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AMEX / Four Seasons offer - Make the most of the Spend $750, Get $150 Back offer

AMEX / Four Seasons offer - Make the most of the Spend $750, Get $150 Back offer

American Express regularly publishes great travel deals for its cardholders through its Amex Offers portal. Thanks to a new offer, if you’re a cardholder looking to visit a Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts property this summer, you’re in luck to save some money on your stay.

Only certain members will be targeted, so be sure to check your Amex Offers on the Amex app or online account to see if you were one of the lucky few. If you see the offer, make sure to click "Add to Card" sooner rather than later as Amex Offers are often capped to a certain amount of cardholders.

To get the $150 back, you’ll need to spend $750 or more at any Four Seasons properties in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Anguilla, or Saint Kitts and Nevis. You don’t need to spend the $750 in 1 single stay; you can have multiple different hotel stays over time, and so long as your charges cumulatively are over $750, you’ll have met the terms of the offer.

If you spend as close to $750 as possible, you’re saving 20%, which is almost unheard of at Four Seasons properties.

In addition to staying at actual hotel properties, you can also stay at Four Seasons Private Retreats, which are very similar to luxurious condominiums in the most desirable of travel spots. These can be located in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, Anguilla, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

To be eligible for the offer, you must book your reservation at or through a Four Seasons Preferred Partner such as our travel agency. Email us to sweeten this deal even more, as you will receive at no extra cost, additional perks such as the following:

  • Daily full breakfast for 2 people per bedroom, served in a hotel restaurant or through In-Room Dining
  • Hotel or resort credit of $100 to $200 per stay (guest rooms receive $100 while suites, specialty suites, and private retreats receive $200)
  • Upgrade of one category (based on availability at time of check-in)
  • Complimentary standard Wi-Fi in all guest rooms and premium Wi-Fi in all suites.
Your reservations can’t be through a third party or by other means — these methods will not trigger the offer. It’s also worth noting that you can’t use the offer to purchase gift cards.

Other T&C's also apply, so if you do qualify for this offer, be sure to check them out.

Marriott plans to join Red Sea development with Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Marriott plans to join Red Sea development with Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Marriott today announced it has signed an agreement to debut its luxury Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand off the west coast of Saudi Arabia. Slated to debut in 2023, Nujuma, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is expected to form part of the new Red Sea destination. Nujuma will be the first property from the brand in the Middle East and joins an exclusive collection of only 5 other Ritz-Carlton Reserves worldwide, located in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

Nujuma will be situated on a pristine set of private islands, which are part of the Red Sea’s Blue Hole cluster of islands. Surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty and designed to blend seamlessly with the environment, the resort is expected to feature 63 one to four bedroom water and beach villas. Plans also include a range of luxurious amenities and exceptional services including a lavish spa, swimming pools, multiple culinary venues, a retail area and a variety of other leisure and entertainment offerings including a Conservation Center.

Marriott Bonvoy members can expect the uber luxury property to be right near the top level of points required for redemptions...perhaps even the very top...

The Red Sea Project is an ambitious regenerative tourism project, covering 28,000 square kilometers on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, of which less than one percent will be developed. The destination is expected to offer a new type of barefoot luxury experience and is being developed with the highest standards of sustainability. The development features an archipelago of more than 90 untouched natural islands, as well as dormant volcanoes, sweeping desert dunes, mountains and wadis, and more than 1,600 cultural heritage sites.

Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun to  join All-Inclusive by Marriott collection

Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun to join All-Inclusive by Marriott collection

The trend towards all-inclusive properties continues.

Expected to open in late 2022, Royalton Splash Riviera Cancun is owned and managed by Blue Diamond Resorts and will join the All-Inclusive by Marriott portfolio, which includes close to 30 getaways in 8 locations across the Caribbean and Latin America - current all-inclusive resort locations include Antigua, Barbados, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, and St Lucia.

Set to debut in late 2022, the 1,049-room all-inclusive resort is expected to offer experiences including a theatre, bowling alley, water attractions and culinary encounters at a dozen on-property restaurants and nine bars all amidst stunning views of the Caribbean Sea.

164 million Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to access the new resort, expanding the reach of the Blue Diamond owned resort.

Marriott International entered the all-inclusive space in 2019 with the acquisition of Elegant Hotels' seven hotels in Barbados. In 2021, the company announced a long-term agreement with Sunwing Travel Group's hotel division, Blue Diamond Resorts, to add 20 hotels into the portfolio

Kempinski to launch World's First Floating Sea Palace Resort

Kempinski to launch World's First Floating Sea Palace Resort

The Kempinski Floating Palace will be anchored off an exclusive stretch of beach on Jumeirah Road, near Dubai Marina and along from The Palm.

The main building of this floating palace, structured in four parts, is connected in the middle by a glass pyramid and offers all the luxury of a 5-star hotel, from exclusive gourmet restaurants, bars, spa, pools to boutiques, banquet areas and the possibility for even larger yachts to sail in and out at the centre of the hotel.

The five-star, pyramid-topped 156-room hotel and connected floating helipad will be the hub, off which 12 floating luxury villas, for rent or purchase, will be grouped. Each villa has two floors, a roof terrace, solar panels, infinity pool and multiple bedrooms, including those for crew and staff.

Crew?  Yes, with each villa, you can cast off and motor away (at 6 nautical miles per hour), like a private houseboat. 

The Kempinski Floating Palace will open in 2023.

Also around this time is the planned opening of the much larger MGallery QE2, located about 30 minutes away, near Dubai Creek - also a floating hotel, but different...

Members of I Prefer - the loyalty program of Preferred Hotels & Resorts will have their travel power boosted by 20% with a Bonus Card for each Gift Card purchased now through June ‌30, ‌2022.

The Bonus Card, delivered separately to the Gift Card, will have an expiry date of 6 months from date of its delivery.

If your redemption is timed to be able to use both cards, members will effectively receive a very handy 16.6% discount.

If you aren't yet an I Prefer member & want to take up the offer, I Prefer is free to join.  See our Complete Guide to IPrefer

Further T&C's apply to the offer...

Miraval Resorts & Spa To Debut First  Property Outside US | Miraval The Red Sea in Saudi Arabia

Miraval Resorts & Spa To Debut First Property Outside US | Miraval The Red Sea in Saudi Arabia

Hyatt announced that its wellness resort brand Miraval will debut Miraval The Red Sea, located on Saudi Arabia’s Shura Island, the central hub of The Red Sea Project.

The new Miraval resort is slated to open as part of the first phase of the Red Sea development. It will be Miraval’s fourth resort and its first outside the U.S. , joining Miraval Arizona, the brand’s original location in Tucson, Ariz.; Miraval Austin, its second location in Austin, Texas; and its newest location, Miraval Berkshires in Lenox, Mass.

Miraval The Red Sea will offer guests 180 guestrooms and suites, including 20 villas. The luxury wellness resort will offer a range of culinary experiences, including a central dining room, the signature Life in Balance Culinary Kitchen, and a marketplace offering mindful and healthful cuisine. Cooking classes and workshops will be offered with a focus on nutrition. There will also be approximately 4,300 square feet of meeting space for wellness-focused activities tailored to improving connections and communication for social and corporate groups.

The Life in Balance Spa will offer 39 treatment rooms and will offer new treatments, destination-inspired experiences, and a series of wellness packages. The resort will have dedicated areas such as a walking trail system, mangrove boardwalk, outdoor adventures, and several specially purposed rooms set up for art, music, wellness lectures and hands-on workshops.

Miraval The Red Sea will join Grand Hyatt The Red Sea, which is also under development, as the second Hyatt-branded hotel within the Red Sea development.

Accor's novel "floating hotel" combines luxury with QE2 history

Accor's novel "floating hotel" combines luxury with QE2 history

Accor's MGallery Hotel Collection is adding a novel property to its portfolio - the world-renowned cruise ship, Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2).

