The Waldorf Astoria Maldives is one of the most expensive hotels in the world you can book with points — most importantly, it offers some of the most incredible experiences you can book with points.
I booked a 5-night stay here with lofty expectations, and I was blown away. This is truly the new flagship luxury resort in the Maldives.
Between the 3,000+ square-foot standard villas, flawless service, and abundance of amenities, I felt completely pampered and left the property dreaming about when I’d be back again.
- Booking Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
- Location and Getting There
- Check-In Experience
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi King Reef Villa with Pool (3,002 Square Feet)
- Fitness Center
- Dive Center
- Kids Club and Water Park
- Padel Tennis Court
- Tennis Court
- Shopping Boutiques
- Photography Studio
- Wedding Pavilion
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi's 10+ Dining Options (Incredible Food)
- Tasting Table (Breakfast and Dinner)
- Nava (All-Day Dining and Cocktails)
- Peacock Alley (All-Day Dining and Cocktails)
- Amber (Sunset Cocktails)
- Glow (Garden-to-Table)
- Yasmeen (Arabian)
- Li Long (Chinese)
- The Ledge by Dave Pynt (Australian Barbecue)
- Terra (Signature Treetops Dining)
- The Rock (Wine Cellar)
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Christmas Eve Gala 2021
- Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Personal Concierge and Service
- Wrapping Up
Booking Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Booking a points stay at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is a tall order.
Booking a points stay of 5 consecutive nights is incredibly difficult.
But if you told me that it was possible to book a points stay of 5 consecutive nights during the absolute most difficult time to book, the Christmas festive season, I would’ve called you crazy.
But alas, after a long, arduous process (which is one of the most incredible tricks I teach at The Points University), I was able to redeem 480,000 Hilton Honors points for a 5-night stay from December 21 to 26 during the absolute most expensive time to go.
We also enjoyed the following Diamond benefits while we were there:
- Free breakfast daily at Tasting Table
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Complimentary late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary bottles of water daily
- VIP welcome amenity consisting of a bottle of wine and a fruit basket
- A complimentary 30-minute additional massage time when booking a selected 60-minute massage
- Complimentary mixology and sommelier selection of crafted beverages from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Peacock Alley
- 50% savings on selected refreshments at Peacock Alley from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
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The standard room rates are 120,000-150,000 Hilton Honors points per night, but including the 5th-night free benefit, I was able to book 5 nights at the 120,000-points per night cost.
The cash price for the villa? Around $30,000 for the entire stay. We received a redemption value of 6 cents per point, which is more than 10 times the generally accepted value of Hilton points! Although this redemption value is almost unheard of, it was ultimately our experience there that was unforgettable.
Location and Getting There
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is located in the South Malé Atoll. Because of its relatively close proximity to the international airport, it is accessible via a 40-minute yacht transfer instead of the traditional seaplane transfer.
As soon as we cleared immigration and picked up our bags, we approached a concierge holding a Waldorf Astoria sign. At that point, we were immediately whisked to the yacht, which was strikingly beautiful and luxurious.
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Luxury Yacht Transfer
At the time, this was 1 of 7 yachts in the resort’s fleet. This number is continuing to grow as management continues to redefine the logistics process for Maldivian luxury resorts. For comparison, many direct competitors have a fleet of just 2 yachts, which should give you an idea of how much the Waldorf Astoria is investing to improve the customer experience.
Although slightly pricier than a traditional seaplane transfer, a yacht transfer is much more relaxing, private, comfortable, and most importantly, less prone to enormous delays.
Currently, yacht transfers, including 23.2% taxes and fees, cost around $900 per adult aged 12 or older, $450 per child aged 6 to 11.99, and are complimentary for children 6 or younger.
For example, on our arrival transfer, we were joined by just 1 other guest. On the departure transfer, we had an entire yacht to ourselves.
This fantastic yacht came fully loaded with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, an upper deck, a kitchen, and the latest luxury amenities.
