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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express
The St. Regis Maldives is easily the most appealing new resort in the Marriott portfolio. Naturally, it’s also one of the most expensive, with per-night rates climbing above $2,000 even for base suites. The property’s top villa, meanwhile, can run you upwards of $21,000 per night, and it goes way up from there.
While the John Jacob Astor Estate is a bucket-list item even for the rich and famous, bookings for the “regular” overwater villas are much easier to attain, especially if you’re able to redeem points as part of Starwood Preferred Guest’s “Paradise is Closer” promotion, which runs through March 5, 2018.
Even with a 35% award discount, though, an Overwater Villa at the St. Regis Maldives will run you a cool 234,000 Starpoints (or 702,000 Marriott Rewards points) for a five-night stay — scoring the bonuses from both the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express will still leave you far short of that goal.
Fortunately, there’s another option — pay cash and book a discounted rate. And, currently, the property is offering the lowest rates I’ve ever seen, as I noticed with a tweet this morning.
The discounted rates are available as part of the hotel’s “Seven Days, Exquisite Savings” promotion, which requires that you book by September 7 and stay through October 8, 2017. That’s a narrow window, but given the discount it could be worth going out of your way to make this work. Note that the promotion is for 30% off the base rate, but SPG members save an additional 5%. The non-refundable rate includes breakfast for two at ALBA restaurant and a welcome gift of fruits, sweets and a bottle of Champagne.
Unlike similar promotions I’ve seen at other hotels, this is truly a 35% discount based on the regular prepaid SPG rate. Score!
Meanwhile, an Overwater Villa — which is very much worth the upgrade, in my opinion — costs $1,252 after tax with the discounted rate, or a cool $1,000 per night for a four-night stay with Citi Prestige 4th Night Free.
Note that these rates do not include seaplane transfers, which will run you another $645 round-trip per person. Additionally, food and beverage prices are higher than you’ll find even at the most expensive US restaurants, so be prepared for some sticker shock once you arrive. The free breakfast buffet is outrageous though — we arrived at the tail end of breakfast each morning, ate our fill, snacked on some free fruit in the afternoon and only ended up having to pay for dinner each day, which isn’t too obscenely expensive if you decide to skip out on the alcohol.
Even with the current 30% discount (35% for SPG members), the St. Regis Maldives is a tremendous splurge. But after a phenomenal stay in May, I’m already looking forward to my next visit.
It’s important to note than monsoon season runs through October, so there’s a chance you’ll have less-than-perfect weather. I visited in May, though, which also falls within the region’s rainiest period, and we had clear skies almost the entire time. Occupancy was also considerably lower than during peak periods, which made the experience even more special, in my opinion. If the St. Regis Maldives is a must-visit in your book, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than this.