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Get extra benefits at InterContinental and Kimpton 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.)

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  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):

Which hotels participate in the IHG Luxury Collection?

Here is the full list – click to expand:

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.


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.

Comments (94)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • ao40 says:

    There was an article on the BBC yesterday that 5 IHG hotels across Edinburgh and Glasgow have put their staff on consultation for redundancy, including the hotels mentioned here. A question on whether they will all survive.

    • BJ says:

      Yes, posted the link in the chat article yesterday if anybody is interested in reading it.

      • Andrew says:

        I was quite surprised that IHG directly managed 3 hotels in Edinburgh rather than the traditional franchised model.

        It’ll be a tough few years ahead for hospitality in Scotland. Fringe is cancelled this year, but for 2021 and beyond, I’m not sure if I’ll be quite so tolerant of the traditional musty venues, with third world toilets, that are either relentlessly humid due to hot weather, or relentlessly humid from soaked kagouls and umbrellas.

        • Aston100 says:

          It’s all part of the experience.
          You wouldn’t expect a luxurious VIP experience at the comedy festival would you?

          • Brian W says:

            Not so sure, if you pretend you’re not at home while your delivery driver leaves with the package you’ve been waiting on for an experience then you never know.

            Not sure we can take anything you say seriously any more!

  • Mark says:

    How does this work if you’re already an Ambassador? Double level upgrade on your room?

    • Rob says:

      You MIGHT do. I once got a multiple uplift in Paris as a combination of Ambassador and booking a Virtuoso rate via Emyr, both of which entitled me to an upgrade. Not guaranteed though.

    • Dan says:

      Emyr confirmed double upgrade with me for Porto in February.

    • E says:

      Only single upgrade for me at Marseille when Ambassador and booking through Emyr. They said that it didn’t double up for the upgrade. So, “might get it” seems right.

  • BJ says:

    Are the rates flexible like BFR too?

    • Rob says:


      • BJ says:

        Thanks, very interesting. Their’s at least one hotel on there useful to me that would sometimes be a superb deal given the breakfast and F&B credit 🙂

        • Rob says:

          I agree, some of those hotels are technically free given the $100 credit and free breakfast.

          Same, to be fair, goes for Amex FHR bookings, Virtuoso and Hyatt Prive at cheaper one-night places. I’ve done one-night stays at Park Hyatt Hamburg before via Emyr where they even upgraded me a Club room, so I was getting restaurant breakfast, lounge access AND $100 of food and drink credit. This creates a real problem when you’re only there for one night 🙂

          • Chris Heyes says:

            Rob@ OOOooo dear that’s a big problem, how did you resolve it lol
            That could be a full “Article” lol

          • Optimus Prime says:

            If that ever happens to you at St Regis New York you can always try that $100 omelette…

  • Ian M says:

    Crazy that IHG won’t give breakfast to someone with Spire + Ambassador status but they will if you book through this! They should reward their best, most loyal customers.

    • BJ says:

      They would largely be rewarding corporate customers who will pay for breakfast regarless so why throw it in for free? Despite this, Hilton does and Marriott to an extent but then they are generally both a bit more expensive.

    • Andrew says:

      As a paid membership scheme I’m not sure having Ambassador status means you’re ‘loyal’. I bought it simply because I’ll make the money back on one long weekend break.

      • Ian says:

        That’s why I said Spire + Ambassador 🙂

      • ChrisC says:

        Indeed though I initially bought it for the room upgrade and the 4pm check out on one stay in San Francisco.

        And when I did price up and book a stay using the voucher for part of it the savings were indeed more than the cost of buying AMB. Though that booking is now cancelled and thanks to thr 6 m extension i might actually be able to use it!

  • Stefan Bard says:

    I had a fantastic quick response from Emyr when I contacted him in regards to an IC stay.

    However, if you are an Ambassador with IC and booking the best flexible rate with (an additional) 5,000 Elite qualifying points rate, per night (which Emyr Thomas or Virtuoso cant do), then the whole above article is redundant. in addition if you book a Club Room you get free breakfast at the lounge and the easy late 4 pm check out (which for many IC includes the afternoon tea hour)

    I love HfP but the entire above article is an advert for your prefered LUX partner Rob.

    Big Love Da Bard xx

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      It depends on the price quoted Stephan. As an example, IC Bali charge $200 extra a night to upgrade to Club. You may find Emyr’s rates cheaper but get the same package.