This yacht was custom-designed by hotel management, leading to a higher purchase price of $1.6 million instead of the listing price of $1.1 million. To the left, there was a full kitchen with electric cooktops, a Nespresso machine, a refrigerator, and a sink.
The bedrooms are spacious and are outfitted with sitting areas, storage cabinets, and plug-in high-tech amenities.
Adjacent to each bedroom is a bathroom, which consisted of a shower, a sink, and a toilet.
The upper deck is another great area to enjoy the breeze if the comforts of air conditioning don’t suit you. It is fully shaded and covered, too.
When you board the yacht, your luggage is stored away, and you are offered finger sandwiches, pastries, and refreshments.
One of the biggest gripes travelers have when traveling to the Maldives is the high cost of transfers from Malé (MLE) to the resort. The luxury yacht transfer at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is on the higher end of the spectrum in terms of costs.
However, after having a brutal seaplane experience at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island two years prior, which resulted in a 2 a.m. arrival instead of a 4 p.m. arrival, we were thrilled to have an opportunity to avoid the seaplane altogether.
The last step in arriving at a resort in the Maldives often involves a flight on a seaplane. Unless you’re chartering a private seaplane from your resort, these transfers are often cramped, noisy, and fraught with delays. Your arrival at the resort via seaplane is in the hands of on-time arrivals from other guests’ inbound flights.
Seaplanes do not depart at all in the evenings, which can cause you to waste your entire first vacation day in the airport if you’re arriving in the afternoon.
The 40-minute luxury yacht transfer to Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi allowed us to immediately make headway towards the resort after our 7:40 a.m. arrival in the Maldives.
Ultimately, arrival by yacht is our new preferred method of transit in the Maldives — it affords us much more control, allows us to maximize our time at the resort (on both ends of the stay), and is a fantastically comfortable mode of transportation.
The sprawling, 73-acre resort is one of the most expensive built — costing $400 million and owned by various investors around the world, primarily Arabian royalty, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is laid out in a manner that looks like the number 6 rotated sideways (or the number 9, depending on how you look at it).
Most of the resort’s facilities are on the western island, including the popular Nava Beach Club and the swimming pools. The overwater villas are located on both ends of the resort, while the reef villas are conveniently located in the middle of the facilities. Lastly, the 2 high-end Stella Maris Ocean Villas and Ithaafushi Private Island are on the eastern side of the resort.
We disembarked at the arrival pier and were greeted by an army of incredible people. This was just a taste of the service we’d be getting throughout our 5-night stay here.
The check-in experience was so seamless that we weren’t even aware that we were checked in. Before arrival, the resort contacted us for our arrival flight information, which allowed them to optimize our check-in process. It wasn’t necessary to even take a seat in the airy lobby.
Welcome drinks and cold towels were handed to us, and our personal concierge, Shafeeq, gave us a complete tour of the resort via buggy ride, which ended at our King Reef Villa with Pool.
After all was said and done, we were in our villa by 9:30 a.m. This is absolutely incredible, as ordinary check-in and check-out times are 3 p.m. and 12 p.m., respectively. Ultimately, we checked out at 7:15 p.m., which, in total, gave us more than 12 hours extra during our stay!
Our check-in experience at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi was flawless. The team understands that many travelers are exhausted from a lengthy travel itinerary, which is why the check-in process felt so polished and efficient. Instead of checking in at 3 p.m., we were able to check in at 9:30 a.m., which was a phenomenal goodwill gesture.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi King Reef Villa with Pool (3,002 Square Feet)
We booked the King Reef Villa with Pool using points, which is the property’s “standard room”; but make no mistake, this “standard room” affords some of the best luxury real estate in the country.
To start, the villa’s double doors open up into a white sand walkway — ascend the stairs, and you’ll be in the outdoor area, which is housed on a wooden deck. Note that guests are offered complimentary bicycles during the stay (not pictured).
