How to get free nights and discounts at Dubai and Abu Dhabi hotels
Who doesn't fancy free hotel nights in 4 and 5 star hotels? What about Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Europe, America, Asia or South Africa – or many other countries?
Alternatively, what about a twenty percent discount off the room rate?
- First, the bad news – there is a (relatively small) purchase cost involved up front.
- Second, the good news – it's more than likely the (relatively small) purchase cost will easily be offset by the savings on your first free night. Hurrah!
- Even more good news – after the initial outlay, you will have a bonus gift that truly ‘keeps on giving'. Thousands of Buy One Get One Free vouchers for bars, restaurants, tourist attractions, spas, activities, services etc. – so you get more than free hotel nights back!
The excellent product you need to purchase is The Entertainer book or app, such as the Dubai one listed here.
The cheapest option would be the Dubai Kids 2016 app (cost 275 AED) that gets you the Hotels/Travel vouchers, which offer the free hotel nights. The Hotels/Travel vouchers/app gives a deal called the One Complimentary Night Hotel Offer, in some cases offering THREE vouchers per hotel.
Note – even if you buy a local Entertainer app/book, the Hotels/Travel vouchers are for free hotel nights worldwide (it's the same app, whichever main product you purchase)
Free hotel nights: about the One Complimentary Night Hotel Offer
The Offer: One Complimentary Night when one night is booked at Best Available Rate.
Alternatively: 20% discount on the Best Available Rate IF you only need to stay one night (i.e. no Complimentary Night for the second night).
Categories of hotels: mainly 5 star or 4 star hotels, hotel apartments, or game lodges/guest houses
The standout hotels in Dubai/Abu Dhabi offering free hotel nights on the list are:-
- JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai*
- Sofitel Dubai Downtown
- Fairmont Dubai*
- Fairmont The Palm*
- The H Dubai
- Intercontinental Abu Dhabi*
- Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
- The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa*
- Sheraton Abu Dhabi Resort and Spa*
- Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi*
- Fairmont Bab Al Bahr*
In addition to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, there are also hotels available in:-
- Europe (France, Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungary, Turkey, Malta)
- Middle East (Bahrain, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan)
- Asia (Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Maldives, Mauritius)
- Africa (South Africa, Tanzania)
- United States of America
For a full up-to-date list of hotels partaking in the One Complimentary Night Offer, see here
One Complimentary Night Offer: How to lock in the deal
Using the Entertainer App/Book, contact the hotel to make your booking.
Ensure you confirm what the Best Available Rate is, and if there is availability for your required dates.
Note: it is often easier to request to Reservations staff “the first available date the Entertainer nights are available”, as sometimes the hotels do not allow the Entertainer nights offer. If you book well in advance, you stand more chance. If you try at short notice the hotel may say the offer is ‘subject to availability' – as they want to try and sell the rooms elsewhere rather than give away a promotion.
If you do not want the One Complimentary Night offer (e.g. if you only need to stay one night), just request the 20% discount. The discount of 20% is off the Best Available Rate.
One Complimentary Night Offer: Check this first!
This deal is only one deal, and may not always be the best deal for you. Sometimes you may be able to get a cheaper night through a third party website than pay the Best Available Rate.
Also, if you need to stay more than one night free, check with the hotel, as they may request you need to make a second booking (with a second voucher). Although relatively simple, this may mean you either move to another hotel on the 3rd night or check out, then check back into the same hotel on a different reservation.
Note – different hotels may have different policies on booking the second set of nights, check with each individually – or just book a different hotel altogether!
Tips on getting the best deal with the One Complimentary Night Offer
Aim for high-end hotels
To offset the purchase cost of the Entertainer book/app, aim for a 5 star hotel to get the most value back. For example, 4 star Abu Dhabi hotels can cost as low as 300 AED so you will only get the purchase cost back in value with the free night. However, if you were to book the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai (one of our Top 5 Dubai hotels) for around 1000 AED, you will get almost 4 times your initial purchase cost back – if you bought the Dubai Kids 2016 Entertainer app to qualify.
Use a hotel loyalty program
Choose a hotel from the list that has a hotel loyalty program such as Starwood Preferred Guest or Marriott Rewards. If you're not in the program, join it before your stay – and ensure you present your details at check-in. This way, you will maximise your benefits during your stay, including points on spend, Elite Status Qualification and bonuses such as lounge access, late checkout, free internet, suite upgrades etc.
Looking at the full list of hotels for Abu Dhabi and Dubai, consider the following hotel loyalty programs:-
- Starwood Preferred Guest
- Rotana Rewards
- Fairmont President's Club
- Hyatt Gold Passport
- IHG Rewards Club/Intercontinental Ambassador
- Marriott Rewards
- Shangri-La Golden Circle
- Club Carlson Hotels
Be cheeky – “shy kids get no sweets”, remember?
Suppose you want more than two or more free hotel nights? Although there are set Hotel Rules of Use for the One Complimentary Night Offer, it can often pay to be cheeky.
Remember, you are dealing directly with the hotel, so they often have a lot of discretion what they can offer you. If you don't ask, you won't get – so it's better to ask and be turned down than never ask them for any extras.
For example, as you often get THREE hotel vouchers, why not ask the hotel if you can book three nights (nights 1,2 and 3) and then get the following three nights (4, 5 and 6) free? Okay, the rules say you should pay one night and then get the second night free….
“A limit of one Hotel Offer per room booked may be used. A maximum of one night will be complimentary per room booked per stay.”
So, although the hotel may refuse your request, it's worth asking, isn't it?
Suppose they say no?
Should they say no, then ask if you can book a second stay – but on your 3rd night paid, so you get your 4th night free.
At this stage, if they say no (for the second stay, free night) ask if instead, you can book your 3rd night at the 20% discount. IF they still say no – and it is at their discretion, but most hotels would be glad of the revenue (especially the larger,
IF they still say no – and it is at their discretion, but most hotels would be glad of the revenue (especially the larger, high-end properties such as JW Marriott Marquis Dubai) – then just ask for the manager, and plead your case – and be positive, pleasant and charming of course 🙂
Bear in mind hotels decide which nights they will allow the One Complimentary Night Offer, and some are a little more restrictive than others. From experience, cheaper or smaller hotels are more likely to mess around and be less flexible on when you can use the offer – which is another reason to aim for high-end, larger hotels with lots of rooms!
Have you had free hotels nights with the Entertainer One Complimentary Night Offer? How easy was it to redeem, and how much money did you save? We'd love to hear your views and experiences – let us know using the comments below…
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