points N places

guides & insights on how & when to use travel rewards points

Ideas on how to travel well using hotel and airline reward points

Travel tips, including finding "better" deals.

Destinations to make your soul sing and boost your well-being.

Wellness as part of your travel.

Assistance with search & making bookings.

Using Travel Points

Preparing to maximise your use of travel loyalty points to see the places you most want to visit.

We show you how to extract the greatest value for your travel using both cash and rewards points.  


Scotland Vacations

Eileen Donan castle

Dreaming of picturesque, pristine countryside, romantic castles steeped in history, or the culture and energy of vibrant cities?
Scotland has all this and much more.
Come see what makes Scotland such a unique and popular destination for so many travellers.
We show you the best that Scotland has to offer, from specific destinations to theme-based tours.


Top Tips For Travellers' Health

Travel can be stressful !  IDeas to keep your travels happy and healthy.

There’s an ever-expanding body of scientific evidence that (whether behind a desk at work or during a long plane trip or train ride), being seated for prolonged periods can be harmful.  We provide tips to boost your health and reduce the harmful impact on your body while travelling.  


Travel Rewards - News & Views     VIEW ALL BLOG POSTS VIEW ALL BLOG POSTS

Alaska adds Awards Table for Iberia

Alaska adds Awards Table for Iberia

Alaska is slowly further integrating with its Oneworld partners.

Following the increase in code-shared routes with Iberia announced in early October, Alaska has now released its Partner Awards Table for Iberia.

At first glance it doesn't offer the exceptional value obtainable with other partners (especially for business and first class).

Alaska seems to be retaining individual tables for its partners rather than a single unified table for all partners.  So the program may continue to offer gems of redemptions.

There are still a few Oneworld partners that do not have tables in place, so keep watching this space.

  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7
  • SriLankan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines

Buy Alaska miles with up to 50% discount

Buy Alaska miles with up to 50% discount

Alaska has an offer for Mileage Plan members to purchase miles with up to 50% bonus miles. This 50% bonus offer runs until 23 December, 2021.

This is one of the better buy miles deals comes that Alaska Airlines has offered. 

We don't recommend speculatively buying miles, but it can make sense if:

  • you need to top off your balance to complete a specific redemption. 
  • the cost is considerably cheaper than paying for the product you want outright and you will make your reservation fairly soon, even if the flight is further down the track.
Alaska mileage sales have been known to be targeted, so different members may see different bonus levels. You will need to login to your account to see what applies to yourself.

We like Alaska Mileage Plan for international travellers, due to the great redemptions under its Partners Awards rates. This may change to a unified awards table now they have joined Oneworld, but currently there are great redemptions for long-haul flights on Qantas and especially for business/first class fares with Cathay and Fiji Airways.

Historically, if you flew Qantas return Melbourne to London and assigned your points to Alaska, then redeemed Mileage Plan miles for a later Qantas flight to London, your spend to earn & redeem those miles was cut by around 40%. 

Should you buy Alaska miles using our link, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small remuneration.

Banyan Tree planning for growth

Banyan Tree planning for growth

Banyan Tree has unveiled plans to to double its footprint of 54 properties across 23 countries by 2025 with the introduction of 5 new brands launching in the next 18 months.

In 2022, the group will introduce the new Garrya, Homm and Folio brands, as well as two brand extensions of Banyan Tree named Veya and Escape.  Each of the 5 new brands to be released are responses to macro and regional trends such as a greater desire for well-being and sustainability-minded travel offerings.

In readiness, it has already opened 7 hotels so far this year, including:

  • last month's opening of the first Garrya Huzhou Lucun in China
  • the debut of Homm Bliss Southbeach Patong: and
  • a soft-opening of Banyan Tree Veya Phuket.

Four Garrya and two Homm have been signed in Asia with more in the pipeline.

This follows Banyan Tree Group this year signing 20 hotel management agreements worldwide including Benin, Mexico, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Thailand, China and Vietnam.

Banyan Tree has along-established reputation for luxurious spa and resort properties with an ethos of sustaianabilty and supporting local communities.  These new destinations will add exciting options.

Banyan Tree's ethos of sustainability started in 1994 when they transformed an ecological wasteland spoiled by waste from a nearby tin mine into a rejuvenated area with the first environmentally sensitive Banyan Tree resort.

Stays at Banyan Tree spas and resorts (which I highly recommend) can be either booked directly or via Accor (to receive ALL member benefits).
Accor is one of our advertisers and at no additional cost to you we may receive a small compensation if you use our link (with thanks).

The community of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) professionals recently had their 2021 World MICE Awards announced.

Votes were cast by MICE industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.