The jaw-dropping, vaulted ceilings are decidedly chic while maintaining that traditional Maldivian touch.
As you enter the room, you’ll immediately be greeted with a plush king bed and a pair of lounge chairs, plus floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the tranquil waters.
Next to the plush king bed is a make-up vanity, complete with a magnifying mirror, drawer space, and stationery.
Floating nightstands flank the king bed — one will house the in-room iPad and phone, while the other will have tissues, an alarm clock, and other bedside necessities. Room controls are bedside, too.
All of the room’s key functions can be controlled with the push of the iPad’s button, whether you’re opening the blinds, turning the lights on, or requesting room service.
There’s an HD flat-screen TV in the corner, too. We didn’t use it at all during our stay, but it comes equipped with Chromecast for convenient streaming.
The indoor lounge area has 2 lounge chairs, a coffee table, and incredible views.
We received a fantastic welcome amenity of fresh fruit and a bottle of white wine — a wonderful touch!
Next to the lounging area was a personal bar, complete with a minifridge, Nespresso machine, complimentary water, and tea.
There’s also a water boiler and wine hardware, including a corkscrew and a stopper.
The bedroom area is separated by enormous double doors. Open those, and you’ll be in the spa bathroom.
Immediately after opening the double doors, you’ll see a dressing area with built-in armoires on both sides.
One will house plush bathrobes, slippers, flip-flops, a scale, an in-room safe, a beach bag, and ironing facilities. It’ll also contain a beach umbrella, yoga mats, and life jackets.
The slippers were not to be taken lightly — put these on, and you’ll feel like you’re walking on clouds.
The other armoire has added storage space, as well as hangers, rain jackets, and shoe amenities.
A shoebrush, a large shoehorn, and laundry amenities are hung up on the wall.
Past the dressing area was the marvelous spa bathroom.
His-and-hers vanities are expected here — Tuscan Soul amenities by Salvatore Ferragamo are the products of choice.
There’s a towel hamper for your convenience, as well as a counter with beach towels!
The villa is thoughtfully appointed with toiletries, including an emery board, cotton buds, dental kits, and more.
The highlight of the bathroom is, without a doubt, the deep-soaking bathtub, which can comfortably fit a couple. Be sure to use bath salts when taking in the view, too!
The water closet offers extra privacy, and it’s appointed with a state-of-the-art bidet toilet, as well as a handheld bidet. The toilet lid opens automatically, too!
There are not 1 but 2 showers in your villa — the first one you’ll see is the indoor rain shower. It’s spacious and can toggle between a shower wand or the rainfall showerhead.
As mentioned, high-end Tuscan Soul by Salvatore Ferragamo amenities leave a wonderful Citrus fragrance on you.
The indoor shower leads to the outdoor rain shower.
As you step outside, you are immediately surrounded by lush greenery, which is truly a treat.
Making our way back to the overwater terrace, you’ll first set your sights on a thatched-roof gazebo with a swinging double bed. A truly serene piece of furniture, indeed.
Additional sitting areas are available, which are placed beside a beautiful arrangement of Edison light bulbs.
At the edge of the terrace are a pair of sun loungers and 2 reinforced hammocks where you can relax overwater and stargaze.
But one of the highlights is the private plunge pool — 2 daybeds are placed at the edge for maximum relaxation.
The outdoor dining table is decidedly practical, especially if you’re ordering in-room dining.
The last element is yet another double bed suspended by ropes, which is tucked away in the corner and fully shaded.
The King Reef Villa with Pool is the standard room available at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. But with an almost inconceivable amount of space from a “standard room” (3,000+ square feet), state-of-the-art facilities, a private infinity pool, various relaxation options, and high-end amenities, you’ll have no problem settling down in paradise.
Reef Villas vs. Overwater Villas vs. Beach Villas
If you’re trying to decide from the 3 villa types here, you’re not alone.
