IHG (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc) launched its 72-hour Winter flash sale yesterday.
You need to book by 9am (note, am) on Sunday 8th November.
You can book for stays between 1st December and 29th February 2016.
At first glance, the prices are certainly not as generous as we have seen in recent Winter sales. Anyone expecting rooms in Central London for £20.12 again will be disappointed. Even Crowne Plaza The City, which I got for £49 last time, is at £89.
There is nothing in Central London at £39. At £49, the new Indigo in Newcastle caught my eye. Crowne Plaza Ealing and the Holiday Inn Express at Excel are the ‘best’ London options I think, although I’ve never visited the Holiday Inn Brent Cross.
At £69 your pickings improve – you’ll get the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum here, which is ugly but well located. The Indigo in Glasgow is also £69. To be honest, the best value is at the £89 level where you will get genuinely good hotels such as Crowne Plaza Kensington (reviewed here) and Crowne Plaza The City.
For an extra £10 you can add breakfast. This is worthwhile in most cases.
All nights are qualifying nights!
Here is the good news – rooms booked in this sale are guaranteed to receive IHG Rewards Club points. This means that they will also qualify for the Accelerate promotion currently running.
Annoyingly, the guarantee that the rooms will qualify for points does not appear on the special booking page or in the terms and conditions. It was flagged clearly in the promotional email sent out yesterday, however. It is also logical given that you must be an IHG Rewards Club member to book these deals.
A great arbitrage here via Accelerate
There is an opportunity here to get yourself a great deal on a hotel stay in 2016.
If you have been a long-time member of IHG Rewards Club, you will have been given a personalised target for the Accelerate promotion this Autumn. Only you will know whether it is worth booking a mattress run (booking a hotel, turning up to check in, ruffling the sheets and then immediately leaving) to hit your qualifying target.
For new IHG Rewards Club members, there is a great opportunity here
If you sign up for IHG Rewards Club from scratch and then register for Accelerate via this page, you will get a specific offer – complete four stays and receive two free nights at ANY IHG hotel during 2016. The only ‘catch’ is that the hotel must be showing standard reward availability for the nights you want but this is rarely an issue – IHG forces its hotels to make 5% of rooms available every night for redemption.
With sale nights running at £39 in this sale, you would be paying £156 for four nights if there is a suitable hotel near you. If you used your two free nights at a top InterContinental hotel in New York, London, Paris etc, you would be getting around £500 of free rooms. That is an impressive deal.
(For clarity, your four stays cannot be back-to-back stays at the same hotel – the hotel or IHG will merge them together when they post to your account and they will only count as one stay.)
Personally, I am two nights short of my Accelerate target so I will be looking to book two cheap nights under this promotion. I just need to weigh up the arbitrage between paying a higher price for a hotel near my house or travelling out of London to get a far cheaper rate …..
(Want to earn more hotel points? To see our complete list of promotions from 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.)