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DansDeals Forum => Trip Reports => Topic started by: Wizmanison on October 27, 2020, 02:08:41 PM

Title: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 27, 2020, 02:08:41 PM
MALDIVES ROUND 2 TRIP REPORT:

Breakdown of costs:
280k AA + $190 YQ
480k HH
Infant fees: $282
Boat transfer fee: $1,450


PLANNING:

I thought I would start this trip report while on the trip or like my other trip reports, I wonít make the time to finish them. So, here I am on my LAX-DOH flight starting the TR!

What inspired this trip was a couple of things. We had a big France-Israel-Italy flight planned for June of 2020 but COVID got in the way of that and with our son turning 2 we wanted to make a trip before we have to start paying for his own seat. After my wife, son, and I all contracted covid early September we decided to just book the Maldives for end of October and see how things pan out.

I first booked the 5 nights with points (5th night free) at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives and checked availability every couple days for Q suites for our outbound trip. There was no availability for QR flights on our initial 5 nights booked but I found flights leaving LAX the following day with a mixed class itinerary on J LAX-DOH (9 hour layover) and then DOH-MLE in Y, while hoping that the second leg would open up by the time we have to fly.

However, there was no longer availability with WA if I wanted to change my 5 nights hotel to start the next day. A quick email to WA MLE reservations got that sorted out and was even able to change my double bed queen to a king reef villa (which was not showing available online for the standard rate). Now finding the return flight took several weeks. QR had nothing available for our return on November 2nd and I always wanted to fly something new, preferably a shower class. So my other alternate was using Aeroplan to fly Etihad back. However, that gave me unfavorable times leaving MLE and I had to pay close to $600 for PCR tests to transit through AUH. Regardless, we booked MLE-AUH-LAX and MLE-AUH-JFK-LAX (Hoping I could convince my wife to take the detour for shower class) just incase since Aeroplanís cancellation policy was free. A week later Aeroplan changed my itinerary and looking at EYís website it seems they cancelled all flights for that week from AUH-LAX. JFK was still an option but with the PCR test and the multiple stopovers it just wasnít ideal. So I cancelled all my Etihad flights and began looking into other options. Here is a pic of my idea board:

(https://i.imgur.com/srbLD5L.jpg)


Unfortunately, there wasnít many great options. I considered routing through London and spending a week there but the quarantine rules seemed pretty strict and flying Turkish just didnít seem exciting with both the actual product and the multiple stops and long layovers. So we ended up finding and booking QR for the way back. I was only able to book one mixed class itinerary for MLE-DOH in Y (9 hour layover) and DOH-LAX in J and one full Y ticket for both segments. Up until the trip I was checking twice a day, if not more, on BA and AA hoping that segments would open up in J to upgrade. Nothing at all ever opened up for MLE-DOH or DOH-MLE in J and I think QR just stopped opening up seats because from October through the end of the year there was 0 availability in Business. But, 12 hours before our flight there happened to be 1 seat in business class open up for both segments and I was able to upgrade the full economy ticket to all business which was amazing.

A week before the trip we cooked, packaged, and froze our own food for the trip and put it in our polar bear cooler. We made a food itinerary for the whole trip and worked from there. We froze milk and yogurt as well for the baby:

(https://i.imgur.com/3xXhB8o.jpg)
 (https://imgur.com/a/LI5sscS)Some pics of the food under the foil  (https://imgur.com/a/LI5sscS)

We actually had planned to return to the amazing SR MLE at the glitch rate of 240k for 5 nights in an OWB for the summer last year but we had to cancel it for a family wedding. (Coincidentally, I ended up helping book the SR MLE for their honeymoon shortly after). After cancelling SR MLE actually agreed to honor that rate again up until a year after original booking but with covid and our new plans we never took them up on it. Although we truly loved the SR MLE on our last stay (https://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=93206.msg1942447#msg1942447) (unfinished TR :(), our favorite hotel we have stayed at so far (writing this on the way to the WA MLEÖ), we wanted to try something new and the WA MLE seemed amazing from @israshot  TR and had a great kids park.


Now what was really difficult about this booking was that since up until 12 hours before the flight, our flights were mostly booked mixed class. And QR and AA refused to ticket an infant award on it. Constantly giving me the runaround saying the other airline has to ticket it. AA told me they donít even handle Infant awards and when I got a supervisor to finally agree to ticket an infant award after quoting me the price and everything. When she tried to ticket it she said it was impossible on her end since it was mixed class and to call QR. Qatar took a lot of HUCAís before someone could help me even start the infant booking process. And I was finally able to book the infant on the economy ticket no problem for my wife original return flight in Y (cost $170) and on the mixed class it seems that one of the reps were either uninformed or didnít care but he pushed through an infant award all in economy for both segments. When asking him if that would be ok he said it shouldnít be a problem. Something didnít add up so throughout the week I called and spoke to like 5 people and they all confirmed that both infant tickets were all good.


THE TRIP:

I have never seen LAX look so empty.
(https://i.imgur.com/oOV7S4t.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/3uJ3ZVy.jpg)

Thankfully I came to the airport early, which I rarely ever do, and when I got to the checkin desk there was a massive issue with the infant ticket.  As mentioned above the infant award that was booked by the agent incorrectly had to get upgraded to business for the leg we were in business. The agents at the counter had absolutely no clue what to do and we were waiting there for 2 hours until they finally fixed the issue and ended up charging me $160 to upgrade the infant ticket to business. But for those 2 hours they said they had never encountered this issue before and that they donít think they can do anything. At one point they said they would not be able to get me on the flight today which is when I said that was not possible as I have a whole itinerary planned and arguing so on and so forth. Then they said they can maybe do it but it would cost me $1,400 which I demanded they pay for. With only 20 minutes to spare before flight leaves they figured it out and said they would have to charge me the $160 upgrade fee. With there being no time to argue I gave them the CC to charge and I guess I will just have to figure it out later. (Open to any suggestions on if I should push any further to get that money back or if I should maybe dispute). We had someone escort us to the gate and we definitely were clearly the last ones on the plane holding it up.

