Bits: Hilton / Avios sign-up working, SPG Moments ‘steal’ in Paris ends 2pm, Hyatt Place Heathrow opening

News in brief:

Delays in registering for the new Hilton / Avios promotion, now OK

Yesterday was meant to be the launch day for the new Hilton / Avios (via Iberia Plus) promotion which I wrote about at the weekend.

The registration process was wobbly yesterday but, by midnight, it seems to have been fixed.  You can register by clicking here.

Here is the important bit of small print we didn’t have before:  “Stays can be booked prior to registration; stay completion required after registration. Additionally, members must register prior to check-out in order for their stay to qualify.”

You can find full details of the offer in my earlier article here – it is worth up to QUADRUPLE Avios points.

Hilton Park Lane

Get a bargain at 2pm via SPG Moments

If you have a handful of Starwood Preferred Guest points hanging around, and you are free on Saturday 21st, there is an SPG Moments package in Paris which looks like an exceptional deal.

Take a look here.

There are NINE packages being auctioned, closing at 2pm today.  The bids are only at 5,500 points so far.  This is what you get:

Dig in for an unforgettable dining experience with some of today’s top French chefs. You and a guest will begin in the wine cellar of the Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, with world-class Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec and master Sommelier Clément Gautier. Stéphanie and Clément will guide you through  an exquisite dégustation experience, prepared exclusively for the occasion. After the pairing experience, make your way to La Scène for a several-course lunch prepared by Stéphanie in the Michelin-starred restaurant’s open kitchen.

For dessert, enjoy indulgent creations made by celebrity Pâtissier Eric Lanlard and up-and-coming Pâtissier Nicolas Paciello. When you’ve finished your last bites, you’ll have the opportunity to chat with Eric and Stéphanie and have them sign your books. To top it all off, you’ll receive a small gift from the chefs to remember your experience. Bon appétit!

The French Foodie Experience with Renowned Chefs package includes:

  • Dégustation experience for two (2) in the wine cellar of Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, led by Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec and Sommelier Clément Gautier on 21 May 2016
  • Several-course lunch for two (2) at La Scène prepared by Chef Stéphanie Le Quellec in the restaurant’s open kitchen
  • Dessert for two (2) prepared by Pâtissier Eric Lanlard and Pâtissier Nicolas Paciello
  • Opportunity for two (2) have books signed by Stéphanie Le Quellec and Eric Lanlard

I’ve met Eric Lanlard a few times now and he is a great guy to get to know.  This would be a fantastic deal if you can grab a pair of tickets.

Hyatt Place Heathrow

Hyatt Place Heathrow finally sets an opening date

It seems a long time since I first wrote about Hyatt Place, the ‘limited service’ Hyatt brand, opening at Heathrow.  The project has been delayed but is now finally set to open on 18th May according to Business Traveller – although the website is only taking bookings from 1st June.

The hotel is technically the Hyatt Place London Heathrow Hayes and is apparently a 20 minute drive from the airport!  I can’t imagine how long the Heathrow Hoppa bus service will take.

The building used to house the Heathrow Gate hotel at one point, see above, but has been totally gutted by Hyatt and the images on the website do look good.

The location may prove a stumbling block although it is a way for Hyatt Gold Passport members to generate a few nights stay credit.

Current Advance Purchase rates start at £76.  It is a shockingly bad deal for a Gold Passport redemption with rooms coming up at 12,000 points or 6,000 points + £52 per night.  I would want at least 1p per point from my Hyatt points.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

How to earn and redeem Avios on Vueling flights from the UK
My review of the ME Milan Il Duca hotel, Italy (part 1)
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  1. That Hyatt place may be 20 mins from Heathrow T1-3 during non rush hour, but is on a very busy commuter route, so will be more like 40 minutes in peak times.

  2. RC_Hammer says:

    I had problems registering for the Hhonors Iberia promotion yesterday and had the same problem (invalid user credentials) this morning when entering my Hhonors number but when I used my username instead it worked.

