The Old Clare Hotel Sydney – Picture Review

The Old Clare Hotel opened in 2016 after a lengthy conversion from the old Carlton United Breweries head office in Chippendale, just outside the centre of Sydney.

It’s the only one of four Design Hotels properties in Australia that has been incorporated into the Starwood brand.

Design Hotels are independently operated properties, with the quirky Old Clare Hotel offering 62 bespoke rooms, attempting to retain original heritage features and create a sense of style – and for the most part, it all works really well. Continue reading…

The Westin Melbourne – Picture Review

When it comes to redeeming points for stays during peak travel periods that result in high hotel prices, I turn to my Starwood Preferred Guest balance.

In this instance, I had a one-night stay in January 2017 during the Australian Open tennis (although this overview covers a couple of different room types that you can redeem points for). Continue reading…

When should you use points vs cash at Starwood hotels across Australia & the Pacific?

Starpoints are at the top of our list of favourite points currencies due to the relative difficulty of obtaining them (meaning they are less popular) and their excellent versatility in redemption options at Starwood, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton properties, as well as transferring to a wide range of airline partners for flight redemptions.

If you haven’t read up on the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program, here is a good place to start.

In this guide, we identify all Starwood properties in Australia and the Pacific Islands and analyse when it makes sense to use your Starpoints and when to use cold hard cash. Continue reading…

Earn easy KrisFlyer, Etihad Guest and CommBank Awards points on hotel stays with Kaligo

Kaligo is one of the more aggressive hotel aggregators out there that offer bonus points for hotel bookings. They partner with a large number of frequent flyer and bank rewards programs, with chunky bonuses on offer that are changing relatively frequently.

They have over 400,000 hotels available, all of which you should be able to earn points from.

We round up all of the different deals they are running each month into one consolidated place – this guide. Continue reading…

Earning points with One&Only stays: two nights at Emirates Wolgan Valley for $1590 plus earn points on your stay

In this guide we look at the various options for earning points or rewards for stays at One&Only Resorts, either by booking direct and through an online travel agent.

Through Emirates, there is currently an all-inclusive package of two nights’ accommodation, meals and activities at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in New South Wales – and you can earn points in a number of frequent flyer programs.
Continue reading…

Changes to Hilton Honors: points pooling + status extensions good; but not so sure on the new points+pay option

Hilton Honors is this month dramatically altering its redemption pricing model, as well as introducing some other changes – including a change from HHonors to just Honors – and this is our take on how they may affect your travel plans.

Hilton Honors points are a useful major points currency to consider if you have an affinity for the Hilton Hotels chain.

In this guide, we cover key hotel locations, status benefits, transferring points between programs, and how to get the best value from earning and redeeming Honors points. Continue reading…