After Accor taking over operations from May 2022, the cruise ship will undergo further upgrades and renovations prior to joining the MGallery Hotel Collection. Once the renovation is completed, the new MGallery Queen Elizabeth 2 will feature 447 hotel rooms, nine food & beverage outlets, ten meeting rooms, 5,620sqm area for outdoor events, six retail outlets, a swimming pool and a gym.

Permanently berthed  in Dubai’s Port Rashid, the QE2’s location will in close proximity to Sheikh Zayed Road, providing easy connection to every main attraction the city has to offer. Dubai International Airport, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and La Mer Beach are all located less than 20 minutes away, while the Palm Jumeirah and Mall of the Emirates are located 35 and 29 minutes, respectively.

Presumably it will participate in Accor Live Limitless (the loyalty program), but I am yet to have that confirmed.

I'm also curious to know if it will retain the capability to sail again. If so, it would have the potential to be moved to another port/location, should the need ever arise.

A novel property that will contribute to the Dubai Urban Master plan 2049, providing a sustainable urban development while increasing the city attractiveness as a global destination. Guests will be able to enjoy a unique experience while conveniently located to all of Dubai's attractions.

I'm pencilling it in for my future Middle East tour. 

Rocco Forte launches luxury rail experience

Rocco Forte launches luxury rail experience

The Sicilian Railway Experience is the latest revelation from Rocco Forte Hotels.  

The journey from Central Palermo to Agrigento - Valle dei Templi on board a train from the 1920s provides a unique way of connecting the two iconic Sicilian outposts of the hotel group: Villa Igiea and Verdura Resort.

On board a vintage 1920s train from the historic transportation archives of the Italian Railway Foundation, the Sicilian Railway Experience offers a means of ‘slow travel’ -  a one-way trip takes roughly 2 hours before arriving at some of the most famous UNESCO heritage sites like the Scala dei Turchi and the Valle dei Templi.

The coast-to-coast itinerary was developed to accommodate business summits, presentations and team building trips: a new way to cater to the corporate realm with a completely customisable agenda to best suit any occasion or specific need while delivering an authentic and immersive experience. 

As part of the Sicilian Railway Experience, you can choose:
*  a local guide to accompany your guests in the discovery of the island, providing a complete narration throughout the train ride.
*  to have a bartender on board to shake up a Sicilian mixology experience while guests enjoy the spectacular panorama rolling by.

The Sicilian Railway Experience can be modified in various configurations according to the client’s needs: up to four standard train cars with original wooden seats, one car with leather seating and a freestanding baggage compartment that can be outfitted to meet the needs of the event. 

While aimed at a corporate market, I wonder if the Sicilian Railway Experience might also provide a unique "extra"  for a destination wedding - unique, memorable and private .

Rocco Forte Hotels is a collection of 14 individual hotels and resorts. All of the hotels united by their distinctive approach to service ensuring guests experience the best of the cities and surrounding areas. The Rocco Forte Hotels collection currently comprises:

Hotel de la Ville, Hotel de Russie and Rocco Forte House (Rome);
Hotel Savoy (Florence);
l Verdura Resort, Rocco Forte Villas and Villa Igiea (Sicily);
Masseria Torre Maizza (Puglia);
The Balmoral (Edinburgh);
Brown's Hotel (London);
The Charles Hotel, (Munich);
Hotel de Rome (Berlin);
Hotel Amigo, (Brussels); and
Hotel Astoria (St Petersburg).

The luxury hotel chain is expanding its presence in London with the opening of Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, London late 2022 providing a smaller, more intimate sister property to the award-winning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in nearby Knightsbridge.

The property comprises 50 guestrooms and 78 private residences in the heart of Mayfair, one of London's most stylish neighbourhoods, where fashion, media, art, and business intersect. Taking advantage of its world-class location within walking distance of London's admired fashion houses on Bond Street and the boutiques of Saville Row, as well as art galleries, the new hotel will offer guests and Fans of MO ( its loyalty program ) exclusive access and experiences from high fashion to art, culture, and dining.

