Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 31st August

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Comments (562)

  • Harry T says:

    So did anyone else have duff air con at the Kimpton St Honore? Sorry if I missed anyone – we were out and about all the time. Overall, I was very happy with the hotel, even though the window was broken in my first room, and we didn’t find a room with functioning air con until around 2am.

    If anyone cares or is remotely interested, my interconnecting door saga at the second hotel we stayed at ended with a discussion with a pleasant manager at checkout. I made it very clear that we did not blame the hotel for the awful absence of parenting or manners next door to us, but we weren’t hugely impressed by the lack of soundproofing or the room allocation. The manager apologised and promised to discuss with the GM, including looking into the soundproofing issue. He would also talk to the rude guests directly to address the matter. I was offered 20,000 points and we were also given a free glass of champagne each, which was a nice touch (I didn’t ask for compensation, just a discussion).

    • E says:

      @Harry T, sorry but I can’t help with the Kimpton. Just wondered if you’d noticed my question on the NL quarantine. I can’t see that it’s the preceding 10 days out of the UK on the link you posted. Not sure if there is something there that I’ve missed? I know you were thinking of going in via France so assume you found more details somewhere.
      (And sorry for repeating the question but it’s several pages back and you’ve posted since so I wasn’t sure if you’d missed it as it was in a thread of replies.)

    • Harry T says:

      You’re welcome. I have spent ten days continuously out of the UK but I doubt arriving by rail would attract much attention, if that’s feasible.

    • Reney says:

      my air con at the Kimpton St Honroe was fine. checked out yesterday, miss it already!

      • Harry T says:

        They must like you better 😊

        • meta says:

          @Harry T How was the overall experience at Kimpton St.Honore? Did you get an upgrade as Spire? Any extra benefits.

          I had my first Kimpton stay in Barcelona over the weekend and didn’t like it that much. Upgraded by one category from base room to Superior with balcony, but the rooms are very tiny and finish is not great (what is it with new luxury hotels that they have to use cheapest materials which are ruined after six mont?). There is no space to open anything other than cabin luggage, let alone two medium-sized suitcases, free cocktails plus 10 euros raid the bar credit, although they insisted I can’t use both in the same sitting. They struggled to apply my Amb weekend voucher, so the GM had to come and apply it. Staff are overall really helpful and nice. The check-out agent was really pushy about me leaving them a positive TA review. Breakfast was excellent. So overall mixed feelings.

          Not sure whether I should try Kimpton St.Honore or stick with one of the Marriott options.

          • Harry T says:

            I was actually IHG Platinum (embarrassing, I know) – I received a one category upgrade from the base room. Was given two 10 euro raid the bar tokens as my welcome gift, but this wasn’t offered at checkin – had to ask later. Some of the staff are a bit new to the IHG system!

            The social password gets you two free drinks in the restaurant bar downstairs (or upstairs, depending on which staff member you ask).

            I didn’t get the chance to try to the rooftop bar as it closed early due to it being cold! I did pop up and admire the view of the Eiffel Tower though.

            The staff were all lovely, especially the man on the night shift (Maxime) who was an absolute delight.

            Social hour was good – champagne or wine, muffins and some strange mango and cucumber thing I didn’t bother with. The library where they hold it is lovely.

            Make sure you get a room with functioning air con and you’ll be grand. The hard product is very good.

            Food and beverage prices are bananas – breakfast is 42 euros per person. Cocktails are 20 euros plus. I only had my free drinks, which were very good.

            What Marriott are you considering?

          • JDB says:

            @meta you are so right about the very poor finish at some hotels so they end up looking really quite tatty very quickly. The better operators don’t allow the owners (the most common model nowadays) to skimp on this but the biggest operators just seem keen to open as much as possible. Personally, it has driven us away from the bigger groups as it is too hit and miss. There are an ever increasing number of better independent options and sometimes, particularly in overpriced cities like Florence, Airbnb now offers substantially superior and cheaper accommodation than a hotel.

