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Kimpton Blysthwood Square Hotel
I’m in and out of the UK a lot, and on my most recent trip, I had the good fortune of venturing through Scotland via Glasgow. As luck would have it, I had a chance to stay at two Glasgow hotels from IHG after their brand relaunch. The first, and arguably Glasgow’s finest hotel, was at the Kimpton Glasgow, otherwise known as The Blythswood Square hotel – the second was at the VOCO which is the train station hotel. Both were solid properties, but The Blythswood is a wonderful hotel with luxurious rooms, delicious food, and would be my go-to if/when I return to the city. Unfortunately, the spa was closed due to a leak when we visited so I was unable to visit or even get photos since it was being repaired.
Also… the new IHG One Rewards benefits are due to go live in June ( which includes free breakfast – I was hoping they would have proactively honored it, but alas, nothing was mentioned nor did they include breakfast ).
- When: May 2022
- Where: Glasgow, Scotland
- Rate: 39k IHG One Rewards
- BAR was about 220 pounds
- Loyalty Program: IHG One Rewards
- Status: Diamond
- Essential room to Premium Room
- Pet Friendly!
It was an easy decision to use points for this booking. I value IHG One Rewards at 1/2 cent which at 39k points you’re talking $195 vs the cash rate was about $275. It’s also worth noting that I still carry the IHG Rewards Select which gives me 10% back in points which knocks it down even more.
As you can see, it’s very centrally located near dining, shops, and a 10 minute walk from Glasgow Grand Central
We arrived at the train station, which is roughly a 10 minute walk from The Blythswood, but lemme tell you, it’s nothing to take lightly. Holy smokes. Glasgow is a hilly city and if you aren’t prepared for a some steep uphill climbs in blustery weather, you’re in for a surprise. The hotel is gorgeous, regal, and honestly I was surprised we weren’t greeted by a bellhop. This wasn’t a huge deal for us, but for the caliber of hotel, having to lug your bags up a flight of stairs is a black mark on check in.
Upon check in my IHG Diamond status was recognized and I was asked if I wanted 15 pounds toward Food and Beverage or 600 IHG One Rewards. Before choosing, we inquired if breakfast was included, and it was not; however, breakfast is 15 pounds so we’d get one of them free should we use it on that. Had this been after the new benefits are adopted we would have received breakfast as part of my status.
We were also told that our point redemption qualified for a “Raid the Mini Bar” rate. This wasn’t something we booked nor really needed and I was surprised. It also felt incorrect and I double checked and it was confirmed that we could raid the mini bar and get 15 pounds. Never have I had this happen and I was skeptical. However… at check out we were told that we couldn’t have the 15 pounds since we had the raid the mini bar rate. This is what I figured and wasn’t willing to really argue about it and get someone in trouble, and we had taken a couple of soft drinks and snacks for the road so we ended up just forfeiting the 15 pounds which we had planned to use against lunch prior to departure.
A Kimpton classic…every day there is a welcome hour where you can sip some complimentary wine. We ended up grabbing our glasses and heading upstairs to overlook the square.
The room is small, but really reminded me of the London Edition. It’s sleek with muted colors, and feels like understated luxury with a Kimpton twist. I will say that having a picture of 3 boys above the bed was rather strange…
And from the reverse angle
The Mini Bar we raided
We ended up taking most of the stuff out that wasn’t booze for our journey into Scotland
The big difference between the essential and premium room is a marginally larger sleeping area ( king size bed ) and in the bathroom you get a separate shower.
Great shower pressure, but I’m not a big fan of the shared shower products.
Ultimately we didn’t have breakfast at the hotel, but we did have lunch at IASG and it was outstanding. The restaurant has a very hip vibe with a focus on style and substance.
I was blown away by the meals I had while in Glasgow and I’d highly recommend IASG. We enjoyed several dishes and had a tapas style lunch. I’d highly recommend the crispy potatoes and the veloute.
I wouldn’t hesitate to stay at this Kimpton again in spite of the weird mix up regarding the raid the mini bar vs 15 pound food and beverage credit.
Affiliate link via Card Ratings
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.