Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi {MDV}

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Old Oct 23, 19, 2:42 am   -   Wikipost
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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 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 7, 19, 9:01 pm
  #1456  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: PER
Programs: Airlines - Only in the pointy end on points, HHonors Diamond, SPG Preferred Plus & Marriott Silver
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post


Thanks what do E/N and PRPN mean on page 3? I’m having a little trouble understanding the pricing structure can someone give me an example of what’s included and how many nights using numbers on the sheet?
Looks like it means Extra Night Per Person
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Old Jul 7, 19, 10:04 pm
  #1457  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,510
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post


Thanks what do E/N and PRPN mean on page 3? I’m having a little trouble understanding the pricing structure can someone give me an example of what’s included and how many nights using numbers on the sheet?

yeah i think EN means extra night like another poster says above
and i think PRPN means per room per night

so looking at page 3,

----------------

if Mr and Mrs Smith books "Beach Villa with Pool" for a 3 nights stay in August 2019, then they pay the following
25,699 HKD x 2 persons (for 3 nights)

If they want to bring their teenage kid aged 16 years named Tom, then they have to pay an extra
17,299 HKD (for 3 nights)

If they want to extend their stay by 1 night to make it a total of 4 nights, they have to pay an extra
10,660 HKD (for Mr and Mrs Smith)
2,490 HKD (for Tom)

The above prices include the following for each traveller
▪ Round trip economy class ticket between Hong Kong & Maldives by Cathay Pacific (CX)
▪ Breakfast
▪ Roundtrip Speedboat Transfer between Male & Resort

The above prices exclude the following
▪ All ticket taxes (Fuel surcharge & Taxes) ~~ i assume this note is only relevant for the CX flight

Last edited by gnomey; Jul 7, 19 at 10:09 pm
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:50 am
  #1458  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,907
Thank you
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Old Jul 8, 19, 12:54 am
  #1459  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,907
Originally Posted by sergeysl View Post
Thanks a lot for posting the pictures/videos, can't wait to get there in January 2020

Just curious, what is the bubbly wine in the arrival gift for Diamonds? Also, how is the gift in general?

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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:34 am
  #1460  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 631
So the million dollar Yacht broke down or something and so they have arranged a speed boat for us for our ride back to the airport. They have refunded one way charges for this inconvenience that we don't mind at all
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Old Jul 8, 19, 2:17 am
  #1461  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: HKG
Programs: MPC, KF, BAEC // SPG, WoH, Honors
Posts: 1,117
Originally Posted by Stivelio View Post
So the million dollar Yacht broke down or something and so they have arranged a speed boat for us for our ride back to the airport. They have refunded one way charges for this inconvenience that we don't mind at all
Blessing in disguise? Please do report back on how choppy the waters are between the atolls though -- I hear it can get very bumpy.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 2:21 am
  #1462  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: HKG
Programs: MPC, KF, BAEC // SPG, WoH, Honors
Posts: 1,117
Have any Golds stayed yet? Would be interesting to hear about the differences in benefits between Gold and Diamond, if any (apart from the spa discount which I won't be taking advantage of anyway).

Is the in-villa champagne the same? Broader snack selection for Diamonds? Different breakfast selection/a la carte menu? Any other points of differentiation?

Hilton Honors GOLD MEMBERS:
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Benefits:
  • In-villa VIP welcome Champagne, sweet and savoury amenities
  • Complimentary daily afternoon delights 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:
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Benefits:
  • In-villa VIP welcome Champagne, sweet and savoury amenities
  • With a selected 60-minute massage, enjoy a complimentary additional 30-minute at Waldorf Astoria Spa
  • Complimentary daily afternoon delights 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
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Old Jul 8, 19, 2:56 am
  #1463  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,907
Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
Is the in-villa champagne the same? Broader snack selection for Diamonds? Different breakfast selection/a la carte menu? Any other points of differentiation?
The happy hour snack selection has to be the same for everyone, they bring you one of those towers with pastries on them, there's no way they're doing different ones for Diamond v. Gold.

Also, for breakfast, you walk in they hand you a menu and point you to the buffet. There's no way there's a separate menu for Gold v. Diamond. There's no one guarding the buffet's bacon offering asking for your status before letting you take some.

Speaking of bacon, I could see some of our British friends being disappointed that they don't serve British style "rashers" at breakfast, they serve American bacon. You know, dark red, you can pick up a piece and and snap it in half.