          • meta says:

            I should add that the rooftop pool at Kimpton Barcelona is 6m long and 80cm deep. Totally just for show.

            Seems I’m better off staying at Marriott. Considering REN Republique, Banke Opera or De Berri. I havestayed at Prince de Galles before many years ago, but now it’s out of my budget.

          • Harry T says:

            And Marriott is King in Barcelona IMO. Have done 12 nights there this summer – 8 at the EDITION and 4 at the W. Really rate both hotels but the EDITION is one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at.

          • Rob says:

            Rhys was at both two weeks ago.

          • meta says:

            @Harry T Really don’t like Edition brand. And since it was the first time for my partner we needed something central. W is a bit too far from main sights and we like to walk a lot. Next time it will be the W.

          • Harry T says:

            @meta PDG was where I stayed last night and had my interconnecting doors debacle. Booked it for 70k points as it 800 euros plus a night. I preferred the Kimpton.

            Why don’t you like EDITION?

          • Harry T says:

            @meta for central Barcelona, the Cotton House does look good. W was good, I burned four SNAs there and was pleased. It’s full of awful people, but many Ws are. They still weren’t as bad as the clientele at the PDG though 😂

          • meta says:

            @Harry T Room design. It tries to go for
            minimalist and luxury and it fails on both accounts for me. Same with Kimpton Barcelona – they try to combine luxury and hip and it fails on both accounts. It’s personal though…

            PDG was amazing, but I last stayed there at the beginning of the last decade when it was still SPG. Paid only $49 due to Associate rate as my friend used to work at an SPG property.

  • David says:

    Has everyone seen the companion voucher extension rumours !

  • Aston100 says:

    Found what I think is a reasonably priced PE return to HKG with Swiss in the English schools summer holidays next year – around £700pp
    I actually want to get to Bali.
    Direct return flights HKG/DPS are only available with Cathay at present and are well over £600pp in economy!
    Can’t see any avios availability with Cathay at present.

    So, questions:
    1. Any idea of pricing between HKG and DPS in the past? has it always been silly money?
    2. Do Lufty companion fare offers ever apply to English school holiday periods? If so I’m wondering whether to just wait for a 2 for 1 offer in J with them
    3. Swiss PE is a new product launching next year IIRC. Am I right in assuming £700pp to HKG from a UK regional airport in school holidays is a decent price?

    Thanks.

    • Nick says:

      HKG-DPS has always been silly money whenever I’ve checked. I’ve found redemptions before though. Often better value via KUL, SIN or DOH.

    • Tom says:

      We flew HKG to DPS in 2019 and paid circa £290 return with Garuda Indonesia if that helps.

    • chris says:

      Bangkok and KL are often cheaper transit points if Swiss can get you. there; Malaysian is also one world so may be an avenue for an Avios flight

      • Aston100 says:

        Thanks Chris, but it seems to me that out of the major airports in that part of the world, Lufty group has reasonable prices only to HKG at present.

    • BJ says:

      Not great at all, PE on Lufty group often around that or less. No idea myself but if Swiss PE is similar to Lufty then not worth getting excited about.

    • BJ says:

      MAS + MAS or AirAsia likely your best option. I wonder if/when we will see the return of good Garuda deals that were quite common before covid. Check Oman Air and Sri Lankan into BKK or KL.

      • Aston100 says:

        BJ, my nearest airport is BHX. I would like to avoid London airports, and probably avoid MAN too if it can be helped. Hence my airline options are limited.

        “Not great at all, PE on Lufty group often around that or less”.
        Are you sure?

        • BJ says:

          Yes, but these are no longer normal times. Do a search on LH PE and you will see what I mean, VS/CX it ain’t. Do you have access to AF? They had a decent PE product but it is being phased out in favour of BA WTP-like PE on their new a350s.

