NEW: Get impressive benefits on InterContinental and Kimpton stays with IHG Luxury & Lifestyle Collections

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IHG has launched the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle Collections, which gets you impressive extra benefits at many InterContinental and Kimpton hotels.

IHG, which owns the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn etc brands, has historically been behind the curve when it came to dealing with the luxury travel agent market.

As most HFP readers should know by now, almost all hotel brands with high-end properties offer special deals to travel agents who specialise in luxury travel.  Here is our last review of Hyatt Prive, for example.  This is driven by the American market, where many wealthy individuals still prefer to book by having a self-employed ‘travel counsellor’ visit them in their home to talk through potential options.  Keen to get in front of these people, most hotels have special packages which can only be booked by ‘travel counsellors’.

There are a small number of travel agents in the UK who are also accredited to book these packages.  Emyr Thomas, who we partner with, is one of them.  You can find out about Emyr’s services on this page of Head for Points.  You’d be silly to book a five star hotel without asking him if he can get you a better package.  (He won’t get you a better price, but he can often get you a better overall deal.)

What is IHG Luxury Collection?

We are looking at the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle Collections across two articles.  Today I am focusing on the ‘luxury’ side.

What is IHG Luxury Collection?

The IHG Luxury Collection is a set of additional benefits available to you if you are staying at a participating InterContinental, Regent or non-US Kimpton hotel.

For total clarity, the rate you pay is the same as the Best Available Rate on ihg.com.  All of these benefits are genuinely free on top.

What are the IHG Luxury Collection benefits?

Here are the main benefits you get when you book via a luxury travel agent who can access IHG Luxury Collection rates:

  • GUARANTEED 2pm late check-out
  • Breakfast for two in the hotel restaurant
  • $100 of hotel credit per stay
  • One category upgrade, subject to availability on arrival
  • Bottled water and fresh fruit or snacks in the room on arrival

As you can see, this is clearly a good deal.  IHG hates giving away free breakfast – even top tier elite status members don’t get it! – so this is a great benefit.  The $100 of hotel credit should cover a decent lunch or evening meal too.

For clarity, you WILL receive IHG Rewards Club points and elite night credit too.

The full benefits list is here (click to expand):

IHG Luxury Collection benefits

Which hotels participate in the IHG Luxury Collection?

Here is the full list – click to expand:

IHG Luxury Collection hotels included

The list of InterContinental hotels is as you would expect.  With Kimpton, I would flag that the Glasgow, Edinburgh (Kimpton Charlotte Square review), Manchester (Kimpton Clocktower review) and London (Kimpton Fitzroy review here) hotels are on the list, as is Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam which we reviewed here.  All five Regent hotels are included.

Some InterContinental hotels are also part of the Virtuoso luxury hotels group.  As we wrote in this article, if you book the Virtuoso package you will receive free club lounge access at selected InterContinental hotels including London Park Lane and Paris Le Grand.  Handily, Emyr can also book Virtuoso rates, so if a hotel is part of both programmes he will give you the choice of which benefits package to take.

If your hotel is not on the list, don’t worry.  IHG has launched a second scheme, IHG Lifestyle Collection, for other Kimpton hotels and selected Hotel Indigo properties.  We will cover that in a separate article.

Conclusion

The new IHG Luxury Collection offers excellent benefits if you are staying at InterContinental or Regent hotels or the few Kimpton properties included.

If you would otherwise book a cheaper non-refundable rate, you are paying slightly extra here because you need to book Best Available Rate.  However, it is difficult to imagine how the value of the free restaurant breakfast and the $100 hotel credit, plus the guaranteed 2pm check-out, wouldn’t make IHG Luxury Collection a better deal.

For anyone who would usually book a cancellable rate anyway, these are genuine free extras.

You CANNOT book these rates online.  You need to contact Emyr Thomas via the form on this page of Head for Points with your dates.  He will confirm the rate and benefits and will then book once you’ve given final approval.  You pay at the hotel as usual.

(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. This is really good news. I imagine it is especially welcome for for IC hotels that don’t have a Club lounge and for Kimptons. Emyr has already been able to provide Club lounge access at some IC hotels, such as the Le Grand, but this must significantly expand the number of hotels where he can offer really valuable additional benefits.

    • What did you think of Le Grand? We had a booking there for new year but OH’s work has now decided he can’t have any leave over Xmas and New Year 😥

      • ankomonkey says:

        Are you married to Santa?

      • Genghis says:

        Good views over the Opera. The rooms are v average. Service excellent. Breakfast average.
        Not a patch on the Amstel.

        • The junior suites overlooking the opera house are the sweet spot. The ‘full’ suites in the roof have low ceilings and comprise two relatively small rooms, so overall they feel far smaller than the juniors.

          Worth noting that breakfast at Cafe de la Paix is ludicrously expensive so if you’re in the food for a slap-up breakfast then definitely book via IHG Luxury Collection.

      • No, he doesn’t get the rest of the year off!!

      • Anna, what a shame that you have had to cancel your New Year stay..We really love the Le Grand. We may be biased through familiarity by now, and we don’t normally stay at luxury hotels so can’t compare it to many others.

