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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 Nov 1, 10, 3:45 pm
  #1  
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Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai [Master Thread]

DUBAI – November 1, 2010 – Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai will join Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. as the latest addition to its Luxury Collection portfolio, effective today. The resort will be renamed ‘Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai’, with Emirates retaining ownership of the resort and Starwood Hotels & Resorts overseeing the management of the property.

Designed and built following the principles of environmentally sustainable development, Al Maha has been at the forefront of conservation-based hospitality in the Middle East, for over 10 years. The resort was designed to recreate a Bedouin encampment spread across the vast dunes, featuring 42 secluded suites with tented roofs, floor-to-ceiling windows, marbled bathrooms, private deck and pool.

“A pioneer in the area of luxury conservation-based hospitality in the Middle East, Al Maha will be a valuable addition to The Luxury Collection,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group. “As a leading hotel management group, Starwood’s Luxury Collection brand represents some of the finest properties across the world, and with their extensive network, global infrastructure and history of successful brand management, we are confident that they will take Al Maha to even greater heights.”

“We are delighted to take over the management of the Al Maha Resort, extending our long-standing relationship with the Emirates Group and adding a spectacular hotel to the Luxury Collection portfolio in Dubai,” stated Roeland Vos, President of Starwood, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The addition of the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is symbolic of our continued focus to grow our portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts in the Middle East.”

Al Maha rests within the 225-square kilometre Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) one of the largest formally protected conservation reserves in the Gulf and is internationally recognised. The DDCR will continue to be sponsored and managed by Emirates. Al Maha was lauded for its efforts by the World Travel & Tourism Council earlier this year and was identified as the region’s leading sustainable eco-tourism development by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Surrounded by some of the region’s most spectacular landscape, rich with protected wildlife and filled with experiences of traditional Bedouin pastimes, Al Maha offers a sophisticated, yet simple and serene experience to its guests. Sunset camel rides, desert safaris, wildlife drives, horse-riding and falconry are all part of the unique indigenous experience at the resort as well as soothing massage treatments at its spa with an infinity pool overlooking the sands, scrub and mountains.

A discrete suite of meeting rooms is available for small boardroom and executive conferences and the resort has been acclaimed as the ultimate incentive destination.

In addition, the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa has taken on the mantle of a cultural treasure trove. Its initial collection of Arab antiques, artefacts and artworks acquired to fuel the Arabic experience in suites and public areas now expanded to more than 2,000 pieces covering carpets, tents, jewellery, brass coffee pots, camel bags and saddles as well as specially commissioned wildlife paintings.

The Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is Starwood’s second Luxury Collection hotel in the UAE, joining the iconic Grosvenor House Dubai, and third in the Middle East. Starwood Hotels & Resorts currently operates more than 50 hotels in the Middle East under eight of the company’s nine brands including: The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft. The company has plans to open additional luxury hotels under its Luxury Collection and St. Regis brands in the following destinations: Doha (Qatar), Abu Dhabi, Ajman, and Dubai (UAE), Aqaba (Jordan) and Manama (Bahrain).

This luxury all-suite resort will be a Category 7 participant in Starwood Preferred Guest.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
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Old Nov 2, 10, 3:31 am
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This is great news. Al Maha is a truly unique property.

I especially appriciate that new UAE properties are no longer allowed to opt out of SPG. Now you just need to get more of the current properties onboard.
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Old Nov 2, 10, 4:37 am
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Originally Posted by Starwood Lurker View Post
The Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is Starwood’s second Luxury Collection hotel in the UAE, joining the iconic Grosvenor House Dubai, and third in the Middle East.
Indeed, great news, however the Grosvenor House Dubai is not really an iconic property, basically it just an average true luxury hotel.
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Old Nov 2, 10, 4:48 am
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Category 7 I see, though to be honest it's probably a fair reflection. It's the ridiculous 5s and 6s elsewhere in Dubai/ UAE which are out of line.
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Old Nov 2, 10, 4:58 am
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This is wonderful news and will be a source of great SPG points income for me. However, I ask myself how they will deal with upgrades... What about Emirates in Wolgan Valley? SPG could need a nice place in Australia too.
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Old Nov 2, 10, 12:00 pm
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I know nothing about this property but a Cat 7 in Dubai is not something I will ever visit. Cat 6 on a FFWN yes however this is out of my ballpark and stay pattern. The more properties the better however.
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Old Nov 2, 10, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by schley View Post
I know nothing about this property but a Cat 7 in Dubai is not something I will ever visit. Cat 6 on a FFWN yes however this is out of my ballpark and stay pattern. The more properties the better however.
It is a real luxury resort, probably one of the most expensive and extravagant properties SPG offers. Not a business hotel at all. Rates between 1k and 2k USD per night are normal. And it is not only a Cat. 7 but a Cat 7 VILLA ONLY. However, it is worth every AED. The most unusual thing I ever experienced are their cooled swimming pools belonging to every villa.
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Old Nov 2, 10, 5:01 pm
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New Luxury Collection property, Al Maha Dubai

