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InterContinental O2 scraps its £30 pool fee following our coverage

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Earlier this week we told you how InterContinental London The O2 was intending to make customers ‘splash the cash’ by adding a huge fee to use its swimming pool.

As I said at the time, I have a soft spot for InterContinental London The O2. It is a good quality hotel which can be excellent value on certain dates.

I took my family there for a weekend break once when it was £100 per night, even though we live across town, because it has a good pool and we thought we’d show the kids a bit of east London.

InterContinental London O2

It was unlikely that I would be heading back in a hurry, however, after we exclusively reported that InterContinental London The O2 had added a swimming pool charge.

It would cost £90 for a family of four to have a dip for an hour. You literally just get a one hour slot for that price.

The actual pricing was £30 for adults and £15 for children under 18, per one hour slot.

InterContinental has now rolled back the charge

We managed to place our article in the Daily Mail (see here, there are 290 comments) and Independent (see here) which led to additional coverage.

Last night, the General Manager of the hotel dropped me a note to say:

“The hotel has reversed the decision to charge the in-house guest for the pool”

….. which is good news, although as of last night the hotel website had not changed. I hope, medium term, the hotel realises that reversing the charge is actually a positive move for bookings.


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Comments (65)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jonathon says:

    Great news. What an utterly stupid decision to charge guests for a hotel facility.

  • Stef says:

    Hmmm. I really wanted to stay here Rob et Al.

    Yet after being screwed over by them last year. Remember broad cancellations due to taking cash from the govt as a COVID Quarantine hotel?

    Then following this baldly lied to by the reception manager that in effect brand standards meant nothing and to move to IC Park lane, paying double it would be out if my own pocket.

    Then the £30 for using the pool. Pfft. I stayed at the crown plaza docklands the other side of the river. Had a great time, full use of facilities and the staff were awesome. Think I would rather stay there again then give O2 another chance to mug me blind

    • chrism20 says:

      Might actually give the CP Docklands another go. In the past they have indulged in the same type of behaviour of the O2, sounds like they may have changed their ways.

      • Zara says:

        I have stayed at the CP Docklands twice in the last few months and it was very pleasant and recognised spire well. Although on the second occasion they asked for full ID (which they didn’t ask others at checkin when I was there) as though they didn’t believe the spire member was me!
        Other than that they have been great with the service and upgrade potential.

        • chrism20 says:

          Admittedly it’s a while since I’ve stayed but I remember the GM being an absolute dragon.

          They used to do some upgrade package that was about £25 and in reality it was £5 worth of junk food from the Tesco along the way.

          Might actually take another look at it.

    • DavidG says:

      Had an almost identical experience… Really enjoyed or CP experience but still disappointed at how little notice we got for the O2 IC cancellation. Still would like to try the IC at some point but all this has really put me off the O2.

    • DJ says:

      The same, had a last minute cancellation from the O2 with zero support, had to pay double for alternative hotel myself.

      I still haven’t stayed in the hotel yet, but I think I will avoid it unless I absolutely desperate need somewhere to stay 🙁

  • Jimbob says:

    Yep, they cancelled my trip there last year at short notice, they were indifferent to the fact we didn’t have anywhere to stay, won’t be going back.

  • chrism20 says:

    Any chance you can run something on the inability of Nectar to let you access your account? It may well shame them into actually dong something.

    • Toppcat says:

      I support this request!

    • Alex W says:

      Oooh. Are you on the dreaded 7135JSO error too? It’s both me and my sister. Nectar absolutely incapable of resolving.

      • Tony says:

        Ah, I cracked this yesterday. You need nectar to reset your account using a different email address to the one you use to log into Sainsburys. There’s a degree of nonsense in that as it’s supposed to be a single ID for both but after 6 weeks I can finally get back into my account.

    • ADS says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who can’t access Nectar on their website.

      After a few weeks locked out, I phoned them a few days ago – they got me to reset my password in two different browsers, and to try using a mobile hotspot to login.

      Nothing worked – now it’s with their 2nd line support.

  • Jon says:

    Bad decision now reversed, or all along a very clever ploy to get some free publicity? 😉 Kudos to them if the latter lol.

    (Although maybe a case of too late, damage done? But presumably lots more people now know that it’s “a good quality hotel which can be excellent value” and has a “stunning” pool, so… 😉

    • Andrew J says:

      Indeed – no such thing as bad publicity – people now know there’s a cheap IC in London.

      • Alan says:

        Only cheap at times – when I used my AMB voucher it was more like £250/night – £350 on the 2nd (free) night at least!

  • strickers says:

    I really do hope the IHG changes are fully implemented by early June, I’d be here for 2 nights as Diamond with lounge access and so don’t have to give them any money.

    • Andrew J says:

      A couple of hotels have already offered me free breakfast as my welcome amenity.

      • John Caribbean says:

        Yes, offered this last night. Would I like points, a drink voucher, or (big pause) breakfast

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You’ve already been able to select the lounge benefit after hitting the required number of nights? Or just hoping you can before the stay?

      • strickers says:

        Just hoping before the stay, currently at 34 nights after removing the rollover, should be at 42 before the stay.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          It’s a lovely lounge and the staff are generous so fingers crossed.

          Tbh I’m surprised IC lounges are included (Marriott exclude RC lounge access for example)

  • Nick G says:

    If you get syon park to change their rip off fee now it would be much appreciated!

  • Froggee says:

    Now you just need to get BA to answer the phone and reduce their fees on Avios redemptions.

    • Nicholas says:

      I think peace in the Middle East is more likely than BA picking up the phone. Article in The Times today says that they are answering 1 call in 20

      • Yuff says:

        I got through 3 times this week, longest wait was probably 10 minutes.

        • Rob says:

          It’s hugely variable, especially if you have status. I once got through on the Gold line within 2 minutes in recent months but also had many 45 minute waits. I don’t think I’ve got to the 1 hour mark where I was cut off.

        • bafan says:

          Me too. I got through on the Silver line within 5 minutes.

      • Toppcat says:

        @Nicholas – do you have the link to that story, or the headline so that I can search myself? Might be useful ammo for an issue I am having with BA at the moment.

    • Frankie says:

      Last Sunday I got through immediately. The agent said they’d hired more staff and calls were being answered much more speedily.

    • ADS says:

      So true!

      And even when you do get through, you may get hung up on.

      I had four calls within 20 minutes terminated immediately (the Avios Travel Rewards section) last week.

    • supergraeme says:

      I got through this morning at 09:01 (after being cut off once) and it took 21 minutes from connection to hanging up to get a cancelled Avios flight re-routed (from Milan Linate-LHR to Turin-LGW – thought it might be an issue as it’s a €438 flight, but no).

    • Alan says:

      If they just invested in some decent IT I would imagine about half the calls would disappear as customers would be able to resolve the issues themselves online!

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