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Alila Villas Maldives - REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Alila Villas Maldives - REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Apr 26, 22, 8:32 am
  #106  
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 19
I have 5 nights booked on points in December and was just looking at extending my stay by just 1 night and it appears that neither a 1 night stay or a group of 6 nights are available for my dates anymore. Perhaps points availability will not be as easily found as at the PH which does have nights available to book with points for the same dates.
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Old Apr 26, 22, 8:48 am
  #107  
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 11
Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
We had a very nice stay. The staff, as expected, were great. That said they are definitely in a soft opening period but at the going price that was expected. There's hundreds of construction workers living and working on the island to get the OWV up and running by July, but it wasn't too much of an eyesore or inconvenience. They are still struggling with supply chain issues so many of the menu items are not available but they're working on resolving those issues. I think the property will be great once it fully opens but nobody staying during the soft opening period should expect a polished product.

The main drawback of this property for me is the room design - the entire bathroom is outdoors. I found using the toilet in 35C weather with 100% humidity unpleasant and I never spent any more time in there than absolutely necessary. Fumbling around at 2am to get to the outhouse was an adventure I don't miss. Every time you need to use the sink or access running water you need to go outside so there is a lot of running in and out which in turn brought a lot of mosquitoes and flies inside. As to be expected with a new island, they have a lot of problems with these insects but I expect them to get this under control before opening and the GM said it was on the top of his priorities. Additionally, the watersports options were disappointing as they do not believe in motorsports due to the brand ethos. Yet you will see people on jetskis daily as those on the nearby islands ride over to explore the island but you won't be able to do the same. Finally, there are wild chickens and roosters on the island. They are neither friendly nor quiet.

On the positive, the spaces and facilities are very open and inviting. The food options were both tasty and of high quality. The breakfast is only a la carte, but that could just be due to low occupancy. They come over to your table and offer you fruit and bread from a basket each morning but I could imagine this being a mini buffet in the future to compliment the menu. Each morning they rearranged and restocked fruits in the living room basket which was a nice touch. They also offer high tea from 3-4 at the coffee shop where you could get a free tea or coffee which was nice, but not as generous as the afternoon tea or happy hours offered by other properties in the Maldives.

In total, I think this place will be a popular redemption because it wasn't put in as a category 8. Being the same category as the PH but a newer property, I assume it will become the more popular redemption, especially since every villa has a pool. From a cash perspective, I don't see how this property is going to demand over 3x the nightly rate of the PH. The PH similarly has limited dining and activities, but does have the advantage of being more private and intimate than Alila with better diving. The beach pool villa at the PH also has a larger patio and lounge space, especially if you have the deluxe beach villa, and we enjoyed quite a few dinners out there. There is no great place to do in room dining at the Alila unless you wanted to eat from the couch on the coffee table so we never did it. The PH also gives you the option of indoor or outdoor shower, and you can brush your teeth and get dressed/do your makeup in an air conditioned bathroom. However, WA will remain my favorite redemption property due to room style, variety of dining options (Aila has just Sea Salt open for now, with a Japanese restaurant coming, in addition to a bar and coffee shop) and activities offered. I think that hits most of the main points but I'm happy to answer any specific questions anyone has.
I have been trying to find reviews for this hotel ever since it opens. Thank you so much!

I have booked a 5 night stay in November and hope things will get improved by then.

I am interested to know what kind of activities they provided though. I have emailed the hotel but they said they do not have any activities finalized yet.

thanks again!!!!
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Old Apr 26, 22, 11:51 am
  #108  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: NYC
Posts: 80
How about food prices? any kids club ? water splash for families with kids? Thanks



Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
We had a very nice stay. The staff, as expected, were great. That said they are definitely in a soft opening period but at the going price that was expected. There's hundreds of construction workers living and working on the island to get the OWV up and running by July, but it wasn't too much of an eyesore or inconvenience. They are still struggling with supply chain issues so many of the menu items are not available but they're working on resolving those issues. I think the property will be great once it fully opens but nobody staying during the soft opening period should expect a polished product.

