You may not know that you can get free access to club lounges at some InterContinental hotels if you book via a ‘preferred partner’ or Virtuoso travel agent.
The idea for this article came when I was replying to a comment from a reader last week. I thought it was worth broadening out because IHG / InterContinental does not offer lounge access to top-tier members of its reward programme.
(IHG does offer InterContinental lounge access to Royal Ambassador cardholders, but this requires a high level – into US$ five figures it seems – of annual spend across InterContinental and potentially Kimpton and Regent to qualify.)
If you’re Hilton Honors Diamond, you get lounge access. If you’re Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite or Titanium Elite, you get lounge access. If you are IHG Rewards Club Spire Elite, you get a free chocolate bar and 600 bonus points at check-in at most European hotels …..
Luckily, there is a way around this. A handful of top InterContinental hotel are part of the Virtuoso luxury hotels network. These can only be booked by a closed network of hand-picked travel agents, of which our hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas is one of the few in the UK.
The following InterContinental hotels will give you guaranteed lounge access if you book them via Emyr (details here).
The price will usually be Best Flexible Rate. If you were booking a flexible rate anyway then this is a genuinely free extra bonus. If you would otherwise book Advanced Purchase (non-refundable) then you will pay a little more but you are getting a substantial list of extra benefits which should easily offset the cost.
For clarity, you WILL earn IHG Rewards Club points on these rates and, if you are also InterContinental Ambassador, my experience is that the hotels will often upgrade you an additional level to reflect this.
These InterContinental hotels offer free lounge access on Virtuoso agent bookings:
Benefits: upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, buffet breakfast daily for up to two guests per bedroom, complimentary access to Club Lounge, $100 USD equivalent hotel credit, early check-in/late check-out subject to availability, complimentary Wi-Fi
InterContinental Ljubljana (above)
Benefits: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, complimentary Buffet Breakfast daily for two per bedroom, $100 equivalent Food & Beverage credit to be utilized during stay, access to Club InterContinental, complimentary Wi-FI
InterContinental London Park Lane
Benefits: Upgrade at time of booking subject to availability, full English Breakfast daily in Club InterContinental for up to two guests per bedroom, complimentary internet access/Wi-Fi, complimentary access to Club InterContinental exclusive lounge, including: breakfast, afternoon tea and evening drinks and canapés, early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Benefits: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, daily Buffet Breakfast in the Club Lounge, guaranteed access to the private Club InterContinental Lounge with complimentary use of all its services, VIP amenities including, a local authentic ‘In the know’ gift, fruit basket and welcome letter from senior management, early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability, complimentary Wi-Fi access
Benefits: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, buffet breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom (in Club Lounge), Club Lounge access, with all exclusive Club services, late check out until 4:00pm, early check-in subject to availability, complimentary Wi-Fi
InterContinental New York Barclay (above)
Benefits: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, complimentary daily buffet breakfast for two (per bedroom) served in Club InterContinental Lounge, complimentary access for two to Club InterContinental Lounge, designated VIP arrival reception, early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability, complimentary Wi-Fi
InterContinental Paris Le Grand (above)
Benefits: Upgrade at time of booking from Classic to Superior room (upgrade on arrival subject to availability for other categories), daily buffet breakfast for up to three in-room guests or 2 per bedroom, in private dining room of Club Lounge, or guests may breakfast at Café de la Paix for a discounted rate of €37 per person per day, guaranteed free access to the private Club Lounge with complimentary use of all its services: (normal cost of access is €150 per night), VIP welcome amenities, early check-in / late check-out subject to availability, voucher for 20% discount at spa on any treatment, complimentary internet access
You must book a minimum of an Eastern Harbour View Room to receive additional benefits. Benefits: access to the exclusive Club InterContinental, Sydney’s only rooftop Club with a wrap around terrace and panoramic views of Sydney Harbour, early check-in from 11am and 2pm late check-out subject to availability, room upgrade on arrival subject to availability
Special benefits at other InterContinental, Kimpton, Regent and Hotel Indigo properties
It is worth noting that Emyr can also access special benefits at another 80+ InterContinental hotels, 50+ Kimpton hotels, all Regent hotels and a few Hotel Indigo’s (including Paris and Rome, but no UK ones) through IHG’s own ‘preferred partner’ scheme.
For a 2+ night stay, you would receive:
- An upgrade subject to availability
- Free breakfast
- Guaranteed 4pm check out
- Amenity specific to the hotel to the value of $100
- Free wifi
You won’t receive free lounge access but the benefits above are not a bad list.
Details of how to contact Emyr with booking enquiries can be found here.
IHG Rewards Club update – November 2020:
Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards Club points, you can buy them here.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.