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Travellers passing through Melbourne Airport can now access short stays with use of amentities.

Travellers passing through Melbourne Airport can now access short stays with use of amentities.

Travellers passing through Melbourne Airport, Australia’s busiest 24/7 hub, now have instant access to hourly hotel stays.


Following it's recent refurbishment, the PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport, the only hotel connected to the domestic and international terminals via a sky-bridge, is now offering short-stay hourly accommodation.. 

Bookable online or by phone, short stays at the hotel are available in three, five and eight-hour blocks, from $109, $119 and $149 respectively – significantly less than rooms at nightly rates.

Whether it’s to catch up on some sleep, freshen up or just chill for a few hours, travellers can access newly refurbished rooms with city or airport views, a 24-hour gymnasium, heated indoor pool, spa, sauna and steam room

Other amenities include the modern Australian restaurant, Airo, the casual Airo Café for coffee and light snacks, and Airo Bar for boutique beers, regional wines and specialty cocktails (and no doubt conversation with fellow flyers).

PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport boasts 276 rooms including eight suites and eight family rooms.


Loyalty Program

The PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport participates in the GHA Discovery loyalty program.


Our thoughts

The suites and family rooms are a great idea for families travelling at hours that little ones do not cope well with, or after long international flights with broken sleep, enabling you to refresh prior to moving on more refreshed. 




A room at the PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport


Sebel to open in the Heart of Sydney

Sebel to open in the Heart of Sydney

THE SEBEL recently announced its latest property in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, which is  is open for bookings now.

The newly curated premium hotel is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar refurbishment, the current Mercure branded property and promising to bring a new essence of style and sophistication to the city.

Located on Philip Street, the 86-room Sebel Sydney Martin Place's luxurious, modern interior will offer a tranquil retreat with an essence of opulence. 

The location is very central, within easy walking distance of the Sydney Tower Eys, the Domain, QVB, The Strand Arcade and of course Martin Place.

This year, The Sebel is proudly celebrating its 60th anniversary in Australia and New Zealand and now has 34 properties across Australasia.

Both the Sebel and Mercure are brands of Accor.  The property will participate in the  Accor Live Limitless (or Accor ALL) loyalty program and the perks specific to the APAC region.

For more information or to make a booking, contact our associated Travel Agency Rewarding Travel, to learn what complimentary perks are available when you book.  Rewarding Travel is an Accor Step agency.

Kimpton Secret Password - Jan/Feb 2024

Kimpton Secret Password - Jan/Feb 2024


Kimpton Hotels have a funky boutique hotel brand image. One of many aspects of its charm is the Kimpton secret password  that guests can mention at check-in to get a perk, benefit, or bonus.

This (northern) Winter, Kimpton Hotels is using the secret password "Chalet all day.” It is valid at all participating locations until February 29th, 2024. Kimpton Hotels have stated that every hotel honors the secret password differently, so it's a surprise what you'll get.

Secret Password Perks You May Receive

Historically, guests have reported a wide range of bonuses when using the Kimpton Hotels' secret password. Here are some examples:
  • Free parking (regular or valet)
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Free upgrade
  • Complimentary bottle of wine
  • Free food & beverage credits
  • A whisky-tasting tour
  • Cupcakes
  • A movie night in your room
  • Free drinks at the bar
  • Surprise gift-wrapped presents
  • Drink kits (like Bailey's hot chocolate)
  • Mini-bar credit

The bonuses aren't always at the hotel, as some hotels have partnered with other companies. For example, such as another restaurant or perhaps a whisky distillery. It's  nice to see the Kimpton secret password is back. It's just a little thing, but adds to the vibe of the Kimpton brand, which I like.

Virgin Hotels Glasgow closes its doors

Virgin Hotels Glasgow closes its doors

Sadly, the Virgin Hotel Glasgow has closed its doors. (Pictured is its lobby area)

The company that owns the property was placed into administration on 1 December 2023 and since then Virgin has been unable to negotiate a solution with the administrator that would keep the hotel running.

No other Virgin hotel is impacted – all other Virgin Hotels remain open and operating as normal as all Virgin Hotels are independently owned.

On the brighter side, in a statement released by Virgin Hotels on they say that  "the Virgin Hotels team continues to have great ambitions for managing the hotel in Glasgow and looks forward to re-opening once a new owner is in place".

We hope the closure will be a short one and the property will re-open sooner rather than later.

Our thoughts are with the staff and employees who are affected at this time.  

We have no open bookings with our clients with the property, but for anyone else with immediate enquiries, you are asked to contact
 info.glasgow@virginhotels.com

Iberostar Beachside Resorts now bookable with IHG One Rewards

Iberostar Beachside Resorts now bookable with IHG One Rewards

In june 2023, IHG Hotels & Resorts announced that Iberostar Beachfront Resorts would participate in the IHG One Rewards program. This development meant earning points on Iberostar stays and applying elite benefits to all-inclusive stays.

Overnight, IHG announced that IHG One Rewards members can now redeem points for stays at 40+ Iberostar resorts worldwide.

At first glance, award rates are pretty steep. Cash rates for Iberostar properties are high, reflecting tr fact that the resorts are all-inclusive. Award redemption rates match; this is also likely a function of IHG's dynamic pricing model.

If one of these properties catches your eye but doesn't fit your budget, IHG does offer a Points & Cash booking option, which could take the sting of a stay at one of these resorts.

IHG One Rewards benefits at Iberostar properties



Not every Iberostar property participates in the IHG One Rewards program, but if you are a member and book any of the Iberostar Beachfront Resorts participating in One Rewards  you'll enjoy the following benefits by booking through IHG’s websites, IHG Customer Care, Iberostar website, IberostarPro, or directly with an IHG branded hotel.
  • Late check-out: Available to all members up to 2 p.m, subject to availability.
  • Free internet: Available for all IHG One Rewards members.


Other benefits associated with tier status are also honoured, including:
  • Early check-in: Subject to availability for Platinum and Diamond members.
  • Guaranteed room availability: Available for Platinum and Diamond Elite members.
  • Welcome amenity at check-in: Available for Platinum and Diamond Elite members as follows:
    • Platinum Elite members receive a $15 hotel credit or 600 IHG One Rewards points.
    • Diamond Elite members receive a $20 hotel credit or 600 IHG One Rewards points.
  • Priority check-in: Available at all participating hotels.



Our thoughts:


This is a great development for One Rewards members.One Rewards is a good program for accumulating points and now there are attractive, all-inclusive options located in Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico and the Caribbean.for redeeming those points. Just ensure you are getting good value for your points. Our associated Travel Agency Rewarding Travel is an IberostarPro agency

Umana Bali opens as Hilton’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property in SE Asia

Umana Bali opens as Hilton’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property in SE Asia

The 72-villa Umana Bali opens, representing Hilton’s first luxury offering in South East Asia under its LXR Hotels & Resorts portfolio.

Introducing Umana Bali, Hilton's first luxury property in Southeast Asia under the LXR Hotels & Resorts portfolio.

This stunning resort is located on the southern tip of Bali, offering breathtaking views of Melasti Beach and the Indian Ocean. The unique design of the property, with its terraces of limestone cliffs, is reminiscent of ancient rice paddy fields known as 'uma.'

The Resort

The resort features spacious one-bedroom villas with private pools and outdoor hot tubs, perfect for a luxurious getaway.

For larger groups or families, the three-bedroom Umana Pool Villa offers a 25-meter infinity pool and personalized butler service.

The resort also boasts a clifftop chapel for romantic sunset weddings, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a kids' club.

