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Last week when Rob Burgess flagged the amazing redemption value of Al Wadi resort — all villas with their own private pools that is part of Marriott — I went ahead and made a booking for an upcoming brief stay in the UAE.
The hotel is in Ras Al-Khaimah, less than an hour’s drive from Dubai and somewhat longer from Abu Dhabi where I’ll be flying in and out of. It used to be a Banyan Tree and now it’s part of Ritz-Carlton.
This hotel costs just 40,000 Marriott Rewards points per night. Starwood points transfer to Marriott. So I had about 48,000 Marriott points in my account. I transferred 24,000 Starwood points over (at 1-to-3), and that gave me 120,000 Marriott points which is enough for 3 nights.
You can even choose an enclosed pool villa for the same points.
Every room at the hotel is a villa with a private pool, starting at 1700 square feet. Paid rates seem to run about $600 or more per night.
The property is part of a 247 acre nature reserve. And it’s going to make me eat my words. When the news of Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood broke, I told the New York Times that Marriott just didn’t offer properties of Starwood’s quality — there was no place that offered falconry. And that isn’t true anymore!
Here, you can begin the day with bird-watching, observe an Arabian Oryx basking in the sun, watch as a baby gazelle takes its unsteady steps and follow the tracks of geckos, beetles, hares and foxes with a guided nature walk. Whether it’s an introduction to falconry or archery, a fishing expedition or a seat within a camel caravan, our resort can create an itinerary that speaks to your interests and curiosities.
I’m looking forward to my booking for sure.
Generating the points for a stay here:
- You can earn more than enough points for two nights here with the signup bonus from the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card. If a couple is traveling together, both could sign up for the card and earn four nights.
- Alternatively, you could sign up for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express to earn enough points for four nights.
- And you can always top off a Marriott Rewards account with points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card — and from the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card which offers a bonus that lets you earn 80,000 points.