For the last few years, IHG – owner of Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc – has launched very aggressive sales for rooms over the fallow Winter period
When I say aggressive, I mean aggressive. In 2011 and 2012, rooms were priced at £20.12 to celebrate IHG’s links with the London Olympics. Last year, they offered rooms at between £25 and £45 depending on brand.
I snagged a couple of deals which I used as cheap office space for writing HFP! I paid £35 for the Holiday Inn Mayfair and £45 for the Crowne Plaza Blackfriars, which included an upgrade to the executive floor with my IHG Platinum status.
The good news is that the sale is back. This year over 600 hotels in Europe will be taking part.
Availability is usually limited. The sale will cover the period from December 15th to February 14th.
Here is the bad news:
In 2014, the sale is going to be a damp squib for most people.
As you can see from this page on the IHG website, the list of participating hotels is priced from £29 to £169.
The UK £29 list only comprises Holiday Inn Express hotels. The first semi-decent London hotel is Holiday Inn Kensington at £49. The Holiday Inn Stratford I used to get for £20 is £89 – close to its normal price in the dead season. The HI Wembley is a joke at £89 given that it is 10,000 points to redeem.
If you want a luxury break, the £169 level is more interesting. InterContinental Park Lane is there, as the IC Paris LeGrand – a Valentine break may be possible.
Outside the UK the deals look a little better but there is nothing to make me pull out my credit card.
The website states that the sale starts at 00.01 on October 31st. If you are an IHG Rewards Club Platinum member AND you book via the IHG app, you can get access 24 hours earlier at 00.01 on October 30th – ie tomorrow morning.
These rooms are not explicitly blocked from earning IHG Rewards Club points and stay credit, or counting for Into The Nights. If your night costs less than 70% of the Best Flexible Rate for that night, your points are at risk though. This is the threshold that hotels are meant to use when deciding whether to give points although some properties ignore it.
Note there is a breakfast quirk. You can add breakfast for a flat £10 per room – a great deal. InterContinental properties will add £30. In Europe it is even cheaper at €10 per room.
As always, if the sale has a property in a place you need to be, you’ve got a bargain, however good or bad the overall list may be. I recommend you click here, take a look and decide for yourself.