Starwood has taken over the management of the Emirates-owned Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa in Dubai, with the property now marketed under the group’s Luxury Collection portfolio.
News Article & hotel page
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Old Nov 2, 10, 5:04 pm
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Beat you to it by a day, thomas199023.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/starw...ollection.html

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
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Old Nov 5, 10, 6:07 am
  #10  
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Yes all fine and dandy.. but does this property participate in SPG programme? There are so many in UAE that do not because their owners feel that they can hold their own presence without the need for frequent guests...

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi for one... nice hotel but I won't stay there cos they're participarting in SPG. (But I guess I will now)..

Edited to add : That I see from the link above that UAE properties are not allowed to opt out of SPG? When did this occur?
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Old Nov 5, 10, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by Guy Betsy View Post
There are so many in UAE that do not because their owners feel that they can hold their own presence without the need for frequent guests...

Edited to add : That I see from the link above that UAE properties are not allowed to opt out of SPG? When did this occur?
Probably right after the Financial crisis hit Dubai and customers became more important again
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Old Nov 5, 10, 1:09 pm
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I remember reading previoulsy that the Le Meridiens in Dubai were in some long term agreements that precluded them from having to participate in the SPG program. They are gradually ending and as a result more will eventually participate in SPG. This is what I remember hearing. Anyone else with that info?

BTW although this property maybe managed by SPG it doesn't appear you get any stay credits or points for stays as a limited participation hotel. I can appreciate the fact that it is a point redemption option although it appears to be 40k per night? I know you have to call to redeem. If anyone knows for sure please post.
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Old Dec 26, 10, 9:36 pm
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Originally Posted by schley View Post
I remember reading previoulsy that the Le Meridiens in Dubai were in some long term agreements that precluded them from having to participate in the SPG program. They are gradually ending and as a result more will eventually participate in SPG. This is what I remember hearing. Anyone else with that info?

BTW although this property maybe managed by SPG it doesn't appear you get any stay credits or points for stays as a limited participation hotel. I can appreciate the fact that it is a point redemption option although it appears to be 40k per night? I know you have to call to redeem. If anyone knows for sure please 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?

Does it now mean you can collect points there according to the normal rules.
Are platinum and other spg benefits like upgrade honored?
Also concerning redeeming points - anybody knows exactly how many points you need for one night - i guess it will be more than 35 or 40K, since this is a resort with full board and other activities. Can anybody put some light into this, since i am planning to use this resort soon.

On the positive side - i just noticed i can use my companies set code in this resort which gives me a 10% discount on all rates, not too shappy considering one night is a bit more than 1000 Euros.....
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Old Dec 26, 10, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Guy Betsy View Post
Yes all fine and dandy.. but does this property participate in SPG programme? There are so many in UAE that do not because their owners feel that they can hold their own presence without the need for frequent guests...

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi for one... nice hotel but I won't stay there cos they're participarting in SPG. (But I guess I will now)..

Edited to add : That I see from the link above that UAE properties are not allowed to opt out of SPG? When did this occur?
Westin Dubai Mina seyahi still not participating in SPG and therefore off the list for me.....worked to hard for my plat status this year...
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Old Dec 27, 10, 12:25 pm
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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?

Does it now mean you can collect points there according to the normal rules.
Are platinum and other spg benefits like upgrade honored?
Also concerning redeeming points - anybody knows exactly how many points you need for one night - i guess it will be more than 35 or 40K, since this is a resort with full board and other activities. Can anybody put some light into this, since i am planning to use this resort soon...
When you click on the link titled Limited Participation, it says this:

All rooms at Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai are villas; therefore, Starpoint Award reservations must be booked at a higher Starpoint rate through your local customer contact center.

Which explains what is meant by limited participation. In this case, you have to call the Customer Contact Center to book award rooms. The property is "limited" only in that award rooms cannot be booked online.

Best regards,

William R. Sanders
Online Guest Feedback Coordinator
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

[email protected]
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