Cheap flights under $500 from San Francisco to Dublin motivated me to buy my last two tickets to Europe and then catch a low cost carrier to the city I really wanted to visit. In November, I flew British Airways to Dublin via London and last month KLM to Amsterdam and Aer Lingus to Dublin on a $449 round trip.

In December, I stayed at Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport and we stayed at the hotel again in February. I wanted to stay at the adjacent Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Northwood in February to fulfill one of my Set Your Sights IHG promotion offers for 12,000 bonus points with two Crowne Plaza stays by April 30. The rate was 50 EUR more than Holiday Inn Express. The hotels are adjacent to each other in an area called Northwood, about four miles from the airport.

HIX DUB sign

Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport

 

The complimentary hotel shuttle runs 5am to midnight. Airport pick-up and drop-off is at bus station #14. Dublin Airport has two terminals and the bus parking spaces are in a central airport lot and numbered from 1 to 18 or so. You can travel onward to all over Ireland from the bus stops at the airport. We lucked out to catch the Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport shuttle just before it left the airport for the hotel. Good I knew directly where to go for bus stop #14 from my December stay at the airport hotel.

Beer or Points?

Cayeleen checked us into the hotel. I was given a choice of points or a free pint of beer. Which do you think I chose?

You are wrong if you guessed I chose beer.

Kelley looked at the room and was unimpressed at the size of the room and bed. It looked just like the hotel room I had slept in ten weeks earlier, except as a corner room there were two windows to open for fresh air. In Amsterdam earlier that day we had a rough time with Kelley getting her wallet and eyeglasses stolen from her purse.

I was happy she still had her passport and I had a second chance to snap the blue light bathroom photo I did not take during my December stay at the hotel.

HIX Dub blue light bath

Bathroom blue light in Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport

 

Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport room photos can be seen in an article I wrote in December comparing the small Dublin Airport room size at about 150 sq. ft. to a much larger Holiday Inn Express Port Hueneme , California hotel room.

Loyalty Traveler – But we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night (and earned one free night) December 22, 2015.

The nagging question: Beer or Points?

So there I am at midnight in Dublin, Kelley asleep in bed after 30 hours of international travel and I can’t get the hotel Wi-Fi to work on my computer. I read the slip of paper from the front desk stating I will get 300 IHG Rewards Club points as my IHG Rewards Club Platinum amenity.

You are right if you guessed I chose beer over points.

A pint of beer had a 5.50 EUR value, whereas 300 IHG Rewards Club points is about a $2.00 value for me.

Cayeleen, the front desk staffer also worked as the Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport bartender. She canceled the 300 bonus points and poured me a pint of Heineken.

HIX Dub bar

Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport bar

 

Big shout out to Cayeleen of HIX Dublin Airport

Big shout out to Cayeleen of the Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport for her vital assistance in helping us out during our stay. We arrived at the Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport about 12 hours after Kelley’s wallet was stolen with two credit cards lost, while walking through Amsterdam Centraal train station.

The police in Amsterdam recommended contacting the credit card companies right away to cancel our cards, however, they did not offer to let us use their phone for the international collect calls to the numbers on the cards.

I tried using my computer at HIX Dublin Airport to find I was unable to connect to Wi-Fi at HIX. When I went to the public phone in the Holiday Inn Express lobby, there was no dial tone.

I use my email for all communication when outside the USA. Figuring out foreign phone connections can be challenging for the inexperienced.

HIX bar

Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport bar seating in lobby.

 

Cayeleen at the front desk of the Holiday Inn Express helped me access the collect phone call connections. I canceled the two credit cards with no fraudulent activity reported on either card.

The wireless connection issue turned out to be due to my stay in December and Wi-Fi worked fine after I deleted the old Wi-Fi connection for the HIX off my computer.

IHG Northwood complex

Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Northwood (left), conference center (white building in center) and Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport (right).

 

Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Northwood and Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport Northwood are two hotels with a small conference center between them. The Crowne Plaza is a good looking hotel. I snapped photos of the lobby and conference center area to share in another article. (link to come)

There is a large green space in Santry-Demesne Regional Park across the street from the hotels. This was the site of a 1703 estate house that was demolished in 1959. The 72 acres became a public park in 2004.

