I’m Tempted: Ritz-Carlton Maldives Pre-Devaluation Points Trip

I’m Tempted: Ritz-Carlton Maldives Pre-Devaluation Points Trip

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Is an upcoming points devaluation a sufficient motivator to plan a trip to the Maldives in the near future? I’m curious what OMAAT readers think.

Why I’m considering traveling to the Maldives

While I’ve visited the Maldives a few times, I haven’t been since 2017, so it has been a while. I like the Maldives a lot — what’s not to love about the natural beauty and overwater bungalows? At the same time, it is very expensive (even when redeeming points), and there’s not actually a whole lot to do, since you’re typically stuck on a private island. But sometimes it’s nice to disconnect in that way.

While I don’t exclusively plan my travels around good value points hotels, an excellent opportunity to redeem points may sometimes impact the order in which I visit places.

The Marriott Bonvoy program will be majorly devalued in 2022, as there will no longer be an award chart, but rather award pricing will be dynamic. The number of points required for a stay will more closely be tied to the cash cost of staying somewhere, which means that the best value redemptions are likely to be devalued most.

I started thinking about whether there were any Marriott hotels I wanted to redeem points at pre-devaluation, and somehow I keep going back to the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, which opened this year. This is a Category 8 Marriott Bonvoy property, and for the time being it’s bookable for a maximum of 100,000 points per night, with a fifth night free.

Ritz-Carlton Maldives spa

For the dates I’m looking at, the paid rate is a staggering $2,909 per night, and that doesn’t include the 24% tax and service charge, which brings the cost to $3,600+ per night.

Crunching the numbers, for a five night stay I could either pay $18,000 or 400,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. For context, I value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each (and I’m sure I’ll value them at even less after the devaluation), so to me that’s the equivalent of paying $560 per night.

Or if you want to look at it differently, you’re getting about 4.5 cents of value per Bonvoy point. How do I say no to a redemption like that?!

Now, let me acknowledge that just because the hotel is charging that amount per night doesn’t mean a stay there is “worth” that much. If I were spending that much cash on a hotel in the Maldives (which I wouldn’t) I’d book Cheval Blanc, which is no doubt significantly better. Furthermore, at the moment prices for luxury hotels in destinations that are open are higher than ever before.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives looks beautiful

Pros & cons of redeeming at Ritz-Carlton Maldives

I’m trying to objectively consider the pros & cons here. The pros of staying at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives include the following:

  • The standard room here is an overwater villa, while at other properties there’s a significant upcharge to get an overwater villa
  • This is an incredible use of points in terms of the value I’d get per point
  • The Ritz-Carlton Maldives has excellent award availability, unlike the Waldorf Astoria Maldives (the other points hotel in the Maldives that I most want to visit), which has very little award availability
  • I could incorporate some fun flight reviews into this trip, with some untraditional airlines
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives standard overwater villa

Then there are the cons of staying here:

  • Ritz-Carlton is a brand where most Marriott Bonvoy elite benefits don’t apply, so even as a Platinum member or above you’ll have to pay for breakfast here (unlike the St. Regis, which I’d consider, except I’ve stayed there before)
  • The Ritz-Carlton is not only near Male, but is also part of an island chain that consists of three resorts, so it seems to me like the hotel likely won’t have the beauty or sense of seclusion you get at some resorts that are more private
  • Reviews of the property are mixed — the snorkeling opportunities are limited (not that I snorkel or go in the ocean, as that’s the shark’s house), there are reports of service not being great, and some guests report that the winds at the resort are “unbearable”
The Ritz-Carlton is part of the Fari Islands archipelago

Bottom line

I’m considering a trip to the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, which at this point is probably the highest priced Marriott property in the world when paying cash. While I’d eventually want to return to the Maldives no matter what, there’s no doubt that the upcoming Bonvoy devaluation is moving forward the timeline for me quite a bit.

It seems that there are pros and cons to redeeming here, and I’m trying to decide whether to pull the trigger on this redemption or not.

Anyone else considering a pre-devaluation stay at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives, or any other aspirational property? Would you plan a trip like this in my shoes?

Conversations (45)
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  1. Massimo Guest

    I am at the JW Maldives right now and I must say that I love it. The lowest cathegory here is also an overwater villa. As a Titanium member I got upgraded to a duplex over water villa. First they wanted to upgrade me to their highest cathegory which is a beach villa with privat pool and beach. But honestly l prefer over water villas.
    You get 20% discount on all food and drinks...

