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IHG opens the voco Oxford Spires hotel – and it’s just 20,000 points per night

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IHG has completed the rebranding of Principal Oxford Spires as voco Oxford SpiresThe hotel website is here and there is a picture below.

vovo is IHGs new upscale ‘conversion’ brand.  It allows hotels to become part of IHG without having to sign up to the strict list of ‘do’s and dont’s’ which come with its other brands such as Crowne Plaza.

These demands can be exceptionally picky – when I toured Kimpton Fitzroy in London, for example, I was told that they had to add flavoured water to the fridge in the gym, alongside normal water, because it is a brand requirement.  The delay in converting Principal Manchester to Kimpton is, I understand, over the requirement for an expensive air conditioning system.

voco Oxford Spires

As a launch offer, you can book voco Oxford Spires for just 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night until mid February.  This is very good value, especially for peak dates.

For comparison, the second voco in Oxford – voco Oxford Thames – is 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night.

(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.)

Comments (157)

  • stevenhp1987 says:

    OT: If I have some non prepay bookings with Marriott. Can I call the hotel up and ask them to process the payment now? Staying next year and Amex offer…

  • Rob Mc says:

    OT
    Amex referral – Usually quickly once card received but taken over a week and still no points. Anyone else noticed a slow down?

    • Peter K says:

      I have found the same for a referral Mrs K did for me. I’ve had the card 4 days but no referral bonus showing for her yet.

    • Roger says:

      Same here.

      I referred a friend for Amex Platinum who has already received the card but no points for me yet.

    • C says:

      Same! Nearly 2 weeks. Contacted Amex and they said it can take 8-10 weeks… annoyingly I need the points soonish!

    • ankomonkey says:

      Maybe they’re adding extra checks before approving the referral, based on all this talk about audits and account closures for self-referrals…

    • Relaxo says:

      Self referal- points deposited after 10 days.

  • Shoestring says:

    BRITISH Airways appears to have seen off the risk of Christmas strikes by sealing a pay deal with pilots, drawing to a close one of the most bitter industrial rows in the airline’s 100-year history.
    Union Balpa has written to members recommending they back a negotiated settlement that includes a sweetened pay deal and improves working conditions and bonuses…11.5pc pay rise over the next three years with added inflation protection…Balpa expects it will shortly be consulting its 4,000 BA members

    • Nathan says:

      Wondering what ‘added inflation protection’ means? Still, ignoring the additional bonus element of the offer, and assuming then allowing for a 1.5% 5yr average for UK inflation to hold for the stated duration; your average BA Captain trousers an additional 12 large basic in year 3. Not bad onions those, but I don’t think they’ll go for it en masse. Well, not all of them will, the old-skoolers will want to hold out for formal profit share a la Lufthansa.

    • BJ says:

      Good news, let’s hope so.

    • Russ says:

      Are we to expect a similar scenario next year? I have lost avios/tier making opportunities booking other airlines due to the upset this year and going to have to take a long term view if they’re going to make it an annual event.

      • Shoestring says:

        it’d be a 3 year settlement

        story hints that BA would have to offer a similar % increase over 3 years to the 2 cabin crew groups, which I understand was part of the joint employee position (together we stand etc)

        ie 3 year settlement across much of BA

      • Lady London says:

        Hi Russ, I guess you know that if you had a booking with BA but due to strike/BA reasons ended up flying another airline on the booking instead, or routing changed involuntarily etc., you can ask BA to provide ‘original routing credit’ of the Avios and tier points you would have earned.

        Erm…no need to mention if you were rerouted onto a non OneWorld airline and earned points there.

        • Russ says:

          Thanks for the reminder Lady London. Always appreciated. Problem for some is that we’ve just got to get there on time or you’re out of the running for a contract.

  • Nathan says:

    OT for hotel bits, but does anyone have recent experience of AMEX Travel Ts&Cs? Specifically, the extract pasted below with respect to AKL-DIA-LHR and back on Qatar:

    ‘REPRICING SCENARIO-
    1.BEFORE DEPARTURE BEFORE UTILIZATION OF THE FIRST COUPON OF THE TKT WHEN VOLUNTARY CHANGE OCCURS IRRESPECTIVE OF THE OUTBOUND OR INBOUND FLIGHT OF THE JOURNEY THE FARE WILL BE RECALCULATED APPLY NEW FARE/RULES ADHERING TO THE AP CONDITION IN EFFECT ON THE DATE OF THE RE-ISSUE.
    2.AFTER DEPARTURE AFTER UTILIZATION OF THE FIRST COUPON OF THE TKT NEW FARE WILL BE RECALCULATED USING FARES IN EFFECT ON THE DATE HISTORICAL FARES WHEN THE ORIGINAL TICKET WAS ISSUED.’

    Clause 1 meets my experience of ‘normal’ i.e. one re-books at new fare and pays the change fee plus any fare increase differential. However; if i only need to change the return leg and fly the outbound before requesting a change to the return, some four weeks later, how do they work out the ‘historical fare’ re-pricing basis referred to in Clause 2?

    Given the flights in question were booked well in advance, when fares were discounted c. £1,200, if I’ve read the above the way I want it to read; rather than price up the lot today, it may pay me to wait, fly outbound, and change the return after landing. Or, it may not.