Northwood park

Santry-Demesne Regional Park Dublin was created from an early 18th century estate.

 

Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport is 25,000 points for a reward night.

I booked a 69 EUR flexible day of arrival cancellation rate, about $80 USD. For that price, we had complimentary airport shuttle transportation, breakfast for two and one pint of Heineken. Good deal.

A sneak peak of the new PointBreaks list posted on Tuesday Feb. 24 for bookings and stays from Feb. 25 – May 31, 2015 (subject to availability). Each Reward Night at these participating hotels will be only 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points during the above mentioned dates.

Visit the IHG Blog to see the preview list on Feb. 24. The IHG Blog also has helpful travel guides and travel tips.

PointBreak hotels in Asia, Middle East, and Africa:

  • InterContinental Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
  • Crowne Plaza Chongqing New North Zone (China)
  • Crowne Plaza Jinan City Center (China)
  • Crowne Plaza Tianjin Jinnan (China)
  • Crowne Plaza Xiangyang (China)
  • Crowne Plaza Zhongshan Wing On City (China)
  • Holiday Inn Express Nantong Xinghu (China)
  • Holiday Inn Hangzhou Xiaoshan (China)
  • InterContinental Lhasa Paradise (China)
  • Holiday Inn New Delhi Int’l Airport (India)
  • Crowne Plaza Ube (Japan)
  • Holiday Inn Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)

PointBreak hotel deals in Europe:

  • Holiday Inn Tampere (Finland)
  • Holiday Inn Express Saint – Nazaire (France)
  • Holiday Inn Express Marseille – Provence Airport (France)
  • Holiday Inn Fulda (Germany)
  • Holiday Inn Express Guetersloh (Germany)
  • Holiday Inn Budapest – Budaörs (Hungary)
  • Holiday Inn Genoa City (Italy)
  • Crowne Plaza Vilnius (Lithuania)
  • Holiday Inn Express Arnhem (Netherlands)
  • Crowne Plaza Bucharest (Romania)
  • Holiday Inn Elche (Spain)
  • Holiday Inn Express Campo de Gibraltar – Barrios (Spain)
  • Holiday Inn Express Braintree (United Kingdom)
  • Holiday Inn Cardiff – North M4, Jct.32 (United Kingdom)
  • Holiday Inn Darlington – A1 Scotch Corner (United Kingdom)
  • Holiday Inn Express Hamilton (United Kingdom)

PointBreak Hotel Deals in Central and South America

  • Holiday Inn Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport (Argentina)
  • Holiday Inn Express Belém Ananindeua (Brazil)
  • Holiday Inn Fortaleza (Brazil)
  • Crowne Plaza Suites Tequendama Bogota (Columbia)
  • Holiday Inn Express Medellin (Columbia)
  • Crowne Plaza San Jose Corobici (Costa Rica)
  • Hotel Indigo San Jose Forum Costa Rica
  • Holiday Inn Guatemala (Ciudad De Guatemala, Guatemala)
  • Holiday Inn Express Tegucigalpa (Honduras)

PointBreak Hotel Deals in Mexico

  • Crowne Plaza Tuxtla Gutierrez
  • Holiday Inn MEXICO COYOACAN
  • Holiday Inn Express TOLUCA GALERIAS METEPEC
  • Holiday Inn Express TOLUCA ZONA AEROPUERTO
  • Staybridge Suites Guadalajara Expo
  • Holiday Inn Monterrey Norte
  • Holiday Inn Express Queretaro
  • Holiday Inn Express GUAYMAS
  • Holiday Inn Reynosa Zona Dorada
  • Holiday Inn ORIZABA

PointBreaks Hotels in Canada

  • Staybridge Suites West Edmonton (Alberta, Canada)
  • Holiday Inn Express Milton (Ontario, Canada)

PointBreaks Hotels Deals in the United States

Alabama

  • Holiday Inn Express Dothan North
  • Candlewood Suites Huntsville – Research Park

