October 23, 2016

Return to Al Maha: Introduction

Planning & Booking
British Airways First Class 747-400 Denver to London
British Airways Concorde Room
British Airways First Class 747-400 London to Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai
Park Hyatt Dubai
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa Abu Dhabi
Etihad Airways First Class 777-200LR Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles

I'm still in the middle of writing trip reports from our RTW adventure in August, I'm getting excited about our next trip and wanted to get the introductory post out.  We spent a couple of days at Al Maha  last year and vowed to return as soon as possible.  Of all the hotels we've been around the world, Al Maha is the most unique, special, and we've both lusted after returning for a year.

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa Dubai

When Starwood ran their 35% off resort sale (still ongoing) I quickly made a speculative booking at Al Maha.  When Marriott and Starwood completed their merger and enabled (amazing!) instant movement of Marriott and SPG points, I moved enough Marriott points to my Starwood account to book a second night at Al Maha.

Beyond that, I had to find flights and a few other hotels.  I had a British Airways travel together ticket burning a hole in my pocket which I was able to leverage to get us all the way from Denver to Dubai in first class.  We'll get to fly direct from Denver for the second time on British Airways as well as return to the Concorde Room.

17,343 miles home to Dubai and back.  Courtesy of the Great Circle Mapper
In Dubai, we've got a quick overnight planned at the JW Marriott Marquis, two nights at Al Maha, and two nights at the Park Hyatt Dubai planned before we head down to Abu Dhabi for a night at the Hyatt Capital Gate.  I was able to secure all of the hotel nights with points.  I used a Hyatt fee night certificate at the Capital Gate property from my Hyatt Chase credit card.

Al Maha Dubai desert sunset
On the return, I was able to find two seats in Etihad first class (no apartment availability unfortunately) from Abu Dhabi to LAX.  At the moment, this is the fourth longest flight in the world and I'm excited to review Etihad's "other" first class product.  From there, we'll fly Delta direct from LAX to Denver to close out the trip.

We cannot wait to return to Al Maha.  At $1500/night, it is far out of reach for us.  But at 39,000 points per night, we can swing it.  Still pricey, but totally worth it.  Stay tuned for the Planning & Booking section and the  actual trip report next month!

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