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Hilton Sa Torre Mallorca and Hotel des Indes leaving Hilton and Marriott to go independent

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Two interesting branded hotels which we have reviewed in the last couple of years have both announced that they are leaving their respective brands.

This is probably not a total coincidence.  When we review an existing hotel – as opposed to a new opening – it is usually because it offers something ‘different’ from the usual chain experience and we want to share it with you.   Such hotels often end up deciding that it is too hard trying to be a square peg in a round ‘branded’ hole and that it is easier to do their own thing.

We reviewed Hilton Sa Torre in Mallorca here.  It is fair to say that not many Hilton hotels have their own 15th century windmill and 19th century chapel.  The history of the Sa Torre estate dates back even further to the end of the 14th century.  Hilton Sa Torre (click here for the hotel website) is leaving Hilton on 31st December.  I don’t know what will happen to it in January.

Hilton Sa Torre Mallorca review windmill

In the Netherlands, Hotel des Indes in The Hague – part of Marriott’s The Luxury Collection – is leaving Marriott tomorrowWe reviewed the Hotel des Indes here after I bought a night in the Presidential Suite in a charity raffle.

Review Hotel des Indes The Hague Den Haag

The hotel, which has also been an InterContinental and a Le Meridien in the recent past, is apparently joining Leading Hotels of the World.   The hotel is the yellow building in the picture above, and the interior design is equally eclectic.

Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (126)

  • tom1 says:

    Planning my next year of cards, I thought I would share my thinking so some experts can make some suggestions also!

    I think I can make 4 Amex referrals a year to friends and family. Looking at Amex referral bonuses, the Plat at 18k/£180 is by far the best, then Gold CC at 9k/£90 so I will look at holding one of those for the whole year.

    To decide which one I will take (i.e. £450 fee vs £0 fee) I valued the benefits each card gives as follows, assuming I only use the card to hit the sign up bonus (£2k on each card):-
    (Rob I am sure did an article, but everyone values points differently I think)

    Amex Plat Charge Card:-
    Annual Fee -£450
    35k MR signup bonus +£350
    2k MR for £2k spend +£20
    72k MR for 4 referrals +£720
    Travel Insurance +£80
    Lounge access (when not travelling in biz), 6 visits x £15 = £90
    Car hire excess insurance £25
    Opportunity cost of not getting another Gold signup bonus of 22k MR next year -£220
    Net Value +£615
    Amex MR generated: 109k

    Amex Gold Credit Card
    Annual Fee £0
    22k MR signup bonus +£220
    2k MR for £2k spend +£20
    36k MR for 4 referrals +£360
    2x Lounge pass x £15 = £30
    Net Value +£630
    Amex MR generated: 60k

    So on the face of it, it looks quite balanced. If I only make 3 referrals, it swings toward Gold, make 5 and Plat is the clear winner.
    The big benefit I am missing is the hotel status that comes with platinum, but I find it hard to value because I’m not sure where I will stay, and therefore what benefit I will get. This biggest ones are likely to be free breakfast at Hilton (genuine value), non-guaranteed room upgrades at various brands (nice to have) and enhanced earning rates. Having said that, I could probably get Hilton via a status match from IHG etc.

    So I think my decision is that I go for Plat -always nice not to have to worry about lounge passes, insurance etc etc.

    I would be interested in your thoughts,

    • Shoestring says:

      You can get max 90K of MR points for referrals (calendar year), so that might be 5x 18K or it might be different multiple.

    • Shoestring says:

      Don’t forget you’d get a pro rata refund of the £450 Plat fee. Ie you hold it for 6 months, it’ll be £225-ish.

      • tom1 says:

        Thanks for all the comments!

        I’m working on the basis the referrals would be evenly spread over the year – so maybe I could cancel in the last few months of the year once the last referral has taken place. but then the insurance, lounge passes etc lapse. But it would start the 6 month clock ticking.

    • Shoestring says:

      Lounge passes – not £15 but £20 these days would be a reasonable assumption.

      • tom1 says:

        True – my assumption here was what I would spend in a bar if I didn’t have lounge access.

    • Shoestring says:

      You can refer yourself as well, so don’t go thinking it just has to be friends & family.

      • tom1 says:


        • Shoestring says:

          Nectar Amex seems an easy win, I now need to burn 50,000 Nectar points I never thought I’d have 🙂

          • Alan says:

            Yeah I’m still working through them – have ended up using quite a chunk on buying fuel as their prices at one of the stores are pretty competitive. Have to do with the cashier rather than at pump, in 500pt/£2.50 chunks.

