BA

Bits: Kimpton Fitzroy London now open (ex Principal) – and get 10,000 bonus points, Hilton launches hostels

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News in brief:

Kimpton Fitzroy London now bookable

The Kimpton Fitzroy London hotel in Russell Square is now bookable via ihg.com This includes reward nights, which are pricing up at 70,000 IHG Rewards Club points.

The hotel website has launched and is here.

This hotel was briefly known as Principal London before IHG bought Principal Hotels.  It was the Hotel Russell before that but bears no resemblance to those days.

Before it reopened as Principal London, the hotel underwent one of the most expensive and thorough refurbishments ever seen in London.  At £85 million, it cost more than the refurbishment of the InterContinental Park Lane a few years ago – and that involved adding an extra floor.  Whilst I haven’t seen the rooms, I am tempted to bet that this is now the best IHG Rewards Club hotel option in London.

IHG clearly agrees at 70,000 points per night.  Given that rates start at £350 for random midweek dates this Autumn, that is fair.  That said, remember that the InterContinental at the O2 is only 45,000 points per night and is a very pleasant hotel indeed – see my InterContinental O2 review here.

Elite members of IHG Rewards Club receive a $15 equivalent minibar credit, as they do at all Kimpton properties ($10-$15 depending on hotel).  All guests, with or without status, can also join in the nightly one hour wine reception which is another signature Kimpton feature.

Kimpton Fitzroy London open

And get 10,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points …..

As an opening offer, IHG is offering 10,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points if you book for two nights or more.

You need to book via this link.  You need to book and stay before 31st March 2019, stay at least two nights and book via the promotional page.  I am guessing that the bonus points do not count towards IHG status.

Below is a picture of one of the suites:

Kimpton Fitzroy London suite

Hilton launches into the hostel market!

Hilton is breaking into the hostel market, of all things, with the launch of a new brand – Motto.  And London is going to be the testing ground.

Motto “is a micro-hotel with an urban vibe in prime global locations”.

In plain English, Hilton believes that extended family groups or large groups of friends are happy to share rooms.  However, they don’t want to stay in a traditional hostel.  (This is a market which the Generator chain dominates, creating hostels with private rooms and funky shared spaces.)

The mock-up Motto room below explains it better.  As you can see, you have a double bedded room connecting to a living room with a pull down bed connecting to a room sleeping three, including a bunk bed.  Click to enlarge:

Motto by Hilton

The average room will be a super-small 14 square metres and may have bunk beds or beds which flip down from the walls.  The majority of rooms will connect so you can build the exact space you need for your group.  Interestingly, Motto rooms can be booked online using multiple credit cards in order to split the payment between friends.

The first site will be a 100-bed Motto in Marylebone, London.  Demolition of an existing building is already underway and the ho(s)tel is due to open in 2020.

Motto by Hilton launched

It will be interesting to see how these stays are treated by Hilton Honors, as they are likely to provide a cheap way to run up additional night credit if you are chasing status.

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.

(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. OT – I want to treat my mum and sister to a spa weekend at Hilton Syon Park and pay for the night using my points. Is that possible? Or will it cause a problem that I’m not the one checking in?

    • Yes, no problem, done this for my sister. Just call Hilton and they will use your points but issue reservation in name of your mum and sister, sending you and/or them the confirmation email. If you have status they msy or may not also get your status benefits, IIRC past commentsvon this have been mixed.

  2. From memory I got gold as soon as I reached the £10k spending limit. Just looked back at my emails and I achieved gold status on 16th May 2016 (when the email was sent) and the expiry was Mar 31st 2018 so virtually 2 years.

    • RussellH says:

      Thanks. That sounds not too bad. If I trigger Gold in December, then it should last until 31 March 2020, so a bit over a year?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Yep. Ofcourse can always sign up for Alex platinum in January and get it for 2.5 years

  3. Scallder says:

    OT: I have a BA redemption finder alert set up for first seats from Washington DC back to Heathrow for the start of May. Just had an email to say there has been a flood of First inventory added on Sundays, Monday, Tuesdays and some Wednesdays between start of January and the start of October.

    Don’t know if it’s just the DC route, but might be worth if people were looking for upgrades from CW to see if their routes are now available in First…

    • I just had lots too, most of them didn’t relate to the dates I had alerts set up for!

    • They sent out an email in error, but was good to see a bunch of dates!

      • Scallder says:

        Just seen their email saying it was an error. but indeed good to see a decent amount of availability…

  4. OT / Marriott/SPG moment… (again!)
    Sundays NFL game

    Scalder, AndyGWP, Tthp213 – Have you had any update from SPG today?
    Nothing turned up in today’s post…

    So far 2 emails, no responses at all – starting to worry now….
    Will be travelling down early, so not too sure what to do! – Has anybody got a phone number?

