Two New Hilton Properties Are Coming To The Maldives

I’ve been impressed by what Hilton Honors has done the past few years. They’ve introduced a lucrative points pooling program, they’ve added breakfast at Waldorf Astorias for elite members, they give you top tier Diamond status just for having a credit card, they have a rewarding structure for earning points for hotel stays, and they consistently offer promotions. It’s a high value program, and unlike many of their competitors, I genuinely believe the value proposition of the program has improved.

Yet somehow I can’t bring myself to actually be fully loyal to Hilton Honors, and that has nothing to do with the program as such. What’s holding me back?

  • For the most part I don’t love Hiltons brands, and being loyal to Hilton would require staying at a lot of brands that I don’t love
  • I perceive Hilton to have a lack of aspirational properties, so while I can earn tons of points and get status, there aren’t that many hotels I want to redeem at; don’t get me wrong, they have some properties that look good, like the Conrad Maldives, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, etc., but I feel like on the high end their portfolio pales in comparison to their competitors

With that in mind, I think it’s worth pointing out when awesome new hotels join their portfolio, since it potentially adds a lot of value to Hilton Honors points. The Maldives is one of the most aspirational and expensive vacation destinations out there, so any new points hotels there are exciting. Hilton is opening two new hotels in the Maldives in the next year — a Waldorf Astoria and a Curio Collection.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives

We’ve known since last year that a Waldorf Astoria will be opening in the Maldives in early 2019. The property will have 130 rooms, and will span three islands in the South Male Atoll, only 23 kilometers from the International airport. This means that the resort will be accessibly by speedboat.

There are pros and cons to the resort being so close to Male. The benefit is that you can easily reach the resort without having to take an expensive and time consuming flight. The downside is that generally the islands closest to Male won’t provide the level of seclusion you get further away, and also won’t be as pristine.

Waldorf Astoria used to have a property in the Maldives that has since closed, so this will be the first newly built Waldorf Astoria in the country.

Still, having a Waldorf Astoria in the Maldives will be an incredible opportunity for those redeeming points. Currently Hilton’s most expensive hotels go from 95,000 points per night for a standard room, so I have to wonder whether they’ll be charging higher prices for this property, or what.

The renderings of this property look gorgeous.

Curio Collection Maldives

The latest news is that later this year a Curio Collection by Hilton is expected to open in the Maldives. Curio Collection is Hilton’s independent hotel brand, consisting of hotels that are supposed to be unique. The resort will be part of the CROSSROADS project, which is supposedly the first-ever integrated leisure and entertainment resort destination in the Maldives. The project will span nine islands, which sure looks… unique.

The resort will have 198 rooms, and will be a 15 minute speedboat ride away from the international airport.

It seems like this will be a very different Maldives experience than you’d find at most other resorts, and will probably have more of a party atmosphere. While most places in the Maldives are quiet and feel secluded, this probably won’t have that feeling.

Bottom line

It’s exciting to see two new Hilton brands add properties in the Maldives over the next year. As of now neither hotel is bookable, though once they are, I’m curious what pricing will be like. It’s interesting that both hotels are so close to Male, which will make for a convenient transfer, but not be ideal if you’re looking for seclusion. These are both also really big hotels by Maldives standards.

Still, I can’t wait to check them out. Here’s to hoping that neither of them costs more than 95,000 points per night.

(Tip of the hat to Traveling For Miles)

Comments

  1. Here is where I struggle with Hilton or maybe I just don’t understand how their program works. You said:”Currently Hilton’s most expensive hotels go from 95,000 points per night for a standard room”. Well, that is the problem. I can never find these “standard rooms” available on the properties I want. A quick random search for early June in Hawaii it brings me the Grand Wailea at 315,000 points per night, Hilton Waikiki at 115,000 points per night, Embassy Suites Waikiki at 212,000 points per night. Looking into Italy in July, Curio Rome at 229,000 points per night, Hilton Sorrento Palace at 171,000 points per night. Thus, unless you have a huge flexibility I don’t see how I can get use of Hilton points at a decent redemption rate.

  2. @Vince: I get it but I struggle when bloggers say that their most expensive redemption is 95,000 points. Well, good luck finding those when and where you need.

  3. That Crossroads project looks too much like the atol in “Waterworld,” but it is supposed to have a Hard Rock Cafe and a Kenny Rogers Roasters. I really want to fly halfway around the world for that.

  4. Santastico – DCS would tell you that you are stupid, that only “fools” redeem for non-standard awards, and that Hilton is a superior program because only they offer non-standard rooms for points (which as we all know isn’t true, as other brands do it for much less of a premium).

    Hilton is an inflationary currency that only begets more inflation. Earning buckets and buckets of points per dollar is great (do I hear 50? how about 60?) but as you identify, that doesn’t matter so much when you don’t even stick to your own standard award chart.

  5. Hilton also recently opened a Waldorf Astoria in Bangkok that looks amazing. Looks much better than WA Bev Hills.

  6. @Lucky – If Hilton’s 63 new Curio Collection hotels, each of which is truly unique [1], won’t stop you from continuing to harbor a [bogus] assumption like “I perceive Hilton to have a lack of aspirational properties, so while I can earn tons of points and get status, there aren’t that many hotels I want to redeem at…”, then nothing will.