The flight was relatively empty. Face masks and face shield were required to enter the aircraft but once you were in your suite it seems that none of the passengers were wearing either masks or face shields and the flight attendants didnít care. Economy was pretty much completely empty except for a few seats here and there.
(https://i.imgur.com/1O8Rejk.jpg)

The business class seats were not full but also not empty. We sat in seats 11F and E and it was basically a section of the airplane that was cutoff from economy and cut off from the main business class. It was amazing! There was only one other person in the corner which basically gave us 7 seats to use.
(https://i.imgur.com/lRvBtjk.jpg)


The Q suites were simply stunning and they let us use any suite we wanted for anything. We had a suite for our bags, a suite where I would daven, and another 3 for lounging/sleeping.

(https://i.imgur.com/lDhOwUD.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/HRHn8S6.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/JP6IXmj.jpg)

We opened the partition in the middle and had an extra seat just for the baby to sleep.

(https://i.imgur.com/4AC9SQx.jpg) Please excuse my mosaic jetblue socks they are just so comfy and soft!

(https://i.imgur.com/ncUvfOc.jpg)

With Q suites you can have 4 seats. Two of the four donít have a wall in between

(https://i.imgur.com/eUFKu3t.jpg)

But the other two do have something in between. However, you can lower the partition in between but only heads would really be visible and the middle partition can be moved to the side so everyone has a view of one another.

(https://i.imgur.com/meK9uiW.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/zCEoKAo.jpg)

Bathroom has a window also which was interesting. And here was the sunrise view:
(https://i.imgur.com/n6UPDps.jpg)
 

Service was amazing and the flight attendants were really nice and relaxed. Seats were comfy, infotainment was great and found it really cool that they have a iPhone like device that is really responsive to control the main display.
(https://i.imgur.com/FhVsEfy.jpg)

Kosher food was catered by Emunah and although I forgot to take a picture it was a chicken and mushroom herb with rice and veggies that didnít taste too bad but was pretty dry for my liking. The breakfast was omelet with hash browns that were not so bad.

(https://i.imgur.com/Uq2P5ty.jpg)

My initial concern was that since I am flying Y on the second leg then I wouldnít be entitled to the business class lounge access. But according to flyertalk and one world if you have a layover more than 5 hours and you arrived in premium class then you are entitled to lounge access. If not my backup plan was to pay around $250 for the Doha Airport Hotel or just slum it in the priority pass Al Maja lounge.

After landing, I stopped by the transfer desk to see if they would be able to bump up my Y flights to J for the next leg but they werenít willing. The airport was really nice, clean, and modern. All the shops looked open and it was not at all busy or crowded but a decent amount of people flowing through.

(https://i.imgur.com/5GT9Cjl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/YeI4gY6.jpg)


We went straight for the business class lounge, Al Mourjan. They denied us entry stating that since our flight was an ďupgraded flightĒ (which it was not. Rather, it was an award flight which should have no restrictions) the standard rule for allowing mixed class itineraries was not applicable. I asked for the supervisor and he was no help so we left and headed for the priority pass lounge Al Maha. The lounge was pretty small and nothing special. With no private areas for family and just chairs and tables. I left my wife and son there and headed back for the business class lounge to argue my way in as something didnít sound right about their policy.

On one worlds website it states:

Quote
ďhttps://www.oneworld.com/airport-lounges?location=DOH
* Connecting between oneworld marketed and operated flights:
    * First and Business Class customers connecting on the same day of travel, or before 6am the following day, can access the lounge when travelling between an international long haul (a oneworld international long haul flight is defined as an international flight marketed and operated by any oneworld carrier with a scheduled flight time longer than 5 hours) and an international short haul or domestic flight (and vice-versa).
    * Lounge access will be determined on the international long haul ticketed flight (either First of Business Class) regardless of the ticketed class of travel on the international short haul or domestic flight.
    * You must be prepared to show your boarding pass or itinerary showing travel in First or Business class on the international long haul flight, in order to access the lounge before your international short haul or domestic flight.Ē

After showing this to the supervisor, he still didnít budge. So I demanded he showed me whatever policy he was going off of. I told him I just got off the phone with one world (not true) and they told me I should have no issue getting into the lounge. He agreed to look further into it and after 10 minutes he told me that I can go bring my family and they will let me in. He apologized for the confusion and said that because my inbound flight was ďAmerican airwaysĒ and my second leg was Qatar Airways they were having an issue looking it up. I didnít care to ask any more questions and came back with my family to enjoy the lounge to get the tour.

