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One of the benefits of being a Royal Ambassador with InterContinental is the complimentary minibar beverages (including the alcohol) on paid stays. The minibar should be refreshed daily.

Most of the InterContinental hotels do adhere to this, and give out complimentary snacks as well, although this is not required by the program. Some properties even extend this benefit to award stays, although again not required.

Then there are some InterContinental hotels like the one here in Kuala Lumpur that specially “prepares” the Royal Ambassador’s minibar prior to arrival.

Can you spot the differences between these two?

Regular Minibar at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur

intercontinental-kuala-lumpur-minibar

Royal Ambassador Minibar at the InterContinental Kuala Lumpur 

intercontinental-kuala-lumpur-ra-minibar

White and red wine both gone and replaced by two generic water bottles. Also the Ferrero Rocher chocolates gone. Half of the beers and some soft drinks gone. No energy drink and some fruit juices either. They do this minibar clean up quite cleverly. They remove the price list so that a Royal Ambassador guest cannot be sure what should be included.

Last night, I actually asked one of the ladies who were working in the lounge if they do this for all Royal Ambassador. She was borderline embarrassed to say that they do. What really surprised me is the fact that the minibar here never included any hard liquor. Only some red and white wine in small bottles that cannot be that expensive.

InterContinental Bangkok used to clear their minibar from hard liquor, but they had 2 deciliter bottles not the usual tiny minis. They did stop this practice, however. I hope that InterContinental Kuala Lumpur would star adhering to the Royal Ambassador benefits. Maybe this has something to do with converting this hotel from Nikko to InterContinental brand.

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Isn’t it quite remarkable that a Holiday Inn is the best hotel in the capital? This was the case with Suva that is the capital of Fiji. I had zero expectation as one should always have when booking a Holiday Inn. Some of them are nice but lots of them are not so nice, to put it very kindly. This one in Suva? It was actually one of the nicer ones to my surprise.

There is another hotel, Novotel Suva Lami Bay, that you may also consider when exploring Suva. It is ten to fifteen minute drive from the center of Suva and they provide a shuttle several times a day. I think that overall Holiday Inn was better.

Location

The hotel is located in the center of Suva. It is very close to all government buildings and nightlife. The location really couldn’t be better as everything is within a walking distance.

Check In

I should always remember that when you are in somewhere in Pacific everything that just happens slower. There was one person checking in before me, but the process was taking forever. I asked the agent if he could page someone to come help him with check ins/outs. He then paged a lady to help him.

I had made an award reservation, because the paid rates that are bookable on their website were on the high side. This property was shown as 20K Priority Club points per night, but it is still bookable until 15th of March using the previous points requirement per night that was 15K/night. For some reason the lady was asking me a printed copy of the award reservation. According to her, they had had some problems with Priority Club reservation made using points and they request the guest to provide a copy of the award reservation. This was solved by forwarding a copy of the email to the hotel from my phone.

After these email confirmation issues were solved, I was checked in to a nice second floor room facing the ocean. This property had an additional Platinum amenity. You could choose one snack item or get a free drink coupon to the bar. I chose the latter.

Room 276

The room was nice for a Holiday Inn. It wasn’t the most modern but quite well kept up. I would imagine this to be the only Holiday Inn in the entire world where the free water for brushing teeth is Fiji.  There was a nice view from the balcony to the pool area and to the sea.

holiday-inn-suva-fiji-room-276-general-view

Pool

The pool itself wasn’t huge, but there were people enjoying it. I would come to Fiji and stay in this business hotel for vacationing purposes. There are other hotels in Fiji that are targeted to more leisure crowds.

holiday-inn-suva-fiji-pool-sunny

Food & Beverage Outlets

I only had few drinks in the evening and some iced teas in the following afternoon in the hotel, and thus cannot comment about the quality, service, and the price of food & beverage. There are plenty of places to eat and drink within a walking distance from the hotel.

holiday-inn-suva-fiji-pool-bar

Conclusion

This was a perfect hotel to explore the city of Suva. There is a large park next to the hotel that houses the history museum of Fiji that is definitely worth visiting. All the government buildings are next door to this hotel.