    Importantly, did you know that although there are now 63 hotels in the Curio Collection, the brand was launched just three and half years ago? That in itself is quite remarkable…

    In any profession, one must be willing to reexamine one’s assumptions or beliefs from time to time to ensure that they are still relevant. It’s time for self-anointed gurus to reexamine the claim about how Hilton lacks’ aspirational hotels, because the current view is badly outdated.

    [1] Link to pictures of all 63 new Curio hotels, recently posted elsewhere, is provided in next post

  7. Hilton is an earn and burn program – and is very useful for that.

    The idea of saving up Hilton points for an “aspirational” award (something that is almost solely an idea of the blogger world) is simply laughable. That’s a losing proposition.

    Writing as an Honors diamond

  8. I’m impressed by how Hilton managed to become the King of No Transparency Devaluations (of which there has been many since killing the award chart) and yet somehow get big bloggers to root for them.

  9. @DT look at the video I posted above. It’ll have stand alone villas over the water, only accessible by boat, that have a room under the water.

  10. @DCS: “If Hilton’s 63 new Curio Collection hotels, each of which is truly unique [1], won’t stop you from continuing to harbor a [bogus] assumption like “I perceive Hilton to have a lack of aspirational properties, so while I can earn tons of points and get status, there aren’t that many hotels I want to redeem at…”, then nothing will.”

    Of course, DCS won’t rush out to tell you that 63 properties make up somewhere between 1.2 and 1.3 percent of the total Honors portfolio, but that doesn’t help when you’re hanging your hat on Curio as being the epitome of aspirational properties in your portfolio (which is, in and of itself, arguable).

  11. I’m not really sure what the appeal is of such huge mega-resorts in the Maldives. If you don’t want seclusion why make the journey to a beach resort so difficult for yourself? To say nothing of other potential drawbacks….political stability, non-liberal views around sexuality etc. Might as well go to Dubai.

  12. Hilton Venice Presidential suite requires 3 million points! It costs about $8k but HiltonDishonors offers to sell needed Hilton Pesos points for $30K points. LOL!
    It’s a Zimbabwean currency!

  13. @Mike – First, 63 hotels, amazingly introduced at a mean rate of about 20 PER YEAR in just 3.5 years, are 63 new hotels that are available for HH members to redeem award stays at. Period. The proportion of the 63 hotels within Hilton’s total portfolio is completely irrelevant. Second, you do not get to define what ‘aspirational’ is or means. The fact is that Hilton introduced the Curio brand to be a collection of locally unique luxury hotels, which each hotel has unquestionably been so far. I have stayed at the LondonHouse in Chicago, a Curio Collection hotel, which is already up there with the Drake as one Windy City’s iconic hotels. Have you stayed at a single Curio Collection hotel, ey, Mr. Hilton Honors “Diamond”?

    I will henceforth ignore your pathological need for attention because there is no reason for anyone to keep making the totally mindless statements that you make nearly every time I post. That won’t keep you from continuing to do it, but I will no longer dignify the mindlessness with response.

    Have a nice life.

  14. @DCS: “First, 63 hotels, amazingly introduced at a mean rate of about 20 PER YEAR in just 3.5 years, are 63 new hotels that are available for HH members to redeem award stays at. Period. The proportion of the 63 hotels within Hilton’s total portfolio is completely irrelevant.”

    When you keep obsessively bringing up Curio as a rebuttal to others saying that Hilton doesn’t have a lot of aspirational properties, then the fact that there are only 63 Curio properties out of 5,000 Honors hotels certainly *does* matter.

    You don’t get to change the definitions of arguments just to suit yourself, DCS, whether you like it or not. And, as far as I’m concerned, using a brand that makes up about 1 percent of the portfolio as your rebuttal, and then getting upset when someone calls you out for using a pretty insignificant sample to claim that Hilton has a lot of aspirational hotels, is nothing more than you moving the goalposts to suit yourself.

    “Second, you do not get to define what ‘aspirational’ is or means. The fact is that Hilton introduced the Curio brand to be a collection of locally unique luxury hotels, which each hotel has unquestionably been so far. I have stayed at the LondonHouse in Chicago, a Curio Collection hotel, which is already up there with the Drake as one Windy City’s iconic hotels. Have you stayed at a single Curio Collection hotel, ey, Mr. Hilton Honors “Diamond”?”

    On the contrary, I believe that something that is aspirational is completely subjective, and anyone can define what they choose to aspire to as they see fit. They certainly may be luxury hotels, but I personally don’t know if I aspire to stay in all of them or even most of them — I’m not going to take a special trip to Rapid City, South Dakota just because I aspire to stay at the Hotel Alex Johnson, for example, but some people might want to.

    I’ve said this before, DCS — it’s obvious to everyone except you, but people are allowed to have opinions that aren’t yours. You are not the one who gets to choose what is aspirational to me, or anyone else — the only person for whom you can make that choice is you.

