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What are the best IHG Rewards Club redemptions in London?

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On 25th January, IHG Rewards Club increased the points required at many of its hotels.  With that in mind, I thought it was worth another look at my preferred choices if you are looking for a free night in the capital.

IHG Rewards Club – the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc rewards scheme – has a huge portfolio of hotels in London.  If you are looking to redeem your points here you will be spoilt for choice.

Importantly, the points cost of a hotel often bears no resemblance to the quality of the hotel.  Given that IHG is constantly opening new hotels and changing the points required for others, I thought it was worth taking another look at the best IHG Rewards Club options in London.

These are my personal thoughts – I don’t know the exact location of every IHG property or its physical condition although I have stayed, or had family stay, at most of the ones I discuss below.  In particular, I’ve not visited the new Indigo in Leicester Square (the chat is small rooms and I can’t imagine how it is worth 60,000 points) or the Holiday Inn Kensington High Street (very bad early feedback after rebranding but I believe it has been refurbished, IHG rating 3.9).

I have also listed, for what it’s worth, the score out of 5 that reviewers on ihg.com have given the hotel.  The highest rated hotels in Central London are Crowne Plaza Albert Embankment (a new one, 4.8), Staybridge Suites Vauxhall (another new hotel, 4.8) and the Indigo at Tower Hill (4.8).

Holiday Inn Mayfair

Best overall value (1):  Holiday Inn Mayfair

50,000 points per night is a great deal for a hotel which has the perfect location, almost opposite The Ritz.  The rooms are very large, by London standards, with some having two double beds.  The rooms have not been refurbished since the mid 1980’s based on my last visit but I would trade that off for the location and space.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.2.

Best overall value (2):  Crowne Plaza The City 

At 55,000 points, there is now a noticeable gap between this hotel and InterContinental Park Lane and Kimpton Fitzroy at 70,000 points.   Whilst the location is pretty dead at weekends, being just a few minutes walk from Tate Modern and St Paul’s is not bad.  The rooms are bigger than the tiny ones at Kimpton Fitzroy whilst the location is better than InterContinental London O2.  IHG rating: 4.5

Best overall value (3): InterContinental London O2 

This is a very nice hotel indeed, with an excellent pool too.  The only issue is the odd location, directly behind the O2 Arena.  At 45,000 points it is EXCEPTIONAL value when you consider that the Holiday Inn Express at Victoria is 40,000 points.  It is also worth pointing out that the Jubilee Line extension – the newest part of the system – moves a lot faster than most tube lines and the trip into Bond Street or Green Park is surprisingly quick.  I reviewed the InterContinental O2 here.  IHG rating: 4.7

Best for luxury:  InterContinental Park Lane, Crowne Plaza The City, Kimpton Fitzroy or InterContinental London O2

These are the four ‘high end’ hotels in the portfolio – don’t be fooled by any of the other Crowne Plaza properties!  In 2016 we reviewed, back to back, Park Lane and the O2.  O2 is a nicer hotel, by a long way – including an excellent pool – but you need to be happy with the location.  Park Lane, despite the £75m refurbishment a few years ago, has uninspiring rooms.  Kimpton Fitzroy had an £80m refurbishment recently and looks amazing, but the standard rooms are small – see our Kimpton Fitzroy review here.  Kimpton Fitzroy is 70,000 points per night.  Park Lane is 70,000 points per night (IHG rating 4.4).  Crowne Plaza The City is 55,000 points (IHG rating 4.5).  InterContinental London O2 is 45,000 points. (IHG rating 4.7).

Best boutique hotel:  Crowne Plaza Kensington

You pass this hotel, in a row of converted houses, on the drive out to Heathrow.  Sitting, as it does, near an easyHotel and similar places, you might think it is dreadful.  It isn’t.  Following a huge refurbishment it has incredibly nice interiors and – amazingly – a huge garden.  It will set you back 55,000 points per night though.  I reviewed it here.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.6

Good for families:  Holiday Inn Camden Lock

We had our two Head for Points reader parties here in 2018.  At 45,000 points per night, this hotel does not score well on a ‘quality per point’ basis, especially compared to the InterContinental O2 at the same price.   It has a funky new lobby but the standard rooms are basic – although you can often get the impressive Penthouse Studios on points.  What I like about it – and my brother stays here sometimes with his family – is that you are directly overlooking Camden Market with its literally hundreds of food and merchandise stalls.  To be able to walk out of the hotel and be in the market within 30 seconds via a bridge over the canal is quite cool.  Others may find it a bit too ‘lively’ in the evenings, however.  Some redemption rooms have two double beds.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.6