    • Scallder says:

      Have emailed about an hour ago but nothing back yet. Have also asked for a phone number as well to be provided in case of any issues.

      I did express in my email that I was concerned with the delays so hopefully they’ll come back soon. I do wonder though whether the team on the other end of the emails is US based (possibly West cost) as had quick responses on Tuesday night. If that’s the case then hopefully will get responses mid afternoon…

    • AndyGWP says:

      Sorry – just seen this – super busy at work today so no lunch break

      I got a response but it just confirmed a tracking number (which doesn’t work on the RM website so who knows who is delivering…)

      I’m leaving at 7am tomorrow to work down south, and have a hotel booked for Fri / Sat / Sun evening so really frustrated at what a last minute mess this is turning into.

      Will update here if I get more info… I have a number on the bottom of my SPG email I received so will chase up shortly (it is a US number) and post more info

      • Scallder says:

        I’ve just received an email with a Royal Mail tracking number with delivery tomorrow apparently. The tracking number doesn’t work either but then I’ve had that issue with the royal mail website before. There was also an attached PDF with more information about the day and timings etc

      • AndyGWP says:

        No answer. Tried ringing and just keep getting voicemail so just left a message.

        Hopefully if it’s Royal Mail then it’s just tracked as opposed to signed for… I’m screwed if it’s signed for *sigh*

        If anyone can post the itinerary text here, I’d be grateful 🙂

        • EVENT
          NFL London Games
          Philadelphia Eagles vs Jacksonville
          Jaguars
          DATE & EVENT SCHEDULE
          Sunday, 28th of October
          Tailgate Hours: 09:00 –12:30
          Suite Hours: 10.30 – 17:30
          Game Kick-off: 13:30
          VENUE
          Wembley Stadium
          London
          HA9 0WS
          PRE-EVENT CONTACTS:
          [email protected]
          service.com
          EVENT OVERVIEW
          Go long for the 2018 NFL London Games!
          Feel the rush and excitement of American Football as some of the biggest teams in the
          NFL play a regular season game at the
          Wembley Stadium.
          Take in the action with exclusive access to the Pitchview Suite, from where you can enjoy exclusive NFL cheerleader and legend appearances, personalised official merchandise and enjoy food and drinks. Then, soak up the stadium atmosphere by directly accessing your seats from the suite.
          EXPERIENCE PACKAGE
          Two premium tickets with hospitality.

          SUITE SCHEDULE
          We look forward to hosting you in our East Side Pitchview suite where we will have an appearance from both NFL cheerleaders and an NFL legend.
          Suite doors open: 10:30
          Food course one: pre-game to halftime, approx. 10:30-1500
          Cheerleader appearance: pre-kick off
          NFL Talent appearance: pre-kick off
          Kick-off: 13:30
          Halftime: 15:00
          Food course two served: halftime to post-game: approx. 15:00-17:30
          Suite doors close: One hour post game
          Dress code: Casual
          IMPORTANT INFORMATION
          Tailgate: Pre-game entertainment and NFL interactive games are available at the NFL Tailgate,
          open to game day ticket holders ONLY.
          Security/Bags/Items of Luggage: To help provide a safer environment for fans, NFL will be
          implementing a strict clear bag policy for all 2018 NFL London Games. All attendees are
          prohibited from bringing any bag into the stadium unless it adheres to the NFL regulations. Entry
          of non-compliant bags will be refused.
          Fans with essential medical items that cannot fit in an approved bag will need to contact Wembley
          Stadium customer service team on 0800 093 0824 in advance of Gameday.
          For more information, please visit nfl.com/ukclearbagpolicy.

        • AndyGWP says:

          Brill. Thanks mikee… sounds good. Hope I can get in ????

        • Scallder says:

          Andy – looks like they’re signed for as my wife had to sign for ours this morning. Hope you manage to get something sorted out…or hopefully they’ll just ignore that and put them through the letterbox?

  5. RussellH says:

    Completely OT:

    Has anyone else had an e-mail recently from “Domestic Airline Settlement Administrator” about an apparent class action in the USA again a number of airlines?

    It was sent to an e-mail address that I have only ever used when booking flights on Southwest Airlines last year. Southwest is one of the airlines apparently involved in the action. There is a suggestion that I might want to register at a website mentioned in the e-mail.

    It does not really look like a scam, but I thought I would ask!

    • Southwest would probably have passed on your e-mail address. This is what happened with the BA class action lawsuit, in the case of people eligible for it. I just did a quick search and found a news article from January this year that mentioned a settlement Southwest agreed to participate in, so it could be legitimate. Perhaps worth sending an e-mail to Southwest to query?

