Posts in the “Car Rental” category...
by Continental Club on January 20, 2013 | Leave a comment
Holiday Autos, the World’s biggest car rental broker, has announced a 1 day flash sale running from 00:01 on Monday 21st January 2013. Savings of 12% will be available for bookings of at least 7 days’ duration, and for pickups prior to 31st May 2013.
As with other recent Holiday Autos promotions this may be a good opportunity for those considering bookings for countries which are currently experiencing particularly high demand and limited supply, such as Australia and New Zealand.
To book, click here and use the code JANFLASH12 before midnight on Monday 21st January.
by Continental Club on January 12, 2013 | Leave a comment
We’ve updated our bumper list of travel promotion and discount codes, as well as flight and hotel sales, in another consolidated ‘ultimate’ list which now includes new offers from Opodo, Holiday Autos and Resorthoppa, as well as ongoing deals from Starwood, Hilton, Hotels.com and more:
ONLINE TRAVEL AGENTS – HOTELS & PACKAGES
£30 off flight plus hotel bookings with code OPSALE30
Minimum booking value £750
Book by 23rd January 2013
£50 off holiday bookings with code BOXLMN50
Book by 31st January 2013
10% off hotel bookings with code HAPPY10
£50 off hotel plus flight bookings with code TRAVEL50
Book by 31st January 2013
10% off hotel bookings with new sign-up to email newsletter
10% off most hotel bookings with code HEJAN10
Book by 7th February 2013. Stay by 27th December 2013
For a list of excluded chains click here. Discounted stays are not eligible for Welcome Rewards.
10% off hotel bookings with code 2013SAVE
Book by 15th January 2013. Stay 1st January 2013 to 31 December 2013
£100 off minimum 2 person holiday bookings with code SAVE100
Book by 11th March 2013. Combinable with myJet2 £25 for every 500 points redeemed offer
Book by 20th January 2013 by clicking on this link or the Hotels4u logo
Discount will be applied automatically
5% off hotel bookings with code WO984
Book by 31st January 2013
10% off all return flights with code SALE10
Book by 4th February 2013. Travel from 1st January 2013
World Traveller Economy and World Traveller Plus Sale from £299 return
Book by 22nd January 2013
British Airways Business & First Class ‘stealth’ sale – see our detailed blogpost here.
Premium Economy sale – Hong Kong from £1019 return – and double Asia Miles
Book by 31st January 2013. Travel by 20th March 2013, or from 1st April to 19th June 2013
£15 off city and sun flights with code BIG15. Book by 20th January 2013
£20 off ski flights with code SKI20. Book by February 2013
HOTELS – DIRECT BOOKINGS
Save up to 40% with the Any Weekend, Anywhere sale
Book by 31st January 2013
Save up to 30% in Europe, the Mid East & Asia in the Boxing Day Sale
Book by 28th February 2013. Travel by 31st August 2013
15 % off all transfers with code HOP15.
Book by 31st January 2013.
5% off lounge bookings with code WO984
Book by 31st January 2013
5% off airport bookings with code WO984
Book by 31st January 2013
Discount not obtainable at airport-owned car parks at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted, and Southampton
Up to 30% off car rental. No code required
Destinations vary by day, including Europe, Australia and New Zealand
Book by 10am Thursday 17th January
For terms and conditions relating to all featured offers, consult the relevant websites for details or supplier contact information.
by Continental Club on December 12, 2012 | Leave a comment
New Year rentals in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Ireland are available at 12% off in Budget Rentacar’s 12/12/12 one-day flash sale.
Vehicle collection must take place between 1st and 12th January 2013, and the discount is applicable to both ‘pay now’ and ‘pay later’ rates.
Rates and discounts have been checked and validated by Continental Club and should be bookable until 23:59 GMT.
The sale is only available online direct from Budget; to check availability and rates, visit budget.com and enter discount (BCD) code L224700.
by Continental Club on November 5, 2012 | Leave a comment
Holiday Autos, the World’s biggest car rental broker, has announced a 15 day rolling sale running from 5th to 19th November 2012. Savings of 25% will be accessed by inputting a destination-specific promotional code, which will change each day.
Some random rate checks suggest that this may be a particularly good opportunity for those considering bookings for certain countries which are currently experiencing particularly high demand and limited supply, such as Australia and New Zealand.
Continental Club is calculating potential rates which would possibly undercut even discounted competitor rates by 10-20%, including those where Corporate Discount Plan or similar codes have been used.
