New Marriott Category 5 Maldives hotel: Le Meridien Maldives (use free night certs!)


Travis Cormier at Mile Value has flagged an exciting find: the Le Meridien Maldives Resort & Spa is taking reservations as of September 2021 and it is a Marriott Bonvoy Category 5 property with no resort fee! That means that you can potentially use 35K free night certificates like those that come with the various $95 Marriott credit cards or the 40K certificate you can choose with 75-night Titanium status. It even looks like you can choose between a large beach bungalow and a sunrise overwater villa for 35K points per night standard (or 30K off-peak / 40K peak). That could be a great way to use up free night certificates for someone who is comfortable traveling to the Maldives this year.

a screenshot of a web page

Note that like most resorts in the Maldives, you’ll need to take an additional flight from Male (the capital where international flights arrive) to get to Le Meridien Maldives. The fee for the seaplane transfer is a Maldives-reasonable $420 per person round trip. Let’s be clear: that’s not a reasonable price for a 30-minute flight, it’s a reasonable price for a Maldives sea plane transfer (it is even more expensive to get to many Maldives resorts from Male).

Since the hotel has no resort fee and Platinum members and above should get free breakfast, this could really be a steal for someone looking to go to the Maldives without blowing a ton of points. While I imagine the St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton properties are significantly nicer, those properties typically cost 400K points for 5 nights if you find a standard room available. Contrast that with 5 nights at Le Meridien, which could be as few as 120K points off-peak.

a screenshot of a computer

When a single hotel credit card bonus can get you 5 nights in the Maldives in an overwater villa, that’s pretty amazing.

Obviously you’ll have to consider whether or not traveling all the way to the Maldives makes sense for you. In a world of uncertain travel, it’s hard to predict where things will stand five or six months from now in terms of both vaccines and travel, but if you’re willing to take a swing at it, this looks like it could be a solid deal.

Note the cancellation deadline if you choose to make a reservation. The dates I checked had a 7-day cancellation deadline, but I’ve seen deadlines are far out as 90 days in some high-demand areas, so you should always check the details in advance.

Overall, this is certainly an interesting opportunity – particularly given how many of us are sitting on a lot of free night certificates.

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Nothing there for 2022. Have they not opened booking up for that yet.


For snorkelers / divers, be warned that it takes time for the reef around a new resort to recover from the sediment and debris created by construction.

Yusuf Hakim

There is a video of the Reef on flyertalk.


The Ritz and St Regis charge about $900’ish and $700ish for the seaplane last time I checked. I always laugh on various forums when folks are concerned about getting free breakfast or resort fees but many clearly haven’t researched these properties enough to know about the seaplane transfer costs. I know food is expensive there but those transfers are very expensive for what it is.

Kenneth Tran

1,140.00 USD Taxes and fees160,000 Points

This for 5 nights.


Looks like there is a $450 per person event charge for bookings around Christmas and NYE. Could explain the above pricing.


exactly, so taxes/fees came to 1800 for 2 ppl Dec 31-Jan 5


It is NOT taxes / fees. You guys are not properly reading it. It clearly says “Transfer / Transportation Charge” when you try to book.


distinction without a difference. The whole point here is to drum up enthusiasm for Amex/Marriott by doing the gee whiz, look how “cheap” these over the water bungalos are… All well and good to blare, “no resort fees”….. but then still have to factor in $1k in (whatever) fees required to get there. Same for the “free” breakfast (if you have platinum), but can only guess how steep the food fare will be at such company resort areas….. (and before I get tarred with, but it’s still a “relative bargain,” then I’d do the ole’ TIF Drew Macomber….. blinking…. ) Show me how to pay for all these extra fees & expenses via cc this and that, then I’ll be more interested.


Did you read the above? It answers your comment. The “$1k or whatever to get there” you are talking about is already built into the price. Note the “Transfer / Transportation charge” when you book. Did you try to book yet? Go ahead and try and you will see that it answers your comment.


Nick – do you know what the “Transfer / Transportation charge of $1,260” covers? Is that the seaplane? I am about to book, or call the hotel to ask. If it covers the sea plane, then I am booking!


I see that, but on there it clearly states “Transfer / Transportation Charge for $1,260″ and then reflects “1,350.00 USD + 120,000 Points.” So then the question is, do we still get charged for the sea lift? Or is that included in the “transportation charge?” What does this transportation charge actually include? If it is the sealift, then I say it is worth booking.

Yusuf Hakim

Next frequent miler on the air title: Greg spending 2 weeks in the Maldives with his free night certs, how crazy do you think this elderly guy is?

Yusuf Hakim

Booked! At least 2.5 cents per dollar value, I have to earn 114k more points still, points advance is cool.


2,5 cents per dollar? I’d be really happy to sell you millions of cents at that rate! 😉

Yusuf Hakim

Haha per point.


any concern that they might change the category or the peak/off peak by the time you earn enough points? The text says the point rate isn’t locked in until you apply the points.

Yusuf Hakim

Well if your dates are already peak, there’s some risk they change categories only. Less risk of that happening in months then peak pricing. However, it is bonvoy after all…we just never know. The term bonvoyed comes to mind


Deal Killer! LOL!

You’re a naughty boy Nick!