Bits: Eurostar opening a London lounge cocktail bar, Etihad launches Acqua di Parma amenity kits

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News in brief:

Eurostar to open a cocktail bar in the London lounge

The highlight of the huge new Eurostar Business Premier lounge in Paris is the cocktail bar, which is open every evening and serves up your choice of drink – on the house.  We covered it in our review of the new lounge here.

Eurostar has now announced that it is opening a cocktail bar in London.  You won’t have to wait long – the work is starting this month and they hope to be open by the end of August.  It will be situated on the first floor of the existing lounge.

Remember that you get free access to Eurostar lounges, irrespective of your class of travel, with an American Express Platinum card.  You can’t bring any guests although, of course, you can issue a free supplementary Platinum card to your partner.

Eurostar London lounge cocktail bar opening

Etihad to launch Acqua di Parma amenity kits

I am rarely excited by amenity kit news which is why we don’t cover them much on Head for Points.  Although Anika is in love with her British Airways Liberty print First Class bag she got on a press event last year ….

However, as a guy who spends a disproportionate amount of money on Acqua di Parma products, I was delighted to see it forming the basis of Etihad’s new Business Class and First Class amenity kits.

This is what you will get.  First Class passengers clearly get the better deal:

Etihad new Acqua di Parma amenity kits

“Yellow, the colour synonymous with the Italian brand, is used for all First Class bags, while Business Class bags are offered in the same yellow, and also in black.

The First Class unisex cylinder bag contains a miniature bottle of Colonia, a 40ml body lotion and lip balm. First Class toiletries include Colonia hand wash and hand cream, and Colonia bathroom amenity kits feature shower gel, body lotion, hair shampoo, and hair conditioner.

The Business Class unisex wallet bag, which can be buttoned to create a stylish and useful valet tray, contains a Colonia sampler and hand cream, which will also be dispensed in the Business Class washrooms.”

They launch on 23rd August so I hopefully should be able to pick one up on our Middle East holiday at half-term.

In addition, if you are not already an Etihad Guest member, you can sign up here and receive 500 bonus miles.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Personal platinum amex. Business does not get access (or hilton gold).

  2. George says:

    Very happy to meet a fellow AdP addict. The brand has been taking a regular bite out of my disposable income for a good decade now with no signs of letting up…

    • Lady London says:

      Are people using all the new scent variants in AdP or just sticking to the original ?

      • George says:

        Original for me, but, have also gone for the Intensa and, to a lesser extent, the Essenza. For Mrs George, it’s Peonia or Rose Nobile (so far!)

        • Of the ‘yellow’ ones, I only really like the original. However, I do like the blue ‘Blu’ ones for Summer – I always ensure I get a good pile of free samplers when buying something else and then take them on holiday over July / August.

      • Rob you should rename the site “Head for Perfume”

  3. How lovely – flying FY in J in November so look forward to sampling. Nice to see them enhancing the product after recent cuts…

  4. @mkcol says:

    As it’s “Bits” I’ve a little train-related lounge news from Virgin Trains – they were doing a survey about thoughts on their lounges & the following were some of questions which came up:

    In future, 5 of these lounges will be upgraded to become ‘flagship’ First Class lounges and will continue to be managed by Virgin Trains. These are the lounges at London Euston, Birmingham New Street, Liverpool Lime Street, Glasgow Central and Manchester Piccadilly. These lounges would only be for the use of First Class customers travelling with Virgin Trains.

    The remaining 5 will be managed by selected partner organisations, providing a fresh and unique offer at each. Organisations that are a good brand fit and that will offer a great service will be chosen for these lounges at Runcorn, Birmingham International, Stoke, Coventry and Crewe. All Virgin Trains customers, both First and Standard Class, will be able to use the facilities within these lounges. First Class customers will be able to show their ticket to receive a complimentary snack and drink. The lounges will also sell food and beverages to all customers.

    From your first impressions, how appealing do you find the idea of running 5 lounges as flagship Virgin Trains lounges and 5 managed by selected partner organisations?

    and then…

    Virgin Trains has already agreed a partnership with Titanic Brewery, who will manage the lounge at Stoke. The new café will offer a selection of beers, coffees and food.

    and this bit I found most interesting…

    Another consideration for the future is the introduction of a new ‘lounge card’, usable across the whole Virgin Group.
    There would be a fee for membership. Lounge card holders would be able to use both the flagship and regional Virgin Trains lounges alongside First Class Virgin Trains customers. Lounge card holders would also have access to Virgin Atlantic lounges and Virgin Money lounges.

    • OK, that is just weird. I mean … the Virgin Trains lounges are nothing special, the Virgin Money lounges are free anyway if you take out a credit card or put £1 in a savings account and the Virgin Atlantic lounge at Heathrow is a super-exclusive ‘money can’t buy’ experience. It would be like selling a restaurant card which gave you free meals at The Ritz and McDonalds.

