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One complaint you won’t hear from award travel enthusiasts is that there aren’t enough places we want to go. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen stretches that list even further as he shares his favorite IHG properties for award redemptions.
To borrow from a well-known phrase, value is in the eye of the beholder. This is especially true when it comes to redeeming your points and miles for flights and hotel stays. The awards you covet might be of little interest to someone else, and vice versa. Still, some properties tend to offer strong redemption options, so I wanted to follow up on my earlier posts about top Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood, and Marriott redemptions, and today take you through my list of IHG properties that are worth every point.
In compiling this list, I utilized a number of factors to determine which IHG properties offer the “best ” value:
- Typical revenue rates
- Uniqueness (amenities, location, etc.)
Remember that you can extend the value of your award stays even further simply by holding the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card, which offers automatic Platinum status (in addition to the current sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months). This gives you bonus points, late checkout, and some on-property discounts. The card also gives you an annual free night certificate, which can be used at any of the properties below! In addition, as of last July, IHG Rewards gives all members free internet at all properties worldwide.
Unfortunately, three of the ten properties below are on the list of IHG properties changing categories later this week, and the points required are increasing in all three instances. Two of them are actually jumping two categories! If you can, be sure to lock in the old rates before the change.
Of course, you likely have a different way of defining what makes a redemption valuable, so feel free to include your favorite IHG properties in the comments below! These are my picks:
French Polynesia is a dream destination for many, and the InterContinental Resort & Spa on Moorea is a terrific place to redeem your IHG points. The 144 rooms and bungalows cover 27 acres of lush, tropical vegetation. Relax in the infinity pool (complete with a swim-up bar) or stay active by swimming with the dolphins or scheduling a dive excursion into the stunning turquoise sea. Two on-property restaurants give you a blend of casual and gourmet dining options, or melt your stress away with a treatment at the 1500 square meter Hélène’Spa.
This is a Category 7 property, requiring 40,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at 23,984 XPF ($218.50) per night, giving you a value of 0.55 cents per point.
If you want a blend of traditional and contemporary luxury, look no further than the InterContinental Paris Le-Grand. Originally opened in 1862, the hotel is located in the city’s 9th arrondissement, close to the Louvre, shopping, and other popular sites. The 470 rooms and suites are decorated in the style of Napoleon III, but include updated amenities like mini bars and separate tubs. Do not miss a meal in La Verriere, an 800 square meter winter garden that dominates the lobby of the hotel.
This is a Category 9 property, requiring 50,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at 294 Euros ($318) per night, giving you a value of 0.64 cents per point.
Hong Kong is known for having world class hotels with fantastic amenities, and the InterContinental Hong Kong is no exception. Located on the water in Kowloon, the property offers guests fantastic views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. Standard rooms include marble bathrooms with sunken tubs and separate showers along with 24-hour room service. However, you don’t want to miss the on-property dining options, with three (that’s right, three) Michelin star restaurants, including SPOON by renowned chef Alain Ducasse. Later on you can work off those calories in the 24-hour fitness center or with a Tai Chi or yoga class on the outdoor pool terrace.
This was a Category 8 property, requiring 45,000 points for a free night, but it will become a Category 9 property on May 1st, requiring 50,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at HK$2,016 ($260) per night, giving you a value of 0.52 cents per point.
Chain hotels are hard to find in the center of Key West, but the Crowne Plaza – La Concha fits the bill. Situated right on Duval Street, the property is perfectly located to explore all that the city has to offer, including Mallory Square, the Southernmost Point of the U.S., and (most importantly, for some) the incredible nightlife of Key West. The boutique hotel, originally built in 1926, has freshly renovated rooms and decor, including tropical Colonial architecture and dark wood furnishings and plantation shutters. You can grab an island-themed bite at 430 Duval or sample one of 200+ wines at Wine-O, and when you’re ready to relax, schedule a treatment in a private suite at Top Spa.
This is a Category 8 property, requiring 45,000 points for a free night. Rates in May start at $204 per night, giving you a value of 0.45 cents per point.
Nestled into a hill overlooking a beautiful, private bay, the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort is an off-the-beaten-path way to get great value from your IHG Rewards points. Standard rooms start at 70 square meters, and include a large balcony or terrace with a dining table. Indulge in a gourmet meal at La Maison 1888 — the first Asian restaurant of three Michelin starred chef Michael Roux — or head up to Citron, 100 meters above the sea, for spectacular views from the private dining booths. You’ll be sure to stay busy with a visit to one of the property’s pools, a stroll down the 700-meter private beach, a treatment at HARNN Heritage Spa, or a trek through the surrounding nature preserve.
