Ritz-Carlton Maldives Opening May 2021 (Amazing Points Redemption!)

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

A few months back I wrote about how a Ritz-Carlton could be coming to the Maldives. Well, the hotel is now accepting reservations, and you can even redeem points here, so I wanted to go over all the details.

Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands details

Marriott has signed an agreement to bring the Ritz-Carlton brand to the Maldives. The property is being developed by CPRC, a member of Singapore’s Pontiac Land Group.

The property will be known as the Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands. While it was initially slated to open in late 2020, the hotel is accepting reservations as of May 1, 2021. Of course it’s possible that this could be moved forward or pushed back, since hotel openings tend to be a moving target, especially in the coronavirus age.

The 100 villa property (including both land and overwater villas) will be located in the North Male Atoll, either a 50 minute speedboat ride or a 10 minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport.

The Fari Islands consists of an archipelago with three resorts, including the Ritz-Carlton, Capella, and Patina, in addition to a marina.

Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands

Redeeming points at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives will be a Category 8 Bonvoy property (Marriott’s highest award tier), meaning that free night redemptions will cost:

  • 70,000 points per night during off-peak season
  • 85,000 points per night during standard season
  • 100,000 points per night during peak season
  • As usual, you get a fifth night free on award redemptions

Looking at availability the first month, I see rates at all three levels.

The standard room here is an Ocean Pool Villa, which is an overwater villa with a pool (so there’s no upcharge here to stay over the water, as is the case at many other resorts). It’s advertised as being 1,615 square feet (presumably including outdoor space), and having uninterrupted ocean views, an integrated infinity pool and sundeck, and a spacious lounge area.

Paid rates here start at $1,350 per night, though admittedly the hotel is only accepting reservations through September 2021 as of now, so there’s no “real” peak season yet for the Maldives.


Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands

Ritz-Carlton Maldives $900 transfer cost

While exact details of how the resort transfers will work haven’t yet been published, when you book a stay you’ll notice a $900 per person “local fee,” which is presumably for the transfer to the resort.

Even by Maldives standards that’s on the steep side. We don’t yet know if this transfer will be by boat or plane, but that is a cost to be aware of.

Limited Bonvoy elite benefits… maybe?

In general I shy away from Ritz-Carlton and prefer St. Regis. Ritz-Carlton specifically excludes breakfast as an elite perk for Bonvoy members. It’s not that I actually care that much about breakfast, but rather the stinginess leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I’d rather support a brand that wants to honor elite benefits.

That being said, I think the Ritz-Carlton Maldives might be a property where breakfast is included for everyone. All paid rates show breakfast included, and generally speaking if a hotel includes something for all guests paying with cash, it will also include it for guests paying with points.

Time will tell for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this hotel offers all guests breakfast at no additional cost, which would be great.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives’ location

On the plus side, it’s nice that the resort can be reached by speedboat, rather than requiring an additional flight, which can often require overnighting in Male. There’s something to be said about the convenience of that.

However, otherwise the location doesn’t sound that spectacular, at least as a relative matter:

  • This is part of an archipelago that includes three resorts, so it likely won’t feel quite as private as some of the resorts that have nothing else within miles
  • Don’t expect the reefs and general scenery to be as beautiful in the North Male Atoll as in other parts of the Maldives

The Maldives has many amazing new points hotels

It really is incredible how many new luxury points hotels there are in the Maldives. I remember when the Park Hyatt Maldives was one of the few luxury points redemption options in the Maldives and now we have so many more options, like the St. Regis and Waldorf Astoria. Then there are all kinds of great upper mid range properties like the JW Marriott, the Westin, and more.

St. Regis Maldives

Bottom line

The 100 villa Ritz-Carlton Maldives is now accepting reservations as of May 2021, and it sure seems to me like this has the potential to be a great use of points. For 70K-100K points per night, you can book an overwater villa, and breakfast might even be included.

Of course expect everything else in the Maldives to be super expensive, from the transfer, to the food, to activities. While I’m not usually a huge Ritz-Carlton fan, I am excited about this property.

