InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is one of the largest hotel companies in the world, with more than 5,300 hotels in close to 100 countries! From inexpensive Holiday Inn Express to luxurious InterContinental hotels, you have a lot of choices. And the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program makes it easy to earn points and perks. Find out all there is to know about the Intercontinental Hotel Group, their brands and rewards program!
The Hotel Group: The Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) has more than 5,300 hotels in close to 100 countries around the world, making it one of the biggest hotel chains! 75% of those hotels are located in the Americas and the two biggest brands, Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn make up almost three quarter of all their hotels. The flagship brand InterContinental is the most upscale brand with close to 200 properties and Kimpton their most unique upscale brand. IHG also has the Indigo brand of boutique hotels that make for excellent stays! You can find more details about IHG in my detailed review here!
The Experience: Most of the hotels are mid-level, limited service hotels. I like the Holiday Inn Express hotels for their modern, functional rooms. The brand standards are tightly defined, resulting in a reliable experience wherever you go! IHG recently added the avid brand at a lower price point and you can expect more hotels to open soon! The next step up are the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels, which are full-service hotels with restaurants, pools, gyms and bell or concierge staff! These older brands are less consistent, so sometimes you have great hotels like the Holiday Inn Sukhumvit Bangkok and sometimes one that fell through the cracks of the brand police, like the Holiday Inn Galleria Manila. The InterContinental hotels offer the full-service luxury you’d expect from their top-brand, including many big-city hotels as well as destination resorts, like my favorite hotel stay at the InterContinental Bora Bora!
The Rewards Program: The IHG Rewards program has a number of things going for it. With more than 5,300 hotels, it has great reach. You’ll find properties all around the world to earn and redeem points. They also make it easy to earn points with frequent promotions and the opportunity to earn points and free night certificates with the IHG Rewards MasterCard or with their many partners! Add to that the best redemption promotion in the industry, PointBreaks, with free nights for only 5,000 points (or $25!), good availability and some great properties for aspirational redemptions, and the program starts to earn its many awards. Yet it doesn’t get a lot of good press in the blogosphere – the elite levels in the program don’t guarantee upgrades and don’t offer free breakfast. On the other hand, you can get the mid-tier Platinum level with credit card sign-up and I personally got many wonderful upgrades and amenities at the property, even though they were not “guaranteed”, keeping me a very happy camper over the years!