The main drawback of this property for me is the room design - the entire bathroom is outdoors. I found using the toilet in 35C weather with 100% humidity unpleasant and I never spent any more time in there than absolutely necessary. Fumbling around at 2am to get to the outhouse was an adventure I don't miss. Every time you need to use the sink or access running water you need to go outside so there is a lot of running in and out which in turn brought a lot of mosquitoes and flies inside. As to be expected with a new island, they have a lot of problems with these insects but I expect them to get this under control before opening and the GM said it was on the top of his priorities. Additionally, the watersports options were disappointing as they do not believe in motorsports due to the brand ethos. Yet you will see people on jetskis daily as those on the nearby islands ride over to explore the island but you won't be able to do the same. Finally, there are wild chickens and roosters on the island. They are neither friendly nor quiet.

On the positive, the spaces and facilities are very open and inviting. The food options were both tasty and of high quality. The breakfast is only a la carte, but that could just be due to low occupancy. They come over to your table and offer you fruit and bread from a basket each morning but I could imagine this being a mini buffet in the future to compliment the menu. Each morning they rearranged and restocked fruits in the living room basket which was a nice touch. They also offer high tea from 3-4 at the coffee shop where you could get a free tea or coffee which was nice, but not as generous as the afternoon tea or happy hours offered by other properties in the Maldives.

In total, I think this place will be a popular redemption because it wasn't put in as a category 8. Being the same category as the PH but a newer property, I assume it will become the more popular redemption, especially since every villa has a pool. From a cash perspective, I don't see how this property is going to demand over 3x the nightly rate of the PH. The PH similarly has limited dining and activities, but does have the advantage of being more private and intimate than Alila with better diving. The beach pool villa at the PH also has a larger patio and lounge space, especially if you have the deluxe beach villa, and we enjoyed quite a few dinners out there. There is no great place to do in room dining at the Alila unless you wanted to eat from the couch on the coffee table so we never did it. The PH also gives you the option of indoor or outdoor shower, and you can brush your teeth and get dressed/do your makeup in an air conditioned bathroom. However, WA will remain my favorite redemption property due to room style, variety of dining options (Aila has just Sea Salt open for now, with a Japanese restaurant coming, in addition to a bar and coffee shop) and activities offered. I think that hits most of the main points but I'm happy to answer any specific questions anyone has.
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Old Apr 26, 22, 12:50 pm
  #109  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: LAX/SFO
Programs: AS 100k, BA Gold, AC 75k, Hyatt/Hilton/IHG Diamond, Marriot Ti
Posts: 556
Originally Posted by Kwtkiwi View Post
I have been trying to find reviews for this hotel ever since it opens. Thank you so much!

I have booked a 5 night stay in November and hope things will get improved by then.

I am interested to know what kind of activities they provided though. I have emailed the hotel but they said they do not have any activities finalized yet.

thanks again!!!!
I expect by November they will very much be in the groove of things. They have SUP, kayak, windsurfing rentals ($35++/hr) or tours ($60++/hr). They also have snorkeling rental for free and 2hr tours for $100++. They only offer 4 excursions due to the eco theme of the brand/property which are dolphin, sunset, sandbar adventure, and local island visit.
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Old Apr 26, 22, 1:07 pm
  #110  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by Elleny76 View Post
How about food prices? any kids club ? water splash for families with kids? Thanks
Food prices were very comparable to PH and less than WA. Around $30 for apps, $50 for mains, $10 for sides and $20 for desserts. Not bad for maldives standards and the quality and flavor was good, although only 5 choices for each category of dish so it got repetitive. That will improve once the Japanese restaurant is finished, although if you don't like Japanese food it won't help. There is also a small coffee shop you could get sandwiches and snacks from and in room dining has pizza, burgers, salads and pastas. There is a small kids club right next to the dive shop and the main pool has a kid section on the north side. There are only two room types- beach and owv, and they are all 1 king bedrooms. They are basically all the same layout and the only real difference between any of the rooms is the location and orientation of the villa so keep that in mind when planning for a family.
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Old Apr 27, 22, 10:48 am
  #111  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
Food prices were very comparable to PH and less than WA. Around $30 for apps, $50 for mains, $10 for sides and $20 for desserts. Not bad for maldives standards and the quality and flavor was good, although only 5 choices for each category of dish so it got repetitive. That will improve once the Japanese restaurant is finished, although if you don't like Japanese food it won't help. There is also a small coffee shop you could get sandwiches and snacks from and in room dining has pizza, burgers, salads and pastas. There is a small kids club right next to the dive shop and the main pool has a kid section on the north side. There are only two room types- beach and owv, and they are all 1 king bedrooms. They are basically all the same layout and the only real difference between any of the rooms is the location and orientation of the villa so keep that in mind when planning for a family.
Did you do any snorkeling while on the property?
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Old Apr 27, 22, 5:49 pm
  #112  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: LAX/SFO
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Posts: 556
Originally Posted by kjc6158 View Post
Did you do any snorkeling while on the property?
Yes, but I don't think I can give a fair assessment. You have to remember that there's currently hundreds of construction workers living on the island and half the island is under construction. It's inevitable that there will be lots of floating construction material and trash. There's heavy machinery like cranes and excavators in the water digging up sand and rocks to install breakers. Give this property a couple years and I think there's a very good chance it will have an excellent house reef. After all, this isn't a reclamation project.

