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Now open: Plaza Premium T5, Virgin Atlantic’s onboard bars, a Hilton beach resort in Rijeka

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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:

…. 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.

Our last review of the Plaza Premium Terminal 5 lounge is here. Our recent review of the Club Aspire lounge in Terminal 5 is here.

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.

The Loft Virgin Atlantic Upper Class A350

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 Rijeka

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

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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors 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.)

Comments (23)

  • Dominic Barrington says:

    But how do you get from here to Dubrovnik, save by a very long drive??

    • James says:

      With difficulty at the moment to be honest, I’m not sure if anyone’s flying to Rijeka? And it’s a long drive from everywhere else

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Air Baltic fly to Rijeka, probably on there A220s which will be a very pleasant flight

    • Dubious says:

      Assuming ‘here’ = London UK, how about:
      Train to Paris, France, onwards to Torino, Italy and then Trieste followed by a bus to Zadar, Croatia, followed by another to Dubrovnik?

      https://www.rome2rio.com/map/London/Dubrovnik#r/Train-bus-via-Turin

      • Dubious says:

        Sorry – looks like Italy might be a problem if using public transport. You’d have to route via San Marino and then out again.

        I believe there are also direct flights to Dubrovnik from Stansted, Gatwick and Heathrow.

      • RussellH says:

        A bus from Trieste to Zadar will go through Rijeka, which was in Italy until 1945 or thereabouts. Known as Fiume in those days, which means River, as does Rijeka in northern Croat.

        • ADS says:

          Ryanair fly three times a week from Stansted to Trieste

          106km from Trieste airport to the hotel

    • pauldb says:

      Fly to Zagreb, or Pula which restarts 7th August. (Other airlines available.)

  • James says:

    Just an 8hr 50 drive from Dubrovnik..

  • Roberto says:

    I’m currently staying here at the moment I checked in yesterday.
    Flew into Zagreb from Lhr with BA
    Stayed one night at the double tree Zagreb which is 500m away from the coach station.
    Got the coach to Rijeka that cost £15 and took 2 hours
    Paid 60k hilton points per night and got upgraded to an executive suite as a diamond member.
    Current cash rate 600 euros
    The hotel is stunning and on a similar par to the Waldorf in finish and furnishings.

    • BA-Flyer says:

      Does the coach drop you off near to the hotel, or do you need a taxi to complete the journey?

      • John says:

        Rijeka bus 32 stops outside the hotel every half hour 15.50 kuna

    • Stephen says:

      Would you recommend hiring a car? Or can you get around without

  • Henry says:

    Quick check for August shows rooms at 250k points per night, so article not quite accurate.

    • Roberto says:

      I’m here now and I paid 60k per night plus got the 5th night free.
      Just had a quick check and it’s still 60k for various dates in August?

      • Henry says:

        Sure, my point was it’s not necessarily capped at 60k

        • Rob says:

          It IS capped at 60k.

          It’s just that, when standard rewards are sold out, Hilton will let you book a cash room for points for 0.25p per point.

          Would you prefer that Hilton got rid of premium rewards, thus taking away the extra option for anyone who may want it (even though it is terrible value) just to stop pedants being able to say that the cost of rewards is not capped?

    • Peter K says:

      Standard rooms must have sold out only leaving “premium redemptions” when you were looking.

  • Chris K says:

    Looks like Lufthansa fly to RJK Airport, albeit with not great connections from LHR (either very short or rather long stops in FRA/MUC).

    And apparently a ca. 40 min drive from the airport to the Hilton.

    Might be a fun one for the future.

    • Bagoly says:

      On Saturdays LOT offer via Warsaw: LHR 10:15 to RJK 16:45.
      Coming back that way involves overnight in Warsaw (there are two hotels at the airport)
      So out LOT, back Lufthansa would be least hassle.

      Or if you happen to be starting from North-East Poland, you can have the pleasure of two hours in a Dash8 to get there from Olsztyn!

  • Richie says:

    That pool looks absolutely wonderful!

  • Neil Spellings says:

    Not great for families..as soon as you add one child to your room, all the 60k standard redemptions disappear and you are only offered 120k+ premium redemptions.

  • John says:

    Just checked in myself. Rented a car in Zagreb and an easy drive out to Rijeka (with a stop in Karlovac to see the war museum). If you take a villa room you can actually park outside your room – otherwise there’s an underground ramp or valet. The villa room easily sleeps 4 – there’s a hideaway bed and two full toilets.
    Staff still getting trained up it seems – all are super friendly and willing to help, but I wasn’t given restaurant details on check in or a guide to the facilities (of which there seem to be plenty).
    Also really miss the chromecast devices which were standard issue in the Canopy Zagreb rooms.
    So far quite nice… will need to explore more to see if it matches up with the Curio in Toulon (which was superb).

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