Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Porto – hotel recommendations please
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    The 4 plus 4 type of thing is what we’re considering as I like to split city with beach. I need to do some research to find a nice coastal town to twin this with.

    There is a pretty good beach in Matosinhos, which can be reached on the Porto Metro. I’m sure there are plenty of nice coastal towns nearer Porto, but the Costa Caparica (just south of Lisbon) is well-regarded and a bit quieter than Estoril/Cascais (often mentioned here) to the West of Lisbon. Porto is also pretty close to North Western Spain (Santiago de Compostela, etc.).

    in reply to: Chat thread – Thursday 23rd May
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Hi all,

    I managed to bag $25 GHA discovery dollars for staying at 2 different brands (Antalya and Avani+, both I’d already booked through Hotels.com, so the discovery dollars are a bonus). Has anyone found any way of using them, other than staying in their hotels? I’ve already booked my accommodation for this summer (island hopping around Indonesia, along with a few nights in Singapore and Hong Kong at either end), and am not ready to book anything for next year yet. I looked into spending the money in a hotel restaurant or spa as a non-guest, but apparently it’s not possible.

    Has anyone got any other ideas?

    I have come to the same conclusion as you, Cat. It seems it’s not possible to use them unless you’re staying, and the booking needs to be direct rather than through an OTA according to their T&Cs.

    in reply to: Chat thread – Tuesday 21st May
    ankomonkey 49 posts
    in reply to: Chat thread – Tuesday 21st May
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    It’s normally in your offers section

    I have just taken out an Amex Gold (PRG) card. What is the process for adding a supplemental cardholder and getting some MR points for doing so? Thanks!

    Wait for a few days and once your online accout is all set up, there’ll be a link in your account to add supp cards.

    Thanks both!

    in reply to: Chat thread – Tuesday 21st May
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    I have just taken out an Amex Gold (PRG) card. What is the process for adding a supplemental cardholder and getting some MR points for doing so? Thanks!

    in reply to: Chat thread – Monday 20th May
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    @Aston100 do you prefer the sea view or the office view?

    Laughed a lot at this 🙂

    in reply to: Lisbon recommendations/suggestions!
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Been to Lisbon quite a few times. I would add the following:
    1. Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra was fun because of the spiral staircase and underground tunnels, but I had kids with me.
    2. Belem is a lovely district to spend a few hours in. Go to the Belem Tower as well as the other attractions there mentioned by others.
    3. The beauty of the Time Out Market is that there are 20+ different vendors so you can eat there every day and still ensure you are having different things.

    in reply to: Do you like lounges?
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    I love Turkish food, so the TK lounge at Ataturk was heaven for me. Their lounges at IST are very good, but the Ataturk one, with its own security and passport control then entering in front of the baklava buffet, will always be a particular highlight of my travelling life.

    in reply to: BA The Club competitions
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    I won a signed (by the author) Creole cookbook once. Gave it to my brother – he likes to cook while I prefer just to eat!

    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Remembering my device this morning asked me to enter my password one more time, having entered it less than a minute earlier. I know I got it correct, but it told me it wasn’t. BA IT is so much more than just IT, it’s SH IT 😉

    in reply to: Wizz Air – Schedule change and expense claims
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    I eventually cancelled some Wizz flights after some cancellations that they labelled as “schedule changes” (new flights were on different days with different flight numbers). I called and spoke to Wizz Customer Service who would not give me any guarantees on Wizz covering any costs associated with additional hotels or transport. They told me after travelling and incurring extra costs to submit a claim, which I was told was filling in a complaint form which was a single text-entry screen so had no fields to fill in details of dates/amounts spent like you might expect on a proper claim form. I then needed to wait to see what response I got. It all felt very hit-and-miss to me, so I didn’t risk it. Even if I eventually got them to pay for everything I thought they should, I expected a long, hard battle and simply couldn’t face it. It would have spoilt the trip, so I cancelled and we went elsewhere using non-Wizz airlines.

    in reply to: Car hire recommendations – Faro Airport
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Some good pointers – thanks to everyone who has commented 🙂

    in reply to: Car hire recommendations – Faro Airport
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Thanks both!

    in reply to: Family holiday to Istanbul / Turkey
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Joining this thread, if I may, to ask for any recommendations for Cappadocia. Is it easy to see independently or do we need a guide? Any tips for where to stay and how best to get there would also be great.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the Museum Hotel in Uchisar a few years ago. Also stayed in and enjoyed Aydinli Cave Hotel in Goreme about 15 years ago, but it looks to have changed a bit since then. In 2009, we did a couple of day-trip tours booked locally rather than a complete organised tour for several days, but it was a less well-known destination back then. On our Museum Hotel trip we were nearby and mainly wanted to stay in the hotel, so didn’t really attempt to see anything other than within walking distance from the hotel.

