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  • aq.1988 490 posts

    Hi,

    I’ve got some questions as a newbie to hotel redemptions. I’ve done a few flight redemptions since I got into the points game a little over a year ago, but this would be the first hotel.

    After reading the review of the St Regis posted yesterday, it got me thinking about a possible trip to the Maldives.

    I’ve not got any status with any of the hotel brands (usually book apartments as it’s for me, wife and toddler).

    Leaning to Marriott as the points required are more reasonable than Hilton for overwater villas (which I think is a must, as it may be a once in a lifetime trip).

    Narrowed it down to St Regis, Le Meridien or Sheraton. The seaplane transfer cost for St Regis of nearly $2000k between us is putting me off slightly!

    Will be using Amex MR points to transfer. My wife and I both have 6 figure balances, but neither would have enough to book alone; can we pool our points to book? I read somewhere we can transfer but only up to 100k Marriott points, which isn’t enough.

    One of the other things I am considering is booking a beach room for a few nights, and the remainder of the trip in the overwater villa to save some points/cash. What I want to know, is it possible to book a trip with different rooms on the same booking? If so, does it need to be made by phone? Also, in this type of booking, would we still be eligible for the free night? For example, say we book 3 nights in a beach room, and 4 nights in overwater villa, do we still get the cheapest night free?

    In terms of flights, I’m aware that CW is going to be impossible unless we book T-355 and call at midnight to get 3 seats, but that is not going to happen, so would either be fine in Y, or possibly break up the trip with a night or 2 in Doha. But in all honesty, this trip would be about the hotel.

    Thanks!

    NorthernLass 8,479 posts

    As well as the transfer you’d have to factor in food and drink costs which are eye-watering, and you won’t even get free breakfast if you don’t have status! If I were visiting Maldives again I would go AI and make better use of my points, e.g. I have just booked 5 nights at the Ritz Carlton in Doha in a Club Room for 220,000 points next December.

    You can’t split room types to get the 5 nights for 4 deal, you would need to do 5 plus 2. You can transfer 100k points max per year to another member (you can receive 500k, though that doesn’t help you). You could look at points plus cash options or “points advance” where you make the booking and they deduct the points when you have enough. Have a look at Rob’s articles on Bonvoy points for the ins and outs of this.

    You can book avios seats online at midnight, you don’t need to call. If you’re quick off the draw and travelling on the less popular dates you may well get CW or PE (there are usually only 2 PE seats but one of you could go in Y). PE seats are showing on SeatSpy for January. A BAPP companion voucher might open up more CW availability.

    NorthernLass 8,479 posts

    Also, I may be wrong but do you get 2:3 on MR to Bonvoy conversions? If so this would obviously bump up your points balance.

    zapato1060 719 posts

    Do note, Marriotts accounts need to be opened 30days and a MR transfer DOES make it an active account. You could get Gold with Amex Plat, which you can cancel and itll still be valid for a year.

    I could not stomach the 20 min seaplane journey for £700 per person so it still a trip to Maldives this summer but doing it cheapo, speedboat/public ferry between islands and staying at guesthouses for us. Get none of the jazz but ultimately more authentic.

    YC 238 posts

    U could book the base (garden) room for 5 for 4 then email for a cash upgrade cost for the x nights. In a similar vein, this opens up Hilton overwaters + Amex plat gets u Hilton gold (free breakfast).

    If ur set on Marriott and doing 7 nights. U could do 5 nights overwater as 1 booking (say ur account, get 5f4 and transfer in 100k from partner) then 2 nights separately in a beach villa (ur partner account). Hotels won’t have any issue with that arrangement but you might just need to settle two bills at the end

    aseftel 280 posts

    Wow that seaplane transfer is a bit of a hustle. More typically ~$400 round trip per person. It’s all on the same airline (TMA) so I can only assume StR are marking it up and pocketing the difference.

    Olly 250 posts

    If your balance isn’t high enough after the transfer of your wife’s 100k Bonvoy points you can also buy an extra 100k per year (plus any bonuses on top that are running – none at present though the next is due mid-month)

    aq.1988 490 posts

    Thanks everyone for the advice and suggestions.

