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 8, 19, 5:51 am
  #1471  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: FLL
Programs: United Premier Platinum; Marriott Gold; Starwood Gold; Hilton Honors Diamond; Hertz Pres Circle
Posts: 631
Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
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.
Curious to know this, as well. And know what offers, if any, have been made for paid upgrades. Based on what has been posted, it seems the only difference in perks offered to Gold/Diamond is the free 30 minute add-on to a massage.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 6:17 am
  #1472  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
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Originally Posted by goldelite8 View Post
Curious to know this, as well. And know what offers, if any, have been made for paid upgrades. Based on what has been posted, it seems the only difference in perks offered to Gold/Diamond is the free 30 minute add-on to a massage.
Afaik that is correct

Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
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.
Ha ha I might know who you were referring to but that's not me. I'm holed up in my villa now and staying put, it's in room dining on the deck for us.

Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
And we received a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Rosθ Brut.

The non grand cru Billecart-Salmon Brut champagne is $62++ per glass at dinner, crazy! So we drink up at breakfast when its complimentary
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Old Jul 8, 19, 6:33 am
  #1473  
 
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
Afaik that is correct




The non grand cru Billecart-Salmon Brut champagne is $62++ per glass at dinner, crazy! So we drink up at breakfast when its complimentary
I don't drink champagne so let me know if you want my bottle.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 7:20 am
  #1474  
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
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Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
I don't drink champagne so let me know if you want my bottle.
Mate that would be awesome, legendary FT spirit. I'll PM you.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 7:22 am
  #1475  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,634
Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
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?

Are Golds given breakfast too? The graphic you posted doesn't mention breakfast for Diamonds either...
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Old Jul 8, 19, 7:40 am
  #1476  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: HHD, SPG LTG
Posts: 1,700
re: tennis courts, it is being built where my red dot is, just before crossing the bridge to the spa/gym and adjacent to staff quarters.

re: sunset/sunrise, i am guessing that its the yellow line or thereabouts, goes right to left.

I am guessing that none of the villas have actual sunset views from their deck (except ocean villas and private island) the closest BV that i would guess that have sunset views or at least from their beach would be near the wedding pavilion. The reef villas in the 500, 400, 300s would likely be blocked by neighbouring fences. (Seeing it from the wedding pavilion) Again I emphasise I am just guessing from my observations and island exploration.


..

re: upgrades, been told that occupancy is 80+% right now and will be higher as of next week, it doesnt help that the villas in 100s and 200s are not in service.

The resort is gigantic so if i had to do this visit again (and i might) my preference would be : beach villas in the 200s south facing, then 200s north, then low 600s north facing for sunset on the beach, if reef villas in the 300s or 400s, as for owvs, equally same as they are pretty much far away from everything hahaha i am pretty sure north facing rooms end up having distant lights from other islands that can be distracting. Not sure about south.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 8:10 am
  #1477  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Programs: LT NoN REV
Posts: 554
Originally Posted by Stivelio View Post
Loved our dinner at Yasmeen. Here's the set menu that is recommended by the staff that we got.Menu B was way too much food for 2 of us ( more like food for 4)




What is the invoice like for this option B including all taxes and excluding tip.

Thank you,

Last edited by dimmedlights; Jul 8, 19 at 8:10 am Reason: add
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Old Jul 8, 19, 9:22 am
  #1478  
 
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
re: tennis courts, it is being built where my red dot is, just before crossing the bridge to the spa/gym and adjacent to staff quarters.

re: sunset/sunrise, i am guessing that its the yellow line or thereabouts, goes right to left.

I am guessing that none of the villas have actual sunset views from their deck (except ocean villas and private island) the closest BV that i would guess that have sunset views or at least from their beach would be near the wedding pavilion. The reef villas in the 500, 400, 300s would likely be blocked by neighbouring fences. (Seeing it from the wedding pavilion) Again I emphasise I am just guessing from my observations and island exploration.