    in reply to: Taxes fees increased again for upper
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    While many cashed their VS miles out to Hilton Honors during Covid in fear of Virgin going bankrupt, I held on to mine. Ironically, I’m now considering cashing them all out to Hilton as I suspect I’d get more value there due to Virgin’s excruciating YQ.

    ankomonkey 49 posts

    “8:20pm – After being allowed to read for a bit in our room, Kermit is consigned to bed. He takes a dump in our bathroom before departing to give us something to remember him by.”

    LOL! You certainly don’t get as much detail as this when Rob or Rhys are reviewing!

    in reply to: Egypt: Cairo, Luxor, Nile cruise, Aswan and Dahab
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Enjoyed reading this. I have done many of the trips you mention at some point in the past. Do Sindbad still give you a free t-shirt after ballooning with them?

    I can’t believe the Grand Egyptian Museum is still not properly open!

    We are heading back to Egypt at Easter. I’m hoping to avoid the chronic food poisoning we’ve experienced on both previous visits. I don’t know which is worse, that or the scams/hawking/haggling.

    My absolute Egypt highlight was a visit to the White Desert and a nearby oasis. We camped out in the open desert and had a guide who set up the camp and prepared our meals for us. It’s a long drive west from Cairo, but the guide and people we booked the trip with were wonderful – kind, friendly and no attempts at scamming whatsoever. I willingly gave the biggest tip I’ve ever given in Egypt to our camp guide who worked hard, made us great food and gave us some memories that will last longer than the Pyramids or the tacky light show around them (you really didn’t miss much by missing that @PeteM!).

    in reply to: Bangkok & Phuket restaurants
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Bangkok – Aloha Hot ‘n’ Juicy in Asiatique. It won’t cost you £100 per head, but it’s great food and a great experience.

    in reply to: Tohoku nice to visit for later cherry blossom?
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    With respect to @meta, I found Tohoku and Sendai pretty boring, especially if you’ve seen other Japanese cities and coastal areas. I’m sure it will be fine if all you really want to see are blossoms and don’t care much for where you see them.

    in reply to: Hotel near Istanbul airport
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    …Stayed at the Hidden Hills Hotel… the hotel was neither hidden nor in the hills either, so I don’t get that.

    Maybe the hotel was in hills that were what was hidden!

    in reply to: Brazil with teenagers
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Thank for all the replies – definitely some good suggestions 🙂 . Happy to hear any more ideas from anyone!

    in reply to: Lapland help
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    We flew Norwegian Air to Helsinki (stayed a couple of days at Hilton Strand on points) and then on to Kittila, staying at Levi Tunturi Hotel (it has/had an indoor pool and was walking distance to the ski resort). We visited Santa and did reindeer and husky sledding. We also did 1 night in a glass igloo. Think we spent around 4000 euro for 1 week, all done independently, but this was about 8 years ago now so pricing will undoubtedly have changed! Also February, and temps were between -10C – -20C.

    in reply to: Family holiday to Istanbul / Turkey
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    I’ve never been, but I’ve heard that the Princes Islands (ferry from Istanbul) are nice and have beaches. I think Istanbul has a Kidzania and a copy. There is one in London which we’ve been to, but my kids much preferred the Cairo one to the London one. Your kids may be a bit too old to enjoy that type of thing by the time you travel. We’ve also been to Miniaturk which is an outdoor museum with mini models of Turkiye’s most famous sites. My kids enjoyed it far more than I expected. It also had a 4D theatre type ride where you are flying over most of the sites there. Again, my kids enjoyed it more than I expected. And there was a Turkish traditional costume shop, but I was the only one keen to do that, so we didn’t.

    in reply to: Any experience of Scoot airlines (Singapore)?
    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Flew BKK-SIN a few years ago and they were on time with no issues. During Covid, they refunded a cancelled flight in full without issue. In contrast, two local competitors of theirs both refused and I had to initiate Amex chargebacks. I’d definitely say they’re one of the better LCCs.

    ankomonkey 49 posts

    Is that for LIS or OPO? There was something similar in OPO but the stalls were all empty inside (possibly a psot-pandemic effect) but we ate outside on the terrace, which was lovely.

    LIS, and I’ve visited a couple of times since Covid and it was fully open with no empty stalls. It’s 5-10 minutes walk West from Cais do Sodre train and Metro station.

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