    I am at the JW Maldives right now and I must say that I love it. The lowest cathegory here is also an overwater villa. As a Titanium member I got upgraded to a duplex over water villa. First they wanted to upgrade me to their highest cathegory which is a beach villa with privat pool and beach. But honestly l prefer over water villas.
    You get 20% discount on all food and drinks and the service is very good. Plus you receive a lot of complementary water otherwise you would pay 15$ +taxes per bottle (we receive like 4 liter every day). The same benefits are for Platinum members. The hotel is also pretty new as it opened in 2019.

  2. Scott Schultz Guest

    Used the Chase transfer bonus to book 10 nights at the JW at the end of March. Was originally considering the Park Hyatt, but the base room doesn't come with a pool. It's also more of a hassle to get to as you have to take a seaplane flight and a boat transfer. With an infant in tow, that doesn't sound particularly fun. With the JW, we get a beach villa room with a pool....

    Used the Chase transfer bonus to book 10 nights at the JW at the end of March. Was originally considering the Park Hyatt, but the base room doesn't come with a pool. It's also more of a hassle to get to as you have to take a seaplane flight and a boat transfer. With an infant in tow, that doesn't sound particularly fun. With the JW, we get a beach villa room with a pool. Could have had an overwater villa, but again with an infant...and it's a direct seaplane flight to the hotel. They also have a large kids area as well. So that works in our favor. May not be the most luxurious resort, but it works for us.

  3. Morgan Gold

    Yes I would, do it! It would make for some fantastic reviews!

  4. Dn10 Guest

    Flyer talk has made it seem like the Ritz isn’t worth it, especially now. Been back to the STR a few times and think a repeat visit there is better than what the Ritz is turning out to be.

  5. Phillip Guest

    I am currently in the Maldives, having been to the Ritz Carlton last week and moving around at different resorts. I think it’s safe to say that the Maldives have suffered from pretty strong winds nationwide throughout this past year. This is not isolated to the Ritz Carlton. I found the wind perfectly bearable and a nice cooling effect from the heat of the sun.

    The overwater villas at the RC are spectacular as far...

    I am currently in the Maldives, having been to the Ritz Carlton last week and moving around at different resorts. I think it’s safe to say that the Maldives have suffered from pretty strong winds nationwide throughout this past year. This is not isolated to the Ritz Carlton. I found the wind perfectly bearable and a nice cooling effect from the heat of the sun.

    The overwater villas at the RC are spectacular as far as hotel rooms go. There is an element of sterility at the resort, more so than other Maldivian resorts due to the fact that the Fari Islands are literally so young but even without a house reef we were treated to daily sightings of fish, rays and other underwater wildlife right outside our room.
    We had a lagoon view room which was the sunset side of the resort and had a partial view of the another Fari island. Personally, as much as I like feeling remote, being able to see another island added perspective to the remoteness especially at night. Never saw any ships other than the boat service operated by the hotel to the nearby islands and a bat-mobile looking yacht.
    The hotel offers 20% discount to Platinum + members at most dining outlets (but not the Summer Pavilion or IWAU). This also covers any meal plans you might choose to add to your stay. They also offer complimentary afternoon tea at La Locanda.
    Overall service was good. Very attentive but nothing out of this world.
    I had originally booked the St Regis but cancelled after their reservations department demonstrated a new level of incompetence in dealing with my reservation.
    My recommendation is that, if you do fancy disconnecting for 5 days (the wifi here is very good anyway) and are happy to enjoy a great room with little else to do (which is the same wherever you go in the Maldives) then I would go for it! It would be great to read your take. It is certainly a great redemption!

    1. PC Guest

      Hi Philip, thanks for your feedback. I am planning to stay there as well. Do they have RC club at the property? I have some RC club upgrade passes sitting in my account for a while with no use.

    2. emailgpc Guest

      Hi Philip, thanks for the feedback. Does the property have Ritz Carlton club ?

    3. Phillip Guest

      @PC and @emailgpc not that I’m aware of I’m afraid

  6. John Guest

    Why wouldn't you select Al Maha, same points, secluded, and food is included. Having stayed at many Ritz, they are just overpriced and not that special.

    1. Andrew Guest

      FWIW, Ritz Residences in Honolulu on a STARS rate is actually quite nice.

  7. John Guest

    To be honest I was a bit surprised you didn’t use Ford’s week at Four Seasons for a Maldives trip. FS Landaa Giraavaru is great at this time of year.

