A very green Easter weekend in France – traveling by train, and exploring by bike! Thus justifying a pancake-based diet throughout.
Full report on my 2013Q4 project: chasing IHG’s Big Win promotion. I battled the St Jude storm in the UK; discovered CERN and Geneva with Marian Call and fellow fans; flew LCY-EDI-LHR-GVA-LHR-EDI on BA (enjoying the lounges along the way) and, of course, sampled four different IHG properties to meet all my challenges.
When Hilton announced the devaluation of their HHonors points – particularly for their high-end aspirational properties – I felt it best to burn what I had at the old rates. 90% of my balance got me just one night at the Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri, a property normal several times my budget. Of course, I then had to build a short holiday around this highlight… So, is it worth it?
In-depth report of my push for HHonors Gold and BA Silver, starting 2013 by hotel-hopping and tier-point running around California. Covers first class train travel in the UK, BA longhaul in premium economy and business, AA domestic first class in the US, various Hiltons, and sightseeing in three cities.
My luxury-holiday-on-a-budget: a 5* London hotel (my first HHonors redemption), business class flights (from the sale), and a boat (cheaper than Gibraltan hotels!) in the Med in June. All wonderful, until weather conditions put my plane home in an entirely different country…