2016 Review: IHG

IHG did not make the various corporate moves rumored to happen. Even Kimpton, purchases several years ago, has not been integrated into the fold several years after acquisition.

The IHG website still uses 4-digit pins for passwords.

IHG Rewards Club:

IHG continues fun gamified promotions. IHG Accelerate has returned for Q1 2017.

IHG Priceless has daily online entry through February 15, 2017.

650 hotels are changing award night price on January 15, 2017.

Quarterly IHG PointBreaks continue to be one of the best hotel deals.

The Chase IHG credit card continues to offer exceptional value: Platinum status, 1 free anniversary night, 10% award night points rebate, all for $49/year.

IHG Rewards Club elite status still lags the kind of benefits found with competition. A new 2 pm late checkout benefit for Golds and higher begins January 1, 2017 (benefit, not a guaranteed benefit).

My IHG Stays:

My IHG stays reflect their extensive range of properties and price points.

Holiday Inn Montego Bay Resort All-Inclusive was the use for my expiring Chase credit card anniversary night. If that is the all-inclusive experience, and some say so, count me out. I don’t need temptation to overeat on high school cafeteria hamburgers and desiccated fried and chips.

Holiday Inn Montego Bay Fish and ChipsHoliday Inn Across from Universal was the site of a timeshare stay tied to a prior IHG Accelerate. Old hotel, convenient location walkable to Universal Studios. Front desk tipped me off on nearby Peruvian Pio Pio and other great eats. If you like fat, try the chicharron necklace.

Pio Pio Orlando ChicharronI got to know Holiday Inn Accra Airport on too many transits, planned and unplanned. 20,000 points/night for a functioning hotel in Accra, Ghana is a great deal. Free shuttle transfer, though I prefer the short walk with stop at Pizza Inn at the gas station on the way.

Accra Airport Pizza InnHoliday Inn Cairns Harbourside is a solid property for your Great Barrier Reef base. Weekly manager open bar reception for IHG elites. Sometimes it appears on PointBreaks.

Holiday Inn Cairns HarboursideHoliday Inn Express Halifax-Bedford is a functional roadside stop far out of town that was a bargain in PointBreaks. Nova Scotia is too big to be based in one place, so this can do for a night stop on a circuit of the province. My wife loves the pillows.

Holiday Inn Express Halifax-BedfordStaybridge Suites Toronto-Markham is our preferred spot for a Chinese food tour in Toronto’s suburbs.

Staybridge Suites Toronto-MarkhamHoliday Inn Express St John’s Airport is a excellent, new property at good points value in an expensive hotel market. In a place that cold, what did they not install a jacuzzi with the pool?

I needed a night prior to an early Boston flight on the way down from Maine, had a good IHG Accelerate task to complete, and did not want to deal with downtown Boston. Still, Holiday Inn Boston-Peabody is a sad place.

Heading out to Greece, Holiday Inn Athens – Attica Av, Airport W is far from the airport and the shuttle is only hourly. The only at-airport hotel wants $200+/night and everything else is remote.

Similarly remote from where you want to be is the InterContinental Athenaeum Athens in a boarded up neighborhood a 30-minute walk to the Acropolis.

Intercontinental Athenaeum Athens RoomCrowne Plaza Dulles Airport has an executive lounge that they should either properly cater or shut down. Soda cans and bags of chips.

Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Executive LoungeHoliday Inn Express Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is where you stay when you need an affordable IHG Accelerate night in DC and it can’t be Holiday Inn brand.

Finally, Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove makes a tranquil Australia Gold Coast stay away from the beach party scene. Formerly a Hyatt, the property does not scream luxury. A new executive lounge should be open soon. Extensive fitness center at the attached country club, where you can view kangaroos on the golf course. Walk a few steps to the restaurants at the marina. The breakfast is worth it – try the waffles.

Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove PoolReaders, what are your 2016 IHG memories?

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  • Wes

    Wife and I burned our IHG CC free night certs at the Crowne Plaza La Concha in Key West. Really enjoyed it and delivered tremendous value. On another trip, a friend and I burned points at the Holiday Inn Resort all-inclusive in Montego Bay when they had the 50% off points promo (so 17.5k/night). I might not have been too impressed had I paid the full points rate, but for a short weekend getaway from Florida with bottomless Red Stripe from the tap at 17.5k points per night- we were more than content.