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Great news: use your InterContinental Ambassador free night at Kimpton Hotels – ANY day!

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This has not been announced officially, but it is clear from test bookings that you can now redeem your InterContinental Ambassador ‘free weekend night’ certificate at Kimpton Hotels.

Even better, you DON’T need to use it at weekends.  With Kimpton, the certificates seem to be valid at any time.  This makes it a lot easier for your Ambassador membership to pay for itself.

This is a fantastic new benefit, opening up a lot of new opportunities to use your 2-4-1 voucher.  Kimpton Hotels are generally funkier and cheaper than InterContinentals, and are present in a wider range of cities.

Coverage in Europe is, to be honest, still weak, but it is improving as we will show below.

Use Ambassador free night at Kimpton Hotels

You can use your Ambassador voucher at Kimpton Hotels

You won’t find any messaging online, even in the voucher rules, about the ability to spend it at Kimpton properties.

However, you can easily prove it yourself.  Head to the voucher booking site – intercontinental.com/ambweekend – and do a test.  This is what comes up as your options for London on a weekend night:

Ambassador voucher at Kimpton hotels

The two InterContinental options are now joined by Kimpton Fitzroy.  (The Kimpton Fitzroy is, in my view, the most pleasant IHG hotel in London.  My Kimpton Fitzroy review is here.)

If you do the same search on a two night midweek stay, you ONLY see the Kimpton Fitzroy offered.

Even better, all room types are included, even up to the top suites as you can see here:

Ambassador voucher at Kimpton hotels

For clarity, only Kimpton Hotels have been added to the voucher.  Regent and Six Senses, IHG’s other recent luxury acquisitions, are NOT included.

Where can I find Kimpton Hotels in Europe?

It’s not a huge list, to be fair.  You’ve got:

The ‘coming soon’ list comprises:

  • Paris
  • Frankfurt
  • Rotterdam

You can see a full list of Kimpton properties here.

Kimpton Barcelona

How does InterContinental Ambassador work?

If you’re not familiar with InterContinental Ambassador, the rest of this article will explain how it works.

For clarity, apart from the free night certificate, the other benefits do NOT currently apply at Kimpton Hotels.

InterContinental, the luxury hotel brand inside IHG Rewards Club (which also covers Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and others) is a little odd when it comes to loyalty schemes:

As part of the Holiday Inn / Crowne Plaza group, it participates in IHG Rewards Club

InterContinental hotels do not officially recognise your IHG Rewards Club status.  In reality, they often do, but it is not guaranteed.

InterContinental also has its own loyalty scheme – Ambassadorwhich costs $200 to join

InterContinental Ambassador review

You can sign up here.  The cost is $200.

For new members, there is an option to use 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points instead of paying $200 in cash.   Given my 0.4p valuation of an IHG Rewards Club point this is a fair deal, although it is always possible to exceed 0.4p – often by a large margin – at peak hotels on peak dates.

The key thing about Ambassador is that, once you are a member, the benefits are virtually guaranteed on paid stays. They are NOT guaranteed on reward stays but most properties do let you have them.

These benefits are:

A certificate for a free night (BOGOF) when you join and each year when you renew. In one swoop, you can save your entire membership fee with this benefit. To use the voucher, you need to book a 2-night stay (weekend only at InterContinental, any day at Kimpton Hotels) and pay the Ambassador Certificate Rate, which is usually equal to Best Flexible Rate. The rules say that only standard rooms can be booked. However, many hotels let you book club rooms or suites which is especially useful for families.

(As the Ambassador Certificate Rate is more expensive than a non-refundable Advance Purchase rate, your free night is not totally free if you would otherwise have booked a cheaper pre-paid rate.  It is totally free if you would otherwise have booked at Best Flexible Rate.  For clarity, the free night is the 2nd night.  It is NOT the average of your two nights.)

A GUARANTEED one-level room upgrade on every InterContinental stay – this is usually processed before you arrive and is visible online.  If the hotel cannot provide an upgrade, you receive 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points compensation.

4pm check-out – this is a GUARANTEED benefit and comes in very handy on a weekend break or on a trip with an evening flight back home.  If the hotel cannot provide late check-out, you receive 10,000 IHG Rewards Club points compensation.

A $20 food and beverage credit per InterContinental stay

Free mineral water in your room

Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards Club (usually requires 40 nights or $4,000 of qualifying spend)

The benefits package is slightly different for stays in Mainland China, including free restaurant breakfast for one person.

Is InterContinental Ambassador worth it?

Obviously InterContinental Ambassador is not for everyone.  You can earn back the cost of membership in just one stay by redeeming the free night voucher.  It may even be worth it if you had just one long InterContinental stay booked and wanted to guarantee your upgrade.

Ambassador members also receive Platinum Elite status in IHG Rewards Club.  This will make your future Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo etc stays a little more pleasant although it is unlikely to lead to major upgrades or lounge access.

You can learn more about InterContinental Ambassador, and sign up, here if it sounds interesting.

(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.)

Comments (86)

  • Scotty says:

    Is the 40k points purchase option only available to new members or can you also use it to renew your current membership in year 2?

    • Andrew says:

      I was wondering the same after reading Rob’s words about it being for “new members”. I joined last year with points and would like to renew on points again when my membership finally lapses after the multiple extensions we’ve been given.

      • Rob says:

        The last report I can find (Aug 2019) is that the renewal options were reduced to either: $200 (and get 15k points back plus 10% back on all redemptions) OR 40,000 points.

