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Best IHG Rewards Club Hotels: Category 7

Following IHG’s announcement of a positive award program change, I held off on publishing the rest of this series in case anything changed. Thankfully, I did not have to make any changes (or maybe that’s a bad thing?).

The hotels in IHG Rewards Club’s Category 7 are definitely a notch above the rest. At 40,000 points per night, you start to see award winning properties in Europe and great value redemptions in the Pacific. US properties in this category are a big improvement over the previous one, with plenty of centrally located hotels in major cities. Chances are, if you’re headed to a major city with just 40,000 points to spare, you’ll find something in categories I’ve published so far. Here are the hotel best redemptions for IHG’s Category 7:

North America

West

Hotel Indigo San Diego Gas Lamp (San Diego, CA)

Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp

Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013
  • Tripadvisor GreenLeaders Platinum Level

Accommodations: The Hotel Indigo San Diego Gas Lamp rightfully calls itself “more than just another beige business hotel.” Standard rooms are decorated in vibrant colors, with beautiful hardwood floors and a glass enclosed spa shower in the bathroom. Guests can catch up on their favorite shows on the 37 inch flat screen tv. There is also an iHome clock ratio you can hook your iPhone up to and play your music on. The hotel also prides itself on being both one of the most pet-friendly hotels in the city and the only one with LEED Certification.

Location: The Hotel Indigo San Diego Gas Lamp has a great location in the Gas Lamp Quarter, across from PETCO Park, and a mile from the USS Midway, Seaport Village, and Horton Plaza. If you’re looking forward to a day of family fun, you are just 7 miles from the beach, San Diego Zoo, and Sea World. Legoland California is a bit further out at 34 miles.

Honorable Mention: N/A

South

Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)

Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta

Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013
  • Tripadvisor GreenLeaders Gold Level
  • Tripadvisor #8 Hotel in Atlanta

Accommodations: Standard rooms at the Intercontinental Buckhead are spacious at 488 sqft and offer views of Peachtree road. The marble bathroom features a separate soaking tub and shower, while the room comes with a feather bed, 47 inch LCD tv, iHome radio, and in-room coffemaker. Guests redeeming an award can choose between a Deluxe room with one King or two Double beds.

Location: The hotel is located in the city’s upsclae Buckhead neighborhood, close to great restaurants and shopping. Some of the more touristy activities (visiting the Coca Cola factory, Georgia Aquarium, and CNN Studio Tour) will require a car or public transportation, as they are within 9 miles of the hotel.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Canada

Intercontinental Toronto Centre (Toronto, Canada)

Intercontinental Toronto Centre

Intercontinental Toronto Centre
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: A standard award gets you into a Superior room with either a King or two Double beds, located on Floors 3-7. Guests get access to an in-room Keurig coffee maker and iHome docking station.

Location: True to its name, the Intercontinental Toronto Centre is within walking distance of Old Town Toronto, perfect for sightseeing, shopping, and dining. Catch a game at the nearby Air Canada Center, which hosts NHL, NBA, and AFL games depending on the season.

Honorable Mention: Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville

South America

Intercontinental Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Intercontinental Sao Paulo Club Lounge

Intercontinental Sao Paulo Club Lounge
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #9 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Brazil
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #9 Top 25 Hotels in Brazil

Accommodations: For 40,000 points per night, guests get a 312 sqft Deluxe room with a King or two Twin beds. These rooms offer plenty of seating, with a coffee table and two chairs to the side.

Location: Did you know Sao Paulo is home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan? The city’s Japanese neighborhood is close by and the hotels’ concierge recommends a visit to the area’s open air markets. The hotel is also within walking distance of the Sao Paulo Art Museum, Trianon Park, and some great restaurants and pubs.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Europe

Western Europe

Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Intercontinental Amster Amsterdam

Intercontinental Amster Amsterdam
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #17 Top 25 Hotels in The Netherlands
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #7 Top 10 Luxury Hotels in The Netherlands
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #24 Top 25 Hotels for Romance in the Netherlands
  • Tripadvisor #26 hotel in Amsterdam

Accommodations: Guests booking an award at the Intercontinental Amstel Amsterdam get an Executive room ranging from 323-377 sqft. The rooms are described as being “laid out in a classic french style” with large windows offering magnificent views of the river or square. The large marble bathrooms feature a cascade shower and separate bath. With regular rates of $700 per night, this is a great place to redeem your points.

Location: The hotel building is over 140 years old, having been built in 1867. Guests can walk to the Van Goh Museum and Royal Carre Theatre. It’s also just two miles from the city’s Centraal Station, the Ann Frank House, and other notable attractions. If you’re not up to walking, there is a metro station just a block from the hotel.