Wellness at the Spa

Guests can indulge in ancient healing practices and modern therapies at The Lohma Spa, including the signature Indonesian massage using energized gemstones.

Dining

The dining options at Umana Bali are exceptional, with over 80% of the ingredients sourced from local farms and their own hydroponic garden. Mediterranean cuisine can be enjoyed at the clifftop restaurant, Oliverra, while Commune offers South East Asian dishes with interactive cooking demonstrations.

The Pad Pool Bar serves handcrafted cocktails overlooking the ocean, and Mer Lounge allows guests to create their own refreshments from the minibar.

Coming soon

Coming in April 2024, Uma Beach House will offer a Miami-inspired design and delectable Peruvian cuisine.

Hilton Honors

Umana Bali is proud to be part of Hilton Honors, providing guests with even more benefits and rewards for their stay.

To further enhance this offer, book through Rewarding Travel to receive complimentary perks at no additional cost.  Rewarding Travel is our associated Travel Agency and is an affiliate of Fora Travel Inc.

Meliá to open spectacular Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah in Port de La Mer 4Q2025

Meliá to open spectacular Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah in Port de La Mer 4Q2025



The Gran Meliá brand continues to lead the group's luxury openings in Europe and the Middle East

Introducing Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah - the epitome of Mediterranean luxury and "good living" in the heart of Dubai. Nestled on the pristine beachfront of Port de La Mer, this urban resort is set to redefine your Dubai travel experience.

Imagine waking up to breathtaking views of turquoise waters and the iconic city skyline from your exclusive room or suite. With 380 luxurious accommodations designed for utmost comfort and style, Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah offers a true sanctuary amidst the bustling city.

But it's not just about stunning vistas. This 360-degree resort boasts an array of leisure and lifestyle options that will satisfy even the most discerning travellers. Indulge in the taste of Mediterranean luxury as you savour exquisite cuisine at iconic restaurants and bars, curated to offer you the best experiences from around the world.

The location couldn't be more perfect. Situated close to the prestigious DIFC, Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah is not only ideal for leisure travellers but also attracts corporate guests and events alike, making it a versatile destination for all occasions.

As a testament to its commitment to luxury tourism, Meliá Hotels International has partnered with Albwardy Investment LLC to bring you this extraordinary property. With an impeccable track record managing seven other properties together, including renowned destinations like Arusha, Zanzibar, Ngorongoro Lodge, Iguazu Falls, London Kensington, and Desert Palm – this collaboration promises nothing short of excellence.

Scheduled to open in late 2025, we anticipate Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah will be a world where Spanish lifestyle meets culinary avant-garde across ten countries globally.

Prepare yourself for an unmatched experience where personalised services, wellness facilities endorsed by international partners, direct marina access, and event spaces capable of hosting up to 1,000 people come together seamlessly. Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah is set to become an iconic destination that embodies the spirit of Mediterranean luxury throughout the region. 

Keep an eye out for the opening of Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah and get ready to embark on a journey through this gateway to an extraordinary experience in Dubai. Get ready to immerse yourself in pure luxury at Gran Meliá Dubai Jumeirah.

This should be an exciting addition to the Dubai travel landsacpe.  We expect it to participate in
Meliá Rewards, which will making any stay even more rewarding!


Hilton Named No. 1 Best Place to Work in the World

Hilton Named No. 1 Best Place to Work in the World

Recognition marks the first time a hospitality company has ever topped this prestigious list

For the first time ever, Hilton has been named the No. 1 World’s Best Workplace by Fortune magazine and Great Place to Work.   Our congratulations to all involved!

This recognition – the culmination of eight consecutive appearances on the “World’s Best” list – also marks the first time a hospitality company has achieved the top honor in this best-in-class program. Since first earning a spot on this list in 2016, Hilton has continued to build its strong culture through an unwavering focus on creating a workplace that is inclusive, offers strong growth opportunities, is driven by purpose, and provides the kind of support that empowers its 460,000 team members around the world to thrive each and every day.  

“Around the world at Hilton, our 460,000 team members are united by a common purpose: to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality. That purpose was formed more than a century ago, when Conrad Hilton set out to change the world through travel. He built this company on the noble premise that Hilton could be a force for good in the world, and famously urged us all to think big, act big, and dream big,” said Chris Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton.

“Today’s recognition by Great Place to Work and Fortune is validation that our team members were the people he imagined in his bright vision for the future. It is their dedication, hospitality and passion for the stays they create that has made Hilton the No. 1 best place to work in the world.” 

Hilton is dedicated to building an inclusive culture that supports team members at every stage of their personal and professional journey and empowers each of them to bring their true, authentic self to work.  

The hospitality company provides best-in-class benefits to both hourly and salaried team members, including expanded parental leave, adoption assistance and exciting travel benefits through its popular Go Hilton team member travel program

New study ranks 2023's best luxury hotel brands in the world

New study ranks 2023's best luxury hotel brands in the world

Mandarin Oriental (one of my personal favourite brands) was recently named the best luxury hotel brand in the world.Source: LTI — Luxury Travel Intelligence.

Our congratulations to Mandarin Oriental  and all the nominees!

There are rankings of the best hotels in the world, but this list, released by the members-only group LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence, ranks hotel brands rather than individual properties. The ranking analyses many hotels within a brand in “granular detail,” using more than 100 “touch points” to evaluate “a brand’s ability to deliver,” ranging from its ethos to staff, according to a press release.

When announcing the rankings, LTI noted that "Mandarin Oriental has always performed well in LTI's ratings. This year, they have improved further across all our touch points, placing them at No1.

It is an engaging brand with a loyal and growing following, who appreciate its commitment to excellence"   (including us - it is a long-term favourite),  "...the much-anticipated opening of their London Mayfair property could be a pivotal moment for them."

Luxury Travel Intelligence memberships cost $700 per year and grant access to the group’s travel research. It doesn’t sell advertising, and research is independent and funded by subscriptions, according to its website.


The best luxury hotel brands

Mandarin Oriental was recently named the best luxury hotel brand in the world by LTI — Luxury Travel Intelligence. There are other rankings of the best hotels in the world, however,this list, released by the members-only group LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence, ranks hotel brands rather than individual properties. The ranking analyzes many hotels within a brand in “granular detail,” using more than 100 “touch points” to evaluate “a brand’s ability to deliver,” ranging from its ethos to staff, according to a press release. Luxury Travel Intelligence memberships cost US$700 per year and grant access to the group’s travel research. It doesn’t sell advertising, and research is independent and funded by subscriptions, according to its website.


2023's best luxury hotel brands

Here are this year’s results, reflected as percentages, with last year’s positions in brackets:

  1. Mandarin Oriental    81.4% (2)
  2. Oetker Collection     81.3% (6)
  3. Auberge                    79.6% (4)
  4. Six Senses                79.0% (1)
  5. Aman                         78.8% (5)
  6. Belmond                   76.3% (8)
  7. Four Seasons           76.1% (9)
  8. One&Only                 75.1% (7)
  9. Rocco Forte              73.8% (11)
  10. Rosewood                 72.1% (3)
  11. Peninsula                  69.8% (New Entry)
  12. Raffles                      68.5% (New Entry)

Mandarin Oriental took the top spot for the first time, — topping Oetker Collection by a very narrow margin, despite Ortker's  ranking rising by 4 places. Oetker Collection operates 12 hotels across the globe, including the icons Le Bristol in Paris, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, and The Lanesborough, London.

