Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

InterContinental O2 scraps its £30 pool fee following our coverage

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

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.

IHG One Rewards update – June 2024:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not currently running a global promotion.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (65)

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

  • Gordon says:

    Another case of relenting because of HFP making the charges known to the wider audience….

  • Paul says:

    Great work Rob, nice one.

  • G Flyer says:

    Your article had a real impact. Well done for making them see common sense.

  • Jon says:

    Could you sort out Creation next? And then world peace? Actually, do world peace first, might be easier. 😉

    • Marcw says:

      Don’t forget resort/destination fees!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I don’t see the issue when it’s clearly noted it’s payable. It’s just an extension of the nightly rate.

        • Callum says:

          Because it’s designed to trick people into thinking the hotel is cheaper than it is, and manipulates their position in search engines.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It’s designed to trick you to look in the USA but the resort fee is clearly laid out. If booking From the U.K/EU it must be included if it’s mandatory and therefore how many commentators here are being tricked?

          • ChrisC says:

            TGI – it’s certainly not clear on some BA Hols bookings

            You need to read the detailed hotel description to see if a fee is applicable as they don’t include it in the total – not even on the lines of

            ‘total holiday cost is X of which we will charge you Y with the remaing Z payable locally’

  • paul Jones says:

    never been impressed with this hotel. Service and value for Royal ambassadors was always poor at best. They dont honour membership and now even give higher floors as a room upgrade. looking at the bottom of an air conditioning unit then being upgraded to look at the top is not valuing loyalty

    • TGLoyalty says:

      In my experience the best rooms here are non suites. Suites sparsely furnished and feel soulless.

    • Alan says:

      Totally agree – definitely disappointed on my recent stay.

  • BA-Flyer says:

    Intercontinental Barcelona are charging €40 to access their main pool, with steam room and sauna. You get max 45 minutes and have to pay for each visit. The rooftop pool is nice, but only for paddling; not lap swimming.

    • VJ says:

      Do you have a link to explain these charges, I have upcoming stay there.

      • Matty says:

        I was fine there last month as a Spire Ambassador. The welcome letter explained that I could use the pool / spa for free (you’d pay for treatments, obviously). There was a little confusion when I attended the spa – wanted to charge me 50%. Referred the spa to the front desk. Front desk confirmed it was free. I was there for a couple of hours. No issues.

    • Lady London says:


  • Paul says:

    Given their attitude last year they’d have to pay me to stay there again. I get I am just one Diamond Ambassador but the only way places like take notice is if you vote with you wallet

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    The Daily Mail comment (comedy) section is slipping – I went and had a look at this article and it was at least 6 comments down until you hit the first one about migrants getting handouts.

    • Ali B says:

      Thank you for your irrelevant little titbit. Don’t call us, we’ll call you!

      • Ian says:

        You must be a Daily Mail reader 😉

      • A says:

        Let me pour some oil on the fire: how equally irrelevant your comment is. Please be aware, Daily mail commentary is somewhat constrained due to the bulk of the previous commentators being occupied with their fuhrers war with the rest of the world.

      • Marv says:

        We just spent a few days at the Intercontinental in New Orleans where the pool is on the 15th floor on the roof. After looking at the pool we decided they’d have to pay us to use it. It was possibly the worst pool I’ve ever seen at a hotel, and we’ve stayed at the Intercontinental in Paris, Vienna and Munich.

    • Lady London says:


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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.