Posted by Ric Garrido

Crowne Plaza Denver lowest published rate was $199 per night for a Standard Room Wednesday, Feb 20. The lowest rate found on Kayak.com for a Standard Room was $107.65 at getaroom.com. Rates on both sites were refundable rates with getaroom.com allowing cancellation until Monday, 10pm 2/18 with no charge and IHG site allowing cancellation to Tuesday, 6pm 2/19 with no penalty.

I booked the $199 room on the IHG site and immediately filed a Best Price Guarantee claim with InterContinental Hotels Group on Saturday, February 16. Within 12 hours my claim was approved and I was notified the room night at Crowne Plaza Denver would be free.

Dear Richard Garrido,

Thank you for contacting IHG’s Best Price Guarantee Support Desk. We understand you have many options when booking your reservations and for this reason InterContinental Hotels Group is happy you have chosen our web site to arrange for your accommodations.

We are pleased to award your first night free on 20 February 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Denver under confirmation number xxxxxxxx. Please be informed that the Free Night is subject to the hotel’s regular cancellation policy as described below:

Canceling your reservation before 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on Tuesday, 19 February, 2013 will result in no charge. Canceling your reservation after 6:00 PM (local hotel time) on 19 February, 2013, or failing to show, will result in a charge of 1 night per room to your credit card. Taxes may apply. Failing to call or show before check-out time after the first night of a reservation will result in cancellation of the remainder of your reservation

Once a valid claim has been made and approved by IHG for a specific date, no further claims by the same person will be accepted for the same date. If members of the same household make claims for consecutive nights at the same IHG hotel or at different IHG hotels within fifty (50) miles of each other, only the Best Price Guarantee claim for the first night will be honored. In the event of a valid claim, reservations are non-transferable after the claim is found to be valid, and the name on the reservation must remain the same as when the claim is verified and no additional names may be added to the reservation after the claim is found to be valid. Valid government issued ID is required upon check-in that matches the name found on the reservation.

We look forward to accommodating your upcoming reservation.

Best Price Guarantee Guest Relations email

At check-in the hotel rate showed as $0.00 on the hotel registration page I signed.

Four hotel nights in Denver included a one bedroom suite on Sunday night at the Grand Hyatt using a Diamond member suite upgrade (AAA breakfast rate $89.10), followed by two nights at Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek on a successful Marriott Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee reducing the $125 Marriott website rate down to $81.75 per night based on hotels.com $109 rate with a 25% discount for the same standard room. And our last night in Denver was a free hotel room at the Crowne Plaza Downtown Denver.

Winter Storm Q greets us at arrival

I have lived and worked in New England five years of my life with residency in Vermont and Maine and two years of graduate school in Amherst, Massachusetts. I have not lived in a snow region since 1996 and hearing Denver was about to get the biggest snowstorm of the year with 4 to 8 inches was a bit unnerving as I thought about getting the rental car back out to the outback location of Denver International Airport in a blizzard on Thursday morning.

The snow started falling Wednesday afternoon around 3 pm. We arrived at the Crowne Plaza about 4 pm in gray skies and dusty snow.

The Crowne Plaza Denver website listed overnight parking at $22. The rate was posted as $25 at the hotel. I had no issue paying the $25 parking fee to have the car in a garage for the snowstorm.

We received room #927 on the 21 floor hotel.

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Winter Storm Q in Denver 2/21/2013.

My wife walked into the room and described it as bijou with a nod to Jeanine Garafolo in the 1997 movie The Matchmaker. Kelley thought the end of the hallway room might be a specialty room suite or nice corner room. Turns out the end of the hall meant about 3 feet lopped off the room size.

I have no elite status with Priority Club in 2013.

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The luggage had to be opened up on the floor of the entryway since the rest of the room space was occupied with furniture.

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The bed was a double bed. A great bed for cuddling, especially since I learned several hours later Kelley had set the room temperature on 58 degrees.

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This piece of furniture was too large for the room leaving little space to walk between the bed and dresser. The cabinet was large enough for a refrigerator, yet the right side of the dresser, where there was space for a mini-frig, was empty.

At check-in I received a coupon for a free drink at the hotel bar with the purchase of a drink. Microbrew beer at 4-7pm Happy Hour is $3.50.

Kelley and I headed out into the snowstorm in our winter gear.