It will house the first namesake Akira Back restaurant in the UK from Michelin Star award winning Chef Akira Back, as well as his 'ABar Lounge' concept. There will also be an urban spa, focussed on renewal and recalibration, featuring an indoor 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, vitality pool, relaxation room and a myriad of bespoke wellness treatments.

We love Mandarin Oriental properties, which provide luxury with a slightly Asian vibe and are renowned for outstanding service. This smaller, more intimate property may become our new favourite (or at least one of them) oasis in the hubbub of central London.

New Orient Express hotel in Venice | links to the Orient Express La Dolce Vita rail journey

New Orient Express hotel in Venice | links to the Orient Express La Dolce Vita rail journey

Late in 2021 (see article dated 10 December 2021), the Accor-owned Orient Express announced the launch of a new train service, offering travellers an unforgettable journey through one of the world’s most beloved countries: Italy.

The Orient Express La Dolce Vita will welcome its first travellers in 2023. Six trains will embark through several iconic itineraries across 14 regions and beyond, including three international destinations from Rome to Paris, Istanbul and Split.

A stopover in Rome will feature the very first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva, scheduled to open in 2024.

Orient Express has recently announced its second hotel in Italy, at the spectacular Palazzo Donà Giovannelli in Venice, set to open in early 2024. A sample of its beautiful architectural detail is pictured.

Located just ten minutes from Venice's Santa Lucia train station, next to the Cannaregio shopping district, the Palazzo Donà Giovannelli is a treasured palace built in 1400 by architect Filippo Calendario, known for Venice’s famed Doge's Palace. The Orient Express Venice Hotel will be home to 45 rooms and suites, all overlooking the gardens and canals of Venice. The hotel bar will be located in the former piano nobile ballroom on the main floor of the building. Select terraces hidden on the hotel’s rooftops will offer the most beautiful views of the wonders of the Serenissima. 

As soon as the hotel opens, passengers on the Orient Express La Dolce Vita train will be able to disembark directly at the Venice Santa Lucia Station and reach the Orient Express Venice Hotel by foot or by boat. 

Hyatt unveils new  Collection of All-Inclusive, luxury properties + 5,000 bonus point offer for loyalty members

Hyatt unveils new Collection of All-Inclusive, luxury properties + 5,000 bonus point offer for loyalty members

Further to Hyatt's 3 November 2021 announcement that it had acquired Apple Leisure and its AMR properties, Hyatt today announced it had consolidated all of its All-inclusive properties into a single, new collection.  This expands the number of collections to 4 - the others being the Timeless Collection, the Boundless Collection and the 

The Inclusive Collection consists of the 9 brands of Hyatt Ziva resorts, Hyatt Zilara resorts, Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts (coming soon), Alua Hotels & Resorts and Sunscape Resorts & Spas.

World of Hyatt members can now enjoy program benefits, including earning and redeeming points at more than 50 Inclusive Collection resorts in the Americas and the Caribbean. Inclusive Collection resorts in Europe are expected to begin participating in the World of Hyatt program soon.

Guests at Inclusive Collection resorts will be able to experience one-of-a kind signature programs like Endless Privileges, Unlimited-Luxury, and Unlimited-Fun with benefits at select resorts, such as no check-in or check-out times, 24-hour room service, top-shelf cocktails, gourmet a la carte dining without reservations required and endless activities throughout the day and night.

To celebrate the launch, World of Hyatt members can register by August 15, 2022 to earn 5,000 Bonus Points for qualifying stays of three or more consecutive eligible nights at participating Inclusive Collection resorts in the Americas between May 15 and September 15, 2022*. Terms & Conditions apply. To learn more visit

To learn more about the luxury all-inclusive brands joining World of Hyatt, and how guests and members can start earning and redeeming points at participating resorts in these luxury all-inclusive brands, visit

Accor today announced that it is accelerating its expansion in the all-inclusive market with the launch of its multi-branded All-Inclusive Collection – an expanded offering that builds upon the success and experience in the luxury-all-inclusive market gained over 20+ years under the Rixos brand (predominantly in Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia).

