The Best Award Availability at the St. Regis Maldives We've Ever Seen
From Amanpulo to the Park Hyatt Paris, I've stayed at some pretty incredible hotels over my years at TPG. Nothing comes close to the St. Regis Maldives, though, when it comes to the suites, service and scenery.
But there's just one problem: While the St. Regis Maldives is far and away my favorite hotel to date, it's also the most expensive, with base villas costing well over $2,000 on some nights.
Fortunately, there's a workaround — at least for a few more weeks. Through February 2019, you'll be able to book award nights for 60,000 points, or 48,000 points when you book five nights at a time. We value Marriott points at 0.9 cents each, so we're talking just $540 or $432 worth of points per night, respectively. Even during the off-season, that's an outrageous deal. But there's one big catch: you need to find availability in a Garden Villa, and the resort only has four.
The good news is it just so happens that at least three of the St. Regis Maldives' four Garden Villas are available to book for most of January (it could be all four, but Marriott only lets members search for up to three rooms at a time).
While it's short notice for sure, you could book a trip to the Maldives' top points resort for pretty much any date(s) next month, checking in after January 1 and checking out by February 1. January also happens to be one of the best months to visit the Maldives, smack dab in the middle of peak season.
Curiously, I'm not finding much availability at all after January, so my guess is that the hotel has bumped award guests already on the books into higher-category rooms to open up space in these base villas, perhaps as an early Christmas gift (or to boost occupancy throughout the month).
Considering how long it can take to reach the Maldives, and the fact that you're also on the hook for a $695 round-trip seaplane transfer from Male (MLE), I'd recommend booking in blocks of five nights, so you have plenty of time to experience Vommuli and take advantage of Marriott's fifth-night free promo.
You could even book the entire month of January if you want, with a 30-day stay from January 2 until February 1, 2019:
You'd be paying 1,440,000 points for the 30-night stay, worth $12,960 — not a small amount. That's a fraction of the $56,381 cash rate, though. After subtracting the $875 in seaplane transfers and fees you'd pay (for one guest), you're looking at a value of 3.85 cents per point, more than four times our valuation.
You could use that same number of points to book three rooms for 10 nights each, if you'd prefer:
Do note that award guests will still be on the hook for that $695 (per person) seaplane transfer, and food and beverage prices can often be extraordinarily high. Many paid rates include breakfast, but award stays do not — though Marriott Platinum members always get the hotel's phenomenal breakfast included for two guests per day. You'll be stuck on the island for the duration of your stay, so I'd budget at least $150 per person per day for lunch and dinner, and considerably more if you plan to drink.
I'd expect these award nights to go quickly. The property should be eligible for a Points Advance booking, so you can lock in a stay then work to build up your balance a week or so before check-in. While normally not a great deal, considering you can get 3.85 cents per point in value here, it could even make sense to transfer points from Chase's Ultimate Rewards program at a 1:1 ratio, especially if you only need a few thousand more to make this work.
For more on the St. Regis Maldives, see: