A detailed study was described on the oxidation of benzyl alcohol over MCM-41 supported gold nanocatalysts. Two types of preparation methods, namely, incipient wetness (IWT) and homogeneous deposition precipitation (HDP) methods were adopted to synthesize 1 wt% Au/MCM-41 nanocatalysts. The samples were characterized by analytical techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), adsorption measurements, electron microscopy (TEM and XPS) to understand some of their surface properties. The nanocatalysts were tested for the gas phase reaction of oxidation of benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde in a fixed-bed glass reactor at atmospheric pressure. The aim was mainly to compare the characteristics difference observed in terms of surface properties, oxidation activity, benzaldehyde selectivity and stability between the two types of Au/MCM-41 nanocatalysts originated from IWT and HDP methods. Among the catalysts tested, HDP based Au/MCM-41 showed better catalytic performance for the title reaction.