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Earlier this month, the brand new ultra-luxe Waldorf Astoria Itaafushi in the Maldives began accepting reservations, and expects to open its doors to guests starting July 1. Initially, those wishing to book the Waldorf Astoria Itaafushi could only do so if they paid the cash rate, with no option available to book with Hilton Honors points. But, a week after the hotel began accepting reservations, the property was finally made available for points reservations at 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night, putting the property in a league of its own.
Now, just a little more than a week later, One Mile At A Time is reporting that the Waldorf Astoria Itaafushi has seemingly stopped accepting points reservations.
As with any luxury property in the Maldives, points and miles are often the preferred currency of many travelers. And you don’t have to look far to understand why that would be. The lowest available rate for Hilton Honors members at the Waldorf Astoria Itaafushi is currently $1,374 without taxes and fees. Room rates quickly increase if you’re looking for an upgraded experience.
However, it appears that as of Saturday morning, the Waldorf Astoria Itaafushi no longer offers a standard room award rate (which is required by the Hilton Honors program) with no blackout dates. We’re still waiting to hear if this simply a computer glitch or a longer-term change in the system, but a TPG search of a dozen dates from Jul. 1 through mid-August came up empty-handed. While it is possible to select an option to book with points, only premium award redemptions are available and the number of points required to book a premium room is the cash+points rate (655,000 Hilton Honors points per night). Based on TPG’s recent valuations, that’s around $3,930 per night, or in some cases twice the cash rate.
The Waldorf Astoria Itaafushi not accepting points would come as a major letdown to readers who were planning to book this property. Featuring beachside and over-water villas, the Waldorf Astoria Itaafushi is the epitome of over-the-top luxury, allowing Hilton to offer a truly competitive ultra-luxe property when it opens in July. (At the moment, Hilton offers just one other property in the Maldives, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.)
Getting to the Maldives
Half of the appeal of the Maldives comes from its geographic isolation, which makes getting to Male (MLE) and on to the hotel a bit of a challenge. Be sure to check out this guide for ideas on how to cover your flights to the Maldives with credit card points and airline miles. Keep in mind too that once you get there, you’ll almost certainly have to pay an additional fee for a seaplane or speedboat transfer from Male to the hotel. Make sure to pay attention to the transfer fee, as it can range from ~$100 to almost $700 per person.
TPG has reached out to Hilton for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication. We will update this post with any additional information.
H/T: One Mile At A Time
Featured image courtesy of Hilton.
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