You may not know that you can get free access to club lounges at some InterContinental hotels if you book via a travel agent who is affiliated to the exclusive Virtuoso network.
This is a benefit which is well worth knowing about, because IHG / InterContinental does not offer lounge access to top-tier members of its IHG One Rewards programme unless you take it as a 40 night ‘milestone bonus’.
IHG does offer InterContinental lounge access to Royal Ambassador cardholders. This requires a high level – into US$ five figures it seems – of annual spend across InterContinental, Kimpton and Regent to qualify, so don’t pin your hopes on that..
Luckily, there is a way around this. A handful of top InterContinental hotels are part of the Virtuoso luxury hotels network. These can only be booked by a closed network of hand-picked travel agents, of which our hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas is one of the few in the UK.
The following InterContinental hotels will give you guaranteed lounge access if you book them via Emyr (details here).
The price will usually be Best Flexible Rate. If you were booking a flexible rate anyway then this is a genuinely free extra bonus. If you would otherwise book Advanced Purchase (non-refundable) then you will pay a little more but you are getting a substantial list of extra benefits which should easily offset the cost.
For clarity, you WILL earn IHG One Rewards points on these rates. If you are also InterContinental Ambassador, my experience is that the hotels will often upgrade you an additional level, as Virtuoso bookings also come with an upgrade.
These InterContinental hotels offer free lounge access on Virtuoso agent bookings:
InterContinental London Park Lane
Benefits: Upgrade at time of booking subject to availability, daily full breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom served in the Club InterContinental, complimentary access to Club InterContinental and all associated benefits, early check-In / late check-out subject to availability, complimentary Wi-Fi
Benefits: Upgrade on arrival subject to availability, buffet breakfast (in club lounge), club lounge access with private check-in + late check-out until 4pm + buffet with a wide range of snacks and drinks (available 7am-11pm), 10% discount at El Jardin Restaurant & Brunch, two item pressing service at the laundry, complimentary Wi-Fi
InterContinental New York Barclay (above)
Benefits: Upgrade at time of arrival subject to availability, buffet breakfast served in the Club InterContinental Lounge, access to the Club InterContinental Lounge, personalized VIP arrival with welcome note & seasonal welcome amenity, early check-In / late check-out subject to availability, complimentary Wi-Fi, daily $35 plus tax New York Amenity Fee waived upon guest check out, daily housekeeping / evening turn down upon guest request
InterContinental Paris Le Grand (above)
Benefits: Upgrade at time of booking from Cosy to Classic room (upgrade on arrival, subject to availability, for other categories), daily buffet breakfast in club lounge, daily access to club lounge, VIP welcome amenities and letter, 25% discount on rack rate suite from Ambassador Suite, early Check-In / Late Check-Out subject to availability, complimentary Wi-Fi
We reviewed InterContinental Paris Le Grand here and I have probably stayed 15 times over the years.
Details of how to contact Emyr with booking enquiries can be found here.
PS. Emyr can get ‘added value’ deals at ALL InterContinental hotels – this usually includes an upgrade, free breakfast and $100 of hotel credit – but only the four above offer club lounge access when you book a standard room.
IHG One Rewards update – December 2022:
Get bonus points: You will earn bonus IHG One Rewards points on stays between 13th October 2022 and 31st December 2022. You can choose between 2,000 points for every two nights or 10,000 points for every four nights (not cumulative). Read this article for full details. You can register here.
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.
You will receive a 100% bonus if you buy IHG One Rewards points by 29th December 2022.
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.