  8. Alex_77W Guest

    Personally, the destination and local things to do are generally more important than the hotel itself (but, I admit, I do enjoy staying in fine properties). This is why I considered but never went to Maldives: it looks like there is not much to do except snorkeling (which I also enjoy). But if you not even going into the ocean, why bother spending time and points (money) just to go to the swimming pool and...

    Personally, the destination and local things to do are generally more important than the hotel itself (but, I admit, I do enjoy staying in fine properties). This is why I considered but never went to Maldives: it looks like there is not much to do except snorkeling (which I also enjoy). But if you not even going into the ocean, why bother spending time and points (money) just to go to the swimming pool and enjoy room service?
    What this blog is clearly missing are the local advise and activities - the two things making my trips much more memorable rather than room upgrades and extra points earned.

  9. guisun Platinum

    I think if you really want to visit that property, then you should. You would have gone anyways at some later date, but you are now going at cheaper rate.

  10. DenB Platinum

    Ben, look at your resources (time, Bonvoy points, cash). Let's assume you have enough of all. (You should, with what we pay you for this blog). Wait...

    Will you regret it? Even if it isn't super great, you'll be glad you went and we'll get great content from your "last chance" high-value redemtion.

    Wise person on deathbed says "the only things I regret are the things I didn't do".

  11. Joe Guest

    If it's nothing to you, I don't see why you shouldn't.
    I just used 365K at the St. Regis the other month, and unfortunately earned 310,000 of them back. Wish I could burn some more either at Ritz, Le Meridien, or a property in Bora Bora, but unfortunately we just have too many other places we want to go and too little time. Shame too, because we hit Platinum this year
    Maybe we'll be able to use then up in Europe next October.

    1. Frank Guest

      How did you get 310k back?

  12. Motion to Dismiss Guest

    Surely North Island is the priciest Marriott property for a cash stay?

  13. David Diamond

    If not now, then do you reckon you'll ever go and review the property? I'd say just pull the trigger while it still makes sense.

  14. DCS Diamond

    The Marriott Bonvoy program will be majorly devalued in 2022, as there will no longer be an award chart, but rather award pricing will be dynamic.

    Yet another claim hatched out of thin air in travel blogosphere and elevated to the level of dogma through ad nauseam repetition in the echo chamber, even though there is very little evidence to support it.

    Please put up credible evidence that 'no award chart = devaluation' or that 'dynamic award pricing = devaluation'.

    1. DenB Platinum

      Over the top. Ben's surmise is unproven. It's also expert, reasonable, widely supported by others with relevant experience and solid credentials. My suggestion would be to analyze carefully Ban's history and come up with a percent likelihood that his public prediction will be completely wrong. Let us know how that goes for you.

    2. DCS Diamond

      Over the top. Ben's surmise is unproven. It's also expert, reasonable, widely supported by others with relevant experience and solid credentials. My suggestion would be to analyze carefully Ban's history and come up with a percent likelihood that his public prediction will be completely wrong. Let us know how that goes for you.

      "Experts" by declaration! That is your hard evidence? If I had a penny for every time a self-anointed "travel guru" has made...

      Over the top. Ben's surmise is unproven. It's also expert, reasonable, widely supported by others with relevant experience and solid credentials. My suggestion would be to analyze carefully Ban's history and come up with a percent likelihood that his public prediction will be completely wrong. Let us know how that goes for you.

      "Experts" by declaration! That is your hard evidence? If I had a penny for every time a self-anointed "travel guru" has made predictions or claims that turned out to be wrong, I would be a very rich man!

      Both UA and Hilton got rid of their award charts and have had dynamic award pricing for a good while. I have seen little evidence of the purported 'devaluation'.

      The claim is more along the line that if there is no award chart, programs will simply jack up award costs because there is nothing by which to hold them accountable. That is known as paranoia. The truth of the matter is that awards have gone up or down, loosely, with cash costs, in reflection of something called 'reward leveraging' - the principle that says "the actual cost of a reward to the company is significantly less than the perceived value to the member." It is why Marriott just adopted dynamic award pricing and Hyatt and everyone else will follow suit. It makes sense:

      REWARD LEVERAGE
      The award room in a property or award seat in an airplane would have gone empty, therefore there is no foregone revenue – hotel's cost is only the cost to clean the room or the airline’s cost is only the variable cost of carrying a customer, e.g., the fuel cost. The move toward dynamic reward pricing (and away from reward charts with fixed reward levels) is an effort to maximize reward leverage; the more demand exists for an airline seat, in a specific market on a specific day the higher its cost in terms of foregone revenue. This higher cost is reflected in higher point levels for redemption under dynamic reward pricing. Conversely, a seat in a low-demand market in an off-peak time of year costs the airline less in terms of foregone revenue; the airline can therefore afford to require fewer points for redemption.

