Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Cliveden Mr & Mrs Smith
    SRF.

    I’m there in 2 weeks [on points]. Sadly the lowest grade room but made it nice and clear it’s for our anniversary in case they want to throw us some charity 🙂

    Hi if you go to the 1st floor in the main house and turn right and right again that’s where the butler’s pantry is and you can pour yourself a glass of wine etc and sit out on the balcony terrace if the weather’s nice, no one asked us which room we were in at anytime we made a visit as it wasn’t manned accept when they were stocking up!! For your info when we stayed they told us everyone seemed to be there on a birthday!!

    Nice tip. I’ll pack my wedding cert in case need proof. Wife’s birthday is week later so that info may get an airing too

    in reply to: Cliveden Mr & Mrs Smith
    SRF.

    I’m there in 2 weeks [on points]. Sadly the lowest grade room but made it nice and clear it’s for our anniversary in case they want to throw us some charity 🙂

    in reply to: E-upgrade offers on redemption bookings
    SRF.

    Emailed ICFC but said couldn’t confirm the offer prior to arrival. Said would honour price for each night but dependant on suite availability on arrival day. My offer is £90pn but to upgrade prior to arrival is nearly £260pn (although current price difference is £350pn).

    Stay isn’t for a while so will leave it for now, but will keep an eye on developments and then catch up with them a couple weeks before stay.

    in reply to: E-upgrade offers on redemption bookings
    SRF.

    I stayed there earlier this year with a toddler and a baby, so here are some tangential thoughts:

    Unless things have changed recently, lounge access at IC DFC is incredibly valuable if you have children. Children aren’t allowed in the lounge for the evening happy hour (rest of the day is fine). Instead, you are given access to the very substantial buffet dinner at the Anise restaurant (including a drinks package). It is basically an upgrade to half-board.

    I found the staff on the reservations email inbox (Reservation.DFC@ihg.com) weren’t particularly useful.

    With a small child, as you say useful to have the extra space for them to run around or for them to sleep whilst you can hang out in another room. I paid cash for a basic suite (they have changed the categories since) and was upgraded (Spire Ambassador at the time) to their enormous top-tier suite. Got to be in it to win it… I asked to see the suite I actually booked whilst I was there, the suites are spacious, with great views of the creek and city. My son loved watching the boats, cars and trains go by.

    If you’re staying in 2022, the F&B outlets (including the ones next door at the Crowne Plaza – you can cross-charge) are giving 30% off to Ambassadors.

    The adjacent shopping mall has fairly spectacular light shows in the evening – you can walk over or watch from the hotel – and there is a playground out on the other side of the fountains. The mall is massive, directly connected to the hotel, and has everything you could need – don’t worry about packing nappies for example.

    Excellent. That seals it. I’ll email hotel.

    I think it was your promotion of the ICFC that first brought the hotel to my attention as toddler friendly.

    I am basically replicating your trip 🙂

    SRF.

    Just booked myself 3 nights at IC Champs-Elysees for final days of Tour de France.

    Would have gone for the Le Grand but the Sunday night (final day of race) is 100k points.

    Is it worth staying Le Grand for 2 nights and then swapping to Champs for final night? Equally could do all 3 nights at Kimpton for 45kpn?

    in reply to: Mr & Mrs Smith credit card redemption
    SRF.

    I’m looking at using my IHG free night voucher to stay at the Cliveden in the Lady Astor suite next April. The room would be £2095 so making good value from my card fee. I’ve been reading reviews about the hotel and it seems to be a really mixed bag but lots of mentions about service charges. Appreciate there’s a National Trust fee (£18) to pay, there appears to be a 12.5% service charge on everything, plus the Cliveden website alludes to a 5% discretionary charge (not sure if this means based on the cash price for the room but potentially ~£100) and while the Astor Suite gives free access to the Butler’s pantry, many reviews says that anything brought to your room (eg milk for some tea) comes with a £10 tray fee each time. Just wondered if anyone has stayed and can tell me what to expect?

    I’m not stingy but I’ve recent dropped working days at work and I’m paying a lot of money to go back to university and change careers so the trip is a treat but looks like it might be a very expensive one with all the fees. Sometimes frustrates me that very expensive hotels, particularly in the UK and US, don’t see their rates should be enough to include extras (how can a £2000 room fee not include breakfast when it’s free at a Holiday Inn Express) as to be honest the service is often no better than a much cheaper hotel- I’ll stop ranting!

    I’ve got an email voucher for a free day at a Nat Trust property (earnt through Daily Mail codes). If I use it for Cliveden house on arrival date of my 1-night stay, people think that will dodge the £18 NT charge??

    in reply to: InterContinental hotels in Tokyo – best option?
    SRF.

    I stayed in ANA Intercontinental Tokyo about 10 years ago as a tourist. From memory it was a very nice hotel. The draw was it was next to nothing but near to everything – due to very close proximity to an underground station which meant you could easily use the tube, JR and shinkansen.

    Also, anecdotally, it was the receptionist at this hotel that told me about the IHG loyalty scheme – having booked on Expedia – and ultimately started me on this whole points and air miles whirlwind.

    I owe a lot to that man who I think was mainly trying to practice his english 🙂

    in reply to: Mr & Mrs Smith credit card redemption
    SRF.

    Yes, it’s an IHG bug.

    Before booking whatever you’re looking at, see if Cliveden has any suites available ….

