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Earlier this year, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) announced a new partnership with Mr and Mrs Smith Hotels. Ever since, IHG has teased Rewards Club members with beautiful properties in picturesque destinations among hotel search results—only to leave them with the disappointing “Coming Soon” banner when selected.
Now there's a little less teasing. That's because 100 of those stunning boutique properties are now bookable through IHG with cash or Rewards points. Moreover, IHG promises that 400+ properties of the Mr. and Mrs. Smith collection will be available to IHG members by late November 2020.
IHG and Mr and Mrs Smith Hotels Partnership
Mr and Mrs Smith Hotels are a collection of over 1,000 boutique, luxury properties strewn across the globe. They represent experiences and styles as diverse as their locations. From ‘glamping' in Jaipur to hot springs in Reykjavik, from Himalayan mountain lodges to arctic treehouses, the possibilities run the gamut.
As of October 20, 2020, IHG has successfully integrated 100 Mr and Mrs Smith hotels into its portfolio. That means that Rewards Club members can earn and redeem points for stays the same as any Kimpton or InterContinental. Going forward, IHG intends to rollout another 300+ properties over the next eight weeks. That will more than double the number of luxury and lifestyle hotels in IHG's portfolio.
Details of the Partnership
- IHG Rewards Club members can now book stays at select Mr and Mrs Smith properties through any IHG booking channel, including IHG.com and the IHG mobile app (Apple/Android).
- You can earn and redeem IHG points at participating Mr and Mrs Smith hotels when booked through IHG booking channels.
- The rollout of all 400+ properties covers 11 new countries where IHG isn't currently present, including Barbados, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Croatia, Iceland, Sweden, Morocco, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.
- IHG utilizes dynamic award pricing for Mr and Mrs Smith properties, with award rates rising and falling with cash rates.
- At the time of writing, members cannot redeem IHG Free Night Certificates at Mr and Mrs Smith hotels. However, the press release indicated that this might change as the partnership develops.
- Likewise, IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card and IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card cardholders cannot utilize their 4th-night-free benefit at Mr and Mrs Smith hotels, although this may also change in the future.
Additionally, IHG elite members will receive additional perks and benefits when staying at Mr and Mrs Smith properties:
- IHG Elites — will receive their standard tier bonus points on eligible room rates.
- InterContinental Ambassadors, Royal Ambassadors, and Kimpton Inner Circle members — will receive complimentary room upgrades (when available) and ‘GoldSmith' welcome gifts.
What Mr and Mrs Smith Hotels Additions Means for IHG Rewards
IHG is one of the world's largest hotel groups, with over 5,000 properties under its umbrella. That said, it's known for mid and low-tier properties, with Holiday Inns and Candlewood Suites vastly outnumbering InterContinentals and Kimptons.
That reputation could change with this partnership. With so many new luxury properties, IHG could become much more attractive to aspirational award travelers.
But, before we get too carried away with notions of high-value award bookings, bear in mind that IHG utilizes dynamic award pricing. This is important to remember because when it's paired that with ultra-luxurious hotels, you're bound to see some jaw-dropping prices:
Thankfully, not every Mr and Mrs Smith hotel shows pricing that high. In fact, I've found several examples where award pricing is pretty reasonable:
What is perhaps more important is the new experiences this hotel collection brings to the table. Many Mr and Mrs Smith hotels are vacation destinations in and of themselves. Now, IHG loyalists can redeem points for a suite with a private hot spring at Blue Lagoon:
…or care for elephants in a safari camp in India:
In that regard, this partnership is similar to the partnership Hyatt rolled out with Small Luxury Hotels last year. Both breathe fresh air into their respective programs, expanding their geographic reach and introducing new dream destinations.
IHG has finally begun to roll out its new partnership with Mr and Mrs Smith hotels, which dubs itself a “travel club for hotel lovers”. Now, Rewards Club members can earn and redeem points at 100 Mr and Mrs Smith hotels worldwide, with IHG planning to introduce 300 more by the end of November.
This is a wonderful addition to IHG's portfolio, and it adds considerable range to the IHG Rewards Club program. Frankly, I can't wait to try out one or two of these stunning hotels.
If you've suddenly found yourself needing more IHG points, consider getting the IHG One Rewards Premier Card. It currently offers 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening..
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