy Monkey is offline  
Old Jan 4, 23, 5:01 am
  #3111  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 157
Originally Posted by Filthy Monkey View Post
Yes! I bought the beach dining package before we flew out last year and absolutely loved it. It was definitely worth the points we spent, in comparison to how much the cash price was.
How much was it in points vs cash? Thanks
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Old Jan 4, 23, 5:02 am
  #3112  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Glasgow / London
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 3,435
Originally Posted by Cynicor View Post
is that whale shark or some other excursion.
os there a link to their excursion list or has anyone got a timetable?

(havent checked the wiki yet, will look now)
Shark snorkelling, with nurse sharks. It's not just a couple of sharks. You're literally surrounded by them. It's an amazing experience.
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Old Jan 4, 23, 5:40 am
  #3113  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Glasgow / London
Programs: BA GGL
Posts: 3,435
Originally Posted by Fly613 View Post
How much was it in points vs cash? Thanks
From memory, it was around 150,000 points vs, I think, $1,000++ cash.
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Filthy Monkey is offline  
Old Jan 5, 23, 1:28 pm
  #3114  
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 43
Hey all,

Finally chalked up over 600k points and looking to go for 5 for 4 booking at some point in the new year, been practicing throughout this year looking for availability and found a block 3-4 times so hoping I can do it again.

Myself and the other half were considering staying a few more nights on a cash rate (potentially one on either end) - the question is: is there a way to optimise the timing/value of this either with impresario rates or included yacht transfer etc.?

Apologies if this has been discussed, been reading through the thread but haven't seen anything.

Cheers
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Old Jan 5, 23, 11:35 pm
  #3115  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,118
Just checking again, anyone there any of the dates 3rd to 8th March who has 2 Queens and prefers a King?

Wed like a swap, so it might be possible or arrange via the resort if you would prefer a 1xking and could only get 2x Queen.

Even if you dont have all the dates I think the resort might be able to work with it
Cynicor is offline  
Old Jan 5, 23, 11:56 pm
  #3116  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SIN
Programs: KF, MPC, BAEC // Bonvoy, WoH, Honors
Posts: 1,339
Originally Posted by Cynicor View Post
Just checking again, anyone there any of the dates 3rd to 8th March who has 2 Queens and prefers a King?

We’d like a swap, so it might be possible or arrange via the resort if you would prefer a 1xking and could only get 2x Queen.

Even if you don’t have all the dates I think the resort might be able to work with it
I have the same request but for next week, 10-16 January. Anyone with 2x Queens looking to swap to a King on these dates? We prefer 2x Queens.
Kilian Zoll is offline  
Old Jan 6, 23, 8:53 pm
  #3117  
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 9
Do you guys tip at breakfast? Cash? Or can you add it to the final bill?
so.fly is offline  
Old Jan 6, 23, 11:41 pm
  #3118  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,118
Originally Posted by so.fly View Post
Do you guys tip at breakfast? Cash? Or can you add it to the final bill?
Nope. You could do cash if you really desired.
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Old Jan 7, 23, 5:43 am
  #3119  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: SIN
Programs: KF, MPC, BAEC // Bonvoy, WoH, Honors
Posts: 1,339
Looks very windy in the Maldives at the moment. How's the boat ride from Male in these conditions?
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Old Jan 7, 23, 6:05 am
  #3120  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Programs: BA Silver, EY Gold, HH Diamond, IHG Plat
Posts: 12,040
Its quite a big boat so we faced no issues even though it was very choppy that day.
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