The destination and codes list is as follows:
- 5th November: The Canary Islands – Code HASALE05
- 6th November: Switzerland – Code HASALE06
- 7th November: UK & Channel Islands – Code HASALE07
- 8th November: Austria – Code HASALE08
- 9th November – South Africa & Namibia – Code HASALE09
- 10th November – Iceland, Finland & Norway - Code HASALE10
- 11th November – Croatia & Poland – Code HASALE11
- 12th November – Spain Mainland & Balearics – Code HASALE12
- 13th November – Portugal – Code HASALE13
- 14th November – Italy – Code HASALE14
- 15th November – Germany – Code HASALE15
- 16th November – Australia & New Zealand – HASALE16
- 17th November – Turkey, Costa Rica, Israel – HASALE17
- 18th November – Greece, Cyprus, Malta – HASALE18
- 19th November – France – HASALE19
The codes will be valid on rentals completed by 17th March 2013, with selected blackout dates.
For full terms and conditions and to book, click here between 5th and 19th November.
by Continental Club on March 1, 2012 | Leave a comment
The new month has brought with it more than a few promotions from a range of major online travel websites. Unless you are constantly monitoring rates and fares (as Continental Club is always doing) it’s often difficult to judge the true value of some of the generic sales suggesting ‘savings’ and ‘reductions’.
Promotional codes tend to cut through that doubt, however; there’s a quoted price and if you’re lucky enough to have a code handy, then you can see exactly what saving you’re making when you apply it – and you can be reasonably confident that without it you’d be paying that original price.
So, here’s Continental Club‘s round-up of some new and current codes:
Firstly, Expedia are offering 10% off Expedia Special Rate hotel bookings made by 4th March 2012, for stays to the end of August. Expedia Special Rates are those which you pay immediately, online with Expedia. Rates which are payable directly to the hotel itself don’t qualify, but since most Expedia rates are pre-pay, comparatively few rates are excluded.
The discount is also not applicable to rates at hotels which are part of some of the big hotel groups. Click here for a list of the exceptions and if you find that the hotel you’re looking at is listed, then do still check the Expedia rate against the competition, or try one of the codes listed further down this post as different websites have different terms & conditions.
If you’re good to go with Expedia though, then the code you need is VCEXCLUSIVEFEB and don’t forget to have your Nectar card handy as you’ll also earn Nectar Points on bookings.
To book with Expedia, click here.
Next up, Expedia’s sister-website Hotels.com. If you’re not familiar with the connection, Hotels.com offers Expedia’s hotel inventory, but without the add-ons of flights and car rental etc. It doesn’t participate in Nectar either, but it does have its own reward scheme Welcome Rewards. Book and stay ten nights on pre-paid rates and Hotels.com will offer you a free night worth the average rate of the ten nights consumed.
However, if you’d rather take a discount up-front, they’re also offering a 10% discount code, valid for bookings made by 18th March 2012 and for stays completed by 31st May. Bookings made using a code aren’t eligible towards your Welcome Rewards stay count though.
The code you need is VOUCHFEBTEN and just like Expedia it’s valid on prepaid rates only at hotels and groups other than those listed on the Expedia exclusion page.
To book with Hotels.com, click here.
There’s a 10% code with ebookers too, valid for bookings made by 15th March 2012 and for stays right up to the end of the year. ebookers say that the code can be used for rates at ‘select’ hotels, though it’s not immediately apparent which ones they may be! So, it’s probably worth just trying the code, which you can input towards the end of the reservations process.
The code you need is VCHOT10.
To book with ebookers, click here.
If you’re heading away this month and you’re in the market for a rental car to get you there, or to get you around once you’re there, then broker Holiday Autos has a 10% discount code valid for bookings made by 11th March, on rentals completed by 31st March in Greece, France, the UK, USA, Ireland and Portugal. Some vehicle types are excluded and you’ll be notified of this when you apply the code in section 6 of the booking process.
The code you need is UKMARCH10.
To book with Holiday Autos, click here.
Finally in this round-up, if you’re planning to fly with easyJet, then why not check prices for a combined flight and hotel booking with easyJet holidays. If there are a minimum of two people travelling for at least three nights and you book by 14th March 2012, then you can save an extra £20 on your booking.
The code you need is MARCHSAVE.
To book with easyJet holidays, click here.
If you’re booking directly with hotel groups this month, to maximise your loyalty programme earnings, then don’t forget to read our earlier posts on their promotions:
by Continental Club on February 24, 2012 | Leave a comment
Hertz car rental have long been partners of many airlines and hotel companies and so, when you rented a Hertz vehicle on an eligible rate, you may also have earned some points in your preferred travel loyalty programmes.
Well, Hertz have just launched their own programme: Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. And, as well as still allowing you to convert your new Gold Plus Rewards into airline and hotel points as before, you can now redeem Gold Plus Rewards for Hertz rentals too.
Better still, when you register and rent before 30th April 2011, you’ll earn a bonus of 100 Gold Plus Rewards points per rental day on top of the standard earning rate of 1 point per US Dollar (or converted local currency equivalent) for eligible rentals.
