Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Last edit by: Traveler Dave
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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


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:

Reviews:
Review by goldelite8
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Old Apr 5, 19, 11:21 pm
  #691  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,357
Yup, and you'd hope for that category to be full when you arrive so they have to upgrade you to the next highest and get something even better.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Apr 7, 19, 8:47 am
  #692  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: LH*G, FB*G, IC *free minibar*, SLH, RC 5C-Club, LHW, and a lot of others
Posts: 526
Hey guys,

Just wondering, how much is the airport to hotel speed boat transfer per person? I assume you have to pay that on a points booking? Alternatively, especially when you are staying i.e. at the Conrad before and wanna go to the WA, you can take a private boat transfer for 580 USD as alice50734 has mentioned, can't you?
What's the best/cheapest way to combine a week at the Conrad and a week at the WA?

Did anyone inquire regarding half or full board there? How much on top of the breakfast rate are they charging for it?
flo_147 is offline  
Old Apr 7, 19, 8:53 am
  #693  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by flo_147 View Post
Hey guys,

Just wondering, how much is the airport to hotel speed boat transfer per person? I assume you have to pay that on a points booking? Alternatively, especially when you are staying i.e. at the Conrad before and wanna go to the WA, you can take a private boat transfer for 580 USD as alice50734 has mentioned, can't you?
What's the best/cheapest way to combine a week at the Conrad and a week at the WA?
Check out www.atolltransfer.com its charged per nautical mile

EDIT: corrected the link

Last edited by htran88; Apr 7, 19 at 9:39 am
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Old Apr 7, 19, 9:19 am
  #694  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London
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Posts: 628
Think the website is actually: https://www.atolltransfer.com
Scotland is offline  
Old Apr 7, 19, 2:27 pm
  #695  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,357
Originally Posted by Scotland View Post
Think the website is actually: https://www.atolltransfer.com
Either will work. It's not necessary to have http or https at the beginning.
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Apr 7, 19, 2:31 pm
  #696  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: LH*G, FB*G, IC *free minibar*, SLH, RC 5C-Club, LHW, and a lot of others
Posts: 526
Thx guys for the info. So a transfer from the Conrad to the WA should be 5-600 usd for 2 right?

Is the hotel boat from the airport to the WA complimentary?
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Old Apr 7, 19, 2:36 pm
  #697  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: Bonvoy Plat
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Originally Posted by flo_147 View Post
Thx guys for the info. So a transfer from the Conrad to the WA should be 5-600 usd for 2 right?

Is the hotel boat from the airport to the WA complimentary?
The hotel boat from the airport is $370++ roundtrip per person.

Last edited by sydneyflyer12; Apr 7, 19 at 2:42 pm
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Old Apr 7, 19, 6:34 pm
  #698  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Either will work. It's not necessary to have http or https at the beginning.
...or WWW.

TD
Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Apr 8, 19, 12:21 am
  #699  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,357
Actually there are some websites where the www is necessary.



Originally Posted by flo_147 View Post
Is the hotel boat from the airport to the WA complimentary?
LOL! POTW!
MaldivesFreak is offline  
Old Apr 8, 19, 10:10 pm
  #700  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Added to the website today...

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.
Traveler Dave is offline  
Old Apr 8, 19, 11:03 pm
  #701  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,357
MF reminds himself to avoid said dates. Don't like being involuntarily slaughtered.....
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Old Apr 8, 19, 11:34 pm
  #702  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: SAN
Posts: 717
Originally Posted by sydneyflyer12 View Post
The hotel boat from the airport is $370++ roundtrip per person.
It is actually $350USD++ EACH WAY....from my reservation....

To our hotel: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is just a 30-minute private yacht ride from Velana Male International Airport, and can be reached 24 hours a day. Upon entering the airport arrivals hall, you will be met by a member of the resort Concierge team who will accompany you to your yacht transfer and assist you in all aspects of your arrival. The Concierge team will also provide this service upon departure at the end of your stay.

A shared transfer on the resort's private yacht is charged at US$350 + 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.

From Velana International Airport: 30 minute yacht ride from Velana Male International Airport (24 km). Exit Airport terminal, walk distance of 100 meters to the jetty

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Old Apr 8, 19, 11:44 pm
  #703  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Programs: Bonvoy Plat
Posts: 151
Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


It is actually $350USD++ EACH WAY....from my reservation....

To our hotel: Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is just a 30-minute private yacht ride from Velana Male International Airport, and can be reached 24 hours a day. Upon entering the airport arrivals hall, you will be met by a member of the resort Concierge team who will accompany you to your yacht transfer and assist you in all aspects of your arrival. The Concierge team will also provide this service upon departure at the end of your stay.

A shared transfer on the resort's private yacht is charged at US$350 + 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.

From Velana International Airport: 30 minute yacht ride from Velana Male International Airport (24 km). Exit Airport terminal, walk distance of 100 meters to the jetty

Charging as much for a 30 min "yacht" ride as the StR charges for a 45 min seaplane transfer is certainly an interesting pricing strategy...
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Old Apr 9, 19, 6:37 am
  #704  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 97
I was this close to booking for Christmas. Thank the lord I didn’t book it.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:36 am
  #705  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 629
Originally Posted by sydneyflyer12 View Post
Charging as much for a 30 min "yacht" ride as the StR charges for a 45 min seaplane transfer is certainly an interesting pricing strategy...
I wonder how long the maximum wait would be for a transfer as I've seen no mention of a lounge.
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