Bits: Hilton boost Waldorf status benefits, £100 Amex / Royal Lancaster offer, Waldorf and Mandarin expand in London

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News in brief:

Hilton Honors improves Gold and Diamond benefits at Waldorf Astoria hotels

Hilton Honors has announced a small but welcome improvement to their programme which removes one of the anomalies.

From Monday, all Waldorf Astoria properties will offer complimentary continental breakfast or an equivalent credit for all Gold and Diamond members and a guest.  A Diamond member will get it automatically but a Gold member must select it via their MyWay benefits.

This was always one of the things about Hilton Honors that annoyed me.  Luckily, on my last Waldorf Astoria stay in Beijing at Easter (reviewed here, picture of the hutong it owns below) the hotel wasn’t having any of that nonsense and was giving free breakfast to Diamond members anyway.

The change is long overdue.  I struggle to see the difference between Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotels (Conrad is arguably more business focused) and Conrad properties have always given free breakfast.

You can see the full list of status benefits on this page of the Hilton website.

Remember that there are three ways to Hilton status without doing the necessary stays:

Via Hilton Platinum Visa – free Silver status for as long as you hold the card and Gold after spending £10,000 in a calendar year

Via Amex Platinum – free Gold status for as long as you hold the card

Via a status match to any other hotel status you hold – see this article for how to do it 

PS.  Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

£100 Amex cashback at the Royal Lancaster hotel in London

If you need a London hotel in January, American Express has launched a cashback deal with the plush Royal Lancaster next to Lancaster Gate tube.  It is close – walkable with no luggage – to Paddington.  Its main claim to fame is the fantastic view over Hyde Park.

You will get £100 cashback on a £250 spend at the hotel before 31st January.  I have this offer showing on both my Platinum and Starwood American Express cards so it seems quite widespread.  Remember to opt in via the ‘Offers’ page of your online statement.

There is also a 15% cashback deal for Firmdale Hotels on my account.  Firmdale is the operator of Ham Yard, The Soho Hotel, The Haymarket Hotel and various other designer boutique properties in central London.

Waldorf Astoria and Mandarin Oriental expand in London

Speaking of Waldorf Astoria, the brand has, in my view surprisingly, been chosen to operate the new very high profile luxury hotel to open in London’s Admiralty Arch in 2022.  It will be a relatively modest property at just 96 rooms.

It will be interesting to see if this forces the Waldorf Hilton Hotel to change its name.  I know from reader emails that many people think this is part of the Waldorf Astoria brand – it isn’t, it is a Hilton – and the two hotels will be just five minutes walk apart.

Meanwhile, Mandarin Oriental is putting its name to a boutique hotel on Hanover Square in a site currently occupied by Crossrail construction.  With just 50 hotel rooms but 80 multi-million pound Mandarin-branded ‘residences’ (ie flats) attached, I tend to see these projects as rather cynical cash-ins by the brands.

Over by Hyde Park, construction has also started on London’s first Peninsula hotel.  Directly opposite the Lanesborough, the old 1960’s office block on the site has now been demolished.  The hotel is due to open in 2021.

(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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Comments

  1. Staying at the Caley on Hogmany. Will be interesting to see if they mention it at check in or not…

    Managed to bag myself Diamond guaranteed availability with a points redemption. £980 for a queen deluxe room or 80k HH points. Best value I’ve ever had.

  2. OT, anyone know whether iberia release more business class flights MAD-LAX throughout the year? Looking at going one way in Summer holidays but no availability at this stage

    • Don’t know about that route but have booked through their website award seats when there is only one showing only to discover the next day another award seat had opened up. On that limited experience it appears that they do release more space.

  3. OT. Glasgow Hotels advice please. Indigo at 30k IHG, Hampton at 32k HH or DT at 35k HH?
    I’m SE in IHG and Hilton Diamond.
    Thanks in advance.

    • the real harry1 says:

      can I be the first to wish all HfP-ers Happy New Year & a very prosperous 2018! 🙂

    • Indigo at that price. A 3-5 minute walk from central station if us in train. Airport bus stops one block over coming from airport and right in front of door returning to airport. From previous comments you like your steaks and grills, the Grill on the Corner is just one block away. It’s sound but not spectacular.

      • Thanks JamesB. Should be net 26k after my 10% rebate and 1k Accelerate points redemption target (need to rebook on Monday). Got dinner booked at Number 16. We went on Oct and it was fantastic!

        • Ah ok enjoy, last time I was at No16 was with my ex so never been back since. I’m surprised Indigo only 30k given some of places around at 35k+. My accelerate is rubbish, 18 nights for 34k so solely Hilton for me, outside chance of retaining Diamond.

    • Travel Yoda says:

      Don’t know the others but have stayed at indigo (also IHG Spire) a few times for concerts at Hydro. Rooms not the biggest but nicely decorated. Had upgrade a few times although room the same just free minibar. Not really a fan of the breakfast for the price. On the food front – great Asian @ Opium on Hope St.

    • With diamond status then definitely worth the extra 3k points for the DT eg 24hr lounge access. Hot food and alcohol from 6pm-8pm. Breakfast also much better. Hampton comfortable but fairly basic. I’m at the DT quite often.

    • DT near Sauchiehall St is decent – looks like standard 60s/70s architecture on the outside but great renovation inside and great views from the Exec Lounge!

  4. In the US at least there seem to be plenty of good hotels which offer free breakfast. For our trip to Virginia & Washington DC next summer I have so far booked 4 nights at the Hyatt Place and Homewood Suites, both highly rated in a suite with a kitchen, both offering free buffet breakfast, using Tesco vouchers via hotel.com. Going to book more nights when the next lot of vouchers arrive in February!

  5. OT – seeking your expert help reg lost luggage. Just arrived in Basel and BA lost my buggy AND car seat (checked in 3h before direct flight from LHR so no clue how that happened)… they will come with next flight late and I can’t wait here 4h with my baby. My destination is outside the delivery zone (140km) so they will post but with Sunday and 1st of Jan not happening until 2nd of Jan so I’ll probably get them in 4-5 days which is unacceptable as I can’t go anywhere with my baby until then.
    I will go and pick them up tomorrow by car (so 280km drive), what are my options reg compensation?
    It was rewards flights, taxes paid with Amex Gold if that makes a difference…

    • Your own car or hire car? Either way, can you not get seat from car hire company? If you don’t need to get to your destination tonight ask BA to put you up in a hotel until tomorrow and then you can continue with seat. Probably just as cheap and less hassle for them than getting the seat to you so if they have any common sense they would accept it. If not then you could chance paying hotel yourself and claiming it back from BA latet. IIRC there is a Courtyard near the airport.

      • Thanks for your response, no family picked us up with personal car and we are staying at their place, just drove without car seat for this journey… more annoyed for the coming days really.

        • Is it possive for you to have them deliver the seat somewhere as close as possible to the edge of the delivery zone to reduce your journey to pick it up tomorrow?

        • Finally found some friends from whom we can borrow while waiting a few days for post delivery so problem “solved”… thanks JamesB

  6. OT – I managed to extend Gold status with SPG to 2018 with 11 stays in 2017. If i join Marriott Rewards in Jan 2018 and link it to my SPG account, will i get Marriott Gold until Feb 2019 (assuming i dont qualify next year) ?
    If i stay at a Marriott (after matching to Gold) and request status match with Hilton, will i get Diamond for 3 months?

    • IIRC you’ll get Marriott Gold for as long as your SPG status is valid. From review of Statusmatcher, SPG/Marriott Gold -> Hilton Gold, Plat->Diamond.

  7. Great news re Breakfast at WAs, thanks Rob.

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