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Upgrades at InterContinental with Diamond + Ambassador Status

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  • SGJNI

    Alas, I and my husband SNORE, allegedly, so two beds are preferred. The Fitzroy aren’t great at providing a twin bed room as an upgrade. Or even to book, but better than the IC Park Lane.

    Aliks

    SGJNI -We will eat a free breakfast if offered, but are happy just to make our own coffee in the room and eat a snack on the road. From that perspective breakfast is not worth that much to us, maybe amounting to the cost of a sandwich ie £3-5.

    The pricing calculation for the Montreal I/C might be different for others though.

    Normally two breakfasts in a good hotel costs something like £30 and a couple of drinks at the bar about £15, but for Montreal, they were asking 29CAD per person for breakfast (about £40 for 2 people since the collapse of the pound this year) and this was just for a plate of hot food plus coffee and juice – there was no buffet. A drink at the bar was about 12CAD (so £16 approx for 2 people).

    I can see that some might say the breakfast offer is a clear winner – YMMV.

    NorthernLass

    Alas, I and my husband SNORE, allegedly, so two beds are preferred. The Fitzroy aren’t great at providing a twin bed room as an upgrade. Or even to book, but better than the IC Park Lane.

    Lol, does twin beds make a difference?! Agree they are hard to find at some hotels and seem to come at a premium at Kimpton and IC. Even in the US many properties are now charging more for 2 doubles than 1 King size bed (IME Americans will cram as many people as they can into a room, even for a week-long holiday!)

    JohnG

    Should I kick up a fuss at checkin pointing out that this upgrade is barely worth talking about? or continue exit any commitment to IHG for future bookings?

    If you care enough about an underwhelming upgrade on a points booking to abandon an entire hotel chain then I don’t see why you wouldn’t put a trivial amount of effort into trying to improve the upgrade. You don’t need to “kick up a fuss”, or wait until check-in, just contact the hotel in advance and politely explain that you are a bit disappointed by the initial upgrade offered and would appreciate it if they could improve it to a premium room. If they won’t in advance then you can ask again at check-in if they have a better room available.

    davefl

    Now appearing on room descriptions – “Lounge access not applicable for complimentary upgrades”

    Vey disappointing change from IHG.

    CraigV

    I just had a stay at IC Athens. I have Diamond Ambassador status. I got an upgrade from a Classic Room to a Classic Room City View. 5th floor room so the only view is of the surrounding blocks, not the city and certainly not the Parthenon which you can see from the upper floors. Essentially, a “non-upgrade”. €15 stay credit but with beer at €10,50 a glass it doesn’t go far. Free breakfast with Diamond status. They wanted a farcical €80 for Club access. Hotel was NOT busy.
    Contrasts poorly with an foc Club Room and Club access on last stay. Haven’t done enough stays yet under the new scheme for any significant Milestone Reward. You sense a miserable attitude – the generosity has gone.
    With no hotel benefits worth having I voted with my feet and ate out at the Vassilis restaurant 3 mins walk away – great food, and beer at €5,20 a go.

    Tracy

    That’s a shame to hear, was thinking of staying here using my ambassador 241 in October….was going to book base room and hope for upgrade to club room, guess that won’t be happening lol. Was the club access at 80euro for 2 people?

    I just had a stay at IC Athens. I have Diamond Ambassador status. I got an upgrade from a Classic Room to a Classic Room City View. 5th floor room so the only view is of the surrounding blocks, not the city and certainly not the Parthenon which you can see from the upper floors. Essentially, a “non-upgrade”. €15 stay credit but with beer at €10,50 a glass it doesn’t go far. Free breakfast with Diamond status. They wanted a farcical €80 for Club access. Hotel was NOT busy.
    Contrasts poorly with an foc Club Room and Club access on last stay. Haven’t done enough stays yet under the new scheme for any significant Milestone Reward. You sense a miserable attitude – the generosity has gone.
    With no hotel benefits worth having I voted with my feet and ate out at the Vassilis restaurant 3 mins walk away – great food, and beer at €5,20 a go.

    NorthernLass

    If you’re Diamond or on a package where breakfast is included, lounge access doesn’t really add much extra. Especially if you stay at a Kimpton and there’s social hour as well as brekkie!

