The Avios ‘50% off hotels’ sale is now available for booking. However, I recommend you use this ba.com booking link as that one seems to be working properly (ie displaying all the hotels, not just a few).
What I did not expect is that the ‘pay with cash’ price has also been halved. This means two things:
You are only getting 0.57p per Avios if you choose to use your miles to pay, since they have halved both the ‘pay with Avios’ and ‘pay with cash’ prices. I wasn’t expecting that.
With cash prices halved, there are some exceptional deals to be had.
The super-luxe Conrad Algarve, for example, is available through the peak Summer season at half-price. Even the half-board packages are half-price! August 3-9th, for example, is £1,290 (or of course you can use Avios) for a Deluxe Double half-board. On hilton.com, you would be paying €3,546 Euro for (advanced purchase) dinner, bed and breakfast.
In Prague, 14-16 March, the InterContinental is available for 950 Avios and £105, the total for 2 nights, WITH breakfast. The cheapest rate at intercontinental.com is €192 WITHOUT breakfast.
In Budapest, one of the best hotels in Europe – the Four Seasons Gresham Palace – is available for Valentine’s weekend (14-16 February) for £230 + 4,400 Avios for two nights, with breakfast. fourseasons.com wants €590 for the same thing. (EDIT: this one is now sold out for those dates)
You need to book by noon on Monday for travel by 30th September.
The small print says “Amendments and cancellation are permitted subject to the Avios cancellation and amendment terms where a fee as stated on avios.com will apply.” Not sure what these are though!
The participating cities in this round are, as a reminder: