Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

An astonishing hotel deal for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next month

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

I met with a Marriott executive in the Middle East yesterday (I don’t even have a proper holiday when I go on holiday ….) and he told me something which I didn’t quite believe but which turns out to be true.

If you follow the hotel ‘scene’ you may know that there is a hotel built across the Formula 1 track in Abu Dhabi on Yas Island.

It looks like this:

The hotel was operated by Viceroy but recently taken over by Marriott.  It is currently being operated as part of The Autograph Collection of boutique hotels, under the name Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi, but will relaunch as a ‘W’ in the New Year following renovations.

The website is here if you want to find out more.

Anyway …. I was told that, despite rooms over the Grand Prix weekend selling for astronomical prices there was still reward availability.

This sounded crazy.  But he was right.

You need to book a 3-night minimum stay over the Grand Prix weekend, from Friday 23rd November to Monday 26th November.  Saturday check-in is not allowed.   The race is Sunday.

There are no ‘track view’ rooms still for sale but there are rooms on the other side overlooking the marina.

Here is the cash rate for the cheapest room.  It is non-refundable, as are all rooms over the F1 weekend:

To save you getting your calculator out, Dhs 25,047 is £5,287.  Bargain.  If you want to be in the main building nearer the track, you will pay even more.

However, this is what you get if you book the main building by the track with Marriott Rewards / SPG points:

The 3-night package costs you just 75,000 Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest points, which I value at £375.

Quite a saving, to put it mildly.  Now, flights are not going to be a bargain although with all the options into Dubai and Abu Dhabi (a taxi from Dubai to the hotel will only be around £40 and will take an hour) it probably won’t be as bad as you think.

Assuming you don’t want to buy a race ticket, you should do some research into exactly what viewpoint the hotel can offer you of the circuit as your room will be on the marina side.  On the face of it, though, this is an amazing opportunity for any serious F1 fan. 

The Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi website is here.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (January 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

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

Comments (41)

  • Graham WalshWalsh says:

    OT I’ve had a reply from Virgin now regarding my cancelled flight due to technical issues. They sent me a link to refund the CP T4 stay. They have asked the refund department to issue a refund the on the downgrade from PE to Economy in terms of taxes paid (to the original card – but that is probably churned). As I used 2 of the the Amex Econ > PE upgrade vouchers, they have extended one of them until April 2019.

    Firstly one PE upgrade voucher is useless to me as I want to travel with other.

    I don’t see any mention of cash compensation for the delay of 14 hours to my destination and losing a day of my holiday. I thought they would offer something under EU261 or do they say the refunds etc are it?

  • Bonglim says:

    I heard that this hotel had a lot of traffic noise, particularly that weekend.
    People driving around like they think they are on a race track or something!

    • ankomonkey says:

      You could complain to management about the traffic noise and see if you get a refund…

  • Andy says:

    I stayed here last year a week before the F1 and it was awesome, ended up only costing around £80 per night too and got upgraded to a huge end suite on level 8 just to the left of that bridge in pic. You can also cycle round track for free certain nights which was a great experience. Great bar and pool on top level and nice restaurant at the local Golf Course next door.