WOW: The Private Island At Waldorf Astoria Maldives

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels

Many resorts in the Maldives already operate on private islands, but the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is taking it to the next level, by opening a second private island right next to the first private island.

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives opened in mid-2019, and is one of the most luxurious points properties in the island nation. While we’re not going to be able to redeem points at a reasonable rate for this experience anytime soon, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi has just unveiled “The Private Island.”

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives

This roughly 350,000 square foot private island is the largest of its kind. It’s just a short speedboat ride away from the main island of the Waldorf Astoria Maldives (in the below picture the overwater bungalows belong to the main resort, so this shows you how close the two islands are).

The boat dock at The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives

The Private Island will have three different accommodations, for a total of up to 24 guests. This includes:

  • A two bedroom overwater villa
  • A three bedroom beach villa
  • A four bedroom residence

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives two bedroom overwater villa

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives three bedroom beach villa

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives four bedroom residence

It’s suggested that this is “ideal for intimate group gatherings, from milestone celebrations with loved ones, to incentive trips planned for the most exclusive group of clients.”

Guests could spend their entire stay on The Private Island, or could choose to venture to the main resort. For example:

  • The Private Island will have a dedicated culinary team offering complete customization; guests can dine in their villas or in the estate’s common living room, Haali, or can venture to any of the 10 dining venues at the main resort
  • There’s a dedicated spa and wellness concierge on The Private Island, though guests can also use the main spa
  • The Private Island has a dedicated gym and yoga pavilion

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Haali

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Haali pool

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives spa & wellness area

The Private Island at Waldorf Astoria Maldives gym

How expensive is this experience?

I’m kind of surprised to see that this entire private island is bookable directly through Hilton’s website. It seems like the experience starts at $77,000+ per night, not including taxes and service charges.

That means a week-long stay here will set you back around $665,000, and that doesn’t include any transfers, meals, spa treatments, etc. When all is said and done, I’d expect a week here to cost you about a million bucks.

On the plus side, think of all the Hilton Honors points you could earn. 😉

My take on this private island concept

I have a few different thoughts here.

First of all, there absolutely is a market for this — I know many of the top resorts in the Maldives have been bought out by royal families and uber-wealthy celebrities, simply for the privacy. In many cases that costs significantly more than the rate here.

The question is how consistently The Private Island will be booked:

  • When the numbers were crunched, what percent of the year are they expecting the island to be occupied?
  • Yes, this will no doubt be booked with some frequency in peak season, but I just don’t see this having any guests for most of the rest of the year
  • I’m curious to see if this business model may evolve in some form, given the fixed cost (presumably staffing); could we eventually see individual villas sold on a semi-private basis for periods where there’s not demand for the whole island, or will the “exclusivity” of it be maintained?

My other thought is that I can’t help but feel like this is kind of like when you’re flying the Etihad A380 in first class, and there’s someone in The Residence, and you basically go from first class to second class. 😉

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives is incredibly luxurious and expensive to begin with. Yet you’ll be looking over at the island just a few hundred feet away that makes you feel like you’re staying at a Super 8. 😉

Just kidding, of course, but you can’t help but wonder if this may in some form dilute the experience for other guests. For example, I feel like they won’t say no to someone on The Private Island, so if they decide they want to eat at a restaurant on the “main” island, could it just be shut down on short notice?

Bottom line

The Waldorf Astoria Maldives, which is already on a private island, has now opened The Private Island, which is a separate private island. This features three accommodations for up to 24 people, and costs $77,000+ per night.

This seems well thought out, and there’s no doubt that there’s a market for this, given the uber-wealthy people who would otherwise rent out an entire resort for privacy. I’m still curious to see if the economics of this work out, though.

What do you make of The Private Island at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives?

  1. My king (Viagralongkorn) with his two wives and a harem of 20+ would make the perfect guests for this elusive-exclusive love resort. Chayoo.

  2. I’m a beach person and all my concerns go to the rock artificial barriers they had to add to the island. No good for sea bathing and probably the island will be destroyed in the next few years because ocean storms

  3. This is less than a day of interest for someone with a $750M portfolio at a very conservative rate of return. Thousands of people who would consider this the same way as many of us think about $77/night properties 🙂

  4. @ xshanex — Oh, I agree, but that’s also why I think this might be viewed as *too modest* for some people in the demographic they’re going far. For example, for billionaires with a huge entourage and security detail, getting a full resort with dozens of rooms might be more appropriate. Why would they settle for such a humble private island? 😉

  5. So you could basically have an intimate wedding for $77K on a private island? Not bad tbh. Yes I know there are other costs but not a bad start.

  6. Disgusting! Clearly not private, as I would be able to see the ravaging hordes of the great unwashed less than a hundred yards or so from my beach. As such, I’ll only go if they empty the rest of the resort while I’m there, so my entire vacation is not ruined by having to view mere mortals 🙂

  7. I actually do agree with you, for that price point there are far more private options. With that said, believe it or not, even billionaires love their points. The rich love deals and free things. The more money you have, the more you get for free.

  8. Now thats a real villa. I hate when hotels advertise a villa and you get whats barely a suite.

    Im thinking of booking a visit in April, assuming my lottery ticket is a winner

  9. Not going to pretend I’m the target customer for this, but I have mixed feelings about it – it doesn’t look attractive to me in comparison with oher private islands. It is still quite close to the main resort and the island is man-made (as is the whole WA in Maldives), and the seawalls around it are quite ugly imho. For example, there is Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah, which you can rent for “only” 50 000 USD per night – and it is on completely isolated natural island with great coral reef.

  10. Stayed at WA Maldives for 8 nights last Oct. The private island was occupied by two different groups during our stay. According to our concierge, it’s usually booked by families from Russia/Saudi/China. The demand for private island seems strong.

  11. I’m sure someone ran the number forwards and backwards before they build this private villa island. I do have to wonder can Hilton execute a true luxury experience like Aman/ Eden Rock/ Cheval Blanc? Their staff are not trained to that exact level on a perpetual basis so I bet service level won’t be the same as the ultra high end resort. When people are spending this kind of money, they expect best of everything not just hard product.

  12. I’m confused, this is not anything new. The private island has been open since AT LEAST October of last year (we visited in early October and it was occupied much of the stay). I thought much earlier than that even.

    We stayed in a Stella Maris villa for part of our stay. Pretty nice experience.

  13. I hate to compare this to something in Dubai. But that’s what it reminds me of. We’ll see what becomes of it.

  14. Four Seasons Private Island at Voavah is SO much better, and not a man made artificial piece of land directly across from common bungalows. Pass!

  15. I’m always wondering how these things are established and it’s infrastructure – sewage and electricity and it’s effect on the environment – sorry to unglamoirise it all

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