    One reading could be that the historical fare in effect at the time of booking is that which I paid, ergo, I’m only on the hook for the change fee as there is no fare differential.
    Another reading could be that the historical fare is 50% of the rack rate fully flex fare in effect back in the day, not the discounted fare actually paid.
    A further reading could be that the change may be based upon the historical fare for a one-way journey at the time of booking because I in effect only then need a one-way ticket.

    Thoughts?

    • Lady London says:

      This is about ticketing rules, same as would be found if you check the rules for a ticket you’re buying anywhere.

      Normally clause 2 would be better for you if it is applicable as it would mean reprice of the return is as was in the computer systems for your ticket the day you bought it.

      Whereas clause 2 exposes you potentially regular market or even peak pricing so has an unpredictable impact on your pricing.

      Generally clause 2 is better but check any additional wording about historical pricing then what happens if seats in same fare class are no longer available. This will tell you if you’d be no expected to buy up to whatever class is available at the time you rebook, or not. Seen plenty where not required but check.

      Usually the terms would work so that even if you did want to fall under clause 1 because you found something much cheaper, quite likely the terms would say you don’t get the difference back.

      It’s all in the terms for the fare class in the ticket you’re buying plus anything the agency,(in this case Amex) adds, but what you’re seeing is not unusual.

    • Charlieface says:

      The historical rates are all in the GDS systems, I think they normally look at the booking class already booked ignoring whether there was actually availability in that class on the new flight.

  • Russ says:

    Ot – I have another offer from Marriott – double points on all hotel spend from 21st till 4th January. This interests me as I have a reward booking practically over the same period. Perhaps it’s a hint that they’d prefer I pay cash 🙂

    • Lady London says:

      Depending on your destination some places do have excellent rates in that particular period, so you might want to keep an eye on cash rates anyway even without the promo.

  • James says:

    Off Topic.
    Curve card.
    I have the Curve Black Legacy.
    How does this differ from the other versions ?
    The Blue, Black & Metal were described here back in October, but there isn’t mention of the Black Legacy.
    https://headforpoints.com/2019/10/26/why-you-should-get-a-free-curve-card-to-maximise-your-miles-and-points-from-credit-cards/

  • sloth says:

    O/T Morrisons…i just discovered there is a Morissons round the corner from Canary Wharf, in Canning Town – seems pretty new…anyway they had plenty of amazon and john lewis gift cards so i stocked up, however whilst i could seemingly buy unlimited amazon cards, they only let me buy 2 JL cards, stating they had been told not to sell more than 1 per customer (but I could have 2 this time) as there was a scam going round re the inland Revenue and JL gift cards….made no sense to me and even less sense why i could still buy unlimited amazon GC

    handy for others who live/work in C/W

    • Shoestring says:

      (part) paying staff with giftcards/ Morrisons vouchers to evade NI, personal tax etc

      ***LATEST***
      No more Morrisons vouchers after next month! Heard it from the horse’s mouth yesterday

      • sloth says:

        Morrisons vouchers or Morrisons selling other retailers gift vouchers?

        and who is the horse?

      • BJ says:

        Which horse was that Harry?

      • Ikaz says:

        I was told that morrissons are switching from paper vouchers to a top up card from December (for their own store vouchers)

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Did notice a very strange sign about tax

        While I picked up and bought 4x £100 amazon vouchers in a single transaction.

        • Andrew says:

          “Weird signs about tax”

          “Bailiffs”, “Inland Reveue” and “The Police” are phoning weak minded individuals and ordering them to go out out and buy various gift cards to pay outstanding bills or they will go to gaol…

          “Barclays” tried it on with my elderly parents the other day when I was visting. Fortunately they are both quite bright, and my mum just did a bit of time wasting then put the phone down, saying. “Bailiff’s in Scotland” and laughed.

    • Paul says:

      I’ve been stocking up on JL & Amazon during the 10% off Amex offer – current offer expires on the 4th.
      Shame it’s going to end!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Use self checkout and just pop your phone on the scales. 1 at a time though.

  • Donny says:

    OT – but hotel related
    Just noticed on Marriott website that a new Courtyard by Marriott London Heathrow Airport Bath road is opening Dec 2019. However, can’t be booked even chose April next year, anyone has any inside news about this new hotel?

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      I was wondering about this too. Saw it while booking elsewhere for park and fly. Seems it’s not bookable at all as it stands, despite opening “next month”.

      • paulm says:

        I drove past it the other week, its definitely not opening next month! looked no where near finished..

    • Roy says:

      Curious why people are still building more Heathrow hotels. It’s not like passenger numbers can be increasing much – if at all. Indeed, there’s little prospect of that until and unless the third runway is built.

      • Rob says:

        Take a look at those third runway plans. Virtually all of the Bath Road hotels are demolished – and however long it takes to build the runway, the demolition will happen at the start.

        • Russ says:

          Talking about runways, Gatwick is forging ahead trying to open its second runway next year. Friend of mine who lives locally has received docs saying he may have a compulsory purchase order put on his property. Going down a storm as he was hoping to sell early next year and buy a super yacht for jollies around the med….