Arkansas

  • Holiday Inn Little Rock-Airport-Conf Ctr

Arizona

  • Holiday Inn Express Nogales
  • Holiday Inn Express Page – Lake Powell Area

California

  • Holiday Inn Express Beaumont – Oak Valley
  • Holiday Inn Express Calexico
  • Holiday Inn Express Moreno Valley (Lake Perris)
  • Staybridge Suites Sacramento Airport Natomas

Colorado

  • Holiday Inn Express Fraser – Winter Park Area
  • Holiday Inn Express La Junta

Connecticut

  • Holiday Inn Express Southington

Florida

  • Holiday Inn Express Tampa-Anderson Rd/Veterans Exp

Georgia

  • Holiday Inn Express Commerce-Tanger Outlets
  • Holiday Inn Express Macon-West
  • Holiday Inn Express Warner Robins North West
  • Holiday Inn Express Waycross

Iowa

  • Holiday Inn Express Clinton
  • Holiday Inn Express Le Mars

Idaho

  • Holiday Inn Express Boise-University Area

Illinois

  • Holiday Inn Express Bloomington West
  • Candlewood Suites Elgin NW-Chicago
  • Holiday Inn Express Rochelle
  • Staybridge Suites Rockford

Indiana

  • Holiday Inn Express Auburn-Touring Dr
  • Candlewood Suites Bloomington
  • Candlewood Suites Indianapolis Airport
  • Holiday Inn Express Scottsburg

Kentucky

  • Holiday Inn Express Murray
  • Holiday Inn Express Pikeville

Louisiana

  • Holiday Inn Covington
  • Holiday Inn Morgan City
  • Holiday Inn Express Scott-Lafayette West

Massachusetts

  • Candlewood Suites West Springfield

Maryland

  • Holiday Inn Express North East
  • Even Hotels Rockville – Washington DC Area
  • Holiday Inn Express Waldorf

Michigan

  • Holiday Inn Express Grand Blanc

Minnesota

  • Holiday Inn Express Mankato East

Missouri

  • Holiday Inn Express Kirksville
  • Holiday Inn Express Lebanon
  • Holiday Inn Express St Louis – Central West End

Mississippi

  • Holiday Inn Express Greenville
  • Holiday Inn Express Meridian
  • Candlewood Suites Tupelo North
  • Holiday Inn Vicksburg

North Carolina

  • Holiday Inn Express Conover (Hickory Area)
  • Holiday Inn Express Laurinburg
  • Holiday Inn Lumberton North – I-95

Nebraska

  • Holiday Inn Express Lincoln South

New Hampshire

  • Crowne Plaza Nashua

New Jersey

  • Holiday Inn Express Vineland Millville

New Mexico

  • Holiday Inn Express Silver City

Nevada

  • Holiday Inn Express Fallon

New York

  • Holiday Inn Middletown-Goshen
  • Holiday Inn Express East Greenbush(Albany-Skyline)

Ohio

  • Holiday Inn Express Bryan-Montpelier
  • Holiday Inn Express Toledo North

Oklahoma

  • Holiday Inn Express Bartlesville
  • Holiday Inn Express McAlester
  • Candlewood Suites Woodward

Pennsylvania

  • Holiday Inn Express Drums-Hazleton (I-80)
  • Holiday Inn Express Frazer-Malvern
  • Candlewood Suites Harrisburg
  • Holiday Inn Lansdale
  • Holiday Inn Express Irwin (Pa Tpk Exit 67)

South Carolina

  • Candlewood Suites Columbia-Ft. Jackson
  • Holiday Inn Express Greenwood
  • Holiday Inn Express Lexington-Hwy 378

South Dakota

  • Holiday Inn Express Vermillion
  • Holiday Inn Express Watertown

Tennessee

  • Holiday Inn Express Athens

Texas

  • Candlewood Suites Abilene
  • Holiday Inn Express Carthage
  • Holiday Inn Express Center
  • Holiday Inn Express Cleveland
  • Candlewood Suites Decatur Medical Center
  • Holiday Inn Express Ennis
  • Holiday Inn Express Falfurrias
  • Staybridge Suites Laredo International Airport
  • Holiday Inn Express Levelland
  • Holiday Inn Express Lufkin South
  • Candlewood Suites Mount Pleasant
  • Holiday Inn Express Fort Worth North – Northlake
  • Holiday Inn Express San Antonio SE by AT&T Center
  • Staybridge Suites San Antonio – Stone Oak
  • Holiday Inn Express Wharton

