Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

We do like to be beside the seaside …. at the new Holiday Inn hotel in Bournemouth

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A new Holiday Inn has just opened in Bournemouth, bringing some much needed quality to the town.

Long-term readers will know that I have a soft spot for decent hotels opening up in British seaside resorts, since one of the things – admittedly not the only thing – that stops people spending more time on the British coast is the dire selection of accommodation.

It is genuinely the case that the best hotel in Scarborough, for instance (somewhere I stay for family reasons occasionally) is the Premier Inn – worryingly, nothing else comes close.

Bournemouth is bucking the trend.  I reviewed the new Hilton Bournemouth here – it’s even got an executive lounge! – and the new Hampton by Hilton, which is attached, here.

Holiday Inn has now joined them.  A new Holiday Inn opened this week – it is the fully refurbished ex-Ramada Encore.  It is owned by Interstate, who built the impressive new combined Holiday Inn Bath Road (reviewed here)  and Staybridge Suites (reviewed here) at Heathrow which opened recently.

Looking at the pictures, it is a surprisingly funky Holiday Inn which I would be happy to stay in.   It is on Bath Road and claims to be “easy walking distance of Bournemouth Beach and town centre.”  Note that it does not have a pool, so the Hilton remains a better choice if you’re worried about wet weather activities.

Full details are on this page of the IHG website.

IHG One Rewards update – May 2022:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is offering bonus base points on all cash stays between 18th May and 31st August.  You earn double points on your 2nd to 5th nights, triple points on your 6th to 14th nights and quadruple base points from your 15th night. Our full article is here. Click here to register.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

You will receive an 80% bonus when you buy IHG One Rewards points by 10th June 2022.

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

Comments (165)

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  • Trish says:

    Very OT:

    Anyone got a tried and tested discount-approach to Disney World tickets?

    Ta x

    • Sussex Bantam says:

      Its hard to get any meaningful discount in my experience. Prices are only ever a few £ difference. My key bit of advice would be to make sure you get real tickets and not paper vouchers which you need to exchange.

      There is loads of Disney advice here

      and we’ve been several times. HFP can put us in direct contact if you need something specific.

      • Anne says:

        Totally agree with Sussex Bantam – really no route to cheaper tickets these days, especially with sterling so weak against the dollar. Buying US tickets used to be a good deal, especially for 4-5 day visits but not anymore. Best bet is probably to buy the UK 7 or 14 day tickets which usually come with some added extras that are worth having, a round of mini golf each day or free memory maker for park photos for example. It does very inch depend how long you are going for and how many visits to the parks you want to make.

        Totally agree re the dibb – it’s a mine of information and the ticket forum on there will give you a heads up if there are any deals to be had.

        • Shoestring says:

          Disney – why would you think that’s a good holiday choice?

          Flak coming in but honest question.

          • Nick_C says:

            I can see the attraction of a Disney holiday for some people. But the things people prioritise on holiday are interesting.

            I’m going back to Japan in December, and stopping 4 nights in HK on the way. I’ve never been to HK, and I was googling the best place to stay and the top sights. Depressingly, Disneyland is in the top ten, and I saw posts from people wanting to visit Madame Tussauds. Each to their own.

            Open to suggestions on HK BTW. My (Portuguese) partner wants to visit Macau, so we are basically looking at only two full days in HK. Was planning on getting a hotel in the Central area, for the Macau ferry and the Star Ferry. We are only going to scratch the surface, and I mainly want to soak up the atmosphere.

            We are doing the trip as two singles (out to HKG, back from OSA) using two Lloyds upgrade vouchers, so we were able to benefit from low taxes on the return from OSA (the Avios lady suggested pricing as an open jaw!). Looking forward to trying JAL business class from HKG to NRT. Total cost for the three flights was 200000 Avios and £1075 for the two of us. (Cash price would be about £7400). Thanks Rob and everyone who posts helpful advice on here for making this possible,

          • Shoestring says:

            Yep I think Disney holidays must be for folks who watch Coronation St. Fair play to them, just not for me. [I wanna be like common people etc.]

            Macau – you should listen to your Portuguese friend as the food there is great and the history rather interesting.

          • Anne says:

            We love all things Disney – and the rest of Florida and pretty much all other theme parks for that matter – and I can promise you Harry that neither myself or the other half have watched an episode of Coronation Street in our lives.
            Disney is an acquired taste I’ll admit but it offers a lot of different experiences around the world and different people enjoy it on different levels I think.
            That said, there are plenty of places that come up on here that I don’t personally consider good holiday choices – but each to their own eh?

