Sunday, July 26, 2009

Holiday Inns are introducing Points & Cash payment akin to Starwood’s popular Award

The Indigo Brand of the ICH group, presently, has a promotion to earn 2,000 Priority Club® Rewards bonus points when you stay at an Indigo, through February 28, 2010.
The Indigo Blue color and the sea shell motive appear throughout the hotel. Its reminiscent of the 80’s style beach house décor, though the trend was in pastels and indigo is a deep color. IHG bill it as a “new type of business hotel” and most of the locations are in cities and not on the beach so I have not really figured out what the brand represents. I say this without intending to sound as if I don’t like the hotels, in fact I do think that they offer all the amenities that one needs for a comfortable stay, except a bath tub and I hate to shower! Even the newly opened Indigo at Paddington Station London, does not have bath tubs. I suspect it must be the only hotel in the U.K. in that price range without a bath tub. Works out O.K. if they are counting on American guests, but the English do love their tea and tubs.
I’m also puzzled by the re-launching of the Holliday Inn brands. They are changing the logo that we have learnt to know and now say, “from the lobbies to the linens- you'll see and feel the difference the moment you walk in”. Yes, I have noticed that they have updated the linens and appreciate that the florals have gone but I don’t understand why the logo has changed?.
Holiday Inn / InterContinental brands are introducing Points & Cash! Now you don’t have to wait till you have enough points because, Points & Cash allows you to use a combination of points and cash for Reward Nights at more than 4,200 hotels and resorts worldwide.
Starwood has long allowed members to redeem Reward nights in this manner at many of the SPG hotels. For example, you can reserve Starwood Cash & Points at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Casino Hotel, by redeeming 4800 Starpoints + paying USD 90 per night in Aug 09 but check first because they also have a cash only rate for about USD 90.
Just a word of caution when using this method of payment at both of the Hotel chains, You are not eligible to earn miles if you partly redeem points, which means that you don’t earn elite nights either!
You can still earn a Free SPG weekend night award with every two eligible stays through the end of the month and awards can be redeemed through September 2009.
Another offer worth considering is that you can earn points, which can be redeemed for a prepaid $50 dollar cash card if you earn a bonus after a 3rd stay at a Choice Privileges property until Oct 09.
Summer time is the best time to find great offers to pay, earn points, or redeem them, so take a couple of days off and enjoy some R & R because Hotels are really courting the leisure traveler now that business travelers are almost extinct.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jakarta Indonesia Marriott Hotel - tragic bombings

There were bombings at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Jakarta Indonesia a few minutes ago and it is already reported on Twitter but still not reported on television. Six people were killed in this barbaric form of slaughtering innocent people. Some tweets reported that bombs exploded at both the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton in Jakarta. @BreakingNews reported on Twitter via AP that a Jakarta Hospital doctor said that at least 6 were dead, 50 injured in blasts at Ritz-Carlton, a Marriott group hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place is near the city’s Stock Exchange, upscale shopping and most prominent business, commercial district. The hotel has a wonderful Club Level lounge with complimentary food and beverage presentations throughout the day in the Club Level for all Elite guests but children under 12 years of age are not allowed in the Club Lounge, so we stayed at the Hyatt on our last trip. Though I do like their suites because they are the largest in Jakarta and have Bvlgari amenities.

Jakarta’s 10 million citizens reflect a striking contrast of tradition and modernity. It is so sad to see the news of this attack. Apparently, the blast happened at a café, which means that the security was good at the RitzC and as I mentioned in my posting about the Islambad bombing, Security is one of the major considerations in selecting a hotel. In Pakistan the Hotel security guards bravely protected the guests.
After the dreadful terrorist attack on the Marriott hotel in Islambad last September Bill Marriott issued a statement saying that, "Marriott remains committed to global travel after the hotel bombing" Both Indonesia and Pakistan are Predominantly Muslim nations and Marriott have been expanding in other Islamic nations.CNN is now reporting that the Indonesian group has ties to al-Queda. HOW DREADFUL!
See Telegraaf 1 2 3
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