You have to accept that the service here is not really up to the standards that you might have come to expect even from a Holiday Inn. The stay overall, however, was good.

If you have Priority Club points, this is a very good place to burn some of them. The paid rates are high compared to number of points required.

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This Priority Club One Say Sale is apparently their new weekly feature. I don’t mind as it is always great to save when you are redeeming points.

priority-club-one-say-sale

These discounted rewards are only available until midnight Thursday EST.

This time they have 12 properties from 50% to 67% discount off their regular redemption rates. I don’t understand why they have the InterContinental Residence Suites Dubai Financial Center on this list as this property NEVER has any paid or redemption availability. I again checked ten different dates during this redemption sale period and none was available.

priority-club-one-say-sale-march-8

priority-club-one-say-sale-march-8-2

You can access this sale at http://www.priorityclub.com/onedaysale.

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It is time for a March hotel promotions update. This is the first time I will include the Choice Privileges in this update as well. In the future you will most likely see Accor and Best Western promotions as well. There are so many different promotions going on that there is, for sure, something for everyone.

I am working on the Two Days of Happy Starwood promotion that is about to end. Will probably have quite a few InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton stays next. Both have very good promotions going on.

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

Club Carlson is offering triple points for all stays. This promotion is valid until March 16th, 2012. Note that you will receive 2000 bonus points for online bookings.

club-carlson-triple-points

Club Carlson “Triple Points – Faster Nights” Promotion – Triple Gold Points Worldwide

Choice Hotels – Choice Privileges

Choice has a promotion starting on March 8th for 8000 points for every two stays. On some brands you need two nights for a stay.

choise-hotels-march-promo

Choice Hotels Promotion – Stay Two Separate Times & Earn One Free Night

Hilton HHonors

Hilton has the most promotions running that you can combine together. You should sign up for the two promos below. Even if you are Diamond with Hilton, you can still get 40K HH for four Hilton stays.

Register Your Visa and Get 1000 Hilton HHonors Points + 4000 Bonus for Spending $100

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders + 40K HHonors Points After Four Stays (For All?

You can choose one of these airline promotions as your double dip earnings partner. My personal favorite still is BMI that would earn 1k per night and up to three nights regardless of the Hilton brand. Please note that all these airline related bonuses are scheduled to end on March 31st.

hilton-hhonors-emirates-promo

Triple ANA and Double Emirates Miles for Hilton Stays Until March 31st

Airline Promotions for Air Canada Aeroplan, US Airways Dividend Miles, Lufthansa Miles & More and American Airlines AAdvantage

Earn 2012 Bonus Delta SkyMiles per Two Night Hilton Stay

The British Airways promotion shows 1500 bonus Avios, but what has been posting to members is 1000. If you don’t get the correct amount,  I would suggest that you write to Hilton and reference their own promotional page for this offer.

hilton-hhonors-avios-campaign

Hilton HHonors With British Airways Offering 1500 Bonus Avios Per Stay Until March 31st, 2012

These are the two main promotions for the time. More Points promotion for extra points for each nights and more for weekend stays, and free night certificates for longer resort stays.

Hilton HHonors 1st Quarter 2012 “More Points” Promotion

‘Resort Escapes’ Promotion – Free Night Certificate After Five Nights and Two After Ten Nights

Hyatt Gold Passport

You can earn up to 44K extra points for 16 stays during the promotional period. That is extra 2750 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night.

hyatt-spring-promo-2012

Hyatt Announced Spring 2012 Promo – Earn up to 44000 Bonus Points

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

The first promotion for double points starting from your second stay and the 5/7/15 stays for 5K/10K/15K bonus points are combinable. The first one runs until the end of April and the second until the end of March. Note that you need to choose the bonus after 5, 7, or 15 stays. If you don’t meet the threshold, you won’t get the associate bonus.

