The Entertainer App: An easy way to save $$ on overseas vacations!
Updated: Jun 2, 2019
(June 2019 UPDATE: This trip has been postponed, as we decided to take a family trip to Ireland instead and Jason and I will do a Maldives trip at out leisure, once Sarah is off to college, but the information in this blog is still applicable to planning YOUR trip!)
I am in full-on planning mode for our family vacation for next year (July 2020) and I am bound and determined to have the best vacation possible, while saving as much money as possible, where ever possible!
When I learned about The Entertainer App, I became so totally excited! This is a great way for anyone traveling to the Middle East, parts of Asia like Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia, the Maldives, South Africa, Greece and the United Kingdom to save a bit of money!
Ever since Jason, Sarah and I had our family meeting to discuss the three of us taking one of the farthest vacations possible, quite literally on the other side of the globe from where we live, I've been in full on planning mode. The Maldives have been my mega-ultra dream trip since I was in my early teens. I think I must have seen it in a National Geographic or something, because not many American teenagers know where the Maldives are even located, much about their culture.
Although the trip isn't until July of next year, this is a journey that I never thought was going to be possible due to cost, so I quite literally had no notes, ideas or any thoughts about what to do, where to go and where to stay. Imagine my surprise when I realized that a trip to the Maldives was comparable to what a trip to Hawaii would cost. Once Jason and I crunched some numbers we decided "Why not?"...one of our approaches to vacation is don't put off something you want to do now, because there are no guarantees of tomorrow. Life is short!
Honestly it really the time it takes to get there that is a total bitch. We're talking like a 30 hour trip when you include stopovers and flight changes. That being said, we decided on doing a flight that will allow us to spend a few days in Doha, Qatar....another country I knew absolutely nothing about other than 1) they have a crap ton on money due to Oil and 2) it is a Muslim country and 3) it is in the Middle East. As I have been doing my research, I now know it is surrounded on 3 sides by the Persian Gulf, the city scape of Doha looks like something out of Star Wars in that is is way cool and super futuristic looking and that trying to decide what hotel to stay in was going to be my first big decision.
After a lot of deliberation and thinking about where I would have the best utilization of my Starwood Preferred Points and free anniversary night stay, I had it narrowed down to the St. Regis or the Ritz Carlton. Both are opulent, have great restaurants, beautiful private beaches and are known for their fantastic service and quality. Plus, a 4 night stay won't cost us a dime at either place, so yay for that!
However, with a great hotel comes the comparable cost in high quality restaurants and I knew that due to the location of both of these hotels, it's not like we could just walk down the street to a Subway...LOL That is why I was SO excited when started reading multiple middle eastern travel bloggers from both Qatar and the UAE who were referring to "The Entertainer App" which allowed them to have great meals at some really nice restaurants otherwise out of their budgets. I instantly thought of the old Entertainment Coupon books from back when I was in school that were sold as fundraisers and contained coupons to local restaurants and this is actually like that, but SO much more and it is an app on your phone. It works like this:
I download The Entertainer App, set up my account and find the Country I am going to from the drop down menu, in my case it would be Qatar.
I would purchase "The Entertainer" for Qatar (currently at an early bird special for $89 that is valid for all of the current year) and process my purchase.
I would then have access to all the 2 for 1 deals being offered in Doha and the surrounding areas.
Now anyone with common sense would know that in order for this to be a deal, it would have to obviously save me more than $89 in order to give us savings. After looking at the deals offered and the restaurants that all offer the 2 for 1 deals, I was SHOCKED to see the quality of restaurants listed....most notably all three of the main restaurants at the St. Regis: The Astor Grille, Opal by Gordon Ramsay and Vine all offered 2 for one deals on their main courses/entrees or brunch. When an entree can cost $50 by itself, that's a good deal!
In addition to discounts on dining, they also have 2 for one offers on sightseeing trips which we were planning on doing anyway, so although we'd really get the extra value if there were 4 of us, we are still going to save a few hundred dollars above the initial cost of $89 for the three of us. And as an added extra bonus, we will earn 10 points on our Marriott Rewards for every $1 spent at the hotel property, including dining!
Additionally there are 2 for 1 offers on hotel stays and we are talking about some NICE places. Just book at the current best rate offered on the website through the hotel directly and you can redeem one of your offers and get your second night free! There are even hotels in the Maldives that do this!!!
When it says, as it does on this one, "Bundled Product-Not Available for Purchase" that is because you have not purchased any deals yet that would unlock access to the deal. I am still learning the ins and outs of this great app, but I am really excited about using it on our trip to Doha.
Although the main focus seems to be on the Middle East and in Asia, they do offer deals in the United Kingdom, as well as the Greek Isles. My advice is to download the app and play around a bit and take a look at what deals are offered for the area you are going to on vacation and determine BEFORE you buy if this would be a money saver for you. In our case, I know that while we are in Doha, we won't be venturing away from the resort unless with a tour guide, so being able to think a little bit less about the cost of things while on vacation makes life so much sweeter, don't you think?