  • Ryanfozzie says:

    Attention…… (if you have a American Express Platinum Charge Card)

    Similar to the Waitrose / Deliveroo / Harrods (100% Ca$hback offer), launching tomorrow is a pretty generous offer.

    Get 100% back every time up to £200 for spend at a selection of dining merchants.

    https://www.americanexpress.com/en-gb/benefits/diningoffer/

    (Was speaking to a very helpful live chat agent who made me aware of this. Primary card holders only)

    • MQ says:

      Oh I cant wait for tomorrow 🙂

    • Aston100 says:

      Blimey, nothing in the Midlands.

    • BJ says:

      Was reported earlier, but without the link. Going to be high page views on HfP tomorrow … somebody will be a happy bunny!

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      In the regions it seems very heavy on the UK’s most overrated mediocre chain restaurant. Namely The Ivy.

      • Rob says:

        You should try them more. The London ones are generally outstanding experiences for the money (remember by posh London prices they are pretty cheap).

        • JDB says:

          The one in Ken High Street is very poor in terms of food, service and the wine list is well dodgy.

        • JDB says:

          The original Ivy is the best of them all and excellent at looking after regulars but doesn’t appear to be on the list?

          • Rob says:

            Kings Road isn’t on either. Kings Road isn’t even listed on the main Ivy website to try to contain numbers. It is most booked restaurant on Open Table UK apparently.

            We had our wedding lunch there!

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          “You should try them more.“. Fair enough. Persuade Amex to put it on Biz plat and I’d have an extra reason 😂. It’s true that the same price point will have very different competitors they have to match in West London vs northern cities. You can eat at several excellent Michelin Star locations for £20 mains up here…

    • Alex says:

      Signed up earlier for the Platinum. I better be eligible for this.

      But… every time?

    • WaynedP says:

      Committed to channelling all spend through BAPP until earlier of 30 Nov or 10,000 Avios bonus is triggered, so am unlikely to bite.

      • VerdantBacon says:

        It’s a £200 free dinner, couldn’t you just go out and use that on a night you plan to have a home cooked dinner worth a few £s and really not lose that much towards your BAPP spend? And if you spend over £200 you can just put the rest onto the BAPP

        • WaynedP says:

          We’ll see … Perhaps as a carrot to getting Mrs dP to co-operate by following the logical points collecting strategy over the next few months … 😆

    • Andrew says:

      The Wolseley is on the list, so I’m happy, I’d be spending £200 there easily over the coming months anyway, so this is free money.

      • Mouse says:

        I love the Wolesley breakfast but find the rest of the day menu a bit pedestrian

  • BJ says:

    The Lewis weekly email links to an article on BA amex changes tomorrow but nothing in it we do not already know.

  • ChrisC says:

    Reminder the LNER sale ends at 9am tomorrow morning.

    • BJ says:

      Not sure what’s left but it was a decent sale. Looking forward to the cheap autumn Scotrail deal now, we usually use it for a quick ‘circuit’ of tne major routes.

      • ChrisC says:

        Visiting my father on Teesside in a couple of weeks £60 return King’s Cross to Darlington in first not to be sniffed at.

    • Harry T says:

      It was a great sale, managed less than £30pp returns from NCL to KGX and less than £15pp returns from NCL to EDI.

  • Harrier25 says:

    …but not the Ivy in Birmingham. How on earth can you launch a big benefit like this and exclude the whole of the West Midlands?

    • Harrier25 says:

      That should be tagged on to Savage Squirrel’s post higher up.

    • Aston100 says:

      Thats because Phat Buns and Dixy Chicken have a near monopoly on food up there.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Opheem, tattu, simpsons and Ivy are included. Check Birmingham usa.

  • Ryanfozzie says:

    Rob – I assume this offer is like the Marriott one (where you don’t need to sign up in the first 8 seconds)? i.e there is no cap to those being registered?

    • Rob says:

      This is Amex funded so I assume open to all, albeit with the participating restaurants agreeing to some sort of deal for taking part.

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