NEWS & OFFERS: Video testing for US expanding, Intercontinental Hotel Barcelona open & Leading Hotels bonus

Intercontinental Barcelona

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Video testing for US expanding

As I explained in this article, the US requires that if you do a test at home, it must be supervised by video. Currently, there is not a lot of choice of companies that do this, but of course, you could always do one in person. 

My testing provider of choice, Express Test, which already offers Covid tests at UK airports and in city centre locations, is planning to launch video-monitored lateral flow tests “shortly”. Its current prices for lateral flow tests start at £35 or from £59 for a PCR test. I would expect that the price will be around £35-40 but you can get a discount on some Express Test services with a code.

I will be flying to New York next week so I will be reporting back on all the processes and what it’s like in New York currently. The first hurdle appears to be the need for a New York vaccine passport to enter things like indoor dining. 


Intercontinental Hotel Barcelona opens

Classic King

While Barcelona has many luxury hotels, it was strange not to have an Intercontinental hotel. This has now been rectified with the opening of the hotel last week.

The hotel is situated in the heart of the Montjuïc district. Located southwest of the city, Montjuïc is a scenic hill that overlooks the harbour offering stunning views of Barcelona. Nearby sites include the Palau Nacional, an iconic palace built-in 1929 that now houses the National Museum of Catalan Art.

There are natural wood interiors with hues of the Mediterranean such as blue, ochre, and neutral tones woven into the soft furnishings. InterContinental Barcelona is also home to a 180sqm Presidential Suite, as well as 17 Junior Suites, which offer stunning views of Barcelona.

The hotel has three restaurants and bars:-

Quirat, the hotel’s main restaurant, will be headed by Victor Torres, the youngest chef in Spain to achieve a Michelin star. Quirat will offer a specially curated menu designed to offer guests a unique experience tailored around the chef’s interpretation of the earth. All dishes will be made with locally sourced quality ingredients that are available seasonally.


Arrel, the second restaurant has an open kitchen, where diners will have a full view of the chefs at work whilst enjoying a selection of sharing plates. For breakfast, Arrel will offer hotel guests a buffet service, whilst for lunch and dinner, there will be a daily set menu and a small à la carte menu.

Gebre Cocktail bar

The hotel’s Gebre Cocktail and More bar offers a selection of classic and signature cocktails, there’s also the Boira Coffee Lounge, and the 173 Rooftop Terrace has spectacular 360° views over the whole of Barcelona and offers guests a seasonable swimming pool.

The Spa, one of the most spacious spas in the city spanning 1,200sqm, boasts a hydrotherapy pool, jets and water beds, steam bath, sauna, and a hammam. There are also six treatments rooms, including two doubles, where guests can enjoy therapies from Spa brand Natura Bissé.

Rooms at InterContinental Barcelona start from € 276, 70,000 points or 50,000 points plus €102.

You can check rates here.


Leading Hotels of the World 3000 points bonus

The Leaders Club from LHW used to be a paid club but recently they decided to make it free. Leading Hotels of the Worls have some great luxury hotels as part of the group, so its all worth checking if a hotel you are considering is part of it. Then you may as well join the Leaders Club since it is free. 

They now have a new promotion for 3000 bonus points for new and existing members. If you are not a member you can sign up free here.

To get the bonus you need to reserve by logging in to your Leaders Club account and booking on, contacting an LHW Worldwide Reservations and Service Center, or booking directly through your preferred travel agent using your Leaders Club number. 

To get the bonus you must:

• Make 2 or more bookings between November 2, 2021, and January 11, 2022
• Complete your stays between November 3, 2021, and February 28, 2022
• Spend a minimum of USD 1,600 on the total room rates combined

You can combine your room rate spend for any eligible single booking of up to three rooms with identical arrival and departure dates. 

You can find the promotion page here.


8 Comments on "NEWS & OFFERS: Video testing for US expanding, Intercontinental Hotel Barcelona open & Leading Hotels bonus"

  1. You don’t need a specific New York vaccine passport – just show your NHS one for access to restaurants etc.

  2. Carolynn davies Shatz | 4 November 2021 at 9:05 am | Reply

    Michelle I was in New York in September. For the most part the NHS Covid passport is acceptable along with a copy of your ID. A practical suggestion is to screenshot your two vaccine confirmations from the app or vaccine card onto your phone. This way of the Wi-Fi or signal is bad you aren’t left with difficulties accessing it digitally.

  3. Over the last few months we’ve been to our New York apartment from our house In Portsmouth uk . Things are back to normal there now. More mask wearing compared to the uk. On our last trip we just printed out loads of copies of our nhs vaccine certificates and we had no issues In any restaurant .

    Just got back from JFK and we were allowed in the ba Concorde room . This week gold card holders are allowed in there. I suppose it will change next week when the us opens up to non U.S. citizens/residents

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