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MALDIVES DEAL: overwater bungalows for 23,333 Amex points or 70,000 Radisson points

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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.

Radisson Blu Maldives resort

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.

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives on points

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.

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives on points

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

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives on points

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):

Radisson Blu Resort Maldives on points

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 and status from UK credit cards (September 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 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 90,000 Radisson Rewards points. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes. 30,000 points is a special offer which runs to 9th November 2021.

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.)

Comments (37)

  • BJ says:

    Yawn, overwater villas are so passe Rob, even @TripRep has been to one of those…

    • Vit says:

      +1 😴

      • Freddy says:

        I agree, please could we have more corporate bland city hotel articles with a points bonus to enable me to go to another corporate bland city hotel in the future

        • cinereus says:

          Bland corporate city hotels are actually way more interesting than the current faddish fetish with tedious rip off Maldives over water properties. There are dozens of superior places in the world to go for luxury beach villas.

          • Eire says:

            Would love to hear what they are, if you can list a few? Been looking at a trip to the Maldives for a honeymoon.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Although if you’re in the middle of New York, Paris or Tokyo then the blandness of the hotel is not a great worry as you’re not short of things to do away from your accommodation. I think Rob did well to last 5 days in a Maldives villa as I’d be bored witless after 3, but it’s good that we all like different things 😀

    • BJ says:

      Well, I didn’t expect all that, I was only intending to tease TripRep about undersea villas! Personally, I’d like to go myself but probably for 5 nights only, or probably to try and get a more local perspective running around on boats etc out of Male if that’s possible as opposed to seaplanes. I think it is the sort of place that is worthy to be on many people’s bucket list from a nature, geography and environmental perspective if nothing else. I also disagree on value for money, high-end resorts are possible at reasonable cost and/or effort as this and previous articles have shown. Let’s put it this way, I’d feel much happier paying up 70,000 Rad points for this than the 70,000 Hilton points I am very likely to blow on the rather tired Hilton Tokyo.

      • Dubious says:

        “ probably to try and get a more local perspective running around on boats etc out of Male if that’s possible as opposed to seaplanes”
        MLE is not the only international airport in the Maldives. There is a second one in the south and at least another one being developed in the middle.

        These open up the possibilities of B&Bs in some of the less congested islands.

    • Mikeact says:

      I agree, particularly when there are so many fantastic places to visit around the world…. a bit like going back to Dubai year on year..why on earth. But then, thank goodness we’re all different. My wife and I will continue to visit places off the beaten track.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Not my idea of a good hols stuck in a resort, but each to his/her own lol
    I’ll pass

    • Anna says:

      It’s great if you love diving or snorkelling, but yes there are easier places to get to for that tropical paradise experience!

      • cinereus says:

        Why is it great? The diving isn’t even that good and massively overpriced.

        • Anna says:

          Ahh, it’s 20 years since we went. First venture out with a snorkel into the coral garden I saw spotted eagle rays, hordes of massive trigger fish and baby black tip sharks. OH had his one and only sighting of manta rays while diving. The next island had a tuna canning factory on it and every afternoon at 4 pm a pod of spinner dolphins came past for the scraps disgorged into the sea daily.

          • Hugh Jardon says:

            Ah, The Maldives! a truly nascent shimmering pearl amongst the crystalline waters of the Indian ocean, a divers delight, a scuba sensation, warm waters , a hot sun and then back to the welcoming embrace of ones fellow travellers to describe tales of snorkelling daring do, before retiring for a cup of cocoa with the OH and the latest tome from Kerry Katona.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      All depends what you want from a trip. If you want complete relaxation then Maldives is a good place to go.

      • mutley says:

        HFP Readers Is the Maldives is worth the extra cost of the seaplane for a family of four ( two teenagers)?

  • Marcw says:

    As time goes by, these offers are going to be juicier. Don’t book know unless you are travelling “soon”. If you plan to travel next year, book after Christmas when the resorts will be desperate to get any cash.

  • pauldb says:

    On the plus side, the villas accommodate 3 adults and 1 under-12 so it’s a more standout deal for families.
    Rates already seem to be lower than quoted in the article, more like $5-700, and may combine with Radisson’s Mastercard 3for2 offer.

  • Andy says:

    I’m unfortunate to not be sitting on a stash of MR points, but fortunate (maybe) to have snagged 10 days using a BA 2:1 (out in J and back in F) around the third week of March … I’d love to hear more about “ some attractive (and fully cancellable) cash deals on offer” Rob … BA’s own deals look more attractive than last time I visited with many offering free transfers etc too.

    • Macca says:

      Me too. I’d appreciate knowing what Rob was referring to with these attractive cash deal. Thanks!

    • Danny says:

      There’s a broker for rooms in Maldives hotels who I used last year, Alex at who lately has been sending out a lot of bulletins about cheaper cancellable rates, although I haven’t looked into the details as I’m not planning on going back anytime soon.

  • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I am sitting on a decent chunk of Radisson points, although not quite enough for a week. How long do MR transfers take?

    • Genghis says:

      2-3 days. My last transfer was week before last.

      • RussellH says:

        Sounds like they have speeded up a lot then.
        All mine took over a week, but have not done one recently.

  • Spk says:

    Any recommendations for an infant / kid friendly resort? I know we are a minority, but having missed out the opportunity to go there for honeymoon and facing a couple of decades before my kid moves out (by which time maldives could literally be under water), we thought we could do a 3-4 day stay to relax and tick the box.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Kurumba is the oldest resort still operating and has pivoted to family friendly holidays. Short boat ride from Malé airport as well is an advantage. Relatively good value for the Maldives.

    • Nocnoc says:

      Hi we brought our then 5 month old to Kanuhura and thoroughly recommend it, stayed in a beach villa rather than think about him crawling over the side of an overwater villa. He wasn’t eating solids then but staff did often come over and ask at mealtimes if they could get him any food, seemed they were very accommodating to babies. He loved the main pool and the sea. It’s a resort that takes children but there is still unlikely to be many kids, think there were four families the week we were there, the rest were couples, honeymooners and retirees and family groups with grown up kids. There’s two bikes provided to each villa for getting around and ours came with a little seat on the back for the smallie. As you have so much space in your beach villa, everyone keeps to themselves and dinners are on the beach, tables spaced well apart ( I was there a couple of years ago pre Corona).

  • Matthew says:

    Why do people feel the need to say “to be honest” when making a statement? Does it mean they are lying the rest of the time?

    • Dubious says:

      Well to be honest Matthew we do it to annoy you 🙂

    • Will says:

      In the age of taking offence, it’s a polite way of saying if you don’t want to know the score look away now.

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