Originally the West Hollywood EDITION was scheduled to open in "late 2018" and, when it rapidly became obvious that this was never going to happen, that date got pushed back to "Spring 2019" and then, quite quickly, to "September 2019" but now, finally, the property is starting to take its first bookings.
A few weeks ago I noticed that the Andaz West Hollywood has started charging a 'Destination Fee' of $23.10 to all guests other that Hyatt's top-tier elites and now, not to be outdone by an upstart in West Hollywood, the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown has added a 'Facility Fee' of its own.
The London EDITION is a property I’ve been wanting to try out ever since its doors opened in 2013 but, for one reason or another, before last month I'd never stepped foot inside the property. Shortly before the recent changes to Marriott’s award chart took effect some of my plans changed and I found myself needing to book a single night stay in central London and, with the EDITION’s nightly award cost about to increase from 60,000 to at least 85,000 points per night, this seemed like a very good time to give the hotel a try.
For the past few months it has been Marriott's Bonvoy program that has been in the spotlight for, amongst other things, increasing the number of points needed for award bookings and allowing its various brands to pick and choose which benefits they're happy to offer elite guests...but Marriott isn't alone when it comes to shenanigans within its loyalty program.
Last month I noticed that one of my preferred hotels in Los Angeles, the Andaz West Hollywood, had quietly introduced a $23.10 destination fee for all non-award bookings (award bookings appeared to have escaped the fee) and I managed to get the Andaz to comment on the new surcharge.
Accor Hotels (the group that includes Sofitel, Novotel, Raffles and Fairmont among many others) is currently offering a very good deal for Avios collectors staying at one or more of its properties through 15 July 2019.
There was a time where the best rate guarantees offered by the big hotel chains were a valuable tool in getting great deals but over the past few years most programs have watered down their guarantees to such an extent that they're not often worth very much (some don't seem to be worth anything at all).
At the beginning of last month I took a trip to Rio de Janeiro courtesy of the fantastic Iberia Avios promotion from last year and, for my 4-night stay, I booked the JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro on Copacabana Beach.
Ebates is currently offering 10% cash back on Marriott bookings when you use the portal to click through to the Marriott website and, because you'll be booking your stay through one of Marriott's sales channels, your stay will still earn you Bonvoy points and elite night credits and you'll still be able to avail yourself of any status benefits due to you.
Kimpton, the original boutique brand of IHG, has launched a 'Spring Vacation' sale across a good range of its properties and, contrary to what we've seen from Kimpton recently, at least some of its properties outside of the US are participating in this sale.