Welcome to the latest edition of Luxury Locations, a series where we show you how you can enjoy free perks and complimentary extras at hotels around the world.


Plummeting temperatures and gloomy mornings suggest winter is well and truly on its way. But that needn’t be the end of the sunshine. If you needed a reason to grab a quick warm weather break before Christmas, this edition of Luxury Locations has all the options, with the spotlight turning to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai

Al Maha Desert Reserve

Xexec Amenities:

  • One 100 USD food and beverage credit per room, per stay
  • Daily buffet breakfast for two guests
  • Complimentary standard in-room internet access
  • Guest will also receive daily lunch and dinner for two guests
  • Upgrade on arrival, early check-in and late check-out which are all subject to availability
  • Complimentary fourth night for stays through March 31, 2018 when booked by March 20, 2019.

Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai

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Xexec Amenities:

  • One 100 USD spa services credit per room, per stay
  • Daily buffet breakfast for two guests
  • Complimentary standard in-room internet access
  • Upgrade on arrival, early check-in and late check-out which are all subject to availability

Xexec Amenities:

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant
  • Food and beverage credit of USD100
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites, villas, and private residences)
  • Welcome note at check-in acknowledging you and your travel agency and the amenities that are being extended
  • Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms; complimentary premium Internet in all suites.

 The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

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Xexec Amenities:

  • One 100 USD spa service credit per room, per stay
  • Daily buffet breakfast for two guests
  • Complimentary standard in-room internet access
  • Upgrade on arrival, early check-in and late check-out which are all subject to availability

Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

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Xexec Amenities:

  • Rate inclusive daily buffet breakfast
  • Late check-out till 4pm
  • Early check-in after 11am subject to availability
  • Upgrade policy subject to availability at check-in only for room categories, does not apply to Suites and Villas
  • Rate includes wi-fi internet access

At all of the following hotels, the rate you would book would be the Best Available Rate (BAR), which is a flexible and cancellable rate. While you may find this to be more expensive than a non-refundable Advanced Purchase rate, the complimentary benefits provided will usually greatly exceed any differential.

A great example, which is relevant at most hotels of this calibre, is breakfast. At high-end hotels, it’s not unusual for breakfast to exceed $50 per person. Over the course of a 5-night stay, the complimentary breakfast benefit alone could well save you over £400.

Details of how to book these hotels with the benefits mentioned can be found at the bottom of the page.


How to get there

Of course, accommodation is only half the fun. In this section, I’ll be taking a look at some of the more creative ways using points to get to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in style!

1.) Etihad – London to Abu Dhabi

This has to be one of the best, if not the best way to travel to that part of the world. Etihad flies the Airbus A380 between London and Abu Dhabi which features their sublime First Class Apartments. 

You have a number of options open to you in terms of using miles for this route. You can either book using Etihad Guest miles. A one-way trip in First costs roughly 86,500 miles + £300 of taxes. Their excellent Business Class studio is also available for 65,000 miles and approx £250 in taxes.

There are numerous ways to earn Etihad Guest miles in the UK:

  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • HSBC Reward points, SPG points
  • Heathrow Rewards points
  • Etihad Guest Credit Card – issued by MBNA

As an added incentive, Etihad has just launched their semi-regular partner transfer bonus. You will receive a 20% bonus when transferring Heathrow Rewards and HSBC Reward points to Etihad Guest before 31st October 2017. It appears Amex MR points and SPG points are excluded this time around. 

Alternatively, you can redeem American Airlines (AA) miles for Etihad flights. A one-way flight between London and Abu Dhabi costs 62,500 AA miles.

You can earn AA miles via SPG points transfers. Don’t forget that Starwood will give you an additional, free 5,000 miles when you transfer 20,000 points to an airline. This means that a one-way flight would cost ‘just’ 52,500 SPG points. MBNA also issues a UK AA credit card that allows you to accumulate miles that way. This card carries a 5,000 miles sign-up bonus at present.

2.) Emirates – London to Dubai

The other key option, of course, is to fly to Dubai on Emirates. A one-way First Class flight using Emirates (own) Skywards miles is 85,000 miles + £460 in taxes. Alternatively, a Business Class flight is 62,500 miles + more or less the same taxes.

There are numerous ways to earn Etihad Guest miles in the UK:

  • Amex Membership Rewards
  • Heathrow Rewards
  • SPG points
  • One of the two UK Emirates credit cards issued by MBNA.

3.) Lufthansa – Frankfurt to Dubai

If you are craving your First Class Terminal fix or feel like adding to your Lufthansa rubber duck collection, you could always go via Frankfurt.

Lufthansa only releases First Class availability to Star Alliance partners 14 days before departure. If you want to lock something in before that, seats can be booked using their own Miles and More miles. Miles & More charges 62,000 miles each way in First Class + £200 in taxes. Business class costs just 35,000 miles one-way.

You can earn Miles & More miles via SPG points transfers or their MBNA-issued credit card. The sign-up bonus is a paltry 1,500 miles currently – but 15,000 bonuses have been known to come along.


To book any of the hotels mentioned today or for any of your general travel queries:

Phone: +442032016483

Email: travel@xexec.com and put Luxury Locations in the subject line.

Or fill out the contact form below:

 

 

 

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