    I think doing the 544 in one account, should be enough points to do an overwater villa (after transferring the 100k), and then maybe doing 2 nights cash in a standard room if we don’t have enough points, or points/cash.

    But following NL’s suggestion of possibly going AI, has made me consider other resorts for cash, and some are more reasonably priced than I thought, although certainly wouldn’t pay the cash rate for St Regis! Because we don’t drink, might look at some FB options, and pay for our (soft) drinks separately.

    Having said that, am I able to add a meal plan to a redemption booking for cash?

    I would consider upgrading the Gold to Plat if the 40k offer came back soon.

    Tom2 113 posts

    You won’t have a problem transferring to the same Marriott account from Amex if you share the same surname with your wife.

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,377 posts

    FYI, Sinead is out in the Maldives this week trying 3 of the Marriott resorts – Westin, JW Marriott and a third I’ve forgotten (Le Meridien perhaps). Reviews will follow although it may take a couple of weeks to knock them all together. However, if you ahd any specific questions about any of these then let us know.

    TJ 102 posts

    I was at the St Regis and Sheraton last year. Really enjoyed both places but having Elite status made a significant difference (esp free breakfast, upgrades, 1n free on a 5n booking). If you don’t have status, it’s worth looking at what you can get on a cash deal with Travelzoo (or even Emyr) for example, and see how this compares with using up your MR points.

    aq.1988 490 posts

    You won’t have a problem transferring to the same Marriott account from Amex if you share the same surname with your wife.

    Unfortunately my wife has a different surname to me!

    aq.1988 490 posts

    FYI, Sinead is out in the Maldives this week trying 3 of the Marriott resorts – Westin, JW Marriott and a third I’ve forgotten (Le Meridien perhaps). Reviews will follow although it may take a couple of weeks to knock them all together. However, if you ahd any specific questions about any of these then let us know.

    That’s great, thanks. Will keep an eye out, probably won’t be booking in the next month anyway.

    Tom2 113 posts

    You won’t have a problem transferring to the same Marriott account from Amex if you share the same surname with your wife.

    Unfortunately my wife has a different surname to me!

    Ahh, as others have said you can do 100,000 transfer per calendar year too. You or your wife could create a second account and maybe then able to transfer an additional 100,000 points. I am staying at the Ritz Carlton in the Maldives in a few weeks, I know you are currently not considering it but if you have any questions let me know!

    aq.1988 490 posts

    You won’t have a problem transferring to the same Marriott account from Amex if you share the same surname with your wife.

    Unfortunately my wife has a different surname to me!

    Ahh, as others have said you can do 100,000 transfer per calendar year too. You or your wife could create a second account and maybe then able to transfer an additional 100,000 points. I am staying at the Ritz Carlton in the Maldives in a few weeks, I know you are currently not considering it but if you have any questions let me know!

    Thank you, appreciate it. And enjoy your trip!

    I’m not ruling anything out yet, but more leaning towards Le Meridien as points-wise, seems to be the most reasonable. And with a couple of referrals, I’ll have enough to book a 544 for the overwater villa, and instead of messing around with points transfers, will just book a further 2 nights with my wife’s points in the same room.

    Now looking at what we will do about flights, also going to visit my wife’s cousin who emigrated there a couple years ago, so need to work out if it would be better to visit them at the beginning or end of the trip, or maybe bookend it.

    qc 261 posts

    FYI, Sinead is out in the Maldives this week trying 3 of the Marriott resorts – Westin, JW Marriott and a third I’ve forgotten (Le Meridien perhaps). Reviews will follow although it may take a couple of weeks to knock them all together. However, if you ahd any specific questions about any of these then let us know.

    It’s the W – she has a post with photos on Instagram.

    The things you make your staff do 😂

    Tracey 230 posts

    I would look at non international branded hotels for the Maldives. Tripadvisor forum has a lot of advice on what to choose depending what is important to you eg house reefs/ over water villas etc

    Always go AI in the Maldives as you are a captive market and prices are high. Most non branded hotels include transfers.

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