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My review of the Holiday Inn Express Alcorcon hotel in Madrid

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This is my review of the Holiday Inn Express Alcorcon in Madrid.

Regular readers will know that I was in Madrid last week, taking advantage of my Amex Platinum free night at the Grand Melia Fenix.

Whilst I was there, I decided to do something towards my wifes ‘The Big Win’ targets.

As I outlined here, ‘The Big Win’ is a potentially lucrative promotion organised by IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc group.

As a fairly regular stayer, my personal targets for this promotion were too tough.  My wife, however, does one stay a year in her name.  She was therefore given a very easy set of targets – effectively five nights (one of which we’d already booked before the promo launched) for 71,000 bonus points.

The biggest issue is that she had to stay in two different cities from a list provided by IHG.  Luckily, whilst the list of cities is short, London and Madrid were on it.  Spanish hotel rates are also pretty low at the moment, given the economy and time of year.

I booked her in to the Holiday Inn Express Alcorcon Madrid for three nights:

Holiday Inn Express Alcorcon Madrid review

This is a typical ‘edge of city’ Holiday Inn Express.  There is a metro station 6-7 minutes walk away, but it is a trot from the city centre and the walk to the hotel crosses some big roads.

I booked in for three nights at €49 per night.  However, I nearly came unstuck – and there is a lesson here.

Normally, it is not a problem to book a hotel room for 2 people and for someone other than the first named guest to turn up.  This is especially true when the 2nd guest is listed in the booking, as IHG allows you to do.

However, Spain has tough ID rules for hotel stays.  The HIX Alcorcon was not happy that my wife was not there.  They also wanted a signature on a credit card slip for the pre-paid hotel room.

Luckily, I had paid for the room with a credit card in my name, so I was able to sign that.  At the same time (as the slip was stapled to the registration card), I signed the registration card in her name.  The hotel then seemed OK.  After all, I told them she was arriving later ….

I then nipped up to the room, had a drink, ruffled the bed, ran the shower and used the free internet for half an hour before leaving.  I had to hope that they wouldn’t notice the lack of luggage or be bothered that the room would not be slept in for nights 2 and 3.

(The hotel itself is perfectly fine.  A bog-standard Holiday Inn Express room very similar to those in the UK, albeit a bit bigger.  The hotel is clearly fairly new.  There was a light and airy bar and breakfast room on the ground floor and the staff were friendly.  There is also a third-party restaurant next door.

As a Platinum member, I was given two vouchers for the bar.  I traded these for a diet Coke and a Kit-Kat (full size!))

As it happens, there was no problem.  (And there never has been a problem, on the numerous times I have done this.)  My stay posted perfectly to her IHG Rewards Club account five days after check-out.

And, frankly, a lucrative stay it was!  Using some of the new bonus codes I highlighted here, she earned 27,000 IHG Rewards Club points!  I would value those at £135 if used for free hotel stays.

The logic of this mattress run, for me, was simple.  My wife will earn around 120,000 IHG Rewards Club points from this promotion.  That is good for two nights at, say, the InterContinental Paris, worth £500, with £100 of points left over.  The cost of the four ‘mattress run’ nights will be under £200, even with travel costs.

I have a marginal regret about choosing Alcorcon.  From leaving the city centre to getting back (stripping out the internet time I spent in the room) took two hours.

It is also in Zone B on the metro, which requires you to buy an extension to your travel card.  I could have paid a few Euros more per night and picked a more central Holiday Inn Express, although at best I would have saved 40 minutes.  And on a three night stay, those extra Euros accumulate.

You can find out more about the hotel, and book, on this page of the IHG website.

(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (32)

  • Mark B says:

    I had a stay on Saturday night at the Holiday Inn Express Bradford that netted me over 21,000 points by using several promotional codes but didn’t count as I’d expected towards the Big Win (first stay in the promotion should have netted me 1,000 points for booking via the IHG website)

    Is this right ?

    “My offer status2 on the IHG website confirms I’m registered for the big win

    • Ed E says:

      The Big Win points totals take longer to post than the stay points, it will come up eventually but the evidence seems to be that they process The Big Win in batches rather than an ad-hoc basis.
      3 weeks till my first big win stay and then 1 more week until it should be completed!

    • Rob says:

      Give it another few days

  • Tom says:

    Can I just check that Advance Saver Rate (I.e. Pay now, no cancellations) do count towards Big Win?
    The booking page says I will earn points.

    I have found a £30 room late in December that will effectively earn me 80,000 points!

  • Rich Spencer says:

    Anyone else had any issues with stays not registering for any points then when manually added by IHG not counting towards The Big Win. Ive been trying to sort this out for about 7 weeks and am not getting anywhere- I dont know if they know how to do it but it’s a triole whammy for me as it was a city trigger, different brand and one of the qualifying nights…..
    No offence, but I dont want to go back to Birmingham….

  • Simon says:

    I’ve booked 2 Saturday night stays with 2 different brands to get some Big Win points and I’ve plugged in all codes here

    https://headforpoints.com/2013/10/10/another-24000-points-worth-of-ihg-rewards-club-bonus-codes/

    Your article is much clearer than any of the others I’ve seen, thanks. The 1027 code is listed twice though. Have you put it in twice by accident or is it a copy and paste mistake and there are 2 different codes for 3,000 points per stay?

    • Rob says:

      No, only one code, it slipped through twice!

      • Simon says:

        Ah thanks, I’ve managed to get 15 offers now showing against my account although foolishly I entered the code for HP Employees to get Gold status on their next stay when I’m already a Gold, hopefully non of the points offers will conflict with that one.

        • Alan says:

          It’s OK, I mistakenly signed up for that one too as a Plat and it didn’t seem to have any effect (thankfully!)

          • Simon says:

            I saw a comment by an Alan on Loyalty Lobby about this and thought it might be you!

            I’ve already had a mini success on my booking before my first stay as my AMEX Gold gave me quadruple points on my Holiday Inn Bristol booking, I got a first year welcome bonus and 2 lots of travel bonuses for it!

          • Alan says:

            Nice result! At first I was worried IHG were going to stop having these extra promo codes so glad they’ve kept them going!

  • Waribai says:

    My haul from a £40 stay at Hi Express Dartford! This came to a whopping 32808 points. Thannks for the advice Raffles!

    Earning Details

    539 pts.

    Bonus Points Earned

    269 pts.

    WELCOME BACK BONUS
    3,000 pts.

    ELITE MEMBER NEXT STAY BONUS
    5,000 pts.

    ELITE MEMBER NEXT STAY BONUS
    5,000 pts.

    NEXT STAY BONUS
    3,000 pts.

    NEW MEMBER BONUS PROMOTION
    3,000 pts.

    2,000 BONUS POINTS FOR 60 DAYS
    2,000 pts.

    ELITE MEMBER NEXT STAY BONUS
    3,000 pts.

    ELITE MEMBER NEXT STAY BONUS
    3,000 pts.

    1,000 BONUS POINTS FOR 60 DAYS
    1,000 pts.

    ANNIVERSARY BONUS OFFER
    1,000 pts.

    WELCOME BACK BONUS
    1,500 pts.

    NEW MEMBER BONUS PROMOTION
    1,500 pts.