  3. Genghis says:

    OT. Paid council tax this morning with Amex via paypoint at Co Op for the first time. Max £200/payment so made two payments. 40% closer to my SPG sign up bonus. Thanks to the regular posters that often draw our attention to this method.

  4. Charlie says:

    When registering my Iberia number on Hilton do I need the ‘IB’ included too or just the digits?

  5. Reminder for those making use of the Avios offer…

    Although you can change your earnings preference (from p+p to p+m or vice versa) up until 23:59 MST on the day of checkout, the specific airline programme you will credit to is set AT TIME OF BOOKING. Changing this online has no effect on existing bookings, merely on future bookings. The only way to change it for an existing booking is by getting hotel reception staff to do so – personally I would do so at checkin and then verify again at checkout.

    • Sarah G says:

      I’ve not had my earning pref set to points and miles before so changed it today to take advantage of the offer. I’m also checking out today after a four night stay, so should I point this out to the reception staf when I check out? If I’ve never had an airline partner registered on my account will this stil work! I’m keen to get the points on this as a four night stay is a real rarity for me!

      • Personally yes, I’d point it out to reception staff – ask them to double-check that your airline partner number is correctly recorded on their system. The issue seems to be that the airline partner is set at time of booking based on your preferred partner in your HHonors preferences. Subsequent changes to preferred partner has no effect except on future bookings. It’s easy for them to check/confirm on their hotel IT system.

        • Sarah G says:

          Fab. Thanks for the tip. Luckily I had a late checkout of I would have missed out completely!

    • I used to let the reception staff do it for me once, but miles still posted to the wrong airline program. However, one email to the customer service got it fixed quickly!

      • Well done – I tried changing it after it had credited to the wrong programme and customer service couldn’t do anything to help as the miles had gone across to the other programme.

    • Gareth Morgan says:

      I got my Iberia bonus (and the double base points) for my 1st stay on the 12th. I rang customer services to change my airline to Iberia on my existing two bookings, made before this offer, and was told that I’d get Iberia points automatically on those as well, even though they were originally booked when I had Virgin set as the airline.

      • Personally I’d still double-check at the property – they may have fixed how their IT system does this now but certainly in the past changing the preferred partner made no difference, it was only the earning style that could be changed after booking. Nothing to lose from asking the property to confirm, all reception agents seem to be able to find it quite easily.

  6. mark1980 says:

    OT – looking to book a room at a Conrad on points. There would be my wife and I and our just turned 1 year old. If I book for 2 adults I get the standard redemption rate, but if I book for 2 adults and a child I get the ridiculous non standard points figure e.g. 115,763

    How would the hotel react if I just booked a standard room and brought our own travel cot? Am I likely to get turned away, will they accomodate us or will we be asked to pay more? I’m a diamond if that makes any difference…

    • Oyster says:

      The hotel will not provide anything extra for your 1yr old for those extra points.

      We travel with lightweight tent cots (think they’re called arc) for our 3 and 1 year olds and just book as 2 adults.

    • Shouldn’t have any issues – if you want the hotel to supply a cot just call/email them after you’ve booked. The only slight problem I encountered was with a lady at the Hilton booking centre who said that she could not knowingly put an extra person in the room due to fire regulations and so she wouldn’t add a note to the booking system

      Highly recommend the sun tents as an alternative to a travel cot!

    • You definitely don’t need to bring a travel cot to a Conrad.

      Hotel booking systems are not very sophisticated. When you say ‘1 child’ they assume you want to bring a 12 year old who needs a full length rollaway bed which may not fit in the room, as opposed to a tiny cot.

      • mark1980 says:

        Thankyou all for your helpful responses. Oyster / Nick M – definitely looking into those lightweight travel cots /sun tents now – especially for the beach.

        Rob, random question – did I saw you walking through Victoria station around 3pm last Saturday??

        • What happens when you book 1 adult and 1 child? That’s what I always do (well in my case 2 kids), and then I just rely on the “Second Guest Stays Free” benefit for the wife (not that I’ve ever had to point it out).