The lounge was beautiful and massive:

(https://i.imgur.com/P1wfomI.jpg)

Behind these curtains you can see the runway with several aircrafts.
(https://i.imgur.com/R5phIxe.jpg)

Stairs lead to the sit down Restauraunt which I didnít even bother going upstairs to see.
(https://i.imgur.com/eQ2MEwI.jpg)

Restauraunt is on the second floor (seen in this picture)
(https://i.imgur.com/kYb7hNi.jpg)

They took us straight to the family area. On the way there you see several different lounging areas:

(https://i.imgur.com/ujr1Hlm.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/MBLrDzM.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/ZDgkTRK.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/3gk6jpN.jpg)

As well as other type of rooms like a ďParentís roomĒ which at first looks just like a play area
(https://i.imgur.com/7d4bTOD.jpg)

But, behind the brown doors you have like a 2 bedroom small Appartment with a mini cold kitchen!
(https://i.imgur.com/cnmTdxE.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/enhDPta.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/aSS7GAD.jpg)

Near there you have a game room which looked pretty boring:

(https://i.imgur.com/1pB2taB.jpg)

Whereas the game room in the business center part of the lounge looked more exciting (thinking emoji)

(https://i.imgur.com/wbs8yNQ.jpg)

There seems to be 3 options if youíre trying to take a nap:

Sleep pods (self explanatory):
(https://i.imgur.com/iaL3qxA.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/eICY5yX.jpg)

The quiet area rooms, which is smaller than the family room and not as nice.

(https://i.imgur.com/G7RBI2s.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/gmhgJo4.jpg)

Family area room. Which is the biggest of all and the nicest IMO.
(https://i.imgur.com/icv3APd.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/EEw1P47.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/u8cEV27.jpg)


As I am writing this while in the family room. The plan is to just stay here until departure or maybe an hour or so before and weíll walk around the airport with the baby as there seems to be some kid play areas. Internet in the lounge seems to be the same internet you can get for free outside the lounge. It wasnít great.


Although we had some hiccups to start with. The 16 hour flight was amazing and hopefully the rest will be smooth sailing!
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Dawie on October 27, 2020, 02:20:04 PM
Hatzlacha!
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Yehoshua on October 27, 2020, 02:30:01 PM
Nice! It makes wanting to go somewhere harder when reading an old fashioned TR, especially one leaving from LAX.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: BarryLincoln on October 27, 2020, 02:33:06 PM
Awesome start... thanks for taking us along...
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 05:49:58 AM
About an 1:30 before departure we headed out to walk around the airport. There were several kid play areas with slides and such that we enjoyed with our son.

(https://i.imgur.com/wDoitE5.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/j3xbQTC.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/EtvTwLs.jpg)


After that we headed to our gate where I once again was denied an upgrade to Q suites :(.  Saw lots of Israeli passport holders checking into the flight and it seemed like it was a decently filled flight. Not too crowded since it seemed almost everyone in economy likely had their own row of seats to sleep on but even q suites had only a handful of empty seats. Saw lots of others traveling with their kids and babies as well. My wife and son shared 3 seats by the window while I laid down on 4 seats in the middle on the 777-200LR. I fell right asleep and only woke up when we started descending around 4 hours later. For kosher meal they offered some not so appetizing salmon that we passed on.

(https://i.imgur.com/CWVFfnC.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/HUXA08U.jpg)

Descending into Male Airport was stunning as usual with the window views of all the atolls.

(https://i.imgur.com/aswpCPH.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/8GVyEBb.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/dJniRtH.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Wftmcdb.jpg)

It looked like several parts of the airport was undergoing construction but I believe I recall seeing that last time as well and looks like no improvements have been made IMO.

After landing we busses to the small arrivals area which hasnít changed since we last came towards the end of 2017. Still no WiFi... we went through immigration and ran our luggage through another scanner.

(https://i.imgur.com/XYyBqix.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/rJTfKck.jpg)


Felt like it took forever to get our bags and since we boarded so last minute at LAX I was worried the bags may have not been loaded properly. But all worked out and we went outside to meet the guy holding the IPad with a Waldorf Astoria logo. He was very nice and tagged our bags and took us to the yacht.

(https://i.imgur.com/RPQoPYX.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/PHj2ofn.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/P2infy8.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/kGlWvLj.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/MHMhFBC.jpg)

There were actually 2 identical yachts. In our yacht there was 4 parties. One upstairs, one in the general lounge area, we had a bedroom downstairs and another party had the other bedroom.

(https://i.imgur.com/4URu2ec.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/0OZSwbM.jpg)

The yacht was absolutely stunning and modern. They offered us drinks, champagne, and non kosher food which we kindly declined of course. It was about 40 minutes and we just all chilled in the big bedroom downstairs. The bathroom and shower were also really nice.

(https://i.imgur.com/xqIypci.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/HXG9z37.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/9CFGXtx.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/uung45V.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/yaPgKxx.jpg)

As we were arriving at the WA it started raining a bit but by the time we docked it stopped. We learned from our last trip that the weather is really sporadic and unpredictable. And regardless of the rain or shine the stay would be amazing!

All the Butlers were waiting by the dock to greet us and the butler assigned to us was named Ella. Someone also was there from the kids program to give our baby a gift, introduce herself, and give us the weekly program/schedule for the kids program. We then went through the main lobby to have our temperature checked by some cool device scanner I have yet to see and then in our golf cart to give us a quick tour and take us to our room.

(https://i.imgur.com/syat3QU.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/EpDVQs4.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Gfyay9f.jpg)


Ella informed us we were upgraded to an OWB from the reef villa and assigned room 705. And she also mentioned that occupancy is around 50% for them right now.

Next up are pictures of the OWB!
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 09:50:48 AM
Stepping into the room was beyond what we imagined and way better than the pictures online. The villa was massive and from the second we stepped in we were blown away. It felt nearly double the size of the SR MLE villa! Hopefully my pictures below do it some justice.