The hotel will be fairly close to Male, which is convenient for transfers, but perhaps not so great for how picturesque it will be, especially as it will be part of a multi-hotel archipelago.

Anyone plan on booking the Ritz-Carlton Maldives?

(Tip of the hat to Jameal)

Comments
  1. Good to know there is new Marriott option in the Maldives. However, from the title of the article, I was hoping to see a rate of 50-60k/night during this initial booking period rather than 100k/night plus $900/person in transfers. For those of us that don’t have millions of Marriott points, I have hard time seeing the “Amazing points redemption” opportunity here.

  2. It is so good to know. I really want to go to the Maldives but really don’t know when will we be able to travel again. Will definitely check this hotel.

  3. Another tourist trap, one that even exploits labor. They pay their employees (many of whom are foreign workers, typically from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, or the Philippines) between US$200 and US$250 per month, yet they charge $1,800 per couple for a 2 hour boat ride. And the food, oh, mostly cheap imported frozen stuff marked up an obnoxious amount.

    https://maldivesindependent.com/business/minimum-wage-of-us600-demanded-for-maldivian-resort-workers-139092

    Why do you think they keep minting these “resorts”? They mint money, at the expense of tourists who can go to much more interesting places for a fraction of the cost.

  4. Interesting about breakfast… had the chance to stay at the new RC in Bali 5+ years ago. Same thing with points – included in every rate prior to booking. Eventually changed as we got closer to arrival. Wonder if that is something done at a newer property to incentivize a potential booking?

  5. Location is really bad. When I was in Park Hyatt, it was amazing to step 2 feet into the water and see amazing corals with sea life swimming all around you. It was well worth the extra plane ride. For this reason, I’ll never stay at Ritz-Carlton Maldives and for that matter at any resort close to Malé.

  6. I’m pretty sure the W Maldives includes breakfast for all cash rates and yet doesn’t include it for points stays unless you’re Platinum or higher. I think the St Regis Maldives might be the same? So no reason to expect this property would be any different.

    W is also giving overwater villas as the base room category these days.

  7. What you see are redemption rates today for a yet to open resort wait till its time to open and there is a revenue review prior to opening and shortly there after those redemption rates might just change. Case in point Maui Andaz from “nice redemption” rates to “good luck”

    Just saying

  8. So sad that the Maldives is just getting oversaturated with hotels. Aren’t we to the point where the Maldives is no longer interesting? People need to stop following what everyone on IG does. Sheesh, what a ruin.

  9. You may have missed Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa, opening in one of the northern atolls sometime next year. The hotel’s website just uploaded some renderings and it looks rather lovely, with a beautiful rendition of Le Méridien’s mid-century design, several restaurants and an adults-only pool. It’s definitely “bigger” at 144 rooms, but as a category 5 property, it could very well make for the best-value point redemption in the Maldives.

  10. Not really sure what makes this a good value. Even if you do happen to have a million points to use, you still have to pay nearly a thousand USD per person just to get to the hotel? You can fly all the way there from Europe and back for less than that. So yeah, if you want to spend a lot of money and all of your points, by all means, have fun. But it is not a bargain in cash or points…

  11. Redemption
    RATE DETAILS
    1 room(s) for 5 night(s)
    Prices in USD
    Sunday, September 5, 2021
    85,000 Points
    Monday, September 6, 2021
    FREE night70,000 Points
    Tuesday, September 7, 2021
    85,000 Points
    Wednesday, September 8, 2021
    85,000 Points
    Thursday, September 9, 2021
    85,000 Points
    Total points rate340,000 PointsLocal Fee1,800.00Estimated government taxes and fees60.00Total Stay1,860.00 USD + 340,000 Points

    PLUS 900 $ pp for transfer

    Anything but a bargain. Stay away from such hotels!

    And yes, no benefits for the Titanium members. A reason more to avoid Ritz Carlton hotels

  12. “ generally speaking if a hotel includes something for all guests paying with cash, it will also include it for guests paying with points”

    That’s not my experience. If it isn’t listed on the booking page breakfast typically isn’t granted.

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