      • Born2sKydive says:

        A very Good morning to you Secret Squirel. Yet again tho you can’t book a bonus points rate for any hotel kimpton, Regent or IC etc. I humbly agree that if someone wants to book NR rate then it may be of va!ue. Though working with an OTA. I always book refundable policy.

        Hope everyone has an awesome weekend 😎

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        5000 ihg points yield little value, if paying cash rate I would go the Emyr route for the extras.😆

        • ChrisC says:

          But these bonus points (unlike those you buy) add to the qualifying spend requirement for status even if they don’t get you much in terms of the points values on reward nights

          I did buy the bonus points rate for one stay (now cancelled and now unecessary because of the status extension for a year) because the points it would generate would have definitly meant I would have reached the theshold based on my planned stay for cheaper than buying another nights stay which in any case wouldn’t have got me the same number of points. And yes i did the calculations! Off the top of my head is £4 / 1000 using these specific bonus rates.

          Horses for courses but TBH like any offer it works for some people and not others and you have to chose wihich offer meets your needs.

          • Peter K says:

            Surely spend on the IHG card works out better?

          • ChrisC says:

            No idea but does the card get you 1,000 for £ 4 or 5 like paying for the bonus room rate would?

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            5000 ihg points can be made easily in one click of a button for free. I would rather get benefits via Emyr when paying cash rates.

          • ChrisC says:


            But do those 5k points count towards status as that is what Stefan wants? Well he actually wants both – the bonus qualifying points AND the luxury rate benefirs but that isn’t going to happen.

            But I agree most of the time I would want the extra benefits rather than the points.

            But I would likely look to buy those on stays where I can’t avail myself of the luxury collection rates / benefits if I needed the points to acheve / retain status.

    • BJ says:

      I felt that this read more like an advert than a regular article too but I have zero problem with that. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it even if one of the three articles every day was sponsored or an advert, blogs with huge readerships don’t grow on trees.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Yes, using my IHG credit card, all my spend counts towards status. That is the only way I get to be Spire without even stepping foot in an IHG hotel.
        Stefan needs to get an IHG credit card but has missed out on the premium card now.
        Lie I said before, 5000 eq points from IHG does not stand for much in these times. He would be better off giving Emyr the chance to quote Inc all benefits as free breakfasts can save a smal fortune and pay using his new white ihg card.😃

    • Jim says:

      Completely agree that this is more of an advertorial, Rob loves to advertise Emyr as it’s a money maker for both of them!

      • Rob says:

        If you know any other luxury travel agents with access to these deals you can book through them if you like! There are only a handful in the UK though.

        Frankly Emyr is booking these for well under minimum wage if you’re only doing 1 or 2 nights at a moderately priced IC.

        • BJ says:

          Not to mention that at the moment his workload and income will be way down. It works both ways, if you value the opportunity to use his services in the future then it is a good idea to push what business you can through him at this challenging time.

          • Lady London says:

            Agreed. IME someone reliable, with good knowledge of luxury venues is hard to find. I used to often be in search of luxury venues for holidays, short breaks or weekends out of London, booking with unlimited OPM. Just needing to know quality would be there.

            If Emyr had been around as a reliable booking and information source in those days this would have saved me a lot of time. Luxury travel agents who really understand a wealthy discerning customer base and have the knowledge to know where what those customers want will be delivered are hard to find.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Rob@ I agree A travel blog should have a mixture of Articles and obviously your success just proves you’ve got the mix just right
          If you promote Emr as long as he’s giving excellent service & value & he does
          He should be on at least 1 or 2 times each week after all you have a very lot of readers, but new readers often drop in
          IMO Emr should be more prominently advertised So any “New” readers looking for Luxury Accommodation would be drawn to read your Article

      • Doug M says:

        You mean a commercial website is trying to make money, what an eye opener.

        • Rob says:

          If you don’t see the value in knowing about a scheme which lets you book a £150 hotel room and get $100 of free food and drink plus 2 x free breakfasts plus free fruit and water plus guaranteed 2pm check-out ….

          • Doug M says:

            I hear you. I just get tired of the “he’s just advertising” posts. No one says you have to read the site if you don’t like the content. If you plan to stay at a 5* hotel there is clearly value in these types of agents.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Would it matter if one out of three articles per day were advertorial? HFP have to pay the bills like all of us, not as if your paying for the information.

    • JohnG says:

      I don’t agree with your claim this is just an advert for Emyr. I’m aware of new benefits available by booking via a LUX agency. Obviously if you want to book a qualifying points package then this is redundant, but it’s also redundant if you don’t want to stay at any of those hotels and I imagine you’d be rolling your eyes if someone was making out that this meant it was irrelevant to everyone.

