IHG Rewards

Best IHG Rewards Club Hotels: Category 1

With the success of the Club Carlson and Hyatt Gold Passport Redemptions, I decided to delve into the world of IHG Rewards Club. The chain has over 4,600 hotels worldwide across brands like Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and Candlewood Suites, to name a few. IHG’s redemption levels are higher than Hyatt and Starwood, ranging from 10,000-50,000 points per night. However, IHG does run frequent running flash sales, along with it’s quarterly PointsBreak hotel list. These hotels can be booked for as little as 5,000 points per night. Taking these flash sales into account, I realized the importance of familiarizing myself with IHG’s portfolio and creating a resource to document the best hotels.

Compared to Club Carlson and Hyatt (which have 1,000 and 535 properties respectively), picking the best IHG Rewards Club redemptions would have been extremely difficult, especially since there isn’t a complete property list available online. Thus, major credit goes to the communications team at IHG, which provided me with a list and made the task of picking the best redemptions so much easier. As with the previous series, I made my picks based on reviews, hotel location, and the value members get out of their redemptions. Without further ado, here are the best IHG Rewards Club redemptions for Category 1, which can be booked for just 10,000 points per night:

North America


Candlewood Suites Mobile – Downtown (Mobile, AL)

Best IHG Rewards Club Hotel Redemptions Candlewood Suites Mobile-Downtown
Candlewood Suites Mobile-Downtown
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: For 10,000 points per night, guests can book a Studio Suite with a fully equipped kitchen. Guests receive complimentary buffet breakfast, but if you’re in the mood to whip something up, the kitchen includes pots, pans, and all the utensils you need. The hotel offers complimentary parking and laundry facilities.

Location: The hotel is located right in the heart of Mobile’s historic district, close to a variety of attractions, including the Saenger Theater, Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, the USS Alabama, and more.

Honorable mention: N/A

Staybridge Suites Hamilton Downtown (Hamilton, Canada)

Staybridge Suites Hamilton Ontario Canada Studio Queen Suite

Distinctions: Tripadvisor #2 hotel in Hamilton

Accommodations: At the standard level, you’re getting great value at this property. You can choose between a studio suite or 1-bedroom suite, all of which include a fully equipped kitchen. Guests get free wifi, daily buffet breakfast, and complimentary dinner snacks among other amenities.

Location: The hotel is a great place from which to explore Hamitlon. It’s just a block away from the Art Gallery of Hamilton, while Dundurn Castle and the Royal Botanical Gardens are both within a four miles radius.

Honorable mention: N/A


Holiday Inn Ixtapa Hotel (Ixtapa Zihatanejo, Mexico)

Best IHG Rewards Club Hotel Redemptions Holiday Inn Ixtapa Mexico
Holiday Inn Ixtapa Mexico
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: N/A

Accommodations: Guest staying in standard rooms get daily turndown service and a pillow menu to make their stay more comfortable.

Location: Location wise, this hotel is a pretty incredible redemption at just 10,000 points per night. While the hotel itself is located a block away from Palmar Beach, it still retains a resort vibe that is perfect for relaxing stay. Rounding out the resort feel is a golf course just a five minute walk from the property. Another huge plus is that kids stay and eat free at this hotel.

Honorable mention: N/A

Central America 

Holiday Inn Managua – Convention Center (Managua, Nicaragua)

Best IHG Rewards Club Redemptions Holiday Inn Managua Convention Center Nicaragua
Holiday Inn Managua Convention Center
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #8 Top Hotel in Nicaragua

Accommodations: In addition to accolades from Tripadvisor, the hotel is highly rated by IHG members, earning it a Torchbearer Award along with an Excellent quality rating. Guests can book a Deluxe room for 10,000 points per night, which resembles a standard Holiday Inn room with one King or two Full beds, seating, a work desk, and a 37 inch tv.

Location: Thanks to a recent mistake fare, Managua briefly became a hotspot for mileage runs. The hotel is located adjacent to a convention center, but is located within two miles of the Nicaraguan National assembly, Managua Cathedral, and a shopping mall. Venture out 20 miles and you can explore the Granada Historic City.

Honorable mention: N/A


Holiday Inn Lodz (Lodz, Poland)

Best IHG Rewards Club Hotel Redemption Category 1 Holiday Inn Lodz Standard Queen Room
Holiday Inn Lodz Standard Queen Room
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice 2014: #20 Bargain Hotel in Poland

Accommodations: Standard rooms at this hotel look nothing like your typical, run-of-the-mill Holiday Inn. Guests can enjoy a spacious room with modern decor. Amenities include flat screen tv, iPhone docking station, coffee and tea provisions, and complimentary wifi.

