If you had “Radisson finally opens its Maldives resort” on your pandemic surprise bingo card, congratulations on marking that one off: amidst a global pandemic that has seen some luxury resorts close their doors permanently, The Points Guy reports that Radisson has apparently decided the timing is finally right to open its Radisson Blu Maldives Resort after seven years of delays. The resort is now open and awards are bookable for 70K points per night, which includes free breakfast.
For what it’s worth, the Maldives is currently accepting American tourists. I don’t know the current logistics involved in actually getting there in terms of which countries you can or can not transit and I’m not personally interested in planning any near-term international travel.
That said, we reported earlier today that Radisson has fixed its award search tool and you can now book standard room awards again both in the US and abroad. Awards at the Radisson Blu Maldives are bookable next year at 70K points per night. If you’re sitting on a pile of Radisson points, it’s hard to imagine a more exciting use than an overwater villa in the Maldives with a private pool. Bookings are flexible — the dates I checked could be canceled until about 3 weeks in advance.
Keep in mind that as it is the Maldives, you’ll be on the hook for an expensive sea plane or domestic flight transfer to get to the Radisson Blu’s island and there is no way to book that with points. They charge $450 per adult and $225 per child for that transfer, so it certainly isn’t cheap. Free breakfast is nice though as food gets expensive quickly in the Maldives (though I imagine that most readers who actually consider a trip to the Maldives are likely to have elite status that gets them breakfast at other properties).
I am personally sitting on a mini stash of Radisson points because I have the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa. That card comes with an anniversary bonus of 40K points and offers up to 3 free night certificates with each $10K spend per cardmember year. Unfortunately, the free night certificates can only be used for hotels in the US, so you can’t use them to book this Maldives property. Still, I did the spend for the certificates last year and as such I have enough points in my account to book a few nights if I wanted to. While I’m somewhat tempted out of curiosity, I’m not in any hurry. There are some amazing-looking properties in the Maldives. If I were going to plunk down the cash for a sea plane transfer (and spend the days upon weeks of coaxing my wife to agree to get on a sea plane in the first place), I’d want to know the place is on par with the other options in the Maldives (as Greg pointed out in the post about the best points-bookable hotels and resorts in the world, that Waldorf looks pretty swanky). On the other hand, I’m sure that some folks will be thrilled to be able to dust off their Radisson points for a vacation in paradise and that makes sense also.
Funny side note, I noticed that the property already has 5 stars on Google. The Points Guy reports that it opened just eleven days ago on August 4th, 2020 but somehow the Radisson Blu Maldives resort still managed to get five star reviews five and six months ago. Just a friendly reminder: caveat emptor when it comes to Internet reviews.
Overall, I’m glad to see this place finally open. I’m shocked that it has opened at the present moment, but I guess better late than never? If the place looks as nice as the pictures, it certainly could be a nice use of Radisson points.