In 2022, Six Senses was ranked No. 1, followed by Mandarin Oriental (No. 2) and Rosewood (No. 3). So two of last years leaders have fallen a surprising number of spots - Six Senses has dropped 3 places and Rosewood has dropped 7 positions.

Auberge Resorts Collection — ranked third on the list — operates hotels like Mauna Lani in Hawaii, The Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City, Utah, and The Vanderbilt in Newport, Rhode Island. Those are just three of the 27 hotels and resorts under the Auberge brand.

Two well-known brands are new to the list this year: Peninsula Hotels and Raffles Hotels & Resorts.


Other recognized brands

LTI also highlighted other brands that it said “rated sufficiently” enough to be monitored. The brands are: 1 Hotels, Alila, Anantara, Banyan Tree, Como, Dorchester Collection, Firmdale, Jumeirah, Leela, Oberoi, Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La, Soho House, Red Carnation, St. Regis, Taj, The Luxury Collection and Viceroy.

Additionally, brands that have fewer than 10 properties — the minimum required to make the list — but were rated highly are: Airelles, Althoff Collection, Bulgari, Capella, Cheval Blanc, JK Place, La Reserve, Maybourne, Montage, Nikki Beach, Pendry, Soneva, Ultima Collection and Virgin Limited Edition.

Our associated Travel Agency - Rewarding Travel has a preferred relationship status with 10 of the top 12 brands and over half of the brands that rated special mentions. To see what makes them so special and how we can make your stay even more luxe at no additional cost, contact Rewarding Travel to discuss your preferences.


The scoring system

Luxury Travel Intelligence uses an algorithm to assess hotel brands, which has a maximum of 4,663 points, said Crompton.

This year, it measured 130 “touch points,” evaluating factors like in-room dining, guests’ pre-arrival process and a brand’s social media engagement, Crompton told CNBC Travel. The group uses a points-based system to remove “inevitable emotiveness and personal opinion” from the ranking, he said.

Crompton also noted that brands’ investments — either in new hotels or in the renovation of existing ones — was a major factor this year.

Crompton did not reveal how touch points are weighted, but said that “each year we tweak the touch points and the weighting.”

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Hyatt's enticing promotions

Hyatt's enticing promotions

World of Hyatt has a few interesting promotions running at present. T&C's apply to all, so read carefully.

Ongoing promotion for new properties:

There's an ongoing promotion for World of Hyatt members to earn 500 bonus points per night at new properties.

North and South America:

  • Book before December 5, 2023 using promo code STAYNOW; select the Bonus Points Offer rate.
  • Complete the stay before April 30, 2024.
  • Receive 2X bonus points (10 points per dollar instead of 5).
  • Blackout dates apply, and not all hotels across North and South America are participating.

Asia Pacific & SW Asia

Save up to 20%, plus a further 5% for World of Hyatt members. Book by December 5, 2023 for stays completed by April 30, 2024.

Europe, Africa & Middle East

An even better offer - Save up to 20%, plus members enjoy an additional 5% savings and free breakfast.

Luxury hotel Regent Hong Kong officially (re)opened its doors on 8 November 2023

Luxury hotel Regent Hong Kong officially (re)opened its doors on 8 November 2023

Regent Hong Kong, officially opened on 8 November after a considerable transformation from InterContinental Hong Kong.

Part of IHG Hotels & Resorts luxury and lifestyle portfolio, the 497-key hotel is located on the shore’s of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, surrounded by landmarks including K11 MUSEA, ‘Avenue of Stars,’ Art Square and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. 

“As one of Hong Kong’s legacy luxury hotels and host to generations of cherished memories, we are proud to officially launch Regent Hong Kong and ignite a new chapter of unforgettable moments for our guests,” said the hotel’s Managing Director, Michel Chertouh.

The 497-room hotel’s redesign was managed by renowned Hong Kong-born designer, Chi Wing Lo, as his first hotel project. Through his expertise in architecture, interior design, furniture and art curation, Lo has featured tactile natural materials throughout the hotel, including natural oak and granite crafted by skilled artisans.  

Tom Rowntree, Vice President Global Luxury & Lifestyle Brands at IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “As we open the doors to Regent Hong Kong, we celebrate not only a new chapter for the brand but also a journey back to the roots of luxury hospitality. With a legacy steeped in innovation, breathtaking views and landmark destinations like Regent Hong Kong, the brand is returning in earnest to redefine luxury once more,” said Rowntree.

IHG Hotels & Resorts acquired Regent in 2018, working to reinvigorate the brand.  Regent Hong Kong is a flagship property within the new Regent portfolio.  Other properties include Carlton Cannes, a Regent Hotel; Regent Chongqing, Regent Shanghai Pudong, Regent Phu Quoc, and the soon-to-open Regent Santa Monica Beach.

This Hong Kong opening will be followed closely by Regent Shanghai On The Bund in late 2023 and Regent Bali Canggu in 2024. 

About the hotel

  • 497 guest rooms, including 129 suites.
  • A new Presidential Suite features a sleek and sophisticated 3,500 square-foot duplex with a private terrace and infinity swimming pool, all with sweeping views of the harbour.  
  • Six globally acclaimed culinary experiences within the hotel, including the two Michelin-starred Lai Ching Heen, The Steak House, The Lobby Lounge and Nobu Hong Kong
  • The grand marble staircase previous guests may remember remains 
  • The pillarless Regent Ballroom can host up to 1,000 guests
  • ‘Regent Experience Agents’ are on hand to ensure a seamless guest experience
  • The Regent Club is an exclusive sanctuary and luxury residential retreat for guests on level two.   
  • The Pool Terrace and Fitness Centre includes an outdoor pool, three-temperature infinity pools overlooking the harbour, and a gym fitted with Technogym equipment and is open 24-hours.
  • Guests will have access to IHG’s loyalty program, IHG One Rewards.Rates start from HK$6,000 (about AUD$1,192) per night (plus 10% service charge) for a Classic Harbourview Room.
For more information, visit Regent Hong Kong.

ParkRoyal Melbourne receives major facelift

ParkRoyal Melbourne receives major facelift

Located just a few steps from the MEL airport terminals, the hotel will soon unveil an ultra-modern redesign from floor to ceiling

The most upscale hotel at one of Australia’s major airports is undergoing a multi-million-dollar refurbishment to reflect Australian lifestyle and nature and aimed at transforming the ‘in-transit’ experience.

The work on Parkroyal Melbourne Airport is due for completion in December 2023 and involves all 276 rooms, the lobby, restaurant, café, bar and the meeting and events floor.

“This refurbishment will elevate the experience for guests staying at the hotel, as well as those attending our myriad business events,” said Parkroyal Melbourne Airport General Manager, Cameron Mead.

The picture illustrates the new clean, contemporary look.

“We are excited to welcome guests to discover our contemporary new interior design aesthetic which has been influenced by Melbourne’s unique personality and inspired by diverse Victorian aerial landscapes, from the city’s grid-style urban planning to the organic form of the Yarra River.” 

Located just 30 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD and directly across the road from Melbourne Airport’s terminals, the property is the only hotel directly connected to the domestic and international terminals via an undercover pedestrian skybridge.

Onsite amenities include modern Australian restaurant Airo, the Airo Café and Airo Bar, which offers boutique beers, regional wines and specialty cocktails.

A fully equipped 24-hour fitness centre, heated indoor lap pool, spa, sauna and steam room further enhance the guest experience.

Every piece of furniture will be custom designed using plush fabrics alongside luminous metal finishes in the newly refurbished rooms. To improve functionality, luggage access, hanging space and the minibar offering will all be enhanced.


Raffles London now open for bookings !

Raffles London now open for bookings !

