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Best IHG Rewards Club Hotels: Category 5

IHG Rewards Club’s Category 5 is filled with Intercontinental hotels. Some of them are a bit past their prime, but for the most part the hotels on this list are pretty incredible at 30,000 points per night. You’ll find lots of award winners, some interesting Hotel Indigo properties that will make you want to visit cities  you’d otherwise pass on (Hello, Liverpool!), and Crowne Plaza hotels that rank higher than Intercontinental hotels in the same city. Here are the best Category 5 IHG Rewards Club properties:

North America

West

Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe (South Lake Tahoe, CA)

Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe IHG Rewards Club

Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: At 30,000 points per night you can book a standard King room that comes equipped with a microwave, fridge, and coffee maker. Typical of IHG properties, guests get complimentary wifi in addition to free buffet breakfast.

Location: The Holiday Inn Express South Lake Tahoe is in a really great area, close to both nature, shopping, and the casinos. If you’re here in the winter, this is a great base from which to access several ski resorts. The closest one is Heavenly Ski Resort, just 0.25 miles away. You can also walk to the shopping center and the beach is just a mile away. Really, the location couldn’t be better (unless you want to be in the woods – then I suggest you go camping).

Honorable Mention: N/A

South

Staybridge Suites Lake Buena Vista (Orlando, FL)

Staybridge Suites Lake Buena Vista IHG Rewards Club

Staybridge Suites Lake Buena Vista
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #17 Hotels for Families in the United States

Accommodations: The Staybridge Suites Lake Buena Vista is an excellent redemption if you’re taking a family vacation to Disney World or one of the other amusement parks in the area. For just 30,000 points per night, you get a 550 sqft suite with a King bed and living room with double sized sleeper sofa. These suites come with a fully equipped kitchen and two tv’s (one in the living room and one in the bedroom).

If prepping your own meals doesn’t sound appealing, all guests get complimentary breakfast, along with appetizers/drinks during the hotel’s Social Reception, held Tuesdays through Thursdays. This can be a real money saver for families staying mid-week.

Location: This hotel is perfect for families visiting Disney World, as it’s within walking distance of the resort. The location is also ideal if you want to visit surrounding theme parks. Sea World, Hollywood Studios, and Universal Studios Orlando are all within a 5 mile radius of the Staybridge Suites.

Honorable Mention:

Mexico

Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel Resort & Spa (Cozumel, Mexico)

Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel Resort & Spa IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental Presidente Cozumel Resort & Spa Pool View Room
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #21 Top 25 Hotels in Mexico
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #25 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Mexico
  • Tripadvisor #4 hotels in Cozumel

Accommodations: A standard award at this hotel gets you a 452 sqft King or Double Bed pool view room. The beds are fitted with egyptian cotton duvets and guests can enjoy free bottled water and coffee provisions.

Location: The Intercontinental Cozumel has an enviable location right on the beach, where you can go snorkeling or partake in other water sports arranged by the resort’s Scuba Du diving center. Chankanaab National Park, a great place to go diving and/or entertain the kids, is nearby and Cozumel International Airport is just 5 miles away. The location of this resort and the proximity to a variety of sights makes this a great place to redeem your points.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Central America

Intercontinental San Jose Real Hotel & Club Tower (Escazu, Costa Rica)

Intercontinental San Jose Real Hotel & Club Tower IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental San Jose Real Hotel & Club Tower
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #17 Top 20 Luxury Hotels in Central America
  • Tripadvisor #6 hotel in Escazu

Accommodations: Bed type cannot be guaranteed and will be allocated upon arrival based on availaibility. Includes soundproof window spacious work desk 40 mbps internet coffeemaker with courtesy coffee iron and board safe deposit box bathrobe alarm clock with cd player.

Location: The hotel is ideal for business travelers, located close to the Escazu Corporate Center and a shopping mall. If you’re looking to relax after a day of wandering, the hotel has two outdoor pools and “the largest urban spa in Central America” for guests to enjoy.

Honorable Mention: N/A

South America

Intercontinental Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Intercontinental Buenos Aires IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental Buenos Aires
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: Standard rooms at the Intercontinental Buenos Aires feature simply decor with hardwood floors. Standard rooms occupy floors 3-9.

