Coming up soon - a JW Marriott:
Well there are 3 now due to the merger with a westin also scheduled to open later this year. When JW finally opens I am pretty sure it wont be cat 9 it will be like a 15 or something.
It’s due to open in November this year so I’d imagine it’ll start taking reservations over the course of the next few months. At present that means it should be allocated a category between 1 and 9 and I do expect that as early in their lives resorts need a kickstart, and redemptions provide that. I’m watching carefully because I reckon in a years time 40-45,000 points for this property will be seen as a downright bargain. This is likely to be a great chance to stay at a Maldives resort at a very cheap redemption rate, although beware, eating and drinking on the Maldives Resort islands is hideously expensive, and there’s a hint at those costs with the breakfast quoted as “from” $40pp! So cheap here is likely to be a relative term!
Hotels rarely open on time and even though this is a resort which was already open - it used to be a Viceroy before they closed it, it might be next year before it formally opens.
Nothing is stopping Marriott from adding a nre category just for this resort. For comparison the other 2 SPG resorts in Maldives - W and St Regis require 90k starpoints per night. Sheraton just 25k points though.
Not just food - getting there would be pretty expensive too, most resorts charge $500+ per person to just get there from Male.
As you rightly point out, this isn’t s new hotel but a refurb. It’s less likely to suffer serious delays, and with an opening slated for November I’d expect it to be accepting reservations by the middle of this year for next. That means adhering to the current table, unless Marriott makes a special exemption aand shoves this into a Ritz Tier. It would be a “fix” but also an indication for the future too.
As for transfers I agree with you, they are frequently several hundred bucks a pop but the JW claims to offer complimentary transfers, at least according to the hotel website...
That's some good lawyering right there bbob;
I would have written it the same way, but I also would lean ks's way with regards to booking this puppy anywhere near the first two weeks - stuff happens and that's some big bucks rolling on the logistics.
good stuff folks
Hopefully it opens in time. From what I read the viceroy was not even open for that long a time so dont know what refurb they are doing. Viceroy is also a luxury brand.
I am pretty sure they will update the website to reflect the true cost of the transfer once they are ready for opening. I am more interested in what they would charge for the gala dinners christmas eve and new years eve. The St regis only charges $395 and $895 respectively for each person and its mandatory.
Regarding the category we can speculate all we want but my vote is that it would be higher than cat 9 if it opens this year or the highest category in the new program when it opens the next year.
Nice to see another option. The St. Regis on points is insane. Flights to the Maldives, including the hokpper from Male make staying there a challenge. I looked into going there this year, to the St. Regis, and the flights alone were going to add nearly two days to the trip. I settled on Bali instead, which I can get to in just shy of 24 hours from Chicago.
Maldives is still on the bucket list. Hope to get there before it's under water.
Yeah and you have to get in the day too as the seaplanes only fly during daylight. Last flight is at 3 30 PM I believe.
I looked at business class from Chicago to Male roundtrip is about $6200pp on Turkish Airlines, which is likely the way I’d go, but a long layover in Istanbul of about 8-10 hours each way (so maybe 30 hours travel time one way) Lounge Istanbul, however is one of the best in the world. Speaking of which, Istanbul should be opening their new international airport in October this year, so I’m interested in seeing their new digs...
I’ve gotta plan for that 30th anniversary in a few years!
but does that 30 hours include the puddle jumper flight? Looks like on the inbound it gets in at noon, but the departure is near midnight.
No that’s extra. I believe the Sheraton is close enough that it’s a speedboat transfer
Yes sheraton only requires a speedboat transfer and its a bargain on the points - only 25k.
wally3433 I found that Etihad Airways has round trip business class fares Chicago to Maldives for as low as $3500 per person,( and Turkish Airlines as low as $4200). With Etihad, in some cases, only one plane change in Abu Dhabi, total travel time 23 hours each way!
This is a breakthrough. Thanks for the insight. 23 hours would be great. For the St. Regis though, you still have to deal with the puddle jumper, but 23 hours makes it do-able.
Well, on faith, I booked air to the Maldives for late March/early April 2019. Our 25th Anniversary. Vicky deserves something special for putting up with me that long. Does anyone know when the JW will start taking reservations? I'd like to get a TP certificate used there. Community Managers? I tried calling Marriott but they had no way to help me. I miss the plat line.
Well....yesterday said Opening Nov 2018. Today Jan 2019. I need a backup plan.
There’s a Sheraton, a W & a St Regis Maldives currently open
My wife is actively researching them! We do want to use a TP cert as plan A some place.
I do hope you make it there Todd, as I am really keen to hear all about it.
The Maldives has been on our wish list for a long time now.
We have been to the Seychelles and Mauritius and really enjoyed them both (no Marriott’s there then either unfortunately)
We have been hoping to see Marriott presence in the Indian Ocean for ages and now with the SPG resorts coming on board and with this JW option, things are certainly looking up.
tker, even though this is a refurbish effort on an existing resort - Viceroy I wouldnt bank on opening it on time. Even then it would be plagued with service problems atleast in the initial few months.
For a special celebration such as the 25th anniversary I would not risk it as service problems can derail a vacation especially when you are stuck on the island with nowhere else to go.
StR seems to get rave reviews on FT but has crazy cash prices and if you can wing the award availability come August under the Cat 7 it would be awesome. W also had crazy cash prices but seems to have dropped ever since StR opened.
Book the W or StR just in case the JW doesnt open on time. Avoid the Sheraton if you can as its a special occasion.
Good advice. Currently, StR and W do not have point avail for our dates. We will keep watching. The nightly rates for our dates are $2500 for StR and $1800 for the W! We did book a really nice place on a paid stay that we can cancel. Lily Beach Resort.
Is it possible perhaps to pay for a few nights & redeem points for a few at the W or StR?
You cannot see these all suite properties award availability online - did you call SPG customer care and check with them?? Also dont forget that cash rates have 10% service charge and 13.2% GST which will makes the crazy cash rates even crazier.
We can’t assume that someone else’s wallet isn’t deeper than ours!
Of course not , I was just pointing out the facts. Maldives is the best place you can use your hard earned points. Too bad we cant use it on transfers though.
Just called. W is avail on points. About 1.5 mil MR points needed for 5 nights. No Cash and Points avail. StR is not avail.
It should have been 90k points per night making it 1.08 million MR why is it 1.5M?? What room do they have on points??
These are all suite properties hence they go for 90k starpoints per night. Starwood usually runs promos called Paradise is closer which will give 35% off making it 58.5k points per night or a respectable 702k marriott points for 5 nights.
If you have starpoints I recommend that you secure the reservation at the W , Starwood doesnt allow you to book on points unless you have them in your account and update it once the new categories are out. By doing this you are guarenteed a reservation on points - if you dont like the new category then you can cancel the reservation.
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