An Intercontinental that Really Recognizes IHG Rewards Elite Status: Intercontinental Marine Drive-Mumbai

Intercontinental Hotels have an uneasy relationship with IHG Rewards. While having its own Ambassador program, there are also benefits afforded to IHG Rewards elites, though they stop short of the most desirable benefits like lounge access.

From time to time I stay at Intercontinentals for business. They are not my first choice. For similar price hotels I find them nice in every respect though bland. I have IHG Rewards Platinum status from their credit card. While I might stay at a Crowne Plaza and be given a huge suite, lounge access and full breakfast, at Intercontinentals I have gotten little more than an imperceptible upgrade to a slightly better room. So paradoxically, even when budget allows, I will often opt for a Crowne Plaza or Holiday Inn when outside the US.

When something like IHG Into The Nights comes around, though, then I am a fan. Which led me to my Into the Night offer of needing three stays outside the US, each in a different country. I had one night left in India that I could move to the Intercontinental Marine Drive-Mumbai and did just that. With the Indian Rupee down and monsoon season, top hotels in Mumbai have rates around US$150.

I was pleasantly surprised upon check-in to have the manager pop out of the back with an effusive welcome for being an IHG Rewards Platinum. He put me in a Junior Suite with various welcome amenities. The buttermilk welcome drink is a mouthful. By far the most generous I have received in an Intercontinental.

No complimentary breakfast, though at $10 it is a reasonable price for a hotel of this caliber, especially when compared to the a la carte prices at its restaurants. Hotel only has 58 rooms and does not have a club lounge. All guests also get a complimentary 20-minute massage (with gentle upsell).

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The light switches require experimentation to operate.

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The windows could use a wash.

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In a full-on city the dark, zen style of the hotel is a welcome relief.

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They have aromatherapy heaters in rooms, a wide selection of quilts and pillows, even a Chinese bamboo pillow and Korean buckwheat pillow. There are hypoallergenic rooms that have gone through “7 stages of disinfectant.” A fitness center the hotel rightly describes as “Very basic Gym facilities and open for 24 hours.”

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Turndown service is a bit ominous:

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The rooftop lounge is a Mumbai notable, and there are several other restaurants, none yet open at 6:30 for pictures as dining in India is earliest at 7 pm.

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For sightseeing in Mumbai the location is suburb. For business it is a bit south of the major business areas though a commute will go against traffic.

Impressive.

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