Accor created the All-Inclusive Collection using not only Rixos properties, but by including its luxury and premium brands with Fairmont, Sofitel, Pullman, Swissôtel and Mövenpick in the Collection. International expansion of the all-inclusive business will be centered in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.

The All-Inclusive Collection  will include new openings of Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha and the Rixos Qetaifan Doha, which includes one of the world’s largest waterparks. Both these resorts will open in time for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Also opening later in 2022 will be the first non-Rixos branded property in the collection - the Swissôtel Sharm el Sheikh.

Carefully curated entertainment programmes, for both day and evening activities, will play a central role, with spectacular shows and multiple sporting activities per resort accompanied by world-class spa and wellness facilities. This will be complemented by a breadth of restaurant, bar, beach club and nightlife concepts that will be inspired and led by Carte Blanched, with each venue providing diverse and culturally relevant cuisines and culinary experiences. 

Since the pandemic, there has been a substantial increase in demand for travel to All-inclusive resorts.Accor and Hyatt are 2 of the groups well-positioned to respond to this trend.

To learn more abour Accor's brands and loyalty program...

My Millennium adds Prestige

My Millennium adds Prestige

My Millennium, the loyalty program of Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) today announced that it launched an Elite Tier of membership - "Prestige".

Previously there was a single level of membership.  Now, after 10 nights in a year, a member attains Prestige status, which opens up additional benefits such as a 50% higher points-earning rate applied to room rates, complimentary room upgrades and early check-in/late check-out.

Food and beverage spending did not earn points. Now all members earn points on incidental spending at the rate of 4 points per USD 1.00

Other benefits of My Millennium remain intact for all members including:
* exclusive member rates
* double points for every 10 nights you stay
3X Points & 20% off dining for stays during the month of your birthday.
* turn Points into complimentary nights
* ability to combine Points & payment to book stays.

MHR has approximately 130 properties across 77 locations.  It is a smaller program, but offers good value if the locations suit you.

For more details see our updated My Millennium guide.

Melbourne to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

Melbourne to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will be hosted in the Australian state of Victoria in March 2026.

The sporting extravaganza will take place across multiple cities and regional hubs, including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat (each about 60 - 90 minutes drive from Melbourne.

The Opening Ceremony will be staged at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (pictured) that seats approx 100,000 people. This was the stadium built for the 1959 Summer Olympic Games and is located walking distance from the CBD, with public transport also serving it.

There will be plenty to see around Melbourne.  Plenty to do too after the events, as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival both run from March through April.

Accommodation at current properties will be booked quickly.  Thankfully there are new properties due to open in/near the CBD prior to then, including :
*  Hotel Indigo (4* by IHG)
*  Courtyard West Melbourne (4* by Marriott)
*  Melbourne Four Seasons (5*),
*  Shangri-La Melbourne (5*) and the
*  Hilton Melbourne Square (5*).

Waldorf Astoria to debut in Australia

Waldorf Astoria to debut in Australia

Set to open early in 2025, Australia's first Waldorf Astoria (Hilton’s ultra-luxury hotel brand) property will be located at One Circular Quay in Sydney.

The prime location will offer sweeping views across the harbour from Sydney Harbour Bridge around to the Sydney Opera House. The location is within short walking distance of the Rocks area, the Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Contemporary Art and up-market fashion and retail.

Peacock Alley, a signature space for Waldorf Astoria properties around the world, will serve as a central gathering place and gastronomes will be please to know that there will be two original restaurant concepts, as well as a rooftop bar featuring uninterrupted views of the stunning Sydney Harbour.

Waldorf Astoria Sydney will participate in the loyalty program - Hilton Honors.  If redemptions are at a reasonable level, this will be a stunning use of those hard-earned points.

Accor expands Australian footprint with new deal

Accor expands Australian footprint with new deal

Salter Brothers has announced that its portfolio of hotels, acquired as part of the recent Travelodge acquisition, will be joining the global hotel giant Accor at the start of the 2023 financial year.

