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New Club rooms launched at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo hotel

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During my Tokyo trip last year I stayed at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo and didn’t have the best experience.  My room was mouldy and the hotel overrun by cherry blossom tourists …..

ANA InterContinental Tokyo

However, after my rather negative review it is only fair to mention that InterContinental has been working on improving the Club rooms. A total of 59 Club rooms have been refurbished and the result looks promising as you can see in this Japan Today article.

Hopefully the rest of the hotel will also get a bit of a revamp ….

You can find out more on the hotel website here.

IHG Rewards update – July 2021:

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Comments (105)

  • Tom C says:

    Good to see the sales beginning, but I’m still patiently waiting on Qatar for some J flights down to Seychelles/Joburg

  • Dave says:

    Hoping for economy Australia flight sales for august come soon

  • John Tickner says:

    If you are a wine geek, The Yeatman takes some beating.

  • Michael C says:

    Just in case anyone was wondering when is best to buy for Asia (as I was), the Finnair LHR-BKK Club price was only 50 GBP more than this sale price throughout Nov./Dec.

    I’m sure the Qatar sale will be fab, but with a toddler in tow, and those 2 x 6-hr flights meaning interrupted sleep, we’ve gone for the convenience of a BA CW/WTP combo.

    Would actually have loved to have tried Eva Air, but didn’t see any offers around at any point?

    • JamesB says:

      Target non-sale prices for one change flights to BKK should be £1400 to £1600. Thes fares can be found from both LHR and the regions using AY, TK or KL, and these airlines also offer other SE Asian destination in this price range. The lowest business class return I have seen to BKK from LHR in the last six months was about £1150 with TK, I recall one HFP reader booking it for his family over the Easter vacation.

      • John says:

        I got TK to BKK for £1088 with a 24 hour stopover in IST, next month. Slightly regretting as I see Turkey is not too much warmer than the UK during February but it’s only 1 night, and I need some Star miles to renew my A3*G and actually have enough to be useful, now that redeeming no longer requires a phone call.

        • JamesB says:

          What’s the busines seat on TK like these days and is it consistent across all longhaul aircraft? I’ve been tempred to try it from EDI but been put off by tge lengthy shorg sectore on a 737.

        • ankomonkey says:

          I was in Istanbul last week and didn’t need a coat. It was t-shirt weather. That may have been freak weather though!

    • JamesB says:

      Sorry Michael, forgot to mention EVA. They tend to follow Thai pricing as far as I can tell. In 2016 it was not that difficult to find direct flights on both for around £1750 but in 2017 it was typically £100-£300 more. Thai sometimes do good companion flight deals but I don’t think there were any in 2017. It is worth keeping an eye on their site for them though, with choice of a350 or a380 with two daily departures I think they are a better option than EVA 777.

      • Michael C says:

        Cheers for that, James – all noted, as we go every year!

        • JamesB says:

          In that case I recommend tou try taking a redemption outwards sometime and take a ow cash flight back on Sri Lankan to enjoy a stopover there. Now costing around £800 in J given current exchange rates but still great value as fares are quite flexible and the airline is decent for the money.

  • Asp says:

    O/T: any recommended hotels for a weekend visit to Vienna? I’m Marriott/SPG Plat and Hilton Gold (could status match to Diamond). Anyone recently stayed at the Hilton Plaza? Or a non major brand I might have missed?
    Many Thanks

    • Daftboy says:

      The Sofitel Stefansdom is superb

    • JamesB says:

      Any except Courtyard Prater.

    • jakobv84 says:

      I like the IC Vienna and the Hilton across from it on the opposite end of the park. Both are pretty close to the u-train station to the airport.

      • Rob says:

        I find the IC a bit bland, but there is nothing wrong with it I agree.

    • Reeferman says:

      If you want something a bit different – try Hollmann-Belatage. We’ve stayed a couple of times and it’s great.

    • RussellH says:

      I and a large group of UK tour operators stayed at the Marriott and we were all really quite impressed. This was around ten years ago though.

      The following year we were put in a Sofitel (if there is more than one, then I do not know which). I have no memory as to what like the room was, but I was very pleased with the service – I arrived in Vienna on the overnight train from Frankfurt at around 0730. Austrian Tourist Board person took me to the Sofitel, where reception apologised profusely for not having a room ready for me a 8 in the morning!. “Do please help yourself to breakfast and we promise that you will have a room when you are finished.”

      They were as good as their word.

    • Rhys says:

      Really enjoyed staying at the Ritzcarlton a couple of years ago and the breakfast was very good.

    • John says:

      Doubletree Bratislava 🙂
      1€ bus fare if you book online

    • Carl says:

      Le Meridien is pretty nice and in a great location just across from the Opera house. Breakfast was also very good. It’s also pretty good value iirc.

      • Asp says:

        Thanks all, will take a look at some of the suggestions.

        • David says:

          Le Meridien is wonderful, and their service is great. Modern art themed interior and classical exterior makes it more than your regular major chain hotel, and as the previous post said, it’s an ideal location.

  • Tom1 says:

    O/t amex upgrade. I have just about hit the spend target on my gold card and will upgrade to plat using the link.
    1. Can I start spending on my gold immediately as a pseudo plat until the physical plat card arrives and Will that contribute to my plat spend?
    2. When can I get the lounge benefits? Do I need a card or can I use an app? (Flying Sunday)
    3. When I hit plat spend target I will refer my wife for gold. But when I close plat where do I put my MR points? Is that where I should downgrade plat to a free one, or do I have to cancel altogether to start the 6 months rolling?
    Thanks !