Good value for the points:  Hotel Indigo Kensington

At 40,000 points per night, this hotel – very close to Earls Court tube (forget the Kensington name) – is a not a bad deal, although Holiday Inn Mayfair would be better on a pure location basis.  Why pay 40,000 for a Holiday Inn Express in Victoria when you can have this?  Room sizes can be quirky as you’d expect from converted Victorian housing but the hotel is fairly new and the Indigo brand is modern.  You even get a free soft drinks mini-bar.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.6

Good value for the points:  Crowne Plaza Kings Cross

At 40,000 points per night, this fully refurbished Holiday Inn should be OK.  It also has a pool.  The location is a bit out of the way, however, and calling it ‘Kings Cross’ is a bit optimistic although it is walkable if you don’t have luggage.  I’ve not been inside but feedback from HFP readers is generally positive although rooms are small.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.1.

Good value for the points:  Holiday Inn Express Wimbledon South

Whilst no longer the bargain of 15,000 points, it is still good value compared to other options at 25,000 points per night. It is directly opposite Colliers Wood tube station on the Northern Line.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.1

Holiday Inn Wembley bedroom

Good value for the points:  Holiday Inn Wembley (above)

Whilst the cost has gone up in recent years to 30,000 points (five years ago it was 10,000 points), this hotel still has a lot going for it.  You are looking at a tube ride into Central London each day but, once back at night, you have a refurbished room, a pool and a cinema / leisure / outlet complex directly opposite.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.2

Good value for the points:  Holiday Inn Stratford City

At 35,000 points, in the shopping centre next to the Olympic Park, this is a modern hotel which is exceptionally well connected to central London.  I reviewed Holiday Inn Stratford City hereWebsite.  There is a Staybridge Suites above it for an extra 5,000 points.  IHG rating: 4.6

Good value for the points:  Holiday Inn Whitechapel

35,000 points per night is a decent deal for a very modern hotel – it is only a couple of years old.  The East End location is a bit odd but OK if you want to explore Shoreditch etc.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.6

Good value for the points:  Crowne Plaza Heathrow T4 and Holiday Inn Express Heathrow T4 

These are brand new hotels which I reviewed here – they are very nice.  You’re out at Heathrow, of course, but you could take the tube in each day.  The hotels are attached to the terminal so no shuttle bus is required.  The Crowne Plaza is 30,000 points whilst the Holiday Inn Express is 20,000 points.  CP website, IHG rating: 4.5.  HIX website, IHG rating 4.6

Good value for the points:  Holiday Inn Express Ealing

This is a new hotel and is just 20,000 points per night.  As a HIX you will receive free breakfast.  I reviewed it here because it was a pilot for the new style of HIX design – and I was impressed.  This is probably the best value hotel in Central London if you are low on points but you need to be in good shape as it is quite a walk to the nearest station, and the ‘pound shops’ surrounding the hotel are not inspiring.  Website.  IHG rating: 4.7

If you have any other suggestions for London redemptions, please let me know in the comments below.  Suggestions for the worst value redemption are also welcome ….

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. The Holiday Inn Whitechapel isn’t the best for public transport connections in my opinion. I would rather stay in Stratford for the same price if I was a tourist in London. Further East but would be quicker to get to the sights

  2. Chrisasaurus says:

    CP in KGX is an odd one.

    As you make reference to it’s some way from kings cross – forget walking with luggage.

    It is a strange internal layout, feeling very much like several independent business with their connecting walls knocked through. It’s nice enough for sure, rooms aren’t big (ones I’ve had at least) but breakfast decent and good leisure facilities too.

    • The rooms are tiny. I used to accept them for 35k points. The hotel used to be a holiday inn and was, in my opinion, better then!

    • I’m not sure if I was upgraded without being informed (certainly possible) but I’ve stayed there twice and found the rooms I was given to be of a fairly good size for London. Location isn’t the best (~15 mins walk from Kings X), but the rooms are modern… that said, I’m not sure I’d fork over 40k points for it!

