What is IHG Hotel? A Closer Look at the Hotel Brand and How it Stands Out in the Industry

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An IHG hotel in Tokyo, Japan

The hospitality industry continues to grow, with more hotels and resorts opening in different countries and cities. Currently, there are an estimated 187,000 hotels in the world. So if you’re into travel and leisure, you might have come across the acronym IHG. It is an upscale international hotel brand that carries popular hotel chains like Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo, Staybridge Suites, and Crowne Plaza, to name a few.

Hotels play a huge part in the overall experience of a traveler. Hotel companies are constantly innovating and improving their services to provide the best possible accommodation and pampering experience for every guest. Finding a hotel brand that caters to our budget and needs is important for avid travelers like me. You’ve likely stayed in an IHG hotel before, so this article will help you get familiar with one of the world’s best hotel brands. 

Keep reading to take a closer look at IHG and how it helped revolutionize hotel chains. 

What does IHG stand for?

IHG hotel logos through the years.

IHG stands for Intercontinental Hotels Group. It is a British-owned multinational hotel company based in England. When you see “IHG”, you might automatically associate it with the company. But did you know that not all IHG hotels are “owned” by IHG?

IHG is a franchising business. The majority of hotels in the global group are independently owned and operated. However, they still have to pay franchising fees to IHG to use their branding and hotel procedures. They adopt the same franchising model that fast food chain and convenience store giants McDonald’s and 7-Eleven use. 

The hotel brand was formally established 20 years ago. 

Let’s get into the brief history of this world-class hotel group:

  • IHG started as a UK brewery named Bass Brewing Company.
  • In 1969, Bass launched a small hotel chain to add to its business portfolio.
  • A law limiting pub ownership was passed by the British government in 1989, which pushed Bass to focus on the hospitality business.
  • After five long years of expansion and evolution, Bass officially acquired InterContinental Hotels in 1998.

In 2003, the company underwent a groundbreaking transformation. It sold all its brewing assets and underwent a significant rebranding, adopting the new name of InterContinel Hotels Group (IHG).

What makes an IHG hotel stand out?

As one of the largest hotel brands and chains in the world, an IHG hotel offers an extraordinary experience to its guests. Apart from hotel loyalty programs, IHG is known for its personal approach to customer service. And when I say personal, I don’t just talk about basic room and concierge services. IHG hotels always incorporate a human touch in all of their services. From cooking a guest’s favorite food, tracking a misplaced passport, and sewing torn garments, their hotels provide an at-home-like experience better than other hotels give.

Being a part of IHG also grants a lot of benefits to hoteliers and entrepreneurs. IHG was awarded as one of the Top 10 Best Hotel Companies in 2018 based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The famed hotel brand also ranked in the top three of KPMG Nunwood’s Customer Experience Excellence Analysis. Moreover, IHG is also recognized for its hotels in culturally diverse countries and having an international hotel brand designed specifically for minorities. With all these wonderful achievements and impressive milestones, every dollar spent at IHG hotels is worth it. 

There are 19 hotel brands under the IHG brand, and you might have already stayed in one. 

IHG has hotels in more than 100 countries all over the world, so it’s possible that you’ve already stayed in one. One of IHG’s strongest points is its culturally diverse and inclusive principle. So expect that IHG hotels exist in different places that cradle various cultural practices and beliefs. IHG brand hotels are divided into four different collections: (1) Luxury hotels and Lifestyle, (2) Suites, (3) Premium hotels, and (4) Essentials.

Check out the list of IHG hotels and see if you’ve been one of the esteemed guests of this upscale hotel brand:

BrandCollection / CategoryDescription / Number of Hotels
Six Senses Hotels Resorts SpasLuxury | Lifestyle21 luxury hotels around the world, as of 2022. (See the Best Six Senses Hotel here)
Regent Hotels & ResortsLuxury | Lifestyle8 luxury hotels; mostly located in Asia (Chinese cities) and Europe.
InterContinental Hotels and ResortsLuxury | LifestyleLuxury brand of boutique hotels, suites, resorts, and more in 213 locations worldwide.
Kimpton Hotels & RestaurantsLuxury | Lifestyle68 boutique urban-style hotels with in-house restaurants.
Hotel IndigoLuxury | Lifestyle130 small boutique hotels with elegant guest rooms and spa-themed bathrooms.
Hualuxe Hotels & ResortsPremiumInternational premium hotel brand designed specifically for Chinese consumers. 19 hotels as of 2022.
Crowne PlazaPremiumA UK-based brand. There are 431 Crowne Plaza hotels all over the world. 
Even HotelsPremiumKnown for 22 modern-minimalist hotels and wellness-savvy staff.
Voco HotelsPremium41 upscale lifestyle hotels.
Holiday InnEssentialsOver 1,200 hotels worldwide dedicated to work and leisure travelers. Holiday Inn hotels are labeled as IHG’s “flagship”.
Holiday Inn ExpressEssentials3,059 hotels in multiple countries, offering reasonable prices aimed at business travelers.
Avid HotelsEssentialsA midscale hotel brand with 55 locations all over the world. 
Atwell SuitesSuitesNew hotel brand with 2 locations (Miami and Denver, FL)
Staybridge SuitesSuitesResidential-style hotels with 315 locations serving extended-stay and corporate travelers. 
Holiday Inn Club VacationsSuites28 vacation resorts and accommodations across the United States with families as the main target market.
Candlewood SuitesSuitesAround 372 hotels in the United States. Known for its pet-friendly facilities.
Garner HotelsEssentialsIntroduced in August 2023, Garner is an addition to IHG’s midscale brands, aiming to serve midrange travelers.
Vignette CollectionLuxury | LifestyleUnveiled in 2021, the brand targets mid-size luxury hotels with entry-luxury price points. 
Iberostar Beachfront ResortsExclusive Partners70 hotels are estimated to be added under this brand with a focus on family vacations and getaways.
Photo: The 19 hotel brands under IHG with their respective classifications.

