New JW Marriott Maldives: Book Overwater Villa With Points

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

The Maldives is a bucket list vacation destination for many, though historically there have been a limited number of options for redeeming points.

Why points opportunities in the Maldives are improving

Lately we’ve seen a significant improvement in the opportunities to redeem points for hotels in the Maldives:

  • With the launch of Marriott Bonvoy, you can now redeem points at all Marriott-family properties in the Maldives (previously all the Starwood options were considered “specialty” properties, and the number of points required was outrageous)
  • The Waldorf Astoria Maldives is opening soon, and it looks spectacular and is bookable with Hilton Honors points

Well, there’s another hotel that’s soon joining the Marriott portfolio in the Maldives, and there’s something that makes it special — the base rooms are overwater villas. Typically people prefer to stay in overwater villas in the Maldives (rather than land villas), though at most hotels there’s a significant upcharge for that.

So while you can redeem points for a base villa, you’re often stuck paying several hundred dollars per night to upgrade.

The new JW Marriott Maldives

The JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa is opening soon — the website says that the hotel is opening in August 2019, though as of now the hotel is only accepting reservations as of September 15, 2019.

It would appear that the hotel will have just 61 villas, including both land villas and overwater villas. What’s interesting is that at this hotel the overwater villas with pools are considered the “base” rooms, and price either the same or less than the land villas.

Here are the room types, arranged from entry level to most premium:

  • Overwater Pool Villa Sunrise View
  • Beach Pool Villa Sunrise View
  • Overwater Pool Villa Sunset View
  • Beach Pool Villa Sunset View
  • Duplex Overwater Pool Villa
  • Duplex Beach Pool Villa

So the entry level room here is an overwater villa with a pool, and the renderings make it look really nice. The hotel’s website claims these rooms are over 2,500 square feet, though I imagine that includes outdoor space. Frankly I think even with outdoor space that may be a stretch. I’ve come to believe that hotels often just lie about room sizes.

Rooms here seem to start at just over $800 per night (though vary significantly depending on when you’re traveling).

The awesome thing is that when redeeming points, you have your choice of whether you want an overwater or land villa. Redemptions cost 85,000 points per night, and you get a fifth night free.

As is the norm in the Maldives, even if you’re redeeming points you’re still going to be out of pocket quite a bit. The JW Marriott is about an hour seaplane ride from Male International Airport, and the cost is $600 per person.

While that’s steep, it’s almost a bargain compared to the Waldorf Astoria charging nearly $900 for a 30 minute speedboat ride.

Bottom line

Being able to redeem Marriott points for an overwater villa in the Maldives is pretty awesome. The JW Marriott looks really nice in the renderings, so hopefully reality reflects that.

I have a trip planned to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives in a few months, though maybe I should check out the JW Marriott as well, given what a good use of points it is.

Anyone plan to redeem points at the JW Marriott Maldives?

(Tip of the hat to Dylan)

  1. You have been Bonvoyed. They have the right to cancel your reservation if they think the price isn’t right and wants to increase it.

  2. @Lucky

    AA ordering A321XLR’s

    Also please fix the comment count link (direct to comments). It’s still extremely annoying to have to scroll through articles we have already read to revisit the comments.

  3. As someone who went to Maldives for honeymoon, I stayed at chain and non-chain resorts. I would very much recommend booking non-chain resorts. They are cheaper and the hospitality is incredible. There’s also no “resort fees” for these places.

  4. I literally just booked it for 5 nights after seeing your post. We just booked our award airfare two days ago too. Thanks, Ben!

  5. @Justin Murphy : make sure you check your reservation – I made one and noticed that points have not been deducted, and furthermore reservation under My Trips show as points not being debited…

  6. Oh God – another resort. Just what the Maldives needed. The Maldives were beautiful and pristine until these resorts and their clientele started showing up.

  7. Thanks for the heads up! I’ve made a speculative booking so I can decide on this property (in the overwater villa) versus the W Maldives for our trip next year. I’ll be monitoring reviews closely when people start posting them.

  8. Is the Waldorf nearly $900 r/t per person or $900 per boat? So, if you go with your spouse you are talking almost 1800 in transfer fees? Thanks!

  9. @DC sorry other people want to visit your personal paradise. “What do you identify an environmentalist? The last person who bought a cottage on a particular lake”.

    I hear Chernobyl is stunning. Better get there before the Netflix series turns it into another Maldives

  10. @DC sorry other people want to visit your personal paradise. “What do you call an environmentalist? The last person who bought a cottage on a particular lake”.

    I hear Chernobyl is stunning. Better get there before the Netflix series turns it into another Maldives

  11. Please try and find out if this property is really going to open in September. It has been delayed numerous times. I have been watching it for months and they keep moving back the opening date.

  12. The Maldives is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in the world. But the prices of these hotels are unbelievable. $900 a night, and $600-$900 just for a transfer from the airport? Plus you’re stuck on one island and have to eat overpriced meals at the hotel at which you are staying.

    My friend and I found the most incredible bargain, a dive yacht, the Blue Force Maldives. For €1700 per person for a week, we were on a 120 foot yacht with 20 cabins, with three fantastic meals a day (including a tuna that the crew caught and cut up for lunch). There were 17 dives over the week, and we saw sharks, manta rays and a whale shark. We knelt on the floor of the ocean and the manta rays literally came within a foot of our heads, it was unbelievable.

    The yacht visited a number of islands including 3 populated ones. The crew made us dinner on an unpopulated island one night, and it was an incredible feast. The transfer from the airport to the yacht (on a nice comfortable boat) cost exactly $0.00. This was the experience of a lifetime. And I’ve seen that sometimes they have specials for two people for €1300 total!

  13. @Dan Nainan

    There is a happy alternative. One can have a beautiful and authentic home-stay with all of the experiences which you described. I would urge that experience since the families that host are very generous and welcoming.

    On a different note, there is very little natural stewardship placed upon these resorts. The amount of pollution in the bays and islands have increased significantly with the arrival of the resorts – guarded from the view of the guests. I wish for once the government placed strict obligations towards environmental conservation upon these resorts.

  14. @The Reverend – I am sure people will be flocking there too, in greater numbers, once Marriott opens a new resort there. #facepalm

  15. @Dan Nainan Stop bragging Dan. We already know how much better of a life you live than the rest of us. Are there any 7-11s in the Maldives?

  16. Thanks for the post. Went on redemption to St regis and it was worth the points. I tried to rebook today and found that they’ve reduced the points (prob because it’s off peak) but introduced ‘local Fees’ which is almost USD250 per person per night which is absurd. Any info on this? Seems like it’s chargeable at every resort.

  17. My fiance and I recently booked the over the water villa at JW Marriott for 5 nights using points for our honeymoon over New Years. We were super excited! We did see there was a local fee of $600 per person and still decided it was totally worth it. Just looked back at my reservation and I noticed a $5,000+ local fee in addition to our 400,000 points for the reservation?!?! Is this a new thing?? Pretty bummed, doesn’t seem like a deal or even worth it anymore. Good thing we didn’t book our flights yet!

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