Hilton

An exceptional new Middle East beach redemption using Marriott Rewards or SPG points

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Long-term readers of Head for Points will remember that last year I visited The Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi desert resort in Ras Al-Khaimah about 60 minutes drive from Dubai International Airport.

The standard ‘room’ at Al Wadi Desert is the 1,700 square foot Al Rimal villa.  This is potentially bigger than where you live now.  All villas come with a private pool.

You can book Al Wadi for just 50,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.  To put this in context, I value a Marriott point at 0.5p usually, yet Al Wadi sells for over £600 per night including taxes at peak periods.  That implies a valuation of 1.2p per Marriott Rewards point or 3.6p per Starwood Preferred Guest points (they transfer at 1:3 into Marriott).

Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach resort Ras Al Khaimah

But what if you don’t want to stay in the desert ….

The Ritz-Carlton has thought of you too!  It has opened, just down the road in Ras Al-Khaimah, The Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra Beach resortAnd it looks stunning.

Imagine a beach resort with just 32 rooms …..

…. except that each room is actually a private villa with its own private pool …..

…. and that these villas line the beach and are all 180 square metres (including the outdoor area)

Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach resort Ras Al Khaimah

It all sounds horribly expensive, doesn’t it?  By the standards of Dubai it is actually fairly reasonable – over October half term you are looking at £600 per night including taxes.

It makes far more sense, of course, to use Marriott Rewards points.

Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach resort Ras Al Khaimah

The Ritz-Carlton Al Hamra is just 50,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.  This gets you 1.2p per Marriott Rewards points and 3.6p per Starwood Preferred Guest point.

Due to the Marriott Rewards ‘five nights for the points of four’ deal, it gets even better value on longer stays.

The only slight downside is that, as it is a The Ritz-Carlton branded hotel, you won’t get free breakfast whatever your status in Marriott Rewards.

Ritz Carlton Al Hamra Beach resort Ras Al Khaimah

If you combined a few days at Al Hamra with a few days at Al Wadi you would have a very interesting – and cheap, with Marriott Rewards points – two centre Middle East holiday.  There is also a more traditional Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al-Khaimah which I reviewed here and which I also recommend if you want to add on a few nights at somewhere ‘buzzier’.

I have booked into Al Hamra on points for a couple of nights in October so, if my plans don’t change, I will be able to check it out first hand.  In the meantime, here are some TripAdvisor reviewsThe hotel website is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: 50% 'buy Avios' bonus - good deal?, Marriott points with London house rentals, £264 Virgin fares to Dubai
Bits: Virgin's new afternoon tea in pictures, new Oman Air First Class suite, £20 off Opodo flights
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Comments

  1. Sorry old boy, but up north, 1700 square feet is the size of my loo ????

  2. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Double Tree in Ras is also very good. As a Diamond we got a poolside cabana for free for the duration. Staff kept it clean and unoccupied for us throughout.

  3. Dont forget if you redeem 4 nights you get the 5th for free – bringing it down to just 40,000 pts (13,333 SPG) per night. Exceptionally good value and all the more reason to buy SPG points under the current sale

  4. 180 square meters is the total size of the room, including the outdoors are. Looking at the floorplan, the room is far, far less. Just something to be aware of

  5. Andrew says:

    Do you expect this to go up in points cost after 1st Aug?

    • As nothing will be higher than 60k – and currently Ritz-Carlton rewards go to 70k so this is well down the list – I doubt it. It may be higher in January when peak pricing is introduced.

      • BlueHorizonUK says:

        My conundrum continues….lol

        Do I stick with my Tier 1-3 package or have to upgrade to Tier 4-5 as I want to book RC Dubai and it looks like its going down in price.

  6. Could be some value here to utilise the current 35% bonus on buying SPG points. 20k @ £324 = 25k.

  7. BlueHorizonUK says:

    According to TPG he has a quote from Marriott saying the advance booking feature is here to stay and will expand to SPG hotels in August. This is the ability to book redemption rooms without having all the points available at time of booking.

    Great news!

  8. OT – does Hilton still provide Gold benefits to non-direct (Agoda) bookings? Thanks

  9. Luthar says:

    I think the advanced booking feature was always available. I’ve read this comment on alot of sites, but I’ve used it several times. I suppose the only difference is that I had to make the booking over the phone.

  10. Related….What is the best redemption in Dubai for 3 adults and 3 kids? I have SPG and hilton points. Thinking of taking a detour on our way to/from RSA/Mauritius.

  11. Nabeel says:

    Can you only purchase 30k Starwood points a year ?

  12. Nabeel says:

    Also if you redeem spg points 20k onto Marriott points do you still get the 5k bonus ?

  13. So have I got this right? 420,000 Marriott Rewards points gets me 7 nights here plus 120,000 Avios. I can use the Avios to get two return business class flights from Inverness on a BA 241.

  14. Jamie says:

    Has 5th night free on SATURDAY G disappeared?! Was going to book in San Fran and it’s not coming up!

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