Edit: The reef is very shallow so it will only be possible to dive on property during high tide. They are pretty concerned about this so were not allowing rentals of the kayaks to protect both their equipment and the reef. Additionally, SUP hadn't arrived so no water activities were available during my stay.
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Last edited by TalkingPoint; Apr 29, 22 at 1:23 pm
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Old Apr 28, 22, 10:29 am
  #113  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 343
Hi
I see on the app to redeem but at checkout says unavailable. When will they open award bookings?
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Old May 6, 22, 9:18 am
  #114  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: LAX_AMS_MNL
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Posts: 676
Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
Food prices were very comparable to PH and less than WA. Around $30 for apps, $50 for mains, $10 for sides and $20 for desserts. Not bad for maldives standards and the quality and flavor was good, although only 5 choices for each category of dish so it got repetitive. That will improve once the Japanese restaurant is finished, although if you don't like Japanese food it won't help. There is also a small coffee shop you could get sandwiches and snacks from and in room dining has pizza, burgers, salads and pastas. There is a small kids club right next to the dive shop and the main pool has a kid section on the north side. There are only two room types- beach and owv, and they are all 1 king bedrooms. They are basically all the same layout and the only real difference between any of the rooms is the location and orientation of the villa so keep that in mind when planning for a family.
I'm booked here this November as well. Would you be able to tell us for beach villa what would be a good location? Sunset or sunrise?

Was the dive shop operational during your stay?
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Old May 6, 22, 10:17 am
  #115  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississippi
Programs: Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 153
sea plane cost?

i see above where it's reported to cost 600pp RT for the seaplane transfer, however where is it on the website or officially documented? i can't seem to find it.
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Old May 6, 22, 1:14 pm
  #116  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: LAX/SFO
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Posts: 556
Originally Posted by KL808 View Post
I'm booked here this November as well. Would you be able to tell us for beach villa what would be a good location? Sunset or sunrise?

Was the dive shop operational during your stay?
I prefer sunrise, it'll heat your pool up earlier in the day and you won't have the harsh afternoon soon.

The dive shop was operational and they have one dive instructor, Egor, who was great and friendly. Service is provided by eurodivers, which also operates diveshops on a dozen other properties, but means it won't count as eligible hyatt spend unlike at the PH. The pricing is on the higher side for the Maldives, and higher than the Amari (where Alex previously was the GM at and Laith also owns and uses eurodivers as the diveshop operator). They said it was due to Alila brand demanding a higher commission, but they aren't unreasonable and you can find the pricing and options here. I definitely got a sense from them that on a lot of things their hands are tied, and is the reason why a lot of the decisions and design is very Alila but doesn't make sense for the Maldives. The example they gave was the reservations building, which is fully open air and never used, but is required by Alila and they're not allowed to enclose it so their computer gets drenched and fried every few weeks during rainstorms.

Originally Posted by OregonTransplant View Post
i see above where it's reported to cost 600pp RT for the seaplane transfer, however where is it on the website or officially documented? i can't seem to find it.
Not sure if it's posted online but Venu, the reservations manager who came over from the PH, will confirm the price by email after booking. At the time of my visit during opening week, it was $600 per adult and $300 for kids 3-12 and free for infants. But he did mention that prices could change without notice due to unpredictable fuel prices.
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Old May 6, 22, 1:19 pm
  #117  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Programs: Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond, Delta Gold
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Originally Posted by TalkingPoint View Post
The example they gave was the reservations building, which is fully open air and never used, but is required by Alila and they're not allowed to enclose it so their computer gets drenched and fried every few weeks during rainstorms.
That's nuts. They should at least enclose the computer in a plastic waterproof casing as they're not using it anyway (but they're not taking advice from me either way!).

