Bits: England v France rugby tickets, Hilton’s LXR brand hits London, Four Seasons Hampshire update

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News in brief:

See England v France at Twickenham with Marriott Rewards

Marriott Rewards has put two packages to watch England v France at Twickenham on 10th February up for auction.

Each package is for two tickets.  It includes:

  • Tickets to watch the England vs. France game from a Hospitality Pitch View Suite
  • Meet and greet with a rugby legend
  • Access to a private balcony to view the match
  • Three-course meal prior to kick-off
  • Beverage package including beer, wine and soft drinks until one hour after the final whistle
  • Match day souvenir tickets, match day programs and accreditations

The minimum bid is 45,000 Marriott Rewards points.  The auctions end on 1st February.  You can bid here.

The Biltmore Hotel Grosvenor Square London

Hilton’s new LXR brand to arrive in London

In a surprise move, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has announced that the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair – across the square from the old American Embassy – is to reopen as ‘The Biltmore’ under Hilton’s new LXR brand.  The hotel closed last year for a full refurbishment.

No-one seems quite sure what Hilton’s LXR high-end brand is about, or how it will sit alongside Conrad and Waldorf Astoria.  The only LXR hotel to date is the Habtoor Palace in Dubai (click here).  This hotel was originally a St Regis branded property and was designed to those standards.

The Grosvenor Square hotel is also a luxury hotel but, again, Hilton will be inheriting a design planned by others.  It is hard to see how LXR is going to carve out a brand identity when none of its properties were designed for it from scratch.

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.

Four Seasons Hampshire new childrens pool

New kids pool at Four Seasons Hampshire

Four Seasons Hampshire is the default weekend break choice for solvent Londoners with children.  If you haven’t been for a few months, you won’t have seen the new pool for children which is now open.

Here are a couple of photos we took last weekend – click to enlarge.  There are two parts – a 14m lap pool (not that any children swim laps in it, it is for playing in) and a separate pool to the side filled with lots of play equipment.

Four Seasons Hampshire childrens pool

The only thing I didn’t like is that it seems low on seats for parents who just want to watch their children, although I admit that I always managed to find one.  The seats are also very near the water so you are continually getting splashed!

Four Seasons Hampshire kids pool

Overall it is a massive improvement to the pool facilities for younger kids.

If you ever visit here, make sure that you book via our booking partner Bon Vivant or, if you have an American Express Platinum card, Fine Hotels & Resorts.  Via either route you will get a $100 food and drink credit, free continental breakfast for two (kids are charged £12.50) and an upgrade if available at check-in.  Fine Hotels & Resorts also gets you a guaranteed 4pm check-out which is very handy on a long weekend stay.

Note that the main pool is due to close for a few weeks during February / March for refurbishment so do confirm dates before booking if this is important to you.

(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. OT. I have an Accelerate target of booking some ”Bonus Points Packages”. I have several trips coming up but cannot seem to find a single offer on the various hotel sites I have tried. Without going through every IHG hotel site in that city is there a way of finding the hotels offering them?

    • Lady London says:

      Don’t take it unless you have a plan to meet it. Some people say these offers are once in a lifetime or once every 5 years or so, and they do tend to recur.

      • Lady london says:

        *probably more accurate to say any match you get may be once in a lifetime…. Whereas the offers of the matches do definitely come back.

    • I have booked a lot of bonus points packages recently. I found most hotels and room types seem to offer them. You just use the normal website Once you have selected the hotel and room type you want, you may have to scroll to the bottom of the list of rates to find them. You might need to be signed in to your IHG account to see them?

    • RussellH says:

      They seem to be listed as an add-on to the ‘best flexible rate’ these days.

      And talking of ‘best flexible rate’, anyone ever been offered a ‘standard flexible rate’ or even a ‘other flexible rate’?

  2. OT:
    IHG Accelerate offer:
    Stay at 2 brands and get 11200 points
    Book 1 stay using points & cash and earn 4500 points
    Stay at 2 Holiday Inn and earn 5600 points
    Earn 6600 points when you book 2 bonus points package

    If I book 2 Holiday Inn using the bonus points package ( this should trigger 3 & 4) and 1 Intercontinental using points and cash (would trigger 2) but would it also trigger the first one? Or for the “2 brand” target to be triggered the bookings need to be cash and not reward points ?