  6. Shoestring says:

    ignore that (T&Cs)

    • It’s a racing certainty that it will work in-store as Amex have no way of knowing what you have actually bought. Online probably won’t work as most gift card purchases are handled by third parties behind the scenes.

      • Selfridges offer definitely works for in-store gift card purchases. I did it 2 weekends ago. Haven’t tried Harvey Nichols.

      • Tom Cook says:

        I was planning on buying a HN gift card through the BA E Store and then collecting it at Harvey Nics for extra avios :). Do you think I will fall short?

      • Tom Cook says:

        Actually I bought a gift card from HN for a wedding recently, and looking back at the transaction it says;

        DOING BUSINESS AS HARVEY NICHOLS BEAUTY BAZAAR

        CATEGORY: GENERAL PURCHASES – ONLINE PURCHASES

        Might work?

      • rams1981 says:

        Harvey Nichols gift card in store have worked previously

  7. OT – Any recommendations for a hotel in NY using Marriott Reward points?

    Ideally in the 35k points level.

    Thanks!

    • Scallder says:

      If you’re looking for space look at the Residence Inn branded hotels. Nothing fancy but there’s a few in the category 5 band (one in category 4 for 25k points too), includes breakfast as well.

      • We stayed in a Residence Inn in Boston last week. Vey large good room but poor breakfast. YMMV

        • Sussex bantam says:

          I stay in Residence Inn all the time in the US. Great to have a much larger room with some cooking facilities for longer stays. Breakfast is always rubbish though

  8. Nigel the Pensioner says:

    Just looked at booking a couple of nights at the old THF Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury (as it was when I worked at Queen Square!) in its new guise as the first Kimpton……… However, luckily, I did a live chat before booking and was told that the 2 nights for an extra 10000 IHG points had to be 2 consecutive nights whereas I wanted 12th and 19th December. These are still nights within the date range, they equate to 2 nights, the room cost is no different for consecutive or non consecutive nights, so I don’t see what the issue is!! If IHG don’t want my money, despite my being spire elite then I shall simply stay elsewhere on these two nights.
    What foolish rules!

    • Genghis says:

      The rules are quite clear. A “Minimum 2 night stay or more” is not one night one week and one night the next.

  9. OT: Just spotted on ba.com – cyber attack may have captured card details from reward bookings earlier in the year.

    “The investigation has shown the hackers may have stolen additional personal data and we are notifying the holders of 77,000 payment cards, not previously notified, that the name, billing address, email address, card payment information, including card number, expiry date and CVV have potentially been compromised, and a further 108,000 without CVV. The potentially impacted customers were those only making reward bookings between April 21 and July 28, 2018, and who used a payment card.”

    Apparently anyone affected is being notified over the next 24 hours.

  10. Blue Mountains says:

    OT: This from Amex website:

    “British Airways Data Breach

    We are proactively monitoring the updated British Airways data breach

    We will contact you if we suspect fraudulent activity on your Account. There is no need to take any action at this time. You will not be liable for any fraudulent charges and you can continue to use your Card. You can sign up for free fraud and account activity notifications via SMS and email.”

    It’s going really well for BA…

    • So, BA compensation from last breach pays for one’s flights, BA compensation from this breach pays for one’s hotel. It appears that Christmas is coming early this year.

    • Blue Mountains says:

      I made a reward booking in May, and just received the BA e-mail:
      “Dear Customer,
      On 6 September 2018, we regrettably announced that we were the target of a criminal data theft involving the personal and financial details of customers making or changing bookings at ba.com, or via the British Airways app.
      Since then we’ve been conducting a thorough investigation with specialist cyber forensic investigators, liaising with the National Crime Agency. As a result of the investigation I am writing to let you know that you may have been affected by the data theft, when you made a reward booking between 21 April and 28 July 2018.
      While we do not have conclusive evidence that the data was removed from British Airways’ systems, it is possible your personal data may have been compromised. This includes your full name, billing address, email address and payment card details. Your CVV number has remained confidential. As a precaution we recommend you contact your bank or card provider and follow their advice.
      We are very sorry that this criminal activity has occurred. We’ll reimburse our customers who have suffered financial losses as a direct result of the theft of their payment card details.
      For your reassurance, we’re offering you free credit and identity monitoring services, provided by Experian, one of the UK’s leading Credit Reference agencies.”

      It looks like the only compensation they are willing to offer is the Experian service.
      Only saving grace is that the card was cancelled in order to reset the 6-month clock.
      And yes, I know all our other personal details are probably being sold handsomely on the (dark?) web. Nice one…

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