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The Ritz Carlton Maldives opens and is a good points deal

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Marriott has been on a roll in the Maldives recently. We have covered the JW Marriott Maldives and the upcoming launch of Le Meridien. This is great value as a redemption for just 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night albeit that most of the initial availability went quickly.

Slightly under the radar, The Ritz Carlton Maldives has just opened. The website is here.

It is often difficult to differentiate Maldives resorts. The Ritz Carlton is described as being “set within an integrated development” – it isn’t clear what that means, although it also talks about “Access to Maldives’ Fari Marina with luxury shopping, dining and entertainment.”

Ritz Carlton Maldives opens

Apart from that, make what you can of this:

“The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands hotel takes a minimalist approach to luxury. Modern waterfront villas include private pools; simple ingredients are transformed by skilled chefs and mixologists; healing is guided by directional energy and nature is explored with respect and wonder. The resort’s three islands and overwater quay serve as a base for discovering all the archipelago has to offer.”

It is, unsurprisingly, a Category 8 redemption with Marriott Bonvoy. This means that you will need up to 100,000 points per night on a peak date. Off-peak dates will cost 75,000 points per night.

I have read that it is built on a dredged artificial island, so will presumably have no reef or snorkelling opportunities, but I can’t confirm that. I would compare the resort with the St Regis if you are looking to spend Bonvoy points.

Despite being Category 8, it is actually outstanding value based on the cash rates. For 11th-14th January 2022, for example, an Ocean Pool Villa is $3,026 per night or 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. At 3c (2.1p) per point, this is FOUR TIMES our ‘expected’ redemption value of 0.5p.

Marriott Bonvoy also has ‘5 for 4’, taking the cost of a five night stay on a peak date down to 80,000 points per night at peak times. This would get you 2.6p per point.

The only issue is that, despite the Ocean Villa being 150 sq m, the maximum occupancy is just two people and rollaway beds are specifically disallowed. Anyone with children will need a higher room category which is not part of the redemption pool.

Beware that, whilst the resort is close to Male, transfers are still extortionate. The 45-minute speedboat ride is charged at $730 return, whilst a 10-minute seaplane ride comes in at $1,100 return.

You can find out more about The Ritz Carlton Maldives on its website here.

If you need to top up your Marriott Bonvoy account to book, Marriott is currently offering a 30% bonus when you buy points via this link by 20th June.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (March 2023)

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 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.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy 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.)

Comments (32)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • tony says:

    10k points for three hours of drinking in the Long Bar at the WA in Shanghai looks like a bargain. Assuming you can get to Shanghai, of course….

    • Kai says:

      Except that it only retails for 25 quid.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The prices in Shanghai have really dropped then

        Remember a drink costing atleast £12-15

      • Michael C says:

        That is so going in my “one to remember for whenever” booklet!
        Looks stunning.

        • Genghis says:

          I really liked the hotel when I stayed a number of years ago. Best breakfast I’ve had.

  • James F says:

    Just about to make a big Marriott redemption, a genuine cash saving as would be staying at the hotel with friends anyway. 562,500 points for £4500 saving, outside of the Maldives is 0.8pp good or should I be holding them for a better opportunity?

    • Peter K says:

      It’s good.

    • Ian M says:

      £0.008 is reasonable yes. That’s about my cut off, anything below that and I’d pay cash, above and I’ll generally redeem points unless there’s a good Marriott promotion on (which we rarely see these days!)

      • Rob says:

        It’s well above our 0.5p target.

        Also – without wishing to state the obvious – you can buy Bonvoy points for 0.62p in the current promo, so can redeem and then buy a large slug of them straight back at a direct profit.

  • VP says:

    “healing is guided by directional energy and nature is explored with respect and wonder”

    Wow what a golden ‘nugget’ of PR !! Exploring nature with respect on a dredged island lol Speaking of which, isn’t the Waldorf also on a dredged island? and what is the opinion of experts, are these islands of the same quality as the natural ones (beach/sand wise) ?

    I have no knowledge of dredging, but is it safe to assume that all the environmental impacts have been thought of before approving such projects so one need not feel guilty about staying in such places?

    Obviously big time into miles and points but just find it weird to fly half way around to stay on an artificial island when there are hundreds of natural ones around (and available on points as well :))

    • TGLoyalty says:

      From what I have read you’d want to visit a dredged island a few years after things had settled down and wildlife/nature returned

      but considering the hotel takes years to build after the island i suspect its still pretty good

      • meta says:

        From what I read the quality of the sand is not the same as on the natural islands. You can really feel it when walking barefoot. WA is apparently really bad in that respect. Depends what you’re after really. If you stay in your room and use only the pool it doesn’t really matter.

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