    • Anyone know if Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are treated as separate brands for the Accelerate promo?

    • Genghis says:

      The Stay at 2 brands and get 11200 points needs to be cash stays and Book 1 stay using points & cash and earn 4500 points needs to be a points and cash stay.

    • Points and cash stay counts as a redemption and will not count towards any of the other targets apart from “complete X of Y targets”.

  3. OT couldn’t see mentioned £20 off £100 spend on my amex platinum for eurowings.

  4. OT- Has anyone redeemed Etihad miles for Air Seychelles domestic flights? Despite them running something like 20 flights a day between Mahe and Praslin there doesn’t seem to be any reward availability for the entire year on expertflyer… just wondering whether its possible or maybe they don’t have any reward seats on domestic flights.

    • The flights are all tiny twin prop planes with about 15 seats. There’s only economy seating and a return usually costs about £90-100, so I’d just pay for the flights!

      Try to bag seat 1B and I recommend filming the landing at Praslin Airport – you’ll practically have your feet in the cockpit, and the view of the island while coming in to land is amazing!

  5. BlueHorizonuk says:

    I think the number of brands the chains have is simply out of control now. It’s just ridiculous for a chain to have 30 different brands. They need to merge some of these brands and keep a few distinct ones.

  6. Jo biden says:

    Sorry-trying not to Spam here but:

    Schoolboy error!
    Got a new AMEX Plat card- a DAY EARLY!!
    I do not qualify for the bonus 🙁

    Chat will not give me an “Incentive” to cancel

    Any idea if their CS on the phone offer me anything not to cancel ?


    • Nope, you’ve screwed this up – no bonus and you’ve reset the 6 month timer too.

      Look at a few referrals for 18k a pop to make best of bad job?

  7. Lady London says:

    *above for Roger but WordPress seems to have treated as standalone post rather than reply to him.

  8. OT does anyone know if the Amazon 15 off 25 is still on? Can I use a new amex on an amazon account that I’ve used the code on previously.
    Also, if it’s sold by a different company but fulfilled by Amazon is that ok?

  9. Are SPG offering retention offers of double points for three months or similar these days?

    • AndyGWP says:

      I cancelled last month and they offered me an extra ‘point’ (so “double points” in old money) to stay.

      After reading of the problems people had during the switchover to Marriott, I checked that as the points were now tripled, did they mean I would get 6 points instead of 3, and they went away and got back to me confirming it would definitely only be 4 points.

      I cancelled.

      • RussellH says:

        Thanks. I expect to be cancelling soon.

        • We cancelled hubby’s card on Monday and he was offered an extra point for 3 mths – we declined. Got to cancel mine in about 10 days time when my points sweep across.

    • Steve-B says:

      Interesting… my strategy has shifted to hold, given its uncertain future and tendency for Amex to withdraw products suddenly.

    • I cancelled yesterday 9th Jan no offer.

  10. OT anyone else having problems with Amex referral links? Trying to refer a friend from Plat and they just get this screen:

  11. charlie says:

    OT – I need a decent and cheap Madrid airport hotel for some short overnight stays I have coming up prior to some long-haul Iberia flights. I am getting there 10-11pm each time and leaving circa 8-9am so not much needed.

    Looking for hotel either a short walk or 1-2 metro/bus stops. Seems to be hard to find this via the hotel booking websites. Any recommendations?

    • Jo biden says:

      Look at Airbnb
      Cheaper than hotel and near metro.
      “Cozy modern room near subway” Host is Alvaro

    • Melia has some kind of cheap hotels near Barajas (with their own free shuttle). If not, there is an Ibis, Novotel and Pulman, also with a shuttle service.

      • I stayed in Tryp Alameda (Melia). Free shuttle bus from T4 that runs every 15 mins or so and takes 15 mins, dropping off at a few hotels along the way. I came in on the FRA-MAD LATAM flight and had a connection onto Seville the next morning. It was very cheap – like €50 I think – and clean and quiet so totally adequate. I think they gave me drink vouchers too at check-in.

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