Is IHG a luxury brand?

Yes. Despite its partnerships with midscale brands offering excellent yet basic amenities, IHG is considered the world’s largest luxury hotel brand. The company has excellent quality, customer service, and a portfolio with deals with top hotel chains, resorts, and restaurants.

With its services reaching different continents, IHG is aiming to open hotels in developmental areas and spread the IHG luxury trademark in multiple territories. To further solidify its force in the worldwide hospitality industry, IHG gears up to add 1,900 hotels under the brand.

They offer one of the best guest loyalty programs in the world – the IHG One rewards.

The global organization always makes sure that per dollar spent at IHG will be worth it. To prove their commitment to excellent guest services, IHG created a guest loyalty program that stands out among different hotel brands in the world. The IHG One Rewards is a lifetime guest loyalty program for all IHG hotels worldwide. 

How to participate in the IHG One Rewards program?

Becoming a member of the IHG® rewards club is easy. You can sign up for free at the IHG One Rewards portal. After signing up, you can earn IHG points. Keep in mind that a hotel stay is not the only way for you to earn your points, but it certainly does make your IHG rewards quest easier. 

Staying in eligible IHG properties can help you earn more points. Here’s an example:

  • For each dollar spent at most IHG hotels, you can earn 10 IHG One Rewards points.
  • A stay in Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites can give you 5 IHG One Rewards points for each dollar spent.

You can also enjoy more benefits in the form of bonus reward points, as an IHG rewards club member, by achieving membership milestones:

  • Club: No bonus point.
  • Silver Elite: 20% bonus
  • Gold Elite: 40% bonus
  • Platinum Elite: 60% bonus
  • Diamond Elite: 100%

As your IHG status goes higher, you can enjoy higher bonus amounts. To boost your IHG elite status, you can opt for the following ways:

  • Earn IHG One Rewards points by accumulating 20 nights of stay at IHG® hotels and resorts in one calendar year.
  • Multiply your points by joining the IHG One Rewards Loyalty Program promotions. (Registration per promotion is required)
  • Through IHG credit cards: IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card, IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card, and IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.
  • Shopping and dining (restaurant reservations, food delivery, and Apple product purchases)
  • Through meetings and events (IHG Business Rewards program)
  • Through travel partners and car rentals.

How can you redeem IHG One Rewards points?

IHG One Rewards members can redeem points and use them to pay for luxurious hotel stays. Elite members can also use their points to secure sports and entertainment event passes. Club members have the amazing opportunity to indulge in the utmost luxurious experience offered by IHG in countless hotels all over the world, ranging from sports events, conventions, to concerts.

Others make the most out of their love for travel by converting IHG points to airline miles. Unlike traditional hotel loyalty programs, the brand provides a more personalized and prestigious level of IHG luxury. 

You can make a meaningful impact by using your points to support charitable institutions that work towards important causes such as education, human rights, anti-discrimination campaigns, and disaster relief. 

See how you can redeem your points here

A stay at IHG hotel brands property can give you the best hotel experience ever. 

With hundreds and thousands of hotels located in different countries and continents, IHG shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. As an upscale international hotel brand designed to offer comfort and luxury, every stay at an IHG hotel is certainly worth it.

Consider IHG as your top choice for a hotel that offers essential amenities, premium services, and a luxurious lifestyle. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the sophistication and value for money that their hotels have. Stay in an IHG hotel, sign up, upgrade your elite status, and make a significant change through your points. 

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What’s Next?

Are you wondering what a 7-star hotel is? Check out our blog post titled “The Ultimate Guide to the Top 7 Star Hotels in the World: Discover Luxury and Opulence

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Charvel Rebagay is the founder and main author behind BestHotelsAdvisor.com. With an impressive entrepreneurial background and a genuine passion for travel, Charvel brings a unique perspective to the hospitality industry. He meticulously reviews and recommends hotels, providing readers with an invaluable guide to the best global accommodations.