Umra – Makkah + Madinah



Flight: Johannnesburg to Jeddah R700 taxes (65usd/243sar)  (Miles 45,000 Al Fursan on Saudia direct)  x5   = R3500.

Visa: R800 x5 = R4000.

Taxi: Jeddah to Makkah = R400.

Accommodation: 5 x nights Hilton Towers  5* FREE (30,000 points per night – 5th night free) breakfast free with Hhonours Gold.

Accommodation: 1 Night Fairmont Royal Clock Tower 5*  R1600 ( Gold Room level special) Breakfast included.

Taxes: R120.

Taxi: Makkah to Jeddah R280.

Flights: Jeddah to Medina return R2450.

Taxi: Airport to hotel = R130.

Accommodation: 20 x nights Crown Plaza 5* FREE (5000 points per night special) City view suite with elite club level lounge access per PLATINUM IHG member.

Taxes: R 0.

Taxi: To airport R130.

Lounge access: FREE via Priority Pass in Al Fursan Gold lounge.

TOTAL COST: Including flights, transfers, meals and accommodation of 26nights for family of 5  = R12610

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IMG_07901st part of stay as Gold Hhonors had a upgrade to the family deluxe room @ 30,000 x  Hhonors points per night. From Hhonors silver, gold and diamond level status, every 5th night booked is free and buffet breakfast included.

It had 3 x 3/4 beds in. 2x bathrooms. A kitchenette with 2 plate stove and sink. Huge room with partial Haram view.

Great value in this old hotel. Hilton Towers and Intercontinental Dar Al Tawhid are probably the most convenient in terms of proximity and easy access.
























Underground check-in area / lobby

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The unpacking begins



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Fairmont had this running for 2 back to back specials straight on the monthly deals offered.

For some reason, same as the deal at Fairmont the Palm in Dubai the website did not allow booking on this.

I had to call the Canadian head office to secure this deal (toll free number provided under “Hotels” link)

I also initially tried contacting the hotel directly also via the toll free transfer of head office. They had no idea of the special and quoted me best rate of $395…

The Gold Rooms are a hotel within a hotel. 2 Private lifts in foyer.

Private check in area on floor 27 where the Gold lounge is situated also where breakfast and snacks are served. With the Gold Package there is even a butler service.

Gold rooms are located off the floor number plan in lifts from R1 to R5 which lands one up on the 50 something floor level.











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The passage to the private lifts

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The spread in the Gold lounge

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High up city view Gold room

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City View Gold bathroom ( Gotta love the old school Saudi style –  shower over the loo set up)


Gold Suite Ka’bah view

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Fairmont Paraben free bathroom amenities. Smells like itr / frankincense too



Al Fursan requires just 5000 miles to upgrade from economy to business one way.

Saudia normaly requires SAR140 one way for the hour flight. (Best Option)

Saptco bus is SAR60 per one way

Taxi is SAR400-SAR600. Van is SAR1000


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Neat modern hotel. One street behind the Haram ( directly behind the courts,  Green dome infront) Janatul Baaqi and Al Baik to the right (have you ever seen a busier business?)

This hotel has been on the special rate of 5000 points / $35 for the last 2 months of 2013. Interesting that upon booking the standard room was upgraded immediately to a Club level Junior corner suite.(SAR1450 / R4200) per night for being PLATINUM Elite within the IHG chain.



Club level included all day beverages and hot snacks between 5-7pm.

Platinum Late checkout at 6pm is such a bonus as one doesn’t need to book a extra night if u have a night flight out.

(This is the second time in last half of 2013 that IHG Madinah has been on the 5000 points a night list of specials,

during Ramadhaan Intercontinental Dar Al Hijra  was on. Last 10 nights rates where R5700 per night ! One could have booked 20 nights for the price of one or buy one night get 19 nights free! )

** besides buying unlimited points at half rate with our method at $35 / 5000 points, there is also opportunity a few times a year to buy them at $28 /5000 points **

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The Bedroom of the suite is a separate room

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Sleeper coach lounge, dining room and office desk

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Lots of cupboards in room and the entrance hall
























View from room showing the size


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The Elite club lounge on 9th floor.


Makkah Marriott.

Another brand spanking new gem situated in front of the newly opened renovated section of Masjid-ul-Haram. Marriott currently runs a shuttle service every 2 or 3 minutes to the Hyatt where one walks through to the Dar Al Tawhid property. Plans to have a direct escalator walk straight into the new section should be opened about mid year 2016. In 3 words to describe: BEYOND EXCELLENT SERVICE.

Marriott lies inbetween Anjum and Hilton Suites.

Marriott lies inbetween Anjum and Hilton Suites.

The booking.

Every 5th night free perk for elites.

Marriott also uniquely offers the ability to book and only add the points later to finalise the booking confirmation.

Marriott also uniquely offers the ability to book and only add the points later to finalise the booking confirmation.

The upgrade.

That’s ZAR 15,000 per night room only.

In total the normal cost would be ZAR 78,500 for the 5 nights.

In total the normal cost would be ZAR 78,500 for the 5 nights.

The suite.

A spacious entrance hall awaits with 3 doors inside.

A spacious entrance hall awaits with 3 doors inside.

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Classy inlaid soap dish.

Classy inlaid soap dish.

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Welcome amenity day 1.

Welcome amenity day 1.

Welcome amenity day 3.

Welcome amenity day 3.

The hotel.

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The restaurant : The Spice Market.


I returned back to the hotel one night close to midnight with my crew of 8, unfortunately the kitchen and restaurant was closed I would have been good to go to order room service or complimentaries extended to me as Platinum Elite from the foyer… but the management of the hotel insisted to treat us by opening the closed restaurant,  a head chef and about 4 or 5 waiters on hand were dispatched to attend to us and they were more than happy to attend to anything on the menu wished for. I have never experienced this. When the head chef enquired as to who we were, the manager simply replied ” Platinum members, they stay more with us (Marriott) than they do at home” unbelievable treatment this hotel has.

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IMG_20151226_211650 IMG_20151226_211658IMG_20151227_223005More of Makkah.

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You can buy points and even use it during peak periods when rate go up sky high.


Panoramic view



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