The much anticipated opening of Raffles London at the OWO has arrived!

Raffles London is located in what was the Old War Office building, known today as The OWO. It was once home to legends such as Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Haldane. It was also made famous by Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond 007 novels.

Imagine staying in a building once occupied by these people, who are such a part of British history and culture.

Located in the heart of Whitehall, near the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the building has been meticulously restored and is now home to Raffles London at The OWO.

The 120 spacious rooms and suites offer an experience of refined contemporary elegance and beauty, tall windows and timber-paneled walls provide a remarkable essence of place.

As you would expect from Raffles, gastronomy is well catered for with 9 restaurants and 3 bars offering a range of option, including a signature restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco..,

The Pillar Wellbeing centre provides spa and wellness services and has a 20m indoor pool - a rarity in London.

Raffles London at the OWO partcipates in the Accor Live Limitless (ALL) loyalty program

I say, is that an Aston Martin parked out front?

WorldHotels to benefit from BWH's plans to expand in upscale properties

WorldHotels to benefit from BWH's plans to expand in upscale properties

BWH Hotels plans extended-stay, upscale growth

During the company’s annual convention at the Hawaii Convention Center this past week, senior leaders from BWH Hotels shared updates on the company’s expansion into the extended-stay, upper-upscale and luxury segments through two growing brands.

WorldHotels Nearly five years after acquiring the WorldHotels soft brand and expanding it into different categories, BWH is looking to change the collection’s narrative, Ron Pohl, president of WorldHotels and international operations at BWH Hotels, said during the general session. 

“We need to be more competitive,” Pohl told the attendees. “Today's travelers want unique experiences, and developers want to create their own vision and story for their hotel.” As such, the new “Welcome to our World” brand story for WorldHotels will serve as a “platform” for each property to help connect with guests, he said, emphasizing authenticity and local qualities. The company is also launching a new logo to increase the brand’s visibility and recognition with a W replacing the previous swirl, and an updated website aims to help streamline the booking process for guests. 

“One of the opportunities that we saw with WorldHotels is [that] in the past, it primarily competed as a distribution channel for hotels,” Pohl said during the press conference. “We believe it's an opportunity to have a real brand.” To make a compelling brand, however, “you have to have a story behind it and you have to have a reason customers want to engage with it.” While all the hotel stories will be different, he added, “they're all aligned with a story—that the customers want an experience that is different and unique at their hotel.” 

Extended-Stay

The company announced its new @Home by Best Western extended-stay brand at last year’s convention, noting that the brand, then called Home by BWH, would fit in the midscale segment and be “lean” in terms of investment and square footage.

“Our new extended-stay brand will allow us to capture our fair share of the extended-stay segment, which is expected to generate over $18 billion in revenue opportunity this year alone,” President and CEO Larry Cuculic said during the opening general session. “We're entitled to our fair share. We're a global powerhouse.”

During a press conference later in the convention, Brad LeBlanc, SVP and chief development officer at BWH Hotels, said that while the company has approximately 2,400 hotels in North America, “very little” of that inventory is in the extended-stay category. As developers seek to pour money into that segment, he continued, they are looking for green spaces to develop their next brand. “Best Western delivers that.”

The company has 25 @Home properties signed so far as well as two five-packs, one in the upper Midwest and one in the Southeast. “@Home delivers a product where the market is,” LeBlanc said. “We talk about it all the time: Meet the consumer. We're meeting that consumer. We're also meeting the developer, so it's a perfect interchange.”

LeBlanc noted “some competitive pressures” within the space. “A lot of people are chasing us into that segment, but you know what? With our green space and engine, it's a winning formula.” BWH Hotels members “want a piece of that segment,” he added, and are “diving in.” 

Joelle Park, BWH’s new SVP and chief marketing officer, noted that consumer demands are changing, and the new brand is “an exciting opportunity to capitalize … on an unmet customer need.” @Home will cater to a wider demographic than traditional business and leisure travelers, she continued. “What we'll do is mine for those opportunities and then find the moments to talk to [potential guests], where they know the value of what we bring to an extended-stay experience.” The brand has more than 30 properties in the pipeline. 

RIU Class earn and redeem abilitiy improved

RIU Class earn and redeem abilitiy improved

RIU Hotels has updated some of the terms & conditions of its RIU Class loyalty program.

Members will now find it easier to earn and redeem points.

All members earn points for bookings made directly or via a travel agency or other channels. Extras charged to the room at RIU Plaza properties also earn points at the same fixed rates ( EUR 4 or  USD 6, or  GBP 3.6 = 1 point earned).
 
Earned points are automatically applied to a members folio at check-out, unless they elected to opt-out at check-in or via "My bookings", under the option "Request" at least 7 days in advance.  

Redemptions are also made at  fixed rates of 10 points = 1 USD 1, EUR 1, GBP 0.8.

If they are not redeemed in this manner, RIU points last for 4 years with no further member activity.  After a period of 4 inactive years, all points are forfeited and the member's account is closed.

So plenty of time to use points, or extend their life.


The start of September 2023 saw some minor, clarifying changes made to Marriott Bonvoy T&C's.

(1) Under T&C's 2.1.b Bonvoy members can earn points on their own room plus 2 additional rooms during a stay.  Previously this required the member to "stay in one of the 3 rooms".  This has now been clarified to say that all 3 rooms must have the same check-in and check-out dates. Presumably this is to prevent the member collecting points for say 11 nights by staying only 1 night, while guests in the other rooms stayed  5 nights each.

The member must pay for all 3 rooms by paying a "qualifying" (non-discounted) rate or apply an Award Redemption for all of the rooms.

The benefit is aimed at families or groups staying together for a single vacation.

(2) T&C's for Marriott Homes & Villas were also clarified in a similar manner to align with hotel stays.  A member can earn (5) points per USD spent for up to 3 homes, provided the homes are in the same city and the bookings are for identical check-in and check-out dates.  Also, as with hotels, Elite Night Credits are only received for 1 of the homes (ie the one in which the member stayed).


Finally, the wait is over!

Set upon the banks of the iconic River Clyde and just a stone's throw away from Central Station (and not much further to Queen St Station), The Virgin Hotels Glasgow is an easy walk to Central Station, St Enoch underground station and Buchanan Street (Glasgow's shopping area), making it an ideal base for exploring all that the beautiful city of Glasgow has to offer.

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.  You can book through Rewarding Travel - our associated travel agency.

From the vibrant dining & drinking scenes of Commons Club, to the breathtaking views from Highyard, come discover this wonderful new addition to the city. 

The Virgin Hotels Glasgow complements the The Virgin Hotels Edinburgh which as we anticipated in our post of March 2022,  opened 1 June 2022.


This article originally appeared in The Guardian on 25 July 2023.  Excerpts are repeated here to help spread the warning to users of loyalty programs, like you our readers. For the complete article and links to related ones, you should read the original article (which has copyright owned by The Guardian).

The ACCC has issued an urgent warning to customers of some of Australia’s largest loyalty reward programs, including Qantas Frequent Flyer, after detecting a new scam that targets valuable points. The National Anti-Scam Centre has received 209 reports to Scamwatch in the past four months, of the scam targeting Qantas frequent flyer, Telstra and Coles loyalty programs customers.

Australians lost a record amount of more than $3.1bn to scams in 2022, up from the $2bn lost in 2021, according to ACCC figures. New data from Commbank released on Tuesday showed Australians are becoming more cautious of answering the phone because of the increase, with three in four (76%) people only picking up if they recognise the number.