      There is actual order in what programs try to accomplish, even though it may appear like madness in travel blogosphere with its high priesthood of self-anointed "travel gurus."

      G'day!

    3. Omar Guest

      You haven't noticed any devaluation in UA? Seriously? It's 20-50% more expensive than it used to be across the board.

    4. DCS Diamond

      You haven't noticed any devaluation in UA? Seriously? It's 20-50% more expensive than it used to be across the board.

      Do you believe that is because of the demise of the award chart and of dynamic award pricing, and not because every program must devalue from time to time? If you do, then I have a Latin phrase for you that aptly describes that sort of fallacious argument: Post hoc ergo propter hoc!

      ...

      You haven't noticed any devaluation in UA? Seriously? It's 20-50% more expensive than it used to be across the board.

      Do you believe that is because of the demise of the award chart and of dynamic award pricing, and not because every program must devalue from time to time? If you do, then I have a Latin phrase for you that aptly describes that sort of fallacious argument: Post hoc ergo propter hoc!

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin: 'after this, therefore because of this') is an informal fallacy that states: "Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X." It is often shortened simply to post hoc fallacy. A logical fallacy of the questionable cause variety, it is subtly different from the fallacy cum hoc ergo propter hoc ('with this, therefore because of this'), in which two events occur simultaneously or the chronological ordering is insignificant or unknown.

      Post hoc is a particularly tempting error because correlation appears to suggest causality. The fallacy lies in a conclusion based solely on the order of events, rather than taking into account other factors potentially responsible for the result that might rule out the connection.

      A simple example is "the rooster crows immediately before sunrise; therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise."

      Try again...

    5. eponymous coward Guest

      “Every program must devalue”

      I see what you did there, but you just gave the game away. If every program must devalue, there’s literally no reason why dynamic award pricing can’t be part of that devaluation they MUST do, right?

      I’m on Team Dynamic Awards are Devaluation, with plenty of experience with Delta’s award chart being a bad joke TATL. Ironically they do have consistent LOW end value for me, because they often price domestic...

      “Every program must devalue”

      I see what you did there, but you just gave the game away. If every program must devalue, there’s literally no reason why dynamic award pricing can’t be part of that devaluation they MUST do, right?

      I’m on Team Dynamic Awards are Devaluation, with plenty of experience with Delta’s award chart being a bad joke TATL. Ironically they do have consistent LOW end value for me, because they often price domestic awards to be competitive with Southwest. When combined with a generous elite status in 2020 that will take me through 2023 and all time high signup bonuses for their cards in 2021, it’s solid value to get two hour flights in C+ or F at 4,000-6,000 SkyPesos, but I have zero urge to get on the Delta/AMEX hamster wheel of 1x DL earning for general spend to keep that status.

      That and some of Hilton’s changes squeezed value out of the chart for me. But they admitted it was an treadmill long ago and they still have upped SUBS and earning…

      But we have a way to actually test everyone’s hypothesis regarding what Marriott is doing, because we have a Marriott program in a pre-dynamic state. So take some Cat 7s and Cat 8s, look at their pricing (cash and points) now for 2022 peak season, come back once the award charts have been changed for 2022. Compare. You can do the same in 2023 once the chart is in a “final” form. Should be able to tell you whether or not the aspirational redemptions have been greatly devalued or not.

    6. DCS Diamond

      “Every program must devalue”

      I see what you did there, but you just gave the game away. If every program must devalue, there’s literally no reason why dynamic award pricing can’t be part of that devaluation they MUST do, right?

      All I did was state a fact of life - a truism. Every program devalues. Period. Full stop. It is why you will not hear me bitch about 'devaluations', especially with the gazillions of points...

      “Every program must devalue”

      I see what you did there, but you just gave the game away. If every program must devalue, there’s literally no reason why dynamic award pricing can’t be part of that devaluation they MUST do, right?

      All I did was state a fact of life - a truism. Every program devalues. Period. Full stop. It is why you will not hear me bitch about 'devaluations', especially with the gazillions of points that are now circulation. I just adapt and find ways to keep affording my award stays or tickets. Moreover, you are putting words in my cyber-mouth. My beef was with those who automatically equate dynamic pricing with devaluation, when the scheme can actually be beneficial and go the other way!!! Reward leverage, remember?

