Recently, Taylor shared her reader success story to the Maldives in our THM Facebook Group and said I could share it on the website. Here’s her story:
My husband (aka P2) and I just returned from honeymoon number 2 to the Maldives, booked completely on points!! I’ve seen a lot of questions about the Maldives and wanted to post about our experience in case it helps someone!
We flew CLT -> IAD for $110 per person. We had United travel credits, so we only paid $10 per person out of pocket. In Washington, DC we spent one night at the Westin DC Downtown. I used a 35k Marriott night topped off with 10k additional points. We were upgraded into a suite that would have cost us $730. One day in DC was spent exploring before our flight out.
We flew Qatar Qsuites IAD-> DOH -> MLE. I booked via Qatar for 85k per person per way. I transferred points from Capitol One to British Airways, then BA to Qatar during a 30% transfer bonus, so it was really 66k points per person one way! Qsuites were INCREDIBLE. They lived up to the hype and then some for us! The price for the flight would have been $17,000 for both of us.
In the Maldives, we did five nights at the W Maldives first. I used 325k Marriott Bonvoy points and took advantage of the 5th night free on points. We stayed in an overwater villa, which was gorgeous! The cash rate would have been just over $7,000 for the 5-night stay! We LOVED the W. The snorkeling was out of the world because they have one of the top 10 house reefs in the Maldives, world and the staff were amazing. With my Platinum Status, we had free breakfast each morning, and the breakfast buffet was phenomenal! The rooms were a little dated, but the resort is undergoing a 5-month renovation next year and adding more restaurants. We would come back here again for sure; it was so picturesque and truly felt like paradise!
We then transferred hotels and stayed the next five nights at the St. Regis Maldives. We used 421k points for the five nights, again taking advantage of the 5th night free with Marriott. Upon arrival, I was notified we were upgraded from a standard overwater villa to a suite overwater villa. The cash rate for our room would have been right at $23,000 for the five nights. The room here was truly spectacular and massive.
I was SHOCKED we got upgraded since you can’t even use your suite nights at this property. We also had free breakfast at this property as well with my Marriott platinum status. The food at this resort was wonderful, the spa was magical, and our room was amazing. However, the snorkeling was not as good as the W, and we liked the service model at the W better than having our own butler at the St. Regis.
Between the two resorts we are glad we did both, but we would return again to the W. The St. Regis felt more over-the-top luxurious, while the W felt like an island paradise.
At the resorts in the Maldives, we did pay for seaplane transfers to and from both resorts (standard for the Maldives), lunch and dinner, and excursions! We did the whale shark, manta ray, turtle quest, and one spa visit. The Marriott points used were a combination of Marriott business and personal cards from me, and P2 transferred to my account.
Our return home was MLE -> DOH -> JFK again, with Qatar Airlines in the Qsuites! We tried the middle seats on the way home, where you can put the divider down, and we loved them!
We loved Qsuites and can’t wait until the next trip on them. Again, we used the 30% transfer bonus and found 85k flights that really cost 66k per person after the bonus. The price for these flights would have been $9,500.
At JFK, we stayed one night at the JFK Hyatt Regency for 12k Hyatt points. The room would have been $230.
We flew JFK -> CLT on American Airlines using 9k BA Avios each again transferred during a 30% transfer bonus, so really 7k per person. The flights would have been $450 total.
Total points used: just over 1 million
Cash costs: $58,000
Well done, Taylor! Your reader success story to the Maldives using credit card points and miles was amazing. you did an incredible job on your redemptions! We can’t wait to hear about your next adventure!
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