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Gents, if you are planning a special weekend away for your loved one, maybe a special anniversary treat or even better, a romantic proposal, for the weekend of the 23rd to 25th September, you might just be well-advised to splurge £2,782 on a two night stay at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
Why? Well admittedly it will be a pretty ostentatious proposal or celebration, but in the process you can earn a whopping 222,600 air miles, enough to book a first class honeymoon or anniversary flight to some exotic, far-flung destination! As a tight Yorkshire lass, I would normally find this room rate laughable, but not only do you get to live it up in the lap of luxury for the weekend, you also get a “lottery-win” addition to your frequent flyer points balance.
How is this possible?
By booking hotels through Kaligo, you can earn frequent flyer rewards with the airline program of your choice. You can select from a range of airlines including American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Thai Airways and Qatar Airways to name just a few.
When you sign up, you make an election for your preferred airline but you can add as many airlines as you like and can even select which one you want to be credited for each individual booking. If you need a few extra points in a specific program, you can tailor your activity to achieve your goals and avoid paying hard cash to buy those extra few miles.
If you haven’t yet signed up, you can use this Kaligo link to earn an extra 1,000 miles on your first booking.
How many frequent flyer points can I earn?
What makes the site particularly interesting is that these bonuses can be pretty substantial, sometimes outrageously so.
That two night break at the Mandarin translates into a whopping earnings rate of 80.01 AVIOS per £1 spent. That is enough for a First Class award flight to Beijing, Delhi, Las Vegas or Tokyo.
If you also happen to have an invaluable British Airways companion voucher, both of you can fly First Class for just taxes and fees. Just look at some of the potential savings based on the lowest price fare for off-peak departures from London.
All prices are based on travel on 1 Feb – 16 Feb unless stated, with the lowest possible fare selected.
|Route||Price for one||Price for two||Award redemption||Taxes and Fees for one||Tax and fees for two||Saving based on two travelling*||Notes|
|London – Delhi||£2174.65||£4349.30||185,000||£475||£950||£3399.30||Return 15/2|
|London – Beijing||£2553.15||£5106.30||185,000||£506||£1012||£4094.30|
|London – Las Vegas||£3502.45||£7004.90||185,000||£523||£1048||£5956.90||Return 15/2|
|London – Tokyo||£3911.25||£7822.50||222,000||£536||£1072||£6750.50||Return 15/2|
*Saving shown assumes booking is made with a British Airways companion voucher
Assuming you do decide to use these points to book an incredible trip away with your loved one and you have a companion voucher, those savings pay for your romantic weekend, and who wouldn’t want a FREE weekend at the Mandarin Oriental?
Something more reasonable?
If you don’t have a spare £2,782 to splash on your beloved, you can book the Joseph Hotel for £198 for two nights and earn 15,500 AVIOS – enough to grab you a return flight to Athens or Berlin for just £35 in tax.
Alternatively, you can take your pick from any of the following options (all prices shown are for the cost per night for two nights from 23rd September).
|Hotel||Price||AVIOS earned||Earnings rate per £1 spent|
|The Mandarin Oriental||£2,782||222,600||80.01|
|The Joseph Hotel||£198||15,500||78.28|
|The Grange, St Pauls||£240||6,700||27.91|
|Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge||£264||6,400||24.24|
|Hampton by Hilton, London Waterloo||£211||6,100||28.90|
|AMBA Hotel Charing Cross||£251||2,600||10.35|
|Ibis London Euston||£145||1,500||10.34|
As you can see the rewards vary dramatically between properties and it’s certainly not all a bed of roses using Kaligo. Here’s my warts and all view…
The unromantic side to Kaligo
You can earn some mega rewards for booking using the Kaligo site, but you may find the prices slightly higher than on other search engines. I highly recommend comparing their prices with Hotels.com, another booking site or the hotel website itself before making your final decision.
You also need to weigh up the benefit of the air miles gained against the loss of any benefits you might be eligible for from loyalty club membership in a specific chain (especially if you need nights to achieve tier status). If you are a fan of hotels.com you will obviously be sacrificing potential free nights with them.
Also not every booking gives you mega bonuses. Some bookings give you a measly few hundred points in which case you might be better off booking through hotels.com or your usual loyalty programme.
Finally, I have found that they simply do not have as much choice as some of the other search engines, particularly if you are seeking accommodation for smaller, less popular destinations.
A big thumbs up for Kaligo
On the plus side, other than the obvious mega-miles, a big positive for me is the ability to earn points on non-refundable, non-completed stays. I couldn’t use an hotel recently which I booked through Kaligo, and couldn’t claim a refund but thankfully I still bagged the points, which was at least a small consolation.
So anyone up for an extravagant proposal?
So guys and gals, do any of you fancy an extravagant weekend at the Mandarin? Don’t delay as these deals are unlikely to hang around long, don’t forget the ring and most importantly don’t forget to check in with us afterwards and let us know how you got on. What girl doesn’t like a good romantic story?