How to pay £1,872 for a £10,187 five night stay at the new Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort

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The secret of maximising the value of hotel loyalty points is to redeem them in ludicrously expensive places, where even the maximum possible price that the loyalty scheme can charge looks like a bargain.

I doubt there is a better place to find examples of this than The Maldives.

For many years, the Conrad Rangali resort, part of Hilton Honors, has been the de facto ‘best bang for your buck’.  95,000 points per night for a beach villa – which is the highest points price that Hilton Honors has for a standard reward – is a great deal given the cash rates there.  One of our readers wrote a long review on Conrad Rangali for us which you can find here.

The days of Conrad Rangali holding the crown for ‘best Hilton redemption’ may be up, however.  There is a new kid in town.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives on points

Meet Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

As we first mentioned last April, a new Waldorf Astoria resort has been under development for some time.

This will be called Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi.  A picture of one of the very modern overwater bungalows is above.  Those of you with long memories will remember that there used to a Waldorf Astoria resort in The Maldives a few years ago but it was rebranded.

As well as being brand new, this property will have one advantage over Conrad Rangali – it is accessible by boat from the airport in Male.  If you stay at the Conrad there is a $500 per person charge for a seaplane transfer.  (EDIT: it seems the Waldorf is planning to charge $370 plus taxes each way for the short return boat transfer which seems a bit of a swizz.)

The good news is that you can now book, for stays from 1st July.

The bad news is that Hilton Honors has decided to break its ‘95,000 points per night’ price cap.  This is understandable but could be the thin end of the wedge.

Take a look at a typical price for November (click to enlarge):

Waldorf Astoria Maldives pricing

Yes, it is pricing at 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night.  This is not a Premium Redemption.  It is clearly marked as ‘Standard Room Redemption’.  Of course, in this case a ‘Standard Room’ is a 2,500 sq ft beach bungalow with a private pool.

And yet …. this is exceptionally good value.

Hilton offers ‘5 nights for the points of 4’ to anyone with Hilton Honors status.  (Be clear: you need Hilton status to get ‘5 for 4’, a basic Blue member will not get this pricing.)

A five night stay in a King Beach Villa With Pool will cost you, based on random November dates:

$13,101 included taxes (cancellable with 15 days notice) or

480,000 Hilton Honors points

To save you doing the maths, you are getting 2.12p per Hilton point.

My standard Hilton Honors points valuation is 0.33p.  You are getting SIX TIMES my ‘normal’ value here.

You can BUY Hilton Honors points for 0.39p each in their current 100% ‘buy points’ offer here (click to read my article, click here to buy).  The annual cap, including the 100% bonus, is 160,000 points per person.  Some people will unfortunately see a lower 80% bonus. This is part of market testing by Hilton.

Three Hilton accounts showing a 100% bonus could buy 480,000 points between them for $2,400 (£1,872).

This would get you $13,101 (£10,187) of stay at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, assuming that the person booking has Hilton status and can get ‘5 nights for 4’.

The relatively new Hilton ‘points pooling’ scheme which we discussed here lets you merge your points together, and the pooling limit of 2 million points per year means you can easily fit in a 5-night booking!

As well as buying points, you can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors at 1:2, or Virgin Flying Club miles at 2:3.

The resort website is here if you want to learn more.  The current ‘buy points’ offer is here.

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

One man's tale of a week on points at a luxury resort whilst spending no money
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  1. Sorry slight OT: My sister-in-law is staying at the Hilton Doha tomorrow, I’ve booked and paid and am Diamond status. They’ve emailed me (as I flagged up that I am not checking in) and said they would charge her for breakfast as I am not there. Should I let them charge and argue it later with Customer services? or is there any other suggestions on how to get round the charge? Thanks

    • As you’re not staying she will not be eligible.
      What I would normally do is put her down named on the room as well as me. That way she can check in and then it would normally be passed off. If it’s pre paid leave without checking out formally, keys left in room.

      Always be prepared to pay in these cases though, it’s a bonus if they comp it.

    • You are not allowed to book a paid stay for someone else under your Hilton account. Award stays only.

    • Rookie mistake! I booked a night at an airport Hilton for my sister last year and put her as the 2nd guest – when she checked out for her very early flight they gave her 2 breakfast bags!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Never say you aren’t checking in. Just let them check in as second guest, alone, then if there is a second guest just join later.

      I’m not really a fan of that Hilton after my last stay (checked out and moved to the W)

    • I recently booked a night at HGI Glasgow for a show at SSE hydro for in-laws. Put my father in law as second guest. They were over the moon, they got breakfast for 2, 4 drinks vouchers for the bar and free parking. All on a £70 night. Plus I got 6000 points and extra for paying on my Hilton card, win win 🙂

      • You and I think alike, Tracy!

      • On balance I’m sure many UK Hilton properties are okay with this occurring occasionally, they get extra base revenue out of it, sometimes drink + dinner, it could be very useful boost for their turnover especially during off season.

  2. Gary Martin says:

    Any update on the launch of a new U.K. Hilton credit card? I recall some market testing last summer but nothing since.

  3. Seeks like its completely sold out of reward avalability!

  4. I was looking at booking for 3 adults but the points jump to a massive 800,000+ instead of 120,000 a night
    While the conrad stays at 120,000 be it 2 or 3 adults
    Can that be right?

    • If the limit is 2 people in the Beach Villa, then yes. 800k will be a super sizes villa as a Premium redemption.


    is there a time limit on the “5 nights for the price of 4” offer?

    and being gold Hilton members… do you think the “free upgrade” would apply, or is that a push too far?


    • 5 for 4 has been going for years, don’t see it stopping anytime soon.

      Suspect chance of Gold upgrade is low, Lifetime Diamond and normal Diamonds (easily available with credit cards in the USA) will have priority plus I’m sure many folk will pay cash for higher category rooms anyway at this sort of resort.

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