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Great value Six Senses redemptions now bookable with IHG Rewards points

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Back in February 2019, IHG paid $300 million to acquire Six Senses Hotels

Six Senses is, at its best, a true luxury hotel group in a way that none of IHG’s other brands are (sorry InterContinental, sorry Regent).  It instantly became the top brand in the portfolio.

If $300 million seems cheap, it is because Six Senses did not own any of its properties.  IHG was simply buying the brand, 16 management contracts plus a further 18 signed deals and a ‘work in progress’ pipeline of 50 projects.

Six Senses Maldives

Where can I find Six Senses?

Here is the current Six Senses property list, including 2021 openings:

  • Bhutan – Six Senses Bhutan
  • Brazil – Six Senses Botanique
  • Cambodia – Six Senses Krabey Island 
  • China – Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain
  • Fiji – Six Senses Fiji
  • India – Six Senses Fort Barwara (opens September)
  • Indonesia – Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali
  • Israel – Six Senses Shaharut (opens August)
  • Maldives – Six Senses Laamu (pictured above)
  • Oman – Six Senses Zighy Bay
  • Portugal – Six Senses Douro Valley
  • Seychelles – Six Senses Zil Payson  (pictured below)
  • Spain – Six Senses Ibiza (opens Summer 2021)
  • Thailand – Six Senses Samui
  • Thailand – Six Senses Yao Noi
  • Turkey – Six Senses Kaplankaya
  • Turkey – Six Senses Istanbul
  • Vietnam – Six Senses Con Dao
  • Vietnam – Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
Six Senses Seychelles

The jewel in the crown, perhaps surprisingly, was not a beach resort.  The property in Portugal, Douro Valley, is widely regarded as the most luxurious resort in Europe (photo below).   It is set outside Porto and has an exceptional reputation for its rooms, food and spa.

What is happening with IHG Rewards?

IHG has historically been very slow to integrate new acquisitions into IHG Rewards, and Six Senses is no different. It has taken over two years to get to this stage.

As of today, SIX of the resort properties are now part of IHG Rewards. These are:

  • Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand
  • Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
  • Six Senses Botanique, Brazil
  • Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
  • Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
  • Six Senses Fiji, Fiji

You can earn and spend IHG Rewards points at these hotels. Redemptions are possible for stays from 27th April.

You can’t book on ihg.com

Six Senses hotels show up on the IHG website but you cannot book there, even for a points night.

You need to go to the Six Senses website here.

Free nights seem to offer real value

In theory, IHG Rewards redemptions at these hotels are revenue-based. This usually means that you get around 0.4p per IHG Rewards point.

There does appear to be a cap in place, however, which means that outsize value is possible on peak dates.

Here is an example in Bali:

Six Senses rewards pricing

You are looking at either 60,000 points per night or, after rounding, either £250 per night for a non-refundable room or £500 for a fully flexible one.

At £250, you are getting my target valuation of 0.4p per IHG Rewards point. If you need flexibility, however, you need to compare it with the £500 rate and you are getting 0.8p. 0.8p per IHG Rewards point is excellent value.

Here is the Maldives:

You are looking at 100,000 IHG Rewards points or £800 – £900 per night for cash. This means that you are getting 0.8p to 0.9p per point.

Note that IHG is imposing 7-14 days cancellation penalties on points booking at these hotels. You will not have the flexibility to cancel at the last minute in most cases.

Good news if you are Ambassador, Royal Ambassador or Kimpton Inner Circle

If you have InterContinental Ambassador (we explain what IHG’s Ambassador status is in this article), Royal Ambassador or Kimpton Inner Circle, you are in a good place with these hotels.

This is what you will get:

  • Complimentary breakfast for two in the main restaurant each day.
  • Signature Amenity of either a complimentary 50-minute Six Senses Spa massage for two or local experience once per stay
  • Complimentary one category room upgrade (subject to availability, excluding residences and two bedroom or greater suites/villas) – so not guaranteed, even for Royal Ambassador members
  • Extended check-out of 4pm for Ambassador members subject to availability. Guaranteed for Royal Ambassador & Kimpton Inner Circle members. 
  • Early check-in of 10am subject to availability for Ambassador members.  Guaranteed for Royal Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle members and in circumstances where the room is not available at 10am, the member may be checked into another available room until the original booked room becomes available.
  • All benefits are also applicable on reward nights when booked directly through IHG channels 

Given that you can buy Ambassador membership for $200, it will be worth it purely to get free breakfast on a stay at any of the six hotels above.

Bad new for IHG Rewards elite members

Virtually all elite member benefits are suspended at Six Senses. You will receive a ‘welcome platter’ in your room but that is about it.

You will not even receive a ‘Member Rate’ if you book a room for cash.

Conclusion

This is only the first step in integrating Six Senses into IHG Rewards, with many more resorts to come.

Based on the pricing I saw yesterday, I am quite excited about the potential to get outsize value on Six Senses redemptions. Buying IHG Rewards points in a sale, when they go for around 0.4p, may makes sense at these hotels.

I think there will be some grumbling about the lack of elite recognition, especially from Royal Ambassador members who do not get a guaranteed upgrade. On the other hand, buying Ambassador for $200 looks good value as you will get free breakfast – and a Six Senses breakfast won’t come cheap.

I look forward to seeing Six Senses redemptions roll out, and potentially finally get to try out the Portugal property.


IHG Rewards update – July 2021:

Get bonus points: The current IHG Rewards promotion is ‘Triple Your Points’ – our full article is here. It runs from 15th May to 16th August. You receive double base points on your second stay and triple base points on your third and subsequent stays. You can register on this page of ihg.com.

New to IHG Rewards?  Read our two-part overview of IHG Rewards here and here and our article on expiry rules here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG Rewards points, you can buy them here.

There is a 75% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards points by 13th August.

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 Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Comments (83)

  • sunguy says:

    Did someone take a hatchet to the last few days on HFP ?

  • Dominic Barrington says:

    Spire Ambassador is an easy acquisition at $200. But I know very little about Royal Ambassador, including how to acquire it (other than by staying 366 nights a year, I assume), and whether it is worth it. I note it guarantees things which are otherwise discretionary at the un-royal level. Anything else to know?

    • Anna says:

      You get Platinum, not Spire in with your Ambassador membership.

    • Red Flyer says:

      I bought RA years ago on eBay for £350 and got great value in Japan when I used to go there every 6 weeks on business and stayed at the IC Tokyo. Sadly no similar deals these days – used to get free mini bar, upgrade to a suite and unlimited use of the boardroom in the club lounge so was best business expense £ for £ that I ever made!

    • Sam says:

      There’s a criteria. A desk research should get you some information. Rule of thumb is that you need to be a customer who contributes to the top 10% of revenue at InterContinental brand only, for the year.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Breakfasts are free at Six Senses for AMB members I have just read.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Scrub comment above (sorry already quoted in article)

  • YC says:

    Looks like Seychelles has been pulled

  • Sam says:

    Pretty impressed by the benefits for ambassadors already as I’d expect free spa treatment and breakfast would only be given to Royal Ambassadors only. In fact these benefits are even more generous than its own InterContinental brand – remember some InterContinentals are also as expansive as one of the Six Senses.

    I’m not so upset about no IHG Rewards recognition given virtually there isn’t any anyway.

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