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Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Oct 6, 20, 12:44 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: joecool1885
Wiki Link
:-: Welcome to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Wiki! :-:
Notes: All prices are in US Dollars and are exclusive of taxes unless specified (by ++)

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

Booking with points
• Bookings must be cancelled 30 days prior in order to avoid one full night's charge at BAR. (previously 14 days)
• Website and phone agents state that a cash deposit equivalent to the BAR per night will be taken when booking stays with points. This is an error. NO CASH DEPOSIT IS TAKEN WHEN MAKING A POINTS BOOKING
• Free night certificate: The phone agent states that a cash deposit equivalent to the BAR per night will be taken when booking your free night. This is an error. NO CASH DEPOSIT IS TAKEN WHEN USING YOUR FREE NIGHT CERTIFICATE

Transfers To and From Resort
• 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)
• Transfer experience includes personal service for your group after luggage pick-up until arrival on the yacht; yacht includes dedicated server for champagne, non-alcoholic beverages, and light snacks. Departure experience on the yacht is the same, and your group be personally escorted through airline check-in until airport security.
• Pricing in 2020 is $600++ per person, and in 2019 it was $350++ per person per way ($1724.80 return inclusive of taxes for 2 passengers). The price for kids 5 and under is complimentary while kids 6-11 years old are charged $300++ per person. 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 a detailed review of the yacht transfer (Courtesy of jphripjah)
• Third party transfers are not permitted by the resort.
• 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++. Most guests travel between the resort booking the standard round trip seaplane from Male to Rangali and then the Yacht transfer round trip from Male to Waldorf.

Resort Information / Spa / Activities
• WA Ithaafushi is made up of three islands (95% man-made)
• 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)
• See this and this post for info on the Christmas Eve and New Years Eve Gala Fee
• 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 - F&B and Menus
• The resort has 11 restaurants / bars
• Some restaurant menus are available in PDF format on the resort's website. Click here to visit the relevant page on their website
• Menus for most restaurants as of early October 2020: See this post
• 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.
• Terra is $298.00++ per person. As of December 2019, the set menu includes Amuse Brioche (3 selections per person), a starter (tuna, avocado, caviar), 2 courses highlighting lobster and wagyu beef with a pallet cleanse in between, a dessert course, then finishing with 3 additional sweet selections per person.
• 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). Chefs rotate to the resort from Burnt Ends in Singapore.
+ Peacock Alley 1/2 priced drinks daily after 9:30pm. High-quality cocktails and liquors available at a very affordable price ranging from $13-$15 post discount
+ Tasting Table full buffet breakfast with made to order entrees and complimentary Champagne for $65++/person or Free for Hilton Diamond / Gold
+ Glow and Yasmeen wine selections are priced in the $65 - $85 ++ range per bottle.
• Lunch can be purchased at the main pool or beach from Nava or The Ledge. The majority of lunch entrees cost $30-$50++. Lunch is also available at Tasting Table, Tangled, or In Villa Dining.
• A new pizza oven was flown in from Italy to replace the original oven installed at Nava, and an Italian chef traveled to the resort to work with the team to elevate pizza quality in early December of 2019.
• During festive season 2019, the resort introduced a lobster & champagne dinner on the beach, including tasting stations, free flow champagne, and a live band for $298++ per person.

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 bottle of wine and fruits
  • 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) aka Ocean Villas in rewards booking --

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:
• Various resort and villa pics from a stay in November 2019 :Link to post: (Courtesy of aspenedelen)

Reviews:
• Review by goldelite8
• Review by escape4
• Review by Falcons05 (text only)

Historical Information for high rollers:
+ $135 shisha, Check out this post
+ If you do NOT have Gold/Diamond status with Free breakfast AND you decide NOT to pay the $65++ for full buffet at Tasting Table, then you may or may not encounter a $35 charge for a single egg
+ 106,000 dollar bottle of wine: Click
here for a picture of the wine menu (reactions follow on subsequent pages)





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Old Aug 21, 19, 5:08 am
  #1456  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 27
I imagine the restructuring of the BV/RV/OWV hierarchy is a simple case of supply and demand. The number of BVs is relatively scarce to begin with - 31 out of 122 villas, and even less after some of these villas are claimed through points redemption. The BVs are more suitable for families with young children, elderly guests who prefer easy accessibility to facilities, and return guests to the Maldives who have experienced OWVs and prefer having a larger front yard with access to both beach and sea.

