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IHG buys Kimpton Hotels – massive boost to IHG redemption options in USA

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InterContinental Hotels Group, the parent company for Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc, announced last week that it was buying Kimpton Hotels for $430m.

You have probably never heard of Kimpton because it only operates in the US.  I have stayed with them once, in the Hotel Monaco in Washington, and that was probably 10 years ago.

Hotel Triton

Kimpton is the biggest boutique hotel operator in the world with 62 hotels already open and a further 16 under development.  It has had a major impact on the US hotel scene and Starwood’s W brand and indeed IHG’s own Hotel Indigo draw inspiration from them.

The hotels appear to make a connection with guests which is rarely seen these days – something which was reflected in the number of complaints I saw from people who fear that IHG will dilute the brand.  It was named No 1 ‘Upper Upscale’ hotel brand for guest satisfaction by J D Power in 2013 and 2014.

Hotel Rouge

You can take a look at the Kimpton portfolio here.  The most famous hotels they run are probably the Hotel Wilshire in Los Angeles and the Hotel La Jolla in La Jolla.

It will take a while for legal formalities to include but I would like to think that the Kimpton properties will be available for IHG Rewards Club redemption nights before the end of 2015.

Hotel Monaco

IHG claims that it is fully committed to the Kimpton brand and that it will become another stand-alone leg in the IHG machine.  That said, I think there is a 50/50 chance that Hotel Indigo will be rebranded as Kimpton within the next five years.

IHG One Rewards update – June 2022:

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Comments (11)

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  • Jamie P says:

    Jump ton are my favourite hotel brand and

  • Jamie P says:

    Kimpton are my favourite hotel chain and the customer service provided by their staff I have found to always be excellent (I stick my neck out and say one of the best in the industry)
    I do fear that standards could slip, especially if Kimpton isn’t kept as a stand alone brand and potentially merged with Indigo properties. I believe significant investment would have to be injected by IHG if this was to happen in the next 5 years as you mentioned.

  • Ralph says:

    Going grief man, it’s Christmas eve, where is your Christmas spirit…

    • Camille says:

      I had only heard about Kimpton in passing on FT.

      (and no Raffles’s comment was not condescending!)

      I just used 2 x IHG credit card vouchers for a couple of rooms at the IC Park Lane. Amazing breakfast (which was not included)….apart from which a distinctly unimpressive property and experience (very small rooms, no upgrade despite my IHG Platinum, ridiculous prices even for 5* in London, room service offering of average quality). My point is that if IC PL is pretty much the pinnacle of IHG’s global offering, they are waaaay behind the likes of SPG… which case given how people seem to like Kimpton, hope the brand and service are not diluted by the IHG acquisition.

      Personally, I would have liked Kimpton to have been bought by SPG.

      • Lady London says:

        or Kempinski.

        Kimpton seemed to me to be one of the few luxury boutique options that were actually worth the money. So many of them are over-trended, overpublicised, over-branded, over-priced.

        Not that I’m in that price range very much, sadly.

        They would have been better bought, if they must have been, by another true luxury brand, or by Qatar interests. If you look at the other brands that have been hoovered up by Qatari interests in very recent years, the fit of Kimpton is clear.

  • Phillip says:

    I love Ink48 in NYC! Fantastic rooftop bar too!

  • Kevin Lischke says:

    I stayed at the Tuscan in San Francisco two years ago and was planning to do so again in 2016. Lets hope it will be still as lovely then as it was. Time to earn some IHG rewards points, I guess…

    • Colin JE says:

      Have only stayed in The Muse Hotel in NY and The Burnham in Chicago but I must say they are delightful. They offer a free wine hour in the early evening to allow guests to mix, have nicely appointed rooms and manage to give a individualistic, boutique feel to their hotels. The Kimpton Karma membership is free and gets you free internet. They are reasonably priced and staff service is good. I just hope that IHG doesn’t meddle with their formula, but getting points and being able to use rewards is just great.

  • d4ve says:

    I can recommend ‘Nine Zero’ in Boston. I chose mainly for location but it turned out to be a fab couple of days and hotel and service was great. I like to give people the benefit of doubt so will wait and see what happens. I will welcome the opportunity of IHG redemptions but do hope that they keep the Kimpton brand.

  • AndyGWP says:

    Have stayed at the Hotel Monaco Kimpton in Chicago and it’s a fantastic hotel. Lovely decor, great location and we particularly liked being able to lie on the massive window seat and look out at the river after a long day walking around

    Echo Colin JE’s comments / experience with the free wine happy hour in the evening and signing up for Karma (reward scheme) for the free internet – if that will continue to exist! 🙂

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