The management agreement, which includes an industry-leading link to ESG outcomes, will see its hotels (2000+ rooms) rebranded to (budget brand) ibis Styles, Mercure and Novotel (mid-range) hotels when they join the 340+ Accor network of hotels, apartments and resorts across Australia.

The deal is Accor’s largest integration since its $1.2 billion acquisition of Mantra Group in 2018, which brought the Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree brands under Accor.

Nine of the properties will become Mercure hotels, growing Mercure from 44 properties in Australia to 53, making Mercure the largest and fastest growing global mid-scale brand in Australia with more than 50 hotels.

Both Accor and Slater believe that the Australian travel market is starting to show very promising signs of recovery and the deal signals their confidence in the return of corporate travel.

We anticipate that all the properties will participate in the loyalty program, Accor Live Limitless.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection fleet expanding

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection fleet expanding

Following on from the news of 2 March about the launch of RCYC's first yacht Evrima (pictured), the company confirmed yesterday that it has recently placed orders for superyacht twins, Ilma and Luminara, which will sail in 2024 and 2025 respectively. 

Compared to the Evrima, the new superyachts are both substantially larger (228 suites compared to 149 on Evrima) and have enhanced sustainability, including a move to dual-fuel engines utilising liquified natural gas (LNG) as their main fuel source.

The new superyachts will feature itineraries ranging from seven to 10 nights in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

Nestled in Edinburgh's Old Town a few minutes' walk from The Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, Virgin Hotels' first European property is open for bookings for stays commencing 1 June 2022. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh will be followed in 3Q2022 by Virgin Hotels Glasgow.

The Virgin Hotels Edinburgh promises a mix of its 19th-century origins and modern luxuries to capture the timeless character of this historic city. The Commons Club restaurant//bar pictured is a good example.

The Virgin Hotels Glasgow is in a prime City Centre position overlooking the River Clyde and is an easy walk to Central Station, St Enoch underground station and Buchanan Street (Glasgow's shopping area), making it an ideal base to explore the city.

Virgin Hotels (the luxury lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson) has a loyalty program - The Know.  No points earning to think about.  Just sign up and your loyalty is rewarded at every stay with room upgrades (st availability), member discounted rates and free cocktails during the Spirit Hour.  Members in The Know can also tailor their preferences for the duration of their stays. 

Melia limited time promotion  Up to 40% off and at least 25% guaranteed for MeliaRewards members !

Melia limited time promotion Up to 40% off and at least 25% guaranteed for MeliaRewards members !

Melia has a very attractive promotion running that will appeal to many people looking for some sun and fun. 

For a limited time, if you book through select Travel Agents (including our associated Travel Agency - Rewarding Travel), you receive a discount of up to 40% off !  If you are a MeliaRewards member, a discount of at least 25% is guaranteed.

T&C's apply, including:

  • you must book before 21 March, for stays from March 14 until December 31.  Some hotels could be extended until April 2023*
  • note that 15 hotels are not participating in the promotion
  • note that  some hotels are also including  (1 or 2)  kid stays free deal.
So if you've been thinking about your next break, send me an email with details of your thoughts and I will help you find your best deal.  This may mean joining MeliaRewards, but that's free.

You must act soon, as bookings must be made by 21 March.

My Millennium, the loyalty program of Millennium Hotels & Resorts (MHR), today announced an upgrade.   Effective from April 2022, a second membership tier has been introduced, so there will be Members and a "Prestige" tier, attained after stays totalling 10 nights.  Currently all My Millennium members:

  • earn 10 My Points for every USD 100 charged to a booked room at participating properties
  • during the month of a Member's birthday, the earning rate is tripled to 30 My Points / USD 100
  • My Points earned in blocks of 10 nights will be doubled
  • can redeem points to offset part of a room booking at the rate of USD 5 / thousand My Points.
I suspect the new Prestige tier will replace the current points doubling benefit (possibly at a lower rate) and add other "tier benefits" (experiences and rewards) which are yet to be announced. To celebrate MHR are offering 100 members a complimentary upgrade to the new Prestige tier. To qualify for the prize draw, simply book and stay three nights or more at any of MHR's hotels between 1 April and 30 June 2022. If you miss out there, a further 20 lucky winners will also walk away with 50,000 My Points (worth USD 250).  We rate My Millennium as a good (albeit smallish) program, so if you are not already a member, now may be the time to consider joining.

