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SAVE THE DATE: Head for Points Winter Party, Monday 20th January

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Better late than never, we can finally announce the details of the 2019 (2020?!) Head for Points Winter Party.

Traditionally we have held a party in early December. This year we thought we’d shake it up. With Rob and I having had a busy Autumn and the relatively late Summer party in July we thought it would be sensible to push the party into the new year.  If we’re honest, getting a 500-person venue in December on terms that made sense was also tricky.

It means that we all have something to look forward to during the January blues. Given the general hullabaloo of events in the run up to Christmas it also means it is less likely to clash with whatever else you have going on.

Marriott Grosvenor Square

This year, we will be taking over the Westminster Ballroom at the Marriott Grosvenor Square. This is a larger space than the Renaissance, which got a little crowded with 500+ people during the raffle when everyone came inside.  The Westminster Ballroom should enable us to fit in 500 readers without it being a massive squeeze.

When is it happening?

Marriott Bonvoy is sponsoring the event again, for which we are very grateful.  This gets you one free drink on the night (beer, house wine or soft drink) after which a cash bar will be running.

Head for Points Winter party

The party will be from 6pm until 9pm on Monday 20th January. Because we need to ensure that people who ask for tickets turn up, we will be charging for tickets as usual.

Tickets will be £11 including VAT and will go on sale in early January.  This includes a £1 charitable donation which we will explain in the New Year.  There will be 500 tickets available and they will go quickly based on experience.

Your ticket will also get you an entry into our big raffle.

The raffle

We will, of course, be holding our famous Head for Points (post-) Christmas raffle.  This is a far bigger raffle than the prize draw we usually hold at the Summer parties.

We will confirm the prize list nearer the time, but you should expect around 20 prizes worth £50-£100+ each.  Last year we gave away airport transfers, a suit, a suitcase, frequent flyer miles, hotel points, train points, train tickets, a hotel stay, lounge passes ….. it really depends on what we can get together in the next month.  All of the companies that get free publicity on Head for Points throughout the year will be asked to contribute …..

We also be leaning on Marriott Bonvoy to twist the arms of a few hotels for some grand prizes.

We hope that you can come along 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.  We will also be inviting many of our airline contacts if you want to chat about your travel plans, and of course the Marriott Bonvoy team will be around too.

Information on how to get a ticket will be published in early January, but please mark Monday 20th January in your diary now.  See you there.

Comments (85)

  • Boo says:

    Oh look, another HFP party, not on a Friday and in London, meaning those of us 400 miles away would need two days off work to attend. What a joke, just like BA, you’re not interested in anyone outside London [rolls eyes] …

    • Alex W says:


      • Henry says:


        • Shoestring says:

          +3 – Newquay is very pleasant indeed in January, we don’t call it the Cornish Riviera for nothing, the Travelodge and Premier Inn are both on at £29.99 all month and the LHR-Newquay route heavily subsidised by HMRC – no wonder we want our own free state when we get treated so abysmally all the time (first manifesto promise: free scones with jam & cream on top for over 60s on Fridays)

    • Chas says:

      I’d imagine that booking it for a Friday evening would see the cost double, and then everyone would whinge about that instead. It would also introduce some risk to Rob that the tickets might not sell at that price, and HfP would have to cover the loss.

      You can’t please all the people all the time.

      Thanks for organising Rob (and Rhys) – I just hope that I can get myself a ticket. 🤞🏻

      • Henry says:

        Price double?
        This is Head for points… I’m sure most would consider that a challenge and get it cheaper by using some sort of air miles/points which is the whole point of this site?

        • Gringo says:

          Yes Henry, we should register HFP as a small shop and see whether Rob can put some early-bird tickets up before Sunday? £11 is perfect 🙂

      • Rob says:

        Correct. For a peak night we would have to pay £15,000 room hire (£30 per guest). Even for a Monday in Jan some hotels wanted £15k but the Grosvenor Square was more accommodating.

        • JRC says:

          I get not doing on a Fri/ Sat but a Monday? Was Thurs a no go? Would think that would have been a good compromise with folks “working from home” on Friday aka hungover or travelling back home.

          • Rob says:

            There are only 3 Marriott-run hotels in London which can take 500 people in one room. Renaissance is out due to limited lighting in Winter (glass roof) which left us with two.

          • RussellH says:

            To me, Monday is as good as Friday. Both are part of an elongated weekend. Thursday is middle of the week in my book (or was when I was working).
            But I would not be making the 800+ mile round trip anyway.

          • Lady London says:

            Put some effort in @RussellH! I shall be coming back early from a trip 600 miles to make it.

      • BJ says:

        With apologies to the readers from Northern Ireland who will soon need a veterinary inspection or something to snter Great Britain, HFP could indeed please most by arranging future events somewhere between Haltwhistle and Dunsop Bridge – the disputed geographical centre points of GB. A good compromise might be @Anna’s living room in winter and a marquee in Rob’s mums back garden in summer.

