You can book an all inclusive overwater villa in the Maldives for $626 a night, but it’s actually even better than that. But first, let me get this disclosure out of the way.
This is not an advertisement, just a deal that I believe is worth sharing. I haven’t received any compensation for this post.
Here is why I think the deal is worth sharing. A local round-trip flight from Malé is included too, as well as all taxes and fees (22%). The all-inclusive plan supposedly includes top-shelf drinks, although some reviews contradict that statement.
Here is the resort in question: Mercure Maldives Kooddoo
Here are the highlights
The prices below are for 5 nights / 2 adults / 1 child (0-11)
- $2889 ($578 a day) Beach Villa
- $3129 ($626 a day) Water Villa
- $3849 ($770 a day) Sunset Water Pool Villa
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, flights from / to Malé, snorkeling gear, non-motorized water equipment, and taxes / fees are included
- Extra days are available
- Additional discount and more perks for a 9-night stay (from $534 in pool villa; beach villas are cheaper)
- Surcharges between 12.24.21 – 4.15.22: $115 per night for Beach / Water Villas and $150 per night for Sunset Water Pool Villas
- Fully refundable
It’s a long, long flight to endure for just a 5-day vacation. So, I would either go for at least 9 days at the Pool Villa or make it a part of my overall journey, as a stopover on the way home from somewhere else.
I dug a little bit more about this resort
Honestly, I liked what I saw. I’m pretty sure that the reviews for this resort are mostly genuine, and no, they aren’t all peachy and rosy, but honest reviews rarely are.
The resort is clearly not the very top of the line, but it has very strong positive reviews on all travel sites.
Here is a Slickdeals thread dedicated to this deal. Some posts in that thread are very informative. Read them all.
Flying to Malé
It’s a long flight from the U.S. with at least one layover if you’re lucky. If you have enough points, book Business.
The easiest would be using 70,000 American miles (per person one way) on Qatar via Doha in those fantastic Q-suites. The award space for two people is not abundant, to say the least, but you can find availability if you’re flexible. Just remember that you want to avoid traveling between 12.24.21 and 4.15.22 to avoid the surcharges.
Oh, and for the love of God, avoid British Airways or you’ll end up flushing everything you save on this deal down the toilet BA Carrier-Imposed Surcharge Fund.
Other reasonably easy flying options include Etihad and Jordanian (AA miles), Turkish (United, Avianca, or ANA miles), or Air France (Delta miles).
AA chart doesn’t display Etihad awards, Furthermore, AA domestic call centers don’t see Etihad premium awards either, so you have to call one of AA foreign centers.
If you go through ANA, keep in mind that it does add a fuel surcharge to Turkish flights, but it’s tolerable, and the redemption rate is pretty good (136,000 miles per round trip and you can have a free stopover in Istanbul).
Covid-19 situation in the Maldives (at the time of writing)
- CDC Level 4: Very High. Avoid travel.
- Tourists are required to present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken 96 hours prior to departure.
- Submit an online Health Declaration Form within 24 hours prior to departure.
More information is available here.
A couple weeks ago, I linked to the God Save the Points post about the Standard Maldives deal (which, from what I understand, is no longer available). When it was available it would’ve cost you ~$400 for an overwater pool villa with breakfast, lunch, dinner and all taxes (but not flights and transfers). That was a fantastic deal, too, but it looks dead now.
But this offer is nothing but phenomenal, IMHO. Of course, this resort may not be for you if you demand a top of the line experience (but if you do, you know you’ll pay through your teeth in points, cash, or most likely both). The fact that this offer includes not only food and drinks but also taxes and local flights adds a lot, and I mean a lot, of value. I checked a random flight between Malé and Kooddoo on Maldivian in October, and it came to $220 PP per round trip. Plus, the 22% taxes and fees would amount to ~$700 for a water villa, so that already gives you over $1,000 in savings.
I strongly recommend you try and get there in Business Class — it’s a damn long flight.
And, once again, since it’s such a long flight to endure for just a 5-day vacation, I would either go for at least 9 days or make my stay in the Maldives a part of my overall journey, ideally a relaxing stopover on the way home. And I’d splurge on a Pool Villa, too.
Any thoughts? Please share in the comments.