Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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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:

Reviews:
Review by goldelite8
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Old Jul 1, 19, 2:45 pm
  #1276  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,362
Originally Posted by gallagher View Post
MF - I wouldn't expect this basic question from you? - WA Maldives as per the thread title
Yeah, my bad I suppose. You said Feb 1 and I thought those charges had been on your bill at checkout somewhere else in the country. Did you pre-pay those costs on your points booking or they are showing on your reservation details / confirmation email?


Originally Posted by NYC_1 View Post
Those GREEDY SOBs. The outrage! These slimy capitalist thugs should be ashamed of themselves.
I'm not sure what to make of that since I see a like from you on my peestake post but anyway.....
It's fine to be a capitalist and in business, proudly advertising that you are providing 'an awesome and unforgettable experience' but when greed is so blatant it ruins the holiday experience. Unless of course there are people who think like this:
Rich dude #1 : "Hey dude, let's go to the Maldives to get fleeced."
Rich dude #2 : "Awesome dude! When do we leave?!"
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Old Jul 1, 19, 8:13 pm
  #1277  
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Of course, there are those who would point out that going to Maldives is volunteering to get fleeced. You are paying a price premium for a combination of direct flights from convenient places, well known brands and an enviable reputation.
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Old Jul 1, 19, 11:16 pm
  #1278  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Sure. Thing is, if every new resort were to do the same as the WA are doing, prices would go the way of Venezuelan inflation.
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Old Jul 2, 19, 4:48 am
  #1279  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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More and more online Menus are showing up at the website, like the one from breakfast, which is rather disappointing:
https://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/r...u_Jul_2019.pdf
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Old Jul 2, 19, 5:26 am
  #1280  
 
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Originally Posted by mb123 View Post
More and more online Menus are showing up at the website, like the one from breakfast, which is rather disappointing:
https://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/r...u_Jul_2019.pdf
Yeah, I too noticed that. Those are $29 pairs of eggs (after tax $35) but with limited alternative menu selections. Unless there is some buffet on tap as well. Even at one 5* hotel restaurant we went to in the Turks and Caicos, they had several pages of options. The Tasting Table breakfast options barely look like they would fit on one actual menu page. I'm quite disappointed in what I'm seeing so far and eagerly waiting on the FT members' thoughts whom are staying there now. I hope they are not swayed into being subjective through preferential treatment.

Last edited by scwam; Jul 2, 19 at 5:43 am
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Old Jul 2, 19, 5:55 am
  #1281  
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Originally Posted by scwam View Post
Yeah, I too noticed that. Those are $29 pairs of eggs (after tax $35) but with limited alternative menu selections. Unless there is some buffet on tap as well. Even at one 5* hotel restaurant we went to in the Turks and Caicos, they had several pages of options. The Tasting Table breakfast options barely look like they would fit on one actual menu page. I'm quite disappointed in what I'm seeing so far and eagerly waiting on the FT members' thoughts whom are staying there now. I hope they are not swayed into being subjective through preferential treatment.
This looks a little like the menu at the St Regis Vommuli where you can order from the menu and have free rein at the very extensive buffet of cold options. I would expect this to be similar at the WA
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Old Jul 2, 19, 6:48 am
  #1282  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by Land-of-Miles View Post
This looks a little like the menu at the St Regis Vommuli where you can order from the menu and have free rein at the very extensive buffet of cold options. I would expect this to be similar at the WA
But the Menu at the St. Regis Vomulli has far more choices and 5 Menu pages only for food, several pages for tea and coffee and an extensive buffet with hot and cold options.
The current a la carte Menu at the WA is not comparable to St Regis at all !
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:23 am
  #1283  
 
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Im not sure ive ever seen so many people moan and complain about a place before they have even visited.

Nothing wrong with the menus and the pics so far.

If you cant afford it then you cant afford it, most people here seem to think because they have points, they are entitled to a cheap stay. Its a damn 1400 per night minimum hotel.

