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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Apr 10, 19, 3:20 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: 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 - BE AWARE FOLKS!
• 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



Expected Opening: July 01, 2019 (according to official website, see below for link)

There is currently not a lot of solid information on this resort, its prices, room types and amenities. More information will be added bit by bit as it becomes available

Tax Information
• 10% Service Charge (levied by resort)
• 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 new 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: WA Ithaafushi is located in South Malι Atoll, southwest of Velana International Airport [MLE] (also known as Malι International Airport, previously known as Ibrahim Nasir International Airport) and can be reached by speedboat. There may be an option of private yacht transfer (30 mins from Malι) but this is presumably to be announced at a later date

Resort Information / F&B / Spa / Activities
• WA Ithaafushi is made up of three islands
• The resort has 10 restaurants / bars
• There are 2 standalone OWVs (Over Water Villas) and 121 villas in total
• The kids club (one of the biggest in the Maldives) is for children between 4 to 11 years
• Click here to visit the resort's website for more information


Prices - Accommodation:

***** 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 Cost*****
Oct 2019
Reef Villa $200++
OWV $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)
RV (Reef Villa, presumably Garden Villa shown in the pre-opening promo video)
GRV (Grand Reef Villa, presumably also a type of Garden Villa shown in the pre-opening promo video)

-- OWVs (Over Water Villas) --

OV (Overwater Villa)
GOV (Grand Overwater Villa)



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: TBA
• 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
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Old Feb 15, 19, 10:15 am
  #511  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 170
Originally Posted by Stivelio View Post
I have personally never stayed at a hotel before in it's first week of opening and have my 3 nights booked here for the very first opening weekend. Just curious to know experiences from other folks here how their stays ended up in this kind of situation
We actually were the very first guests to arrive at Conrad Koh Samui. Was pleasantly surprised. No big glitches at all. I would expect/hope for the same at WA Ithaafushi
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Old Feb 15, 19, 2:30 pm
  #512  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 37
Hello

1) I was not able to locate the yacht transfer fee $370++ one way per person.
where can this be found?

thank you

Last edited by Smurfettepharoh; Feb 15, 19 at 2:52 pm Reason: add more questions
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Old Feb 15, 19, 2:34 pm
  #513  
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Originally Posted by Stivelio View Post
I have personally never stayed at a hotel before in it's first week of opening and have my 3 nights booked here for the very first opening weekend. Just curious to know experiences from other folks here how their stays ended up in this kind of situation
We are booked 6-11 July so might see you there if our times overlap.

And we might be having the chat below if our transfer costs are not the same


Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
Ans what happens if I, an early booker, am staying at the resort, and I blurt out to a late booker in the villa next to me "HAHAHA I'm only paying $370 return! Sucker!" and then he complains to the resort that he's being charged more for the transfer?

Because I would totally do that.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 2:51 pm
  #514  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 577
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
We are booked 6-11 July so might see you there if our times overlap.

And we might be having the chat below if our transfer costs are not the same
If all goes well we will be there July 5 - 8 and talk in person
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Old Feb 15, 19, 4:11 pm
  #515  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Southwest CP, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond
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Originally Posted by Smurfettepharoh View Post
Hello

1) I was not able to locate the yacht transfer fee $370++ one way per person.
where can this be found?

thank you
https://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/e.../policies.html

A shared transfer on the resort's private yacht is charged at US$370 + taxes and service per person per way. This charge will be added to your total bill. Please e-mail [email protected] for more information or to arrange your transfer.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 4:22 pm
  #516  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,976
Originally Posted by scwam View Post
I've never been to the Maldives. Although, I've been to the Turks and Caicos and I and my family loved it. I want to know for those of you who have been to the Maldives, do you think this resort would even have a slight resemblance of what the true Maldives is like? I know it's an impossible question to answer given no one has been to this resort yet but luxury (and top-notch food - coming from Tokyo) is something of utmost importance during this trip. But I'd like to know if you think a westernized mega-resort like this on a manufactured island can even come close to the true experience - especially being so close to the capital with brightly lit islands in the distance at night.
OK, this is a tough question but not at all impossible to answer. The answer is both yes and no. Degree is the key word here. Beautiful new villa interiors and amenities aside, you should find good sand, but not nearly as much as say Rangali and almost certainly nowhere near as fine as Irufushi.





As you can see from the picture above, the main part of Ithaafushi is built on a natural island that had a tiny, and I mean tiny, amount of greenery to begin with. Because of this you're going to find almost 100% planted (as opposed to natural) jungle with no natural undergrowth. Lots of thick undergrowth is what you really need in order for you to feel like it's real and been there for hundreds of thousands or millions of years. There will be pathways through planted rows of palm trees but with a somewhat, or rather fake feel to it all (depending on how it's done and who you ask!) Take a look at the picture below of One&Only Reethi Rah Maldives and you'll see what I mean regarding the lack of undergrowth you can expect, the planted forest tree feel and the straight, man-made roads. Most of that resort is reclaimed land. Beautiful but a rather fake beautiful.





Note that I'm not saying the whole of Reethi Rah is like that but it's a good example of what developers and landscape artists do when there is nothing to work with. If you look at the layout of Ithaafushi they've been very careful not to make mistakes like the Reethi Rah, i.e; they've avoided too many perfectly straight pathways. They've tried to twist and turn them and by all means it should look much better but still, it's all planted and it will be very noticible. Then again some folks will no doubt wander down the pathways and think "Oh, so lovely!" while others who are more observant will be thinking "Hmm.....these aren't cut out of any original jungle." And there's something else to consider as well. The undergrowth will get thicker as time goes by so when the resort opens it will seem barren by Rangali (Rangali Island in particular) and Irufushi standards. I'm not sure how long the undergrowth will take to thicken up but probably years.

