The world of points earning just got more competitive as shown here
"Priority Club® Rewards, the world's largest hotel loyalty program from IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) announces today its first bonus points promotion of 2011. The new promotion rewards members with up to 30,000 bonus points for stays between Feb. 1 – April 30, 2011 at any of IHG's 4,500 hotels worldwide including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn® Club Vacations, Holiday Inn® Express, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®."
Someone (maybe TJC I think) posted here a while back an article about IHG pumping a ton of $$$$$$$$ into their brands. I've stayed at one of the new Holiday Inns in West Des Moines and, yeh, it can definitely compete with either of the Marriott properties in that area. I've stayed at a couple of Crowne Plaza hotels that weren't too shabby either, and Inter-Continental has always been a competitor to just about anyone. I'd say that Holiday Inn Express stacks up pretty solidly against FFI...but then I wasn't smart enough to realize it 'till I actually stayed in one.
Greetings! Relying on a technology solution to deliver highly personalized services, IHG introduced mobile bypass remote check-in last October. Except for Kahuna and Stepping, Insiders were not moved.
In New York, IHG's St. Regis on W48th and Fifth Avenue and the Intercontinental Barclay on E44th off Park Avenue plus the newly opened Intercontinental Times Square on W44th are centrally and conveniently located in Midtown, the hub. So, they're very competitive and possibly exceed the upscale luxury of Marriott, but definitely on par with Ritz-Carlton which is top notch.
Shoeman, I think a stay at an InterContinental will change your mind.
It's a storied brand started by Juan Trippe at Pan Am so that Clipper passengers could spend time at remote places they flew.
InterContinental began in 1946 when the first hotel opened in Belém, Brazil. In 1981, holding company InterContinental Hotels Corporation was sold to UK-based company Grand Metropolitan. As GrandMet focused it core business, ICH was sold in 1988 to Japanese based Saison Group. In 1998, Bass plc acquired ICH. Bass was itself split in two, its brewing assets being sold to Interbrew whilst the remaining part of the company became Six Continents PLC, focusing on hotel, restaurant and beverages business. When the company split itself in two, IHG was created in 2003 and today retains the InterContinental brand as part of its hotel brand portfolio.
Like other multinational firms it is constantly changing but the quality of the stays has not diminished. I'd put the historic Willard Hotel in Washington DC on par with, or above the JW or Ritz nearby. It's the place where lobbying (for better or worse) began and the first break in the Cuban Missile Crisis occured.
Their Six Continents Club was in reality the first guest recognition program, and the first one to which I was admitted, based on my Pan Am Clipper Club membership.
Try one and let me know what you think?
While the promotion has some attractive features, one huge barrier, IMHO is that IHG lacks a smoke-free policy and a quality assurance process that Marriott has. Whether real or perceived, its absence suggests that the guest experience will not be consistent.
That's where confidence that Marriott promises to deliver upon my expectations for a smoke-free guest environment whether it's a Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott or a Fairfield Inn. That high level of quality compels reassurance that Marriott has the highest regard for my comfort, health, safety and well-being during a stay compels my loyalty.
Brand hopping from that standpoint can present a risk. There's enough unmet expectations to go around, IMO. To that point, let's hope that Marriott will develop an even more attractive bonus promotion than IHG's.