  3. It’s a very useful article, thanks! Will make sure I forward it to people who are points-rich, like my friend from California, and keep asking about these things all the time.

    Would it be also worth running a similar article for the best bargains for cash stays (when you need to hit Accelerate targets etc)? HIX Chingford, HI Brent Cross, HI Elstree, HIX Croydon, various Heathrow properties etc.

  4. CP Kings X is one of my regular London Hotels, Yes its Mt Pleasant/Grays Inn area, but is nice inside, Often have two double beds and room size is decent. There is a branch of Belgos in there and a pleasant enough club lounge.

    • I prefer Bloomsbury HI but I come into Euston so that’s probably why 🙂

    • I agree. Having stayed at CP Kensington a couple of weekends ago the CP Kings X has nicer rooms with 2 double beds if you need them, more spacious Club lounge and is good value with points. It’s an easy walk from Kings X (or £5 in a taxi with luggage) and an easy, flat, walk to the British Museum or even Covent Garden. HI Bloomsbury also ok but a bit dated & 2 bedded rooms are double with sofabed only. CP City the best if you can get a good deal on room rates. HI Mayfair is a good location, big rooms but (last time we stayed) dated and breakfast was chaotic & poor on a busy weekend.

      • Lady London says:

        Just wondering does IC Amb get access to Club lounge guaranteed if there is one, in a CP? Am thinking of upgrading quite a few of my IHG stays to use CP’s instead.

        • Nope – sometimes Spire will receive it (and indeed sometimes Plat, which now comes with AMB). AMB status itself doesn’t have any currency outwith IC hotels, just the linked IHG RC status.

        • No. Some hotels let you select that as a welcome gift option. (CP Madrid)

  5. Re the West Ealing – “quite a walk to the station”? Ever heard of a bus?

    If you did want to walk to West Ealing it will have a train to Heathrow every 10 minutes once Crossrail finally opens, but it’s uphill from the main road. You’d take the bus to Ealing Broadway to get to Central London, but the bus also goes direct to Westfield (about 25 mins) for those who like shopping in a (mostly) enclosed space.

  6. What do people think is the best London option for use of the free IHG night voucher (credit card)?

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      I like the CP Kensington but as with all these bits of advice, it’s more down to where you want to be and what you’re wanting to do?

      For a theatre trip, I say IC Park Lane and a nice walk down Piccadilly. For museums CP Kensington. For LHR Indigo Paddington. For events/canary wharf IC the o2

      • Lady London says:

        +1 good summary, @Chrisasaurus

        For shopping now that the centre of London is kind of evolving Eastwards, the Staybridge at Westfield Stratford is also very popular

    • Park lane or Fitzroy

      • @phil. Stayed at both Park Lane and Fitzroy using free IHG credit card night voucher or points. Fitzroy wins hands down fir us and we will stay there next time in London.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Exactly what I am reading it for too. Mine runs out on April so was going to use next month. Either this or a Spa package at Hilton DT north of London somewhere. Cash rates seem to be cheap.

      • Lady London says:

        I think you might get better value using the free night outside of London if you choose carefully. Especially if you can work it so the voucher is used on a night that would otherwise be expensive such as Saturday. Sunday often costs very little to add for cash.

        But I think Rob has done an amazing job of identifying worthwhile redemptions in London and thank you for pointing up the 02 IC which would never have otherwise occurred to me, Rob!

    • I’m using mine at the Kimpton Fitzroy the week after next. I’ve not been there before but the TA reviews edged it for me over the IC Park Lane for a Platinum Elite and location isn’t to bad as we have a show in the West End. We are also going to stay in The Smoke the next day staying for a paid night in a Club room at the CP Kensington, hoping for a duplex upgrade. It was a ridiculously good value rate, even for Cromwell Road but it’s location is great for the museums, which we’ve not done for years.

    • Depends what you want out of it. I live in central London but have the free night about to expire. Will use it for partner’s birthday weekend at the IC O2. There’s the pool/spa and a restaurant and couple of bars with views of the river. You can get access to the club lounge for £50. Basically I’m going for the physical hotel and services rather than location. The CP The City is opposite Blackfriars station and very easy to get around from.

      • Yes, I like CP City – used my free night there a few weeks back. Got upgraded to Club floor, nice room with lounge access. Right opposite station and walking distance to Covent Garden etc.