Priority Club 1st Quarter 2012 Promotion Announced – Double Points or Miles – 2X More

Priority Club Bonus Points Promo for 1st Quarter 2012

Marriott Rewards / Ritz-Carton Rewards

Remember that you can have only Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards account. You cannot have both. You can, however, switch between accounts as often as you wish just by calling the rewards customer service.

ritz-carlton-rewards

Ritz-Carlton Rewards – Earn Free Night Certificate After Two Stays Promotion

Note that you can only register for the MegaBonus or MegaMiles promotion. There are number of different MegaBonus thresholds. Pick up the ones that fits you best, and call the Marriott Rewards customer service if you need to switch your targeted promotion to something else.

Marriott Rewards Spring 2012 MegaBonus Announced – Few Variations of the Offer

Earn Up To 50000 Virgin America Elevate Bonus Points During Marriott’s MegaMiles Promotion

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Up to 50K Bonus Miles

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood has two different promotions that are both exclusive. The Better By the Night is valid in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The list of non-participating properties is rather long. Note that this is NOT valid in the Asia-Pacific region that has their own promotion. The Two Days of Happy end of March 15th.

Starwood Preferred Guest 1st Quarter 2012 “Better by the Night”–promotion

‘Two Days of Happy’ – Stay 5 Nights Get One Free Night Certificate – Stay 9 Nights Get Two Free Night Certificates – 4MCFN

There is a promotion of 1000 extra Starpoints for booking a Club accommodation at Sheraton hotels and paying using an American Express card.

spg-1000-bonus-points-sheraton-club

Starwood Offering 1000 Bonus Starpoints for Sheraton Club Floor Bookings

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Last week I had had enough of Denarau Island and Nadi, and decided to make my way to the city of Suva, the capital of Fiji. Of the three hotels that I visited in Denarau the Hilton was by far the best. I wasn’t very satisfied with either Sheraton or Radisson Blu hotels. I also had a quick overnight at the Mercure hotel. This hotel is bit on the pricey side and thus it is very good value using Priority Club points/Points and Money rewards as I pointed out.

Location

This InterContinental is located in Natadola Bay, which is about an hour drive from Nadi International airport. The actual distance is only 40 kilometers, but the road itself is in terrible condition. There are numerous villages that you pass by and very deep potholes.

intercontinental-fiji-nan-natadola-bay-google-maps

I am sure that the hotel can arrange a transport from the airport to the resort. Whether you need a rental car is entirely dependent what you are planning to do. If your main focus is relax in the resort and only fly in/out, I wouldn’t rent a car. If you are planning to get around and maybe visit the Suva, renting a car is basically essential. I got a pretty good deal from Europcar for the days I needed one. There are quite a few car rental agencies at the airport. You might be able to negotiate something on the spot, but I made the reservation over the website, however.

There are few signs on the main road, but they are easy to miss if you are driving in the dark. I would suggest that you try to get to the resort during the day light hours. Also, the GPS in my phone was not able to work properly on the Pacific. I did get an approximate location based on the cell phone towers, but not the exact one.

Check in

The check in could have been better. For some reason their system showed me as a Gold member even when the correct InterContinental status is Royal Ambassador. I didn’t have the card with me so I had to log in to the Priority Club website to show them that I was indeed RA.

intercontinental-fiji-lobby-area

Not sure what is the usual Royal Ambassador upgrade here but the entire Club section of the hotel was closed due to low occupancy during the southern summer. You can see the club buildings on the attached map. They are further away from the main pool and beach. I would rather be on the buildings that are next to the beach.

intercontinental-fiji-resort-map-zoom-2

They hadn’t prepared a suite for me as they had the wrong status on their system. I was told that it would take 10 to 15 minutes for them to prepare a suite for me. I went to the bar by the pool and had a margarita while waiting.

