There has been a lively discussion about the prices resorts charge at very popular and sought after destinations that frequent travelers use to deplete their points balances.
I was late last week at the brand new Waldorf Astoria in Maldives (ended up departing early), which is a popular redemption option using Hilton Honors points considering the cash rates.
You can access the Waldorf Astoria Maldives website here.
People love to burn their points at inspirational properties in locales such as Seychelles, Maldives, and French Polynesia. All these destinations are somewhat challenging to get to expect the Maldives from Southeast Asia.
They all have something in common too. Expensive F&B and, in the case of Maldives, you tend to pay $700 to $900 per person for either air or boat transportation within the country.
Is there a limit how much you are willing to pay for these?
These dinners that we paid in Waldorf Astoria were all more than $400 for two without alcohol. You throw in cocktails and a wine bottle, and the price soon is somewhere around $700.
I was mentally ready to pay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives somewhere between $5K to $7K in Food and Beverage (helps that I stopped consuming adult beverages two years ago) and the transportation charges to/from the airport that I criticized on my earlier piece (read more here).
We had quite a few issues there over the first two days (was booked for ten nights) to the point that I just wanted to get out. The hardware of the hotel is stunning, but unfortunately, the back of the house operations are lacking. I am sure that eventually, they will get most of the issues resolved or need to bring in more experienced staff, which itself is a challenge in the Maldives as you are required to hire mostly locals.
You should never go to a new resort, especially luxury one, within the first 12 months of its opening to allow all the possible issues smoothed and employees familiarized with the service. And I tend to violate this rule!
My rule also is that if I don’t like a hotel, it is better to leave and stay somewhere else. I booked a night at the SAii while confirming flights to another property in the country where I knew things would work.