Launch of first new yacht of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection delayed

Launch of first new yacht of Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection delayed

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection said on Tuesday that it will reschedule the debut of its first new yacht, Evrima (pictured)

People itching to sail on her, including Bonvoy members, will need to wait a little longer.  

Originally slated for May when it was first announced last November,  Evrima now will set sail on its inaugural voyage from Athens (Piraeus), Greece on August 6, 2022.

Ongoing supply chain and labor issues related to the pandemic were cited as the causes of the delay.

Radisson Rewards Extends Member Benefits

Radisson Rewards Extends Member Benefits

Radisson Rewards has extended its expirations for members.

Elite status extension:
They have extended your elite status through to 28 February 2023. .

Point expiration suspension:
The expiration of points is extended until June 30, 2022, for all members who had points expiring before this date. You can extend your points expiration period for the next 2 years by Staying, Donating, exchanging, purchasing, or gifting points.

Elite earning rollover:
All eligible nights and stays earned in 2021 will roll over to 2022, contributing to attaining or elevating your tier status.

Is Accor changing ALL status requirements ?

Is Accor changing ALL status requirements ?

It looks to me that Accor will be changing its qualification criteria for elite tier status levels.

The latest ALL T&C's dated 26 Jan 2022 show qualification based on either nights stayed or rewards points accumulated (Silver 2,000; Gold 7,000; Platinum 14,000 and Diamond 26,000).

However, the ALL members' site is currently showing the criteria as based on (the same number of) nights stayed or eligible spending (Silver €800, Gold €2,800; Platinum €5,600 and Diamond €10,400).

Since all tiers of members earn status points at the rate of points per €10 spent (eg 25 at say a Sofitel property), this will result in the same amount of spending required.

Why the subtle change? 

While all members receive the same earning rate at a particular property (no tier bonuses), not all properties have the same earning rate for status points (eg IBIS 12.5 or 10 for both Peppers and Mantra).

So for all members, a stay at a Peppers property would, for the same spend, earn 40% compared to the identical spend at a Sofitel property.

By changing the thresholds to spending rather than based on one of only 4 earning rates, this is much fairer to members, as the same spend provides the same tier status, regardless of which properties received the spending.  

If this change does come into effect, it is an improvement for Accor's ALL members. Bravo!

Four Seasons  Hotel Coming to Melbourne

Four Seasons Hotel Coming to Melbourne

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has been selected as the luxury hotel partner for the new  STH BNK by Beulah development in Melbourne.

The new hotel will occupy the upper levels of one of the development's towers at 60 Southbank Parade, which is an easy walk to Melbourne Sky Tower, the Melbourne Arts Precinct, with the city proper just across the Yarra River.

Four Seasons Hotel Melbourne will include 210 rooms, and will see guests arrive via a Sky Lobby situated on the 63rd floor, with views over Melbourne’s city skyline, beachfront and Royal Botanical Gardens.

While Four Seasons operates 122 hotels and resorts, and 48 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, the Melbourne hotel will play a pivotal role for the brand’s expansion as only the second Four Seasons’ branded property in the Oceania region (the only current one being the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney).

Construction is forecast to commence late 2022 and will take approximately 5 years to complete - waiting that long is the only disappointment.

I expect to see some (unfounded) jokes made about Four Seasons and Melbourne's weather from residents of a certain other city...   (just kidding)

Image illustrating how the two towers of the STH BNK by Beulah project will look once completed - courtesy of Unstudio

Hyatt makes 146 Category Changes for 2022

Hyatt makes 146 Category Changes for 2022

Disappointing news was announced today by Hyatt.  146 properties will be re-categorised, with effect from 22 March 2022.

