Bits: IC Times Square adds ‘resort fee’, Indigo Leicester Square opens, Vueling flights from €29.99

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News in brief:

InterContinental New York Times Square adds a ‘resort fee’

The InterContinental New York Times Square, a popular choice for Head for Points readers, has become the latest New York hotel to add a ‘resort fee’ to its rates.

According to the website:

The Daily Destination Fee of $30.00 USD plus applicable taxes allows our guest to enjoy: $25 Food & Beverage Credit per day, $15 Laundry/Dry Cleaning Credit per day, Premium High Speed Internet Service, Free Local & International calls, Gulliver Gate Museum pass, VIP pass for discounts at The Shops at Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center

If you use the credit against breakfast then you are almost even, although there are no shortage of places nearby to get a good breakfast for a lot less than $25 (including the diner used in Seinfeld, the name of which I always forget).  You are in more trouble if you have already booked a ‘bed and breakfast’ rate as you are then arguably forced to eat in at night.

This fee is not made clear on until the final booking page.  Given that taxes are also excluded from the headline price, it is now getting a bit silly.  You have the IHG website quoting you $620 per night which suddenly becomes $750 per night when taxes and the ‘destination fee’ are added.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit between IHG and the hotel owner is continuing.  The landlord wants to dump InterContinental as the operator but IHG is resisting this.  I would be wary of making any cash bookings for this hotel well in advance.

The other InterContinental in New York, The Barclay, does not have a ‘destination fee’ (yet?).

Intercontinental TImes Square adds resort destination fee

Hotel Indigo Leicester Square opens

IHG’s latest London hotel, the Hotel Indigo in Leicester Square, officially opened this week.  It is on the north side of the square, next to Cineworld.

There are three different room themes:

  • “Scriptwriter Rooms channel a playwright’s study: an inspiring and poetic space. Robust materials create a personal and intimate atmosphere with drafts of scripts framed as artwork.
  • Backstage Rooms reference stars’ dressing rooms in their design and are complete with the technical fittings of a stage: spotlights, ropes and illuminated, flamboyant dressing room mirrors.
  • Auditorium Rooms capture the exclusive experience of a private theatre box. At the bottom of the bespoke banquette in each room, gold plate numbers reference auditorium seating and luxe polished plaster is reminiscent of the historic patina of a theatre”

IHG Rewards Club reward nights cost 60,000 points per night.  This is very poor value given that the InterContinental Park Lane is only 70,000 points and that the room photos show what appear to be exceptionally small spaces.

The Indigo Leicester Square website is here.

Hotel Indigo Leicester Square opens

€29.99 Vueling sale launched

Vueling, BA’s sister airline, has launched a €29.99 sale (including booking fees and card charges) which runs until tomorrow, 11th May.

It is valid for departures between 28th May and 30th November 2018.

Details can be found on the Vueling site here.

Vueling currently flies from Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and London Luton / Gatwick / Heathrow as well as Dublin. Routes vary but there is usually a predominance towards Spain, especially their Barcelona hub, and Italy.

When flying from Heathrow and Gatwick, you cannot use the BA lounges if you have a British Airways Silver card.  You can get in with a BA Gold card but cannot bring any guests.

Vueling launched its own Avios programme in November 2017.  We looked at the scheme in this article.  You can’t credit Vueling flights to British Airways Executive Club but you can move the Avios across using ‘Combine My Avios’.

(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. Nope, we’ve actually rescheduled a booking so we won’t be there the same time.

  2. Ammar says:

    OT – I Have a Ambassador Complimentary Night certificate, which is expiring in Dec, can i sell it on ebay for someone else to use? Do they ask for it with the booking at check in as it has my name written down along with member number so not sure if someone else can benefit from it?

    • Kathy says:

      Yes they ask for it at check-in, so you can’t sell it.

    • Don’t you have a relative who might be able to use it?

    • December is ages away! Why not use it as it’s the premier benefit of ambassador and the key reason for paying for membership?!

  3. OT: Currently sat in the Plaza Premium Lounge in T5. It’s actually quite full! there are seats together but we had to look. Even so it’s much nicer than the Galleries lounges IMHO. I like the proper bar. and the staff seem happy enough – stunning views. I won’t miss Silver quite so much now.

