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Pssst!  Kimpton Secret Password Valid Through Early September 2022

Pssst! Kimpton Secret Password Valid Through Early September 2022

Now through 5 September 2022, mention the secret password “Stay Cool” at check-in to score perks and other benefits when staying at Kimpton Hotels (which are part of IHG).

Perks range by property, but can be free parking, a free breakfast, or a free room upgrade, etc.

In addition, Kimpton is now offering travellers an “emotional support beverage” at check-in if your arrival flight was cancelled or delayed. Very considerate !

Kimpton is one of our favoured brands. Lovely properties, great service and a few quirks like the above and their very pet-friendly approach for authentic, brand-consistent touches of individualty.

Each year Travel + Leisure magazine taps into its readership and invites thousands to complete a survey that rates airlines, spas, hotels, islands and more on many factors. The detailed survey evaluation results in its readers' rankings of the best hospitality has to offer from around the world.

Participants in the survey collected data from late October 2021 through to the end of February 2022. They rated (with a maximum score of 100) hotels, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, etc on numerous characteristics, with the option of rating excellent, above average, average, below average and poor. A minimum number of responses was necessary for a candidate to be eligible for Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Awards.

This year’s results spanned a whopping 120 categories among hotels, resorts and hospitality brands in cities, countries and regions globally; to spas, favourite global cities, and best islands, cruise lines, tour operators, safari outfitters, airlines, car rental companies and National Parks.

Some key observations:

The overall winner was the super-luxury Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Montalcino. Rosewood also had 2 other properties in the top 100. 

Auberge and Shangri-La also both had 3 properties in the top 100.

The groups with the most properties in the top 100 both have Indian roots - Oberoi and Taj both had 6 properties in the list of top 100 hotels. 

While Preferred Hotels owns no hotels of its own, it markets (and offers a loyalty program) for 5 of the top 100 hotels (Pendry Chicago #25, Riggs Washington D.C. #31, Finca Cortesín Hotel Golf & Spa, Málaga #44, Grand Hotel Tremezzo – Lake Como, #53 and Rancho Santana – Tola, Nicaragua, #56). 

Multi-brand Marriott had 4 properties, while Capella, Hilton, Six Senses (IHG), Rocco Forte and Mandarin Oriental each had 2 properties rated in the top 100.

In terms of the Best 25 Hotel Brands in the World, the Accor stable rated very well, with 3 of its brands rated in the top 25 (Raffles #4, Sofitel Legend #6 and Banyan Tree #11). Global Hotels Alliance (GHA) also had 3 of its brands rated in the top 25 (Viceroy #10, Anantara #14 and Capella #17).  

Of the major, multi-brand chains, IHG (Six Senses #19), Hilton (St Regis #24) and Marriott (Luxury Collection #25) each had 1 brand in the top 25.

If you'd like to know more about any of the hotels or brands, our associated Travel Agency is a specialist advisor for Rosewood, Waldorf Astoria, Raffles, Preferred Hotels, Four Seasons, Hyatt, IHG, Conrad and St Regis - able to offer free perks like room upgrades and property credits when you book.

Our congratulations to Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco and all category winners. Far too many to list here entirely, so we list below a selection of the results:

100 Best Hotels in the World

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco (99.25),
Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection (99.22),
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi (99.11),
Pickering House Inn, Wolfeboro (98.95) and
One&Only Reethi Rah (98.93).

25 Best Hotel Brands of the World

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts (97.50),
One&Only Resorts (96.20),
Oetker Collection (96.15),
Raffles Hotels & Resorts (95.5) and
Red Carnation Hotel Collection (95.32).

5 Best Resorts - South Pacific

Namale Resort & Spa, Savusavu, Fiji,
Conrad Bora Bora Nui,
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort,
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora,
InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa.

Best Islands of the World

Ischia, Italy (94.61),
Maldives (94.44),
Bali (92.51),
Milos, Greece (92.50) and
Fiji Islands (92.38).

5 Best International Spas

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico (95.76),
Sha Wellness Clinic, El Abir, Spain (95.20),
Therme di Saturnia (94.15),
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa (93.26),
Chable Maroma, Punta Maroma, Mexico (89.90).

25 Best Cities in the World

Oaxaca, Mexico (92.96),
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (91.77),
Ubud, Indonesia (91.73),
Florence (91.06) and
Istanbul (90.97).

Best City Hotels - Europe

Hôtel Madame Rêve, Paris (98.73),
Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid (98.67),
Portrait Firenze, Florence (98.25),
Raffles Istanbul (98.25) and
Shangri-La at the Shard, London (97.86).

Best City Hotels - Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific

The Langham, Melbourne (92.53),
Park Hyatt Sydney (90.40),
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney (88.30),
InterContinental Sydney (87.76) and
Shangri-La Sydney (86.40).