The bonus is you have the large lagoon in the centre and its shallow water and that gradation into deep blue and the fantastic array of blues and greens mixed together. You can see it's got a reasonably good-looking lagoon from the photos earlier in the thread. Beachfront will be sparse, especially at high tide, and it doesn't look like there's enough space to have a decent beach BBQ anywhere and that's a shame. If you've got the time and the inclination, get onto Google Maps or similar service and check out the sizes and widths of the beaches of some of the islands that have resorts on them. You'll soon see that this resort, although new and up-market, is pretty crowded. Some folks won't mind too much but others will. I suggest arranging the times you plan on laying about on the beach and to do it at low tide, that way you'll have more beachfront to play with. The Water Sports centre will be able to tell you the precise times. When you want to go swimming or snorkelling at the resort, you may wish to do it at high tide. That way you get more shallow water before any dropoff or where it gets deep. Another obvious advantage with Ithaafushi that I should point out is the 2 sandbanks that you see in the first picture, one in the middle of the resort (situated on the band of coral on the far right of the lagoon) and the other to the south (which the resort may have access to on a permanent basis). This is something that most resorts do not have and will be fun to take a boat out to (or swim to if you're game). They should be able to take guests there to have a picnic or whatnot - but at a price no doubt.

As far as the coral and marine life is concerned, you probably know that around 70% of the coral in the Maldives was killed off by higher than normal water temperatures in 2016. It will take a good many years for the coral to recover but at a brand new resort like this I doubt there is even a single cluster of coral that survived both the rise in temperature and the construction process. Hey, that's probably an exaggeration but the good thing is there is usually a lot of marine life in situations like this because they feed off the algae that grows on dead coral. Again, because of the construction process I don't know how much marine life there is but I'd hazard a guess and say not a lot at this stage, at least not in close proximity to the BVs and the inner regions of the lagoon. Other resorts have living coral and tons of marine life so this is something to consider. Of course there will be excursions that you can go on to visit nearby 'healthy' reefs but they won't be free.

Hope that's sort of answered your question.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 4:39 pm
  #517  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,524
You are extremely knowledgable about this part of the world, I think it's wonderful you are so passionate about these resorts.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:11 pm
  #518  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 46
Asked for an upgrade quote and whether they would honor their booking confirmation of $370++ RT yacht transfer. I got a response in about 24 hours.

For my dates next year in January 2020.

"Upgrade to King Reef Villa with Pool: US$200+ 23.2% Tax and service charge per night.
Upgrade to King Grand Overwater Villa with Pool: US$400+ 23.2% Tax and service charge per night.


Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience, the transfer information mentioned in your booking confirmation is a technical error and our team has now rectified the issue. That being said, I am pleased to honor the rate $370+ 23.2% per person for round trip, as mentioned on your confirmation."
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Old Feb 15, 19, 6:19 pm
  #519  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
We are booked 6-11 July so might see you there if our times overlap.

And we might be having the chat below if our transfer costs are not the same
I'm gonna be there then too. I'll bring a bunch of printouts of my transfer confirmation and my bullhorn.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 7:02 pm
  #520  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: So Cal
Posts: 496
Originally Posted by NightFury1 View Post
Asked for an upgrade quote and whether they would honor their booking confirmation of $370++ RT yacht transfer. I got a response in about 24 hours.

For my dates next year in January 2020.

"Upgrade to King Reef Villa with Pool: US$200+ 23.2% Tax and service charge per night.
Upgrade to King Grand Overwater Villa with Pool: US$400+ 23.2% Tax and service charge per night.


Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience, the transfer information mentioned in your booking confirmation is a technical error and our team has now rectified the issue. That being said, I am pleased to honor the rate $370+ 23.2% per person for round trip, as mentioned on your confirmation."
I received the exact same response when I inquired regarding the yacht transfer rate. All of you worrying about it can rectify the situation with a simple email. The technical error pricing should be closer to what they should actually charge. When I stayed at the Conrad Bora Bora in 2017 the charge was 10,560 xpf per person return. At todays exchange rate that is roughly $100, so taking in account the remoteness of the Maldives, $370++ is still a bit too high. Twice that is BS.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 7:08 pm
  #521  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 514
@MaldivesFreak-Very useful info! Much appreciated. Hopefully, the trees they plant are somewhat matured with leaves at opening.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 7:15 pm
  #522  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Old Feb 15, 19, 8:58 pm
  #523  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 20
Good news, contacted reservation and they honoured the original $370++ return price per person ( I took a screenshot before they changed it).
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Old Feb 16, 19, 6:14 am
  #524  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 62
Aw man so the real rate is $370++ each way. Should have booked when they had the error. I was still holding out to see what if any Diamond benefits they provided.
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Old Feb 16, 19, 6:58 am
  #525  
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I emailed the resort and they replied confirming they will honour the $370++ round trip; I would have been contemplating cancellation if it was $370++ each way. Anyway $370++ round trip is still high in my opinion so we'll see what kind of "yacht" they provide - there better be canapes and free flow sparkling wine at the minimum - and not just a cold towel and bottled water. In regards to the 70 foot princess references in this thread, is there an actual link that states this is the one the WA will be using - I can't find any reference to its confirmation anywhere.

Also, do we know if there will be a soft opening?

And also, anyone can tell the difference between the Reef Villa vs Overwater Villas?
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