Weekend staycation break? Two interesting IHG hotel deals in York and Oxford

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Two totally unconnected – but good value – deals at IHG Rewards Club properties have come up, so I thought I’d put them together in this article!

First up ….

Half price redemptions at voco Oxford Thames

The newly upgraded and rebranded voco Oxford Thames is, as you can see in the picture below, not your usual IHG property:

voco Oxford Thames half price redemptions

To quote:

“Close to the heart of Oxford, on the banks of the River Thames, lies voco Oxford Thames hotel. With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, the hotel’s surroundings have an intriguing story to tell. Originally headquarters of the Knights Templar, the house and its lands have been owned by notable religious figures, lords, and even kings throughout the centuries.

voco Oxford Thames combines its medieval character with 21st-century style to create a unique setting for memorable meetings, conferences, and weddings alike.”

voco Oxford Thames is usually 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night.

However, for stays until 7th November, it has halved the redemption rate to just 20,000 points per night.

I tend to value an IHG Rewards Club point at 0.4p, which means 20,000 points would normally get you a room worth around £80.  voco Oxford Thames sells for noticeably more than this – £130 seems to be the minimum and it can go over £200 – so this is a good deal.

The hotel website is here if you want to learn more or book.

Meanwhile, over in York …..

Exceptional rates at Principal York

Principal York is the hotel next to the railway station.  A LOT of money was spent on it by the former owners, and I had a pleasant lunch there last year.

IHG is taking its time deciding which brand it slots into, and it is remaining a Principal for now.

This may be an error, but the hotel is offering some exceptionally cheap ‘Special Dinner Packages’ at the moment.

Take a look at Sunday 1st September for example.

A standard room costs £144, room only.

The ‘special dinner package’ gets you:

  • dinner for two people (a three course set menu or £25 per person towards the a la carte menu)
  • breakfast for two people
  • a King Superior room

and is selling for just £100!  See the screenshot below (click to enlarge):

Principal York deal

It is available on other Sunday nights at £100, and on certain other nights this package is the same price as a standard room.

(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. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Looks like a perfectly pleasant hotel, but nb that ‘Close to the heart of Oxford’ translates to four miles or so. Looks like there’s a reasonable bus option to the high street but would probably be looking to take a taxi to get there if you were arriving by train. Free parking for those driving.

    • Genghis says:

      It’s basically on my old cycling route. The Kings Arms close by is (was) v pleasant.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      This hotel is to Oxford what London Luton airport is to London. Could have a banging night on Cowley Road though if you prefer.

      • Cowley Road is only a 10 minute walk from Voca…

        Out the drive onto Sandford Road. Turn left, walk for 10 minutes and you come to a roundabout. Take a left for Oxford Road and a right for Cowley Road.

        Unless you meant the other Cowley Road? 😉

    • You have to prebook, but Oxford River Cruises do water taxis to take you to Folly Bridge. Takes about an hour depending on how busy Iffley lock is. The hotel themselves used to have their own boat too. Not sure if they still do.

      There’s also the “Pick Me Up” service in Oxford that covers Sandford. It’s operated by the Oxford bus Company (Go Ahead Group). It’s a shared taxi service that covers most of Oxford (including Sandford On Thames). Essentially click the App, tell it where you want to go, and between 5-20 minutes later a minibus will pick you up and take you to where you want to go for £3 per head.


  2. I wouldn’t be surprised to find this York deal has come around due to the demise of York based Super Break who went bust recently. Heavily reliant on Travel Trade business especially ‘Sunday Night Offers’ such as these.

    • Number one daughter very relieved she used the Amex Supp to book, she doesn’t like owing Dad money these days.

  3. Hotel related.

    This Hilton offer looks decent


    • Dave Barron says:

      Many thanks TripRep.

      Didn’t expect this offer to load to my account as usually this sort of thing says I’m not eligible – but pleased to say it worked for me. Have a couple of Hilton stays before end of this month so effectively a free 7500 points – cheers!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Offer valid for stays now through January 31, 2020. Nice extra 7.5k points.

    • Nate1309 says:

      Thanks TripRep

    • Great spot – Thank you!

    • There’s a 10,000 bonus version out there too. Best to try it first. Links to both been on LL for some time. Neither worked for me but despite quite a lot of stays I still hot targeted with the 5,000 point version directly by email.

      • Update: I was able to register for this offer (thanks TripRep) despite having already registered for the 5k offer. I have no idea whether I will get none, one, the other, or both triggered by stays. It should be noted that the t&c for this offer state that only recipients of the email invitation are eligible so don’t count on it posting even if registration is successful.

  4. Principal York is a lovely Hotel.

  5. I cant find any dates where there is availability for more then 2 adults in a room, even for cash (this is the Voco)

    Shirley not?

  6. Sherri Elwick says:

    I think the hotel in York made an error as I can’t get the special dinner package

  7. pommy ray says:

    would this booking count towards their status match challenge?

  8. Anyone knows the price of the breakfast at Voco Oxford? Also, is it a buffet?

    • Breakfast at Voco Oxford Thames is £16.95. Buffet style but they do a range of egg dishes – omelettes etc to order. When busy service is poor.

  9. Just booked this for September, thanks Rob!

    There was an option for pay with fewer points and cash:
    20,000 points
    15,000 points and £25
    10,000 points and £50.

    I stuck with 20,000 points with my quick maths. Was that correct?

    Additionally I saw a day or so ago, someone saying that Creation are declining anyone who held the IHG credit card before? I applied a few months ago for the Premium card and was declined. I had held the free card but cancelled it about a month before I applied for the Premium card.

    Rob have you heard what the current situation is around the card?

    • No, nothing. I have an odd relationship with Creation,who are happy to buy me lunch at every opportunity but refuse to actually discuss their products or partner with us.

      • So what do you talk about? It’s not as if their products or service quality sell themselves.

        • The market, who is doing what, usual stuff! I have better insight than most because we deal with most issuers.

          • They are doing their job very well while you could have done yours better in this case Rob 🙂 there is no such thing as free lunch

          • Totally untrue 🙂 For a start, at Christmas we can legally blow £150 per head on lunch and charge it to the business!

          • Shoestring says:

            I get your point Alex Sm – but also see the other side. I used to take the country manager of my main competitor out to lunch when I was running [a European country] as MD myself. TBH I never really got any particularly useful information out of him nor he out of me. I eventually got given the heave ho after a few years & thought it might help I had a contact there, but no.

            At the end of the day, they were very good lunches paid for by a FTSE100 co. And that’s about it.

      • It’s a pretty good card so we might have you to thank for influencing them

  10. OT – New Hilton promo for 7500 points. Seems open to all


  11. Hope The Principal appreciate me pointing out their typo 😉

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