..

re: upgrades, been told that occupancy is 80+% right now and will be higher as of next week, it doesnt help that the villas in 100s and 200s are not in service.

The resort is gigantic so if i had to do this visit again (and i might) my preference would be : beach villas in the 200s south facing, then 200s north, then low 600s north facing for sunset on the beach, if reef villas in the 300s or 400s, as for owvs, equally same as they are pretty much far away from everything hahaha i am pretty sure north facing rooms end up having distant lights from other islands that can be distracting. Not sure about south.
I was told an hour ago that they are now at 50% occupancy and that the 100 villas are in fact all finished by the 200s are not. Who knows. You could ask twenty staff members and get twenty different answers I'll bet, especially since we're probably both talking to our concierges and F&B staff rather than to hotel reservations and front office people.

Edit: The 100s villas aren’t finished. They were fumigating out there today and you could see the fumigation fog from across the lagoon.


Last edited by jphripjah; Jul 10, 19 at 3:21 am
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Old Jul 8, 19, 9:32 am
  #1479  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 2,907
Originally Posted by jphripjah View Post
For what its worth, and this will not be a surprise to anyone, I went to another dining venue today and the bill had the same itemization with Tip - $0.00 printed on the bill, then service charge, then tax, then later a line for you to write in your gratuity. And I did ask a staff member today if they receive the service charge and he said yes.

An interesting question here is, if I leave a tip on the bill charged to my room, who gets it? Does it all go to the waiter, or to the staff of that restaurant only, or does it go into the general "service charge" fund shared by all the staff?
I got a little more info on the service charge issue. I am told that all staff at the resort except the top executives all share equally in the service charges collected. Actually the resort keeps 1% of the amount collected for "administration" and the staff gets 99%. If you write a gratuity on your bill at the restaurant, that is shared by the staff of that restaurant only. If you want to give a personal tip to a particular staff member, you can hand him or her cash.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 10:16 am
  #1480  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: El Gouna , Hurghada (HRG)
Programs: IHG:Spire Amb QR:Gold HH:Diamond
Posts: 357
Firstly I would like to chip in with some thanks to the FT "pioneers" . Some very helpful information already . If I could ask a couple of questions they would be . What are the selected drinks that are available in the Nava Happy Hour ? and I read somewhere that one establishment has Shisha water pipes . Did anyone notice the price for this ? Im sure it will be a little more than the $5 I'm used to paying here in El Gouna Egypt ;-) . Responses appreciated .
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Old Jul 8, 19, 1:50 pm
  #1481  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 8
Yacht Cost

Have anyone stayed and reviewed the yacht costs? When first booking it stated it was $370/PP RETURN (roundtrip). Did any early bookers confirm that they honored the $370 roundtrip?
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Old Jul 8, 19, 7:05 pm
  #1482  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Programs: Hilton
Posts: 10
Alanslegal's observation is clear. Here is the sun path of July and Dec for this island. Just look at that yellow line.

It seems that the best position is BV 20x facing south in Dec. Unfortunately I am going in Oct, it seems that the best positions to watch sunset is the staff house
Attached Images   
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Old Jul 8, 19, 7:50 pm
  #1483  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: HKG
Programs: MPC, KF, BAEC // SPG, WoH, Honors
Posts: 1,117
Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
Are Golds given breakfast too? The graphic you posted doesn't mention breakfast for Diamonds either...
Yes full breakfast at Tasting Table is complimentary to both Diamonds and Golds.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 9:09 pm
  #1484  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2,634
Originally Posted by Kilian Zoll View Post
Yes full breakfast at Tasting Table is complimentary to both Diamonds and Golds.
Impressed that Golds get treated so well. Was not expecting that they would also get access to the daily afternoon treats.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 10:17 pm
  #1485  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: HKG
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Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
Impressed that Golds get treated so well. Was not expecting that they would also get access to the daily afternoon treats.
Agree, or a Diamond may claim that they're not being treated well enough.

But elite treatment - even Golds - seems very good at this property. Even though complimentary upgrades don't seem to be a thing.
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