        The location is perfect for us. We chose it initially for our free IHG credit card night stay a few years ago because it is right next to the Opera stop on the Roissy Bus from CDG, and is on a lot of bus routes. It is either a reasonable walk to our favourite museums and shops or an easy bus journey to almost anywhere in Paris. I’m also interested in French art history of the period when the hotel was built, so that was an added draw for me initially.

        But since that first visit we return because of the lovely staff, especially those in the Club lounge whom we know best and who are always so friendly and helpful. We miss the old lounge on the top floor with it’s view of the Opera, but the temporary one downstairs is still OK. As Genghis said, cCustomer service at the Le Grand is superb. And the location and access to public bus transport still suits us!

        This may sound unusual, and other people may not agree but, even though it is a luxury hotel and way out of our normal world, the Le Grand feels like a home-away-from-home for us. (The other hotel we feel that way about is a tiny 2-star hotel perched on a hill above the Mediterranean). We stay for an extended weekend for our anniversary in April each year and usually again in October, and this is the hotel we save up our IHG points for. We try to get access to the Club Lounge for one or two nights by booking a Club Lounge room with the Ambassador weekend certificate, and once by booking a normal room through Emyr, which included lounge access and upgrade. Then we extend by a couple of normal nights using points and they have always let us keep the same room. We’ve always had some type of upgrade, even with IHG platinum, and they keep a record of our favourite rooms, so we’ve never experienced the small “classic” rooms.

  2. ChrisC says:

    Well I am very impressed with Emyr.

    I sent a message to him via HFP at 2.45 this afternoon and he came back to me with prices 45 minutes later.

    And I have now just confirmed 2 bookings for him with a Kimpton hotel later in the year for October and December

    Yes his rates are a little more expensive that the cheapest redundable rate I had already booked (and now cancelled) but I will receive far more in benefits.

    As wth everything calculate the costs of booking direct against those of with booking via Emyr taking into the extra benefits he can offer.

    Thanks to Emyr for his brilliant service today and to Rob for posting this thread because it reminded me that Emyr exists!

    • I’ve always found that’s it’s matched the refundable rate. I’m surprised you’re saying it’s more expensive

      • ChrisC says:

        I had already booked the cheapest refundable rate then cancelled and rebooked when it got even cheaper!

        The rate Emrys offered was €20 more per night than the existing rate I had. But at the moement there are several refundable rates –

        Book now pay later – your rate by rewards club
        Book Now Pay later
        Your rate by rewards club
        Best Flexible rate

        with €20 euros difference between the 1st rate (which I had) and the Best Flex Rate which is the same cost as the special rate Emyrs got me.

        The only difference between the lowest and higest rate is that the lowest is cancel the day before v cancel on the day.

        If the package Emrys got for me hadn’t worked out cost / benefit wise then I simply wouldn’t have taken it. For the €80 more I get more than double that in benefits that I will use.

  3. Nick G says:

    I assume if you book a room for 3 (2 adults 1 child) the above still applies, just have to pay for the additional breakfast for the child?

  4. Ronald Jeremy says:

    I have fond memories of the Kimpton in Russel Square, it was the Hotel Russel in those days. I was staying in one of there (very) small rooms and found a well thumbed copy of escort magazine in a bedside drawer. In recent years I have re visited since the rebrand, its a much better establishment though disappointingly there was no jazz mags left by previous clients

    I recommend the happy hour between 5 and 6 .I managed the equivalent of two and a half bottles of rather agreeable red, before falling asleep and being awoken several hours later, by the bar staff. If you want breakfast don’t bother in the Hotel as there is a great café in Russel Square that does a full Monty brekkie and toast for about £7.

  5. Can I redeem my ihg points or my chase FREE NIGHT vouchers for ANY of these ihg luxury and lifestyle collection hotels ? How do I go about doing so ? Thanks

    • You don’t get these benefits on reward nights, no. They are only valid on a) cash bookings, b) paying Best Flexible Rate and c) made by a luxury travel agent.

  6. I think some of these hotels have a minimum night stay requirement for the benefits. When I contacted Emyr about the O2 and the Edinburgh the George, both had a minimum number of nights and we only needed a 1 night stay so it didn’t work out for us. I guess it’s on the hotels that aren’t as highly priced but something to be aware of.

  7. “ One category upgrade, subject to availability on arrival” – no thanks. IHG properties are known for refusing an upgrade using availability as an excuse. Say the direct subsequent category is full, some would offer you a double upgrade as the front desk deems the upgrade interval is ‘too wide’. It’s unbelievable but IHG does do crazy things like this.

    Why would I not pick a FHR/Virtuoso package that guarantees my upgrade for the same property? If the property is not listed on these two platforms then probably there’s a reason, maybe they’re not high-end enough to be there.

  8. Actually, there are Shanghai and Chongqing that are not added on Regent’s properties list. They’re recently opened so I suppose they will be added soon.

  9. Ross Park says:

    Is there a min length of stay at these hotels. IC Fujairah is $135 in August and with $100 credit, that doesn’t leave a lot.
    Just wondered your thoughts.

    • No. Sometimes it works that way. I have done Park Hyatt Hamburg for sub-€200 for one night and got free breakfast, lounge access and $100 of F&B credit thrown in.

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