Update: This offer for the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives will be opening as of July 1, 2019, and looks spectacular. Based on their current pricing, this will by far be the most expensive Hilton property in the world.
A few days ago I wrote about how the hotel started accepting reservations, and specifically, how they also started accepting points reservations. The hotel costs 120,000 Honors points per night, which is higher than Hilton’s previous highest cost of 95,000 points per night for a standard room.
Personally I think that’s fair, since this hotel is in a different league than anything else Hilton has. This of course assumes that they don’t jack up the cost of other properties to 120,000 points per night in the near future.
Anyway, I know many of us (myself included) have booked points stays here, so I wanted to provide some updates based on what the hotel has told me in an email.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives transfer costs
One of the things that’s convenient about the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is that it can be reached by speedboat from Male Airport, so you don’t have to take a connecting flight, which sure is convenient.
Initially Hilton’s website suggested that the roundtrip transfer cost $370 plus a 23.2% tax and service charge. As it turns out, that was a mistake, and the hotel is actually charging $350 one-way plus a 23.2% tax and service charge for transfers between the airport and hotel.
So a roundtrip boat transfer for the 30 minute ride will cost $862.40. WOW.
It’s pretty amazing that a roundtrip boat transfer costs more than what other hotels charge for a combination of flights and boat transfers.
In fairness, this pricing isn’t that far off from what other hotels are charging. The One & Only Reethi Rah charges $300++ for boat transfers in each direction, and that hotel is a similar distance. So this is more, but not that much more.
I still think it’s reasonable to dispute the cost if you were quoted $370++ roundtrip at the time of booking.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives upgrade costs
Points redemptions at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives book into a beach villa with pool. If you’re interested in upgrading your room, the costs are as follows (at least for my dates):
- $200 + 23.2% for an upgrade to a Grand Beach Villa
- $400 + $23.2% for an upgrade to an Overwater Villa
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Beach Villa
Those costs are roughly in line with what I see as being the difference on paid stays between the room types for most nights:
- The Beach Villa sells for $1,833 per night
- The Grand Beach Villa sells for $2,033 per night (so it’s “only” $170 more, meaning the upgrade is $30 higher than the rate difference)
- The Overwater Villa sells for $2,233 per night
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Overwater Villa
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Overwater Villa
To compare the room descriptions:
- The Beach Villa is described as being 2,518 square feet, and featuring a spacious villa, pool, beach access, and a pavilion
- The Grand Beach Villa is described as being 2,967 square feet, and featuring an indoor/outdoor living space, pool, and beach access
- The Overwater Villa is described as being 3,045 square feet, and featuring an ocean terrace, pool, and pavilion
Personally I’d probably split my time between the base room and the overwater villa, since I think both are unique in their own way.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Diamond breakfast & benefits
There was some speculation about whether the hotel would even offer Diamond members free breakfast, given that a few hotels have gotten out of having to offer this. The hotel has confirmed that Diamond members will be entitled to breakfast at their all day dining restaurant, Tasting Table. So that’s great news.
Tasting Table, Waldorf Astoria Maldives
Otherwise the hotel has said that they’re working on property specific Diamond benefits, and hope to have more details soon. It would be great if they had some sort of a Diamond happy hour, as other properties do.
Redeeming free weekend night rewards here
One more thing to note. While the hotel is priced higher than any other Hilton property on points (they’re charging 120,000 points per night for a standard room, rather than the previous highest cost of 95,000 points per room), you can still redeem weekend night rewards at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives.
So that’s fantastic news, since it potentially increases the value of these certificates even more. As far as cards that earn free night certificates go:
|Credit Card||How to Earn a Hilton Honors Weekend Night Reward|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card||One weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year|
|Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||One weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year, plus a second weekend night reward after you spend $60,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||One weekend night reward shortly after you get the card, and an anniversary weekend night reward every year upon your account renewal with no spend requirement, plus an additional weekend night reward after you spend $60,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year|
This hotel will be very expensive
The Maldives is extremely expensive to begin with, and I don’t think that’s unreasonable. It’s so remote, and the cost of building everything, staffing hotels, getting food and drinks to the individual resorts, etc., must be astronomical.
So I’m much less offended by high prices at a secluded resort in the Maldives than a several hundred room Ritz-Carlton that operates like a factory.
That being said, it’s clear that the Waldorf Astoria Maldives will be very expensive even by Maldives standards. It’s not just the rooms that are really expensive, but I’d expect food and drinks, massages, etc., to all be really expensive as well.
So that’s something to keep in mind, regardless of whether you’ve never been to the Maldives, or may have been to another resort in the Maldives before. If I had to guess, I’d say that meals will cost $200-300 for two people without excessive drinking, and massages will likely cost $250+ per hour.
If you’re looking for a better value Maldives trip with Hilton points, consider the Conrad Maldives. They let you book overwater villas for 95,000 points per night, and while everything there is still expensive, I expect it’s a lot less expensive than the Waldorf Astoria.
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives will be one of the most expensive hotels in the Maldives. Since the hotel isn’t yet open we don’t know to what extent that’s warranted.
It’s exciting that it’s possible to redeem points here, though we’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out just how much everything here will cost, and also just how good the hotel will actually be.
What’s your take on the Waldorf Astoria Maldives based on what we know so far?
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