Location: The Intercontinental Buenos Aires is located in the Old Town area, close to the financial district and local attractions like Avenida de Mayo, Plaza Congreso, El Zanjon de Granados, and more. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes in the area, perfect for people watching.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Europe

Western Europe

Crowne Plaza Salzburg The Pitter (Salzburg, Austria)

Crowne Plaza Salzburg The Pitter IHG Rewards Club

Crowne Plaza Salzburg The Pitter
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: The Crowne Plaza Salzburg recently underwent a renovation and will re-open in May 2014. The rooms look pretty run-down pre-renovation, so it will be nice to see the finished product a few months from now. This hotel is a great redemption during high season, when rates for a standard room are over $250 per night.

Location: The hotel is located next to the historical Mirabell Palace & Garden, and a short walk to Old Town Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Guests can also walk to the Salzburg Cathedral, the city’s Fortress, Mozard’s birthplace, and Hellbrunn Palace, to name a few.

Honorable Mention: Crowne Plaza Brugge (Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #17 Top 25 Hotels in Belgium)

Western Europe – UK

Hotel Indigo Liverpool (Liverpool, England)

Hotel Indigo Liverpool Double Room IHG Rewards Club

Hotel Indigo Liverpool Double Room
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: Guests booking a standard award can choose between a room with twin beds or one double bed. Each room is uniquely decorated in vibrant colors, with modern furniture and gorgeous hardwood floors. All rooms feature a complimentary mini bar, which is pretty impressive, especially for a European hotel where you’d typically get nickel and dimed for everything.

Location: The Hotel Indigo Liverpool is located in a former cotton warehouse, within walking distance of the waterfront area and notable attractions, like the Beatles museum. You can also walk to the Maritime Museum, Tate Gallery, and amous Cavern Club.

Honorable Mention: 

Eastern Europe

Intercontinental Kiev (Kiev, Ukraine)

Intercontinental Kiev IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental Kiev
Source: Tripadvisor

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #8 Top 25 Hotels in Ukraine
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #9 Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Ukraine
  • Tripadvisor #4 hotel in Kiev

Accommodations: With standard rooms going for $400 per night in the summer, 30,000 points per night presents a great redemption value. Standard rooms offer 322 sqft of space and come equipped with a complimentary minibar, and coffee/tea provisions. Guests also get an iPod docking station to use during their stay and access to an oh-so-pretentious pillow menu/

Location: The Intercontinental Kiev is located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to notable historic sights, including the Churches of St. Sophia, St. Michael and St. Andrew.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Mediterranean

Intercontinental Porto Palacios Das Cardosas (Porto, Portugal)

Intercontinental Porto Palacios Das Cardosas IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental Porto Palacios Das Cardosas
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #16 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Portugal
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #21 Top 25 Hotels for Romance in Portugal
  • Tripadvisor #1 Hotel in Porto

Accommodations: The hotel is fairly small, with a total of just 105 guest rooms. A standard award gets you into a spacious Deluxe room with separate sitting area.

Location: As it’s name suggests, the Intercontinental Porto Palcios Das Cardosas is located in an 18th century palace on Avenida dos Aliadod. Guests can walk to the local attractions like the Bolhao Market, Ribeira District and the Clérigos Church.

Honorable Mention: Intercontinental Aphrodite Hills Resort

Asia

Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund (Shanghai, China)

Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund IHG Rewards Club

Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund Deluxe Room
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor #4 hotel in Shanghai
  • Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: For 30,000 points per night, you’ll get a spacious Deluxe room with either one King or two Twin beds. These rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the city, a walk-in closet, and rainfall shower in the bathroom. Guests also have access to an iPod docking station and satellite channels they can watch on the flatscreen tv.

Location: The hotel is right on the Bund, within walking distance of Yu Garden and the Shiliupu cloth market.

Honorable Mention: 

Pacific

Crowne Plaza Queenstown (Queenstown, New Zealand)

Crowne Plaza Queenstown IHG Rewards Club

Crowne Plaza Queenstown
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice: #19 Top 25 Hotels in New Zealand

Accommodations: Standard rooms feature Double beds and a balcony with courtyard views. Rooms are spacious and feature floor-to-ceiling windows. The decor is modern and clean, with light wood furniture. If you can arrange an upgrade ahead of time, the lake/mountain views are worth it.

