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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Aug 21, 19, 12:07 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


The following section is a P-take and warning all rolled into one. Be prepared to be shocked and fleeced, all at the same time.....

The Rip-off 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!
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


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 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)
• Private yacht transfer (50 mins from Malι): $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
Note: Original quoted price was $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 50 minutes
See this post for a detailed review of the yacht transfer (Courtesy of jphripjah)

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 to visit the resort's website for more information
• 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 for a comprehensive set of pictures (Courtesy of Traveler Dave)
• Click here to visit the resort's listing on TripAdvisor
• Tennis courts: See this post
• For a 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

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 menu pictures: 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 - Set Menu B

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)

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


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)
• 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)
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Old Jun 2, 19, 7:02 pm
  #886  
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Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
I'm a little shocked at the building density. What are the group of non-descript gray-ish buildings in the foreground?
I thought the same. Perhaps once on site those buildings are out of sight out of mind, but the aerial view makes the resort look considerably inferior to the feeling you get upon landing at St.Regis to be honest.
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Old Jun 2, 19, 7:54 pm
  #887  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
I thought the same. Perhaps once on site those buildings are out of sight out of mind, but the aerial view makes the resort look considerably inferior to the feeling you get upon landing at St.Regis to be honest.
My thoughts exactly about the StR. The vegetation also looks a little scanty. I hope I'm proven wrong.
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Old Jun 2, 19, 8:35 pm
  #888  
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This is my take on the room location / preferences

For Beach Villas I am thinking my preferred rooms would be 211, 209, 213 as they have its own mini beach facing in the sunset direction. The beach drops off into deep water pretty quickly so will miss out on the turquoise blue waters of the inner lagoon. If I prefer the lagoon view, I am thinking 210, 208, 212 as that would give me the most "forward" view into the horizons, whereas the the higher the number up to 222 - might see too much 'land'.

Now for Overwater Villas, I am thinking 508 - 516 for sunset and lagoon views OR low 100's for sunset (no lagoon)


I think I will ask for 211,209,213 for the first three nights and then request an OWV position after seeing it in person.
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Old Jun 2, 19, 9:13 pm
  #889  
 
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Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
My thoughts exactly about the StR. The vegetation also looks a little scanty. I hope I'm proven wrong.
IKR, vegetation would make this island look so different. I hope reviewers call this problem out.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 12:37 am
  #890  
 
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
For Beach Villas I am thinking my preferred rooms would be 211, 209, 213 as they have its own mini beach facing in the sunset direction.
.......OR low 100's for sunset (no lagoon)
Great suggestions.
I think this was discussed earlier, but I'm not convinced they have the correct Sunset direction on their photo.
If I compare their photo with the island on Google maps the "Sunset Direction" they list seems to be to the South of the resort (not West, as I would expect).
Anyone shed some light on this (pun intended)?
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Old Jun 3, 19, 3:01 am
  #891  
 
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Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
I'm a little shocked at the building density. What are the group of non-descript gray-ish buildings in the foreground?
Originally Posted by sydneyflyer12 View Post
I would imagine administrative offices, living quarters and storage.
Wrong. Those are backpacker / dorm rooms. They will be sold at $295++ pppn and have occupancy of 4 per room. The offices, living quarters, engineering and storage are all 300' underground in waterproofed and hardened bunkers, designed to resist tidal waves from magnitude 10 earthquakes and thermonuclear strikes up to 20 megatons.

Last edited by MaldivesFreak; Jun 3, 19 at 3:08 am
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Old Jun 3, 19, 3:05 am
  #892  
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Here's a video preview of a Beach Villa

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Old Jun 3, 19, 3:12 am
  #893  
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And another video of the resort generally

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Old Jun 3, 19, 3:15 am
  #894  
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Sorry for multiple posts

Reef Pool Villa

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Old Jun 3, 19, 5:07 am
  #895  
 
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What are people's thoughts regarding the upgrades? I think $200++ for the reef villa looks OK for direct water access. $400.00++ for an OWV I'm not so sure. What's that extra $250 a night getting me?
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Old Jun 3, 19, 6:54 am
  #896  
 
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Originally Posted by Wozza2404 View Post
What are people's thoughts regarding the upgrades? I think $200++ for the reef villa looks OK for direct water access. $400.00++ for an OWV I'm not so sure. What's that extra $250 a night getting me?
Heading there in November for eight nights on points and certs.
Ideally, it would be nice to spend four nights in a beach villa and four nights in a reef or OWV.
My strategy as a Diamond is to wait to see what other members have reported wrt free upgrades and the villa locations, villa categories etc. Of course, it will depend on availability at the time of arrival.
With the extra costs for yacht transports, the expected astronomical cost of food, I really don’t want to spend too much more on a higher villa category unless it’s a significant upgrade.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 7:38 am
  #897  
 
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Originally Posted by Wozza2404 View Post
What are people's thoughts regarding the upgrades? I think $200++ for the reef villa looks OK for direct water access. $400.00++ for an OWV I'm not so sure. What's that extra $250 a night getting me?
TBH it's getting you.....well.....direct access to the water and not much else. It's no surprise that every villa has a pool and the difference in upgrade prices are minimal compared to the base price(s). I don't think they couldn't get away with having some with pools and some without and this feature and that and having huge differences in prices based on those 'extras'. They are going for a very select market and are going to find it difficult to get their occupancy rate up into high figures - their base price point is just too high for most folks so they've price-structured as such. At least that's what it appears to me to be. Maybe some professional in the field can correct me if I'm wrong which I may well be.
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Old Jun 3, 19, 8:02 am
  #898  
 
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
Sorry for multiple posts

Reef Pool Villa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3LUmwLQ5lo
No apology needed. Any chance you have a link to the Grand version of those rooms?

TD
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Old Jun 3, 19, 8:26 am
  #899  
 
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Re those buildings opposite 311 - 325, they were supposed to be BVs. That would've made that area even more crowded by adding 7 of them. Either ran out of cash (read: not even one fully over-water restaurant) or thought there wasn't enough communal beach area to begin with.....or both.

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Old Jun 3, 19, 8:53 am
  #900  
 
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I mean i'm kinda obsessed with the WA rn. But I made this idea of a website in about 25 minutes. I mean I don't get why they haven't made one yet.
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