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The InterContinental Hotels Group, known as IHG, has nearly 6,000 hotels across 14 brands in 100 countries, including Crowne Plaza hotels, InterContinental properties, chains like Holiday Inn, and all-suite properties like Candlewood and Staybridge Suites. It has other hotels as well, including boutiques.
Because there are a lot of budget properties in the IHG portfolio, many properties don’t have executive lounges where business travelers go to get work done, relax or grab a bite and a cocktail. But the IHG hotel group does offer an upscale executive club lounge experience at many of its InterContinental properties.
You can get your eggs cooked to order in the morning, enjoy afternoon tea with sweet and savory treats, and have evening cocktails and canapes. You can even check in or check out of your room in the club at these properties, and get a welcome drink on arrival.
Unlike some other major hotel chains, though, your elite status in the chain’s IHG Rewards program will not get you access. And even holding the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, which gives you automatic Platinum Elite status and a huge sign-up bonus, does not offer a lounge access perk.
To get access you need to be a Club InterContinental guest, which means you need to pay a premium of $50 to $120 or more per day for access (depending on the property). If you’re using IHG rewards to book your room, you can request a room upgrade, but you will still likely have to pay the extra cost to upgrade to club level if available.
InterContinental properties that offer the club option are in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Lounges feature separate areas for relaxing, dining, drinks and business meetings. You can bring an extra guest in the lounge with you, and he or she can enjoy all the benefits at no charge.
Here are some sample hotels and rates for Club InterContinental:
The InterContinental Presidente Cancun Resort in Quintana Roo is one of six InterContinental Hotels in Mexico that offer the Club guest experience. We looked for a weekend night rate in mid-April, and found a king deluxe room going for $209. But if you want to stay in a Club room, there are two choices. The Club Lagoon view is priced at $257, which is nearly $50 more than the lowest rate. If you want a Club room with an ocean view, the price goes up to $326, which is $117 more than a king deluxe. Remember that you do get a bigger, better room with those upgrades to help justify the rate beyond club access.
There are 13 InterContinental hotels in the U.S. that offer Club InterContinental rooms. They are in the big cities like Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Diego, with two each in Miami and San Francisco.
When we checked rates for a weekend at the InterContinental San Diego in April, we found a $144 rate for a standard room. A Club InterContinental room costs $205 — just over $50 more than the standard room, which might be worth it if you plan to take advantage of the amenities in the Club Lounge.
Crown Plaza lounges
You can also find executive club lounges at some Crowne Plaza properties, which are also part of the IHG brand (like the Crowne Plaza Vientiane in Laos near the Thailand border). The Crowne Plaza offers Club rooms, which you’ll need to book to get lounge access.
However, the perks are not as lavish as those that Club InterContinental guests have access to. There is continental breakfast available in the morning, as well as refreshments and light snacks in the evening at the Crowne Plaza lounges. You have to pay for a more expensive Club room to access these perks, but those rooms are also usually on higher floors with better views.
When we checked prices, a stay on the Club floor at the Vientiane in Laos in March would have set you back nearly $60 over a standard room rate. And here too, no status or credit card would get you into the lounge. You’d have to pay for the privilege.
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