There are also no pork sausages, only chicken sausage and beef (or turkey?) sausage. I think the bacon is the only pork breakfast offering, and it's right in the middle of the display, it's not sequestered off to the side of the buffet like they do in some Muslim countries.

They do have baked beans though, for the Brits, presumably.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 3:19 am
  #1464  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 9
I arrived yesterday, July 7. So far, I’m in love with everything. From the yacht transfer, my two bedded Reef villa, the diamond member breakfast, happy hour drinks (I don’t like that there is no HH bites though - I’m not into pastries for HH). I haven’t went out to dinner yet. I was kind of tired last night and wanted to relax. I guess I will have a lavish experience tomorrow July 9 for my birthday. I will also enjoy my VIP complimentary champagne tomorrow. On another note, if you are staying here right now feel free to come say hi. I will be at HH every night. You can’t miss me. I’m the only woman of color on the property besides my mother.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 3:25 am
  #1465  
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Homeless
Programs: M&M SEN; AC SE100k; Qatar Plat; HH Dia; SPG AMB100; Hyatt Globalist; Fairmont Plat
Posts: 2,239
Of the people at the resort now, which room did you book, and which room did you receive? Just scanning the last few pages it seems nobody is being upgraded? If so then I am surprised about the lack of upgrades, not a major issue but if I was GM of a new hotel I would want to be generous from the start and create good publicity. Also if nobody is being upgraded, people staying in non-Beach Villas are on cash bookings or paid upgrades in greater numbers than I expected.

Thanks to all who contributed tidbits of reviews during their stay so far.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 3:48 am
  #1466  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Originally Posted by Eschalon View Post
I arrived yesterday, July 7. So far, I’m in love with everything. From the yacht transfer, my two bedded Reef villa, the diamond member breakfast, happy hour drinks (I don’t like that there is no HH bites though - I’m not into pastries for HH). I haven’t went out to dinner yet. I was kind of tired last night and wanted to relax. I guess I will have a lavish experience tomorrow July 9 for my birthday. I will also enjoy my VIP complimentary champagne tomorrow. On another note, if you are staying here right now feel free to come say hi. I will be at HH every night. You can’t miss me. I’m the only woman of color on the property besides my mother.
HH is at 10pm at Nava, and AT is at 4pm at Peacock Alley. Ill be at PA shortly and im the chubby chinese guy who will be bare feet
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Old Jul 8, 19, 4:33 am
  #1467  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: London and Hong Kong
Programs: Hilton Diamond.
Posts: 118
Originally Posted by Eschalon View Post
I arrived yesterday, July 7. So far, I’m in love with everything. From the yacht transfer, my two bedded Reef villa, the diamond member breakfast, happy hour drinks (I don’t like that there is no HH bites though - I’m not into pastries for HH). I haven’t went out to dinner yet. I was kind of tired last night and wanted to relax. I guess I will have a lavish experience tomorrow July 9 for my birthday. I will also enjoy my VIP complimentary champagne tomorrow. On another note, if you are staying here right now feel free to come say hi. I will be at HH every night. You can’t miss me. I’m the only woman of color on the property besides my mother.
my birthday is the 10th!

im arriving on Friday and staying for one week.

Thanks to everyone who has commented or left a post of any kind while staying.

Its really good to get an idea of what to expect.

I am Muslim myself and am not fussed about the pork offerings. Yeah it helps for it to be separate but I understand that you guys can’t live without your bacon! Lol.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 5:17 am
  #1468  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,907
Originally Posted by MaldivesFreak View Post
Not Male, that's for sure. Another resort I guess as it doesn't look like a residential / built up island either.






Very useful info but there is a problem with that. 208 is a suite.
What do you mean when you say it's a suite? A two bedroom villa? I don't see "suite" as a room classification at this resort. I just copied and pasted the list of King Beach Villas numbers they sent me, it certainly could be wrong.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 5:18 am
  #1469  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,907
Originally Posted by alanslegal View Post
HH is at 10pm at Nava, and AT is at 4pm at Peacock Alley. Ill be at PA shortly and im the chubby chinese guy who will be bare feet
I saw one not terribly chubby Chinese guy with a wife and young daughter today but he left Peacock Alley early at 4:30 after consuming only one Heineken so I figured he couldn't be an FTer.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 5:24 am
  #1470  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: BHX
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Posts: 6,389
I'd just like to thank everyone currently on their holidays taking the time to post all this information. It's really helpful, and I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about my upcoming stay in November.

Early days yet, but certainly I'm not as concerned as I was a week ago.
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