Three things that have opened …..
Plaza Premium lounge in Heathrow Terminal 5
If you don’t qualify for access to the British Airways lounges in Heathrow Terminal 5, Plaza Premium has reopened its lounge.
The competing Club Aspire lounge at the other end of the terminal has been open for a few weeks, so it is good to see Plaza Premium back in business.
During the closure, virtually all Plaza Premium lounges have left the Priority Pass lounge card scheme. This doesn’t make any difference in Terminal 5, however, as this lounge was never in Priority Pass in the first place.
You can still get free access via:
- American Express Platinum (show your Platinum card at reception, one guest allowed)
…. or book for cash via this page of the Plaza Premium website.
If you are able to access both Club Aspire and Plaza Premium, you would be crazy not to go with Plaza Premium. Irrespective of what the food offering may currently be, it is simply a far better designed and more pleasant space than Aspire.
A reader who was there yesterday said that he felt the list of ‘paid for’ alcoholic drinks had got longer, with fewer free options. We need to wait for more feedback to know if this is the case.
Opening hours are 6am to an early 5pm looking at the Plaza Premium website.
Virgin Atlantic reopens its onboard bars
If you are flying in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class in the near future, you will be pleased to know that the onboard bars reopened yesterday for the first time in 15 months.
On the A350 fleet, this means that you have access to The Loft, the largest social space in the fleet. This offers a 32 inch TV as well as a range of seating options as you can see above. There are smaller bars on the A330 and Boeing 787 fleets.
The service will be offered on all routes to Green and Amber destinations, including the Caribbean.
Virgin Atlantic also reopened its Clubhouse lounge at New York JFK yesterday, just a few days after opening the Clubhouse in Heathrow Terminal 3.
Hilton opens a new beach resort in Rijeka, Croatia
With Croatia now promoted to the Green List (well, Green Watchlist to be precise, meaning it could switch at short notice), it seems a good time to mention a new Hilton beach resort which opened a couple of weeks ago.
The Hilton Rijeka Costabella Beach Resort and Spa on Croatia’s Adriatic coast is:
“located between the charming town of Opatija and the vibrant city of Rijeka, surrounded by soaring mountains and cobalt-blue waters. The hotel enjoys one of Croatia’s best beach front locations, with 200 meters of private beach with mooring spots.”
The hotel features 132 rooms and 62 villas and suites, up to three bedroom apartments, all of which have sea views. The resort also boasts 3,700 sqm of wellness facilities ranging from Finnish saunas and hydrothermal pools to a Himalayan salt room.
There are six restaurants and bars, including rooftop fine-dining at Nebo. This is run by Croatia’s youngest ever Michelin-starred chef, Deni Srdoč.
You can find out more on the hotel website here.
Looking at Hilton’s Points Explorer tool, redemptions are capped at 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Given our 0.33p valuation of a Hilton Honors point, you would be getting outsized value if room rates were higher than €235.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (October 2021)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
The Platinum Card comes with a limited time bonus of 60,000 Amex points (converts to 120,000 Hilton Honors points) until 2nd November 2021.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)