With the new scam, consumers receive a text message or email stating their loyalty points are expiring. It includes a link to a fake website, which prompts customers to log in. Customers may also be prompted to provide credit card details to use loyalty points. Scammers then steal customers’ points, their login details and personal information to use on other platforms and commit identity fraud.

The vast majority of reports to Scamwatch received so far are in relation to Qantas frequent flyer, Telstra and Coles loyalty programs, but Australians should be aware that any loyalty program could be targeted, ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe said.The National Anti-Scam Centre has contacted the companies that have been impersonated by scammers and is working with web host providers to have the fake websites taken down, to minimise harm to the community,”

Lowe said. “We are very concerned that Australians experiencing cost-of-living pressures may be more susceptible to these scams. Scammers are deliberately panicking consumers by claiming their points are expiring soon. We urge people to immediately delete or ignore any message regarding a loyalty program that contains a link.

We advise our readers to be vigilant and if receiving any such emails or texts, to not use those links, but instead go directly to their loyalty program website and check there. There are details on the official sites that provide contact details should you need to speak to anyone.

Further details on the ACCC report can be found....

COMO Orchard launch brings with it COMO's first hometown property & (very) special launch offer

COMO Orchard launch brings with it COMO's first hometown property & (very) special launch offer

The launch of COMO Orchard - a destination concept located at 30 Bideford Road, Singapore that unites COMO’s signature house brands and new partnerships into one inspiring lifestyle space -  includes COMO Metropolitan Singapore, which marks the hotel group’s debut homecoming to Singapore shores.

COMO Metropolitan Singapore offers the quintessential Singaporean experience with the best in COMO Group’s hospitality, fashion, wellness and cuisine across 19 floors, including including:

  • COMO Shanbhala - the luxury wellness and spa centre; and
  • COTE Singapore, a Korean Steakhouse from Simon Kim, who has garnered Michelin stars for his restaurants in New York and Miami.

  • Be one of the first to stay at this exciting new hotel and enjoy 4 nights for the price of 3.
    • Book by 31 August 2023 for a minimum stay of 4 nights
    • Stay between 19 September and 21 December 2023.
    In addition, Comoclub members will earn an exclusive bonus of 1,000 Comocredits for every night stayed!
    Bookings can be made through our associated travel agency, Rewarding Travel.

    T&C's apply

    Dis-loyalty program to be launched by an Accor division

    Dis-loyalty program to be launched by an Accor division

    Ennismore, a group that that encompasses several hotel brands such as SO/, The Hoxton and Mondrian will launch it's own membership program on July 27, 2023.

    Using "Dis-loyalty" as the program name seems to be a counter-intuitive marketing tactic.

    A "teaser" video has been released and the only details so far are that "Ennismore is excited to announce Dis-loyalty – a new travel and food membership that beats boring and brings together 10 brands from our lifestyle collective… stay tuned for more…"

    Ennismore and Accor entered a joint venture in 2021 to create a new autonomous entity, with Accor holding a majority shareholding. 

    In 2022, Ennismore expanded across the lifestyle and leisure segments with the additions of Rixos, the luxury all-inclusive brand, and Paris Society, a leading operator of luxury restaurants & entertainment venues (including Maison Russe in Paris)., creating three new distinct business units.

    How this new program will sit against Accor's overall loyalty/lifestyle program Accor Live Limitless will be intriguing.  I guess we will learn more in a week's time.

    (Pictured is the lobby of SO/ in Paris)

    GHA launches loyalty partnership with Regent Seven Seas | Triple rewards for limited time

    GHA launches loyalty partnership with Regent Seven Seas | Triple rewards for limited time

    Members of the GHA Discovery Program can earn elite status by sailing with one of the world’s leading luxury cruise lines.

    In an interesting development, Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, has entered a loyalty partnership with luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises (Regent), which offers access to 500+ ports of call around the globe.

    This follows the recent trend of luxury hotel chains launching their own luxury cruise lines (Aman, Belmond, Four Seasons, Accor's Orient-Express, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Club and Virgin Voyages), although only 3 currently have ships sailing.

    GHA DISCOVERY members, who have access to 800 hotels, resorts and palaces operated by 40 hotel brands in 100 countries, are rewarded with the program’s rewards currency, DISCOVERY Dollars (D$1 equal to US$1).

    Through this exclusive partnership, the program’s members will now enjoy the additional benefit of earning DISCOVERY Dollars by reserving a voyage with Regent and will be able to redeem those benefits in any GHA hotel, resort or palace, but not to book cruises or while sailing onboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships.

    Benefits for GHA DISCOVERY members
    • Between D$750 and D$2,500 for every Regent cruise reservation made, which can be spent at any GHA hotel or resort worldwide, valid for 12 months.
    • Fast-track upgrade to GHA DISCOVERY Titanium status, valid for over 12 months (the remainder of the calendar year in which it is earned, plus all of the following calendar year), offering benefits such as double room upgrades, special amenities, early check-in, and late checkout at GHA hotels and resorts worldwide.
    • On-board welcome gift of premium chocolates and Champagne with any Regent voyage reserved by a GHA DISCOVERY member.
    Launch Promotion

    To celebrate the launch of the partnership, GHA DISCOVERY members can collect triple rewards of up to D$7,500, The offer is valid for bookings until 30 September 2023 and cruises departing on or before 31 December 2023.


    Our thoughts

    While the luxury hotel chains of Aman, Belmond, Four Seasons, Accor's Orient-Express, Ritz-Carlton Yacht Club and Virgin Voyages have chosen to create their own cruise lines, GHA instead chose to forge an alliance with a well-establisd existing luxury line in Regent.

    This possibly reflects their background in managing alliances, but also has the advantage of providing immediate benefits for its Discovery members (and potentially many new passengers for Regent) without any teething problems.  

    The value of Discovery program should aslo not be lost by Regent passengers, who would be wise to join Discovery prior to booking their next cruise

    For more information regarding GHA Discovery, refer to our comprehensive guide to GHA Discovery, which has details on how to join.
    For more information on the GHA/Regent alliance, please see the Frequently Asked Questions here.


    COMO has confirmed Metropolitan Singapore Opening Timeline - September 2023 soft launch for 156-room luxury hotel

    The COMO Group this week reconfirmed a soft opening in September 2023 for its first hotel in the hospitality company’s home country, COMO Metropolitan Singapore. .

    The property will be located within COMO Orchard, the brand’s newest immersive experience building spread over 19 floors in the heart of Singapore on Bideford Road.

    Opening in successive phases starting in September 2023, the 156-room hotel boasts city-wide views and brings together COMO Group’s three hospitality pillars of fashion, wellness and cuisine into one location. COMO Orchard will host COMO Metropolitan Singapore’s 11 floors of luxury accommodations, a rooftop pool bar for guests, as well floors for dining, a wellness centre, and fashion retail.

    The brand’s wellness centre, COMO Shambhala, has been at the forefront of preventative health in the hospitality industry for over 25 years throughout 16 global COMO properties. The newest addition to the COMO Shambhala portfolio, COMO Orchard’s wellness facility dedicated to holistic well-being offers luxury spa treatments and addresses both core movement – yoga, Pilates, Gyro, gym and functional fitness – and nutrition including gut health and body composition diagnostics.

    Classes, workshops, one-day Wellness Packages and multi-day Wellness Paths allow guests to either choose their wellness journey, or have one curated for them.

    COMO Orchard will host three dining venues and two floors dedicated to fashion retail.

    Opening rates are expected to start from S$625 per night..

    For more details, ...  


    The folk at Odynn have been busy.  They have just released some very exciting news: they’ve launched award availability alerts! 