(https://i.imgur.com/UXikzfa.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/FXaTl01.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/vt2mt3N.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/KFFjDrb.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/T3a7Elx.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/tnzCViu.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/BdgGCqr.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/bsXAKvJ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Yn4YgYV.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/ZCq83WB.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/IsDOKQu.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/lscCvpf.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/L12vTRQ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/GoFJ2un.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/o8Wxd5O.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/sGJtBH8.jpg) outdoor shower

(https://i.imgur.com/p7s7pIf.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/eKqewOE.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/1Lf96wp.jpg) smart toilet

(https://i.imgur.com/qrrWf6r.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/oBXUZrh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/PDshSsh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/d5sHZY0.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/7T0YFrN.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/FActu9f.jpg)


Since we didnít want the wine or the champagne they had to offer they gave us a fruit basket and freshly squeezed juice. Ella walked us through the room showing me all the gadgets and such. Like most of these luxury resorts there was an iPad controlling all the main functions of the room. Ella also handed us a basic phone that I can use to call her on speed dial if I need something. As well as giving me the option to WhatsApp her. The villa TV can be connected by chrome cast and speakers can be connected through bluetooth. Was cool that they offered a bike with a baby attachment as well. Like most places we travel to we were celebrating an anniversary and also my sons upcoming birthday which is why there are decorations on the bed. I also requested prior to arrival for a highchair, crib, stroller. They delivered all three and several more baby things that will be useful! Also, something to note is that the resort has its own time zone and places it as 1 hour ahead of Male. Since they delivered all the luggages to our door including our freezer bag with food we took out food for today and the next and called them to pick up the bag to put in their freezer. I was worried after the 9 hour layover and the like 21 hours of travel time that maybe some of the food would defrost but it barely defrosted!

(https://i.imgur.com/Xeechtr.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/mT8hqnG.jpg)

After settling in and unpacking the 220V toaster oven we got from Amazon, to heat our food up and avoid the hefty $50 per a meal fee, we went for a swim in the pool as the sun came out. The pool was nice and pretty warm and as you saw in the pictures above really big. It started raining for about 25 minutes so we went in and returned an hour or so later to the pool when the sun came back out. I guess I forgot how bad it was last time and it slipped my mind to bring mosquito spray or those bracelets because I keep seeing mosquitos and am regretting not bringing along some deterrents.

After a couple hours enjoying the villa I checked back in to see if maybe space opened up for my MLE-DOH flight in J but there was nothing. I then looked at the next day and there were 2 business class seats for the full trip. So I reached out to reservations at the hotel and asked if it was possible to use one of my free night certs to extend my stay a day and then once that was confirmed I called in AA and they reissued the ticket with the new dates. So now were staying 6 nights and they were able to confirm the same upgraded room for the extra night as well.

Here are some other pictures I took while touring around the hotel:

(https://i.imgur.com/4PUtiYT.jpg) Welcome Pier

(https://i.imgur.com/H1EyY4t.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/uvMB1qa.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/9ojgoTh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/wbNkkx7.jpg) Peacock lounge where complimentary drinks are served for gold and diamond members during happy hour.

Probably also important to mention that our butler said masks are not mandatory for the guests. However, I have yet to see an employee who was not wearing a mask. Seems all the guests I've seen though are embracing the no mask policy.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: tavster on October 28, 2020, 10:57:09 AM
Great TR. Enjoy!
First impression of WA's resort vs STR?
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 12:26:38 PM
Great TR. Enjoy!
First impression of WA's resort vs STR?
Havenít really seen enough yet of the WA hotel or experienced enough of the service but just going off of the room the WA wins so far.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 12:43:20 PM

After settling in and unpacking the 220V toaster oven we got from Amazon, to heat our food up and avoid the hefty $50

In regards to the toaster since a couple people PM'd me here is the link  (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0797LSVYF/?tag=cl03f-20&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER)
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Yehoshua on October 28, 2020, 02:00:56 PM
Wow, nice pictures!
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Dan on October 28, 2020, 02:02:55 PM
Looks amazing!!!
Can't wait for a full SR vs WA review, but the room does look nicer.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 02:02:58 PM
Wow, nice pictures!
Thank you! Mostly shot on the most recent IPhone 12 pro
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: myb821 on October 28, 2020, 02:15:36 PM
In regards to the toaster since a couple people PM'd me here is the link  (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0797LSVYF/?tag=cl03f-20&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER)
where is my h/t.......
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: tavster on October 28, 2020, 02:17:00 PM
where is my h/t.......
He gave you credit in the What do you do for kosher food thread
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: KSMH on October 28, 2020, 03:26:13 PM
Looks amazing!!!
Can't wait for a full SR vs WA review, but the room does look nicer.
Overall nicer but missing the big open area.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 07:26:39 PM
where is my h/t.......

Wasn't letting me edit the original! Credit for toaster and helping by talking through our upcoming stay goes to @myb821!

Credit goes to [mention]myb821 [/mention] who shared the link with me first :)
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: PlatinumGuy on October 28, 2020, 07:28:40 PM
I would definitely dispute the extra charge for the infant. Whatís the downside? The airport agents were right and the call center agents were wrong, but the airline should still be obligated to live by the guidance it gave you.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 07:30:41 PM
I would definitely dispute the extra charge for the infant. Whatís the downside? The airport agents were right and the call center agents were wrong, but the airline should still be obligated to live by the guidance it gave you.

Appreciate the advice! There's no chance of trouble with the airline in the future? In terms of them not allowing me to fly with them or anything like that?
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: PlatinumGuy on October 28, 2020, 07:37:11 PM
I doubt it. AA would maybe make issues with advantage (if it was an AA thing) but I doubt Etihad would do anything. Not sure youíll win it though
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 07:45:04 PM
Overall nicer but missing the big open area.
What open area? If you’re referencing the couch area at the SR MLE that was to the left of the bed I would say that they added double that space with the couches in my picture in front of the bed in the WA and with the desk area to the left of the bed as well as the multiple areas to eat or relax outside. Still debating but I think that the enclosed shower and the bathroom finishes in the SR MLE could be nicer. However the bath is much larger here. Besides for that though I can’t think of any other way the SR surpasses the WA in terms of the villa.