    I’ve got a classic room booked at Cliveden for 97k points (for my wedding anniversary night). Seen many mixed reviews of the “quality” once past how impressive the building is. I’m still not certain if wise use of points or not. Room is now £600pn but price doesn’t always equal quality – however – would probably be my only ever chance to stay in venue like this.

    It’s coming up to the cancellation deadline so I need to be decisive.

    Thoughts…?

    in reply to: Palazzo Diamond Elite upgrades
    SRF.

    Dangle the carrot before you let them have a bite 🙂

    in reply to: Palazzo Diamond Elite upgrades
    SRF.

    $50 under the counter worked a treat in Treasure Island a few years back.

    You can only ask if any nicer rooms available and they can only say no. Nothing to lose

    in reply to: Voco Dubai The Palm
    SRF.

    @Tracy Excellent. We’ve never been either but chose the IC Festival City on recommendation as will be with a toddler and apparently is young child friendly.

    Best of luck with your trip and hope the Voco works out for you.

    in reply to: Voco Dubai The Palm
    SRF.

    I’m interested to see a review of this hotel when it does finally open.

    I’ve booked a few nights for the beginning of February. We’re actually going to be based at the IC Festival City but have booked this hotel too in case fancy a night or 2 beach based instead.

    For our dates, both the IC and Voco were circa 30k points pn. They’re now both bouncing around 45k.

    in reply to: Ambassador / Diamond status
    SRF.

    I don’t actually have a booked IC stay until next February. I was always hoping to do this towards end of year to give me the maximum voucher timescale and extend my Diamond until end of next year, but with all the talk I’ve panicked and jumped in.

    I may or may not actually get value for money from Ambassador but approx £160 for extending my free breakfasts and upgrades for 10months (after end of February diamond expiry) may be a prudent move, especially if keeps me top tier for potential status-matches etc.

    in reply to: Ambassador / Diamond status
    SRF.

    Can confirmed updated now. Just taken 10 or so minutes. 🙂

    in reply to: Ambassador / Diamond status
    SRF.

    I’ve just done it and app still says diamond expiry dec 2022 although updated to ambassador.

    How long until updates expiry or should it have been immediate and ship already sailed?

    in reply to: IHG status expiry query
    SRF.

    From IHG.com in FAQ:

    1. What is happening to my status in 2022?

    All current Elite statuses (Gold, Platinum and Spire Elite) were extended through February 2023.

    I’m trusting this is all good, as have big IHG stay booked for beginning of Feb next year. The extended February Diamond expiry is one of the main factors for choosing my particular hotel and dates.

    in reply to: Leaked: Benefits of IHG’s new reward programme
    SRF.

    Cheeky cocktail and a bottle of wine each for me and my drinking companion. Joined the rest of the stag do now so full steam ahead!!

    in reply to: Leaked: Benefits of IHG’s new reward programme
    SRF.

    No free breakie at Ed Kimpton. check-in staff knew all the info and said didn’t start until june. Breakfast offered @ £17.50pp. Had to ask for my drinks vouchers but handed over with no problem.

    Tried to use the secret password of ‘just chillin’. They knew it had expired but sent me up a rather nice hot chocolate anyway.

    Hotel seems to have a number of press down in lobby. Maybe someone exciting staying here…??

    in reply to: Leaked: Benefits of IHG’s new reward programme
    SRF.

    I’m staying Edinburgh Kimpton on points over weekend. I’m hoping the northern hospitality stretches above the boarder. Will ask about Diamond breakfast when check-in tomo.

    I’ve gone for above. Booked 8 nights at IC Festival City so got plenty of time to get away and also explore at relaxed pace.

    Got premium economy reward flights. Seemed expensive at face-value, but when compared to cash prices, seem the acceptable side of value. Was hoping for CW flights but (a) no current availability, and (b) I think I would be too self-conscious if toddler cried the whole way at the pointy end of the plane. Also, gives get flexibility for cancellation should I need to cancel/change for any reason in next 9 months.

    Think I’ll get Ambassador nearer the date. Hopefully that with Diamond should lead to nice upgrade in addition to my [hopefully] free breakfasts.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 9 months ago by .

    Thank you. Very strong start with the recommendations there 🙂

    in reply to: Crown Plaza Edinburgh
    SRF.

    No sophistication here mate!!

    Thanks for the input.

    Looking like cheap and cheerful will win the day.

    in reply to: Crown Plaza Edinburgh
    SRF.

    Opinions please. I’m in Edinburgh at end of April for a stag do. Only going 1 night so I’m sorting my own accommodation.

    I’ve booked the Crown Plaza (30k points), Indigo York Place (29k points) and the HIX Royal Mile (25k points). As locations all similar for my needs, either one stand out for a Spire Member?

    At moment I’m drawn to HIE as cheapest and will get free breakfast, however would get nicer room at other options.

    I’m waiting to see if the March IHG rewards rebrand will give free breakie at CP or Indigo.

    Would normally stay Kimpton, but not worth it for a shower and few hours drunken kip.

    SRF.

    Hi, I stayed at ICPL couple weeks back using a free night cert [for a single night].

    I emailed in advance to ask about larger room/upgrade as had baby in travel cot with me. As they said my current room was only for 2 people I would need to upgrade to next room up as that could accommodate 3 people. They said £35 and I agreed.

    Anyway, when arrived was told had been upgraded to Superior room and no mention was made of cost and no money taken.

    Don’t ask. Don’t get.

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