Apart from the transport, ive have seen nothing else to complain about!!
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Old Jul 2, 19, 7:31 am
  #1284  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I wouldn't quite agree. Although I've never been to the Maldives, and maybe this breakfast menu should be only compared regionally vs. against around the world. And, it is possible the online menus may differ drastically from the in-house menus. For the $1400/day expense as you say, and being a 5*+ hotel, comparatively speaking against other tropical destination offerings, I'd still expect to see a little more content & diversity than what's offered online here. Not sure about you, but I do in fact check menus before I travel.

Last edited by scwam; Jul 2, 19 at 8:12 am
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:30 am
  #1285  
 
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Originally Posted by scwam View Post
Yeah, I too noticed that. Those are $29 pairs of eggs (after tax $35) but with limited alternative menu selections. Unless there is some buffet on tap as well. Even at one 5* hotel restaurant we went to in the Turks and Caicos, they had several pages of options. The Tasting Table breakfast options barely look like they would fit on one actual menu page.
I see only the singular form of egg in that menu. Everything suggests a single egg; "Poached Egg", "Scrambled Egg", "Hard-boiled Egg" etc, and it wouldn't surprise me if they ask "How many eggs would you like, Sir / Madam?" and charge you for each one.


Originally Posted by scwam View Post
I'm quite disappointed in what I'm seeing so far
Yes, it's a pathetic menu, especially for a luxury 5-star property they are aiming to be. Vilu's breakfast menu kicks butt and wins hands down here, I'm afraid.

Originally Posted by scwam View Post
.....eagerly waiting on the FT members' thoughts whom are staying there now. I hope they are not swayed into being subjective through preferential treatment.
Oh don't you worry, there will be plenty of preferential treatment going on, that I can assure you. The GM (or his assistant) is most certainly reading this thread and probably know who everyone is here and will act accordingly during their stay.
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Last edited by MaldivesFreak; Sep 9, 19 at 10:40 am
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:36 am
  #1286  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Maybe the breakfast menu will be different in the Restaurant than online, maybe they have daily changes, but the WA has to compete with other hotels like the St Regis, that are comparable in price and standard. And if this menu is all they offer as a la carte options that you can order, in addition to the buffet, then it is disappointing.
As Maldivesfreak wrote, even the breakfast menu at Vilu is more extensive!
I stayed at the St Regis Vommuli and also have a booking for the WA, so of course I will compare what they offer.
But I hope our fellow Flyertalkers , who will arrive this week, will post their impression soon.

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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:40 am
  #1287  
 
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Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
I see only the singular form of egg in that menu. Everything suggests a single egg; "Poached Egg", "Scrambled Egg", "Hard-boiled Egg" etc, and it wouldn't surprise me if they ask "How many eggs would you like, Sir / Madam?" and charge you for each one.
Damn! Even as careful as I am (I usually prefer scrambled eggs or Eggs Benedict, which often comes in pairs), I hadn't thought of the other single "egg" options which do indeed say "Egg of your choice." You're funny! Looks like we're going to have to boil the details down to how many eggs one can get! One egg scrambled....I mean how big can that be? Don't steal my eggs!

Last edited by scwam; Jul 2, 19 at 10:01 am
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Old Jul 2, 19, 9:43 am
  #1288  
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Originally Posted by mb123 View Post

But the Menu at the St. Regis Vomulli has far more choices and 5 Menu pages only for food, several pages for tea and coffee and an extensive buffet with hot and cold options.
The current a la carte Menu at the WA is not comparable to St Regis at all !
Having been there I thought it was effectively quite similar, when you strip out the alcoholic drinks and other drinks from the menu, we only had about 4 or 5 things in Vommuli as I recall that we actually ordered, although I am sure there were more.

I don't get the .....ing about this property, if you don't like the offer, don't go, it's pretty simple isn't it? You always have the overdeveloped Conrad Rangali with its undersized and underspecced rooms (and I have been there too but could never go back after staying at the SR).
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Old Jul 2, 19, 10:48 am
  #1289  
 
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$29++ For a hard Boiled Egg ... now I'm laughing
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Old Jul 2, 19, 11:16 am
  #1290  
 
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Originally Posted by llfoster View Post
$29++ For a hard Boiled Egg ... now I'm laughing
At those prices it would be better value to take out the Amex Platinum card to get free Hilton Gold.
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