      But we have a way to actually test everyone’s hypothesis regarding what Marriott is doing, because we have a Marriott program in a pre-dynamic state.

      Well, we knew what Hilton's fixed award costs were prior to their getting rid of their award chart and moving to dynamic award pricing. Except for a couple of their most aspirational properties (WA Maldives and Cabos) that were not in the original chart because they did not exist and can cost 150K points per night, costs at most pre-existing properties have not been higher than 95K/night. At the same time, we have seen some really cheap awards at some of the program's aspirational properties, like 86K/night at WA Rome Cavalieri just last month - a real steal thanks to dynamic pricing!

      During this same time, World of Hyatt - no practitioner of dynamic award pricing, well, until now because their new seasonal awards are just a fig leaf for dynamic pricing - raised top award cost to 40K/night at several of their properties, especially overseas. Who says that only programs without award charts devalue? Hilton 'devalued' their awards in 2013 when the program still had a chart, a seismic change that self-anointed "travel gurus" wrote about for the next several years, when all the program did was to make their awards, which had gotten ridiculously cheap compared to those of other programs, become more competitive.

      United also got rid of their award chart and moved to dynamic award pricing and, as I have been documenting, both HH and UA are currently standing head and shoulder above the competition as the most rewarding loyalty programs!

      See? This is not such a difficult matter to understand at all.

      G'day.

    7. Frank Guest

      I just stayed at the RC and bleh. Its all man made and the beach is horrible. You get partial view cause in front is the Capella island which is being built. The island is the worst I have visited. The villas look like youre in the Edition in NYC and not in a an overwater villa in the Maldives.
      On the other hand, food and service are the best in the Maldives.

  15. AH Guest

    Ben - I just literally came back from this property three days ago and have to say it is the best service all around. Food and drinks are really good, just stay away from Arabsque though since its a bit steep. This was also my first trip to the Maldives so really dont have anything to compare it with. But other than that service is exceptional and was a fun trip. Hit me up if you have any specific questions.

    1. Jayceegee New Member

      Agreed. If you look at the reviews on Trip Advisor, nearly every review is 5*. I wonder where Ben saw reviews about poor service?

    2. Dn10 Guest

      Some pretty bad reviews on flyer talk.

  16. Jim Baround Guest

    So the question is, do I take a trip halfway around the world to use an exorbitant amount of points on a hotel that charges quite a lot (thus making the points versus cash a great point value) but is overpriced, and likely overrated?

    1. DenB Platinum

      precisely the dilemma Ben outlined.

    2. Jim Baround Guest

      I don't think that's a dilemma

  17. KS Guest

    One major benefit of the location is the speedboat instead of sea plane transfer. Many flights arrive in Male in that 2:30-3:30 window and with the weather, you could get stuck in Male for a night if you are transferring by seaplane. Not an issue with the boat transfer.

  18. Treat Guest

    why bother, maldives are so overdone

  19. Francisco Guest

    5 NIGHTS at the Ritz and then try to use Ford’s and your free night certificate from Hilton Card at the WA

  20. Talay Guest

    I've got around 600k or so of Bonvoy points and little to do with them so something like this, with the 5 for 4 is attractive but getting stiffed for breakfast is a downer.

    However, where I normally travel, cash rates are just so much better than using points that I rarely ever use them. I have converted into Avios previously with travel vouchers but didn't think much of that idea - when it was...

    I've got around 600k or so of Bonvoy points and little to do with them so something like this, with the 5 for 4 is attractive but getting stiffed for breakfast is a downer.

    However, where I normally travel, cash rates are just so much better than using points that I rarely ever use them. I have converted into Avios previously with travel vouchers but didn't think much of that idea - when it was a decent offer even.

    I guess I'd be better to use them up before devaluation as I don't see any benefits of keeping them afterwards.

  21. breathesrain Guest

    I think it would be worth it for us, if only for the fun flight reviews. And it's good to get reviews in of places that aren't necessarily ideal, too!

  22. Alonzo Gold

    The winds, bad reviews, cost of food/activities and seaplane transfer would keep me away. And no elite benefits? Nah, I'm good. Hilton points are easier to purchase and accumulate. Bonvoy pts are not.

  23. JC Guest

    I say you should go... but take me with you. You know, for a second opinion on the property.

  24. FlyGuy1 Guest

    Just stayed a few days ago at Kagi, eye distance from the Ritz. I can confirm ridiculous winds that pretty much ruin the experience. Hotels closer to the equator (Park Hyatt) aren’t usually affected apparently. Also these are all mostly ‘reclaimed’ islands, so very new in developing the beaches (with rock breakers) and lack of vegetation. Not to mention you constantly see ships going by as it’s near the Male shipping lanes.