Suite 2112

This was a beautiful ground floor suite with an outside terrace that had a nice bath tub. You could walk on the grass to the beach or just relax on the couch outside.

intercontinental-fiji-suite-2112-livingroom-sofa

The living room had a really long sofa, work desk, entertainment system, a hair, and the access to the patio.

intercontinental-fiji-suite-2112-patio-sitting-area

Bedroom was anything you would expect from a modern hotel. There was obviously another TV and wired internet connection. The hotel didn’t have wireless internet access in the rooms.

intercontinental-fiji-suite-2112-bedroom-bed

Bathroom had a shower and a toilet, but as I noted above the bath rub was actually on the outside patio.

Royal Ambassador Amenities

intercontinental-fiji-royal-ambassador-amenity

This hotel honored all the Royal Ambassador benefits even on an award stay. Per the program they don’t have to extend them beyond paid stays. It is always nice, however, when they do. I had a nice white wine amenity and a fruit display brought to the suite. Late checkout 4PM was granted and the minibar was complimentary as well, although I didn’t have time to take extensive use of it.

Beach/Pool

There are two main pools around the property. According to the map there might be one in the club area as well, but that was closed as I noted earlier due to low occupancy. The main pool is by the beach and is infinity style. There are plenty of sun chairs and loungers around. You can watch the pool while eating or drinking in the pool bar/restaurant.

intercontinental-fiji-pool-1

The other pool is closer to the buildings. There are quite a few loungers and sun chairs in this area as well. I think that this pool is a lot swallower than the infinity one.

intercontinental-fiji-pool-sun-chairs-around

The beach here is much better than in the Denarau area, but I would still probably spend most of my time by the pool or in the private patio. There is also a small island on the other side, that you can access during the low tide by just crawling. During the evening you can see quite a few local people crawling in the water and doing some fishing.

intercontinental-fiji-second-pool-2

Restaurants

There are two/three restaurants on the property, and as one might expect this being a resort they are all on the high side when it comes to the price. There aren’t any local other options around. I only had a snack on the restaurant in the evening as I had arrived rather late. In the late morning I had a lunch of fried calamari and fries. Both were fine.

intercontinental-fiji-pool-bar-frozen-margarita

Fitness Center

They had a modern fitness center that was housed in one of the buildings. It had all the modern equipment that one has come to expect.

intercontinental-fiji-fitness-center-2

Conclusion

This property surprised me very positively after subpar Hilton, Starwood, and Carlson properties in the Denarau area. This was truly made for international InterContinental standards and the target audience is definitely more upscale clientele than those of the above mentioned other hotels. The pool and beach area is basically fantastic. Employees were mainly Fijian but the GM and one lady working in the guest relations were from Australia/New Zealand.

intercontinental-fiji-sunset

I am glad that I decided to stay here for a night on my way from Nadi to Suva. Could have easily spent few days, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible on this trip.

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Priority Club has had these Points and Money awards for already some time. If the hotel has award availability, you can always choose to pay partially by cash. This is, in essence, buying points from Priority Club.

intercontinental-fiji-reservation-points-and-cash

I took advantage of it for the very first time last week for a stay at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & SPA. I would have had enough points just to do a basic redemption, but decided to buy 10K Priority Club points for $60. I could have bought 5000 Priority Club points for $40.

intercontinental-fiji-points-and-cash

What happens here is that Priority Club sells you the points first, as you can see from the attached account statement, and then withdraws the number of points required for the award night. If you later cancel the award night, you will get the full amount of points credited back to your account. Priority Club will not reverse the point sale transaction.

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Priority Club seems to be experimenting with various kinds of rewards sales. They have the points breaks, last-minute awards and now they have a reward sale.

priority-club-one-day-hotel-sale

The number of properties participating to this promotion is rather limited – only eight participating properties. The dates when these awards are available does vary by property.

You can access this sale at http://www.priorityclub.com/onedaysale.

priority-club-one-day-hotel-sale-1

priority-club-one-day-hotel-sale-2

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Last month InterContinental Hotel’s Group changed the award categories of many of its hotels. They refused, however, to produce a list of properties that went up, down, or stayed the same. I went through the entire list of InterContinental hotels and posted my findings back then.