        • Shoestring says:

          Can you just give the cashier your Nectar card to pay or do you need to get £2.50 vouchers somehow?

        • Shoestring says:

          So on a £72.50 tank-up, the cashier would have to do 29x £2.50 Nectar point transactions?

          • Alan says:

            Nope they just take them of all in one go – can only be in £2.50/500pt multiples but they’ll take off as much/little as you want – just tell them if you want a specific amount or maximum possible. Can then pay balance on card.

    • Alan says:

      You should hopefully be able to hit 5 referrals if self-referral keeps working…

      • Shoestring says:

        I have an ‘old’ Gold card still going (waiting for my annual bonus right now) so hoping for various things to keep going 🙂

      • BJ says:

        Care needed here now, I believe amex may no longer be giving people a third cobranded card if they are already holding two. With the six month rule it is possible but requires carefull attention to the dates. Considering the frequently ignored platinum everyday card helps, even if only applied to trigger a referral bonus.

  • Benylin says:

    OT: Pegasus flight from STN to SAW. Seat selection costs money, do you know if it ever becomes free? (E.g. 24hrs before flight?) Or is it just decided upon check-in.

    • Shoestring says:

      Doubt it. With Ryanair it pays to check in last minute, when you stand the best chance of not getting a middle.

      • Shoestring says:

        Big Brother Google Ad is watching – so we mention Pegasus & immediately one of the HfP ads changes to Pegasus – Cyprus £93.99, Tel Aviv & Dubai £110.99!

  • MD says:

    OT as Bits.

    Currently stuck in the Eurostar lounge in Brussels as the whole service is suspended! Thank goodness for platinum Amex… Apparently some problem with a broken down TGV near Lille. Originally the 1856 was delayed 45 to 60 minutes by this. Now they’ve just announced the entire service is suspended. No further information, ridiculous really.

    Obviously can’t be the first time this has happened. Would appreciate any advice from wise HFPers (not really expecting any timely advice, just posting this as I don’t have anything better to do whilst waiting!).

    I guess it’s a hotel in Brussels for the night and try to get home tomorrow, send the bill to Eurostar. Shame I needed to be in work tomorrow morning at 0800 but hey ho.

    Can’t remember for the life of me which credit card I booked this on. Platinum insurance not good for delays IIRC in any case. Guess that will give me something to occupy myself with 🙄

    • Alan says:

      Yes sadly if not booked on Plat then no delay cover – it can be quite decent if it is though.

  • Victor says:

    Re: Shop Small.
    Has anyone found a small merchant selling things like theatre vouchers?
    I’ve found some more unusual places this year (garden centre for Xmas tree, plenty of butchers) and hoping to find a few more gems.

    Quite surprised there isn’t a forum about it somewhere given what a deal it is.

  • RussC says:

    OT. Just heard from BA re a MAN/LHR/AUS/AUS/LHR/MAN itinerary that from April 1st they are cancelling the BA1388 12.10 flight. This means there is a 4 hour gap from around 10.00am till 2pm for a MAN connection. I flew the 1388 10days ago and it was rammed. This flight collects a lot of long haul connection passengers (as witnessed by the numbers around the carousel at Manchesters ‘delightful’ T3). Poor show BA!

    • Anna says:

      Every time we connect to or from LHR it’s rammed! They just don’t seem bothered about getting business from northerners at all. My long haul flight next August has now been moved to a departure time 75 mins later than it was originally, but due to the pitiful number of connecting flights we’re still going to have to leave MAN on the first shuttle at 7 am.

      Waiting at the luggage carousel at T3 is like jostling for space in someone’s garage!

  • TM says:

    OT – I booked the Ritz Carlton Geneva with Marriott points, it says “your reward certificate will be sent to the hotel’

    What does this mean?

    • Alan says:

      It just means you successfully have a reward certificate attached to the reservation (they’ll electronically send it to the hotel). Marriott alllows for ‘points advance’ bookings, so you can have a reservation that is unpaid – nearer the time the hotel would be chasing you for payment! If you pay for it with points this generates a reward certificate that gets attached to the reservation. I think other chains (eg. Hilton) have a similar system but don’t allow reservations without attached certificates.

      It has proved useful with the travel package fiasco when trying to work out if the call centre have done things correctly or not!

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