Honorable Mention: 

Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre

  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #16 Top 25 Hotels in The Netherlands
  • Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #16 Top 25 Hotels for Romance in the Netherlands
  • Tripadvisor #19 hotel in Amsterdam

Mediterranean

Intercontinental Madrid (Madrid, Spain)

Intercontinental Madrid

Intercontinental Madrid
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

Accommodations: A standard award gets you into a Deluxe Double Room with plush furnishing, seating area, and work desk. Guests also get access to a coffee and tea maker.

Location: The hotel is located in an upscale area close to the Serrano Shopping district. If you’re looking to explore the city’s sights, you won’t have to go far. Retiro Park, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Atoche station, Plaza Mayor are all within 2 miles of the hotel.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Asia 

Intercontinental Onethousand Lake Island Resort (Hangzhou, China)

Intercontinental Onethousand Lake Island Resort

Intercontinental Onethousand Lake Island Resort
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013
  • Tripadvisor #2 Hotel in Chun’an County

Accommodations: At 40,000 points per night, guests can book a Superior room with either a King or two Single beds, ranging in size between 473 – 527 sqft. These rooms have garden views and guests have access to a pillow menu. Nothing says luxury like being able to pick your own pillow…

Location: The Intercontinental Onethousand Lake Island Resort is the only hotel in the Xianshan Peninsula, perfect if you’re looking for a secluded getaway where tourists are scarce. The hotel is a perfect base for nature enthusiasts wishing to explore the karst mountains and caves.

Honorable Mention: Crowne Plaza Singapore Changi Airport

Pacific

City 

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto (Melbourne, Australia)

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto

Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions:

  • Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013
  • Tripadvisor #8 Hotel in Melbourne

Accommodations: A standard award gets you into a beautifully decorated 345 sqft King Deluxe room with floor-to-ceiling windows, settee, and desk area. The room comes equipped with Bose entertainment system and guests get complimentary tea/coffee as well as access to a pillow menu.

Location: The Rialto is within walking distance of Federation Square, where you’ll find a variety of galleries, museums, and shops to keep your entertained. The Royal Botanic Gardens are just two miles away from the hotel.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Beach

Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea (Papetoai, French Polynesia)

Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea

Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea
Source: Flickr

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: You may not be getting an overwater villa, but 40,000 points per night is a pretty good deal considering Hilton requires twice the number of points for redemptions in the same area. Guests booking a standard award get a 400 qft Superior room with garden views. Rooms accommodate up to two adults and one child.

Location: The hotel is located in Moorea, one of the more expense islands in French Polynesia. Hotels on the island can go for $700 per night in June, with the Intercontinental being priced more reasonably at around $250. Still, redeeming 40,000 points can be a more preferably option depending on the nightly rate and especially for those wishing to save their cash for meals and activities.

Honorable Mention: Intercontinental Resort Tahiti

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Ariana Arghandewal

6 Comments

  1. I hate it when people throw out gratuitous comparisons like the IHG 40K vs HH 80K for the Moorea properties – you should know better.

    Reality is 80K HH is better value than 40K IHG if you do MS for the majority of your points. Why? Because best category bonus is only 2x for IHG on non-hotel spend vs 6x for Amex Surpass. So if buying gcs at grocery, IHG will cost 0.59cpp while HH cost 0.195cpp. So 40K IHG will cost $236 vs $156 for 80K HH. Many seem to think the Hilton is nicer (and you might get an upgrade to an OWB if you have status).

    And if you only do card signups, you can get more points since both Citi and Amex offer multiple Hilton cards.

    • One card sign-up (the 80k IHG card) is enough for two nights here. With Hilton, the only way to get two free nights are from the Reserve card, and those are limited to weekend nights. Sure, you can pick up the 75k Surpass card (limited time offer) along with a Citi Hilton Visa, but that still only covers one night.

      Do a search for an award night at Hilton Moorea and try to find more than just a couple of days in May/June alone when redemptions aren’t 130k-230k points per night. These are dubbed “premium redemptions” for standard rooms, simply due to the season. Between the 80k IHG card offer, annual free night, the ability to transfer points from UR, and better standard availability, the IC Moore is more attainable.

  2. Love these guides of yours, especially for IHG which I find to be such a hassle to research the necessary reward night point amounts.

    • Aww, thank you! It’s a lot of work, so I’m glad you find them helpful.

  3. Check out the work-in-progress Intercontinental in New Orleans, I just stayed there for a weekend – lower floors are already renovated – and they are VERY NICE, and they are working their way up to the upper floors. The remolded rooms look a bit like the Intercontinental in San Francisco, at least they did to me. Total renovation, and they should be done soon. It should rank at least at Cat 7 or 8 on your scale

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