The Best Giveaway I’ve Ever Done, Comment Here for Chance to Win 2 Nights at Al Maha!

I’m going to visit Al Maha Desert Resort next month. Lucky called it his favorite Starwood Starpoints redemption ever. It’s an all-inclusive with standalone villas and infinity pools in the desert outside Dubai where rates can exceed $1700 per night and is consistently deemed one of the world’s best properties on TripAdvisor.

For bookings made by March 8 Starwood is offering awards there for ‘only’ 39,000 points a night instead of the usual 60,000. And I’m going to use some of my points there.

And I’m going to give away a couple of nights there, too! And it’s thanks to Luxury Travel Diary.

Luxury Travel Diary is a high-end travel blog with great reviews based in the UK that has a bunch of travel auctions with real bargains.

I suppose that folks who already know about these auctions don’t like this added attention, because frankly there aren’t enough bidders relative to the value of the offerings and some of these items go too cheap.

Luxury Travel Diary wanted to highlight some of their deals, and offered to help organize a giveaway of a 2 night hotel stay at Al Maha Desert Resort. As I said, it’s an inclusive resort. So you get breakfast, lunch and dinner. That even includes room service. And you even get two desert activities per night stay at the property. This is a giveaway worth ~ $3000 or 78,000 – 120,000 Starwood points.

To enter: leave a comment on this post with your favorite item up for auction at Luxury Travel Diary, or why you would choose to stay at Al Maha Desert Resort. You may enter two times if you wish and answer those two questions one time each in separate comments.

Contest deadline and drawing winner: Entries close Friday, January 29 at Noon eastern. I will draw winner with the assistance of

The fine print: The winner will be able to pick when to redeem the nights within 6 months. It’s not available on public holidays, Eid, Christmas and New Years (both of which are beyond 6 months anyway, but in the terms I was given). Advance booking is required and it’s subject to availability.

For avoidance of doubt, my own stay next month is paid for with my points. I have no affiliation with Luxury Travel Diary or Al Maha Desert Resort. I am not getting anything in exchange for running this giveaway other than an opportunity to share the place with readers.

I will put the winner in touch with the hotel for booking. They are solely responsible for providing prize to winner. All decisions made in the course of running this giveaway are final and unappealable and your entry signifies your acceptance. The goal here is to make readers aware of a pretty cool auction opportunity, and to give away a stay. So please don’t make it hard on me for doing so!

You probably won’t fly to Dubai and back for a 2 night stay, though you might add onto it and do other things in the region (great opportunity to spend American AAdvantage miles and fly Etihad first class at 90,000 miles each way before the March 22 devaluation, and Etihad even provides a car service anywhere in the UAE… or to spend Alaska miles and fly Emirates).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I’ve been to Al Maha a couple of times. Why would I choose to go back? The best part for me is the staff!

  2. I’ve looked over the Luxury Travel auctions, and if I were in a position to bid I’d go for 2 Nights In A Luxury Apartment In Florence. Absolutely love Florence, it’s been forever since my last visit, and I’d love to go back!

  3. I have always wanted to visit Dubai, and staying at the Al Maha Desert Resort would be doing it in style, the resort looks amazing and would be a perfect getaway for my wife and I.

  4. I would love to stay at All Maha because I have never been to that part of the world and would love to spend my first time in this amazing place

  5. I would like to stay at Al Maha to see the night sky and experience the sound of the desert at night.

  6. The best auction I’ve seen on the Luxury Travel website is the resort in the Maldives because that is the most beautiful place in the world.

  7. I have always wanted to visit Dubai and the Al Maha Desert Resort looks absolutely spectacular! Luxurious accommodations with access to cultural activities and day trips, a great way to both relax and soak in local culture.

  8. I would stay at the Al Maha Desert Resort because it’s in Dubi which I’ve heard amazing things about with regards to visiting. Yes the resort has a perfect rating on tripadvisor, which I’ve never seen before (novice here), but getting a chance to stay in a wonderful resort in a new place that I would get to explore is why I travel. More so for the exploration part.

  9. My favorite Item right now on the auction site would be 3 Luxury Nights By The Beach In Tropea, Italy. I really could write a book up on why Italy just keeps getting better and better every time I visit but I think I can sum it up to 3 reasons.

    1) Food
    2) Wine
    3) Please refer to 2

  10. Just looking at the site for a, private Water Villa at Huma Island Resort & Spa, offered release and a exhale in my soul . I know a stay at the, Al Maha Desert Resort, will also be a joy to someones heart. Thanks to all involved who are going to make this a wonderful experience for someone:)

  11. I will be bidding on 3 Luxury Nights At The Iconic Santorini, Greece. Santorini is amazing, and I am hoping to visit it again this summer.

  12. The Al Maha has been on my list for months now to get to! Want to go because I love how you can pick two activities a day (dune buggies and sunset camel ride anyone?!)

  13. Staying at the Al Maha resort would be a window into a different world! This would be a unique and fabulous experience.

  14. Two nights at the Grand Hyatt Singapore! It is a lovely hotel in the heart of the city and a beautiful place to stay.

  15. I have always wanted to visit Dubai, this is the perfect opportunity to stay near Dubai in style and complete luxury! Also I absolutely love all inclusive resorts!

  16. I would love the auction for 4 nights at the Vintage Luxury Yacht Hotel, Myanmar! I think its a different luxury experience I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of, but I know I would enjoy!

  17. The best reason to stay at Al Maha would be because it’s one of the best Starwood redemptions ever!

  18. It’s a tough choice for favorite item up for auction at Luxury Travel Diary. Torn between the 7 nights in the DR and 8 nights in Sri Lanka. In the end, the Dominican Republic wins because we can have a group of six and the flight is shorter, but either would be a fantastic trip! They are both beautiful and would be absolute paradise to stay at!

  19. And for my 2nd entry, who wouldn’t want to stay 2 nights at Al Maha? Place looks incredible.

  20. Staying at the Al Maha would be a spectacular experience! I’ve always wanted to visit the Middle East.

  21. Definitely 2 nights in Florence. The city was just so charming, so perfect. And the food! OMG, don’t even get me started. Luxury Travel Auctions, you can make my year!

  22. Al-Maha looks awesome. I always wanted to visit Dubai. this might be the trip I was waiting for.

  23. The auction item that would be my favorite would be the 7 nights at the Aquila Porto Rethymno in Crete sounds amazing– have been meaning to make my way to the Mediterranean!

  24. At the same time, Al Maha looks, sounds, (and if Lucky is to be believed) is, heaven on earth. Now that truly would be enchanting.

  25. Would love to go to the Al Maha Desert Resort– looks and sounds amazing! And if Gary and Lucky give it the thumbs up that’s enough for me.

  26. I would definitely bid on the two night in a luxury apart in Florence, as we would like to go back to Florence again and again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *