4 Beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotels in the Middle East

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Because of the increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I’ve been thinking about ways to use the points to splurge on special getaways at Ritz-Carlton hotels.

I’ll show you how you can get free award nights at beautiful Ritz-Carlton hotels in the Middle East, including popular tourist destinations like Cairo, Doha, and Tel Aviv!

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Dreaming of Arabian Nights? Find Out My Top Ritz-Carlton Hotel Picks for Award Nights in the Middle East With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points!

You can also earn more Ritz-Carlton award stays with other cards including the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier and Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards card.

I’ll show you 4 top hotels in the Middle East to book with Ritz-Carlton points!

4 Beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotels in the Middle East for Award Stays

Ritz-Carlton recently made changes to their loyalty program last year, including:

  • Points Advance – Book an award stay before you have the points, as long as you earn (or buy) the points to cover the full cost 14 days before check-in.
  • Points Sharing – Share your Ritz-Carlton points with ANY Ritz-Carlton or Marriott member (up to 50,000 points per year).  Once per year you can go over the 50,000 point limit right before a specific redemption, only up to the amount needed for a specific stay, rounded to the nearest 1,000 points.
  • Elite Credit for Award Nights – Redeem points for award nights and you’ll earn stay credits towards Ritz-Carlton elite status
  • Cash + Points – Use a combination of points and cash to book each night of your stay
4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Save Money at Hotels like The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, With Points Advance and Points Sharing. And Save Even More With the 5th Night Free on an Award Stay!

And, you’ll get the 5th night free on any award stay!

I like using Hotel Hustle to find hotels for award stays because it shows how many points you’ll need for your specific travel dates.  And it’ll show you if award nights are actually available.

Another option is AwardMapper.  It shows similar information.  But it’s not specific to travel dates and won’t search for available award rooms.

I haven’t stayed at these hotels myself, but they look beautiful!

Note:  The prices in these examples are based on travel in March 2016.

I usually like transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt for award stays.  Or moving points to United Airlines and their partners for international adventures.  I’ve gotten amazing travel this way, but your best use of Chase Ultimate Rewards points is for travel that’s important to YOU!

Note:   Some Ritz-Carlton hotels (especially resorts) add pricey resort fees to paid and award nights.  Before you book, check the hotel policy to decide if it’s worth it for you.

1.   The Ritz-Carlton, Doha

The Ritz-Carlton, Doha is a 5-star hotel on its own island – perfect for a weekend of unwinding on the shores of the Arabian Gulf.  Each room has views of the water, or the city of Doha.

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Enjoy Colorful Sunsets Unlike Anywhere Else in the World at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha

There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools!  Or you can go into the Gulf by boat or jet ski from the marina, steps from the hotel.

Nights here start at ~$237 or 30,000 Ritz-Carlton points per night.  But keep in mind rates can be well over $500 a night!  So you can save a lot of money with Ritz-Carlton points, depending on when you visit.

It’s only worth transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you get more than 1 cent per point back in value.  At the rate of ~$237 per night, you’re better off paying ~19,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points by booking at the rate of 1.25 cents per point in the Chase Travel Portal.

Or, if you already have nearly enough Marriott points, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott instead.  Because you can book Ritz-Carlton award nights with Marriott points, too.

Folks on TripAdvisor say great things about the location and service!

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Visit the Al Zubarah Fort, a Historic Military Building and UNESCO World Heritage Site, While You’re in Doha!

While you’re in the area, you can visit the Al Zubarah fort, or check out the Singing Sand Dunes for a fun family outing.

Remember, you’ll earn at least 4,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points from meeting the minimum spending requirements.  And you can earn 5,000 more Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months.

That adds up to 59,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which is almost enough for 2 nights here worth close to $500, or over $1,000 in the high season!

2.   The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya

The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya is located in Israel near Tel Aviv, on the Mediterranean Sea.  It’s a great hotel for relaxing near the water before or after you visit the other attractions in the area, like the nightlife in Tel Aviv, historic Jerusalem, or the Dead Sea.

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Splurge on a Night at The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, for a Break on the Shores of the Mediterranean

Be sure to read the excellent reviews on TripAdvisor!

When I checked, nights here cost ~$500, or 50,000 Ritz-Carlton points.  So it’s better to use your Marriott points, because your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are only worth 1 cent each at this price.

Remember, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent each for cash back.  So ideally, you’ll use them for travel experiences worth much more than that!

Although, if you’re short by a small number of hotel points, you may consider transferring the remaining Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the hotel partner so you can get the award night.

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Swim in the Rooftop Pool and Grab a Drink at the Poolside Bar, or Dive Into the Mediterranean Down on Land

There’s a beach outside, or a rooftop pool where you can swim on the 12th floor (and get beautiful views)!  And every room has a private balcony overlooking the Mediterranean.

Perfect for taking Instagram photos! 😉

Note:   If you plan to visit Israel, keep in mind you must pay an exit tax of ~$30 to leave the country.  And because of the political environment in the area, you may have a hard time getting into Israel if stamps from certain countries are in your passport.

If you want to visit nearby countries like the UAE or Saudi Arabia, they may not let you in if there’s a stamp from Israel in your passport.  Sometimes you can have your stamp on a separate piece of paper, so be sure to ask if it will impact your travels.

3.   The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo

The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo is located on the banks of the legendary Nile River with views of the city skyline, and across from the Egyptian Museum.

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Explore the History, Nightlife, and Shopping Cairo Has to Offer During Your Stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Cairo

Nights here cost ~$298 or 30,000 Ritz-Carlton points.  Again, it’s better to NOT use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points here because you’ll receive less than 1 cent per point in value.  So use your Marriott points instead, or use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points when the nightly rates are much higher.

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Spend a Day to Visit the World-Famous Pyramids of Giza

If you want a fantastic day trip, visit the Pyramids of Giza, and the Great Sphinx, to learn about the history of Egypt’s fascinating culture.

Egypt also has lots of resorts on the Red Sea, so perhaps Cairo can be part of a bigger trip!

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Stay Longer in Cairo! I Found Rooms on Airbnb for Less Than $50 a Night!

If you want extend your time in Cairo, you can mix your award stay at Ritz-Carlton with Airbnb.  I found rooms starting at ~$11 a night!

Here are my tips on how to find a good and safe Airbnb.

4.   The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain

Located on a 20-acre private island and overlooking the Arabian Gulf, The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain can’t be beat for a romantic getaway or special occasion.  The hotel has 9 restaurants and a pool, and is steps from the beach.

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Experience the Beautiful Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, and Save Nearly $700 a Night When You Redeem 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points!

This hotel costs ~$690 or 40,000 Ritz-Carlton points per night.

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Watch Flamingos (and Spot Other Colorful Birds) in the Hotel Gardens!

If you decide to venture out, check out the Bahrain Fort, only 15 minutes away.  It’s a UNESCO world heritage site near the ancient harbor with traces of human activity dating as far back as 2,300 BC.  The whole area looks gorgeous!

Need More Ritz-Carlton Points?

Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred 

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   Chase Ink Cash

Link:   Chase FreedomYou can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Ritz-Carlton instantly at a 1:1 ratio if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold card.

If you have the Chase Freedom or Chase Ink Cash cards you can combine the points and transfer to Ritz-Carlton as long as you have 1 of the other cards!

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points on Travel Expenses and Dining Anywhere in the World. The Middle East Is Known for Hummus, Olives, and Kebabs – Yum!

This is great for folks who want to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  That’s because you’ll earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  Then splurge for a special night at a Ritz-Carlton hotel!

Remember, Chase has gotten more selective with their approvals if you’ve opened more than ~5 cards within the past 24 months.  So if you’re interested, get this card first!

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points With the Chase Freedom in Popular Categories Like Fuel, Dining, and Commuter Expenses When You Activate the Bonus!

And the Chase Freedom card has rotating quarterly categories that earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you activate the bonus.  Bonus categories often include everyday purchases like dining out, gas, and commuter train tickets.

The Freedom card also has an increased sign-up bonus of $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account, and NO annual fee!

Now is a good time to open a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  It’s my favorite points program and the top card I recommend to folks who are new to miles and points.

Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Cards

Link:   Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Card – 50,000 Points + $200 Marriott Gift Card Offer

Link:   Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Card – 80,000 Points Offer

Link:   Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card

Ritz-Carlton and Marriott are essentially the same frequent-guest program (just with different branding and marketing), so you can use your Ritz-Carlton points to stay at Marriott hotels and vice versa.

Marriott Cards

The current sign-up offer for the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card is 50,000 Marriott points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening.  The $85 annual fee is waived the 1st year, plus you’ll receive a $200 Marriott gift certificate after meeting the minimum spending requirements.  Here’s my review of the card.

There’s another offer on the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card to earn 80,000 Marriott points, which is enough for 2 nights at a Tier 2 Ritz-Carlton hotel, but the $85 annual fee is NOT waived, though the minimum spending requirements are the same.

Ritz-Carlton Card

You could also pick up the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards card.  You’ll earn 2 free nights at any Tier 1 to 4 Ritz-Carlton hotel, after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  The $395 annual fee is NOT waived, but it comes with perks and benefits that can easily make up for it, like a $300 annual travel credit for seat upgrades, airline fees, or other travel incidentals.

4 Beautiful Ritz Carlton Hotels In The Middle East

Get 2 Free Nights at a Ritz-Carlton Tier 4 Hotel, Like the Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Oman, With the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card!

It’s a card worth getting, especially for folks who like Ritz-Carlton hotels.  Here’s my review of the card.

Bottom Line

Get award stays at beautiful Ritz-Carlton hotels in the Middle East, like The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain or The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo, when you transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Ritz-Carlton.

You can earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening a new Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which you can transfer directly to Ritz-Carlton at a 1:1 ratio.

Remember, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton have similar loyalty programs, and you can book Ritz-Carlton stays with Marriott points (or Marriott stays with Ritz-Carlton points).  Earn 50,000 Marriott points and a $200 Marriott gift card with the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card after spending $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of account opening.

Or earn 80,000 Marriott points with a different offer on the same card but with the same minimum spending requirements and book award stays at Marriott or Ritz-Carlton hotels.

You can also earn 2 free nights at any Tier 1 to 4 Ritz-Carlton hotel with the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards card after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  That can be worth hundreds of dollars, depending on which hotel you choose!

Let me know if you’ve stayed at any of these hotels!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

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

7 responses to “4 Beautiful Ritz-Carlton Hotels in the Middle East

  1. A) You will not have any issues entering Israel with with other middle eastern countries stamped on your passport.
    B) Israel no longer stamps passports. They instead give a small blue visa paper that should be kept with you through your stay to avoid VAT charges. Israel knows that it’s visitors may have issues entering other (not as democratic) Middle Eastern countries and has so taken to this process to accommodate its visitors.
    C) Since you mentioned the Israeli $30 exit fee, you left out that the UAE charges a similarly insignificant $9 fee, Egypt charges $25 and for Bahrain there are Visa costs for most citizens of the world.

  2. wow, Daraius, nice tour, and I’ve even been to that quaint Doha fort….. one of items that the Qataris can cite to tell their acquisitive goliath neighbors, esp. the ones to their west, that no, we’re not you…. I’m gagging on a huge no-no-no’s re. Bahrain, et. al. Your list in part reads like, come see where the Arab Spring bloomed…. and where it died.

    Ah, let’s stick to fantasies…. So many wondrous Middle East hotels on special these days…. I’m contemplating doing a tour of the Radisson wonders across North Africa….

    Yet I’m especially partial to the Ritz Carlton in Agrabah…. *tic. We best get to it this year, before the next President follows America public opinion and bombs it too. 🙁

    http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121006161029/disney/images/1/14/Agrabah.png

  3. Nice info Daraius. I love Cairo; I’ll definitely check out the Ritz next time I head over there.

    @Sammy. Which UAE and Egypt exit fees are you referring to? I’ve traveled to both countries and never paid this.

  4. @Sammy – Thank you for adding this information and your experience! It’s very helpful!

    @escot – Thanks for reading! A tour of North Africa sounds wonderful – you should do it! 😉

    @Richie – Glad you enjoyed the list. Enjoy your travels!

  5. @Richie – you can Google it. They’re included in the flight breakdown like all countries. Israel however has stronger security at its land borders so their fees are more enforced even when not flying. Though I’ve entered some Middle Eastern countries by car and was subject to crossing fees and visa costs as well.

    MMS –

  6. @MMS – Thanx again for an informative article. I always enjoy when you gather info like this and its really great for referencing. Thanx!

  7. Interesting article.
    I’ve been to Israel and really enjoyed the Old City. It was like walking back in time and almost surreal.
    I have to say though, Israeli officials are some of the most racist beings I’ve encountered, and spoil the image of normal everyday Jews.
    Back in 2009 as we crossed from the Egyptian city of Taba into the Israeli city of Eilat, the Israeli border patrol greeted us with what appeared to be warm smiles. But as soon as they took our passports and discovered there was someone among our group with an Arabic-sounding name (he was American by the way; and on medical mission at that) the smiles instantly evaporated and they harassed us for literally five hours, making us dump all of our belongings out of our bags, making us put everything back into our bags, and then making us dump everything back again even though they just finished checking everything, repetitively (it was obvious this was on purpose and they were having fun). And then they called in a couple of meat-heads swinging machine guns at our direction and making us answer questions that had nothing to do with security or our trip (literally, one of their questions was, “Why are you light-skinned and some of your travel companions a darker complexion?”….are you kidding me??!! You call yourself the democratic voice of the Middle East and you’re asking me why I choose to hang out with a person of different skin tone??). Finally a kinder looking lady (who seemed to be apologetic but too afraid to say anything in front of her comrades) came out of an office, handed us our passports, and said “I hope you enjoy your stay.” I was so pissed and ashamed at these criminals. I can understand why Israel’s neighbors may hate it. Just a caveat: what goes around comes around.