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Bits: IHG 5x points rumour, Priority Pass discount, Hilton loses Glasgow, Maidstone and Arundel

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News in brief:

Rumour of massive IHG bonus next week

If you are an IHG Rewards member, you will have had a cryptic email about a big Cyber Monday promotion.

The landing page is here but doesn’t say much. It does talk about a ‘biggest member event’ (cue laughter from our teenage male readers).

A couple of online forum comments are suggesting that IHG Rewards will be offering 5x bonus points for bookings on Monday and Tuesday. There is no link to the source of this, although it may be from a private IHG online community.

Based on our 0.4p valuation per IHG point and the earning rate of 10 points per $1 at most brands (13.4 per £1), 5x base points would mean that you’d be earning 27p of points per £1 of pre-tax spending. Status bonuses and promo bonuses would increase that further.

For clarity, this is purely a rumour at this point but you may want to hold off making any IHG bookings until Monday just in case.

Keep checking this page for more information.

IHG Rewards Cyber Monday Black Friday

Priority Pass Black Friday discount

We mentioned a 50% Priority Pass Black Friday discount in our round-up on Wednesday. We expected it to be on the main landing page but it wasn’t, so our link sent you to the wrong place.

To take advantage of the Priority Pass Black Friday deal, you need to click here.

Priority Pass membership card

Hilton to lose three UK hotels at the end of the year

Three Hilton-branded properties in the UK have announced that they are leaving the brand at the end of 2021.

The most significant is Hilton Glasgow Grosvenor, which is an iconic property in the city.

The second is one which I’d never actually heard of, although it looks like it could be attractive with some investment. Hilton Avisford Park in Arundel (89 acres of land including a golf course) is leaving the group on the same day, 31st December.

Finally, Hilton Maidstone in Kent will depart.

There is no word yet as to whether these hotels will operate independently or will be joining another group.

Comments (53)

  • NSL says:

    Avisford and Maidstone are 2 of 3 closest Hiltons to me. Both are 90s cookie-cutter, tired Hilton hotels but the loss of them means the coverage in the South East from all the major chains is pathetic. I must be in the only spot in the UK where Hyatt coverage is better than Hilton and Marriott.

  • Paul says:

    I have used both the Arundel and Glasgow properties. Arundel was a huge room but the hotel was pretty shoddy and service dire!

    I used Glasgow Grosvenor twice in lock down. The first stay at the height of Scotland’s restrictions was very good, but the second was awful. It’s no surprise or great loss that they have gone.

    The Grosvenor has an interesting history. When a Stakis hotel in the 1970’s, it burnt down during a fire brigade strike. Not that a Stakis hotel erupting in flames seemed to be unusual. My grandmother, when hearing the bells of a fire engine, wound often say “ that must be another Stakis fire”

    The fire destroyed the hotel and took out Almost half a mile of Victorian facade which was subsequently rebuilt such that, you cannot see the join. It’s a beautiful exterior.

    The hotels strongest point was its location on Byres Road, a vibrant trendy area. As it also faced the botanic gardens, the noise from traffic on the Great Western Rd was a concern for those in rooms facing the gardens.

    • Paul says:

      Yes a sorry loss to Glasgow, it was maybe due a refurb and I expected that to be announced than an exit from Hilton!

    • Ryan says:

      No great loss in my opinion. Stayed there many times and the road noise was awful, and this is where the ‘upgraded’ rooms were.

      Much like the Edinburgh Grosvenor, both tired properties.

      • Scott says:

        Absolutely – Glasgow and Edinburgh Grosvenors are probably the two worst Hilton hotels in the whole chain from my experience!! Terrible service and ridiculous external noise – it felt like it was an airport hotel situated on the runway! Plenty of other Hilton options in and around Glasgow 🙂

      • Malcolm says:

        I always remember a colleague stayed at Hilton Grosvenor in Edinburgh and was given a room with no windows!!

    • Andrew says:

      Sir Reo’s special place was the Dunblane Hydro, his home was in the grounds and he’s buried just along the road.

    • ianM says:

      I think the strongest point was the exec lounge which was always well stocked!!

    • Dubious says:

      Oh dear – I actually used to work at the Hilton Avisford Park (‘Hilton Arundel’ as you’re calling it here) in my younger days…t’was there for a number of years. The experience developed a sense in me not to bother spending large amounts on hotel stays…I think it is also one of the reasons I’ve never really got excited about Hilton Honours.

      I don’t think the service mentality was much better back then either…but of course it probably got worse once I left… 😉
      …although I do remember an occasion where some of the staff were needed to help out at the Hilton Portsmouth and they came back remarking on just how much of a dump that one was.