    Tracy

    That’s the decision for IC Athens, base room is 100euro cheaper for the 2 nights total, so 50euro per night. I will have breakfast included so is club access and a slightly better room worth 50euro per night??…

    If you’re Diamond or on a package where breakfast is included, lounge access doesn’t really add much extra. Especially if you stay at a Kimpton and there’s social hour as well as brekkie!

    Pangolin

    I just had a stay at IC Athens. I have Diamond Ambassador status. I got an upgrade from a Classic Room to a Classic Room City View. 5th floor room so the only view is of the surrounding blocks, not the city and certainly not the Parthenon which you can see from the upper floors. Essentially, a “non-upgrade”. €15 stay credit but with beer at €10,50 a glass it doesn’t go far. Free breakfast with Diamond status. They wanted a farcical €80 for Club access. Hotel was NOT busy.
    Contrasts poorly with an foc Club Room and Club access on last stay. Haven’t done enough stays yet under the new scheme for any significant Milestone Reward. You sense a miserable attitude – the generosity has gone.
    With no hotel benefits worth having I voted with my feet and ate out at the Vassilis restaurant 3 mins walk away – great food, and beer at €5,20 a go.

    I was there 3 weeks ago on a 241. I’m also Diamond ambassador and I got a 7th floor room – you still can’t see the Parthenon, as it’s maddeningly obscured by a hideously ugly building in the foreground that is just high enough to block the view (8th-9th floor should be okay so getting a Club room would fix this).

    I got offered €90 for Club Lounge, so consider yourself lucky to have received such a generous offer!

    In the last two months I’ve stayed twice in IC WAW and once in IC ATH and am 0/3 on Club but IC’s in general won’t comp you lounge access – so treat it as a bonus if you get it.

    An interesting datapoint for the CP WAW – I stayed there in June (as Plat) and all the staff said that as Diamond I’d get access to the lounge. So as a newly minted Diamond I went back a few weeks later in July and the staff said no Club for Diamond.

    I asked why and they said the GM had removed Club access for Diamonds since they now get free breakfast 🙁

    I hope other places don’t follow suit, but if you’re thinking of booking the CP WAW as Diamond in expectation of lounge access, you should cross it off your list.

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 15 hours ago by Pangolin.
    Pangolin

    That’s the decision for IC Athens, base room is 100euro cheaper for the 2 nights total, so 50euro per night. I will have breakfast included so is club access and a slightly better room worth 50euro per night??…

    If you’re Diamond or on a package where breakfast is included, lounge access doesn’t really add much extra. Especially if you stay at a Kimpton and there’s social hour as well as brekkie!

    See my recent post above – a club room should give you an unobscured view of the Parthenon from your room – 7th floor or lower and you see some monstrous carbuncle instead

    What’s interesting about IC ATH (and quite a few other ICs it seems) is that you get an even worse offer on the upsell at the front desk than just paying for it upfront in the reservation. And if you book a Club room as AMB that opens up the possibility of a Suite upgrade (upsell would just give you club in a Deluxe room)

    NorthernLass

    On a similar note – I’ve just seen that the IC O2 now charges £200 more for the 1 Bedroom suite to include lounge access, it used to be standard!

    NorthernLass

    Also slightly related – the magic e-standby upgrade offers seem to be popping up on every IC booking I make at the moment so it’s always worth checking your booking to see if there’s a better deal than the hotels are offering for upgrades, lounges, etc.

    (I am currently being offered an upgrade on the suite we have booked at The Willard in Washington DC at Xmas. They are offering me a Presidential suite for an extra $4k pn. For that price I would expect it to come with an actual president).

    Tracy

    @Pangolin, I tend to not really value the view so won’t pay extra for it….as long as the bed is comfortable I’m happy. I already have breakfast as Diamond, I never want the food in a club lounge, so how many g&t’s do I need to drink in the lounge to warrant 100euro lol?

    NorthernLass

    @Tracy, I’m the same re views, and somewhere like Athens presumably you’re going to be out a lot sightseeing! We went when my son was 4; he refused point blank to climb the steps up to the Parthenon so OH and I ended up taking it in turns. Hoping to return one day and see the rest of it without having to visit the Playmobil theme park!