Here’s the best news though: simply sign-up for Hertz Gold Plus Rewards in this promotional launch period and you’ll automatically receive 800 points as a welcome bonus. Those 800 points are worth a free weekend day’s car rental in Europe.
The offer is one of the most generous car rental promotions that’s been seen for a long time, and is valid only for registrations completed by the end of April 2012. Signing-up to Gold Plus Rewards is free itself, so there’s really no good reason not to do it now and to bank those points while you can.
For full terms and conditions, and to sign-up, click here.
If any city is going to struggle with the stratospheric rise in the price of oil, it’s going to be Phoenix. The Arizonan capital is the epitomy of the American Dream of limitless expansion driven by the all-conquering internal combustion engine. Against this background, it’s encouraging to see that the city is investing in a light-rail tram system, but as a solution to a looming crisis, it’s a sticking plaster on an impending amputation.
Still, while the sun shines (and boy, does it shine) things have been good. The Greater Phoenix area is comprised of several distinct cities, among them the City of Phoenix itself, Tempe, Chandler and our home for the next 8 days, Scottsdale. Each of these cities has a particular character, indeed brand, and there is a pride and competition between them which makes for pleasant civic characters. The City is ringed by a main gyratory freeway, and bisected by several other penetrator routes. Navigation is easy, however the first turn from the airport may be the hardest.
That’s all down to the relevant newness of the Rental Car Centre, whose location doesn’t seem to have been picked up by lots of route information providers. The trick if heading to Scottsdale, therefore, is to retrace the route of the shuttle bus all the way back to the airport terminal and then out the other side. Look for the 44th Street Exit and head North to Camelback Road where you hang a right alongside the southern flank of Camelback Mountain.
Given the short inbound flight from Las Vegas and therefore the minimal risk of missing anything alcoholic and of quality, a hire car is definitely the way to go. A full-size from Hertz, through Amex and with #1 Club Gold Service was under £30 inclusive for a one-way 24hr hire. It’s a 25 minute drive in weekend afternoon traffic to our hotel, The Phoenician.
Holder of the AAA Five Diamond Award and repeatedly named in the Conde Nast Gold List, The Phoenician is part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection of individually branded properties. It’s considered a flagship hotel and is not only managed by Starwood, but also owned by them and Starwood’s South West Regional Office is on-property.
The hotel has a particular style, which is probably best described as late 20th Century American Luxe. The main hotel building spreads in two crescent wings either side of the lobby, with a further wing backing off the hotel at the base of Camelback Mountain. The crescent wings frame terraces which play host to bars and pools (the lower of which is mother-of-pearl lined) and which are bound at their base by an ornamental necklace lake filled with koi carp (and a turtle). An oval lawn spreads out beyond the lake and is ringed on the facing side by two-storey casitas with drive-up access, the central Centre for Well Being (spa), Fitness Centre, Funician Kids’ Club and Beauty Salon.
Between the casitas and to the left looking from the main hotel is access to the Golf Club and its cafe, and the Windows on The Green Restaurant above.
It is a popular convention hotel (a new meeting wing is slated for 2010) and also has facilities for weddings. Although there are some family-friendly facilities, such as the aforementioned Kids’ Club and waterslide, Starwood market other hotels such as the Westin Kierland and Sheraton Wild Horse Pass as more suited to younger families.
The Phoenician has a strong local following who dine there and seems also to be a favourite of college student parents visiting their young ones at Arizona State. Repeat custom appears high, evidenced by numerous overheard and participated-in conversations.
This is my second stay at The Phoenician, but the Meerkats first and I’m interested to see what they think. Last time (2007) I had actually booked and rebooked several times as different SPG promotions were launched. These are real dealmakers for me, as combinations of double/triple-points and one-off bonuses can easily bank the equivalent of 25,000 BA Miles from a 12 day stay. I settled then on a $299 tax incl B&B; rate, which offered the fourth night free. Unlike some Starwood rates (eg ‘Free Nights at Resorts Worldwide/35% Off Best Available Rates), this benefit is repetitive and therefore every fourth night is comp’d.
Cruising up the hotel drive in last year’s Mustang, we presented ourselves at the gatehouse and were asked to drive not to the main hotel lobby, but instead to the Canyon Suites which occupy a separate building. A cursory glance at the web reviews for The Phoenician will elicit the knowledge that the Canyon Suites are considered the place of myth and legend – a fantastical place to which no Starwood Preferred Guest status-holder has ever been upgraded.
Well, there I was, Starwood Preferred Guest Gold (not Platinum) on a promotional rate and I was being met on the steps by one of the seven Canyon Suites Ambassadors who fulfil the combined roles of concierge, butler and receptionist. The suite was superb and, frankly, I was spoilt to the extent that I wasn’t going to take a chance with The Meerkats this year.