      • the real harry1 says:

        I can’t see that a new lounge card giving access to the airport lounges would be cheap. Probably more like PP ie £260 pa unlimited access, £160 pa 10 shot pass

        • I doubt anyone values a Virgin Trains lounge at more than £10 though – and that is being generous. Whilst the Clubhouse could easily sell day passes for £100 – I’d save a chunk of that just from the free haircut! I would actually pay for the Virgin Money lounges but there is no need.

        • ankomonkey says:

          @Rob – Just had the haircut last Sunday during first visit to the LHR Clubhouse 🙂

          But I don’t need those posh toiletries. For years I’ve been using whatever I pick-up during hotel stays. My daughter likes it when I use Peter Thomas Roth as it reminds her off our holidays. I sometimes take surveys and they don’t code logic in for people who don’t buy toiletries or have them bought by a household member.

      • A train station lounge that anybody can use.

        Isn’t that just a waiting room?

    • Lady London says:

      Wonder how they’re going to work that out with the banking side assuming the sale of Virgin Money to Clydesdale will go through?

      Been in a couple of the non-First Class Virgin lounges and I can understand why Virgin would want to get rid of them. They do make me buy Virgin train tickets when there are other alternatives though. Anytime I see the word “selected” partners etc. on a marketing I read “downgrade” I’m afraid. This will not end well for those lounges they don’t want to keep.

  5. Vasco says:

    OT: Is there any point in getting Intercontinental Ambassador for someone who never stays at Intercontinentals? Does it get you any extra recognition in the rest of the IHG menagerie?

    • Charlie says:

      Quite simply, no.

      • Not strictly true as Ambassador gets you IHG Gold, but you get IHG Gold for free just by getting the free IHG credit card ….

        • Vasco says:

          I’m already Plat, and will probably hit Spire soon, so that’s not much of an advantage. Should have included in the OT.

        • Genghis says:

          I renewed AMB last year primarily for the 10% rebate on all (not just IC) redemptions (didn’t have plans for the “241” but used it in Boston) and I’ve done very well out of it.

          (Note the 10% rebate option is only available on renewals)

      • Lady London says:

        It will make you feel good.

        Some people would say that’s what’s good about Spire, too.

    • Charlie says:

      Quite simply, no

    • OT, Any news on a date Marriott rewards merger?
      I’m holding off on purchasing and upgrading a travel package as late as possible in the hope they clarify what will happen to them.

  6. OT What are people’s thoughts on multiple Amex self referrals? Just done one from plat to BAPP and considering another to SPG, has anyone done 2 or more? Appreciate there’s no definitive answer just interested in opinions as to whether it’s worth the risk or not.

    • Jimbob says:

      I referred myself the bapp and the spg, then referred my wife another 3.
      Nice little earner, and managed to cancel the plat before getting any annual fee.

  7. william merrett says:

    OT, Any news on a date Marriott rewards merger?
    I’m holding off on purchasing and upgrading a travel package as late as possible in the hope they clarify what will happen to them.

    • I am speaking to the MR CEO today but, whilst he may tell me, I don’t think he will let me tell you! It is NOT 1st August.

      EDIT: I now have the date but I can’t tell you.

  8. the pitch says:

    Can you still get in the Eurostar lounge with a cancelled platinum card or do they swipe it?

    • Stevie G says:

      Just passed thru London St Pancras and there is no swipe although checked the card details.

  9. vlcnc says:

    OT: Does anyone have their MBNA Horizon Card yet? I was actually hoping to use it while we were visiting Granada, Cordóba and Seville from which we have come back now but has been still no sign of it so far…

    • Plenty of communication saying card is arriving any day, but no card yet.

      In The Netherlands next week. Was hoping to have it before then but I doubt it.

      • JohnT says:

        Believe you can still use the old ones – and the benefits will apply as per new one. I did a foreign spend and exchange rate was good (ignore rate used while trans is Pending).

    • If it is the Virgin cards switch your discussing, the accounts have already switched to Horizon, your old Virgin credit cards will continue to work until October or when you activate the new card sent out.

      The old branded credit cards continue to work but with the new Horizon benefits not Virgin so no FX fees and the cash back. No need to wait for the new card to arrive.

  10. I received my Horizon Card last week for my Virgin Black card however, I am still waiting on my Horizon replacement for my Virgin White card. Clearly processing black cards first it would appear IMO

    • @mkcol says:

      Nope – I’ve not got mine but husband got his Horizon for his old white card today. Both share same surname so it’s not even an alphabetical thing either.

  11. Johnny says:

    Are Kids allowed in the Eurostar lounge?

    • If they have a Platinum card 🙂 Otherwise at the discretion of staff, I have done it but I wouldn’t necessarily expect it on a Friday night / Sunday night.

      Probably more chance in Paris given the lounge is far bigger.

  12. alan young says:

    OT- but Virgin West Coast related. I have used their £6 fare a couple of times in the past 12 months (MKC-LIV & MKC-MAN), does anyone know when they may repeat this offer. Usually the offer includes London to most west coast destinations.

    • Lady London says:

      FWIW I used that offer once and when I was looking it was available from MKC but not from London. It was about 3 or 4 weeks before the date of travel I think.

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