Accor’s new ‘Secret Deals’ is a lot worse than ‘Happy Mondays’

Accor’s ‘Happy Mondays’ was the most generous UK hotel promotion available for cash stays.  Every Monday and Tuesday, it would unload unsold Novotel, Mercure, Pullman, Ibis etc rooms for the following two weekends for as little as £25.  You would occasionally even see a London-based Ibis, such as the one at Excel, for £25.

These rooms would even count as qualifying stays in Le Club AccorHotels and trigger any generous bonus promotions running at the time.

Oh well.

‘Happy Mondays’ ended two weeks ago and will not be returning.  It has been replaced by ‘Secret Deals’.

You can take a look at the first ‘Secret Deals’ selection here.

It looks rubbish.

Accor Secret Deals

It seems as if the batch of deals will be refreshed every two weeks or so – the current batch are available until today, 13th May.

You can book for any point over the next three months, which at the moment takes you up until the end of July.

The problem is that there isn’t much out there.  Take Saturday 8th July, which is a day when I need a couple of rooms in London for my brother.  All they can offer me is the Sofitel at Heathrow ($147, not sure why $) or Gatwick ($116).  No sign of any of the many, many other London hotels run by Accor.

There are only 11 towns on the dropdown list, and that includes such delightful weekend break destinations as Chesterfield, Bradford and my own home town of Rotherham.

The politest thing to say is that this is hopefully early days and that Accor will work to improve the selection of hotels.  I assume it is trying to copy Starwood’s Hot Escapes model although I have never felt that was very successful either.

You can find out more about Accor Secret Deals on their website here.

PS.  Don’t forget that you can still earn at least 7.5 Avios per €1 in the current Accor ‘Sweet Pillows’ promotion here.  There is also an interesting bonus points offer running in parallel here.

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

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  1. I think (not so) deep down we knew that anything that replaced the Accor Happy Mondays was never going to be as good.

    Oh well – all good things must come to an end

    Glad to have benefited from it – nice while it lasted 🙂

    OT – double Avios for Avios in-store shopping.

    • If it didn’t work, though, the hotels would not have participated. And they did participate, in droves.

      • RIcatti says:

        Problem is that such programs like Hot Escapes/Special Deals require maintenance,

        – they have to be populated by Accor on one side
        – people have to come and search on the other side

        If after quite a few attempts, I cant find a deal then I don’t look at that source anymore.

        Fixed rate offer had an attraction that there is a guaranteed deal.

        • Hingeless says:

          I like the new promotion, I have just booked the T5 Sofitel for a great price WITH all my benefits rather than going through the other route.

          Let’s see what next week brings

  2. I’ve used Accor frequently for leisure trips over the last few years in part thanks to Happy Mondays, and also free Platinum status via Amex, which is due to expire in December.

    I have a couple more stays booked this summer, but after that I see no real attraction to the brands over anything else. Happy Mondays was a game-changer and made Accor the first port of call when booking a weekend stay in the UK. Nice while it lasted, but I’ll take my cheap-skate arse elsewhere in the future…

  3. Court says:

    Just in the T5 lounge after a night at the Sofitel on the £107 secret deal – I guess they fancy a bit of that market…

  4. Brian says:

    I tried looking at the Secret Deals yesterday – when I actually clicked through for a particular hotel in one of the cities on the drop-down list, it turned out that the price being offered was just the normal flexible Platinum rate. In other words, it was actually more expensive than the Advance rate open to everybody. So yes, it is rubbish. As others have posted before, there really isn’t much point in bothering with Accor now, unless they happen to have a hotel in the right place at any given time.

  5. Brian says:

    As Rob says, SPG’s Hot Escapes is nothing special, either. The point about it – and, it seems, Accor’s Secret Deals – is that the discount on offer is not that great and the list of hotels isn’t very wide. People therefore can’t be bothered checking, because the chances of their finding a good discount on a hotel they actually want to go to are very slim. With Happy Mondays, it was such a great deal that I would always check, and would be happy to stay in a slightly less convenient hotel because of the price.

  6. NigelM says:

    I can understand them not pricing in £ since the fall in the £ might be part of what killed off Happy Mondays. Euro would make sense since it’s a French company but maybe pre French election they thought the dollar a safer bet at that time?

  7. Most of the hotels on the Happy Monday deal were out of the way, or of lower quality ( with some notable exceptions ) – was it better to get some money from a perishable resource ( empty bed ) than no money ?

    IMHO the hotels will find that the revenue is down, the % full is down, but the average price per room is up……

    The world wide sale of hotel rooms every week, never includes the UK, so they have lost this part of the market.

    I think that this is going to be an ongoing trend with Accor, to increase the room rate, at the expense of revenue. I do know that some of the hotels on the old Happy Mondays list did not know about it being killed off until after it had happened.

    There is really nothing for an elite status member of Le Club now in much of Europe to warrant the effort to keep the status. The Happy Mondays deal at least gave something back to all members.

    I think I will not be renewing my status in 2018 ( having already renewed this year ) There is simply nothing in it for me. The standard of the hotels and the service needs to improve at the prices offered. You can put up with poor service for £25 but not for £250 a night.

    Thank you and good night Accor.