This is a Category 4 property, requiring just 25,000 points for a free night, but it will become a Category 6 property on May 1st, requiring 35,000 points for a free night. Rates in May start at $263 per night, giving you a value of 0.75 cents per point.
Mickey Mouse’s stomping grounds have no shortage of hotel options, but if your family is planning a trip to Orlando, consider an award stay at the Holiday Inn Club Vacations property in Kissimmee. Spanning 1,450 acres, the resort provides guests with too many amenities to list here, including a lazy river, 7 pools, 4 water slides, regular and mini golf courses, tennis/racquetball/basketball courts, 3 fitness centers, 9 on-property restaurants, and free shuttle service throughout the grounds. The resort is also next door to Walt Disney World, but the most important bit of information is this: standard rooms for award redemptions are two-bedroom villas that can sleep up to 8 people!
This is a Category 6 property, requiring 35,000 points for a free night. Rates in May start at $159 per night, giving you a value of 0.45 cents per point.
If your travel plans include London, the InterContinental Park Lane is a terrific spot to redeem points. With a fantastic Mayfair location, the hotel boasts views of the Royal Parks and Buckingham Palace. The 447 rooms and suites provide guests with luxurious amenities like slippers & robes, minibars, Agraria bath products, and courtyard or city views. Theo Randall at the InterContinental serves up some of the best Italian fare in London, while the Wellington Lounge serves traditional afternoon tea daily. The Hyde Park Corner tube stop is just steps from the hotel, giving you easy access to all the popular sites in the city.
This is a Category 9 property, requiring 50,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at 285 pounds ($426.50) per night, giving you a value of 0.85 cents per point.
Just one block from the White House, The Willard has hosted its fair share of historical figures, including Martin Luther King Jr. (a guest when he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech), Charles Dickens, and many U.S. presidents. The hotel offers a terrific blend of modern yet luxurious appointments in the 375 rooms and suites, and the food and drink options include the Round Robin & Scotch Bar and afternoon tea in Peacock Alley. You can also enjoy a treatment in the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, or venture outside for the short walk down to the Washington Mall and all of the city’s major tourist sites.
This is a Category 9 property, requiring 50,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $309 per night, giving you a value of 0.62 cents per point.
Cozumel is a popular cruise ship port, but the InterContinental Presidente Resort & Spa sure makes you want to spend more time on the island! Situated on a half-mile of white, sandy beach, the property includes plenty of amenities for you to relax your cares away, including two pools and the oceanfront spa huts. Snorkel or scuba dive on the world’s second-largest coral reef, or enjoy dining at the open-air Caribeno restaurant. Standard rooms start at 452 square feet and include private balconies or terraces, minibars, and turndown service.
This is a Category 5 property, requiring 30,000 points for a free night, but it will become a Category 7 property on May 1st, requiring 40,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $242.10 per night, giving you a value of 0.6 cents per point.
This final property is set in the quaint beachfront town of Del Mar, California, just 20 miles north of San Diego. This pet friendly hotel is walking distance from the beach (and a separate dog beach!), the village of Del Mar, and Torrey Pines State Reserve. The rooms are appointed with beach-themed accents and decor, and many provide balconies with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Take a dip in one of two pools, relax in the jacuzzi, or visit the Spa Na’Mara, with five treatment rooms to create an ocean-inspired tranquility. The on-site Ocean View Bar & Grill takes pride in its locally-sourced ingredients, including nearby breweries, coffee providers, and bakeries.
This is a Category 5 property, requiring 25,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in May start at $137 per night, giving you a value of 0.55 cents per point.
In addition to these 10, another great property to redeem at is the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa which is a Category 9 property, requiring 50,000 points for a free night, however note that availability for redemptions can be limited here.
IHG Rewards has long been an afterthought for travelers looking to redeem points for aspirational awards. However, the program does have a number of high-end, luxurious properties, and this will only increase after the acquisition of Kimpton. Add in the annual free night offered by the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card and I (for one) am definitely paying closer attention to these options! For additional inspiration, be sure to check out Lane Nieset’s lists of top domestic and international IHG properties.
What are your favorite IHG hotels for award redemptions?