Bits: bizarre new Marriott ‘no desk’ policy, more BA Shanghai flights, IHG ‘buy points’ last day

News in brief:

Is Marriott really getting rid of desks because young people don’t find them cool?!

In my articles on the takeover of Starwood by Marriott, I made a couple of observations about the perceived lack of cultural fit.  The team that created ‘W’ hotels is unlikely to sit happily in a Mormon dominated institution that still insists on bibles in every bedroom and a big photo of Bill Marriott in the lobby.

Exhibit B on ‘how Marriott just doesn’t get it’ is in this article from Slate.  As Marriott-branded hotels are refurbished, Marriott is ripping out the desks.  They’ve seen all those kids in Starbucks with laptops on their knees and they have decided that desks are just so not cool.  The business traveller of today prefers to sit in bed with a chai latte (although it is unclear where you would get a chai latte at your average Marriott) with their Macbook on their lap.

If you are under 30, I blame you!  You were asked at some focus group why you refused to stay at Marriott hotels and you said ‘because they have desks in the rooms’.   You’ve screwed it up for the rest of us now ….


British Airways increases Shanghai frequencies – should be good Avios availability

British Airways has announced that it is adding three additional flights per week to Shanghai from 20th February.  These will be coded BA160/161.

As always with new BA routes, Avios availability will be excellent as the flights will have been loaded with two Club World seats and four World Traveller seats on every service.

From 1st August, the main daily Shanghai flight will be switched to a new Boeing 787-9.  The additional three weekly flights will remain on a Boeing 777-200.

InterContinental Times Square

100% ‘buy points’ bonus back with IHG Rewards Club

Finally, a reminder that today is the last day for this offer.  Literally just days after finishing their last 100% bonus, IHG Rewards Club relaunched it!

Buying IHG points can be an excellent deal if you like staying at luxury five star hotels.  I ran this full analysis last month so I won’t repeat it again.

The bottom line is that for £189 you can buy enough points for a night at the InterContinental Times Square New York (photo below), Park Lane London, Le Grand Paris etc – hotels which very, very rarely sell for as little as £189.

The link to buy is here.  The offer closes today.

TARGETTED: 20,000 SPG points (= 25,000 Avios) sign-up bonus for the Starwood Amex card!
ONE DAY ONLY: a free Rewards credit when you book today
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  1. OT Travelodge promo might interest somebody

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    Use code
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  2. Is it worth buying the IHG points? We have a trip to Amsterdam in May 2016 and trying to plan for it. We need 2 rooms per night for 3 nights.

    We have 2 free nights from the accelerate promo, earned one each. Options:
    1. Buy points.
    2. Do 4 mattress runs on IHG to get 2 other free nights.
    3. Use money and book either Hilton (newly acquired diamond), IHg or any other

    Which strategy seems reasonable?

    • Mattress runs would be cheaper and Amstel IC is very nice.

      • Thanks…. I was trying to convince hubby that is the way to go but he thinks I am going nuts!

        So we can redeem on any of their hotels? I actually just priced it against crowne plaza advance rates and mattress runs still worked out cheaper.

        How is availability for reward nights? Do I have to jump and book now?

  3. Nick Burch says:

    My hunch – they did a survey and found half a dozen top reasons. Several of them were quietly excluded before the results were presented, as they were things like “we don’t like the creepy giant photo of the guy behind reception”. Senior Managers didn’t understand most of the ones that were left on, and the only one they did was the no desks thing (probably phrased more about working in the bar/lounge), then they acted on that as they had to act on something….