        • Rhys says:

          It wouldn’t please most if 80% have to come from London!

          • BJ says:

            So you just let the cat out of the bag Rhys, it is indeed a cunning plan to both discriminate in favour of, and please Londoners 🙂

          • Rhys says:

            Unfortunately we don’t decide where our readers live 😉

          • BJ says:

            Didn’t it occur to you that were you to host the party in @Anna’s living room you would still get 500 guests but 80% if tgem would ve from outside London?

          • BJ says:

            Grrrr, impatience, big fingers, small buttons and Edinburgh potholes and cobbles don’t mix, sorry.

        • Anna says:

          Actually my living room is not a million miles from Dunsop Bridge, however 500 people would be pushing it 😂

    • The Streets says:

      Like it or lump it London is where it’s at

    • Dave Simmons says:


    • Rob says:

      If we could get 500 people in another city we’d do it. We would struggle to get 100 anywhere else which does not justify the 3-4 trips it would need to plan plus hotels etc for the three of us.

      80% of our UK readers are in London, looking at IP data.

      • BJ says:

        Reality is that it can also be easier to travel 350 miles to London from many areas than it is to travel 50 miles cross country for those dependent on public transport.

    • SimonW says:

      Bet you’re a good laugh at parties

    • Andrew says:

      400 Miles, guess you are in Central Scotland.

      In which case, you don’t need to take two days off work. More like 2 hours. Hop on a flight from EDI, GLA or DND, make your way to Grosvenor Square and enjoy the Party.

      Then walk the 20 minutes or so to Euston Station, hop on the Caledonian Sleeper, and you’ll wake up ready for work in the morning.

      I’ve just done the same journey myself for a function, but in the opposite direction. Life is easy if you don’t go out of the way to make it hard.

      • Boo says:

        Life IS easy … if you don’t work for a company that would sack you then hang you out to dry if you had so much as a sniff of alcohol in your blood at work. That would probably limit my chances of ever turning left again don’t you think? I’ll just pass, but do have a lovely time.

        • Shoestring says:

          why oh why do people equate parties & having fun with drinking beer, wine, Champagne & cocktails, making merry with the booze & relaxing with new friends? 🙂

          • Boo says:

            You really are missing the point here aren’t you?

          • Lady London says:

            This is @Shoestring we’re talking about! I can see I’m going to have to explain English humour again …:-)

    • LewisB says:

      I know how to solve this, hold a party in Amsterdam surely? Well covered by KLM across the regions, multiple options from London. After party at the red light distract? :L

      • marcw says:

        +1. But just do a Rtrn same day, early morning in/out late evening, and lets do the meeting in the new KLM Crown lounge. KLM is offering some money off on Business class flights -although I guess there’s a minimum spend.

      • memesweeper says:

        Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, or Brussels would all make sense as venues. Although I’d be unable to just pop in after work… 🙁

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        Only when I can credit tier points to Virgin 🙂

  • N says:

    If only there was an area that had many options for venues, was easy to get to for a lot of people and had the largest concentration of HfP readers… If only there was a city or town that could tick all those boxes………….if only…………..

  • KBuffett says:

    Thanks Rob & team. Sound great.

  • ankomonkey says:

    How about make it a video conference so those who cannot easily attend can join? I live in the Midlands and am more than happy to go to the house of somebody important from Creation or Birmingham Airport if they are willing to host a video conference mini-site. I don’t drink too much although I do get a bit peckish. Or get a BHX lounge to host it – that’s you Emirates… Or a local Marriott.

  • Anna says:

    If anyone else is staying at the Langley on the late bank holiday weekend in May we could have an informal summer HFP party!

    • Peter K says:

      If you can get a reservation for that weekend I can recommend a meal at The Three Oaks at Gerrards Cross.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Peter, I will have a look. It’s my 50th birthday (and retirement!) weekend so looking forward to it.

  • Andrew says:

    Perhaps we could have an annual “Thanksgiving” Party outside London to remind ourselves of the variance between the best travel experiences of careful planners and what the less fortunate are disappointed by?

    A wet weekend in November at the Britannia Grand Scarborough anyone?

    Do it for charity.

    • Rob says:

      Premier Inn is a better choice in Scarborough, just opposite the Britannia 🙂

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Somehow though, Britannia and their specialism in hotels that are shitholes of faded former glory seems more apt for most UK seaside resorts….

  • Charlie says:

    Huge sense of entitlement in here – don’t know how you put up with the dissenters Rob!

  • reader says:

    OT: just got the 10k MR bonus for spending £15k in the previous membership year on the Amex Gold. Now looking to downgrade to the free Amex Rewards card. Do I need to apply separately for the free Amex first and then cancel gold, or can I asked them to just “downgrade” me.

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