Marquinhos (famous Brazilian footballer who plays for France's richest football club PSG), who earns a weekly salary of 200,000 Euros, stayed at the Waldorf last month. You would think he would opt to stay at a Grand OWV, but he chose a BV instead as he had his child with him on holiday. The BVs definitely have their own appeal to the particular demographic.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:07 am
  #1457  
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Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post
They must be tinkering with the website again regarding cash rates and points bookings. As others have stated the pricing make no logical sense. I have to assume they will update it soon. Currently for 8/20/20 the cheapest room is the King Reef @ $1600++, but has "Book with Hilton Honors Points Call 1-800-WALDORF" which traditionally means that this is a premium room commanding more than the 120K base room stay. The first, and only, room bookable for 120K is the King Beach with the cash rate of $2300++. The Double Queen Beach is not even showing a points rate plan option. Where every other plan/room style does.........
I just noticed the same. They are probably in the process of updating rates. I wonder if guests confirmed in King Beach with points may be downgraded to King Reef without notice?
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:18 am
  #1458  
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Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
I wonder if guests confirmed in King Beach with points may be downgraded to King Reef without notice?
I have a reservation later in 2019 and I asked to be "downgraded" from BV to OWV and they refused; they said since my booking is 2019, I can only do so if I pay $400 per night

Perhaps they would have had a different answer if my booking was early 2020 rather than late 2019? Regardless, I am not impressed. Let the rich footballers with children book in the more expensive BVs and let some of us downgrade voluntarily to OWV to free up more BV inventory. Everybody is happy. I guess that's not in the cards which is disappointing.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:33 am
  #1459  
 
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
I have a reservation later in 2019 and I asked to be "downgraded" from BV to OWV and they refused; they said since my booking is 2019, I can only do so if I pay $400 per night

Perhaps they would have had a different answer if my booking was early 2020 rather than late 2019? Regardless, I am not impressed. Let the rich footballers with children book in the more expensive BVs and let some of us downgrade voluntarily to OWV to free up more BV inventory. Everybody is happy. I guess that's not in the cards which is disappointing.
I'm in a simlilar boat, with a booking very late November directly after a Conrad stay. I've already booked the Conrad for the same dates in case I choose to cancel the WA, but if I could get a Reef Villa without paying the $400 a night that might just swing it.

As it stands, even with the 'half price' boat transfer, I'm tempted to save my 75k points (3 night WA stay), $400 a night upgrade fee and $800 boat ride money and just remain at Conrad.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:33 am
  #1460  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Programs: MAR Plat
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My stay is in late Feb and I also got a same offer, no extra to change my from BV to RV or OWV.
I am likely to go for a mix like 3 nights at BV and then 4 nights at OWV etc.

But I realised a view from the deck of RV and OWV looks pretty same based on some Youtube clips... while usually OWV cluster is pretty far from the main land and facilities etc.

So now I am wondering if I should go for OWV or RV.

Perhaps if one of them were with a nice sunset/sunrise view then it will make my choice much easier. However it is not the case for WA... suddenly I miss Conrad's SWV!
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:44 am
  #1461  
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Originally Posted by noeatbutgo View Post
My stay is in late Feb and I also got a same offer, no extra to change my from BV to RV or OWV......
Did you ask or did WA contact you proactively?

