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Bits: Iberia launches Edinburgh, Singapore tweaks Manchester, Hilton’s Motto hits Europe

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News in brief:

Iberia Express to launch Edinburgh to Madrid

Iberia Express has added flights from Edinburgh to Madrid for next Summer.

They are not exactly pushing the boat out. There will be a solitary two flights per week (Thursday and Sunday) between 18th June and 14th September.

You can, of course, redeem Avios for Iberia Express flights. An Economy return is 16,500 Avios + £54.75. Business Class is available for cash but I couldn’t see it for redemption – my pre-pandemic review of Iberia Express Business Class is here.

You can also choose to use fewer Avios in return for more cash, which is actually a better deal. 4,100 Avios + £124.75 is the sweet spot, although a cash ticket may be cheaper still if you’re not bothered about flexibility.

The Iberia Express website is here but as of yesterday the flight was not bookable there – it is available on

Iberia Express Edinburgh to Madrid

Singapore Airlines tweaks Manchester flights

Singapore Airlines has an interesting route which goes from Singapore to Manchester and then onwards to Houston.

Whilst many passengers fly the whole route, it is also possible to book either leg as a stand-alone flight, either for cash or for miles in any Star Alliance programme.

From the start of the Summer timetable in late March, two of the five weekly flights will terminate in Manchester and not continue to the US. This should open up extra capacity for good cash deal or redemptions to Singapore from the UK.

In other news, Singapore Airlines will drop the A380 from the Singapore – Frankfurt – New York JFK route, replacing it with a Boeing 777. This means that you will no longer have the chance to fly the iconic new First Class Suite to the US from Europe.

You can check prices and dates on the Singapore Airlines website here.

Hat-tip @SPD_travels on Twitter.

Motto by Hilton

Hilton’s Motto brand arrives in Europe

Back in 2018, we wrote about Motto.

Motto was a new hotel brand announced by Hilton. It “is a micro-hotel with an urban vibe in prime global locations”.

In plain English, Hilton believed that extended family groups or large groups of friends looking for rock-bottom rates are happy to share rooms.  However, they don’t want to stay in a traditional hostel.  This is a market which the Generator chain dominates, creating hostels with private rooms and funky shared spaces.

The mock-up Motto room pictured above explains it better.  The average room will be a super-small 14 square metres and may have bunk beds or beds which flip down from the walls.  The majority of rooms will connect so you can build the exact space you need for your group. 

London was due to be the launchpad for Motto. A 100-room hotel was planned for Marylebone, and the demolition of the existing building was already underway when the project was announced in 2018.

Motto by Hilton launched

As is very common with new hotel projects, however, it didn’t happen. Unsurprisingly, the developer realised that putting a budget hotel in one of the most expensive parts of London was a bit silly. I believe that a luxury boutique hotel is now being developed on the site.

Four years from the launch announcement, the first Motto hotel has opened in Europe.

Motto Rotterdam Blaak – website here – has opened in the Blaak neighbourhood (near the cube houses, if you know the city) in a conversion of a former bank. It offers 108 rooms, with ‘flexible sleeping setups’ including bunks and pull-down beds. Only 14 rooms connect, according to the press release, which seems odd as I though the whole point was to allow multiple connection options.

If you look at the website you get a better feel for how it works. Bookable room types include:

  • King Bunk Bed Room With Lofted Single Bed
  • Two Linked Rooms
  • Three Linked Rooms
  • Two Linked Rooms – King – King W/ Lofted Bunk
  • Two Linked Rooms – King – King Flex
  • King Room With Sofa Bed

….. as well as a standard King Room.

Motto is genuinely offering something new to the branded hotel scene so it will be interesting to see how it goes. We’ll see if we can take a look.

Comments (39)

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Singapore airlines – isn’t it a reduction in capacity from MAN to IAH, rather than an increase in capacity from SIN to MAN?
    If anything, it’d be even more expensive to book a cash ticket now that it’s a direct route.

    • SamG says:

      It’s both. It used to be 4x weekly SIN-MAN-IAH. Now it’s 2x SIN-MAN and 3xweekly SIN-MAN-IAH. So Manchester gets an extra terminating flight and a flight it’s now not sharing with IAH through passengers (though they may allocate more seats for connecting passengers on the remaining 3 flights)

    • Sam says:

      It was direct and non-stop from Manchester? Do you think it ran MAN-IAH-SIN?

