Now that we have teased you – twice – about our upcoming Summer party, we thought it was time to give you some concrete details.
Last year we held our first Summer party after several successful Christmas events. It was a success – it was good to do one in daylight! – and we hope to make this one even bigger and better.
This year, the Head for Points Summer party will be at the Renaissance St Pancras hotel. This is a beautifully restored property – although you may be most familiar with it from its appearance in the ‘Wannabe’ music video by the Spice Girls!
We are taking over Hansom Hall, a large room at the rear of the lobby (ignore the wedding set-up!):
…. and connecting to a private outdoor space which, weather permitting, we will also be able to enjoy:
The venue has a capacity for 500, which means that we have double the number of spots compared to our Summer and Christmas parties last year. We are hoping this means that everyone who wants to come will be able to. It will be the UK’s biggest frequent flyer event this year.
As the Renaissance St Pancras is a Marriott property, Marriott Bonvoy has very kindly agreed to sponsor the event. Thank you!
This means that your first beer, wine or non-alcoholic drink will be free, courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy. Further drinks will be available from cash bars.
Marriott Bonvoy launched in February, bringing together Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards. The new programme has over 120 million members and covers almost 7,000 hotels globally.
Marriott Bonvoy has managed to keep most of the best bits of both programmes. In particular, here at HFP we have always been impressed by:
the ability to book a reward room even if you don’t (yet) have enough points, via Points Advance
the impressive 3:1 conversion rate into airline miles, with almost 40 airline partners, and a bonus of 5,000 miles for converting 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points at once
the fact that many hotels offer larger rooms, including suites and club rooms, for points, via a co-pay. You can often, at the time of booking, guarantee a better room at the standard points price by agreeing to pay a small cash supplement. This is an especially good benefit for families who may need a larger room.
the guaranteed 4pm check-out, guaranteed lounge access and free breakfast, at most brands, for Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members
There are lots of other great benefits too, of course, but these are the ones we tend to appreciate most here at HFP.
You can win a generous prize, courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy
Marriott Bonvoy will be offering a number of excellent raffle prizes at the event. We will finalise the details over the next week or so. Everyone who attends receives a raffle ticket.
How can I get a party ticket?
As usual, to ensure that people who ask for tickets turn up we will be charging for them.
The party will be from 6pm to 9pm on Monday 8th July at the Renaissance St Pancras. We have added an extra hour this year to give you more time to chat and to encourage people not to arrive all at once! The raffle will be drawn by 8pm at the latest so you don’t need to commit to staying until the end – although hopefully you will!
The bar will remain open for a while after 9pm for anyone who wants to stay longer. The Renaissance also operates The Booking Office bar which is open until late.
Tickets are £10 including VAT and will go on sale later this week. They are limited to two per person.
They will be sold in two tranches – 50% at noon on Friday and 50% at noon on Sunday. This means that, even if you cannot be behind a computer on Friday lunchtime, you can hopefully get lucky on Sunday instead.
We will publish more details in another article on Friday morning.
There will be just over 500 tickets available. We hope that you can come along to meet Rob, Anika and myself and to talk miles, points, credit cards and travel with other readers. Bring a friend or come by yourself – you won’t struggle to find someone to share your stories with.
Want to stay over?
If you would like to spend the night at Renaissance St Pancras after the party, cash prices are currently in excess of £400 (this is peak London Summer season pricing unfortunately). However, there is redemption availability at 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You would be getting 0.8p per point, which is decent given that we normally value one point at 0.5p.
Alternatively, you can stay at the Great Northern Hotel, part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, which is showing similar cash and redemption prices. The Great Northern is literally next door, sitting between St Pancras and Kings Cross stations. There are obviously plenty of cheaper options around Kings Cross and St Pancras too.
We look forward to seeing you on Monday 8th! Stay tuned for ticketing information on Friday morning.