  25. Dan Guest

    Have you seen the reviews for the Ritz? They are horrible. I’m also using points next year and probably will go for the W over St. Regis. Not even considering the ritz or JW. One of the best things with staying in the Maldives is snorkeling the house reef, and the W wins hands down. Although you did mention that snorkeling is not a priority of yours

    1. Jayceegee New Member

      Where are these reviews?

  26. Deborah Guest

    Why not save a ton of points and book the new Le Meridian Maldives? Currently, it's a steal on points and will surely go way up in points after the devaluation. Some days the standard room is a beach or overwater villa others the overwater is a small upgrade of $50. I booked my brother's honeymoon there for next September with award flights in J on Qatar.

    1. Stefan Krasowski (@rapidtravelchai) Guest

      @Deborah - we are are Le Méridien now. A four night stay grew to fourteen. Love it. Great value and tasty elite breakfast and meal plan options. Looking at dates to book again for 2022. No prior Maldives experience to compare. Didn't think we would love it, beach vacations have never been our thing. The service, food, and chill feel won us over. Expanding my guide as we go along: https://rapidtravelchai.boardingarea.com/le-meridien-maldives/

  27. Joe1293 Guest

    Go for it Ben
    It will make an excellent review for the blog post

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DenB Platinum

Over the top. Ben's surmise is unproven. It's also expert, reasonable, widely supported by others with relevant experience and solid credentials. My suggestion would be to analyze carefully Ban's history and come up with a percent likelihood that his public prediction will be completely wrong. Let us know how that goes for you.

4
Phillip Guest

I am currently in the Maldives, having been to the Ritz Carlton last week and moving around at different resorts. I think it’s safe to say that the Maldives have suffered from pretty strong winds nationwide throughout this past year. This is not isolated to the Ritz Carlton. I found the wind perfectly bearable and a nice cooling effect from the heat of the sun. The overwater villas at the RC are spectacular as far as hotel rooms go. There is an element of sterility at the resort, more so than other Maldivian resorts due to the fact that the Fari Islands are literally so young but even without a house reef we were treated to daily sightings of fish, rays and other underwater wildlife right outside our room. We had a lagoon view room which was the sunset side of the resort and had a partial view of the another Fari island. Personally, as much as I like feeling remote, being able to see another island added perspective to the remoteness especially at night. Never saw any ships other than the boat service operated by the hotel to the nearby islands and a bat-mobile looking yacht. The hotel offers 20% discount to Platinum + members at most dining outlets (but not the Summer Pavilion or IWAU). This also covers any meal plans you might choose to add to your stay. They also offer complimentary afternoon tea at La Locanda. Overall service was good. Very attentive but nothing out of this world. I had originally booked the St Regis but cancelled after their reservations department demonstrated a new level of incompetence in dealing with my reservation. My recommendation is that, if you do fancy disconnecting for 5 days (the wifi here is very good anyway) and are happy to enjoy a great room with little else to do (which is the same wherever you go in the Maldives) then I would go for it! It would be great to read your take. It is certainly a great redemption!

2
eponymous coward Guest

“Every program must devalue” I see what you did there, but you just gave the game away. If every program must devalue, there’s literally no reason why dynamic award pricing can’t be part of that devaluation they MUST do, right? I’m on Team Dynamic Awards are Devaluation, with plenty of experience with Delta’s award chart being a bad joke TATL. Ironically they do have consistent LOW end value for me, because they often price domestic awards to be competitive with Southwest. When combined with a generous elite status in 2020 that will take me through 2023 and all time high signup bonuses for their cards in 2021, it’s solid value to get two hour flights in C+ or F at 4,000-6,000 SkyPesos, but I have zero urge to get on the Delta/AMEX hamster wheel of 1x DL earning for general spend to keep that status. That and some of Hilton’s changes squeezed value out of the chart for me. But they admitted it was an treadmill long ago and they still have upped SUBS and earning… But we have a way to actually test everyone’s hypothesis regarding what Marriott is doing, because we have a Marriott program in a pre-dynamic state. So take some Cat 7s and Cat 8s, look at their pricing (cash and points) now for 2022 peak season, come back once the award charts have been changed for 2022. Compare. You can do the same in 2023 once the chart is in a “final” form. Should be able to tell you whether or not the aspirational redemptions have been greatly devalued or not.

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