      The Avisford also used to be a Stakis Hotel, and before that I believe it was a privately owned hotel. I was once told that it was this owner who built the extention but it was originally going to be an Italian Restaurant, but something didn’t work out and he ended up having to sell (which I assume was when Stakis came along). Not sure when they converted that into a guest rooms but it did not initially have the walkway connecting it with the original building so it could be a cold and wet walk in the winter!

      The original building (the built that is a listed-building) was originally a private school as you can tell from the wooden panelling in the restaurant. As a listed-building there was always a limit to what work they could do to it.

      • Dubious says:

        PS. Rob – I don’t recall the type of coat hangers we had back then but I do remember we lost about 6 mini cafetieres a week.

  • LostAntipod says:

    IHG latest promo I received is bonus points for bookings and stays in December using their credit card. Yep, the very credit card that creation have summarily cancelled.
    I contacted IHG rewards about this promo and how poorly conceived this idea was in light of our credit cards (and earned free nights) being pulled. And that they are asking for me to renew Ambassador right now. And I have 5 nights upcoming in an IC over new year that I am considering cancelling.. Response: tumbleweeds.

    • John says:

      You’ll get a better response from the GM of the IC, who has likely stayed at a nice hotel at least once unlike IHG customer service staff

  • Barry McNally says:

    Glasgow Grosvenor – no Aircon and a noisy hotel, especially when a wedding is going on downstairs and you are trying to sleep in your room. Great location though not a great loss – other Hilton Glasgow properties are better, especially the Doubletree.

    Arundel – used regularly over the last couple of years as close to Portsmouth. Again, no aircon, in desperate need of investment and not suitable for the Hilton Brand, let alone any of their lower cost options. The upgraded rooms are ok but the older style rooms are dire. Also no great loss to the brand.

  • Chrism20 says:

    Will miss the restaurant and bar at the Grosvenor. Both were very good especially the restaurant. The rooms were really starting to show their need for refurbishment but they were a decent size.

  • Paul says:

    One thing about hotels leaving brands.

    If I had just booked I would not be best pleased to find the Hilton hotel was now not going to be when I got there in January. Will Hilton and or the hotel move you to an alternative property or is it just tough?

    • Rob says:

      The hotel will tell you it is tough, if you prepaid, but a little bit of pressure would presumably see them relent (or tell them you want free breakfast etc thrown in anyway).

    • John says:

      In general it’s tough, but if you’ve prepaid you could try asking for a refund, or move to a date when they’re still part of the brand. Should you still want to stay, you could probably convince them to add breakfast if you’d have got it with Hilton, and maybe even an upgraded room.

      If the hotel owner owns another Hilton they may agree to move you (and I think by moving, you mean paying the same rate you booked) but Hilton won’t do anything.

    • Sam says:

      I would imagine they would call you at some point and ask for cancellation, then you can choose to rebook or pick elsewhere?

  • Peggerz says:

    I have a booking for Maidstone Hilton at the start of 2022, all to do with a family get-together. I had already been in touch with Hilton who said;

    “Once the hotel terminates as a Hilton, you will not earn points nor receive stay/night credit as a Hilton Honors member and your diamond benefits will not transfer should you decide to keep your stay. If you desire to cancel, I suggest you cancel prior to expiration of your cancel policy or December 24, 2021, whichever comes first. “
    Just as I expected.
    Re the new owners, Knight Frank – selling agents – said “ The property has been sold to an established UK Hotel and Leisure operator with a strong presence in the South East”
    Any clues there for anyone?
    If my plans change, where is a decent hotel/inn in Maidstone? I won’t have a car so don’t want to be traipsing in from outer villages etc.

    • Terry says:

      Welcome to the Britannia Maidstone…

    • John says:

      Premier Inn… The (to-be-former) Hilton isn’t well located if you don’t have a car either

      • Lynx says:

        In the town centre, I can only think of the Premier Inn and the Travelodge. The Marriott Tudor Park is probably the best hotel but is out on the edge of Bearsted so about 3 miles out of town.

  • D R G says:

    I stayed at the Hilton in Arundel a while ago and it was awful. Uneven floors, smelly, no aircon, and very poorly maintained. Also miserable staff and absolutely no HH recognition. Good riddance.

    • Mikeact says:

      I can see Avisford Park being pulled down…it’s in large grounds…probably be turned into swish apartments or the likes of rip off accommodation for the elderly.
      The last time I was there was to attend a driving awareness course…41 mph in some street in Bristol…saved points on my license and it was actually quite an interesting afternoon !

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