There has been an interesting development with three of the unbranded UK hotels which are part of IHG One Rewards.
From 1st October, IHG will no longer manage:
RBH Hospitality Management, one of the few third-party managers of luxury hotels, is taking over the role. RBH already runs hotels such as The Westin London City (review here) and The Gantry in London, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection.
IHG was previously running these hotels, and the other hotels which came with the Principal Hotels acquisition, via a managed lease. The hotels actually sat on IHG’s balance sheet, unlike literally 99.9% of its other hotels. IHG may rue signing that deal, since the group was committed to paying £48m per year to its property partner, irrespective of the profitability of the hotels – and probably irrespective of a pandemic closing them.
Most were turned into Kimpton properties (Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London) along with InterContinental Edinburgh and voco Cardiff. The three hotels listed above were not suitable for conversion into any other IHG brand.
It isn’t clear if IHG has surrendered the lease on these three hotels. The press release makes it clear that it is the property owner rather than IHG which has appointed the new management company.
For clarity, whilst IHG is no longer running these hotels from next week, they are not necessarily leaving IHG One Rewards. It seems likely – given that IHG doesn’t really want unbranded hotels on its website – but it isn’t certain. (EDIT: The Met Hotel is now cancelling redemption bookings because ‘it is leaving IHG’ so it seems that it is the end.)
Travellers to Leeds will be pleased to hear that the new contract includes an agreement for a full refurbishment of The Met Hotel in Leeds, even if it will no longer be part of IHG.
My unhappy recent review of Principal York is here. I was back in York last weekend, and despite my IHG One Rewards Diamond status checked into the Hampton instead ….
IHG One Rewards update – February 2024:
Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is not running a global promotion at the moment, but some members were sent targeted offers for their stays in February and March
New to IHG One Rewards? Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.
IHG One Rewards is offering an 80% bonus when you buy points by 7th March 2024. Click here to buy.
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