        On this basis, you’d want to pay cash anyway.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        I’m sure I’ve seen the offer in my IHG account to use 40k pts for AMB & I’ve never been AMB.

    • Sandra says:

      IME paying with points usually comes up as an offer in your account when renewal is coming up. Once I seem to remember being offered, and paying, 30000 points for renewal rather than the cash price. Renewal has also been included as a target in the quarterly points accumulator offers in the past too.

  • jamie says:

    It’s still a nonsense that you don’t get a free breakfast even with Spire ambassador, way behind Hilton in this respect

    • Andrew says:

      I guess Hilton is the programme for you then. IHG is much better for earn and burn for points. My colleague (used to) travel as much as me for work and is Hilton diamond and at the end of ten year would have a fraction of the free nights I had access to being in IHG.

      • Graeme says:

        @Andrew, couldn’t agree more. I value the ability to redeem for actual stays far higher. In my experience IHG offer a relatively straightforward proposition to do that.

        The obsession with a free breakfast is the nonsense IMO, when you can simply have an early lunch, enjoy local eateries or skip it all together. Obvious exceptions in resorts, families, remote less service locations et al. As always each to their own, but simply follow the programme that best meets your needs, simple.

        • First Class Fiona says:

          @Graeme, my thoughts exactly old bean. It’s like you’ve written a post and taken all the words from out of my mouth. I always wonder why these tracksuit wearing chavs continue to spout off about their free breakfasts like it’s the most important thing in the world. I can’t stand the absolute tripe some of these people speak on this subject. You know what you are getting with IHG and breakfast isn’t one of them. If you don’t like it, jump on the big red bus and pop over to Hilton, where you can take huge satisfaction by getting your free cornflakes and toast. Anyway, enough from me, I’ve got to get to the wine cellar and pick out a French red for dinner, maybe a Chateau Margaux. Bottoms up x

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I actually don’t care much about free breakfast I’ll stay in the hotel that meets my needs (location/style/service/quality F&B etc) before worrying about some free food.

          However, it’s still odd that a Spire doesn’t get it. Even a 2 for 1 deal like Melia would be a step in the right direction.

      • First Class Fiona says:

        @jamie, stick with Hilton then old bean. Thanks for the pointless post, next.

        @andrew, spot on, couldn’t agree more. We’re like peas in a pod, drizzled with champagne. Krug, of course, none of the cheap fizzy vinegar x

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Not as boring and pointless as yours 2ndclassFiona.

          • First Class Fiona says:

            @Secret Squirrel, three of your posts have called me boring so where’s the value to everyone else in that? I’d call that boring, old bean. At least I’ve been agreeing with other posters and adding a bit of spice to the conversation. Cheer up darling. Fiona x

    • memesweeper says:

      The exception is Crowne Plazas with lounges, you’ll often get the upgrade and snag the lounge breakfast benefit.

      When travelling for work I couldn’t care less about included breakfasts — there’s usually an alternative for not much money in central business districts and airports.

      When redeeming for leisure it’s a different story. I’ll have family/friends in tow, and more likely to be in a resort or remote location and an included breakfast is a real hit.

      But the ease with which I can earn a lot of IHG points now means many leisure stays *are* in IHG properties, and if I have to pay for the odd breakfast, ce la vie.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      If you hit spire you get 25k bonus so put that towards AMB + 15k pts.

  • meta says:

    Loyalty Lobby has statement from IHG confirming the fact.

  • Anna says:

    Awesome. I’ve just booked a one bedroom premier suite at the Kimpton Eventi at just $50 more than the IC Times Square which only let me book a standard room! Now just need to be able to travel to the US by next spring …

    • mutley says:

      I stayed in NYC at the Kimpton Eventi with OH and pre teenager (12 years old) last year, nice but smallish rooms, if you want to use the hotels restaurant then book as soon as you arrive, as it opens out to the street and gets booked up and busy as its a destination in its self. A short walk from Penn Street Station if arriving by LIRR from JFK.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks for the heads up. We’ll probably get a car transfer from JFK as we’ll have had a long journey and will have a LOT of luggage as we’re flying down to the Caribbean for a fortnight afterwards.

    • memesweeper says:

      Eventi is great! enjoy 🙂

  • Dave says:

    Is this true for IHG free nights from CC voucher too?

  • ChrisC says:

    This is good news.

    I had plans to use my AMB cert for a trip to the states (now cancelled).

    Even with the 6 month AMB extension they gave it was doubtful if I would be able to use it at all.

    Now I have options to use it at a Kimpton in Europe

  • Alex W says:

    Do ambassadors get any other benefits at Kimptons? I’m not in a rush to go back to one given their ridiculous resort fees.

    • ChrisC says:

      You get them based on your IHG status which will be a minimum of Platinum as that’s free as part of Ambassador.

  • JOHN MATRIX says:

    As a very heavy traveller Ambassador has minimal value – the whole point of accumulating all these points is to AVOID paying £££ for nice hotels. Even with a voucher, there’s v little incentive to burn cash on the stay + a expensive breakfast for two. 10% off redemptions is paltry considering you’ve forked out $200 (& breakfasts…) for the privilege. The room “upgrade” is so subjective it’s not worth considering – in my experience it generally means same room, higher floor!

    IHG top tier status can’t compete with Hilton Diamond and Marriott Titanium+.