Utah

  • Holiday Inn Express Salt Lake City South – Murray

Virginia

  • Holiday Inn Express Christiansburg
  • Holiday Inn Petersburg North- Fort Lee
  • Candlewood Suites Richmond North-Glen Allen
  • Holiday Inn Norton
  • Holiday Inn Express Rocky Mount/Smith Mtn Lake
  • Staybridge Suites Quantico-Stafford

Washington

  • Holiday Inn Downtown-Everett
  • Holiday Inn Express Tacoma South – Lakewood

Wisconsin

  • Holiday Inn Conference Ctr Marshfield
  • Holiday Inn Wausau-Rothschild

West Virginia

  • Holiday Inn Express Newell-Chester WV

Wyoming

  • Candlewood Suites Sheridan

*****

This is a straight press release announcement from IHG to be on the watch today for the new IHG PointBreaks list. Clicking the first link for the PointBreaks list shows many of the properties from the January 2015 list are still available for stays through February 28, 2015. Those hotels should be replaced sometime today with the new list of hotels for 5,000 points per night.

I am hoping to see a hotel somewhere around one of the western states or British Columbia ski airports I can fly to on my award flight with Alaska Airlines in March or April. Vancouver or Kelowna BC would be nice to see.

Update: Not sure if I will be able to use any of these hotels after seeing the list. I have not had a PointBreaks hotel stay since 2013.

IHG 48 hour sale for 600 hotels UK and Europe from £29 to £169 is a flash sale for next 60 hours. IHG Rewards Club members have the chance to book rooms in the UK and Europe at potentially discount rates.

The deal is more than 600 hotels in UK and Europe are available for stays from January 24 to February 14 at £29, £39, £49, £89, £129 and £169.

The sale was scheduled to start 00:01 GMT July 16, but started at least 12 hours early based on the clock time posted.

That is a very short hotel stay window for this sale at three weeks. The best values appear to be the higher priced InterContinental Hotels in the $200 to $270 range for places like Paris, London and Amsterdam. There are also plenty of cheap Holiday Inn Express hotels around the UK.

Breakfast in UK is £10 extra per night, except £30 per night for InterContinental hotels. Breakfast in non-UK hotels is 10 EUR and 30 EUR for InterContinental Hotels.

IHG 48hour sale 1-15-15

Terms:

  1. Eligibility: The Winter Sale Promotion (“Offer”) is only open to all IHG® Rewards Club members and Ambassador Club members (“Members” separately each a “Member”). Participation constitutes a Member’s full and unconditional agreement to these Terms and Conditions and Promoter’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Offer. Benefiting from the Offer is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein and is subject to availability.
  2. Timing: Bookings for the Offer opens at 00:01 GMT on Friday 16 January 2015 for all IHG®Rewards Club Members. The Offer closes for all members at 23.59 on Saturday 17 January 2015 (“Promotional Period”).
  3. How to enter: To be eligible to make use of the Offer the guest must become a Member during the Promotional Period, and book either via www.ihg.com, the Central Reservation Office, or the IHG Mobile App.
  4. Offer: The Offer is available at participating (please see full participation list) Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Crowne Plaza®, Hotel Indigo®, Staybridge Suites® and InterContinental®Hotels and Resorts hotels in Europe for standard room-only bookings for stays between 24 January 2014 to 14 February 2015. Offer only available to Members. Blackout dates (days when Offer is not available) may apply in some hotels. The prices quoted under the Offer are for standard rooms. Breakfast is included in the Offer for stays at Holiday Inn Express® and Staybridge Suites®. Breakfast is charged at a rate of £10 (€10 in non-UK Europe) per room for stays at Holiday Inn®, Crowne Plaza® and Hotel Indigo® (this rate provides breakfast for each person per room). Breakfast is charged at a rate of £30 (€30 in non-UK Europe) per room for stays at InterContinental® Hotels and Resorts

The complete list of participating hotels is below.