        I used my previous free night at the Indigo Leicester Sq. Rooms are indeed very small, but central location. Roof top bar is nice place to start the evening from. I got a one cat room upgrade and the usual drinks voucher.

  7. Great post Rob, now can you do something similar for NYC please ?

    • Froggitt says:

      +1. Made the mistake of staying two nights in New Jersey “just across the water”. Hadn’t factored in the cost taxis etc to/from as the public transport was so poor, and how awful the nightlife was,

      • We got Staten Island HIEx for 15k a night, when the cash price was over $200. The hotel was a bit of a dump but in the process of being refurbished, and the room was bigger than the IC Barclay we’d stayed in previously. But it came with the massive advantage of free parking, a free shuttle to the free Staten Island ferry to Manhattan, free breakfast and no extra charges. Not one to stay at if the hotel itself is important, but if you’re driving to/from NYC you can’t really beat it for value!

        • Years ago I stayed in a Candlewood Suites in NJ which was about 10 mins walk from the PATH station which is 1 stop under the Hudson to World Trade Centre. The NJ hotels near the PATH station are still be preferred ‘value’ options for NY.

        • Agree with Rob about NJ hotels near the PATH. I used to live close by, and think it’s a fantastic location. In Midtown within 15 mins! The Candlewood Suites is fine during the week, but I believe the station closest to it (Exchange Place) doesn’t operate at weekends. Therefore can be a bit of a trek to Newport station instead. There’s a Double Tree closer to Newport station that is a FANTASTIC hotel, but with the price to boot. I’ve stayed at both and for the price, I’d stay at the Candlewood again as long as it wasn’t the weekend in depths of winter. But then I don’t mind walking!

        • Once stayed at a CP near Newark airport. Free transport in local area and to rail for Manhattan, great stay and only 5000 on pointsaver. 20,000 regular

        • Just FYI to anyone thinking of NJ. There are no weekend PATH services into WTC until Dec 2020. I believe there are alternates including a free ferry service so do research it if you’re interested.

        • the_real_a says:

          Claire what a fantastic recommendation. If you have visited NY before, often you dont really need to be in the center, just easy access to the metro. The free parking is a massive benefit. It means you dont need to cross the bridges with extortionate tolls or activate the rental cars “rip off” transponder service. Thank you.

    • No.

  8. Holiday inn express at Ealing is excellent. Opened a couple of years ago so still fresh and contemporary feel the staff are always so friendly, about 25 mins walk to Ealing Broadway underground and low cost and point redemption. Overnight parking maximum £10.

  9. Mitpat474 says:

    The park lane is currently being refurbished,they left a card in our room regarding possible noise from contractors. I believe they should be refurbishing the rooms to the “London” type category.

  10. Really useful article Rob, thanks. I’m surprised neither of the capital’s Staybridge Suites got a look in. Still fairly new, I rate both the Vauxhall and Stratford City properties highly. And at 40,000 points including breakfast and their midweek evening receptions, think they’re excellent value too.

    • Staybridge Stratford gets a mention. No idea where Vauxhall is.

      I did check both of them to see if reward rooms could fit 4 people, in which case I would have mentioned it, but they didn’t.

      • RussellH says:

        Staybridge Vauxhall is some 500 yards from Vauxhall rail stations – about 7 mins walk, mainly through the park, if it is open. Otherwise a bit further, along Albert Embankment, then turn right.
        No idea what the park is like these days, but 400 to 200 years ago Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens were very focussed on Pleasure. Lots of good eating and drinking places, concerts, thatricals etc. Also comfortable grassy niches among the bushes where upper class ladies who got little pleasure at home were supposed to hang out, hoping for something rather more exciting

        • I walk past Vauxhall for work, the park is fine. There is actually a few parks in the vicinity so very ideal if you have kids!

    • IHG’s best kept secret in London imho.

  11. Russell Gowers says:

    I’ve stayed at the HI at Kensington High Street… once.

    The room was the size of a coffin for a short bloke. It was entirely filled by the (queen sized) bed to the point that even opening a cupboard or accessing the tiny shower room was difficult.

    I’m not one of these people who needs to get lost in a hotel room but I did start to feel like I was in one of those Japanese capsule hotels.

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