Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

435 days after writing about it, we finally had our free meal in The Shard

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Back in October 2013 (yes, 2013) I wrote about a promotion launched by Shangri-La Hotels.  Basically, if you played an online game once a week for six weeks, you would receive 1,200 points in their Golden Circle loyalty scheme.  The most useful redemption was spending 1,000 points for a $100 food and beverage voucher.

At the time, Shangri-La was not present in the UK.  However, I knew that their hotel in The Shard was under construction so I recommended that readers who are often in London should take part.

There were ups and downs along the way.  The opening of The Shard was delayed and delayed.  Once it opened, Shangri-La put a temporary block on redeeming Golden Circle points.  Finally, from September-ish last year, redemptions were allowed.

Last Wednesday, my wife and I finally made it along to Ting, their main restaurant.

We were given an excellent table directly next to the windows on the 35th floor.  Service was very formal and attentive, albeit lightened by the clientele – because it is the main hotel restaurant, they cannot easily impose a dress code or keep out children.

We had the £49 four course set dinner menu topped off with two glasses of wine.  This is not a restaurant site so I will not discuss the menu, but it was all very well done albeit with modest portion sizes.

With service, we only paid a nominal sum on top of the £122 credit we received from our two Golden Circle redemption vouchers.

Our vouchers were issued swiftly by the hotel reception desk (not the business centre as is normally the case with these vouchers, Cairns works the same way a reader told me) when we arrived.  Despite the warnings about taking photo ID etc nothing was required.  I was even issued with the voucher for my wife even though she had yet to arrive.

To keep with the style of evening, I used some free Uber credit to have a Mercedes S-Class pick us up at the lobby and take us home.

If you haven’t yet managed to redeem your Golden Circle points, make sure you do – it made for a very pleasant evening and was (just about) worth the 435 days wait.

Hotel offers update – December 2023:

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

Want to buy hotel points?

  • IHG One Rewards is offering a 100% bonus (some members may see less) when you buy points by 30th December. Click here.
  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 30% bonus when you buy points by 20th December. Click here.
  • World of Hyatt is offering a 20% bonus when you buy points by 4th December. Click here.

Comments (46)

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  • Henry C says:

    I missed this the first time around – can I still sign up?

  • xcalx says:

    OT (comments are now closed)
    Anyone still thinking of applying for the Economist 12000 Avios should be aware of the EDIT raffles added to the original thread on the 12th Jan.
    I asked for a refund by email last Friday and received an email yesterday confirming I would get a full refund.

    (EDIT: January 12th: The Economist is now reportedly refusing to accept cancellations and issue pro-rata refunds to people who subscribe using this promotions. The right to cancel IS in the general Economist subscription terms and conditions which are in a link at the bottom of the subscription page. This means that they MUST refund you, even though the call centre is now trying to say that they will not, but you may need to push them hard.)

    • pazza2000 says:

      As long as the T&C still say you can cancel for a pro-rat refund. Can always put it to Amex if they refuse.

  • Andy says:

    I used my voucher there in October for lunch at Ting. It was excellent, except they spilled a bowl of soup on my jacket (which they’d hung up next to the waiter’s station), then came back every 10-15 minutes to apologise and give me an update on the status of the jacket (it’s going to housekeeping, it’s with housekeeping, housekeeping says it needs to go to the cleaners, it’s going to the cleaners, it’s not back yet, can you come back later to collect it?).

    They also put an extra £10 on the wine on the bill so after the embarrassment of the jacket I then had to get them to fix that which made me feel like a troublesome customer.

    It was still a good experience though, we were given an extra dessert each (apparently because it was my birthday, but I suspect because of the soup), a plate of petit fors with happy birthday piped in chocolate on the plate, and collecting the jacket gave us a great excuse to visit again when it was dark so we could enjoy the night view.

  • Kiran says:

    Out of interest, do people think it’s a better experience during daylight or darkness? I guess best bet would be to book a dinner later in the year and time it so the Sun goes down during the meal…

    • Scotty says:

      When I went just after opening, we had the meal before and after sunset so had the best of both worlds although it’s better in daylight or rather, sunset as the colours are just beautiful 🙂

      I wouldn’t agree with the comment on portion sizes, it was fantastic and large, dessert was a little small but exquisite.

      Only downside was that I couldn’t get points 🙁

      • pazza2000 says:

        Have visited Gong which I was impressed with, I have to even say the pricing is fair for a bar that wasent short on staff, furnishing or a view. Sounds like I’ll need to visit Ting also.

        To confirm, can ‘pay with points’ still not be redeemed at the Shard property? I have 1.2k points, be a shame to leave 200/$20 behind…

  • Kenneth Tan says:

    Did they name the restaurant after their microwave?

    Glad for your review. We are looking to go their albeit without voucher.

  • panka says:

    I used my voucher in November in The Shard in the Ting. I had the Afternoon Tea with champagne, and it was paid with my voucher.
    You can’t get money back, unfortunately, if you spend less.

    • pazza2000 says:

      I’ve heard a good review of the afternoon tea also, would you agree?

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