£169 – Room Only

Read More…

This is an article I wrote for November 2014 InsideFlyer magazine about hotel loyalty program targeted promotions. This past month Hyatt, IHG and Marriott came out with another set of targeted offers for loyalty members with Hyatt Stay More Earn More, IHG Set Your Sights and Marriott Rewards MegaBonus.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More Jan 15 to April 30, 2015 registration (January 9, 2015)

Loyalty Traveler – Our IHG Set Your Sights tasks for 50000 points Jan 1-Apr 30, 2015 (Dec 15, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler – Marriott MegaBonus offers for Feb 1 to April 30, 2015 (Dec 19, 2014)

*****

Are hotel loyalty members simply a target?

Hotel industry conferences I have attended and research articles for the past several years have encouraged hotel loyalty programs to use data mining of guest profiles and expenditures to customize hotel loyalty promotions. Your loyalty program activity and credit card expenditures are tracked, profiled and stored in a marketing folder for customized pitches. The objective is to engage new customers to hotel brands, re-engage existing loyalty members who have reduced activity and incentivize profit generating hotel loyalty members to spend more with the hotel chain.

Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport and IHG Rewards Club are three major hotel chains with targeted promotions for late 2014 travel. These promotions are designed to target an individual guest’s travel profile.

Marriott Rewards has differentiated the recurring MegaBonus promotion for several years. Over the four month period September 15 to January 15, 2015, the generic offer is double points beginning with your second stay, up to 25,000 bonus points. This could mean $2,500 to $5,000 in hotel spend to earn 25,000 bonus points. My offer is 2,500 bonus points for each stay beginning with second stay, up to 25,000 bonus points. My offer is better for me than double points. I am typically a one-night stay traveler. Six $100 one-night stays earn 12,500 bonus points, even if they are all at Residence Inn or TownePlace Suites. Double points earns 5,000 bonus points for the same spend when avoiding the extended stay brands. Other targeted offers do not earn any bonus points until reaching 12 or even 20 nights. These offers have the potential to earn from at 30,000 to 55,000 bonus points, but only if you stay 18 to 30 nights. Marriott Rewards is generally friendly in allowing elite members to change their targeted offer.

Hyatt Gold Passport has at least eight targeted offers for September 1 – November 30, ranging from a maximum 2,000 bonus points for one stay to 50,000 bonus points for 20 nights. My offer was 2,000 bonus points per stay for three stays. Hyatt Gold Passport allowed some members with no offer and others with a lower points offer to enroll for the 50,000 points version which earns bonus points cumulatively for every five nights at 5,000; 10,000; 15,000 and 20,000 bonus points. My Hyatt offer for 6,000 points after three stays is a good one for my travel pattern since I am unlikely to stay ten nights during the promotion period.

IHG Rewards Club openly advocates the targeted approach to hotel loyalty promotions with the current September 1 -December 31 Into the Nights. This promotion follows two versions of targeted offers from The Big Win in late 2013 and early 2014. IHG members with fewer hotel stays in 2014 appear to have easier offers for earning 50,000 bonus points or two free nights than more frequent guests. Some IHG Rewards Club members need more than 15 nights to earn their full Into the Nights bonus offer, whereas other members like me who have stayed infrequently at IHG hotels this year need only stay three paid nights to earn two free nights at any IHG hotel.

Hyatt, IHG and Marriott loyalty programs received plenty of negative responses from unhappy members on travel forums to the idea of targeted offers. Perhaps a better promotion strategy for hotel loyalty programs was pioneered by Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) in 2008 and 2012 when SPG members had a choice from a variety of promotions offers.

SPG ran a promotion in 2008 called You Choose. The promotion ran October 1 to December 31 and members had a choice of 12 different offers ranging from double elite credit or free nights or bonus points. The best part was the member registration deadline was November 15, midway through the promotion period, and hotel stay credit applied retroactively. We can’t expect the kind of lucrative bonuses these days like loyalty programs offered during the ‘Great Recession’, yet the gesture of member choice is significant. SPG followed up in 2012 with Nice Choice, a promotion I consider to be a great prototype for member choice. SPG members could choose three consecutive months for their promotion period between May and September with a choice of six different bonuses including free nights, discount awards and bonus points. I think SPG had a great alternative to targeted offers with these past promotions. The ability to select our own offers from promotion choices is a respectful signal to loyalty members that we are the ones best suited to predict our own travel pattern.

Hyatt, IHG and Marriott hit their target with my bonus points promotion offers that I can take to heart when planning my hotel travel. My sense though is there are many other hotel loyalty members who would prefer more choice instead of being a target waiting to be hit with an unwelcome promotion.

Next Thursday, for those of us in the USA, there will be an IHG 48 Hour Sale January 16 for UK and Europe. Previous 48 hour sales have offered some of the best hotel rate discounts available. The last sale on October 31 included about 600 participating hotels.

Loyalty Traveler – IHG 48 hour sale at 600 hotels in Europe October 31, 2014 (Oct 22, 2014)

Sale begins Friday January 16 at 00:01 Central European Time (Paris). This means the sale begins on Thursday, January 15 at 6:01pm Eastern and 3:01 pm Pacific time in USA.

I was close to booking a prepaid, nonrefundable rate yesterday for a February stay at Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport. I will now wait until next week to see if I can get a lower rate.

IHG 48 hour sale 1-16-2015

IHG 48 hour Sale begins 00:01 Friday, January 16, 2015.

  • New York 6:01pm Thursday, January 15
  • San Francisco 3:01pm Thursday, January 15

Rates in past IHG 48 hour sales were prepaid and nonrefundable.

IHG Into the Nights had to be one of the most complicated and tech troubled loyalty promotions of 2014. The promotion was a hassle of uncertainty, however, two paid hotel nights to earn two free nights made the effort worthwhile in my case.

This update is to share something about my wife’s Into the Nights offer. Her task board never updated from the original page posted in October, even after a stay in early November.

IHG Into the Nights-K-1

This concerned me since we stayed three more times at IHG hotels in the past two weeks. Her tasks were a simple stay two times and earn one free night. Three stays posted and her last stay on December 30 has not posted yet.

I checked her Into the Nights task board this morning.

IHG Into the Nights K-2

Even though there is no activity shown on her task board, there was a reward choice offered for 25,000 points or 1 Free Night. We selected the free night.

IHG Into the Nights-K-3

One Free Night in her account lets me rest easy with the assumption the second free night will be offered once her Holiday Inn Express Monterey Bay stay on December 30 posts to her IHG account.

All in all, we paid for six hotel nights at a cost of about $650. We needed five of the hotel nights for our travels and the stay this week was $117 for a hotel nearby that we didn’t need. I’m pretty certain we will stay in hotels in Europe using our four free hotel nights in July 2015. I expect the lowest room rates at the hotels we stay on our free nights will be somewhat more expensive than the $650 we spent to earn the free nights.

Set Your Sights on 2015 is the new IHG Rewards Club offer that I am looking at combining with Alaska Airlines fly two times and get a free flight available to residents of California, Oregon and Washington for flights to ski destinations through February 23, 2015.

Loyalty Traveler – Our IHG Set Your Sights tasks for 50000 points Jan 1-Apr 30, 2015 (December 15, 2014)

This week is round two of Into the Nights as we earn two free nights at any IHG hotel worldwide on my wife’s IHG account. I completed my Into the Nights task earlier this month and the two free nights posted to my account after completing two 1-night paid stays. I needed to stay at two IHG hotels outside the USA in two different countries. One country was the UK with Holiday Inn London Gatwick on a bonus points and breakfast rate and the other country was Ireland at Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport.

Similar to my situation, Kelley originally had one offer with five tasks when I registered her account in September and then her offer changed to a simple stay two times and earn one free night. She had a stay last month at Crowne Plaza Denver Airport and last night we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express on the California coast in Port Hueneme, south of Ventura and Oxnard and north of the mudslide on Pacific Coast Highway that has closed the Malibu stretch of road. California shows signs of heavy December rains across the state.

Kelley should now have earned one free night at any IHG hotel worldwide after $220 in spend for two hotel nights we needed.

