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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Mar 5, 20, 9:51 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: Corridor!
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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 ++)

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
• 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)




Print Wikipost

Old Jun 12, 19, 11:53 pm
  #436  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
I assume all BV,RV,OWV have identical floor plan. It is just the placement that are different, BV is entirely over land, RV have the entrance on land with the deck over the water, the OWV are completely over water.
Makes sense from a construction and budgetary standpoint. If 90% of rooms are essentially the same design you can save a lot of money and the villas in this resort really look like they've been designed with that in mind.
MaldivesFreak is online now  
Old Jun 13, 19, 12:12 am
  #437  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 808
Grand Beach Villa


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Old Jun 13, 19, 9:39 am
  #438  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 116
From everything so far, the Grand Villas in each category doesn't have any advantages over the normal ones. They all looked scattered. Something that I find weird is the set up of several 2,3 bedroom beach villas. About 4 of them are placed right next to the arrival pier, which is odd because that area is the least private.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 4:18 pm
  #439  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
From everything so far, the Grand Villas in each category doesn't have any advantages over the normal ones. They all looked scattered. Something that I find weird is the set up of several 2,3 bedroom beach villas. About 4 of them are placed right next to the arrival pier, which is odd because that area is the least private.
I suppose the resort could be thinking that people staying in the 2-3 bedroom villas are likely families with kids who may value privacy less than couples on a romantic getaway.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 6:04 am
  #440  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Posts: 187
For those who might be considering a speed boat transfer as an alternative to the $1800 + Waldorf yacht transfer for two.

I received an offer from the website Getmyboat. The fee for a one way transfer is $150 plus $11 service fee for a total of $161.00 USD.
My contact is Musthafa Moosa who provided contact details including a What's app number and e-mail. He has been very responsive to questions and concerns.

I booked a one way from the airport to the resort. I plan to wait to book the return since our trip is not to November. The refund policy allows a 100% refund up to 5 days prior to the trip.
It all comes down to cost vs benefit. Is it worth the extra anxiety of a missed or disrupted transfer after flying for 14 hours for a significant cost savings that could be used for food and activities at the resort? Time and reviews will tell the answer.

Below is some information and a picture of the boat. I was concerned about the "20-24 tourist at a time" comment thinking that the trip was shared but Musthafa stated that the trip was personalized and only for the two of us.

Mr. Moosa stated "As you have requested, The new Waldorf-Astoria trip can be organized by a
gulf speed boat, which will be accommodated 20 - 24 tourist at a time which
will be accompanied by a captain and 2 crews. Each trip will be 1 hour and
the boat will provide a water bottle for each tourist. I will attach the
boat picture which will be used for this trip. Our sea's and weather are
normal all round year and our speed boats are maintained weekly for any
emergency situation".
Zol, htran88 and Traveler Dave like this.

Last edited by Moflav; Jun 14, 19 at 7:26 am Reason: Adding a price change
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Old Jun 14, 19, 6:15 am
  #441  
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Originally Posted by sydneyflyer12 View Post
I suppose the resort could be thinking that people staying in the 2-3 bedroom villas are likely families with kids who may value privacy less than couples on a romantic getaway.
And/ or are larger Middle Eastern families who are likely to be less difficult about details when booking and less into outdoor walking outside of air conditioning.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 11:51 am
  #442  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by htran88 View Post
atoll transfers hasn't gotten back to me after reaching out to them twice...anyone know of a better company?
Not sure if this is the same company, but I snapped a shot at the MLE ferry harbor last week:

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Old Jun 14, 19, 12:17 pm
  #443  
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I don’t want to come across as negative, but attempting to save money by using a different yacht provider to the hotel sounds like the kind of thing which inevitably is going to end up being a horrible mistake for someone. For one thing, I’d read their terms of delayed flights very carefully.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 12:49 pm
  #444  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
I don’t want to come across as negative, but attempting to save money by using a different yacht provider to the hotel sounds like the kind of thing which inevitably is going to end up being a horrible mistake for someone. For one thing, I’d read their terms of delayed flights very carefully.
It's the departure flight I'd be most concerned about.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 1:14 pm
  #445  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 116
Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
I don’t want to come across as negative, but attempting to save money by using a different yacht provider to the hotel sounds like the kind of thing which inevitably is going to end up being a horrible mistake for someone. For one thing, I’d read their terms of delayed flights very carefully.
I am hoping for the transfer to get cheaper. What makes me somewhat mad is that it is 700RT + 23.2%. I would be fine paying 700 inclusive of tax and service charge. Heck! I would pay 700 inclusive of tax. But for them to add a "service charge" on top of it, seems to take it a little to far. I understand this is for their employees but seriously they are getting quality labor for cheap.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 1:40 pm
  #446  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
Posts: 3,769
It's a service.....for which they are required, by Hilton, to add a service charge to. If they only added service charges to some of their services, for which their staff have to perform work to do, then the staff would revolt and half of them would quit immediately and the other half would go on strike.....then you'd have no-one to captain the boat to go pick you up.

Anyway, I've got an @:-) how you can get it cheaper. Why don't you finish the website for them, you know, the ITHAAFSUHI one, and then they'll give you at least 50% off, maybe even comp the transfer entirely! ^

Last edited by MaldivesFreak; Jun 14, 19 at 1:45 pm
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Old Jun 14, 19, 2:02 pm
  #447  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Back in Hell
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Originally Posted by sam_goh View Post
Not sure if this is the same company, but I snapped a shot at the MLE ferry harbor last week:

Shame they missed the capital letter of the most important word on there, LOL.

Anyway, AFAIK (and as far as transportation services go) they were ferry operators until recently. They've obviously decided to get in on the action thanks to the Waldorf Astoria breaking new ground and making everyone run for cover and think of how to spend their close to $900pp on something worth $900.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 6:09 pm
  #448  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 116
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
It's a service.....for which they are required, by Hilton, to add a service charge to. If they only added service charges to some of their services, for which their staff have to perform work to do, then the staff would revolt and half of them would quit immediately and the other half would go on strike.....then you'd have no-one to captain the boat to go pick you up.

Anyway, I've got an @:-) how you can get it cheaper. Why don't you finish the website for them, you know, the ITHAAFSUHI one, and then they'll give you at least 50% off, maybe even comp the transfer entirely! ^
I mean like they should drop the actually price down so it is exactly 350 each way, including both tax and service fees. Doing the math 700COST + 23.2% = $862.4pp *10(Just say ten people go in and out so ten rt completed in a day) = $8624 a day*30(1 Month) = 252,720 a month*10%("Service Charge") = 25,272/(4 crew per boat) = $6314 per person a month

Well $6314 a month for a worker in the Maldives is alot (Near $70,000 a year).
Even if there were eight people working on the boat it would be over 3000$ a month. Which is on the high end for resorts in the Maldives.
So where does the money go.... Hmmmmm
I'm only pointing this out to show how sad this "Service charge" is. Services charges should be used for tips, not to support salaries.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 1:16 am
  #449  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Maldives was replete with corruption going all the way to the president. Not sure about the situation now. Youtube has an interesting documentrary on what was (and possibly still is) going on there.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 1:36 am
  #450  
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Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
I'm only pointing this out to show how sad this "Service charge" is. Services charges should be used for tips, not to support salaries.
Isn't that a bit of a US-centric view of the world? Tipping only exists in the Maldives in as much as American tourists bring it...
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