      Getting a $100 F&B credit and full hotel breakfast on a stay for no additional charge (while still getting loyalty status recognised) will be genuinely beneficial to plenty of readers.

    • Rob says:

      So … you’re saying that if you pay $200 for Ambassador PLUS pay a supplement (usually $50-$100) for a room with Club Access, then you will roughly have the same outcome that Emyr gets you without having to pay $200 for Ambassador or the $50-$100 premium for a Club Room?

      Can’t argue with that 🙂

      Even if you have Ambassador, surely (at least for a one night stay) this deal is better because you get the $100 hotel credit AND restaurant breakfast? Only a need for 4pm vs 2pm guaranteed check-out may swing it.

      • Lady London says:

        TBH booking into some of Emyr’s hotels, with the packages he can secure, would be cheaper than staying at home some weekends.

        • Aston100 says:

          How does that work?

          • Lady London says:

            You’d only have to go out for dinner for 2 in London plus spa entrance and treatment and without trying, you’d have the flex rate for quite a few of the hotels covered.

          • Charlieface says:

            Moral of the story: don’t go out to dinner in London. Definitely don’t live there 🙂

          • Aston100 says:

            Luckily I live in a hovel in Birmingham, and Friday nights consist of a trip to Dixy Chicken for their £5.99 Sizzler Burger box, followed by a trip to burn down another 5g mast.

          • Anna says:

            Lol! However bad things are in Birmingham, I bet I can beat that – I once saw a wedding party (including bride in full white get-up) having a punch up in the Dixy Chicken in the town where I worked. Class!

  • StevieM says:

    Can Emyr book using Ambassador Certificate?
    It is, after all, the fully refundable rate?

    • Rob says:

      No – because Ambassador certificates need to be booked on the ‘Ambassador Weekend Rate’. This is technically the same price as ‘Best Flexible Rate’ but is called something else.

    • Lady London says:

      I would do this for a multi-night stay. First night with Emyr as it might secure a better room. The follow with 2 ‘weekend’ nights one of them being the free Ambassador weekend night.

      Book the Emyr night in my partner’s name. Book the IC weekend nights as me, the Ambassador, to earn on any IHG promotion available! Booking the 2 names makes the stays separate to ensure the nights booked as Ambassador will qualify for any promo as booked directly with IHG.

      Infom the hotel that you and your partner are one party and if poss you’d like to stay in the same room. Depending how busy they are it might happen.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Good tip, I have read numerous times if you book one particular room on the first night, slim chance you will be moved on the subsequent nights booked in another rate.

      • Sundar says:

        The Ambassador certificate may not come with breakfast benefit unless that specific rate was booked. So breakfast may be a concern.

  • Anna says:

    Apologies if I’m being a bit slow this morning – so as Ambassador I wouldn’t get breakfast if I book directly on but I would if I go via Emyr? Hoping to book at least one IC stay before the end of the year so this would be useful.

    • BJ says:

      OT @Anna. Your question yesterday about hotels. Any reason you have to go north into the Dales? Have you thought about Hilton St George’s Park?

      • Anna says:

        Yes – we’re picking up the classic car in Keighley and have a 300 mile limit so need to stay relatively local. The dales is the ideal touring location for this.

      • RussellH says:

        Hilton St George’s Park seems to be horribly football focused…

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          With very good reason.

          • RussellH says:

            So the football is very front + centre, then? Unlike the DT Milton Keynes or the HI Norwich, which are both built into the stadium, but are otherwise perfectly civilised when there is no game on?

          • Crafty says:

            Yes, it is absolutely front and centre. It is a plus point if you are interested in football. I didn’t feel it detracted from my week-long work stay at all, but then I quite like football.

    • Rob says:


    • Genghis says:

      There are some decent independent hotels and B&Bs in the Dales. We’ve a cancellable stay booked for Sep in case our summer holiday abroad doesn’t go ahead.

      • Anna says:

        Yes – originally I had 2 nights booked at 2 gorgeous-looking places, but I now am awash with hotel points after all the other cancellations this year!

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Yes, AMB does not come as standard on points redemptions with free breakfasts. Some Far east resorts I think offer free breakfast on redemptions but probably HIX. People pay extra on top of using points to upgrade to Club for these benefits.

  • RussellH says:

    > 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.

    I met a few of these people at Trade fairs over the years when I was working. I never really understood what they did before (obviously I did not interrogate them), but now I do.
    It is always good to learn something new.

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