Read More…

InterContinental Dublin opens January 1, 2015 when the Four Seasons Dublin rebrands. The Four Seasons Dublin Hotel is located in south Dublin in the area of Ballsbridge, but within walking distance of Trinity College in Dublin city center or the Dublin Bay coast. The hotel was voted one of Ireland’s Top 25 luxury hotels for 2014 on TripAdvisor.com.

InterContinental Dublin hotel will be 197 rooms. The public areas, meeting rooms and restaurant will undergo renovation as part of a five-year property improvement plan. The hotel was originally built in 2001 and then purchased by the current owners London & Regional in 2011 for 15 million EUR, about 25% of the price to build the hotel ten years earlier. IHG says they are interested in opening a Hotel Indigo in Dublin too – Irish Times.

The property was rumored to become a Hyatt managed hotel, but IHG won out. As someone who sought out an IHG hotel in Dublin last month for my Into the Nights task of staying in two countries outside the USA, there are slim pickings in Dublin with two airport hotels at Northwood and one Crowne Plaza at Blanchardstown, northwest in the Dublin suburbs, miles from central Dublin.

InterContinental Dublin will offer a Dublin location away from the bustling and congested city center, yet with easy access to central Dublin on foot or public transportation.

Four Seasons Dublin

Four Seasons Dublin currently ranks #10 of 176 Dublin hotels.

Four Seasons Dublin map

Four Seasons Dublin is about one mile south of Dublin city center and the River Liffey.

Four Seasons Dublin city map

Big news in the IHG world with the acquisition of U.S. based Kimpton Hotels upper upscale boutique chain and a new InterContinental Dublin announced in the past 24 hours. Loyalty Traveler – IHG acquires Kimpton Hotels boutique chain, but don’t expect PointBreaks deals in 2015.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Comments are off for this article

IHG acquires Kimpton Hotels boutique chain in a $430 million deal, but don’t expect PointBreaks deals in 2015 for your favorite Kimpton. The best we can expect for IHG in the near future is maybe they will pick up some of Kimpton’s IT savvy and laid back California charm to counterbalance the IHG UK corporate face and troublesome promotion roll outs.

Kimpton Hotels manages 62 hotels around the USA and has another 16 hotels in the pipeline. IHG currently has Hotel Indigo as its boutique brand and EVEN, a new fitness-focused brand recently launched. The acquisition of Kimpton will double the IHG boutique portfolio and put the chain at nearly 200 boutique hotels. In general, Kimpton Hotels will be more upscale than Hotel Indigo.

In the short-term, Kimpton will maintain its Kimpton Karma loyalty program. I don’t think the loyalty programs will merge until the latter half of 2015 based on the time it has taken Marriott to merge with AC Hotels and Protea after those chains were purchased. On the other hand, Hyatt was able to integrate Avia (Andaz) and Sierra Suites (Hyatt HOUSE) into its program quickly, but Hyatt is not the behemoth organization IHG. In time, we should get word on how IHG and Kimpton plan to integrate loyalty programs and categorize the Kimpton Hotels for IHG Rewards Club points.

I imagine Kimpton will retain its own name brand in IHG since the brand recognition and attitude to Kimpton Hotels is highly favorable. Kimpton has made a name for itself by remodeling historic buildings in urban centers into designer boutique hotels. Kimpton will fill a slot below InterContinental Hotels luxury segment. IHG brands Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo fall into the Upscale Hotels market segment as categorized by Smith Travel Research, the Tennessee based hotel data company. Upscale brands in other chains are Starwood Hotels Four Points, Marriott Courtyard, Hyatt Place and DoubleTree.

IHG has a serious gap in the Upper Upscale Hotels market segment where brands like Marriott, Renaissance, Autograph Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Hyatt Regency, Hilton and Embassy Suites hotel brands reside in terms of their average daily rate.

Kimpton is firmly in the upper upscale hotel market segment for the USA and will fill that void in IHG between luxury InterContinental Hotels and the often times ageing Crowne Plaza hotels and the small footprint of Hotel Indigo brand, which seem like second tier boutique hotels in many locations.

IHG says they see Kimpton rolling out internationally as a hotel brand of IHG.