Some people contacted me and expressed their interest to have the entire list. I previously posted only the hotels that had changed their categories. I decided that I could do it.

Please find the entire list of InterContinental hotels as an excel sheet. Please note that the information was correct as of January 19th, 2012. If there are any corrections, please don’t hesitate to email me at john@loyaltylobby.com.

The (I) is for the nightly rate for the hotel in USD for May 15th and the (J) us the “value” of Priority Club points (price/number of points required).

This Excel sheet is released for personal non-commercial use only. Any publication or commercial use must be cleared beforehand.

InterContinental Hotels Categories 2012 – Copy

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It is time for February hotel promotion update. All the hotels have their promotions up and running again and some like Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group have several concurrent promotions that you can take advantage of.

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

Club Carlson is offering triple points for all stays. Note that you will receive 2000 bonus points for online bookings.

club-carlson-triple-points

Club Carlson “Triple Points – Faster Nights” Promotion – Triple Gold Points Worldwide

Hilton HHonors

Hilton has the most promotions running that you can combine together. You should sign up for the two promos below. Even if you are Diamond with Hilton, you can still get 40K HH for four Hilton stays.

Register Your Visa and Get 1000 Hilton HHonors Points + 4000 Bonus for Spending $100

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders + 40K HHonors Points After Four Stays (For All?

You can choose one of these airline promotions as your double dip earnings partner. My personal favorite still is BMI that would earn 1k per night and up to three nights regardless of the Hilton brand.

hilton-hhonors-ana-triple-miles

Triple ANA and Double Emirates Miles for Hilton Stays Until March 31st

Airline Promotions for Air Canada Aeroplan, US Airways Dividend Miles, Lufthansa Miles & More and American Airlines AAdvantage

Earn 2012 Bonus Delta SkyMiles per Two Night Hilton Stay

These are the two main promotions for the time. More Points promotion for extra points for each nights and more for weekend stays, and free night certificates for longer resort stays.

Hilton HHonors 1st Quarter 2012 “More Points” Promotion

‘Resort Escapes’ Promotion – Free Night Certificate After Five Nights and Two After Ten Nights

Hyatt Gold Passport

Last month Hyatt didn’t have any promotions running besides the AA one that ended in the middle of the month. Hyatt’s latest promotion just started today. You can earn up to 44K extra points for 16 stays during the promotional period. That is extra 2750 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night.

hyatt-spring-promo-2012

Hyatt Announced Spring 2012 Promo – Earn up to 44000 Bonus Points

InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

The first promotion for double points starting from your second stay and the 5/7/15 stays for 5K/10K/15K bonus points are combinable. The first one runs until the end of April and the second until the end of March. Note that you need to choose the bonus after 5, 7, or 15 stays. If you don’t meet the threshold, you won’t get the associate bonus.

Priority Club 1st Quarter 2012 Promotion Announced – Double Points or Miles – 2X More

Priority Club Bonus Points Promo for 1st Quarter 2012

There is Anniversary bonus that you can combine with these two promotion. It is extra 1000 Priority Club points for every stay for 90 days after you register. Do not register before the date of your first stay to maximize the promotional period. The promotion code is 6102 and you need to register at http://www.priorityclub.com/register. Please note that I cannot guarantee if this specific promotion will work for your Priority Club account. It never hurts to try, right?

Marriott Rewards / Ritz-Carton Rewards

Remember that you can have only Marriott or Ritz-Carlton Rewards account. You cannot have both. You can, however, switch between accounts as often as you wish just by calling the rewards customer service.

ritz-carlton-rewards

Ritz-Carlton Rewards – Earn Free Night Certificate After Two Stays Promotion

Note that you can only register for the MegaBonus or MegaMiles promotion. There are number of different MegaBonus thresholds. Pick up the ones that fits you best, and call the Marriott Rewards customer service if you need to switch your targeted promotion to something else.