    • Brian says:

      Not sure why you think that most of the hotels were out of the way or of lower quality – unless you were expecting the top-end Sofitels and MGallerys (of which there are very few in the UK, I believe) to be on the list. Saturday was sometimes a bit barren, but Sundays and Mondays always had a decent selection, as did most Fridays. Most of the London hotels in a variety of districts could be had, for example. And in tourist destinations like Salisbury, Oxford or Winchester, Accor is the only major chain with a centrally-located hotel. Oxford was rarely on the list, but Salisbury, Exeter, Winchester, Bristol, Edinburgh etc etc all were. Which is why the loss of the deal is such a shame.

      • Yes, agree Salisbury is a lovely hotel if you get the right rooms …. However Brighton, Wetherby, Tonbridge etc are not ( although most of the ones I mention are owned by Jupiter and they seem not to be doing any refurbishment …. )

        Classic examples in a privilege room – repairing the missing tile by paint in the bathroom – and non working Spa equipment just boarded over but still shown on the website – moldy black out curtains – missing taps …..

        Have had lovely stays in London and elsewhere, but most of the Happy Mondays list was not 100% up to the standard of the chain.

        Not expecting Sofitel standards for a £40 Mercure …. but Mercure standards … the rooms are the same condition weather you pay £40 or £400 …. just about acceptable at £40 not at £400

  8. Billy says:

    8th July is right in middle of Wimbledon so there’ll likely be slim pickings.

  9. Brighton Belle says:

    It’s thanks to HFP’s here that I have worked my way around almost all of the Happy Monday Accor properties in London. It revealed the benefits of getting status in hotel programmes and the madness of mattress runs. The demise of Happy Monday will be a loss. Secret Deals looks very dull and the win of accounts and spreadsheets over marketing pizzazz. Accor seems to be settling for low occupancy high pricing.

  10. I used Happy Mondays & the bonus points promotions to achieve platinum status with Accor. As they have removed the promotion (and started ‘bonus points), I have used the status match with Hilton and will complete my 8 stays to retain Diamond until 31 March 2019. So Accor will lose the majority of my business, until I’ve used up the remaining Accor points.
    Perhaps they should have been more sensible about refining the programme.

    • Barry cutters says:

      to be fair if you gained status from mostly the Happy Mondays & the bonus points promotions , then they havent lost a great deal have they. I dont mean that to sound harsh, but if you put the costings and profit down from all those stays…

  11. I have used Accor places when absolutely necessary, but their points customer service is possibly the worst in the world. I always choose another brand when available.

    • Peter K says:

      I’ve found Accor customer service to be awful overall on the few occasions I have had to deal with them.

      As for their hotels, I gained platinum from Amex last year but still have not found a hotel of theirs I want to stay in despite needed a hotel in various parts of the country. The ones from their competitors always seem more desirable (and better trip advisor reviews).

  12. Not sure if you’re being serious or not about Chesterfield (the town where I grew up) being a “delightful” weekend destination but it is. A nice old market town on the edge of the beautiful countryside of the Peak District National Park.

    • I know, I spent 19 years living down the road. I am rarely troubled by overcrowding on Sat AM trains north though …..

      • Sussex bantam says:

        Well I come from Bradford – and robs right about that city!!

    • the_real_a says:

      I went back home to hull this week. Flabbergasted how nice it is.

  13. Discount Mike says:

    It’s a bit silly they removed the whole thing. Why not increase it to £30/45 and or make the rate not eligible for points promotions – fools.

    • Brian says:

      For some reason, loyalty schemes don’t like doing things in increments. They prefer a big devaluation. I’m sure there is some rationale for it, but I agree that it seems foolish. Even if they had London Novotels/Mercures for a fixed rate of £80 or even £100, I’m pretty sure there would be plenty of takers, since that’s still a decent price for a Central London hotel.

  14. Brian says:

    Accor are offering bonus points on UK stays, I think until the end of the year. You get 500 for the first stay, 1000 for the second, so that represents 30 euros worth – not a bad return. The T&Cs say that it can’t be combined with other offers, so it may not work with the bonus promotion for 2-night stays. But it would work well for any 1-night stays planned. Not sure if Rob is planning to do an article – probably not, so here is a link with the information:

  15. OT, but has anyone had problems trying to use the “Refer a Friend” link from the Amex website? I keep getting an error message.

  16. Managed to get up to Gold status with Accor last year (when bonuses counted towards tier status) mainly via Happy Mondays. Being an occasional London commuter, I used to make Monday my office day, travel down on Sunday afternoon in cheap day fare territory and the saving vs full fare tended to cover most of the hotel rate. My favourite pick was the Mercure London South Bank where for £60 a night, I invariably got upgraded to their roof terrace rooms on the top floor (a smokers haven!) with great views towards The Shard. On top of the free drink voucher they used to place additional welcome amenities for status members which were locally sourced. So for this hotel that tended to be from Borough Market: micro brewery ale, artisan chocolate and the likes. And the 7x bonuses given at Mercure vs Ibis which of available was only £10 less made this property a non brainer and a hidden gem in the Accor portfolio. Plus it bolstered up my IB Avios account. A real shame the offer has ended. Back to early Monday starts for me…. not so happy.

  17. Sebastian says:

    Happy Mondays was the only reason I stayed with Accor as their hotels are average and their customer service appallingly. Looks like it will be back to Hiltons for me.

  18. Sorry I might be going through a moment of dullness. How do I change my account to earning miles rather than points? Also how do I register for the Iberia tripple Avios?

    Ps I have autoconvert working if that makes any difference.
    Thanks in advance

  19. Lady London says:

    I took a look – I don’t know why they’ve bothered really.