Most families (especially those with small children) book the beach villas. These have direct beach access and are great for children to play around in.
Overwater villas are built entirely on stilts and can only be accessed via a wooden walkway from the overwater jetty. They are further from most of the main resort’s facilities.
Reef villas are best thought of as a hybrid of overwater and beach villas. Although they are built on land, they jut out directly into the water, and everything from the terrace forwarded is suspended over the water.
In addition, reef villas enjoy the best location — the overwater and beach villas are located on the fringes of the resort, which can make walking or biking a lengthier task.
Need some help planning or coordinating your stay? AuPACS clients get exclusive packages at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, including the best rates and complimentary VIP perks like free breakfast. To get started, send an email to [email protected].
On the property, there was a large fitness center, complete with medicine balls, free weights, exercise machines, and an outdoor yoga deck.
In addition, exercise classes are held regularly; we had a great time being the only 2 students at a stretching class.
Personal trainers are available for private lessons, as well.
The spa is located next to the fitness center and comes with an initial consultation with the Wellness Concierge for utmost personalization of treatments.
During our stay, we enjoyed a number of spa treatments (the wellness treatment menu, including fitness coaching can be found here):
- 90-minute Balinese massage
- 60-minute Balinese massage
- 60-minute hydrotherapy session at the Aqua Wellness Centre
- 60-minute collagen facial
2 of the 10 treatment villas are overwater — we had the opportunity to receive treatments in both on different days.
These picturesque villas have a wooden outdoor deck accessible via floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as glass floors offering crystal-clear views of marine life.
There are spacious changing rooms in each overwater spa villa, which came appointed with robes and other amenities.
All of our spa treatments were fantastic, though not cheap. That said, these treatments allowed us to fully relax and unwind.
Aqua Wellness Centre
Another neat facility on the property is the Aqua Wellness Centre, a gigantic, multi-zone infinity pool with different sections designed to offer optimized hydrotherapy sessions.
We booked a 1-hour treatment here, which was fantastic! Each zone used a different type of jet and targets a different area.
For example, 1 zone might focus on your calves while another might focus on your shoulders.
The entire resort is surrounded by white sand beach. You’ll have no issues finding a great place to relax.
The most popular hangout spot is at Nava, which we will discuss in a later section.
Although every villa has a private pool, 2 main pools are shared by all guests on the resort.
Both are located next to each other — the kids’ pool is shallow and designed like a lagoon; the adults-only pool is an infinity pool that felt like it was 50 meters long (164 feet long).
Pool service, even at the more secluded adults-only pool was prompt and proactive. In general, the family pool was more crowded than the adults-only pool.
When ordering pool service, your food would come from Nava’s kitchen or the pizza bar.
The dive center is located on the other end of the resort, closest to the overwater villas.
This is where you’d book any of your marine experiences, including fishing, snorkeling, diving, and PADI certification courses.
During your stay, snorkel, mask, and fin rentals are complimentary, which is a huge plus!
Nurse Shark Snorkelling (Must-Do)
Out of all the water activities bookable, we consider the nurse shark snorkeling to be a must-do. Normally, the minimum is 4 guests per trip. We opted to book a private trip this time around.
We were driven out by boat approximately 45 minutes in each direction to the location.
Immediately upon jumping into the water, we were greeted by schools of nurse sharks. What an exhilarating experience!
We swam with nurse sharks for around 45 minutes before boarding the boat to head towards a popular coral reef nearby.
This turned out to be a great move because we spotted a sea turtle! We were also able to observe the sea turtle swimming up to the surface for air, which we understand is a relatively rare event (some can hold their breath for a few hours when resting).
Another activity we booked is sunset fishing, which we would also highly recommend.
The crew took us out on a fishing boat, and we used fishing reels (not rods) to catch fish during the sunset.
During this activity, we caught over a dozen fish, ranging from red snappers to groupers and even a hefty emperor snapper (above).