          • BJ says:

            @Nick, I agree with Harry that Macau is worth a visit despite recent comments here to the contrary. Kowloon is in my view best for atmosphere so do a lot of walking there, and down to the harbour for the light show. Potter around the central elevator visiting the streets at each level, and a visit to the peak is worth it for the view alone. Get to know the bus routes and ride out to new territories and/or Aberdeen for a different perspective. Read about the other islands and pick one or two to visit that most appeal to you. The cable car up to the big Buddha is great for views of the airport and if you do that I suggest taking the public bus back down rather steep hills to Tai O and work your way back to central by bus or ferry.

    • BJ says:

      I’m going back years now and I’m no longer sure if this still works but if you are an AA member visit an AAA office in the States and they may be able to provide you with a bunch of coupons for Disney and other attractions. Liz might be able to advise on current state of play as she has done loads of road trips. In these days if satnav I doubt AAA offices are what they once were.

  • Ant says:

    OT: Volotea just cancelled a flight my parents had booked with them for 4 September from Malta to Genoa. They just got an email saying “Flight has been cancelled a refund will be sent to you shortly”.
    This is v frustrating as it is for a wedding & now all the other options cost much more.

    Are they entitled to any compensation?
    They did not even offer them rerouting (Nice would probably work).

    • Anna says:

      They are entitled to re-routing if they choose, not simply a refund, as covered by EU regs. I’ve no idea how easy it is to communicate with this airline, though, it’s often easier said than done. However I would suggest making contact ASAP and stating that they want to be re-routed, then in the event they are forced to purchase new tickets they will probably be in a good position to claim the extra cost from the airline.

  • Dave R says:

    It’s a shame the HI Bournemouth doesn’t appear to have any family rooms.

    • Dave R says:

      To clarify, I mean proper family rooms that sleep more than 3 people.

      • Anna says:

        This seems to be common practice with new HI’s, it must be an attempt to get people to book more than one room as most families have more than one child.

  • Michael says:

    @Shoestring – how many taste cards do you now own?

  • Ali says:

    OT those lucky enough to live in the royal borough of kensington & chelsea would be delighted to hear that zipcar flex has been rolled out there as of today. I find this quite useful for one-way trips to and from LHR T5 when I have lots of luggage and cba to take the tube, or am taking an early flight. Can pickup or drop off your pay-per-minute car at T5 short stay. Cheaper than uber.

    • Rob says:

      Which I do 🙂

      Onto this. Already got an article done but it may be Thu now as these BA changes have knocked me out of sync.

      Doubt I will use it all the time, but I could get into the habit of doing a quick check before I call an Uber, and if one is within 60 seconds walk grab it.

    • paul says:

      I do this frequently from SW15… so convenient and rarely costs me more than £12 ish plus the £5 T5 supplement. My favourite way to get to the airport

  • Optimus Prime says:

    OT – checking seat availability on ExpertFlyer for a QF flight with QSuites I can see all the middle seats are blocked. Is there no way to book them unless you have status with QF?

    BTW tickets are slightly cheaper with GoToGate – is it worth it or booking directly with QF will save me any trouble?

    • Michael says:

      Shouldn’t be any issue with booking with the OTA but I think there’s cases where TP and Avios haven’t been earned.

    • Rob says:

      Wouldn’t take the risk of an OTA unless it is a noticeable difference, esp as GTG has a bad rep.

    • Mart says:

      I have had succes with the Qatar Twitter team for qsuite seat reservations

    • Daniel says:

      The Q-Suites are blocked online for some reason. A quick call to QR (I couldn’t find a UK number so called Qatar) and they’ll give you any seat you want, at least in my experience. Expensive (by modern standards) to call, but takes literally 30 seconds once you get through.

    • Lady London says:

      Generally unless price différence is serious or unless you need something else you can get with OTA that you cant get direct with thé airline – book with the airline as later stages or any complications such as irrops or cancellations are going to be easier to deal with.

  • Artem says:

    Any recommendations for romantic contryside getaway using points within 1 hr drive from M25. The Langley is fully booked. Hanbury and Syon Park were mentioned. I’m tilting towards Hanbury. Any other options?

    • Rob mc says:

      I cancelled a reservation at the Langley on the 6th October this morning, may still be available.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Worth checking out SLH as there are quite a few with them.

      Monkey Island Estate looks interesting.

    • Lady London says:

      Penny Hill Park between Bracknell And Camberley? At a push, the Francis Hotel in Bath?

  • N says:

    Anything interesting/fun/silly to do with 15k United miles?

    Earned from flying LH LHR-HKG and back in PE (£400!) and unlikely to earn any more UL miles in the near/far future!

    • Tariq says:

      Would love to know this too, got about 18K stashed away from previous trips.

    • Lady London says:

      Can you use them on Aer Lingus? I know EI can earn UA so guessing can spend them on EI.

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