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Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai [Master Thread]

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai [Master Thread]

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Old Feb 10, 11, 1:00 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Germany
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Quick trip report Al Maha Luxury Collection Desert Resort Dubai as Platinum

I just stayed 2 nights as a Platinum at the Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai which is since November 2010 managed by Starwood as part of their Luxury collection portfolio.

First the setting in the desert is breathtaking. Rate was at my company's rate which is a 10% discount on the best available rates. I can use these rates also for private trips. Of course the hotel is very expensive, as they are only suites which are build as sort of free standing bungalows in form of a bedouin tent ( they are several 2 bedroom suites and a royal and presidential suite). All accomodations have their private plunge pool which is of a good size with a large sun deck and free views of the desert and their wildlife.

The plan for all rates is Full American board with three meals + afternoon tea/coffee. Only drinks are extra, prices for drinks were not too expensive, i found them quite reasonable for Dubai. Also included are " so called two experiences per day, you can choose from Falconery, desert drives and walks and of course Dune bashing drives in a four by four wheel drive, they are very thrilling but also you will easily "vomit".... if you are sensitive, have seen quite some people doing so. For some of the experiences such as falconery e.g. you have to get up very early in the morning around 6 am, as the birds can only fly when the temperature is cooler.

The quality of the food is good, (morning breaffast and lunch buffet, at lunch alsoa nice small a la carte menu , evening is a la carte fine dining you can also pre -order a nice arabic or sri-lankan set menu...) Quality is quite good.

Each room ( suite) is assigned his personal guest coordinator + a personal activity coordinator for the experiences. The activity coordinator are currently experienced field guides from South Africa who have worked there in the national parks - nice guys!!!

This place shines through their employees and the related service, very friendly people, and nothing is too much for them.

Platinum recognition: --> you get the choice of 500 points or a local gift, choose the points, of course you do not get any upgrades - as it is already suites and not many categories are available, and believe me the standard suite category called bedouin suite is already stunning. One good thing for plats is that you receive something called "special service" .e.g we always had our private car alone for the experiences, whereas other cars had to be shared by two couples quite nice.

Overall a very nice experience, although the place is expensive... count for one day in high season with a price of about 1350 - 1500 USD>

If any specific questions, pls send me private message. I will try to post later pictures.
ThWilmesi is offline  
Old Feb 10, 11, 4:21 pm
  #17  
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Great reports.
Now that it is part of the Starwood fold, I was considering a stopover in Dubai to visit the property. The review comes timely. Thanks again.
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Old Feb 11, 11, 1:47 am
  #18  
 
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Nice report, I had a look at Al Maha resort (I'm a frequent traveller to Dubai) but it seems too expensive for Dubai too, I told my wife once when we knew about this property "Do you want this or the Maldives?", I'd rather pay a less amount on a resort at the Maldives.
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Old Feb 11, 11, 5:11 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
Nice report, I had a look at Al Maha resort (I'm a frequent traveller to Dubai) but it seems too expensive for Dubai too, I told my wife once when we knew about this property "Do you want this or the Maldives?", I'd rather pay a less amount on a resort at the Maldives.
well i think this resort and maldives cannot be compared...the life in the desert is fascinatiing... but very clear... i feel that staying at the Al Maha Resort 2-3 days is more than sufficient otherwise you get bored... but so can be also in the Maldives
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Old Feb 11, 11, 12:25 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by LovetoTravel83 View Post
Nice report, I had a look at Al Maha resort (I'm a frequent traveller to Dubai) but it seems too expensive for Dubai too, I told my wife once when we knew about this property "Do you want this or the Maldives?", I'd rather pay a less amount on a resort at the Maldives.
Apples to oranges except for the price tag, which is similiar.
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Old Mar 17, 11, 10:44 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I only realized this was now an SPG property when I entered the SPG competion currently running and saw it as a nominee for best exotic location! I stayed here with Mrs Ma in 2006 on a great trip where we spent 4 nights at Burj al Arab and 3 nights here. The place was truly out of this world... it rightly cannot be compared to most other SPG properties. I would not go there expecting to get normal plat benefits of upgrades etc. But each "Boudin" was amazing anyway, multi room cottages with private pools in the backyard overlooking the desert. Some very cool and fun activities - the highlight for us definitely being the 4x4 riding across the sand dunes, very exhilirating! Nice to know if we ever go back we'd earn SPG points. I think back in the day we spent about $1k per night here, and Burj was about $2k per night and personally I prefered Al Maha. Wonderful addition to SPG and hopefully the luxury collection will grow with more of these kind of unique experience resorts
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Old Mar 23, 11, 9:59 am
  #22  
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i believe this is only luxury all-inclusive (tented camp) in any hotel program

rates are down under starwood

past guests shouldnt expect same experience
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Old Apr 3, 11, 4:35 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by ThWilmesi View Post
Just bumping up the thread, question for one of the Lurkers....

On the SPG site it says that the AL maha resort - it has limited participation in the SPG program and it is a category 7 product, so?

- anybody knows exactly how many points .
Further to the above, anybody know how many points for this property, in June?
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Old Apr 4, 11, 4:05 am
  #24  
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i stayed here a couple of years ago & its an amazing property....i'm now tempted to extend my next dubai trip by a couple of days so that i can stay here again....
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Old Apr 9, 11, 11:42 am
  #25  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Originally Posted by blueline7 View Post
Further to the above, anybody know how many points for this property, in June?
I found out that it was 60 k points when i had an online chat with SPG customer service, in case anyone is interested...

Now my new question is whether a 4x4 vehicle is required to get there, as I saw something about that on Tripadvisor. I was planning on using EK's chauffeur service both ways....
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Old Apr 9, 11, 12:54 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by blueline7 View Post
Now my new question is whether a 4x4 vehicle is required to get there, as I saw something about that on Tripadvisor. I was planning on using EK's chauffeur service both ways....
No problem. It is pretty much hard roads up to the fences of the resort. From there you will be taken by a 4*4 resort vehicle (albeit this could be done with a normal vehicle too). Emirates will certainly know, because this property is an Emirates property.
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Old Apr 10, 11, 11:30 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
No problem. It is pretty much hard roads up to the fences of the resort. From there you will be taken by a 4*4 resort vehicle (albeit this could be done with a normal vehicle too). Emirates will certainly know, because this property is an Emirates property.
Thanks so much for your reply and information!
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Old Jan 5, 12, 10:06 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by blueline7 View Post
I found out that it was 60 k points when i had an online chat with SPG customer service, in case anyone is interested...
Was just told 140K per night for a 1-night stay in March!!!
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Old Jan 5, 12, 10:38 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by nabeelj View Post
Was just told 140K per night for a 1-night stay in March!!!
What? Jeepers, Peak awards and all suite cat 7 property and any other multiplier they can add. Are you booking the presidential suite or what?
schley is offline  
Old Jan 5, 12, 10:58 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by schley View Post
What? Jeepers, Peak awards and all suite cat 7 property and any other multiplier they can add. Are you booking the presidential suite or what?
Nope, basic bedouin suite, but supposedly lunch/dinner included (mandatory). Was told it's the SPG7SU rate code.

Quite pathetic, in my opinion.
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