We took 3 of our caught fish for lunch at Peacock Alley the next day, and it turned out to be one of our favorite meals, especially considering how fresh the ingredients were.
Discover Scuba Diving – By Boat
We booked the Discover Scuba Diving – By Boat activity, which we ended up strongly liking. We didn’t see any special wildlife this time around, only schools of fish.
At the time, we were also battling a short bout of reduced visibility.
The last major water activity we booked was dolphin snorkeling. It was an exhilarating experience, but it involves more physical fitness than one might expect.
Because dolphins are very active swimmers, you may need to repeatedly jump from a boat, pursue the dolphins, and board the boat again.
That said, it was a great experience for us, and we were able to clearly see dolphins underwater!
Lastly, we examined the on-property snorkeling scene. When we descended the ladder from our reef villa, we did not see any wildlife at all, only sand.
As we swam our way next to the overwater villas, we saw immense underwater ecosystems.
Additionally, the coral reefs in the vicinity have had a few years to recover from the resort’s initial construction, so we found the on-property snorkeling to be excellent.
The marine activities at the dive center were some of the most memorable moments during our trip. Between the nurse shark snorkeling and the sunset fishing, getting in touch with the underwater ecosystem was surprisingly meditative.
Kids Club and Water Park
Even though it doesn’t feel like a family resort, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi appeals well to families.
In addition to babysitting and nanny services, the kids’ facilities are impressive. The kids club houses an indoor water park, which is open for a few hours in the afternoon every day.
The resort makes it easy to drop off the kids and trust that the friendly staff will keep the kids entertained, safe, and satisfied.
Padel Tennis Court
One of our favorite facilities was the padel tennis court, which is a very popular sport in Europe and South America.
Court usage requires advance reservations, so we’d recommend booking a time if you’d like to play; simply reach out to the kids’ club or your concierge.
Padel Tennis Tournament
During our stay, we participated in a padel tennis tournament, which was incredibly fun yet competitive.
I was paired with the tennis coach there, Elena Bogdan (who was ranked in the WTA top 100), where we won first place!
The resort has 1 outdoor hard tennis court. Rackets and balls are all provided, as are bottled water and towels.
In total, the resort has 3 shopping boutiques:
- The Edition by TLE Boutiques
- Main Boutique
- Poolside Boutique
Here, you can purchase resort wear, sunscreen, and much more.
There’s an on-property photo studio, Shutterfish, that you can book to capture your experiences at the resort.
All guests are entitled to one complimentary photography session with 1 selected print from this session.
The photography studio is located next to the kids’ club.
The last major feature of the resort we’ll touch on is the wedding pavilion, which is located behind the lobby reception area.
It consists of a large grass field that leads up to an overwater pavilion with a beautiful backdrop of azure-blue waters.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi’s 10+ Dining Options (Incredible Food)
One of the major highlights of the Waldorf Astoria is that its food and beverage program is so thoughtfully planned to offer variety and superb quality.
That said, it is extremely pricey here, as to be expected from a resort of this caliber. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer!
Tasting Table (Breakfast and Dinner)
The main breakfast outlet is Tasting Table, which is open for breakfast and dinner.
The restaurant has indoor and outdoor dining spaces, high ceilings, and plenty of tables.
Here, you can enjoy a diverse selection of items buffet-style or a handful of made-to-order items like pancakes, omelets, eggs any way you like, waffles, and crepes.
One neat feature here is that there’s a proper coffee bar where beans are freshly ground and artisanal coffee is prepared.
The juice bar offers freshly-made juices.
You’re greeted first by an assortment of excellent breakfast pastries.
There are fresh fruits next to the pastry section.
For the discerning eater, an excellent selection of meats and cheeses are available.
You’ll also find a cereal station, salad bar, and a traditional Maldivian section serving favorites like roti and curry.
There’s another section adjacent to the main buffet area that has Asian and Mediterranean dishes.
