Update: You can no longer transfer American Express Points into Jumeirah Sirius Rewards points as of 7/31/13.
Pictures from this post were taken from the Jumeirah website, which you can visit at http://www.jumeirah.com/en/.
The Burj Al Arab hotel might be the most opulent hotel I’ve ever been to. A while back I wrote about how I had their afternoon tea in the Skyview Bar, and Lucky from One Mile at a Time also wrote about his experience there recently (and has better pictures than me). Yes, the afternoon tea itself costs over $130 per person…so you can imagine what the cost is to actually stay at the hotel for a night.
The cool thing is that the Jumeirah hotels group has a rewards program called Sirius Rewards, and it happens to be a transfer partner of the Amex Membership Rewards program. If you happen to have a huge stash of Amex points – and by huge I mean as big as the coins Scrooge McDuck’s vault – then you might be interested in booking a night at the Burj Al Arab hotel on your next trip to Dubai. Let’s see how much it costs!
Like any normal points addict, I have a Sirius Rewards account linked to my Award Wallet account. I don’t have any points in it, but the only way you can see how many points are required for a stay is to have a free account. Simply go to the Sirius Rewards homepage, sign up, log in, and you’ll be ready to do a quick and easy search of all hotels under the Jumeirah brand.
Note that there are actually a decent number of hotels under this brand located in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and two properties in the Maldives, so there could be other opportunities for you to stay with them. Most posts from this FlyerTalk thread indicate amazing service and extreme luxury.
The bottom left corner has a search function, and when you’re logged in it gives you an option to redeem points for free nights. I don’t know if it was my browser or some other issue, but a “Join Sirius Today” button appears right on top of the “Book with Sirius Points” check box, so it can be hard to see.
I’ll do a search for the Friday night after Thanksgiving this year as my example.
It would cost 8K Sirius points for one night. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Let’s hop over to the Membership Rewards website to see how many Amex points it will cost us to transfer our Amex points into 8K Sirius points.
Membership Rewards transfer to Sirius Points at a 2,300:100 ratio (increments of 100 points only), so they’re not cheap. It would take a whopping 184,000 Amex Membership Rewards points for this one night stay. Like I said, you’d have to be swimming in Amex points a la Scrooge McDuck or Mr Pickles to stay here.
Let’s take a look at what the points value would be compared to the normal cash rate for that night. Who knows – maybe it will turn out to be decent value based on the actual rate that night.
The nightly rate actually comes to $1,733.51 plus taxes (same as on Kayak), so you’re probably looking at around $2,000 all-in. That would break down to $2K/184K points = just under 1.1 cents/point. NOT good value for Membership Rewards points, which are best for airfare rewards.
Aside from that, did you note all the goodies that come with a night here? A breakfast buffet….in the privacy of your suite! Complimentary wine or Bateel Juice (am I the only one that read this as Beetlejuice the first time?). Free internet access, which sadly is more than other luxury hotels offer. And finally, access to the water park, which I’d probably pass on if I were staying here so I could maximize my time IN the hotel itself. Obviously none of this gets even close to offsetting the actual cost of the hotel.
Most people won’t stay here, but it would sure be an interesting experience to do so. This would be a cool thing to do if you happen to have tons of spend on Amex cards, but I personally won’t even put this one on my bucket list.
If you’re curious, the number of points required are not based on revenue in any way. Instead, their 2013 Award Chart has fixed redemption values for all of their properties, but they’re split into three categories: Off-Peak, Peak, and Super-Peak. For the Burj Al Arab, Off-Peak is 8K, Peak is 10K, and Super-Peak is 14.25K. If you happen to have paid stays at a Jumeirah property, you will earn 1 Sirius point for every $3 USD in transactions at all Jumeirah properties (including shopping and dining). Your points expire after 2 years.
Oh by the way, the Burj Al Arab is part of American Express’ Fine Hotels and Resorts program also (which you need to have the Platinum card to access). I checked the rate for the same night I searched above and found that the rate was only an extra $100.
Breakfast was included in the original rate, so the extra $100 will get you early check-in, late check out, and the additional amenity is “A complimentary 50-minute massage, for up to two people per room, once during your stay.” What a steal of a deal!
Have you been lucky enough to stay here? If not, would you ever be willing to drop 184K Amex points for a night?