What’s also really nice is there is an entrance to the villa outdoors area and then another entrance to the actual villa. This adds even more private and outdoor space and it gives it a much nicer vibe. Will try to add pictures to explain what I’m referencing!

Not the best pic but its like 5AM here and cant take a better one right now:

(https://i.imgur.com/3FQkO58.jpg)

So as you can see theres a door to enter the private area of the villa and once you open the door you then have access to the pool area and to the entrance of the villa.

(Posted these pics already above but here they are again for reference)


(https://i.imgur.com/zQuSfMB.jpg)
As you enter to the left you have the bikes

(https://i.imgur.com/kBCZM8k.jpg)
And here is the area I was talking about above
Title: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 07:45:39 PM
I doubt it. AA would maybe make issues with advantage (if it was an AA thing) but I doubt Etihad would do anything. Not sure youíll win it though
Itís Qatar if that changes anything. And the charge was through them at the airport so doubt it has anything to do with AA. I donít imagine calling or tweeting to complain will get me anywhere with a company like Qatar either. Unless anyone has similar experience?
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Dan on October 28, 2020, 07:52:16 PM
Itís Qatar if that changes anything. And the charge was through them at the airport so doubt it has anything to do with AA. I donít imagine calling or tweeting to complain will get me anywhere with a company like Qatar either. Unless anyone has similar experience?
No reason not to try before disputing.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 07:55:56 PM
No reason not to try before disputing.
Have to call them today for the new infant ticket so will update how my refund request blows over.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: KSMH on October 28, 2020, 08:21:04 PM

And here is the area I was talking about above

 I meant an indoor lounge area.
Overall looks way better but I think its missing an indoor lounge area.

When people stay for a few days and its really hot outside, it becomes a much needed necessity.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 28, 2020, 08:26:19 PM
I meant an indoor lounge area.
Overall looks way better but I think its missing an indoor lounge area.

When people stay for a few days and its really hot outside, it becomes a much needed necessity.
Yeah I could agree that they should have made better use of this space:

(https://i.imgur.com/oZKqxEx.jpg)
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: KSMH on October 28, 2020, 08:33:46 PM
Yeah I could agree that they should have made better use of this space:

(https://i.imgur.com/oZKqxEx.jpg)

I look at it a bit different.

The front of the beds needs an empty space, direct ocean view, unobstructed.

They allocated the side portion that ST Regis has (see pic) and relocated that space to the bathroom.

Hey, in pictures it looks better but in reality its a much needed space for a stay longer then 2 days, this is so much more truer for people eating kosher.

(https://i.postimg.cc/wMrfSmPx/Mladivesd.jpg) (https://postimages.org/)
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 29, 2020, 10:17:27 AM
We warmed up some of our food in the toaster oven. And although it took much longer than I expected for the food to heat up properly once it was done (after about an hour in the toaster oven) the food was great (considering we cooked it ourselves ;)). Not sure if you guys want to see pics of the food so I didnít include them but if thats something I should be doing feel free to lmk!


DAY 2

I guess with all the time difference we woke up at around 4am, mostly because the baby wouldnít go back to sleep, and since the sun wasnít out yet we just hung out outside. At 6:30 breakfast opens up, complimentary for gold & diamond members, so we took our bikes and headed there. This is around when the sun starts to rise so it was a beautiful bike ride and the breakfast area, named the Tasting Place was beautiful. There was only one other couple there. The views were beautiful and it was right on the beach with a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. The buffet was in a separate room and seems to be the only place in the hotel that they require you to wear a mask when entering. When we asked about the kosher options they said that they have separate pots and pans, cutlery, and plates for kosher guests since they get so many and offered to make eggs and such. I also inquired about what milk they have since Iím not CY and for anyone that was wondering Ill post a pic below of the options they have.

(https://i.imgur.com/LOZwnix.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/COIfeVh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/nEfpODo.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/m0ZiE63.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/ZVPRdgT.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/IeFts07.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/MIxg846.jpg)

Some things I forgot to mention or include yesterday was some pics of the stroller and highchair they offer as well as the fact that they donít have or offer a printed map of the resort so I would recommend you bring your own as its a big place. Also going to include the floor plan of the OWB and the kids program schedule:

(https://i.imgur.com/LNiY3K8.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/8lBa6ir.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Ka0XSEB.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/331EndK.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/GcuS8eo.jpg)


After visiting the breakfast area we wanted to bike around the resort to see more of it as we didnít explore at all on the first day. The day and weather were really beautiful and sunny. The bike ride felt like it was never ending since the hotel is just so big. I remember being able to walk around the SR in like 30 minutes but this Island seems triple the size of the SR. It really felt as if every time we say a new part of the resort on our bike ride we didnít believe it could get any nicer. There are lots of nice bridges with scenic views as you bike around the resort. Our first stop was the beach and water sports area. They have a really nice swing area that the baby really enjoyed and made for amazing pictures. In this area they have volleyball court, ping pong, foosball, and the like. As well as where you would do paddle boarding and all that. In regards to the beach, I am not sure if Iím mixing up my trip to SR MLE or SR BOB but one of them had pretty bad sand by the beach. I think it was BOB. For the WA the sand leading up to the water is pretty horrible and uncomfortable to walk on but once you get close enough to the sea its soft and nice to walk on.

(https://i.imgur.com/2OKi1gR.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/lkajMDG.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Npu24Xr.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/9sy2wA9.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/gCV6nrP.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/HWxUI2a.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/lPA4myp.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/VqRwTSf.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/InyvfFA.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/CXRrVCL.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/I7FdWTd.jpg)

Nearby that area is the public pools and the kids club. The kids club was closed since it was before 9am but we got to see the water park area that looked amazing. The pools were empty since we were there so early. I know it seems like I keep saying this but the pool was absolutely stunning (since it was easy in the AM the pictures do not do it justice!). There were two right next to each other and it seemed as if the first one was really shallow for kids and the second one less so. This is considered the family pool and approximately called The Ledge because the zero edge look it has at the end. Both pools have an amazing view of the beach and meet at the end to make one big pool. Not expecting another pool, since that one was so big, I was shocked to see another one that also looked really nice. It had a cool purple tile throughout and behind it was a grass and lounge area. After that we biked around some more and came across this arching bridge that over looked a beautiful stream. On the edge of the stream you can see the gym which looked really cool and something I will be visiting later (open 24/7)! The spa is near the fitness center as well. Continuing to bike around we passed by a nice looking tennis court (tennis is free if you donít use a coach), cool restaurants that had beautiful views overlooking the ocean, and Ö.


(https://i.imgur.com/GS2n4qq.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/lpLWDN3.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Z9G8jwl.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/sVrNS8h.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/GC5yK0b.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/qSyksI0.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/RfQ0qks.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/MLfW7MU.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/kBtBa3X.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/KmTjWqs.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/IQQVtxe.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/9ERZAZs.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/wry18ZJ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/5pvLKtz.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/3n6QQ8f.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/3SrTtZc.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/1nhcvKr.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/GtxYrzB.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/0o1klOL.jpg)


We headed back to our villa as the baby was getting tired. And as I was telling my wife how it seemed that snorkeling wouldnít be as good as it was at the SR we happened to see an eagle ray swimming under the bridge! We also some pretty birds and fruit bats. And even a pretty looking bird perched on top the stunning terra restaurant (where they donít allow kids to dine due to safety concerns).


(https://i.imgur.com/AtpC80U.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/YyvHUx9.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/9wN00WD.jpg)


Once we got back to the villa we went swimming in the pool and also went in the ocean. The ocean was warmer than the pool which was also the case in the SR. What I really donít like compared to the SR is that you canít really jump of your OWB into the ocean since the reef is so shallow. It basically goes up to your knees and it looks like that is throughout all the OWB.

You could see that where the reef ends there was lots of activity from jack fish jumping out the water and chasing small schools of fish. Some of the areas mentioned on FT for good snorkeling that we have yet to try are circled or highlighted in red below:

(https://i.imgur.com/wb9POoz.mp4)

(https://i.imgur.com/ZPhXdmB.jpg)


We went snorkeling for a little and although we didnít see much Iím happy we at least saw some fish as I was worried that because we didnít see much fish from our patio the first day compared to the SR. But today we saw a lot of activity. We saw a long eel (I think), a nurse shark, and some other big colorful fish! Unfortunately, we only got crappy pics above water for those so my GoPro pics of the snorkeling we did do will have to do for now:

(https://i.imgur.com/OfEk2HU.mp4)

(https://i.imgur.com/KnRQkSA.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/jtBB6fD.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/7HHapP6.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/1i7tjw4.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/03PwKa1.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Kx8a38p.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/aFPyRpJ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/7lf2TbL.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/4p0g45I.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Wqw53Py.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/AUmBlVC.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/bQvcZBz.jpg) We found Dory


Corals were clearly bleached and damaged. You really didnít see much fish unless you ventured closer to the end of the reef.


After snorkeling we just lounged by the pool and enjoyed some of the fruit we got from breakfast this morning. Then we took our son to the kids water park and kids club which was really amazing. There was slides and water guns at the water park to enjoy and if not interested in getting wet there was a bunch of things to do and even a trampoline! Inside is a lot of toys and activities to do like painting and coloring.

(https://i.imgur.com/MXbNJDE.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/4VTgvsC.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/3OBZRG2.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/43iK8wu.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/N7y1a45.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/tTpEO9f.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/m9GgX0y.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/m6UXo7f.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/6lEGGWy.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/RHA9HGQ.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/NV69fT0.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/LLPhjTS.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/yBWAJiw.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/5SofEq1.jpg)


Since the kids club was next to the public pool and beach we headed there next to enjoy and then headed to the villa to heat up some homemade penne vodka pasta and Mayven pizza! Like last time we seemed to have messed up with packing the pizza as the cheese either gets stuck to the foil or the pizzas stick together. Welcoming any advice on how to properly pack pizza :). Needless to say it was delicious and after that we headed for the complimentary drinks for happy hour at Peacock Alley. Here is the selection to chose from:

