Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Last edit by: MaldivesFreak
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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
This lamb to the slaughter approach will force a couple to cough up an extra $3176.63, or a family of 4 (2 adults & 2 kids) $3915.83, if you want to celebrate Xmas and New Years here



The following section contains some mockery, necessary corporate-greed-bashing and warnings all rolled into one. Be prepared to be shocked and fleeced, all at the same time.....

The 'Price-Gouging, Dirty Trick & Sneaky-Sneaky' 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:
• 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)
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Old Feb 12, 19, 1:00 pm
  #361  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: El Gouna , Hurghada (HRG)
Programs: IHG:Spire Amb QR:Gold HH:Diamond
Posts: 357
Originally Posted by james0499 View Post
I contacted the hotel to confirm the yacht price and received this reply... (key point in bold!)

Dear James,
Greetings from Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, an escape for unforgettable experiences.
Thank you for your interest shown in staying with us and indeed it will be a pleasure to have you on our beautiful island.
We are in the process of finalizing our property specific Diamond member benefits and I will be happy to share as soon as our team finalizes them.
With regards to our transfer, it is a Luxury Yacht transfer which is charged at US$350+23.2% Tax and service charge per person per way.
We thank you for your patience during this preopening stage and do let me know if you require any further assistance.
Kind regards


This conflicts to what confirmations are saying. Seems ridiculously excessive....
Well I will be holding them to what is stated on my confirmation and that is $370++ Return which to an English speaking Brit is Round Trip and could not in any way be misread as one way ! If its wrong on the confirmation its their fault simple as !
crombiestone is offline  
Old Feb 12, 19, 1:12 pm
  #362  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 631
Originally Posted by crombiestone View Post
Well I will be holding them to what is stated on my confirmation and that is $370++ Return which to an English speaking Brit is Round Trip and could not in any way be misread as one way ! If its wrong on the confirmation its their fault simple as !
Thats terrible, one confirmation conflicts with another. I'm thinking its Definetly PP each way now so expensive but that's what this resort is in the first place.
Tilly71 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 19, 1:22 pm
  #363  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: El Gouna , Hurghada (HRG)
Programs: IHG:Spire Amb QR:Gold HH:Diamond
Posts: 357
Originally Posted by Tilly71 View Post
Thats terrible, one confirmation conflicts with another. I'm thinking its Definetly PP each way now so expensive but that's what this resort is in the first place.
Why would you think a E Mail response from an employee takes precedent over a confirmation E Mail which to me has conditions of contract in it ? I'm more inclined to believe the confirmation which is now being sent out to many customers . I'm sure it will be clarified soon but for those of us with confirmations of $370++ return , this is what we should pay .
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Old Feb 12, 19, 1:33 pm
  #364  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 733
Originally Posted by crombiestone View Post
Well I will be holding them to what is stated on my confirmation and that is $370++ Return which to an English speaking Brit is Round Trip and could not in any way be misread as one way ! If its wrong on the confirmation its their fault simple as !
Agreed. They may mean for it to say each way. But it does not. I don't happen to need round-trip, but assume 99% of people do. Why would you quote as one way?

Here is the Conrad website info: "Return transfer from Malι: $526 per adult, $263 per child under 12 Prices subject to 12% T-GST". Correct me if I am wrong, but $526 is round trip is it not?

I have printed my reservation, just in case. I presume they will update this in the near future.

TD
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Old Feb 12, 19, 1:40 pm
  #365  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by james0499 View Post
I contacted the hotel to confirm the yacht price and received this reply... (key point in bold!)

