One of the more surprising hotel tie-ups of 2019 was the announcement that IHG has secured a tie-up with hotel marketing group Mr & Mrs Smith.
We have seen similar deals with other hotels groups, such as Design Hotels & Marriott and Small Luxury Hotels of the World & Hyatt, but this one feels different. Mr & Mrs Smith has a substantially looser relationship with the hotels it partners with, and properties do not tout it in the same way that a hotel promotes its membership of Small Luxury Hotels.
Mr & Mrs Smith hotels are on the way ….
Mr & Mrs Smith hotels have started to appear on ihg.com, although they are not bookable yet.
Take a look at the screenshot below. I mean …. Chewton Glen is there. If you are able to book Chewton Glen – one of, to some people THE, best hotels in the UK – for 70,000 IHG Rewards Club points then you’re laughing.
We have been to Chewton Glen numerous times, always at disproportionately high expense, so the potential to visit on points is fantastic. Whilst it sells itself as a ‘country’ hotel it is actually a 10-minute walk from an impressive and quiet beach.
Other Hampshire / Dorset options include The Pig, The Pig In The Wall, The Pig On The Beach, The Green House, Southampton Hampton Harbour, The Grosvenor Arms and The Beckford Arms. ‘The Pig’ chain has excellent feedback.
Here are a couple of other options. Take a look at a search for the Maidenhead area.
Cliveden is there (photo below)! And Coworth Park! See here (click to enlarge):
I admit that Cliveden, whilst obviously ludicrously impressive as a building, is still a little below the top tier of UK country hotels – although it is much improved since the team behind Chewton Glen bought the lease. Coworth Park, however, is the real deal. It is owned by Dorchester Group and only opened a few years ago.
In total, over 500 Mr & Mrs Smith hotels are being added to ihg.com. There will be some fantastic redemption options opening up across Europe.
You will also be able to book these hotels for cash via IHG. It isn’t yet clear what you will get in terms of points, elite credit and benefits, however. The lesson from Hyatt’s addition of Small Luxury Hotels to its ‘system’ is that pricing is often not competitive with what the hotels offer on their own websites, although the extra benefits sometimes outweigh the difference.
Unless the points pricing is (literally) off the chart, IHG Rewards Club is going to be substantially more interesting for UK members in 2020 …..
(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.)