The buffet choices were excellent — but one of the highlights was the made-to-order breakfast items like the customizable omelet and the freshly-prepared crepe.
Nava (All-Day Dining and Cocktails)
Nava is arguably the hangout hub at the resort — it’s located in the center of the resort and has plenty of seating, foosball, billiards, and table tennis.
It’s also right on the beach, and cabanas are available for rent.
You can also order pizza from the nearby pizza bar.
Tropical, fruity, and bright cocktails are excellent at Nava. And if you’re interested in Western options like burgers, tacos, pizza, and pasta, Nava is a fantastic choice.
We visited Nava a few times during our stay, but it always started off with fruity cocktails.
On one occasion, we ordered a cheeseburger ($50), which is probably the most expensive burger we’ve ever ordered. At least it was a tasty expensive burger, instead of an inedible slightly less expensive burger!
We also ordered a diavola pizza, which was fantastic.
On another occasion, we sampled a mango mocktail, which was awesome.
We ordered a pappardelle carbonara, which was highly indulgent. The chicken tacos were good, too.
Peacock Alley (All-Day Dining and Cocktails)
Peacock Alley is the lobby lounge located just next to the hotel’s reception area.
Here, you can enjoy a drink and play chess or monopoly; cigars are available for purchase, too.
Peacock Alley overlooks the arrival dock and the beautiful blue ocean.
We found the food and drink here to be very good, as well. We ordered:
- Passonfruit mocktail
- Stuffed chicken wings
- Malaysian satay
- Triple decker club sandwich
Amber (Sunset Cocktails)
Amber is the outdoor champagne cocktail bar; it’s also the best place to spot a proper sunset in the whole resort.
The cocktails were excellent here, and the views were incredible. We ordered:
- Berry breeze (citrus vodka, lime juice, raspberry, sparkling wine)
- Strawberry Bellini
- Adam’s apple (Hendricks premixed, fresh green apple juice, sparkling wine)
- Champagne mojito
We also enjoyed the Oscietra caviar service, which was accompanied by blinis, crushed egg whites and yolk, creme fraiche, chives, and onion.
Glow is the hotel’s garden-to-table restaurant offering a series of wellness-focused dining options.
Although we didn’t order any food here, we did order drinks here, including a shot of Clase Azul Tequila Reposado, which was smooth and luxurious.
Yasmeen was one of our favorite restaurants in the entire resort — it’s designed like an ancient Arabian village and boasts some of the best levant cuisine we’ve had in our lives.
During our stay here, we reserved the Arabian Night experience which came with live performances from the most famous belly dancer in Dubai and an incredible array of food, buffet-style.
During Arabian night, we enjoyed a vast array of food options, including:
- Cold and hot mezze
- Shish tawook
- Kofta kebab
- Lamb chops
- Beef cubes
- Black tiger prawn
- Maldivian lobster
- Lamb ouzi
- Reef fish with fennel sauce
- Potato kofta
- Cheese cakes
Li Long (Chinese)
On Christmas Day, we dined at Li Long, the signature Asian outlet at the resort. It offers the Maldives’ first classic wood-fired oven, which is used to prepare its signature Peking duck.
We opted to sample the signature, 7-course tasting menu, which ended up being an excellent choice:
- Roasted Beijing duck with Chinese pancakes, cucumber, spring onions, and hoisin sauce
- Hot and sour soup with seafood
- Wok-fried fresh Maldivian lobster with ginger and spring onions
- Stir-fried mixed seafood with asparagus in X.O. sauce
- Black pepper wagyu beef tenderloin
- Fujian-style fried rice with roasted duck and chicken
- Chilled sweetened honey pear with glutinous rice ball and rock sugar soup (we also ordered the chilled mango pudding)
Plus, the restaurant offered complimentary pan-fried dumplings and lobster shumai to start.
At this point, we were stuffed and completely satisfied. However, we were also presented with an anniversary rose-flavored cake, which was a fantastic touch.
