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In case you didn’t know, I’m a big fan of the Maldives. To me, there’s no better holiday than being on a secluded island in the middle of the ocean with plenty of great diving and privacy.

I know for some of you that may sounds like a nightmare, but if you’re feeling the beckoning of the Maldives then I’ve got some exciting news for you. 

Marriott is opening a new property in the Maldives later this year. The all new Le Meridien Maldives is currently accepting reservations starting in September 2021.

This property is going to be a steal of a deal, so if the Maldives have been on your radar, I’d take a look.

Introducing the Le Meridien Maldives

The new Le Meridien Maldives is located on Lhaviyani Atoll, approximately 30 minutes away from Male by seaplane. It features approximately 150 guest rooms, ranging from beach rooms to over-water bungalows.

Thankfully, Le Meridien refrained from building any “garden rooms” that we’ve seen at other new Marriott properties in the Maldives (I’m looking at you St. Regis). All rooms are either beach or lagoon view rooms.

The resort features four restaurants ranging from the casual beach bar to a dinner only Japanese restaurant.

Rates and Fees

What makes the new Le Meridien Maldives such a stand out from an award booking perspective is that it won’t cost a lot of points. Le Meridien Maldives will launch as a category 5 property, meaning off-peak nights cost just 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. Standard nights cost 35,000 points, and peak nights cap out at just 40,000 points per night.

Yes, this means you may be able to use free night certificates from many of the various Bonvoy co-branded credit cards to land a free night here.

Remember, Marriott also gives you your fifth night free on award bookings. If all of your nights are off-peak, that means a 5-night stay in the Maldives will cost just 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Even at peak rates, your 5-night stay comes out to just 160,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

Even with free nights, the Maldives still aren’t cheap. You have expensive food and beverages, your seaplane/boat transfers, and almost 25% in taxes and fees on everything.

As of now, the Le Meridien appears to be fairly reasonable. They charge $420 per passenger for seaplane transfers, which is fairly low compared to other resorts in the Maldives. Additionally, all service charges are passed on with points bookings. At the time of writing, there was no resort fee at the Le Meridien Maldives, again helping you save a ton of cash.

Who Should Consider The Le Meridien Maldives

Truthfully, anyone who was looking at a Maldives resort like the Sheraton should quickly change direction and focus on the Le Meridien. 

Not only is the Le Meridien fewer points per night than the Sheraton, its location is away from the capital. While yes, this does make it logistically more challenging to get there, it also means you won’t have the annoyance of seaplane traffic that some visitors to the Sheraton report.

Is This The Best Maldives Deal Out There?

When Marriott first rolled out their new Bonvoy changes, every property was locked into the off-peak rate for awhile. At the time, many Maldives fans (myself included) felt like 80,000 points per night for the St. Regis Maldives was an absolute steal.

I think I’m convinced that booking right now at the Le Meridien is an even better deal. Maybe not in terms of the dollar value you’re getting per point, but in terms of just what you’re getting.

For starters, Marriott recently extended free night certificates earned from credit cards through Jan. 3, 2022.

You might be sitting on a free night certificate, or two, or three. With many free night certificates being good for nights that cost 35,000 points, you can use these for many (but not all) nights at the Le Meridien Maldives.

Couple with the low award rates, and you could easily get over a week for not that many Marriott points. Take a look below, where I found 8 nights. With my free night certificates, my 8 nights would only cost 120,000 points.

I don’t know about you, but spending only 120,000 points and being able to use my free night certificates somewhere exotic like the Maldives is an absolute steal. And for eight nights? That’s (in the words of Matt) completely bonkers.

Need to replenish your Marriott balance after forking over some points for your stay at Le Meridien? Take a look at the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. You’ll earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Additionally, this card comes with up to $300 in statement credits for eligible purchases at Marriott Hotels, helping to further offset your Maldivian adventure.

Also, there’s no resort fees at Le Meridien Maldives. Meaning sure you’d still have to pay for food and activities, but this helps you save even more money. 

Compare this to other hotels, like the Conrad Maldives, which costs 95,000 points per night. Or even the Park Hyatt Maldives at 30,000 points per night. Considering that Hyatt does not offer the fifth night free, if you’re able to find five off-peak award nights you would actually use fewer points to book the Le Meridien Maldives than you would for the Park Hyatt.

Plus, the Le Meridien is much easier to get to than the Park Hyatt. You’ll only have a 30 minute seaplane ride versus an hour (or more) domestic flight plus 30 minutes speedboat ride to get to the Park Hyatt.

How to Earn Marriott Bonvoy Points

While I typically wouldn’t advise transferring points to Marriott, if you’re looking to book the Le Meridien Maldives this may be a great exception to that rule. You can transfer both Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards to Marriott Bonvoy. One welcome bonus from a card like The Platinum Card® from American Express could mean a 5 night stay in the Maldives.

Of course, I’d encourage you to earn Marriott Bonvoy points directly. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card currently is offering 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points as a welcome bonus. That one bonus can get you a five night stay at the Le Meridien Maldives.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for the best points deal on a Maldives getaway, the new Le Meridien Maldives may be the best opportunity while it lasts. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this bumped up a category or two in the next few years. 

For now, however, the Le Meridien Maldives should absolutely be on your radar if you’re looking for a Maldives getaway for minimal points.

 

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