This represents a reasonable proportion of the properties participating in World of Hyatt (approx 12.5%), but that's cold comfort if your favourites are in the group to experience increases.

69 properties will move up a category, 1 will move up 2 categories (the Hyatt Place Moab) and 76 properties will move down a category.

Disappointing, as Hyatt is also moving to peak/off-peak pricing effective from 1 March 2022, so a potential double-whammy for popular properties in peak periods.

Check the full list of Hyatt 2022 category changes to see if your favourites are affected.  You can also look at their associated FAQ page.

Bookings made prior to 22 March at properties increasing in category will be honoured at current category pricing, while those that move to a lower category will have points reimbursed. A member-friendly approach.

So if you are thinking of making a booking - Act Now !

Pictured is the Park Hyatt Sydney, which will move from Category 7 to Category 8 - one of 10 highly desirable Hyatt properties moving to the highest category previously only occupied by SLH and Destination By Hyatt residences.

Australia’s First Kimpton Hotel opens for Valentine's Day 2022

Australia’s First Kimpton Hotel opens for Valentine's Day 2022

I’m pleased to say that one of my favourite hotel chains has opened its first Australian hotel today, on Valentine’s Day.

The Kimpton Margot, Sydney is a gorgeous repurposing of an art-deco ex-public building into a luxury hotel. There is a rooftop pool (for guests only) and a separate rooftop bar to enjoy those balmy evenings.

No water views but very centrally located on Pitt Street within an easy walk of Town Hall Rail and Light Rail stations, Hyde Park and Chinatown.

IHG Rewards members can currently book an awards stay for 33,000 points per night – a premium compared to the 27,000 points required at the (older but still very nice) InterContinental Sydney that is closer to Circular Quay.

Checking my points balance right now…

For bookings with elite benefits included, make a time to talk with our associated travel agency.

S&P Global's Sustainability Yearbook 2022 considered over 7,500 companies across 61 industries around the world and selected 716 companies for this year’s edition based on their S&P Global ESG Scores using this Yearbook Methodology. Prize winners in the 2022 edition included:

Gold:  ANA     Silver:  China Airlines, EVA     Bronze:  LATAM Airlines      Honourable Mention:  Air France-KLM, JAL, American Airlines

Hotels, Resorts & Cruise Lines
Gold:  Hilton Wordwide      Silver:  Melia Hotels    Bronze:  NH Hotels

Interestingly, both Melia Hotels and NH Hotels are Spanish companies.  Of the total 716 companies selected this year, 26 ( 3.6%) are Spanish companies - a strong showing.

Congratulations and thanks to all whose efforts made the grade for this year’s yearbook !

For more information...

Sixt Car Rental - new points partner for Accor

Sixt Car Rental - new points partner for Accor

Car rental company Sixt and French hospitality giant Accor have just signed a points partnership deal, that will provide attractive benefits for members of  Accor's loyalty program ALL – worldwide and free of charge.

As part of the long-term collaboration, members of  ALL will be able to collect points when they book a rental car with Sixt, with packages of 200 to 500 points

Currently Accor also has a partnership with Europcar, where ALL members earn up to 1,000 points for every rental, plus get a 10-20% discount. 

So we will wait to see if both partnerships survive, or Sixt replaces Europcar.

Millennium Hilton New York Downtown Transforms into Millennium Downtown New York

Millennium Hilton New York Downtown Transforms into Millennium Downtown New York

Milennium Hotels has confirmed the transition of the Millennium Hilton New York Downtown into the Millennium collection of hotels.

Now to be known as the Millennium Downtown New York, all hotel amenities and services remain unchanged.

The hotel will also be part of the My Millennium loyalty program

Members can earn/burn points while enjoying stays at the convenient location only steps from The Oculus (a major transportation hub and retail center), the World Trade Center, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Wall Street, Battery Park and South Street Seaport.

Not yet experienced the luxury and service of a Corinthia Hotel?

Even if you have, you can (re)discover the pleasures of its boutique luxury properties for a limited time with up to 20% off the usual rate with breakfast included !

Tempted ?