I don’t expect points bargains when IHG integrates Kimpton Hotels for reward nights with IHG Rewards Club points. Most of the Kimpton properties should fall in the 30,000 to 50,000 points range. I doubt we will see the integration before summer 2015 and perhaps not until 2016.

Personally, I love the fact that San Francisco with IHG will become a bit like London with Club Carlson and its 18 Radisson Edwardian hotels. Kimpton has 9 hotels in San Francisco and 17 in California.

Kimpton Karma

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Many of us IHG Rewards Club members received the IHG Set Your Sights Holiday Inn Club Vacations package task. First thing to know is this is a time share sales pitch task. I subjected my family to a timeshare pitch at Hyatt Carmel Highlands a couple years ago and truly regretted wasting a few hours of our family gathering for a $150 hotel credit.

Here are the terms I gathered from a telephone consultation about the Holiday Inn Club Vacations mini-vacation package.

Participating Resorts

  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando – Orange Lake Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Las Vegas – Desert Club Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Myrtle Beach – South Beach
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Gatlinburg – Smoky Mountain Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral – Beach Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Williamsburg Resort

There is currently an offer for $199 + tax for three nights in any of these six properties. You buy a certificate and you have one year to redeem the certificate. If this is a task I wanted to complete, I would sit on the phone and get set dates before my purchase. There are peak season dates with higher rates.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Las Vegas – Desert Club Resort had spring break peak season dates from March 6 to April 11, 2015. I assume the other hotels have similar peak season dates and maybe more.

Here are basic questions I answered to determine eligibility

Marital status: if married, partners must travel together to timeshare event.

Must be 23 years or over.

Is your annual income over $50,000?

No bankruptcy on records.

Need Passport or driver’s license and credit card.

Package certificate good for 12 months from date of purchase.

$99 additional fee to $199 if stay is in peak season dates.

Fee to change stay dates $20 total, if 4 days or more.  Fee is $99 to change dates within 3 days of arrival.

2 hour timeshare presentation is part of package requirements.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations promo

Now for the Good News

There is currently an offer to a $100 Holiday Inn rebate or 20,000 points.

My Set Your Sights offer is 5,000 points for booking the Holiday Inn Club Vacations mini-vacation package. The three nights count as eligible nights for the six total nights I need for Set Your Sights. And there is either a $100 rebate or 20,000 points.

That can be a good deal if you want to visit one of the locations with these timeshare properties.

Personally, I’ll likely go for six nights if I do this IHG Set Your Sights promotion. I know my wife has no interest in going to Las Vegas for a timeshare, no matter how many points can be earned.

 

Terms & Conditions for my Set Your Sights task for 5,000 points.

Book a mini-vacation package at a qualifying Holiday Inn Club Vacations® property and earn 5,000 bonus points.

Must be an IHG® Rewards Club member and must register your member number in advance to participate in this Offer (“Registration”). Number of bonus points listed above will be awarded after member books a Qualifying mini-vacation rate, between 1 January 2015 and 30 April 2015 (both dates inclusive) at participating Holiday Inn Club Vacation properties. The points will only be awarded for the first qualified mini-vacation booking only. Please allow up to 4 to 6 weeks for points to be credited after booking. The Offer is subject to the General Promotion Terms and standard IHG® Rewards Club Membership Terms and Conditions and earning structure, which can be obtained by visiting http://www.ihgrewardsclub.com. This exclusive Offer is valid and applies to the original recipient only. IHG® reserves the right to remove a member’s bonus points if fraudulent use of the Offer is detected. IHG® Rewards Club reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion/Offer at any time with or without notice. IHG® reserves the right of final interpretation of this Offer. Holiday Inn Club Vacations® resorts are independently owned and operated and are not owned or operated or by the owner of the Holiday Inn® brand. Any timeshare sales are being independently marketed for sale and are not marketed by the owner of the Holiday Inn brand.


Participating Resorts

  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando – Orange Lake Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Las Vegas – Desert Club Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Myrtle Beach – South Beach
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Gatlinburg – Smoky Mountain Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral – Beach Resort
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations Williamsburg Resort

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