    Award Availability Alerts:

    (1)  You can now set award availability alerts in Awayz on the Trip Overview page. You can also customize the alerts by updating the dates on the Preferences page.
    (2)  When award availability opens for a hotel you set an alert for, you’ll be notified through email and on Awayz when you log in. Premium members are allotted five alerts and Free users have one. Email alerts for award availability will launch early next week but for now, you’ll be notified on Awayz.

    ●  When award availability opens for a hotel you set an alert for, you’ll be notified by email and on Awayz when you log in.
    ● Premium users are allotted five alerts, and the alerts can be set on the Trip Overview page and also customized by updating the dates on the Preferences page.
    ● If you haven’t had a chance to check out the newest award availability alerts feature, please do and let us know your feedback.  

    This new feature is an invaluable one.  Some programs are renowned for only releasing limited availability of award nights.  Awayz will help you find and book them faster than other members of Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy and IHG One Rewards.

    No need to miss out ever again!..


    Premium hotel deal alerts newsletter now includes multi nights!

    For premium subscribers, the links for the deals now take you directly to the Trip Overview page so you’ll know if you have enough points to book the trip!

    Perfect for planning (and booking) your next holiday !

    We are proud to be able to offer this great tool at a special rate for our readers.  Even more pleasing is the commitment to developing the tool to make it ever more useful for travellers using points to enhance the luxe level of their travels - like you and us.

    Renovated resort will become the first Marriott-branded all-inclusive resort in the world

    Renovated resort will become the first Marriott-branded all-inclusive resort in the world

    The former Marriott Cancun Resort will reopen in early 2024 as an all-inclusive renamed Marriott Cancun, An All-Inclusive Resort.

    The resort will become the first Marriott-branded all-inclusive resort in the world.

    The former Marriott Cancun Resort closed its doors in March 2023 to undergo an extensive renovation for the conversion.

    It’s also the latest step in Marriott International’s quest to grow its all-inclusive footprint. In 2019 Marriott International announced it planned to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in all-inclusive resort product. Since 2019 Marriott has grown its All-Inclusive by Marriott Bonvoy portfolio to 31 resorts.

    Marriott and its competitors may be relative newcomers to an all-inclusive market already dominated in Mexico and the Caribbean by Spain-based hotel conglomerates (Iberostar, Barcelo etc), and other dominant players including Sandals Resorts. But they’re making up for lost time in a hurry.

    Marriott says the renewed Marriott Cancun, An All-Inclusive Resort will redefine what it means to be ‘all-inclusive’ and will debut newly redesigned rooms, suites, lobby, meeting spaces, and public areas, including new restaurant concepts, expansive pools, and a lazy river and waterpark.

    The resort began renovations in March 2023. Meanwhile the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa sister resort is open and fully operating.

    How six of Spain's top hospitality companies keep their operations more sustainable

    How six of Spain's top hospitality companies keep their operations more sustainable

    Since 1973, the United Nations has recognized June 5 as World Environment Day, an annual event that it says "puts a global spotlight on the pressing environmental challenges of our times". This seems like the perfect time to highlight a few hospitality businesses and their sustainability initiatives.

    In the hospitality industry, embracing more sustainable practices is more than a moral imperative; it makes good business sense. That's because sustainable tourism has become a top priority for a large number of travelers. (This is especially true of millennials and members of Generation Z.).  For some in the hotel industry, implementing more sustainable practices might mean taking small steps — they could replace plastic straws with reusable glass or metal ones, for example — or it might mean making major changes to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and eliminate food waste.

    According to a 2022 Sustainable Travel Report from booking.com, 73% of travelers say they would be more likely to choose an accommodation that has implemented sustainable practices — and 81% intend to stay in an environmentally friendly location at least once in the next year. 

    If this is you, read on to learn more about how these 6 hotel chains lead the way in conscious and meaningful sustainability.

    Barceló Hotel Group

    Barceló Hotel Group is Spain's second-largest hotel chain, with more than 250 four- and five-star urban and holiday hotels, and more than 55,000 rooms across 22 countries. The company's properties are marketed under the brands Royal Hideaway, Barceló, Occidental and Allegro. 

    It has an active loyalty program - my Barceló. 

    What they’re doing

    Recognizing climate change as a global environmental crisis, Barceló Hotel Group has made a commitment to reduce its environmental impact.

    At its Occidental hotels in the United Arab Emirates, for example, the company's sustainability practices are implemented through eco-friendly cleaning products, water and energy conservation, and waste reduction.

    Occidental Al Jaddaf, for instance, uses solar panels to operate water heaters for energy conservation and features low-flow devices in public bathrooms and showers to reduce water consumption.

    Barceló Hotel Group's vice president for sales and marketing for GCC, Raquel López, said in a news release: “We aim to be at the forefront of sustainability within the hospitality industry to ensure that our properties are not only safe for our guests at this current time, but also for the generations of travelers yet to come. The introduction of this comprehensive strategy has allowed us to lay the framework for even more sustainable initiatives in the future.”

    Iberostar

    Operating more than 100 hotels in 16 countries, Iberostar has built its brand image on its dedication to promoting responsible and sustainable travel. The Iberostar Group's offerings range from all-inclusive beachside resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and Brazil to chic urban hotels in cities like New York, Barcelona, Marrakech and Lisbon.

    It has closed its own loyalty program - Iberostar Horizons.  Almost all properties now participate in the IHG One Rewards program via a marketing alliance.

    What they’re doing

    Iberostar's Wave of Change program signals that the international hotel chain is committed to moving towards a circular economy, promoting the responsible consumption of seafood and improving the health of coastal environments.

    In addition to phasing out single-use plastic items in 1999 — eliminating the use of over 420 tonnes of plastics annually — the company has committed to making its operations waste-free by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2030.

    Earlier this year, Iberostar reopened its Cristina hotel in Playa de Palma, Mallorca, following an upgrade in its energy supply that has eliminated the use of all fossil fuels in favor of electricity from renewable energy sources. This move makes the hotel greener by reducing its carbon footprint to zero without compromising the guest experience.

    Iberostar has also pledged that its seafood consumption will be 100% sustainable by 2025, and it has already hit that target in Mexico. Investment in sustainable fishing supports local communities and helps preserve local ecosystems for future generations.

    Iberostar is hoping that, by 2025, Wave of Change will be a major driver for 60% of all hotel-room bookings at its properties.

    Meliá Hotels International

    One of the 20 largest hotel companies in the world, Meliá Hotels International operates more than 380 properties on four continents.

    It has an active loyalty program -  Meliá Rewards, for which we have a detailed guide.

    What they’re doing

    Meliá's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement has led it to identify specific medium-term environmental objectives related to combating climate change.

    Driven by innovation and technology, Meliá has developed an efficient management system designed to reduce the use of natural resources and shrink each hotel's carbon footprint.

    The company's sustainable strategies include:
    • Implementing sustainability criteria throughout the supply chain, beginning with hotel concept and design
    • Using certified sources of renewable energy, standardizing efficient management systems and implementing systems that reduce water usage
    • Reducing or eliminating high-impact waste from the ecosystem
    • Measurement and control of consumption through tools, indicators and scientific criteria
    • Training employees and raising customer awareness through programs focused on respect for the environment and biodiversity

    NH Hotel Group

    NH Hotel Group is one of the 25 largest chains in the world and operates 356 hotels across 33 countries in Europe, the Americas, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

    It recently migrated its loyalty program to participate in GHA Discovery.