Dear James,
Greetings from Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, an escape for unforgettable experiences.
Thank you for your interest shown in staying with us and indeed it will be a pleasure to have you on our beautiful island.
We are in the process of finalizing our property specific Diamond member benefits and I will be happy to share as soon as our team finalizes them.
With regards to our transfer, it is a Luxury Yacht transfer which is charged at US$350+23.2% Tax and service charge per person per way.
We thank you for your patience during this preopening stage and do let me know if you require any further assistance.
Kind regards


This conflicts to what confirmations are saying. Seems ridiculously excessive....
Due to the contradictory statements, the question is which one is the mistake. Is he wrong or is the website supposed to say something else?
NightFury1 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 19, 1:41 pm
  #366  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: MAN and LON
Programs: Mucci, BAEC LT Gold, HH Dia, MR LT Plat, IC RA, Kimpton Inner Circle, Amex Plat
Posts: 13,716
How can they charge more than the seaplane for a shorter boat transfer?

is it not possible to charter your own boat or helicopter?
Land-of-Miles is offline  
Old Feb 12, 19, 1:47 pm
  #367  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: El Gouna , Hurghada (HRG)
Programs: IHG:Spire Amb QR:Gold HH:Diamond
Posts: 357
Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post
Due to the contradictory statements, the question is which one is the mistake. Is he wrong or is the website supposed to say something else?
Its not the website . Its the booking confirmation . I'm not legally savvy but that's a contract isn't it ?
crombiestone is offline  
Old Feb 12, 19, 1:52 pm
  #368  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 733
Originally Posted by crombiestone View Post
Its not the website . Its the booking confirmation . I'm not legally savvy but that's a contract isn't it ?
Yes.

I can send you an email telling you your trip is free.That will not hold up. But an email directly from the reservation system would.

TD
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Old Feb 12, 19, 2:21 pm
  #369  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hell on Earth
Posts: 3,408
Helicopter?! That would be a first, LOL! I think it's disgusting that they are trying to gouge everyone for this. Absolutely ridiculous. If you want to pee half of your guests off even before they've gotten to your property then that's one way to go about it! Shame on you, management!


Originally Posted by crombiestone View Post
Well I will be holding them to what is stated on my confirmation and that is $370++ Return
And so you should!
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MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Feb 12, 19, 2:51 pm
  #370  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: Hilton Diamond
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post
Due to the contradictory statements, the question is which one is the mistake. Is he wrong or is the website supposed to say something else?
I agree! I’ve emailed again for absolute clarity but to be honest I’m going to book quickly to get the confirmation email before they realise their contradiction. I agree with others on here... the confirmation email is what I will take as true and what I will brandish if they disagree! I will argue the point so much they’ll pay for me to leave via said yacht for free lol
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:12 pm
  #371  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Programs: Delta DM, Marriott PPE with Ambassador, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 146
Yacht transfer cost confirmed $350 + 23.2% per way per person
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:20 pm
  #372  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by brandonpkt View Post
Yacht transfer cost confirmed $350 + 23.2% per way per person
And now it's even a different number!!! What's going on!!!!
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:24 pm
  #373  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: MEL
Programs: QF OWE, HH D, HGP D, Starriott Plat, AA/LM/SQ/VA/QF/AS/BA
Posts: 240
Where are you all seeing the transfer prices in this ‘contract’? I received the usual Hilton confirmation email which does not contain any transfer prices. Is it a separate email they send you?
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:31 pm
  #374  
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Posts: 13,716
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Helicopter?! That would be a first, LOL! I think it's disgusting that they are trying to gouge everyone for this. Absolutely ridiculous. If you want to pee half of your guests off even before they've gotten to your property then that's one way to go about it! Shame on you, management!



And so you should!
I am not sure it is gouging but the total costs put an average helicopter charter (for the distance) in play. Unlike sea planes which are harder to charter boats are readily available.

the average Maldives guest would be used to paying this for further flung islands through but the beauty of proximity to MLE is potentially freedom to arrange your own transfer.

I would be happy with the prices quoted though for a totally private transfer with booze.
Land-of-Miles is offline  
Old Feb 12, 19, 3:40 pm
  #375  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 632
I received an email from the reservation manager that has the same language - Our yacht transfer is a 30 minute ride from Velana International airport which can be arranges 24/7 according to the guest international flight arrival time. Transfer fee is at US$350+23.2% Tax and service charge per person per way.

Thanks but no thanks. I'm not spending $2K on a f****** 1 hour ride and cancelling my 3 night stay
Stivelio is offline  

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