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

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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  It has been replaced by ‘Secret Deals’.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.

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

(New to Accor Live Limitless?  Read our two-part overview of Accor Live Limitless here and here and our article on expiry rules here.)

Comments (38)

  • 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.

  • Rob says:

    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…

  • Tim says:

    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).

  • Ian says:

    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.

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • 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.

  • 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: http://loyaltylobby.com/2017/05/05/le-club-accorhotels-uk-ireland-up-to-1500-bonus-points-april-19-december-31-2017-book-april-19-july-19/

  • Anon says:

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

  • C77 says:

    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.