Thanks for your other comments, very helpful .
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Old May 6, 22, 3:11 pm
  #118  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 50
Thanks for the link on the scuba pricing as we (2 divers) visited the PH last summer and have a reservation at the Alila for October of this year. Interestingly the pricing seems to compare pretty favorably to the PH Maldives particularly the more dives you purchase. As a simple comparison if you were to want to complete 10 dives (5 trips of two tank dives) the price is $1100 all in at the PH Maldives. The pricing at the Alila is a bit more ala carte but I believe would only be around $900 for dives + boat + equipment if I'm doing the math correctly. The orientation dive is also free at the Alila vs. $80 or use of a package dive at the PH. If you have a couple of divers and are diving a great quantity the difference could start to become meaningful although is tempered by the fact that diving earns Hyatt points at PH and does not at the Alila. Excited to see more reviews of the property over the next couple of months to see if the trip makes sense.
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Old May 7, 22, 6:42 pm
  #119  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by ATLSFO0515 View Post
Thanks for the link on the scuba pricing as we (2 divers) visited the PH last summer and have a reservation at the Alila for October of this year. Interestingly the pricing seems to compare pretty favorably to the PH Maldives particularly the more dives you purchase. As a simple comparison if you were to want to complete 10 dives (5 trips of two tank dives) the price is $1100 all in at the PH Maldives. The pricing at the Alila is a bit more ala carte but I believe would only be around $900 for dives + boat + equipment if I'm doing the math correctly. The orientation dive is also free at the Alila vs. $80 or use of a package dive at the PH. If you have a couple of divers and are diving a great quantity the difference could start to become meaningful although is tempered by the fact that diving earns Hyatt points at PH and does not at the Alila. Excited to see more reviews of the property over the next couple of months to see if the trip makes sense.
If you're planning on doing the 10 dive package at the PH, consider doing 2 x Into the Deep packages. It's $660 and include 5 dives plus a 90 minute massage. Makes the massage only $110 instead of $200. At the Alila we were charged $300 per 2 tank dive before tip, but I didn't get it itemized so I'm not sure how they calculated it and can't reconcile vs what is posted online. Diving was quite a bit better at the PH, but in October it might be fun to make a visit to Baa Atoll and snorkel with mantas and whale sharks in Hanifaru Bay which the Alila is close enough to do. Speedboat rental would probably be around $1500 for such a trip. I'd probably choose the Alila over PH for something new, unless you really care about diving.
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Old May 17, 22, 12:20 am
  #120  
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https://newsroom.hyatt.com/news-releases?item=124245
Alila Kothaifaru Maldives Opens in the Scenic Raa Atoll
The all-pool-villa sanctuary provides guests with a luxurious island escape surrounded by abundant marine life, clear blue waters and lush vegetation
.
CHICAGO (
May 16, 2022) – Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced today the opening of Alila Kothaifaru Maldives, a private island retreat located in the picturesque Raa Atoll at the northern edge of the Maldives. The all-pool-villa resort offers a refreshing blend of serenity and discovery in a relatively untouched corner of the archipelago renowned for its abundant marine life.

“As countries continue to open up and travel confidence grows, we look forward to welcoming guests from all over the world to Alila Kothaifaru Maldives for a memorable getaway in what we hope will become the centerpiece of Raa Atoll,” said David Udell, group president, Asia-Pacific, Hyatt. “We are delighted to add this beautiful resort in the Maldives to our growing Alila portfolio, with new Alila hotels opening in sought-after destinations such as Suzhou and Shanghai in China and Nha Trang in Vietnam in the future.”

  • View File
    Mirus Bar at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

  • View File
    Beach villa at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

  • View File
    Aerial view of Alila Kothaifaru Maldives
Surrounded by Nature’s Wonders

Housed on a 27.6 acre (11.2 hectare) island, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives can be reached via a 45-minute seaplane journey from Mal. As one of the deeper atolls in the archipelago, the Raa Atoll offers abundant snorkeling and diving options to discover its rich marine life, from colorful corals to manta rays and sharks. The resort offers easy access to the famous Hanifaru Bay UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and is close to Vaadhoo Island, one of the best spots to witness the spectacular ‘Sea of Stars’ phenomenon. Alila Kothaifaru Maldives features white-sand beaches overlooking the infinite expanse of ocean blue, a stunning house reef and lush greenery.