Location: The Crowne Plaza Queesntown sits right on Lake Wakatipu, offering beautiful views of the surrounding scenery. The hotel is within walking distance of the Skyline Gondola. Nature buffs will feel at home surrounded by mountains and a short drive to Shotover Jet, where they can go white water rafting. Queenstown Airport is a short 15 minute drive from the Crowne Plaza.

Honorable Mention:

Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa (Natadola, Fiji)

Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa King Garden View Room
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #8 Top 10 Hotels in Fiji
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #9 Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Fiji

Accommodations: At the standard level, guests can book a 678 sqft Garden View room with either a King bed or two Double beds. Rooms come equipped with Bose sound system, and CD/DVD player, and feature a large balcony with seating.

Location: The Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa is located on Fiji’s main Island, Viti Levu. Guests have direct access to Natadola beach, where you can snorkel or surf. For avid golfers, the resort boasts an 18-hole championship golf course. There’s no need to get up early to grab a pool chair – the resort has four pools, including one exclusively for families.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Middle East

Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut (Beirut, Lebanon)

Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental Phoenicia Beirut
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #5 Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Lebanon
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #9 Top 10 Hotels in Lebanon
  • Tripadvisor #6 hotel in Beirut

Accommodations: A standard room is 236 sqft with a Queen size bed and views of the city. The decor is classic (typical of an Intercontinental), though a bit dated.

Location: The hotel sits on the harbor, close to the city’s downtown, financial and shopping districts, and various tourist sights, sights like Crusader’s castle

Beirut isn’t perceived as the safest city at the moment, but much of the Middle East cities worth visiting are and probably always will be in turmoil. If it’s safe you’re after, head to the Vanilla shores of Dubai, where your stunning 5-star hotel is built and serviced by slave labor, where the sparkling clean streets have been washed of the blood of Asian and African immigrants brought to there to endure torture at the hands of the wealthy Sheikhs, and where the camel races are jockeyed by sexually abused 9 year-olds from Pakistan. I’m getting off topic, but in any case, Beirut is a fascinating city that is worth exploring. This hotel is a perfect place to do that from.

Honorable Mention: 

  • Intercontinental Al Khobar 
    • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #1 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Saudi Arabia
    • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #2 Top 25 Hotels in Saudi Arabia
    • Tripadvisor: #1 Hotel in Al Khobal)
  • Intercontinental La Vendome, Beirut
    • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #9 Luxury Hotels in Lebanon
    • Tripadvisor #13 hotel in Beirut
  • Crowne Plaza Tel Aviv City Center
    • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #6 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Israel
    • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #22 Top 25 Hotels in Israel

Africa

Intercontinental Mauritius Balaclava (Balaclava, Mauritius)

Intercontinental Mauritius Balaclava IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental Mauritius Balaclava Deluxe Ocean View Room
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: What’s pretty impressive about this hotel is that guests who book an award get a massive 600 sqft Deluxe Ocean View room with a private balcony. This is probably the most generous standard room offered by any hotel featured in this series so far.

Location: Guest staying at the Intercontinental can enjoy nearly half a mile of beautiful white sandy beach overlooking the Bay of Balaclava. The resort has tons of amenities, including a tennis court, an amazing pools (one infinity pool overlooking the bay), a world class spa, and a kids club to keep the little ones entertained. The area is renowned for diving and snorkeling, so bring your gear and be prepared to encounter some amazing sea life.

SSR International Airport is an hour away, which is quite a distance, but the hotel will arrange pickup for a fee.

Honorable Mention:

Are there any Category 5 hotels that you think should have been included on the list? Please add them to the comment section.

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Ariana Arghandewal

4 Comments

  1. I love this series of posts! As a Platinum IHG member I have stayed at really neat properties in London (Earls Court Indigo) and Paris (Montparnasse Holiday Inn). Next month my wife and I are booked in the Indigo in Barcelona and the same in Madrid, 2 weeks, all on IHG points.

    • Glad you’re enjoying the series! Hotel Indigo seems like a really great brand – can’t wait to try it out! I’ll take your feedback into account when I put together the next few categories.

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