    Also, onceni have hit my ol

    • Genghis says:

      1. Yes. Once online acct shows as Plat.
      2. You can contact PP I believe to get the code to show the app card
      3. If you close your Plat account, you need to move your points somewhere. Depends what you want. If you downgrade to the free ARCC it doesn’t “reset the clock”, only not holding an MR earning card does that.

      • Tom1 says:

        Thanks. My end goal is avios to utilise 2-4-1 so will transfer to BAEC. Assume there have never been any transfer bonuses from MR to avios?

    • Rob says:

      No chance of 2) although it is apparentlt possible to ring Priority Pass after a fee days and get your number (to use the app) before the plastic cards arrive. Not all lounges accept the app though.

      • Tom1 says:

        Thanks Rob.
        Suggestion – could you create a ‘when was the last time…’ page.
        the last time there was a club Carlson promo
        The last time there was a MR to Hilton transfer bonus
        The last time there was a tesco clubcard to virgin promo

        Or is there an easy way to find those posts already? (Plus WordPress plugin to allow searching of comments would be great. ????)

        • JamesB says:

          I can confirm comments on PP, I was in this situation last year. IIRC I called PP the same day or the day after my card was approved at the latest. Get the new card number from amex (usually little different from the gold card) then call PP. They will givd you a number to get the app up and running. It worked a treat, no need to carry the plastic card at all. One last tip, the app does not need to be online on entering the lounges which is very helpful overseas,, just show them a screenshot of your app barcode page, it works just fine.

        • Rob says:

          There has never been a general MR to Hilton promo (the recent one was targetted). Clubcard to Virgin promos have run virtually every quarter for the last couple of years.

          Remember you can search HFP by Category – see the bottom of the sidebar on Desktop / Tablet.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Maybe you should wait until upgrading to Plat until your points hit your account. When I went from Gold to Plat, I probably did it a day early, quick web chat and it was resolved.

    • Craig Anderson says:

      Tom1, couple of questions if you don’t mind:

      1) are you saying that you are getting bonus points for upgrading gold to plat, on top of the signup for the gold? When you say link, is there a specific link somewhere in your account to do this?

      2) Why wait to hit plat spend target before referring wife for gold, presumably there is some benefit to doing that?

      I’ve just triggered the gold signup bonus spend and was thinking about referring wife to plat to this is all very relevant!


      • Genghis says:

        2) no benefit really as Gold is free for first year. I guess it avoids having to hit two sign up bonuses at the same time (as only have 3 months). I refer for Plat and only refer as coming up to spend for bonus to minimise fees all round.

        • Craig Anderson says:

          Great, thank you.

        • Tom1 says:

          2) exactly that Genghis -I don’t think we spend as much as some others on here, so was just a case of having one target at a time.

          Although my wife has just spotted the £50 off £200 offer with mulberry on amex. Very cruel.

      • Tom1 says:

        Also – not sure if this is what you meant, but if you refer your wife to gold while you are platinum you will get 18000 MR instead of just 9000 if you are gold.

        So the way I was taught was do gold then plat yourself, then refer someone else to gold, then close your plat to start the 6 months clock ticking.

        • Polly says:

          Tom1 that’s it exactly!
          Also you can refer her for the bacc or bapp from Plat and get the 18k MRs too. I managed that from my OH Plat, Did my gold referral literally the day he became plat, then about 6 weeks later the bapp. Meant two spend targets in succession, but we managed it. We will reverse that process in about 8 months.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Since the stopover is in HEL, a trip to Tokyo would earn fewer TPs than Qatar ex-EU, right? 440 vs 560?

    Also for some fares the flight is operated by JAL – this is still okay for earning TPs and Avios, right?

    Anyway Tokyo for £2000 still looks expensive to me after seeing the Qatar sale prices… Though just 1-hour stopovers plus avoiding repositioning flights..

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Have just seen on Skyscanner that Air China business class return LHR-PEK-HND is just £1,294 on some dates in May. Useless for a TP/avios run but tempting!

    • JamesB says:

      Qatar always the sweet spot if TP is important to you. Yes, you will get the TP on JAL. If possible choose AY over JAL as the latter may use unreliable 787s, or 777s with older seats. The total cost of Qatar sale trip needs to be compared with the £2000 fare and factor in the risk of missed connection. Before booking this check the fares on other airlines, particularly KLM.

      • Optimus Prime says:

        Thanks JamesB.

        LHR-HEL is operated by BA. Are they still refusing to check through luggage even on same ticket to another OW partner?

        • JamesB says:

          I thought samd ticket was ok? Was it not just an issue when connecting with different tickets, not just on OW bug on BA themselves?

          Air China has had some great fares recently but there have been a few horror stories about the connection experience.

  • Steve-B says:

    Thoroughly recommend Porto for a weekend destination – the city is very accessible on foot (albeit very hilly), easy access from airport, great vibe around waterfront, and lots to see. InterCon has an excellent location and set in a lovely historic building (good recognition of status with breakfast thrown in for AMB members from what I recall).

    • Genghis says:

      I’m looking forward to our stay in Porto in June. Thanks for heads up on the free breakfast.

    • RussellH says:

      IC Porto definitely the best redemption offer we have ever had. An early accelerate offer that gave a choice of a chunk of points or a free two night stay. We took the stay – obviously!

      It was supposed to be taken from a restricted list of lower grade hotels, but in practice seemed to be available anywhere.

      Service at the IC Porto was very good, friendly, and we got an upgrade to a duplex suite on the basis of my Gold membership (who says IHG Gold is useless!). We did not eat in the hotel, so cannot comment. The dinner menu looked really good though, and we do plan on another visit.

      When we got home, they had charged €4 local tax to my IHG Barclaycard, but Barcalys did not come up with the double points. A complaint got me £100 compensation – more than the airfare for one of us.

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