    What they’re doing

    NH Hotel Group has dubbed its environmental management plan UP FOR Planet, which is its roadmap for fulfilling the commitments it has made to combat climate change and progress towards decarbonization, the efficient management and consumption of resources and the development of more sustainable products.

    The company has set a number of sustainable development goals, with the aim of achieving the following:
    • 64% of energy use by hotel buildings is to come from renewable energy sources
    • 15 million single-use plastic amenities (e.g. plastic straws and cups) eliminated each year
    • 35% yearly reduction in energy consumption per room nights
    • 89% local purchases

    Palladium Hotel Group

    Palladium Hotel Group is an international hotel chain based in Ibiza, with 48 hotels in six different countries (Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Italy) around the world.  

    Palladium has its own loyalty program - Palladium Rewards.

    What they’re doing

    Palladium's green practices are focused on the following goals, among others:
    • Reducing single-use plastics 
    • Moving towards digitalization
    • Rational, sustainable use of water 
    • Measuring the company's carbon footprint more accurately 
    • Reducing energy consumption 
    • Circular economy initiatives 
    • Reducing, recycling and reusing waste 
    • Protecting biodiversity 
    Palladium's sustainability initiatives include a turtle conservation and release program in Jamaica, beach cleanup and maintenance at all of its hotels, and a program that monitors the health of the mangrove forests on its properties along the Riviera Maya.

    Paradores

    The state-owned Paradores de Turismo specializes in cultural and nature tourism, with 97 properties throughout Spain's autonomous communities and one in Portugal. In addition to having Paradores in nine cities that have been declared World Heritage Sites, the company also operates accommodations in national parks and other natural areas, often housed in heritage properties such as castles and monasteries.

    Paradores has a little known loyalty program - Amigos de Paradores.

    What they’re doing

    Paradores has implemented a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate its impact on climate change, with the objective of being net-zero in 2030.

    A few milestones on Paradores' sustainability journey to date:
    • In 2019, the organization announced that it would replace plastic straws, bottles and cups with compostable alternatives.
    • Starting in 2020, Paradores has calculated the carbon footprint of all of its properties with an eye toward replacing deficient or highly CO2-emitting equipment as well as the improvement of automatic control systems for energy consumption.
    • Electricity at each of Paradores' properties is generated through the use of renewable resources.


    To find out more about sustainability in the hospitality industry, visit the website of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance include some of the biggest names in the hotel industry, such as Iberostar, Accor, Hilton and Marriott International.

    Kimpton Secret Password - use before it self-destructs September 4

    Kimpton Secret Password - use before it self-destructs September 4

    Kimpton Hotels have a funky boutique hotel brand image. One of many aspects of its charm is the Kimpton secret password  that guests can mention at check-in to get a perk, benefit, or bonus. These include items like free parking, a free breakfast, a free upgrade, etc.

    What's the latest Kimpton Hotel Secret Password?

    It's been several months since the last secret password, which expired on February 20, 2023. Now, there's a new password running May 26–September 3, 2023.

    When checking into a Kimpton hotel between those dates, you can use the secret password “no shade” to (hopefully) receive a special perk or privilege.

    Kimpton Hotels have provided seasonal or monthly secret passwords to guests for years. The tradition started before IHG acquired the brand in 2014. Some of the secret passwords have been phrases such as “stay cool,” “flip flops,” “baby, it's cold outside,” “chilled to perfection,” and even “marshmallow.”

    This summer, Kimpton Hotel is using the secret password “no shade.” It is valid at all participating locations May 26–September 3, 2023. Kimpton Hotels have stated that every hotel honors the secret password differently, so it's a surprise what you'll get.

    Secret Password Perks You May Receive

    Historically, guests have reported a wide range of bonuses when using the Kimpton Hotels' secret password. Here are some examples:

    • Free parking (regular or valet)
    • Complimentary breakfast
    • Free upgrade
    • Complimentary bottle of wine
    • A whisky-tasting tour
    • Cupcakes
    • A movie night in your room
    • Free drinks at the bar
    • Surprise gift-wrapped presents
    • Drink kits (like Bailey's hot chocolate)
    • Mini-bar credit

    The bonuses aren't always at the hotel, as some hotels have partnered with other companies. For example, such as another restaurant or perhaps a whisky distillery. It's been three months since the last password “expired,” so it's nice to see the Kimpton secret password is back. It's just a little thing, but adds to the vibe of the Kimpton brand, which I like.

    If you do have a stay booked this summer, make sure to check Kimpton's social media to see if there's a new password.

    Hyatt launches new All-Inclusive brand - Impression by Secrets

    Hyatt launches new All-Inclusive brand - Impression by Secrets

    Hyatt Hotels has announced the opening of Impression by Secrets Isla Mujeres in Mexico. The adults-only luxury resort marks the launch of the Impression by Secrets brand, part of Hyatt’s Inclusive Collection.

    Impression by Secrets will target the top end of All-Inclusicve stays, with a range of personalized service and amenities offered to guests via an extension of the brand’s “Endless Privileges” concept.

    Guests of Impression by Secrets Isla Mujeres can indulge in a multitude of privileged inclusions before even checking in. Butlers will welcome guests on the mainland as they board a private yacht from Marina Hacienda del Mar to reach the resort’s private pier, following which they are taken to the island and guided to their rooms. These complimentary transfers ensure guests’ needs are met from shore to sea with a full bar and butler service available during the 25-minute sail.

    Located on the southern end of the island, the resort offers views of the Caribbean SeaAtlantic Ocean and Isla Mujeres. The use of natural elements such as bamboo and local wood complements its setting atop a coastal cliff. Complete with butler service and complimentary laundry services, the resort’s 125 suites offer in-room amenities such as double rain showers, terrace whirlpools, custom-stocked wine fridges and yoga mats.

    The resort has eight à la carte dining venues, nine bars and lounges with unlimited top-shelf spirits, pool and beach service, as well as in-suite dining available 24 hours. Gourmet restaurants include an open terrace restaurant, Spezia, serving Mediterranean cuisine; and Unik, the rooftop restaurant that hosts live music in the evening.

    Pure SPA offers a range of experiences, from touchless therapies in the island’s only Floatarium to the hammam and six private spa cabins. Additionally, a fitness center, complete with a certified personal trainer, equipment, fitness classes, and a variety of wellness-focused activities such as SUP yoga further enhance a holistic wellbeing journey.

    Located on a white-sand beach ideal for snorkeling, the resort has four oceanfront infinity pools, Bali beds and hammocks, an over-water lounge ideal for observing marine life and a four-story waterslide. The daily activities calendar and nightly entertainment include options such as cooking classes, coffee and wine tastings, and sunset paddle boarding.

    To explore the five-mile-long island, the resort provides guests with complimentary golf carts and bikes to enjoy Isla Mujeres’ coral reefs, rocky coastline, ancient Mayan ruins and local boutique shops and eateries.

    Impression by Secrets Isla Mujeres is an Hyatt Category F property, for which Standard rooms usually vary in price from 42,000 to 58,000 points per night.  

    A quick look revealed that a standard room currently cost 50,000 points per night until 1 September, after which the rate drops to 42,000 points per night.  Mid-December 2023  through April 2024 are currently priced at 58,000 points per night.

    For more information, visit www.impression-by-secrets-isla-mujeres.

    Points or Cash? Special deal for this new tool which finds best value - in real time

    Points or Cash? Special deal for this new tool which finds best value - in real time

    The new tool
    A new tool has been launched to help members of major loyalty programs decide which method of payment provides best value - cash or your hard-earned points.

    After trialling it myself, I found it easy to use and quickly found good deals which I was able to independently verify.