    Tracy

    @NorthernLass 4K per night wow…I have an upgrade available for Intercontinental Dubai Festival City from classic to club room for 195aed, about £45 per night….so Athens £50 per night using 241, Dubai £45 per night individual nights….is this the average price for club access?

    NorthernLass

    I think so, the e-upgrades usually offer it around $50 per night. It feels like I’d be paying for a breakfast I’m getting free anyway though.

    CraigV

    That’s a shame to hear, was thinking of staying here using my ambassador 241 in October….was going to book base room and hope for upgrade to club room, guess that won’t be happening lol. Was the club access at 80euro for 2 people?

    Yes it was €80,00 per room per night for Club access. The Club lounge is pleasant if a bit tired, but the terrace with a view of the Parthenon and the City is outstanding. Given the free breakfast you’d find it hard to drink €80 Euros worth of booze. Most annoying thing is the complete lack of respect. I can’t wait for the refurbished Hilton to reopen!

    Pangolin

    Not sure if it’s made clear but if you’re doing 241 then you only pay club on the upsell for the first night – the second night is free so the club charge is effectively half price (it’s similar if you book a Club room outright in a 241 reservation – the second night shows the room price (with club built into the rate) but you are not paying for that night anyway.

    So for 241 – whether booking Club outright or paying the upsell afterwards – the rule is always 2 club nights for the price of 1

    If ever I’m going to splash out and book a Club room, a 241 is when I’m most likely to indulge!

    Aliks

    If you care enough about an underwhelming upgrade on a points booking to abandon an entire hotel chain then I don’t see why you wouldn’t put a trivial amount of effort into trying to improve the upgrade. You don’t need to “kick up a fuss”, or wait until check-in, just contact the hotel in advance and politely explain that you are a bit disappointed by the initial upgrade offered and would appreciate it if they could improve it to a premium room. If they won’t in advance then you can ask again at check-in if they have a better room available.

    JohnG – I gave up on IHG after some years of underwhelming stays – the Intercontinental brand is a bit tired compared to competitors, loyalty recognition is pretty basic. Montreal I/C wasn’t too bad in terms of recognition, but Hilton has treated me much better since I hit diamond last year and I see no reason to go back to IHG.

    SGJNI

    @NorthernLass 4K per night wow…I have an upgrade available for Intercontinental Dubai Festival City from classic to club room for 195aed, about £45 per night….so Athens £50 per night using 241, Dubai £45 per night individual nights….is this the average price for club access?

    The Club Lounge at The IC Festival City used to be among the best and it remains one of my favourite hotels in Dubai, the pool terrace is very relaxing with views of the creek and downtown which is a cheap taxi ride away. Breakfast was always good too. The lounge had a generous pour of Champers and their G&Ts were acceptable, plus the views. The food offering was a bit hit and miss. Obviously, not stayed there in the last two years so it might all have changed?

    LeeH

    Also Diamond Ambassador, here. I just stayed at the Kimpton Eventi in New York for two nights and got “upgraded” to a higher floor, but the same room spec. Lots of better rooms still available.

    I’m now at the Kimpton St George in Toronto, and my upgrade was from a basic room to a suite.

    A little consistency across the brand would be nice. (Consistent with the Toronto experience, needless to say!)

    aseftel

    @NorthernLass 4K per night wow…I have an upgrade available for Intercontinental Dubai Festival City from classic to club room for 195aed, about £45 per night….so Athens £50 per night using 241, Dubai £45 per night individual nights….is this the average price for club access?

    The Club Lounge at The IC Festival City used to be among the best and it remains one of my favourite hotels in Dubai, the pool terrace is very relaxing with views of the creek and downtown which is a cheap taxi ride away. Breakfast was always good too. The lounge had a generous pour of Champers and their G&Ts were acceptable, plus the views. The food offering was a bit hit and miss. Obviously, not stayed there in the last two years so it might all have changed?

    Unfortunately it was just Prosecco in the lounge earlier this year but otherwise the hotel was in fine form.

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