We didn’t walk far. One block from the Crowne Plaza is the 16th Street pedestrian mall with free shuttle bus. Hard Rock Café looked enticing, and John Lennon ‘Working Class Hero’ playing over the sidewalk loudspeakers seemed to be a sign for me to go in.

But another sign caught my attention on the next block. We had passed by the Yard House two days before while staying at the Grand Hyatt and exploring downtown Denver on a windy, cold and sunny day.

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Denver Yard House – “World’s Largest Selection of Draft Beer”

The beer selection was indeed large at the Yard House, yet the sign had me expecting an even larger international and domestic selection of beer.

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Half yard (32 oz.) Kronenbourg 1664 (France) = $9 at Happy Hour.

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$6 spicy crab cakes at Yard House.

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The weather outside was frightful, the beer inside was delightful. Let it snow.

Happy Hour at the Yard House from 4-7pm included half-price menu and beer discounts. Excellent food, copious amounts of beer, classic rock music that is engrained in our psyche, and really cool restaurant interior design made this our evening getaway. After Happy Hours we took time to slip slide down 16th street for a snow walk before heading back to the hotel.

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Winter Storm Q eventually dropped about 4 inches of snow on Denver over a 16 hour period. The weather was not so severe as to delay our Southwest Airlines noon departure back to San Jose, California on Thursday, February 21. The drive back to the airport was slow, but no trouble with the rental car.

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Denver 16th Street Mall during Winter Storm Q.

The weather was sunny and 60 back in San Jose, California for the drive back home to Monterey.

IHG Best Price Guarantee for a free room night.

This free night at the Crowne Plaza got me thinking about IHG Best Price Guarantee claims for other upcoming hotel stay needs.

Yesterday, Saturday, February 23 I checked Kayak.com hotel rates for places I will be over the next month. Within an hour I found four Best Rate Guarantee claims; three with IHG and one with SPG. I now have two free nights with IHG in San Francisco and Chicago and a reduced rate with 2,000 bonus Starpoints for a hotel night in Chicago. The only claim rejected was for Crowne Plaza in London due to a denial based on different currencies, even though the London hotel is available for more than $100 less per night through GetaRoom.com compared to the IHG website.

I will follow up with a detailed report on the difficulty of getting an IHG Best Price Guarantee claim approved as an American trying to book a hotel in London.

Related Posts:

Multiple Best Rate Guarantee claims for really low hotel rates (Feb 15, 2013).

Strategy Session: When two reservations cost less than one (Feb 15, 2013).

Grand Hyatt Denver suite, two Best Rate Guarantee hotels and winter storm Q (Feb 23, 2013).

Fairfield Inn Cherry Creek Denver Marriott LNF (Feb 23, 2013).

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

5 Responses

  1. I am starting a blog all about the various Best Rate Guarantee programs.

    Check it out: http://bestrateguaranteehotels.blogspot.com/.

    The launch date for this blog is March 1st, 2013. Please subscribe for updates and you could win a $10 Starbucks gift card. A random drawing will take place on March 1st, 2013.

    Please comment on the blog if you have any suggestions.

  2. Thanks for the heads up about the free room. I have one question. Suppose you were to stay at the same hotel, separated by a week (airport hotel, flying in and out) and both days had lower prices than the IHG web site. Would they honor both since they are so separated?

  3. @Mariah B. – I would book both rooms with IHG (assuming they are NOT nonrefundable rates), and then file two Best Price Guarantee claims back to back for the different dates. Both should be approved or denied.

    The rules say consecutive nights so I read nonconsecutive dates at the same hotel as being allowed.

    In my experience one time I had two claims made for the same hotel – not IHG hotel – on different dates and same competitive website with lower rate and had one Best Rate claim accepted and one rejected.

  4. I find that most of the IHG’s “best rates” are non-refundable. There’s no way I’m going to book one of those and file a BRG “on trust”! I’ve just come across a situation (also in Colorado) where a Holiday Inn Express best rates — both refundable and non-refundable — are on Travelocity. That said, the IHG non-refundable rate is still lower than Travelocity’s refundable rate. If I book the refundable rate and file a BRG, will IHG honor it — or is this a “gotcha” situation?

  5. All four claims these past two weeks I made with IHG were refundable rates so I could cancel if the Best Price Guarantee was rejected. Three claims for US hotels were approved and one claim for London was rejected.

    I canceled the 235 GBP London reservation and the other three claims are free nights.

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