(https://i.imgur.com/xqrmGKT.jpg)
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: tavster on October 29, 2020, 10:35:43 AM
Really great TR and beautiful pictures.
The comparison with STR is very helpful
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 29, 2020, 10:37:31 AM
Really great TR and beautiful pictures.
The comparison with STR is very helpful
Thank you! I plan on finishing my long overdue STR TR in the next couple days to further help anyone whoís in between the two get a better picture of what each offers... at least from my perspective.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: YitzyS on October 29, 2020, 11:19:09 AM
Happy anniversary!
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2020, 11:59:03 AM
Thank you! I plan on finishing my long overdue STR TR in the next couple days to further help anyone whoís in between the two get a better picture of what each offers... at least from my perspective.
Awesome
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 29, 2020, 12:07:06 PM
Trying to add the infant to the new flight and just spent over two hours and 4 HUCAís later with my spotty WiFi calling connection 
trying to convince Qatar that they do in fact book infant tickets on AA awards and AA canít do anything on their end. Not so surprisingly it didnít work even after showing them my last 3 reservations that all have Infant tickets. All of which were booked with AA! Checking out for the night and will try again tomorrow but looks like itís going to cost $500 :/
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Dan on October 29, 2020, 12:12:41 PM
$500 is pretty normal for a lap child in J on a OW ticket.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on October 29, 2020, 12:20:22 PM
$500 is pretty normal for a lap child in J on a OW ticket.
I guess Iím just spoiled by getting the outbound flight for $270. (Or $110 if the dispute/complaint works out in my favor)
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: CS1 on November 21, 2020, 11:58:38 PM


DAY 2
I guess with all the time difference we woke up at around 4am, mostly because the baby wouldnít go back to sleep, and since the sun wasnít out yet we just hung out outside. At 6:30 breakfast opens up, complimentary for gold & diamond members, so we took our bikes and headed there. This is around when the sun starts to rise so it was a beautiful bike ride and the breakfast area, named the Tasting Place was beautiful. There was only one other couple there. The views were beautiful and it was right on the beach with a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. The buffet was in a separate room and seems to be the only place in the hotel that they require you to wear a mask when entering. When we asked about the kosher options they said that they have separate pots and pans, cutlery, and plates for kosher guests since they get so many and offered to make eggs and such.

Some things I forgot to mention or include yesterday was some pics of the stroller and highchair they offer as well as the fact that they donít have or offer a printed map of the resort so I would recommend you bring your own as its a big place. Also going to include the floor plan of the OWB and the kids program schedule:
(https://i.imgur.com/8lBa6ir.jpg)

Looks great here.
Excellent photos.

Was your private pool (at your OWB) heated?
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: tavster on November 24, 2020, 04:04:20 AM
Thank you! I plan on finishing my long overdue STR TR in the next couple days to further help anyone whoís in between the two get a better picture of what each offers... at least from my perspective.
Any final thoughts on WAI vs STR?
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: myb821 on November 24, 2020, 12:57:34 PM
Looks great here.
Excellent photos.

Was your private pool (at your OWB) heated?
I do not believe so but it was very comfortable when I was there in October.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on November 24, 2020, 01:06:23 PM
Looks great here.
Excellent photos.

Was your private pool (at your OWB) heated?
Not heated but never felt it was cold or a problem to go swimming. Even at night!
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on November 24, 2020, 01:07:29 PM
Any final thoughts on WAI vs STR?
Short answer: WAI over STR any day of the week. Long answer coming in my next update ( hopefully by Friday). Have it all written out just need to make time to link the pictures :)
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: theduke on November 26, 2020, 10:15:36 AM
WOW!
I would never even leave the room!
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: myb821 on November 27, 2020, 10:56:16 AM
WOW!
I would never even leave the room!
In the 6 days I spent there, we barely left the room.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on November 29, 2020, 05:54:49 PM
Day 3

After spending the night trying to get Qatar to ticket an infant ticket unsuccessfully, I called it a night. We woke up early again since thereís not much to do at night here and every minute of the sun out here is amazing. I sent out my drone as the sun was rising and here are the pictures/videos of the resort:

(https://i.imgur.com/DQIZXid.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/ooMwnZj.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/5j9pcxe.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/xVmn5Hg.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/WPv6uUh.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/YPf6Pzp.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/eucxnXX.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/eYmrWw8.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/iI7Pwsc.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/S5GqMR8.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/zolCvI5.jpg)



And here are some of the room and water:


(https://i.imgur.com/F1y5Bsp.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/DWKQbfX.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/4DyIFIC.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/2KJk19F.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/wPmpPPi.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/wIYvJKD.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Qb6ucvo.jpg)


And here is one of those cool drone videos:

https://imgur.com/JZt7Ens

Or in GIF form (for some reason they upload in really bad quality):

(https://i.imgur.com/Tj19z5O.gif)

And a video of the Sunrise:



After that it drizzled for like less than 5 minutes and then a rainbow appeared.



(https://i.imgur.com/XvOFUhb.jpg)


The weather was amazing today with pretty much clear skies and really hot. We headed to breakfast and saw this amazing view once again.

(https://i.imgur.com/qfTf6CU.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/gI1BrGK.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Jrzoc2p.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/mrjO0Os.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Q0XV8Oo.jpg)


The chef today offered us options of kosher cereal to chose from that had an OU hechser which was nice of him. After that we biked around a bit with the baby and then went back to the villa to swim and snorkel. We saw again from the villa the nurse shark swimming by but by the time I would have got ready to jump in it was too late :/

(https://i.imgur.com/BF7mtdz.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/lgupoqgh.gif)

Besides for that didnít see anything else that interesting. Here are some more GoPro pics and a video that shows how clear the water is, the beautiful sand, and a school of fish:



(https://i.imgur.com/mm9HpKC.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/3Je264j.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/gPJfrHe.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/7XUEb8L.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Mtgao1h.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/YZ2wRFD.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/Cf6A0rU.jpg)


Getting prepared for lunch and shabbat I went to the kitchen dining area and asked if I could take some stuff out my freezer bag. They asked me to wait 10 minutes while they have the bag brought here from their big freezer that was located elsewhere. As I was taking out several meals for the next 2 days the chef seemed perplexed as to how I intended on eating these frozen meals. Saying that usually his guests ask him to heat it in his oven. I gave him some vague answer that we would be fine and were used to it and went back to heat up some lunch!

