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 Jul 4, 19, 10:53 am
  #1351  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Programs: Continental; American; Delta
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Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post


fabergι

I am cracking up reading some of these posts!! Y'all are too funny!!
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Old Jul 4, 19, 1:18 pm
  #1352  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
no transfer confirmation from resort yet but we will not get in touch with them because they said they will handle it a few weeks back. Let's see.
Originally Posted by mikewhyatt View Post
I like this experiment. So many variables, I'm curious to hear how this exactly plays out.
I'm in Male now (dont ask me about that Scare Asia flight from hell; I learnt a few new mandarin words, learnt to understand tone and sound levels do no matter to some people, that it's OK to climb up to the overhead lockers whilst plane is moving and just turned off the main runway, and what are seat belt signs on again for?) Anyway half a nights sleep to go before getting to this Waldorf Astoria.

Well MaldivesFreak was right, the Resort had contacted my ($40 for the night) hotel (about an hr before I had checked in) (maybe they did read my previous post and got their act together quick smart but I am just wildly guessing now).

I am scheduled on the 9am yacht so might make it in good time for breakfast (if they want me to hand over $50 for two hard boiled eggs I will submit and wave my white flag loud and proud).

Also I have been informed by my hotel that my taxi driver will drop me back off at the airport and telephone the WA representative so they can come and whisk me away to (a pretty sparse yet developing) paradise.
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Old Jul 4, 19, 1:23 pm
  #1353  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,621
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
I'm in Male now (dont ask me about that Scare Asia flight from hell; I learnt a few new mandarin words, learnt to understand tone and sound levels do no matter to some people, that it's OK to climb up to the overhead lockers whilst plane is moving and just turned off the main runway, and what are seat belt signs on again for?) Anyway half a nights sleep to go before getting to this Waldorf Astoria.

Well MaldivesFreak was right, the Resort had contacted my ($40 for the night) hotel (about an hr before I had checked in) (maybe they did read my previous post and got their act together quick smart but I am just wildly guessing now).

I am scheduled on the 9am yacht so might make it in good time for breakfast (if they want me to hand over $50 for two hard boiled eggs I will submit and wave my white flag loud and proud).

Also I have been informed by my hotel that my taxi driver will drop me back off at the airport and telephone the WA representative so they can come and whisk me away to (a pretty sparse yet developing) paradise.
Thank you for the play-by-play updates! Glad you survived Scare Asia.
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Old Jul 4, 19, 3:07 pm
  #1354  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 565
Thanks for the update.

Last edited by scwam; Jul 4, 19 at 7:55 pm
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Old Jul 4, 19, 10:22 pm
  #1355  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
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On board Ithaafushi Princess right now cruising to the resort .... sharing with 10 guests. So far so good.
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Old Jul 4, 19, 10:25 pm
  #1356  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
On board Ithaafushi Princess right now cruising to the resort .... sharing with 10 guests. So far so good.
Any free booze?
LOL I replied to this in like 8 seconds.
WorldTravl is online now  
Old Jul 4, 19, 11:07 pm
  #1357  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,621
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
On board Ithaafushi Princess right now cruising to the resort .... sharing with 10 guests. So far so good.
Does it feel crowded with 10 other guests? Any refreshments on-board? Was there a boat lounge for pre-boarding waiting?
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Old Jul 5, 19, 1:24 am
  #1358  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Guys, I am wowed!!

Book here, spend up and worry about paying your credit card off later.

The beach villas are outstanding; it makes the Conrad Maldives DBV pretty average, similarly makes the Bora Bora Conrad pretty ordinary too.

All staff so far has been welcoming.

Let's see how the dining is over the first few days before I get back on that one.


Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
Does it feel crowded with 10 other guests? Any refreshments on-board? Was there a boat lounge for pre-boarding waiting?
Very spacious; it would be very comfortable with 8 I'd say though you could fit well over 16. We went from taxi and straight onto the boat so dont know where one would wait.


The 100s and 200s villas are not yet ready so they're out of service for the time being so my 200 choices were not on offer.