The Ledge by Dave Pynt (Australian Barbecue)
The Ledge by Dave Pynt serves Australian barbecue-style options, focusing heavily on steak and fresh seafood.
The restaurant is spearheaded by the Michelin-starred celebrity chef known for Burnt Ends in Singapore.
To start, we ordered the tuna and caviar tart, which was a flavor explosion.
Then, we enjoyed a warm, grilled oyster.
After that was the beef marmalade and house pickles served over grilled bread.
We also sampled the steak frites, which was deconstructed into a beef tartar and caviar served on uber-thin, fried potato sheets.
We had the fresh john dory fish and wagyu beef tenderloin as our main courses.
At this point, we were full, so we did not order any desserts to finish dinner off.
Terra (Signature Treetops Dining)
Terra is the property’s signature restaurant — the venue consists of 7 bamboo spheres that are nestled in the treetops for incredible ambiance.
We did not dine here during our stay, but Terra serves a prix fixe menu curated by Alessandro Santi, the culinary director.
The Rock (Wine Cellar)
Finally, The Rock is the private wine tasting venue, which is open only to those who make a reservation.
We did not experience this during our stay, but we did capture some photos.
The interior looks like very intimate.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Christmas Eve Gala 2021
One of the highlights of our trip was the Christmas Eve gala, which, despite being compulsory and costing around $650 including all taxes and fees per person, was one of the highlights during our stay.
The hotel invests a ton of money and effort into creating a vibrant festive experience, and it showed during the Christmas Eve gala.
This gala was held at Tasting Table (the breakfast outlet), though the outdoor dining areas were expanded to accommodate all of the resort’s guests.
The gala started with a free flow of wine and Champagne for the first hour, and we were blown away by the incredible selection of food there.
First off, freshly shucked Gillardeau oysters were flown from France, and chilled seafood was served.
The immense food selection included sushi, foie gras, lobster thermidor, steak, lamb racks, Peking duck, Cantonese-style BBQ pork, and so much more.
For the kids, the staff set up a cute station with favorites like mac and cheese.
There was also an outdoor section serving dishes from The Ledge, including steak sando, chicken wings, and ham.
During the gala, there was an entirely separate building that housed all of the desserts.
Some noteworthy desserts included a fresh strawberry tower, a macaron tower, and lots of unique cakes.
Live entertainment was offered all night, ranging from dance performances to magic acts and a live band.
One of the most memorable experiences we had at this resort was the Christmas Eve Gala. Seeing other hotel guests be festive and having a great time allowed us to enjoy the moment, food, and entertainment.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Personal Concierge and Service
The last facet of our stay we’ll discuss is the service and our personal concierge. When staying here, you are assigned a personal concierge, whom you can contact via WhatsApp or the provided cellphone in your villa.
Our concierge was Shafeeq, and he was incredibly helpful and warm from beginning to end.
He helped us plan and reserve our various activities and restaurant meals, as well as coordinate our pre-departure COVID PCR tests.
During our stay here, we were blown away by the polished service and the little details.
Whether it was dressing up our bed for special occasions, setting up an anniversary bubble bath, extending complimentary goodwill gestures, or just making us feel welcome at the resort, I felt they left no stone unturned.
Suffice to say, we were saddened when our 5-night stay came to an end. As a final goodwill gesture, the resort extended an ultra-late check-out time of around 7:15 p.m.
For 5 full nights and 6 days, we were in Maldivian paradise. The value we got from our stay was out of this world. The fact that we booked a $30,000 hotel stay with points is truly a feat that we can be proud of.
But ultimately, it was the team at Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi that made the stay one we will never forget. During our time here, we rekindled our festive spirit, savored new experiences, and had the opportunity to revel in complete opulence.
The beach was incredible, the facilities were pristine, and the people were fantastic. The food and drink program here is thoughtfully curated, too.
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is the new flagship resort in town.