Last weekend was an overwhelming one, mostly for reasons that a strenuous travel schedule for this year was coming to an end, and it was the birthday of my partner and I’d decided to surprise her. I was just off a 9-hour flight less than 12 hours ago, and while I don’t get jetlagged, I was running on 2 hours of sleep. So, I thought checking into a hotel was going to be a better bet than staying home or going out, also to give vent to some of my own intentions, that I never get to stay in a hotel in Mumbai!

Coming to the hotel, I missed the mark with catching the 7-day out rate, and got inside the window where the rates were the highest. I contacted the hotel, and they offered me a similar rate, however, offered to confirm me an upgrade already, and make it a breakfast-inclusive rate. I took it.

The hotel concierge got in touch with me ahead of arrival on email, and enquired with me if I needed something. I informed them about the birthday event, and they said they’d take care of it. I left it in their hands.

On the day of the check-in, I arrived at the hotel at about 1300 hours, and I was informed that our room was ready. While I was already confirmed for an upgrade from a Cityview room to a Bayview room. On arrival, I was informed of the double upgrade to a Seaview room, which was their first ace in my book. While the reception collected my identity documents, someone from the front desk accompanied us to our room on the second floor, and introduced us to the hotel. The check-in was completed in the room, and we were informed about breakfast timings, and an envelope containing Internet access codes was handed over to me (as a IHG Platinum Elite, this was complimentary).

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The view from the room, on first looks, was mindblowing! I’ve been at Marine Drive many a times in my decade in the city, and I’ve seen it for hours from meeting rooms and rooftops, but living with the view was a different thing altogether.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 4 Comments

Priority Club, the loyalty program of the Intercontinental Hotel Group, decided to readjust their loyalty program this year again in January 2013. They moved from a brand-based system, to a category-based system, where each property could cost differently depending on the category it is going to be housed in.

Here is the earlier redemption chart (pre-18 January 2013):

and here is the new one:

Now, I pulled up the information for the various IHG properties in India, and most of the properties do see a downward readjustment, so it makes sense to book these properties with the new rates and you can do that online at www.priorityclub.com.

Brand

City

Priority Club Points (Old)

Priority Club Points (New)

Difference

Crowne Plaza Bangalore 25,000 30,000 +5,000
Holiday Inn Resorts Goa 25,000 20,000 -5,000
Holiday Inn Cochin 15,000 15,000 0
Crowne Plaza Gurgaon 25,000 30,000 +5,000
Holiday Inn Jaipur 15,000 10,000 -5,000
Holiday Inn Manali 20,000 20,000 0
Holiday Inn Mumbai 20,000 15,000 -5,000
Intercontinental Mumbai 30,000 25,000 -5,000
Crowne Plaza Delhi (Okhla) 25,000 35,000 +10,000
Crowne Plaza Delhi (Rohini) 25,000 20,000 -5,000
Holiday Inn Pune 15,000 10,000 -5,000
Holiday Inn Express Ahmedabad 20,000 20,000 0
Crowne Plaza Kochi   - 30,000 -

However, some properties, such as the Crowne Plaza Bangalore, Gurgaon and Delhi (Okhla) have gone up in pricing based on reward points, and if you want to take benefit of the old rate, today is the day to get benefit from their old rates. The Old rates will be available only on the telephone service centre, and you could call +91 124 455 1212 to make your reservations. Remember, 18 March is the last date and hence, you got to act fast if you need to lock in the old rates.

If you want to book at another IHG property, here is a nice list that LoyaltyLobby published with the new and old rates.

Pity I could not post this earlier, because I was away on travel and before that there was a scheduled server move, which did not happen!

Drop me a line here if you have questions.

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Just when vacation plans are already locked in and I’ve made quite a few reservations for the coming days, there is a flurry of sales that have hit my inbox today. I figure some of you may be interested in taking another vacation slightly cheaper.

SPG has announced a resort sale in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean which offers up to 40% off for bookings made till July 6 and stays can be made till September 30, 2012. About 70 resorts are taking part in this promotion.

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Obviously, if you click the link all of them look good, the pictures make them look good! The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel and quite some others catch my eye. Have a look!

IHG, on the other hand has an exclusive ‘members only’ sale going from today upto 2nd July for hotels in Australasia, India, Middle East and Africa, and the South East Asia (stay till September 30 2012). In case you’re looking to travel this part of the world, do consider this sale if you’re a IHG PriorityClub Member, since it gives you upto 40% off room rates, complimentary breakfast for 2, free internet and late check out at participating InterContinental, Crown Plaza and Holiday Inn properties.

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Here are some T&C you should note, however, before you book. Trust me, I’ve cut out what is not needed to know:

  • Australasia: Australasia offer includes up to 30% discount and full buffet breakfast for 2 in the hotel restaurant per night booked. Rates offered have the additional 10% offered to Priority Club Rewards and invited partner members already included. The 10% discount is a fixed discount amount and is made off the rates offered to the public in the ongoing AMEA sale launching on 31 May 2012. Complimentary in-room internet and late checkout up until 2pm is available at InterContinental hotels only and is subject to availability. A minimum of 2 nights stay, excepting InterContinental Fiji and Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu which requires a minimum of 5 nights stay.
  • India, Middle East and Africa: Offer for AMEA Includes up to 40% discount and full buffet breakfast for 2 in the hotel restaurant per night booked. Rates offered have the additional 10% offered to Priority Club Rewards and invited partner members already included. The 10% discount is a fixed discount amount and is made off the rates offered to the public in the AMEA sale launching 31 May 2012.Rates are per room per night inclusive of buffet breakfast for 2 adults, subject to availability. Tax and service charge apply. Complimentary internet access is applicable to all hotels in the region. Late check-out until 4pm subject to availability. One night non-refundable, non transferable deposit is required at the time of booking. Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon & UAE – 4 nights, Kenya, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa & Zambia – 3 nights, and India – 2 night’s minimum length of stay required.
  • South East Asia: Rates are per room, per night and are subject to availability.Rates offered have the additional 10% offered to Priority Club Rewards and invited partner members already included. The 10% discount is a fixed discount amount and is made off the rates offered to the public in the AMEA sale launching on 31 May 2012.Full prepayment is required at time of booking and is non-refundable upon cancellation. Complimentary internet access and breakfast for 2 persons are applicable in all hotels in the region.

 

If you’ve done with these two, we are also going through the Hilton Great Getaway up to 40% off sale which is ongoing for booking through July, 2012 and stay till September 30, 2012. I’m making use of this stay one in combination with my Hilton Diamond status this coming week to hopefully have a good family vacation!

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This sale only has blackout restrictions in the UK during the period of the Olympics. You need to book 7 days in advance, except for the month of August when you can book 3 days ahead. As per the Terms & Conditions, here are the discounts available:

  • North & South America: 15-20% discounts on best available rates
  • Asia Pacific Region: Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand hotels offering 33% off on Best Available Rate and others offering 25% off
  • Middle East Asia & Africa: 25% off on Best Available Rates
  • Europe: 15-40% off on Best Available Rates (lots of fine print!)

 

Happy vacationing!

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