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.”
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.
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 (October 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 9th 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.)