An overwater bungalow at a luxury Maldives resort is, for many people, the dream getaway.
(Not mine, to be honest – five days at One & Only Reethi Rah 15 years ago was enough for me – but I know many others feel differently.)
Radisson Blu Resort Maldives has just opened. It’s probably not in the same league as Reethi Rah or Cheval Blanc, but it certainly looks like a solid five star resort.
The resort website is here.
All villas, either beach or overwater, have a private swimming pool. They range in size from 215 sq m to 410 sq m for a three bedroom.
Food and drink comes courtesy of seven restaurants (plus room service) which seems a little overkill for a 128 villa resort! Breakfast is included in all bookings which will keep your incidental costs down.
Transfers will not be cheap, unfortunately. Whilst some resorts in the Maldives can be reached by speedboat from the airport – Reethi Rah is one of those – the Radisson is amongst those requiring a seaplane transfer. The seaplane costs $450 per adult and $225 per child (2-11 years) for a return trip.
There is an alternative option of taking a domestic flight to Villa Airport Maamigili and then connecting by speedboat, but the cost is the same and sounds less fun.
There is plenty of additional information on the resort website. I don’t intend to go into all that the Radisson Blu Resort Maldives offers here.
What does Radisson Blu Resort Maldives cost on points?
Radisson Rewards has a maximum points rate of 70,000 points per night. Impressively, Radisson Rewards has decided not to create an additional higher category for this resort. 70,000 points per night is all you pay.
Here is an example for a week in February for an overwater bungalow:
On points, it is 70,000 + $11.29 taxes per night
For cash, it starts at $911 half-board (£711) which is a special opening rate. The standard rate, which is likely to be rate once the opening offer expires, is $1,262 (£985):
How can I get my hands on Radisson Rewards points?
I accept that it is unlikely that you are sitting on a huge pot of Radisson Rewards points. However, Radisson Rewards is an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner (see here) at the generous rate of 1:3.
This means that a 7 night stay at Radisson Blu Resort Maldives, costing 490,000 Radisson Rewards points, can be yours for (490/3) 163,333 American Express Membership Rewards points. A lot of readers DO have that sitting around.
This isn’t a risk free transfer from Amex, of course.
If you had to cancel your booking later on, you’ll find that there are very few alternative high end uses for those Radisson Rewards points.
It is also very tricky to get Avios redemption flights to the Maldives, which at any rate only operate during the Winter season (November to March). You CAN get availability year-round on Qatar Airways using Avios, but you wouldn’t be able to use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher.
The resort website is here if you want to dig into this idea a bit deeper. I should also mention that there are, by Maldives standards, some attractive (and fully cancellable) cash deals on offer at the moment, running into 2021.
How to earn Radisson Rewards points from UK credit cards (May 2021)
Radisson Rewards does not have a dedicated UK credit card. However, you can earn Radisson Rewards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards. These include:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 60,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 90,000 Radisson Rewards points
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 15,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.
Even better, holders of The Platinum Card receive free Radisson Rewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card. It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)