So, the 2008 trip beckons and I register for the SPG third quarter promotion. I want a double double room and, conveniently, this opens up a neat access route to the Canyon Suites. Each suite, you see, is separated from the next by a connecting double double bedroom. These bedrooms are furnished to exactly the same standard as the suites – they just lack the additional space and one or two features like a fax/printer and spa bath. All other Canyon Suites amenities remain available and the rooms themselves are far from small. They are also bookable separately, but seem sometimes not to appear on a general rate search. The modus operandi therefore is to seek out the 4 for 3 rate – Taste of Luxury – and then do an availability search based on that. Hey presto, $429 inclusive for 3 people.
Once again then, we present ourselves at the gatehouse and are directed to the Canyon Suites drive. On this occasion, we are met by the bellhop at the car and an Ambassador intercepts us as we walk into the lobby. As on the first visit, there are no check-in formalities since all details are held from SPG and the credit card used to guarantee the booking. We are walked to our room and shown around, the detailed tour we enjoyed (and needed) last time being declined on this second visit. We’re offered coffee which arrives moments later and gives us the opportunity to take the weight off before we finally allow ourselves to properly unpack for the first time, despite being 10 days into the trip.
The decor throughout the Canyon Suites is certainly more contemporary than the style of the main hotel, with muted beiges and greys set off by features of turquoise and pewter. Suites comprise a bedroom separated on one side from a dining area by sliding louvred doors, and on another by a traditional door to the desk/office area. Between the office and the dining area is the living area with sofa, chairs, coffee table and large plasma.
The bedroom too has a plasma screen and the bathroom leading off has a smaller LCD screen above the over-sized spa bath. The loo is in a separate room off the bathroom and there is a spacious shower cubicle.
Toiletries are a grapefruit and eucalyptus combination, branded for The Phoenician and made by Gilchrist & Soames. They are generous in proportion and make for useful gifts for maiden aunts upon return to Blighty.
At the entry to the suite there is also a guest loo and abundant storage along the passageway that leads to the connecting door to the adjacent double double. All suites and rooms have furnished balconies with a minimum of a day bed, two chairs and a table. Views are either of the pool and Camelback Mountain, or the quieter outlook of the Golf Course.
The Canyon Suites has its own separate pool, with abundant beds and also cabanas for hire (can’t see the point myself, but there you go). Each bed is provided with a couple of towels and pitchers of ice water are delivered and constantly replenished. There is free wired broadband in the rooms and free WiFi around the pool (can’t see the point…..). Signs direct you to the Canyon Grill, but this is actually something of a misnomer. All service is poolside or at your lounger/cabana, with four tables at the far end of the pool if you wish to dine at a table. The menu is reasonably extensive – American and Southwestern snacks and salads – and mirrors that offered by the pool bar in the main resort area.
Morning tea or coffee is served by your Ambassadors on a silver tray and there is a coffee and pastry station in the lobby, replaced later in the day with Iced Tea and cookies.
Come teatime, one of the hotel Sommeliers picks a couple of bottles from the million dollar cellar and treats you to a wine-tasting in the lobby with assorted canapés. It’s a great way to learn about wine in a completely sales-free environment. In fact, I’m absolutely amazed that they don’t take the opportunity to flog you some.
A couple of Mercedes R-Class are available to run guests into Scottsdale on a complimentary basis, which is useful for shopping at Fashion Square and dining around about. Should an R-Class not be available, then the in-house Execucar rank will provide a Town Car which the Canyon Suites will cover the cost of.
It’s about a 150 yard walk from the Canyon Suites to the main hotel lobby but, if heat or fatigue prove too great a barrier then a golf buggy will be summoned to buzz you down there. Likewise, if you need a lift to the spa or the golf club, then a buggy (or Mercedes) will appear.
The one facility that is arguably missing is some kind of evening bar service in the Suites lobby however – for those times when you really can’t face the busier hotel bar.
Breakfast can be taken in your room/suite, or in the hotel’s Il Terrazza Restaurant. In the restaurant, there is a choice of buffet or a la carte, with a chef manning the central station to cook egg dishes to order. Seating is indoor or out on the terrace, but the warmth even at the outset of the day – and the usual outdoor problem of the odd scavenging bird mean that air conditioned comfort is the only choice. Orange juice and coffee are the default offerings, but your server will provide other juices from a wide selection at back-of-house and also tea. Remember, this is America, so tea will not come with milk unless asked for and, unbelievably for a property of this calibre, they did run out of English Breakfast one morning. It did appear that the spread was slightly less deep than the last visit also, but this may very well have reflected the fact that the whole property was much less full than last time.
The restaurant has just emerged from a refit which, it has to be said, is not 100% successful. Although the previous design was beginning to show its age, the new version is somewhat less spacious and suffers, in particular, from the use of some very expensive but very ‘clingy’ velour. Ladies, hold on to your skirts! It’s a long way from being in any way unpleasant – just not quite perfect.