Brands to win top honours included:

  • Atlantis, the Palm, Dubai  -‘World’s Best Incentive Hotel’
  • Etihad Airways - ‘World’s Best MICE Airline’
  • InterContinental London – the O2  ‘Europe’s Best MICE Hotel’
  • Marina Bay Sands, Singapore - ‘World’s Best MICE Hotel’ and ‘Asia’s Best MICE Hotel’
  • Westin Surabaya, Indonesia - ‘Asia’s Best New MICE Hotel’
  • Bellagio Las Vegas - ‘North America’s Best MICE Hotel’
Destination winners included: 
  • Dubai - ‘World’s Best MICE Destination’ and ‘Middle East’s Best MICE Destination’
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil - ‘Latin America’s Best MICE Destination’
  • Madrid - ‘Europe’s Best MICE Destination’
  • Jamaica - ‘Caribbean’s Best MICE Destination’
Congratulations to all the winners !  
The complete list which can be found at the official website...

Raffles Hotel London | Accor confirms opening late 2022

Raffles Hotel London | Accor confirms opening late 2022

Accor has confirmed Raffles London at the OWO will open toward the end of 2022.

A combined residential and grand new hotel in the landmark Grade II listed former Old War Office on Whitehall, are being completed in partnership with Hinduja Group, which has been passionately committed to the meticulous restoration of the heritage features of the building since 2016.

Hundreds of artisan craftspeople have been commissioned to restore the historic interior elements including delicate hand-laid mosaic floors, oak panelling, chandeliers and a magnificent marble staircase.

The building will open to the public for the first time, having undergone a transformation to create 120 rooms and suites, 85 unique branded residences and 11 destination restaurants and bars.

Located at one of London’s most historically significant addresses, originally completed in 1906 and designed by British architect William Young, it has stood witness to many world-shaping events. The likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Lord Haldane and the James Bond (is that his Aston Martin DB5 out front?) author Ian Fleming have all walked the corridors of what was the Ministry of Defence headquarters.

The OWO will be the first Raffles hotel in the UK and is located opposite Horse Guards, with views towards St James’s Park, and is moments from Downing Street and UNESCO world heritage sites: The Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey

It will have an extensive wellness space featuring world leading spa and fitness partners and will be home to a rooftop restaurant and bar with panoramic views across Whitehall, the Mall and on to Buckingham Palace.

I love when historic buildings are restored & repurposed so that their beauty can be appreciated by future generations.

Accor welcomes Hotel Belmont Vancouver into its MGallery Hotel Collection

Accor welcomes Hotel Belmont Vancouver into its MGallery Hotel Collection

Accor announced that effective today, December 1st, 2021, Hotel Belmont Vancouver (pictured) will join the Group  as the first Canadian property in the MGallery Hotel Collection of individual, boutique-styled hotels.

As part of the MGallery Hotel Collection, Hotel Belmont Vancouver will maintain its unique personality and bespoke design while also featuring some of the MGallery brand's markers such as memorable character, luxury, innovation, local art, and music.

The 5-story, 82-room boutique property features retro-modern design, upscale finishings, and curated art throughout. Hotel Belmont Vancouver has a glitzy past, famous in the city for hosting many performers over the years, including young crooner Michael Bublé at the start of his singing career. 

Another attractive option for Accor ALL members, it joins the other Accor properties in Vancouver of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Fairmont Waterfront and Fairmont Vancouver Airport.

Find out more details on the Hotel Belmont Vancouver.    (advertiser

Get 15% off when you book a stay at one of Hyatt's 850+ properties participating in this offer.

You must book prior to 21 December 2021 for stays through 30 April 2022.

World of Hyatt members save even more, plus, enjoy in-hotel benefits and rewards for each stay.

Not a member? Join now or during your booking and look for "Members Save More" rates.

(pictured - Grand Hyatt Singapore)

T&C's apply

New Marriott Melbourne Docklands has berthed

New Marriott Melbourne Docklands has berthed

Located in the Docklands precinct of New Quay, Melbourne Marriott Docklands is the first five-star property in the harbour suburb.

It features 189 guest rooms, a rooftop infinity pool (pictured) and an exclusive M Club executive lounge.

Located just minutes from Melbourne's city centre by tram, it is also an easy walk to the bars & restaurants of New Quay and the Marvel sporting stadium.

For Bonvoy members, it is a Category 5 hotel (at least until Bonvoy's dynamic pricing commences) - identical to the Westin Melbourne, Sheraton Melbourne & Melbourne Marriott (which are my personal order of preference).

Cash prices appear to be closer to those of Melbourne Marriott than those of the Westin or Sheraton which are both located on/near Collins Street. 

For more details, see the Marriott website.

Note that Marriott is one of our advertisers and at no extra cost to you, we may earn a small compensation from you using our link to them.