5 post-lockdown Mother’s Day weekends away using points and miles
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Happy Mother’s Day from TPG! It’s our second one during a lockdown, sadly — but the end is in sight. A roadmap has been announced so it won’t be long before we can go off on adventures again. From 17 May at the earliest, some international travel may be allowed.
So while you can’t whisk your mum away this year, what you can do is plan a treat for her for the summer or beyond, using that stash of points and miles you may have been sitting on, too.
So here are some of the best Mother’s Day-inspired easy weekend trips you can take from the U.K. — but make sure you check each country’s travel rules and restrictions before you book.
Arrive: Use those BA Avios to fly on British Airways or Aer Lingus from London to Dublin — it typically costs just 8,000 Avios in Euro Traveller and 15,500 Avios in Club Europe return per person plus taxes and fees.
Stay: The Shelbourne, An Autograph Collection Property is part of the Bonvoy programme at a Category 7 property, with rates around 450 euros/£384 or 50,000-70,000 points per night, depending on the time of year. Mum will love the classical elegance of this landmark hotel which overlooks St Stephen’s Green.
Do: Spend some time relaxing and exploring your current digs: the Shelbourne Hotel, which dates back almost 200 years. The Horseshoe Bar was the site of some particularly notable events, such as a visit from the Rolling Stones and a performance by the Chieftains. Meanwhile, room 112 is where the Constitution of the Irish Free State was written. Now known as the Constitution Suite, the space still contains the original table and chairs used during the momentous event.
The hotel’s famous spa is also certainly worth a visit and you can treat yourself to a back massage, rejuvenating facial or manicure, for instance. Offsite, celebrate with cakes and afternoon tea by the fireplace at Bewley’s Grafton Room or reserve a Gin Cocktail Masterclass at NoLIta.
Arrive: Now is the time to take advantage of Virgin’s partnership with Air France, which allows you to use 8,000 Virgin Flying Club miles in economy or 16,000 miles in business return per person between select U.K. hubs and Paris (CDG) with Air France.
Stay: The Hotel Grand Powers is part of Hyatt’s Small Luxury Hotel Collection. The boutique hotel is perfectly Parisian chic and ideal for mum. Room rates in June cost around 460 euros/£393 per night or 25,000 points for an awards night at the Category 6 property.
Do: Mother’s Day in France isn’t until 7 June, so this could be perfect timing. The city was made for mum-inspired activities like shopping, brunch and spa visits all year round. Learn how to make French pastries with a cooking class at La Cuisine, one of the highest-rated cooking schools in Paris.
If you’d rather just enjoy Parisian cuisine and skip the cooking part, the company also offers food tours. Fashionista mums will love doing the Coco Chanel Tour of Paris, which explores some of Chanel’s most visited haunts as well as a VIP tour of the flagship Chanel shop to better understand her design inspiration. A cruise down the River Seine, a visit to admire French impressionist art at the famed Musée d’Orsay or a day trip to the Palace of Versailles are all Mother’s Day-approved France activities.
Make sure to check out TPG U.K.’s France hub for more information on visiting this neighbouring country.
Further reading: 12 of the best points hotels in France
Arrive: Similar to Dublin, you can use BA Avios to fly with British Airways or Aer Lingus from London to Edinburgh for just 8,000 Avios in Euro Traveller and 15,500 Avios in Club Europe return per person.
Stay: The Courtyard Edinburgh has the perfect location, just a short walk away from attractions like Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The Category 5 hotel costs between 30,000 and 40,000 Bonvoy points per night but if you don’t have enough, don’t worry, because cash rates are as low as £100 per night in June.
Do: The on-site Scottish restaurant at the Courtyard Edinburgh, the Lantern Room, is a popular brunch or afternoon tea spot for those who don’t want to go far, offering menu items such as cauliflower and parsnip soup as a starter or the pan-seared Scottish salmon for the main course.
Arrive: Fly to Alicante (ALC) from London Gatwick (LGW) on British Airways. Return flights are 13,000 Avios in Euro Traveller and 25,500 Avios in Club Europe per person.
Stay: Use your Hilton points at the Casa Alberola Alicante, a Curio Collection by Hilton, a property set in a beautiful neo-classical building with sea views. This hotel, for those age 16 and up, starts at 138 euros/£118 or 35,000 Hilton points per night for June.
Do: Mother’s Day in Spain falls in May, so you probably won’t have to worry about crowded restaurants. Head to the beach for the afternoon after you’ve enjoyed a low-key Lebanese lunch at Mish Mish Mish.
Admiring the views from the Santa Bárbara Castle on Benacantil Mountain is worth the hour trek up. However, there is a lift for those preferring to skip the tiring walk.
For a break from the sun, head indoors for a Moroccan-inspired spa circuit or treatment at Hamman Bienstar Ancestral. For a splurge dinner, head to El Portal, one of the most stylish spots in the city — not to mention the seafood is incredibly fresh.
Arrive: For those with BA Avios, fly between London (LGW) to Porto (OPO) for 13,000 Avios in Euro Traveller and 25,500 Avios in Club Europe per person return. Or, if you’re a loyal member of TAP’s Miles&Go programme, you can use 15,000 miles to fly between London (LGW) to Porto (OPO) in economy return or a hefty 65,000 miles in executive class return.
Stay: The InterContinental Porto Palacio das Cardosas is one of the more glamorous spots to stay in Porto, a former palace covered in marble and chandeliers. Rates start at around 223 euros/£190 or 50,000 points per night in June.
Do: Mother’s Day in Portugal shares the same May date with Spain, but there’s still lots to do with mum in this underrated city. Consider a river tour along the Douro, checking out the unique bridges, including the famous Dom Luís I Bridge, which is delightfully reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower — but much more horizontal.
Give your mother the gift of Port wine by sampling this sweet apéritif and touring popular wine cellars such as Sandeman’s and Taylor and Calem, which are situated on the opposite side of the river in Vila Nova de Gaia. Or, treat her to a novel from one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops, Livraria Lello.
A special Mother’s Day getaway doesn’t have to be pricy, especially if you have a solid bank of points and miles. Whether it’s a nearby quick trip to Ireland or Scotland or heading further into Europe to spots like France, Spain or Portugal, a belated Mother’s Day weekend holiday will be one to remember for both you and your mum.
Featured photo by Emma Innocenti/Getty Images
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