    And though you will continue to dismiss me as mindless for not falling over myself at the experience, I have stayed on several occasions at the Juniper Hotel in Cupertino, California, which was one of the first Curio properties. It’s a nice hotel, for sure, but for me, I don’t consider it an aspirational property on par with the ones I would have otherwise considered as aspirational (e.g. the Maldives, Bora Bora, or otherwise). That may be in part because I pay cash for the rooms there – it’s cheap during the weekends, and not ridiculous even during the week – but I personally don’t think of a hotel in Silicon Valley that way. Others might disagree, but again, what is aspirational is up to anyone with an opinion to decide, not just you.

    Otherwise, your screed does little more than project your issues, insult instead of debate, and continue to call attention to your narcissism. You know, the usual.

  15. The LondonHouse is so iconic it is going for $150 tomorrow, midweek in Chicago, which is cheaper than what the local Courtyards typically go for. Cheaper than the Aloft too.

    The good Starwoods by way of comparison are going for $200-$300.

    But according to DCS it’s basically impossible to do any better in Chicago.

  16. Creative or not, we all know Hilton has more shitty properties than Starwood, Marriott or Hyatt.

  17. No matter how positively enhanced Hilton Honors has become it most certainly is superfluous to enticing my loyalty .Speaking from several years of Diamond level it became more and more blatantly obvious that Hilton’ s strategy is to sign up as many members as quickly as possible at base level and in doing so disregard those at elite level that have supported relentlessly . The customer service offered by Honors is atrocious in fact appalling . Loyalty to the Hilton Brand is treated as a disposable commodity ,especially by the executives that simply view customers as a byproduct .This year I abandoned the brand for Marriott /SPG which I should have done years ago . Most of Hiltons properties are in need of refurbishment even at Conrad level .There is no point enhancing the loyalty program when the product it represents is substandard. Hilton Honors is simply a marketing platform for the ill informed . Unfortunately it took me too long to see the light and move now .Marriott/SPG have been exceptional .The endurance suffered over the Hilton years is upsetting but finally remedied .

  18. @UA-NYC – More mindlessness. I have seen Conrad Koh Samui go for rates as low as $390 per night or as high as $1000+ per night. So, according this…guy… Conrad Koh Samui stops being ‘aspirational’ when its nightly rate drops seasonally to below that of some NYC DoubleTree. Just brilliant!

    Importantly, the “iconic” adjective applied to anything has nothing to do with its cost, price or monetary value. I thought you should know that…

    Lastly, glad you chimed in so that I can inform you that you too are henceforth getting the “silent treatment” for….mindlessness!

    Ciao, baby.

  19. You aren’t a business traveler – as one who travels to Chicago every month, properties are always higher during the week (for, you know, business travelers) and get progressively higher the warmer it gets. To me, the fact that this “iconic” new hotel is already down to $150 isn’t pretty telling.

    Looks like they can barely give away these rooms (cheaper than a nearby Hampton Inn!). And your “iconic” Drake (in reality a tired older hotel long surpassed by nicer properties) is going for $190 tonight.

    Hint: just because in your mind something is AMAZING because it’s Hilton (or TERRIBLE if it’s SPG) doesn’t make it true…context (and reality) matters.

  20. To Miles/Points Gamers: Anyone who believes that the Joy of Traveling is a simple function of “money” is not only narrow-minded, but is also in the wrong game or not playing it with a “full deck.”

  21. LOL now you want to have it both ways. No, IF your vaunted LondonHouse was truly “iconic”, it wouldn’t be priced competitively with a Hampton Inn and a Courtyard nearby.

    And BTW your example of choosing a destination Conrad in high vs. low seasons is pretty effing hilarious…try choosing competitive hotels within a 5 minute walk, on the same day of the year, and then get back to me.

    If you cherry-pick your research in the same way to fit your own needs, I’d be worried if I was your employer.

  22. @DCS: “Lastly, glad you chimed in so that I can inform you that you too are henceforth getting the “silent treatment” for….mindlessness!”

    It won’t last. It never does.

  23. Is it just me or should a hotel slated to open later this year be accepting bookings soon? It seems kind of crazy to expect a full house of reservations just a few months out. I ask selfishly of course.

  24. Like I said, mindless. If money is the alpha and omega of leisure travel (another mindless concept, considering the large seasonal variability in room rates), here’s my daily rate for LondonHouse for my 5-night stay around the date shown:

    11/26/17 1329923 GUEST ROOM $348.23 ***
    11/26/17 1329923 RM CITY TAX $15.67
    11/26/17 1329923 RM STATE TAX $41.44
    11/26/17 1329923 RM COUNTY TAX $3.48

  25. It’s flat-out shocking that a hotel in Chicago would be more expensive on the Sunday night after Thanksgiving than in the middle of April.

    The lesson that still applies here is that DCS doesn’t get to dictate what is or what is not an aspirational hotel.

  26. Wowsers. Yeah, narcissism at it’s finest.

    Yeah, 90 people disagree with me, but I’m smarter than all them and can use 100’s of academia terms to prove that their opinion is irrelevant.

    Boy, I thought I was conceited.

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