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But there are two catches… maybe three.
In this article
The Maldives Steal of a Deal
Travis at MileValue was the first to catch this deal – and it’s not even a limited time offer. The new Le Meridien Maldives is opening in the Maldives later this year and is accepting reservations from September 1st.
Now, the Maldives is already awash in luxury hotels you can spend your points at, like the St. Regis Maldives, the W Maldives, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, and the Park Hyatt Maldives. But those are all at the expense of a large number of points.
The Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa is a Category 5 Bonvoy property, which means the rooms range from 30,000 points a night off-peak to 40,000 a night peak – and 35,000 points a night otherwise.
That’s a massive sweet spot since the free nights that come with Marriott Bonvoy credit cards (all of the $95-$125 annual fee cards) are valid on nights of up to 35,000 points a night. Usually you can get $200-$300 in value from these. Now you have a chance to redeem them for $450-$1,000 a night in value, which is pretty crazy.
You can use those certificates to book into a Beach Bungalow or a Sunrise Overwater Villa.
You can also, obviously, use points! With 5th night free on award nights, this means 5 nights would cost between 120,000 points and 160,000 points. Or you could perhaps do 5 nights (5th night free) plus additional nights with certificates. Even better is that, for the time being, most nights are off-peak or standard.
There’s not even a pesky resort fee here!
I think the news of this option is very newsworthy, but here’s a few things to note:
1) The Maldives are such a far trip from the US, that if I’m going that far, I want the best of the best. The room types that this books into does not have a private pool in the villa. The room is also only listed at 882 square feet – more of a very large room / suite than a Villa.
The private pool and house-like feel are really two of the best parts (to me) of a Maldives villa.
So the obvious question will become the upgrade policy and the cost of a guaranteed pre-arrival upgrade – because you don’t want to fly 18 hours and leave that room type to chance. I assume we’ll find this out pretty soon.
2) You still have to pay for the seaplane. That’s $420 plus tax per person ($426 total). That’s actually not bad at all for the Maldives, but for two people that’s $852 more.
3) I have to think that if this gets popular, we’ll see many more 40k nights which you can’t use a certificate for. And then it will probably move to Category 6.
Still, if the room types meet your needs (mostly meaning that you don’t care about a pool or the space of the other, more luxurious resorts, this could be an option worth considering.
Me personally? For that distance, I’d rather spend twice as many points and stay at the St Regis, but then again, I’d really love to spend our credit card certs on this kind of value. Conundrum!
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You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.