Tried giving QR another try but their US call center was closed. Luckily I brought my Pixel 3XL from that deal around 2 years ago. I resumed my long paused service and made a wifi call to the India call center for .01 cent a minute. After 40 minutes there didnít seem to be much success. They told me they would have to reach back out to me latest by Sunday to try to get approval to book this infant ticket. Escalating to a supervisor didnít do much either so I guess Iíll call back again motzei shabbat.

After that sent the drone out again to get some pics of the villa and some family pics and after like 20 minutes I got a call from our butler, Ella, that drones are not permitted at the villa.

We brought in a beautiful Shabbat and heated our food for Friday night and Saturday before Shabbat came in so as to not leave the toaster oven on all of Shabbat for safety concerns.

(https://i.imgur.com/nQzLqH1.jpg)

Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on November 29, 2020, 05:56:01 PM
Day 4 Shabbat:

(No pictures for this update since it was shabbat)

We woke up to another amazing day with great weather. For Saturday lunch we heated it up before Shabbat came in to defrost and then kept it in the fridge till Saturday morning where we left it out in the sun for a couple hours. Surprisingly, when it came time to eat. The food was actually warm!

From our villa in the morning we saw two turtles. And then later in the day a couple that was snorkeling by our villa said they just saw a massive shark right in front of our villa where the reef ends. So while I got stuck staying with the baby :( my wife jumped in and saw a baby shark really close to her and the big fully grown shark in the distance. She got scared and rushed back. By the time I went out to get a look it swam away :(. However, I continued snorkeling but as it happens to be that on the day we donít have a go pro we see an abundance of colorful and stunning fish! We will be going back tomorrow to get some pics though.

 If I hadnít mentioned it earlier they actually provide, like most of these hotels, complimentary snorkeling gear rentals and they are some pretty good equipment.

It was only today that I realized that although I initially thought the snorkeling was lacking compared to the SR. Since I remember the corals being less bleached and more fish life near the villa, that for the WA if you just venture out like another minute from your villa to the end of the reef there is a lot of beautiful fish. I also donít recall ever seeing a shark or turtles from the SR so as of now it seems the WA is superior in that respect as well. Leaving the SR with not much else...

I did also notice that the butler service at the SR VS the ďhostĒ service at the WA is not comparable. Maybe I just landed on a mediocre host but I recall my butler at the SR always checking in on us and sending us fruit bowls. Whereas at the WA unless I WhatsApp my butler she doesnít really offer anything or checkin. I had to ask for the snorkeling gear and we were never really given a proper tour of the place or anything like that. Not saying itís necessarily bad service but in comparison to the SR I would say itís lacking. The host here, when I do reach out, is very responsive and kind so no complaints about bad service.

Besides for that we just chilled most of the day. Took the baby to the kids program to play with the toys and enjoyed the villa.
 
I have to say the hotel in general seems really busy and more than just 50% occupied. Iíve noticed that at breakfast, kids club, and at other places the hotel is seems pretty full with rarely any open tables.


After shabbat, I tried again to speak to QR to book infant award and was able to finally book it with ease! I think the key is calling at a good time to get the Doha Call center to pick up rather than the India call center. Or, if Florida call center opens back up that should work as well.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: tavster on November 30, 2020, 12:03:00 AM
Stunning pictures / videos
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: sam28 on November 30, 2020, 01:32:13 PM
wow amazing write up and pictures keep it coming . did u take along the toaster oven all the way ?
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on November 30, 2020, 01:34:50 PM
Stunning pictures / videos

Thank you!

wow amazing write up and pictures keep it coming . did u take along the toaster oven all the way ?

Will do! Yes got it from amazon and took it there and back :)
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: iluv2travel on December 26, 2020, 10:26:47 PM
Question about your toaster:

Were you able to plug it straight into the outlet in your room or did you still need to use one of those plug converters?

What's the difference between the one you got and this one? I know its only $5 difference but I'm just wondering.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B074N96G98/ref=psdcmw_289938_t1_B0797LSVYF
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on December 26, 2020, 10:35:18 PM
Question about your toaster:

Were you able to plug it straight into the outlet in your room or did you still need to use one of those plug converters?

What's the difference between the one you got and this one? I know its only $5 difference but I'm just wondering.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B074N96G98/ref=psdcmw_289938_t1_B0797LSVYF
Yes I was able to plug is straight in. I guess that wasnít available when I was looking. Looks similar to me.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Dan on December 26, 2020, 10:45:28 PM
Great TR.
Seems like if you prioritize snorkeling, the W is definitely the way to go.

Still want to hear more about SR vs WA. The butler sending us fruit baskets multiple times a day at the SR was amazing.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Wizmanison on December 26, 2020, 10:47:31 PM
Great TR.
Seems like if you prioritize snorkeling, the W is definitely the way to go.

Still want to hear more about SR vs WA. The butler sending us fruit baskets multiple times a day at the SR was amazing.
Will post last part soon but the snorkeling gets better in the second half of my trip. Lots of reef sharks and rays. Donít know much about the W snorkeling though. But, yes, the constant fruit baskets were missed at the WA.
Title: Re: Maldives Round 2 - Waldorf Astoria Ithaafushi
Post by: Yehuda25 on January 27, 2021, 09:50:54 AM
Will post last part soon but the snorkeling gets better in the second half of my trip. Lots of reef sharks and rays. Donít know much about the W snorkeling though. But, yes, the constant fruit baskets were missed at the WA.
Amazing tr thanks!

Would also love to hear the SR/VS WA write up:)