Everyone has that dream of staying in an overwater villa for their honeymoon. Nothing beats that feeling of just you, your significant other and the beach. In a luxury resort, of course, with fantastic food, excellent service, and all the amenities you could think of. But then you go to that booking page and see the price. $1,800 per night. Sound insane, right? What if I told you that buying Hilton points makes it possible to have a Maldives honeymoon on a budget? Instead of paying $12,000 for a week of luxury, you could pay just $3,500. Let me show you how.
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What’s the hype around a Maldives honeymoon about?
The Maldives are a collection of islands located southwest of India and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. It became famous as a tourist destination in 1972 when resorts started opening and has expanded ever since. There are now 160 resorts, many on their own individual islands, and it has become famous as a honeymoon destination because of its turquoise waters, stunning beaches, coral reefs and isolated luxury resorts.
As someone who has visited the Maldives before using this trick, I will say that while it’s an expensive destination, it’s an experience I won’t forget. These tips will make it a little bit more affordable and take a significant chunk off your accommodation (the most expensive part of this trip). While doing a luxury Maldives honeymoon on a budget is challenging, I think this is the closest you could get.
How can you buy Hilton Points for resorts?
The Hilton Honors loyalty program is one of many hotel loyalty programs accessible to Australians. Like Avios, it offers the perk of buying points with frequent offers giving you a 100% bonus and an effective cost of 0.5c (in US Dollars) per point once taking the bonus into account. Hilton offers two types of room rewards – standard and premium. Standard reward nights are the ones you are looking for as these have a fixed cost based on the class of property, while premium rewards prices are demand-based and often prohibitively high.
There are several Hilton resorts in the Maldives. One of the most exclusive is the Waldorf Astoria Maldives, which hardly has standard room rewards available and when they do, they are booked very quickly. You should focus on the Conrad Maldives Rangali and Hilton Maldives Amingiri. Both are excellent properties with plenty of standard room rewards available if you book a few months in advance.
How can buying Hilton points save money on my honeymoon?
I will focus on just the Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort for this article. You can see above the two types of redemptions available as well as the cash price of the redemption. A standard room reward costs 110,000 points per night for a beachside villa and private pool.
The Hilton Honors program has one benefit for its elite members that makes chasing at least silver status in the program. The fifth-night free benefit means that if you pay for four standard reward nights with points, the fifth one is included at no cost, effectively giving you a 20% discount on the points price of the room.
Getting Hilton Honors status is easier than you think. If you have Velocity gold or above, this entitles you to Hilton Honors status. Several credit cards, including those from American Express, will give you Hilton silver or above, depending on the card you are holding. If you stay in hotels frequently, you can get status through hotel stays. Only ten nights are needed to reach silver.
Assuming you have silver or above status, a 5-night getaway will set you back 440,000 points. You can get a maximum of 320,000 points per year (including the bonus) for US$1,600 ($2,500) through buying points. The remaining points can be acquired through your stays at Hiltons, credit card sign-up bonuses, or buying points through 2 people’s accounts.
Another option with the Hilton is to transfer points between accounts. This comes with an additional cost and is capped at 200,000 points per year. With this method, you could buy the remaining 120,000 points for US$600 in someone else’s name and pay $1,200 to transfer them to your account, giving you a total cost of US$3,400 ($5,300), which still represents a nearly 50% saving on the going rate for the room.
One of Hilton reward nights’ most significant benefits is they cover all room taxes. This means, unlike airline reward seats, once you’ve paid for your hotel with points, there are no additional costs to cover the room (this includes those pesky resort fees).
What other costs are involved?
The Maldives being a luxury destination, there are a few costs to be aware of before you go. First is the transfer cost. These are, unfortunately, non-negotiable and are usually the only way to get to your resort. These prices vary based on the resort you’re staying at and the distance from Malé (the capital). For the Hilton Maldives Amingiri, this was US$300; for the Conrad Rangali, it is US$675 per person. In addition to this, all prices have an additional 16% tax and 10% service charge on top of quoted prices.
It is also worth being aware that your resort is on an island, with food options limited to those provided by the hotel. While hotels will have options for various budgets, these are luxury resorts, and food is priced accordingly. You should budget about US$150 per meal without including drinks.
In this case, one potential way to reduce your costs further is finding a method, such as through your frequent flyer program or credit card, to acquire gold Hilton Honors status. This would provide you with complimentary breakfast (an honestly wonderful experience) and save you a little more money.
To compound your savings further, you can use miles to fly with Singapore Airlines using either Krisflyer or Velocity points to get you there.
The Maldives is a luxury honeymoon destination. It is often a dream for many, although it’s easy to be priced out of this stunning location. Using some of these tips and leveraging the buying of points, it’s possible to save thousands of dollars and possibly make this dream a reality for a few more couples.