    I liked it so much that I approached them to see if there was a way readers could readily access their tool.  I am pleased to say that I have been able to obtain a special deal for our readers. Details are below.

    Currently applicable for loyalty program members of IHG, Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott (the big 4), I have my fingers crossed that there are also more waiting in the wings..

    Subscribers to Awayz By Odynn (advertiser) are able to:

    • see when awards nights are available at a property on a 12-month outlook and
      see when to take advantage of fourth/ fifth-night free offers for IHG, Marriott, and Hilton hotels
    • compare cash and points pricing side-by-side to determine the optimal way to pay for their next stay - LIVE ! Not with points valuations that are updated monthly and are  out-of date during seasonal peaks and troughs - exactly the times you need most accuracy.

    • see when to use Free Night Certificates

    • receive tailored redemption recommendations based on their (stored) existing hotel points and (US) bank rewards balances - a great feature is that active bank transfer bonus promotions are taken into consideration as well.

    • redeem their points as cash through transfer award programs like Bilt, Citi, Chase, and Capital One.

    Lastly, Premium subscribers are always kept up-to-date on the latest points deals thanks to the weekly hotel deal alerts newsletter that uses the live cash vs. points pricing.

    As you can imagine, there must be some sophisticated number-crunching in the tool to be able to do all this.

    Most importantly you now don't need to do it!

    Standard Pricing
    There are 3 tiers available from Awayz:

    Premium, which includes all the above valuable features with a generous limit of 150 monthly searches. The pricing for this tier is usually US$11.99 monthly, or an annual rate of US$99.99 (a discount of 30%).  Ideal for regular travellers and points enthusiasts who are tired of juggling multiple websites when planning their stays. 

    Trip Pass: provides Premium Tier access (without the weekly deal alerts newsletter) and 50 searches for US$4.99 per 72 hour pass

    Free: provides Premium Tier access (without the weekly deal alerts newsletter) for 5 searches per month - enough to get used to the tool and see how valuable it is.

    Special Offer for pointsNplaces readers
    For our readers, Awayz is offering a promotional offer of free 72-hour trial of Premium plus a US$10 discount off the annual subscription and you will keep that rate forever, as long as you renew the subscription each year.

    That's an annual subscription for US$89.99 (excludes tax) for as long as you maintain this special subscription.

    Just imagine how much this could save you over a year!  Just one stay could pay for the entire year's subscription - and save you a heap of your time as well as money..

    Subscribe now and start seeing the value Awayz can add for your next summer break. 

    The best value is in the Annual Premium tier - at a discount to the already discounted annual rate (an overall discount of 37.5%). To take advantage of the offer either use the link above, or enter the code pointsnplaces on the Packages page on their website awayz.com.

    Happy bargain hunting !
     

    Link your Qatar Airlines and Accor ALL accounts before June 10 - receive bonus points for both

    Link your Qatar Airlines and Accor ALL accounts before June 10 - receive bonus points for both


    In September 2022, Accor Hotels improved its partnership with Qatar Airways. Since then, members have been able to double dip on Accor hotel stays and Qatar Airways flights. To do this, you need to link your ALL account with your Qatar Airways Privilege Club account. You can do that with Accor Hotels or Qatar Airways.

    Even better, if you haven't already done this, members now can earn a bonus through June 10, 2023 just for linking their accounts.

    If you already took advantage of the ALL and Flying Blue partnership or the ALL and Qantas partnership, you'll need to choose which airline you want to double dip with. You can link your ALL account to just one airline at a time. If you linked your ALL account to Flying Blue or Qantas in the past 12 months, you need to wait until the end of 12 months before you can link to Qatar Airways.

    This promotion is available to members who have not linked their ALL and Qatar accounts before May 10, 2023. If that is you, link your ALL and Qatar Airways accounts before June 10, 2023. After doing so, complete an eligible stay and/or flight before August 31, 2023 to earn bonus points and Avios. Members will receive 500 bonus ALL Reward points on the stay and 1,000 bonus Avios on the flight.

    Terms & Conditions
    • Members must link accounts for the first time between May 10 and June 10, 2023 (at 11:59pm Arabia Standard Time, GMT+3) before booking a stay or flight.
    • Book the stay or flight before June 10 and complete it before August 31, 2023.
    • Accor stays must be booked directly with Accor.
    • Qatar Airways flights can be booked through any channel.
    • Members can only claim this promotion once.
    • Make sure to provide the applicable membership number at the time of booking.
    • After completing an eligible stay, bonus points will credit to the member's account within six weeks. Regular points from the stay will credit within seven days, and Avios will credit within 10 days.
    • After completing an eligible flight, bonus Avios will credit to the member's account within six weeks. Regular Avios will credit within 24 hours, and ALL Reward points will credit within 10 days.
    • This promotion stacks with other Accor or Qatar Airways promotions.
    • Stays at onefinestay are not eligible for this offer.
    • Stays and flights that are partially or wholly purchased with loyalty points are ineligible.
    You can link your accounts either through Accor Hotels or Qatar Airways.

    Fast Track to Elite Status


    The Accor and Qatar partnership includes a fast track to elite status in both rewards programs. Accor elite status members will earn Qatar Airways Privilege Club elite status after their first qualifying flight:
    • ALL Gold status members will receive Privilege Club Silver status.
    • ALL Platinum status members will receive Privilege Club Gold status.
    • ALL Diamond status members will receive Privilege Club Platinum status.
    Conversely, those with Privilege Club elite status can earn ALL elite status after the first qualifying hotel stay:
    • Privilege Club Gold status members will receive ALL Silver status.
    • Privilege Club Platinum status members will receive ALL Gold status.
    The Fast Track offers are available only once per person. Your complimentary ALL elite status will last until the end of the following calendar year. To maximize this, try to get your status as close to the beginning of the year as possible. Complimentary Privilege Club elite status will last for 12 months from the date it's received.


    This is a great partnership, especially for Australians, offering better value than the Accor-Qantas partnership, combining the same access to OneWorld partners with the wide range of Accor properties and perks available in APAC..


    Marriott first to "prominently display" Resort Fees - effective from May 15

    Marriott first to "prominently display" Resort Fees - effective from May 15

    In response to a court settlement in 2021, by mid-May Marriott will be the first to respond to consumer pressure with upfront full rates on its website and app.

    Marriott International in mid-May is going to prominently display on its website and mobile app rates inclusive of resort or destination fees, according to multiple reports. Marriott is making this required moved based on a 2021 settlement in a Pennsylvania court regarding resort fees as a deceptive practice. 

    Now the question becomes how quickly other hotels, hotel companies and online travel agents will follow suit before similarly pursued by states.

    As of now, online travel agencies such as Expedia can show Marriott rates with resort fees displayed much less prominently.

    Marriott issued a statement on the afternoon of Monday May 1st (local time):  “Marriott International is committed to providing customers with clear and transparent pricing. We have long been focused on ensuring that any resort/destination fees charged by hotels are separately and clearly stated. We have been working diligently over the last several months on the technology required to update our room rate display and further enhance the way these fees are disclosed, in accordance with our agreement with the State of Pennsylvania. In fact, when we deploy our changes by May 15, 2023, we expect to be the first hospitality company to change its display, leading the industry on this important issue."

    Other hotel chain have also had resort fees associated with some properties that were not fully disclosed until payment.  Some resort fees were applied to properties that were clearly not "resorts".

    Further, even though the members of some loyalty progrms may have had resort fees waived, not all programs did so.


    This added price transparency is a win for consumers.  We hope the online travel agencies join the party soon.