    • Simon Schus says:

      I had a good visit here a few weeks ago 🙂 Sunday morning – about 60% full but much quieter. I didn’t bother with the BA Lounge until we after we trundled to Terminal (concourse?) 5B

  4. Simon Schus says:

    Hi all 🙂

    I used the £50 off £250 Hilton spend on one of my AMEX cards (AMEX Platinum Charge). Has anybody had any luck phoning up recently and asking for the offer to be available on another card where it has not appeared? (e.g. AMEX Platinum Credit; BA card? Platinum Supplementary/Additional Cards).

    • Crafty says:

      If you have sufficient planned bookings to trigger the credit between them, I will happily pay you £25 to pay for them for you… I have the offer multiple times over, and not enough stays to use it!!

  5. Lee Thomas says:

    can you get lounge access in cardiff on a vueling flight as one world saphire?

  6. The Capital Radio building is on the SE corner a few doors down from the Odeon Leicester Square.

    The Indigo is on the North side next to the Cineworld (formerly Empire).

    It has 9 floors with rooms on floors 1 to 8. The bar takes up floor 9 with its own wrap-around balcony.
    Floor 7 has the rooms with balconies.
    Floor 8 has rooms with fantastic view, provided you don’t have 810 on the back or 801 on the side.
    I got upgraded to corner room 802. It was compact and some things didn’t work, but I enjoyed it a lot. The vista was fantastic. I’m back there again this weekend.

  7. The Original Nick says:

    Slightly OT, I’m currently in the IC Toronto Club lounge and have noticed there’s no free alcohol. It’s all charged to your room via a card you have to fill in and pass to the staff.

  8. Simon Schus says:

    Seems like DUB is looking to build a hotel connected to Terminal 2:

    All exciting!

  9. Apologies if I’ve missed it, but does the hotel fee apply to reward bookings? I assume not, because I’m not charged a similar fee for reward nights at the palazzo, which I assume charges it for cash bookings. If not, it may be cheaper to buy the points and book a reward night than to pay the cash and then this additional tax.

  10. Matthew Goode says:

    I’ve booked three nights in July on points. Will I need to pay taxes and the resort fee for each night?

    • Not the taxes (they are a % if your rate, which is nil) but you will pay the resort fee.

      • Matthew Goode says:

        Hmmm… I booked it on 29 April and don’t see anything on my booking confirmation. If they are going to ask for a resort fee then I may just cancel the booking and book elsewhere.

  11. I wonder if the “Backstage” rooms will be as grotty as the backstage areas of most theatres?

  12. AlanC says:

    Completely o/t.
    Looking for a hotel with easy access to Legoland.
    Will be flying into Heathrow.
    Prefer IHG or Hilton with lounge access.
    Any tips.

  13. gnarlyoldgoatdude says:

    I’ve also stayed at the Indigo Leicester Square.
    Tiny rooms, noisy location, strange robotic staff, bizarrely elevated bed.
    They also don’t currently have a liquor license.

  14. I’d booked a mix of points/free credit card/ambassador certificate nights at the IC Times Square in September a while back before it went up from 60k > 70k points a night. If there’s a chance it might deflag maybe I’m better to move these to the IC Barclay… is there a way to tell how long my credit card night was valid for? I can’t remember and I guess if it’s expired now I won’t get it back?

    • I emailed Ambassador Services and they got back to me in less than 24hrs with the expiry date of the voucher, and moved everything over to the Barclay. Initially the website wouldn’t recognise that the points had been refunded from a cancelled points night (even though it showed them in my balance), but I was still able to book the Barclay with points over the phone.

  15. Ian Creamer says:

    Stayed at the Indigo Leicester Sq this week for two nights… small-ish room but a little noisy as directly overlooking the square. Bar was nice with good views over the city. Had real problems accessing the room… door wouldn’t open with three different card keys and staff couldn’t work out how to get in. Finally made it nearly an hour later, only for the fuses to pop and room was plunged into darkness. Ended up being moved to another room at midnight! Offered free breakfast for the two days (which was just ok). Wouldn’t rush back!

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