Marriott Rewards Spring 2012 MegaBonus Announced – Few Variations of the Offer

Earn Up To 50000 Virgin America Elevate Bonus Points During Marriott’s MegaMiles Promotion

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Up to 50K Bonus Miles

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood has two different promotions that are both exclusive. The Better By the Night is valid in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The list of non-participating properties is rather long. Note that this is NOT valid in the Asia-Pacific region that has their own promotion.

Starwood Preferred Guest 1st Quarter 2012 “Better by the Night”–promotion

Starwood Preferred Guest Asia Pacific Promotion

The following promotion is valid in the Asia-Pacific region for two free night certificates after 9 stays. Must use MasterCard to pay.

‘Two Days of Happy’ – Stay 5 Nights Get One Free Night Certificate – Stay 9 Nights Get Two Free Night Certificates – 4MCFN

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My friends always think that I would complain a lot about hotels, but that is really not the case. Last year I had more than 300 hotel stays at Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott, and Starwood hotels. Of these 300 stays only three were “disastrous” enough to warrant a written complaint; St Regis, W, and Ritz-Carlton hotel.

ritz-carlton-singapore

I have thought about it few times – the higher the perceived quality of the hotel, the more chances they have not to meet your expectations. Not sure if I have ever complained about the physical condition of the hotel. You can always fix/update the rooms, but getting the soft product (service) right is more complicated than that. Especially, when you are staying at “affordable” luxury hotels, they shouldn’t promise you more than what they can deliver. This is usually the reason for discontent.

Normally, I try to resolve any issues I have on the spot. Calling the operator and asking them to connect you to the Manager on Duty, is most of the time enough to get any stay related issues corrected while you are still at the property.  But, when you have many issues going wrong with your stay, then it might be worthwhile to write-up a letter to let the property and possible the franchisor know about the issues you have had. This is also another chance for them to make it right i.e. offer you compensation (read points).

If I have had a bad stay, I never write the letter immediately. It is better to let the things settle and not to write anything when you are “emotional”. I just write down the issues I have had on a notepad and revisit them a week or two later.

The structure of the complaint

– Your name and address

– The confirmation number

– Your account number with the hotels loyalty program

– The date(s) of your stay

First paragraph: I normally include some information about the number of hotel stays I have had and statuses, if any, I have with the hotel loyalty programs.

Second paragraph: There is always something positive about the stay as well. I always start with the things that I liked about the hotel.

And then the complaint part. I always try to be as short as possible and straight to the facts. I tend to use points to make it clearer. One or maximum two lines per issue or problem.

Third paragraph: If you know what would be your preferred resolution for the complaint, don’t hesitate to communicate it. I normally request points in the hotels loyalty program.

Fourth paragraph: Just closing the letter and thanking them.

Where to send the complaint?

With the chain hotels, like the ones I listed above, there are always two ways. You can send it to the attention of the General Manager of the property in question, or you can send it to the corporate who will delegate it to the property. I tend to send it to the corporate because then it gets to the attention of the person at the property who deals with issues like this.

How to send it?

With Starwood, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton, and Marriott you can just send it by email. I don’t like using web forms for issues like these that Hyatt requires, so I just fax it to the Hyatt customer service department.

How long to wait for a reply?

I would say that hotels are typically very fast at resolving any issues raised post stay. You should hear back from the property itself, or the guest relations department of the loyalty program, in just a few days.

Conclusion

I really don’t like the word “complaint” at all. Think of it as giving feedback to the property about the issues that they should be looking more into. Business are generally happy when you give them the opportunity to make things right. Also, there must be quite a few guests that have come across the same issues, but who have never taken the time to give feedback.

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InterContinental Hotels Group’s Priority Club just launched their first quarter 2012 Points Break list. These hotels are great way to use Priority Club points at deep discount as all these hotels are only 5000 Priority Club points per night.

priority-club-point-breaks

My favorite hotels of this group are the InterContinental ones. The Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Crowne Plaza hotels are way too inconsistent for my taste. I am sure that there are brilliant Holiday Inn hotels, but you never know before you are actually at the property. If you are only planning to sleep at the hotel, I am sure that all these will do as well.

There are only nine InterContinental hotels on the Points Break list. The most interesting one is probably the property in Tahiti, and I am actually quite surprised to see it on the list, although you can usually find rates for less than $200 there.  The one in Phnom Penh is quite nice. I have stayed there couple of times. Normally the rates there are around $100 per night.

The problem that I have, when I am redeeming “free” nights at InterContinental properties, is that officially the main Royal Ambassador benefits like upgrades, 8AM check in and complimentary minibar do not apply. Other problem is that, if you consider qualifying for the Royal Ambassador status that requires around 50 nights at IHG hotels, there is opportunity cost as well. Let’s consider the following points:

– On average, I have earned 7K Priority Club points per paid stay (1 night) at IC’s considering Royal Ambassador, Platinum, Ambassador Accelerator, quarterly stay, and three times a year global bonuses

– Value of confirmed Royal Ambassador benefits – maybe $20 per stay

– Value of qualifying stay for IC RA renewal – maybe $10 per stay

– Possibility of getting cash back for a paid booking – have varied from 5% to 13%

So in my opinion, it doesn’t really make a sense to use a Points Break night unless the InterContinental hotel is at least $150 considering the points that I made above. [click to continue…]

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced on January 3rd that on January 18th 25% of the hotels are going up and 20% of the hotels are going down in the number or Priority Club points needed for a free night. Unlike other hotel companies, IHG refused to provide a comprehensive list of properties, which will change, stating that not releasing a list is a competitive advantage. In my opinion it is just being foolish. Anyone could combine a list of category changes, as I have done for InterContinental hotels.

intercontinental-changes-1

IHG also stated that all the hotels would be bookable at old levels over the phone until March 18th. It is somewhat confusing, how someone would know whether the hotel has moved up or down, if a list of hotels is not provided. Also, the customers that have made award reservations before hotel going down in number of points needed are required to call to get the difference in points credited back to their account.

intercontinental-changes-2

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to go through all the 4500 hotels of the IHG. I have today, however, gone through all the 187 InterContinental Hotels that are listed on www.intercontinental.com website. Please note that not all of these hotels are operational at the moment. Some will be opened later this year or next year.

intercontinental-changes-3

Twenty InterContinental hotels are going down in number of points (10000) required for an award night (from 40K to 30K). 26 are going up 10K points per night, and one property, Perth IC, is going up from 30K to 50K Priority Club points per night. Nine went from 30K to 40K per night and 17 from 40K to 50K per night.

intercontinental-changes-4

When I was going through these at www.priorityclub.com, I also noted what would be the nightly rate for May 15th, 2012. This is the figure that is immediate to the right of the arrow. The bolded number of most right is the value of Priority Club point in dollars for that night. It is rarely more than a cent.

intercontinental-changes-5

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There has been a subtle change in Terms and conditions when it comes to earning points at InterContinental Hotels. Until February 15th you will continue to earn flat 2000 Priority Club base points at all InterContinental hotels regardless of the length of the stay or money spend.

Starting February 15th there will be a partial change.

Effective 2012 February 15, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean plus all Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express hotel brands worldwide, you will receive ten (10) points for each USD dollar or local currency equivalent paid toward Eligible Charges on your individual hotel room bill, when you pay Qualifying Room Rates.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts outside of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean plus all InterContinental Alliance Resorts worldwide, you will receive 2,000 points per Qualifying Stay .

intercontinental-hotels-group-earnings-change

I really thought that they couldn’t make this program any more confusing. They are already running two programs simultaneously that are partially overlapping; Ambassador/Royal Ambassador programs, which only apply to InterContinental Hotels, but earn you Priority Club points, and Priority Club that has Gold and Platinum levels which only apply to all other hotels of the InterContinentalHotel Group than InterContinentals themselves. What a mess, right? [click to continue…]