      It will be an increase in capacity although technically you could say it’s remained the same, but that’s assuming no-one flew on to Houston.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Would it be more appropriate to use a semi colon in the title? Read it as Iberia launching Singapore route.

    • Rob says:

      We don’t use semi-colons in headings 🙂

      You’ll see that we also don’t put commas into numbers over 999 when the same headline contains a comma as part of punctuation.

      We do have a style guide …. (which also includes the fact that …. must be four dots, no more and no less).

      • sayling says:

        Ellipsis+ ?

      • Nick says:

        Why four, when a standard ellipsis is three?

        Would you ever be tempted to publish your style guide, like the Guardian? I’m particularly interested in the bit that allows Rhys to measure rooms in electricity meters, rather than the metre unit of measurement used everywhere else in the world 😄

        • Dubious says:

          Perhaps it is not just an ellipsis, but rather an ellipsis heading for a point.😉

          • Jim says:

            There are also some other idiosyncratic house rules, esp sp. – better to accept it for what it is, rather than worry about it.

  • Michael C says:

    I’d certainly give that style of room a bash for the 3 of us (Moxy seem to be gradually increasing the number of this style for more than 2 people, too).

  • Philondon says:

    The photo looks like an Ibis Budget setup.

    • Scott says:

      That’s what I thought, although a larger window.
      Will still probably cost towards £100/night, on average though, I’m betting 😉

      I’ve stayed a few times in the Ibis Budget at Salford Quays in Manchester.
      Quite often £40/night, so far cheaper than most Premier Inns that can be more than Hiltons in the Manchester area.
      Just a pain at present with half the car park closed off for building work, and impossible to find a space after 5pm (the hotel next door takes a lot of spaces). You have to park in a cheaper car park up the road, assuming you can get anywhere near the place due to roadworks.

      • Scott says:

        Looking at the website though, using one of the links, it seems to be a mixture of the Moxy and Ibis Budget brands.

      • lumma says:

        The negative about these Ibis budget rooms is that the bathrooms aren’t very private if you’re a mixed group of adults.

        Although they’re not a bad as a hotel I stayed in Vienna where shower was just open to the room.

  • BJ says:

    Good to see Iberia back at EDI? Even in a limited fashion. For comparison I paid about £55 Easyjrt one way for the fare including priority boarding and cabin bag.

  • BSI1978 says:

    Think there might be a Motto planned for Edinburgh in due course. Opening date TBC

    • His Holyness says:

      Add to that Manchester. Plus Wrocław and Gdańsk in Poland. Though after the Canopy in Warsaw.

  • apbj says:

    Motto looks like a clever move, especially for weekend fun break destinations such as Edinburgh, Gdańsk, Prague etc. But it should also work well in parts of London; huge market in people wanting to stay together as a group but not in their own (often shared) home. The Moxy type places near ExCel are packed full at weekends with people just hanging out at the hotel.

  • Andrew. says:

    18th June is a good start date for the Iberia flights. It comes just before the start of the Scottish school holidays.

    Although my nephew’s holidays don’t start until the beginning of July this year. In a bid to tackle deprivation, the Scottish Government has slashed summer holidays to just 5 weeks, with a week moved to October instead to give a fortnight.

    (In my mind squeezing 6 weeks worth of holiday bookings into 5 weeks will simply push up the prices and be very unhelpful for lower income families.)

    • JDB says:

      The majority of “lower income” families can’t afford passports, let alone contemplate foreign travel. They have rather more difficult issues to deal with than holiday prices or which lounge to visit.

    • Erico1875 says:

      Check out Ryanair Prices from EDI to Costas etc start of July. ,£400 +

    • RussellH says:

      Does the government now determine school holiday dates?
      Last century, when I taught in Tayside / Perth + Kinross schools for 20 years there were significant differences between different parts of Tayside – Angus always had the first two weeks in October.

      I would agree that squeezing 6 weeks worth of holiday bookings into 5 weeks will push up prices. Many more travelling from NCL?

    • Michael C says:

      18 June is just a couple of days before Spanish school hols start – I imagine it’s more based on that!

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