IHG runs two parallel guest recognition programs of InterContinental Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle in addition to the IHG Rewards Club.
InterContinental Ambassador is a paid program that comes with set benefits for that specific brand while Kimpton’s Inner Circle is free, but the status is extended to a very few.
You can access the InterContinental Ambassador program here.
InterContinental Ambassador has a higher invitation-only status Royal Ambassador (roughly $10K+ spend) that comes with a more significant set of (watered down) benefits such as lounge access and two category upgrades.
Previously, only the spent at InterContinental hotels counted towards the RA, but IHG made a change in late 2019 (read more here) and included Kimpton and Regent hotels as well. I would assume that once Six Senses is integrated into the IHG system, this brand is included.
One of the benefits of the Ambassador status is the “free” weekend night certificate that requires a stay of two nights or longer at an InterContinental. The now electronic certificate covers the second night. You can read more about how to book and check the rates even when you haven’t yet signed up for the Ambassador-program here.
IHG has now made a change and allows Ambassador members to use this certificate also at Kimpton hotels. Regents are still excluded, but it would make sense to include them too.
Note that the free weekend night is valid for stays at any day of the week at Kimpton hotels through December 31, 2021.
Here’s a statement that we received from the IHG spokesperson:
Yes, we are excited to now have the Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night available for redemption at Kimpton globally any day of the week for a trial period until 31 December 2021. For your other questions:
- Ambassador members staying at Kimpton are recognized and receive the associated benefits of their IHG Rewards Club Elite tier of either Platinum or Spire.
- IHG Rewards Club is not applicable at Six Senses Resorts Spas, to be included at a future date.
Here’s the search I made for London:
Both the InterContinental and Kimpton showed availability for a weekend in September:
Fitzroy has the BOGO rate loaded for all room types:
You have to keep in mind, however, that the second night is “free” only if you book the highest Best Flexible-rate plan.
Here’s how to check the BOGO-rates
It usually doesn’t make sense to use the free weekend night-voucher for the cheapest room type, but a club or suite if allowed by the hotel.
IHG Rewards Club is a lacking guest recognition program if you compare it to Hilton Honors, Marriott, Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, or even Accor Live Limitless.
They should completely revamp it and make a late checkout, breakfast, lounge access, and meaningful upgrades up to a suite available for top tier members.