The curious thing about the world of miles and points is that you come across all sorts of interesting attitudes towards the concept. One particular approach I get a fair bit is that some people would much rather see real-life examples of flights/hotels where they can use their points rather than always being told the theory.
To be honest, I always enjoy seeing other people’s creative uses of points – reading that sort of thing tends to get my brain in gear and open up other possibilities.
With that in mind and a summer of events, sporting or otherwise to come, I thought I would take a look at some of the best hotels in London that you redeem points at for free stays.
Many people will be descending on the capital for the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, Wimbledon, the World Athletics Championships and numerous other big events. But even if you are based in London you may well decide to treat yourself to a nice hotel the night before/after attending one of these great days out.
The following hotels and examples aren’t necessarily based on distance and I haven’t factored in whether a particular hotel is the closest to a particular event and the convenience of its location – these are simply examples I feel are good value.
One of the main highlights of the Athletics World Championships taking place in London this August will undoubtedly be the Men’s 100m final which takes place on Saturday 5th August.
Many will be hoping to see Usain Bolt draw the curtain on his glittering career with a final flourish. As such, hotel prices that night are understandably elevated. I was therefore surprised to see points availability at the W in Leicester Square:
With a cash rate of £419 for a single night stay – you could certainly make a case for redeeming SPG points for a free night.
You search for availability at this hotel and other SPG properties using the Starwood website here.
I know a lot of people who firmly believe this is the best hotel in the Hilton chain in London.
I searched here for a single night stay on the 15th July, the night before the Wimbledon final:
With a cash price of £320 for the night, it may not be the most expensive of the hotels I’m looking at today – but being able to redeem 80,000 Hilton Honors (HHonors) points is satisfying nonetheless.
You can view other hotels that are bookable with HHonors points using the Hilton website here.
I searched here for a single night stay on Saturday 1st July, where paid rates seem to be through the roof.
The high rates may or may not have something to do with a certain Mr Bieber performing the next day at the British Summer Time Hyde Park concert.
As you can see, paid rates are starting at a non-refundable £542 per night – or you can make a flexible and cancellable points reservation using 60,000 IHG points.
You can search for other hotels that you can book with IHG points, using the IHG website here.
This is for me is the pick of the bunch, both in terms of how much cash rates are at this particular hotel and the excellent points value that can be achieved.
I searched for a single night stay on the 13th July, the night before the men’s semi-finals at Wimbledon.
As you can see the cash rate is a hefty £564 for a one-night stay, which is prepaid and non-refundable. There is, however, points availability for that night, with the option of redeeming 45,000 Marriott points for a free night – which of course is fully flexible and cancellable should your plans change.
SPG points can of course now be converted to Marriott points at 1:3 ratio – meaning a free night at this hotel would cost just 15,000 SPG points. That for me is superb value.
You can search for availability at this hotel and other properties in the Marriott chain using the Marriott website here.
There is no doubt that the very best time to use hotel points is when cash rates are sky high. Summertime in London definitely falls under that category and to be frank I was surprised to see such widespread points availability at many of the hotels that I looked at.
Using points to avoid having to shell out £400-£500 for a city hotel is one of the better redemptions you will make this year.