A LoyaltyLobby reader left a question on our Facebook page this week regarding club lounge access at Crowne Plaza hotel for a Platinum Ambassador member.
The club lounge access and breakfast (and sometimes upgrades as well) are not benefits granted by the terms and conditions of either the IHG Rewards Club or Ambassador programs.
First you must understand that the IHG hotels are governed by two separate programs:
1. IHG Rewards Club Gold and Platinum benefits apply for stays at all other InterContinental Hotels Group brands besides InterContinental hotels, which do usually have IHG Rewards Club Gold and Platinum check in desk and some IC’s may extend benefits for Gold and Platinum members as well.
2. Ambassador program benefits apply only for stays at InterContinental hotels. Ambassador membership (paid) does come with Gold status with IHG Rewards Club program and you may earn Platinum Ambassador membership by staying the number of nights or base revenue requirement. Ambassador program also has invitation only Royal Ambassador status that comes with automatic Platinum IHG Rewards Club status. As Ambassador member, you collect IHG Rewards Club points.
Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?
So back to the question that the reader asked. It is really up to the individual property if they decide to extend the Club lounge access to Platinum members as this is not a benefit defined by the IHG Rewards Club.
Many properties do provide benefits over the absolute minimum required by the program T&C’s and, based on my personal experience, I would say that more than half of the Crowne Plaza hotels that I have visited do extend the lounge access.
If Club lounge access is the deciding factor for one, it is guaranteed benefit for Hyatt Diamonds, Starwood Platinums, Hilton Diamonds and Golds (latter if on Executive floor) and for Marriott Gold & Platinum members at non-resort locations.
The IHG Rewards Club program is not competitive if you compare the number of nights required for the Platinum status and guaranteed hard benefits offered. As I pointed out, many properties do give the lounge access even when they don’t have to and upgrade beyond what is required. They probably get that the market out there is competitive and they must offer these on a complimentary basis for the top tier members.