Last edited by TerryK; Aug 21, 19 at 6:54 am
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:52 am
  #1462  
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
...as far as I know based on reports here they insist on guests who redeemed points for BV to pay for an "upgrade" (or downgrade) to other room types (no complimentary upgrades/downgrades)
I just 'downgraded' my 5 night points stay to an OWV, given that in February the southern most OWVs will have a decent sunset view. I was told not to expect a cash refund for doing so but equally I was not asked to pay for the privilege.

Looking upthread, others have also been told that they can 'downgrade' for free.

Last edited by Jermyn; Aug 21, 19 at 8:50 am Reason: spelling
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:56 am
  #1463  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 27
Are the southern facing OWVs still under construction? Doesn't seem like anyone has stayed in those villas yet. Does anyone know if there are any distant small islands from the viewpoint of the southern OWVs?
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:56 am
  #1464  
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Others have been allowed to downgrade for free, and correct me if I am wrong but all such reports are for stays in 2020? For my stay in 2019, the resort insists on $400 per night for my downgrade
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Old Aug 21, 19, 7:52 am
  #1465  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by Traveler Dave View Post
Question...is it "Maldives" or "the Maldives"?

I came to the Maldives to enjoy the ocean
or
I came to Maldives to enjoy the ocean

TD
It's the Maldives with a lower case 't'. Like the USA, because it's made up of more than one part like the States is made up of more than one state
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Old Aug 21, 19, 8:02 am
  #1466  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
Did you ask or did WA contact you proactively?
I contacted WA after reading the post in this thread.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 10:21 am
  #1467  
 
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For anybody who stayed, can you get that little island swimming or paddle board?
Thanks
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Old Aug 21, 19, 10:34 am
  #1468  
 
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Originally Posted by honores41 View Post
For anybody who stayed, can you get that little island swimming or paddle board?
Thanks
I never saw anyone do it when we were there. But yes it would be an easy paddle on a calm day. It was on my short-list to-do when we were there....

Not sure I would swim there without a flag float or a spotter. Not a lot of boat traffic, but enough that I would not want to trust some newbie jet skier. Take some water shoes if you plan to get out and walk around. Most of the surface is compact coral/coral pieces. They may and/or may again cover it in sand, but was not there in July.

TD
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Last edited by Traveler Dave; Aug 21, 19 at 2:55 pm
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:59 pm
  #1469  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Originally Posted by flyerchatter View Post
Are the southern facing OWVs still under construction? Doesn't seem like anyone has stayed in those villas yet. Does anyone know if there are any distant small islands from the viewpoint of the southern OWVs?
I was told by staff that all the villas were open. Can't prove or dis-prove that, but when I went biking out that direction I only recall maintenance personnel in the OW area. While we there a big crane came in and worked on the suite at the end for a couple days. Looked like they were doing some major work on the pool. I clearly recall service staff and guests out in the other OW pontoon.

TD
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Old Aug 21, 19, 5:55 pm
  #1470  
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Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
and that they will get more mainland Chinese (not quite as affluent but still paying cash*) snapping up the more numerous - and now cheaper - OW and semi-OW villas (which they prefer by a considerable margin). They have vastly more RVs and OWVs than BVs so this could work out very well for them, while also satisfying Westerners' tastes and desires for being able to book (semi-)OV with points. Everyone wins.....theoretically.
They could have started doing surveys of these demographics since they opened and perhaps they are now marketing heavily for next year based on the results.
FWIW whilst at the resort we were approached by the Marketing Manager? and wanted to know "which travel agency and package" did we book with (obviously because I am chinese, yet born/rasied in Oz) and he wanted to know to see how he could conjure up more future business.

Originally Posted by honores41 View Post
For anybody who stayed, can you get that little island swimming or paddle board?
Thanks
If we had reef shoes we would have been tempted to just walk/wade across (looked probably 5 feet of water max). You can't paddle out there because non-motorised vessels from the water sports aren't allowed to go that far out (from where you start off from).



And re: "downgrades" to OWV. I am tempted to rebook and go back if that is the case!
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