avios.com has launched an ‘up to 50% off hotel sale’. You need to book by September 14th but you can stay at any point up to the end of the year.
The first thing to note is that the home page above implies that you can only use a mix of cash and Avios. This is not the case – you can use 100% Avios to book. The second thing you will notice is that the selection is not exactly huge.
Let’s see if the deals stack up.
Firstly, I picked good old Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, where I have spent a lot of time in the past. This is a clever choice of hotel – you pay 65% less than an equivalent beach hotel but are given passes to use the beach, kids club, pools etc at Madinat Jumeirah and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. This deal is going away in January 2015, however.
The Dubai discount is ‘up to 20%’. For 25-29 October avios.com quoted 149,250 Avios or £821 bed and breakfast. That works out at 0.55p per Avios if you pay with Avios.
Jumeirah’s own website quotes Dh 5,376 including tax, or £888. This rate EXCLUDES breakfast, however, which will be expensive. Assuming £50 per day for breakfast for two people, you would be saving 25%.
Secondly, I looked at Courtyard Vienna Schoenbrunn in Vienna. This advertises a 50% discount when booking a 3-night stay. For 5-8 November, avios.com quotes £109 or 19,300 Avios points (0.56p per Avios) for a double with breakfast.
On marriott.com, the hotel is charging €67 per day ROOM ONLY. That is £160 for a 3-day stay. The hotel charges €16 per person for breakfast which would take the total to £237. The avios.com hotel sale does genuinely save you over 50%.
Slightly to my own surprise, I have to concede that the avios.com hotel sale does look pretty good.
A different question is whether you should pay with cash or with Avios points. Receiving 0.55p per Avios point is very poor, to put it mildly. However if you are Avios rich you do at least have the option.