We have written extensively about the InterContinental Ambassador and Royal Ambassador program changes in 2019 that took place on February 1 (Royal Ambassadors) and March 1 (Ambassadors).
One of the publicized new benefits for Ambassador members was supposed to be a breakfast at Greater China properties. IHG quietly amended the benefits, however, just in time for the March 1 launch.
You can access IHG’s page for Ambassador program changes here.
Here’s the original text:
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR STAYS IN GREATER CHINA ONLY:
- One complimentary breakfast every night you stay
- 15% discount on restaurants and bars
†Complimentary Breakfast: Valid in Mainland China only.
Members are still eligible for a breakfast at InterContinental hotels but only in Mainland China. InterContinentals in Hong Kong are now excluded.
IHG must have received significant push back from the two hotels in Hong Kong to reverse the change after the benefits were already announced. There are no InterContinentals (at least not yet) in Macau or Taiwan.
You have to keep in mind that IHG is the only chain that doesn’t universally offer breakfast as an elite benefit like Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott all do.
Breakfast is very profitable for hotels. Many just put up a meager buffet with some hot/cook to order items and charge a high price for it, knowing that most business travelers can expense it.
We requested comment from IHG spokesperson regarding this change but haven’t received any.