          Technically I suppose they could say this is one of the kids but given that it used to be called the “Spouse Stays Free” rule, it’s fairly clear the intention is that it applies to the adult.

  7. pointsarb says:

    @ Mark1980 you’ll be fine, i do this all the time!

  8. Not quite a new-route availability-flood, but BA announced yesterday they’d be flying direct to Muscat (and Doha) from October. There didn’t seem to be any award availability yesterday but right now F and J seem to be wide open for redemption next winter.

    • Not surprising, I think these flights won’t work. Article tomorrow or over the weekend.

      Pushing back Abu Dhabi by 2 hours is also stupid. A lot of Dubai travellers take the Abu Dhabi flight because it leaves 4 hours before the first Dubai service and gets you into Dubai at a sensible time.

      The Abu Dhabi flight will now lose the Dubai passengers to Emirates and the Muscat passengers to the direct service.

      • If you want to take EK or EY you already have plenty of options don’t you? (esp if non-Londoner)

    • JamesLHR says:

      Muscat is 772 and Doha 789 for reference.

  9. For the experienced SPG moments redeemer, would an english-speaker (with not conversational French) be out of place in a Parisian-hosted experience?

    • What language do you think Germans (not Swiss though) use to communicate with French people?

      • Fair point – although I still remember hopping on a Hamburg tour bus about 15 years ago where me and my friend were the only english-speakers (everyone else was German!) and after being defeated in a show-of-hands language war, the tour guide did the entire tour in … German.

        I’m just not too keen on this being repeated 😛 (tour buses now do recordings in many languages, so I got that covered!)

      • Given that the offer is only being advertised in English, you can be pretty certain that all the guests will speak English.

        Eric Lanlard is based in Battersea so you’ll have no problems with him! I’d also imagine Stephanie, as a chef at a hotel run by a US group for international guests, has perfect English.

        All the paperwork for the event will come from SPG in Dublin so no problems there either!

  10. How much is 6000 SPG points worth in real money? Any hotel deals for Paris?

    • £75 ?

      • Genghis says:

        I’d agree with that. Valuing avios at 1p, you get the 5k bonus at 20k SPG conversion meaning 1.25p / SPG point. However, as they are also multi-convertible, that adds to the value

  11. OT:

    Rocketmiles avios came through from a booking, but I didn’t get the 5000 bonus, just the 3000.

    Not bad for a £55 booking though. If i had the 5000 I would have made a profit.

  12. OT/ Has anybody used their Curve card to order/buy foreign currency? If so how was it treated/charged and how much did you order?

    Away in Spain next week, wondering my best options for cash now considering the AMEX travel money option is now shut.

    • Genghis says:

      Very good question. I’d be keen to know this too as will be buying currency next week.

      • Jude Law says:

        I read a comment on flyertalk in the Manufactured Spending forum about the curve that said “I find it great, and will only get better. Purchased foreign currency last night, treated as a purchase so Avios as well.”

        I know no more than that but am also off on my travels next week (Vegas) and would like to know more if anyone has first hand Intel.

        • Genghis says:

          I’ll give it a go next Sat at Travelex LHR. £150 currency using Curve + 2,500 HR points (sign up bonus). It won’t be a great rate but then work are paying…

    • Jason K says:

      Somewhat tangental, but Transferwise only charge 0.3% fee for credit cards. I send money abroad regularly, happy to pay 0.3% on Curve card and earn 1.5 miles per £ on my BAPP.

  13. Just a quick question re Iberia Plus and the Hilton offer – Is the 1000 Avios cap per stay still in existence re the Hilton programme? Would render this pointless of so!

    • Well, just make sure your final stay isn’t over £120 :)

      I very rarely stay more than 1 night so I’m covered…

    • The cap is still in the rules but I assume bonus points are exempt or you’d get stung even on cheap stays!

      • Bonus points are exempt. I’ve earned over 1000 IB Avios on a single hilton stay before including bonus avios.

  14. Seems like the Hilton sale mentioned in the comments a couple of days ago is now official – The Big World Sale…