Location: The Holiday Inn Lodz is within walking distance of Old Town, the renowned National Film, Televisoin and Theatre school, a shopping center, and more.  The hotel is just six miles from Wladyslaw Reymont International Airport.

Honorable mention: N/A


Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangquiao (Pudong New District, Shanghai, China)

Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao fancy pool
The infamous glass bottom pool at the Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao
Source: Hotel website

Distinctions: Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Accommodations: Guests can choose between a King or Single Superior Room, with modern furniture and ergonomic work space. These rooms are equipped with adapters, which is convenient if you leave yours at home. All guests get access to free wifi.
This hotel is home to the infamous glass bottom pool, which hangs just off the side of the building. You don’t see many Holiday Inn’s with pools like this, and at 10,000 points per night it’s a serious bargain.

Location: The hotel is just 25 minutes from Pudong and Hongqiao airport, close to Shanghai Railway Station, Disney Shanghai, and other notable attractions.

Honorable mention:

Middle East

Holiday Inn Ashkelon (Ashkelon, Iserael)

Best IHG Rewards Club Redemtpions Category 1 Holiday Inn Ashkelon
Holiday Inn Ashkelon

Distinctions: Tripadvisor #1 hotel in Ashkelon

Accommodations: Standard rooms are beautifully furnished with hardwood floors and feature balconies offering spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Parking is complimentary for all guests, which is great if you want to rent a car for day trips.

Location: Nestled on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, this hotel stands out for its circular shape. Walk down to Ashkelon Beach, or take a 10- minute drive to check out the Roman ruins at Ashkelon National Park. If you want to venture out further, the hotel is just 37 miles from Tel Aviv and 47 miles from Jerusalem.

Honorable mention: N/A

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  1. LoyaltyLobby has really good spreadsheets for download that have all IHG properties and their categories and points required. He created the spreadsheets in connection with the deval.

    • Initially I tried using that one, but found many of the categories had changed. IHG came through, which really helped.

  2. I really enjoyed your Hyatt series, thanks for taking the time to do this! I’m especially interested in IHG as I’m planning on signing up for their credit card later this year.

    • Glad you’re enjoying it, Jose! Aside from these redemptions, look out for PointBreaks and flash sales, which can also help you get lots of value out of your points.

  3. Thanks for the great series, a nice addition to this series would be the inclusion of the “average price” or a range of the rate we could expect to pay out of pocket for these properties. This would help those of us who are looking to maximize the redemption value of our points. If the hotel is inexpensive, sometimes it does make more sense to pay for the stay and to earn points.

    • PointChaser

      Thanks Mike. The average price is tough to determine, as pricing varies by season, midweek vs. weekends, etc. However, if you go to any Intercontinental hotel website, you’ll see a note on the upper right side (often next to “View Room Rates”) showing approximate room prices at that particular time.

  4. @PointChaser
    where can i find a complete list of cat 1-2 hotels please?

    • PointChaser

      You can find all of them here. Simply click on the drop down menu above the map to see different categories.

      • thanks!
        but that list is for rezidor. do you know of such a list for IHG please?

        • PointChaser

          Sorry! The only thing close to a public award chart is this pdf document by Loyalty Lobby. Some of the hotels on the list are now in different categories, but it should give you some idea of what’s out there.

          • thanks!
            sucks that ihg doesnt offer a map tool you know.
            im just trying to figure out how to get good value out of ihg points outside of pointbreaks.

          • They did run pretty lucrative promos a while back, offering discounts on award redemptions. Those are definitely worth looking out for.

          • @PointChaser
            cool. good to know.
            -in your opinion, are there any good values in the best western, choice, laquinta award charts please?

          • I honestly don’t know much about those programs. I stick mainly to chains I can easily earn points with via credit card spend.

          • @PointChaser
            i hear you
            but all of those programs also have co-branded credit cards.. wyndham too

          • Yes, but I don’t like the idea of getting a separate credit card just to earn points with one hotel chain. I’ll do that with the SPG card because those points can be converted to airline miles, but mainly I stick with Ultimate Rewards cards (Sapphire, Freedom, Ink Bold) that I can transfer to Hyatt. Or my Arrival card so I can at least get reimbursed on hotel stays that also earn me points.

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