Private Island Sanctuary

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives offers 80 pool villas, of which 44 are along the beach and 36 are perched overwater with direct access to the sea. Guests can unwind in these understated, sophisticated spaces that balance privacy with openness to the outdoors. Each villa comes with a private pool and sun deck where guests can bask in picture-perfect views and enjoy personalized service whether they are staying steps from the beach or above the turquoise lagoon. The Sunrise Beach Villas offer early birds captivating views to start their day alongside quick access to the resort’s main facilities such as the infinity pool, Play Alila kids’ club, Seasalt restaurant and Mirus Bar.

The resort’s elegant minimalist architecture by Singapore-based Studiogoto encompasses terraced pavilions, villas and a treetop spa that are carefully integrated into the existing landscape to immerse guests in the picturesque natural surroundings. The low-rise structures and contemporary interiors feature open-air spaces and a calming palette of island-inspired colors and textures, creating an idyllic setting for complete relaxation and connection with nature.

Immersive Culinary Journeys

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives offers a delightful variety of culinary experiences including:
  • Seasalt, the resort’s beachside all-day dining restaurant with an ocean view, serves coastal Mediterranean cuisine with Middle Eastern influences. Not to be missed are the restaurant’s signature salt-baked fish dishes.
  • A spectacular Maldivian sunset alongside a refreshing selection of cocktails at Mirus Bar inspired by the region’s former spice trade routes and concocted with ingredients from the resort’s own herb garden.
  • Umami offers Japanese-inspired menus prepared in a teppan theater with a premium selection of organically grown vegetables, Wagyu beef and sustainably sourced fish and seafood. The adjourning Yakitori Bar is the place to be to indulge in sundowners, from Asian-inspired craft cocktails and mocktails to fine Japanese sakes and spirits, amidst delicious smoky aromas from a robata grill.
  • Pibati Caf provides light bites and comfort food that are convenient for grab-and-go en route to an excursion.
  • Guests dreaming of an ultimate castaway experience can set sail in a traditional Maldivian dhoni on a two to three-hour journey around the Raa Atoll before returning to the resort’s private sandbank, The Shack, a secluded spot for a gourmet picnic, a sunset barbecue or a romantic candlelit dinner under the stars.
Haven for Relaxation

Nestled just above the treetops, Spa Alila features four double treatment suites, all with a private bathroom, shower and a floor-to-ceiling window with verdant views. Guests can indulge in rejuvenating treatments and beauty rituals that put a contemporary spin on ancient healing techniques and draw on the benefits of natural ingredients. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary daily yoga session in a tranquil outdoor space within the spa. The resort also offers a 24-hour fitness center and a beachfront infinity pool.

A wide range of water activities and excursions organized through the expert marine guides at the resort’s Water Sports and Dive Center are also available while Play Alila, a dedicated play and learning space for young guests will keep them entertained with toys, games and fun, supervised indoor and outdoor activities.

Bespoke Celebrations

From barefoot chic to elegant sophistication, couples can tie the knot or renew their vows with an enchanting celebration set in tropical splendor, whether on a pristine palm-fringed beach with the glistening ocean as a backdrop or on the private sandbank at sunset followed by a bespoke dinner under the stars.

“We are honored to welcome guests to one of the world’s most blissful destinations and we look forward to sharing with them the awe-inspiring nature that surrounds us,” said Alexandre Glauser, general manager, Alila Kothaifaru Maldives. “Here at our all-pool-villa sanctuary, guests can unwind in peaceful seclusion with charming views while our gracious hosts deliver personalized experiences leading to unique moments and treasured memories.”

Guided by its purpose of care, Hyatt’s multi-layered Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment further enhances its operational guidance and resources around colleague and guest safety and peace of mind. More information on Hyatt’s commitment can be found here: hyatt.com/care-and-cleanliness.

For more information about Alila Kothaifaru Maldives, please visit: alilahotels.com/kothaifaru-maldives.
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