Originally Posted by WorldTravl View Post
Any free booze?
LOL I replied to this in like 8 seconds.
No but the fresh juices were real deal.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jul 20, 19 at 2:39 pm Reason: deleted quoted post
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Old Jul 5, 19, 2:24 am
  #1359  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
I arrive in 7 days. I am excited to tick another waldorf off my list.
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Old Jul 5, 19, 2:46 am
  #1360  
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Swan meets Seahorse
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Old Jul 5, 19, 3:00 am
  #1361  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: HH Diamond, BAEC
Posts: 1,310
Love it! Is there much privacy at the beach villas like at the Conrad or is it more open?
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Old Jul 5, 19, 3:19 am
  #1362  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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A 3* TripAdvisor review went on yesterday. Seems fairly subjective...

Has the potential to be a very nice resort...... but will never be the best (Due to type of lagoon)
Free Amenities : 6/10 (ie. no tennis court or free yoga)
Lagoon : Personally, 6/10 But it varies by person
Grounds : 6.5/10 (While organized in clean paths seem "fake" : due to the lack of plants. This problem will fix its self with time.)
Value : 5/10 (35% more expensive that other resorts ie. Reethi Rah)
Room : 9/10 (Very big and nice, but missing Maldivian touches and finishes)
Food : 8/10 (Lots of options, this will probably improve as kitchens get more experienced
Transfer : 6/10 Very nice 70ft yacht, but laking amenities to justify the price
Little touches : 9.5/10 lots of small touches in room
Service : 9.5/10 very passionate group of workers

SMALL BUT BIG PROBLEMS
(All of problems below are not to be snotty but to show where improvement needs to occur)
-Tree foliage and plant growth looks very unnatural and rushed(ie. very tall palm trees that have small leaves).
-Large beach villas are located near arrival pier, which detracts from the isolated feeling that is expected in the Maldives.
-Waiting time at Velana International Airport was longer than expected.
-Although the Yacht ride was fun, the price does not justify the offerings on it. (Subpar Drinks, Small cheap food offerings)

GOOD STUFF
-Good food offerings, 11 restaurants
-Spa is great, nice large selection
-Pools are nicely designed
-Villas are larger than most in Maldives

MUST WORK ON PROBLEMS
- Website for the 2020 calendar year bookings is "off". Grand Beach villa cost marginally more than a grand overwater villa. **Mistake**

PROBLEMS THAT WILL NEVER BE FIXED (DUE TO GEOGRAPHICAL REASONS)

-Island is very long, thus many golf carts are needed . Making walking from point A to point B an annoyance, because of the constant need to move aside.
-(Very Subjective) people come to the Maldives for large blue lagoons, where you walk 100m out and still be standing. NOT at the WA, the inner lagoon gets deep very fast. The area of clear water before the "drop-off" is subpar to other resorts.
-Lagoons at "sister-Hilton properties" are far superior, if your looking for lots of shallow clear water,

VALUE PROBLEMS
-While the cost of food at the property is mainly in line with luxury hotels the wine is about a 35% markup, making it one of the most expensive resorts for booze
-Be Prepared to pay 12$ for juice and 44$ for a pizza.
-1400$ in low seasons is very expensive, considering the amount of villas at the resort.

WHAT WOULD I PAY FOR A RESORT LIKE THIS (BEACH VILLA)

1200 IN HIGH SEASON -------> Real Price (1790)
670 IN LOW SEASON -------> Real Price (1200)

ALTERNATIVES TO WALDORF ASTORIA ITHAAFUSHI
-One and Only Reethi Rah 8/10
-Antara Kihavah 9/10
-Six Senses Laamu 8.5/10
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Old Jul 5, 19, 3:26 am
  #1363  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Programs: Hilton Diamond
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Brilliant
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Old Jul 5, 19, 4:10 am
  #1364  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post

Swan meets Seahorse
The fact that you can see the next door villa makes this look a bit like a suburban residential street instead of a Maldives resort. Hopefully the greenery behind will grow tall enough to provide proper partition between the villas.
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Old Jul 5, 19, 4:28 am
  #1365  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 629
We landed at MLE airport around 2.30 pm local time and met the hotel receiving staff right outside the exit door who took us to one of restaurants inside the airport. They gave us a menu to order while we wait for them to receive another couple who hasn't showed up for about 30 mins now. They are going to wait for 10 more mins and start with us and another couple (just the 4 of us) on the yacht to the property.
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