If you are looking for a good value hotel redemption in the Maldives, Le Meridien Maldives is now open for booking.
It is due to open on 1st September, although you should always take these dates with a pinch of salt. That said, if you did book for the first week and they were late, you might get moved to the St Regis or JW Marriott properties instead …..
An overwater villa from 30,000 Bonvoy points
Fancy the look of this?
The Sunrise Overwater Villa is 100 square metres. Maximum occupancy is three people.
30,000 points is the off-peak price. It will be 35,000 points or 40,000 points on some nights.
However, you also receive ‘fifth night free’ when you book for five or more nights.
Here are typical cash rates, basically $1,000 per night including taxes for a November stay:
Based on 35,000 points per night x 4 for a 5-night stay, you are getting 2.5p per Marriott Bonvoy point.
This is ever-so-slightly better than our target Marriott Bonvoy valuation of 0.5p per point.
Of course, this still isn’t a cheap holiday
The idea that you are going to get a ‘cheap’ Maldives holiday here is obviously nonsense.
For a start, you’ve got the (reportedly) $420 per person, return, 35-minute seaplane transfer from Male. You can be sure that food and drink will be reassuringly expensive too.
Avios redemptions are very hard to get if you want British Airways flights to use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher. Your best bet is to hope that BA adds additional services and then jump in when the automatic ‘two Club World seats’ get added to the schedule.
We usually post on HfP when new Maldives services are launched so regular readers will maximise their chances of getting seats. You can also set alerts via SeatSpy.
A good alternative is via Doha with Qatar Airways, which is an Avios partner. Either fly Qatar Airways all the way, or use a BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher to fly to Doha and then use cash or Avios for a separate booking from Doha to Male.
You could also fly to Dubai on BA on a 2-4-1 and pay cash for an Emirates connection. You obviously need the Middle East to come off the Red or Amber quarantine lists if you do this. Cash connections via a BA flight to India are also possible but clearly riskier to book at the moment.
SriLankan Airlines is in oneworld, and so bookable on Avios, and used to fly from London to the Maldives. I’m not sure if this flight will return post-covid.
The new Le Meridien Maldives is currently an exceptional deal for Marriott Bonvoy points, although the overall cost of getting there means that this will never be a cheap holiday.
You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.
PS. Check the cancellation deadlines carefully before booking, especially over Christmas and New Year
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 10th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(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.)