Best Islands - Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific

Fiji Islands (92.38),
Moorea, French Polynesia (90.24),
Bora Bora, French Polynesia (87.70),
Great Barrier Reef Islands (86.90) and
Tahiti, French Polynesia (83.33).

IHG marks 6,000 hotels milestone with new "club" to reward travellers

IHG marks 6,000 hotels milestone with new "club" to reward travellers

IHG is celebrating reaching its 6,000 open hotels milestone  by unveiling the ‘6,000 Club’ and announcing partnerships with major sports and entertainment events. The 6,000 Club features a collection of newly opened hotels around the world.

Hotels in the 6,000 Club will celebrate the occasion in the coming months by surprising select guests with 6,000 IHG One Rewards points.

Some of the hotels in the 6,000 Club are:

*  Six Senses Fort Barwara – a beautiful 14th-century fort in India which was converted to become a sanctuary of well-being after a significant conservation effort

*  Regent Phu Quoc – the first all-suites-and-villas resort under the upper luxury brand in Southeast Asia, located off the southwest coast of Vietnam alongside a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve

*  Kimpton Margot Sydney  – marking the Australian debut for the brand, this art-deco hotel features a rooftop pool, wine bar, and a 1,725-square-foot “Celebrity Suite”

*  voco The Hague – the first for the brand in Netherlands which includes a garden terrace designed by an expert ecologist who created a welcoming space for nature to thrive

*  Atwell Suites Denver Airport - Tower Road – the second hotel to open for IHG’s newest all-suites brand, featuring signature design and adaptable spaces which support longer stays and allow for easy transition between business and leisure

*  Staybridge Suites Al Khobar City - this all-suites hotel is located on the shores of the Arabian Gulf in the heart of the corporate and shopping hub of vibrant Al Khobar

IHG also announced the launch of new "experience" partnerships, providing new ways to redeem IHG One Rewards points and celebrate the universal love of music and sports. Highlights include:

*  The Governors Ball, Lollapalooza, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Music Midtown, Ohana Festival: While watching live performances, attendees can enjoy exclusive benefits with IHG One Rewards including backstage access and time in VIP Lounges.

*  Major League Soccer

*  European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR).

More details and images are available for the complete list of 6,000 Club members.

Six Senses Vana opens, providing Health and Healing in the Himalayan Foothills of India

Six Senses Vana opens, providing Health and Healing in the Himalayan Foothills of India

Established Indian destination spa and retreat Vana has been taken over by global hotel group Six Senses.

The property in Dehradun, India, has since been renamed Six Senses Vana. Launched in 2014 it is a 21-acre wellness destination surrounded by clusters of Sal forest, and set within its own mango and lychee orchards. The retreat draws on ancient healing modalities from Ayurveda, Tibetan healing traditions and yoga to create bespoke schedules for every retreat attendee.

Wellness facilities include a Tibetan Healing Centre, Ayurveda Centre, Yogasala, Wellness Centre, spa, private watsu pool, gym, thermal and wet areas, tennis courts, paths for walking and two slate-lined pools – including one on the rooftop with views over the forest and into the hills beyond.

Along with the wellness and spa facilities, Six Senses Vana will also be a Cinema Paradiso, courts for various ball games, and experiences that tap into the retreat’s location to encourage movement and reconnection with nature.

Exhibitions, visiting artists, and performances will also continue to be woven into the retreat’s programming.

The destination features 82 rooms facing either the ancient forest or the garden and yoga temple, plus two restaurants and 55 treatment and consultation rooms.

The new deal will see Six Senses Vana complement the brand’s debut property in India, Six Senses Fort Barwara in Rajasthan.  Sadly, neither of the India locations participate in the IHG One Rewards program. Sigh.  Decisions, decisions...

At the time of writing, Six Senses properties that do participate in IHG One Rewards include:

  • Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand.
  • Six Senses Laamu, Maldives.
  • Six Senses Botanique, Brazil.
  • Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam.
  • Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia.
  • Six Senses Fiji.
  • Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles.
  • Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey.
  • Six Senses Ibiza, Spain.
  • Six Senses Shaharut, Israel.
  • Six Senses Residences Courchevel, France (bookable now for the next season).
  • Six Senses Kanuhura, Maldives (once it opens later this year).

About Six Senses

Six Senses operates 21 hotels and resorts in 17 countries under the names of Six Senses and Evason and has signed a further 33 properties into the development pipeline. Six Senses maintains a leadership commitment to community, sustainability, emotional hospitality, wellness, and crafted experiences, infused with a touch of quirkiness. Whether an exquisite island resort, mountain retreat, or urban hotel, the vision remains the same: to reawaken people’s senses so they feel the purpose behind their travels and ultimately reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them. 

In early 2019, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) acquired Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. However, not all Six Senses properies participate in the IHG One Rewards program. 

Six Senses Spas guides guests on their personal path to well-being in all resorts as well as a handful of standalone spas. The high-tech and high-touch approach goes beyond ordinary beauty treatments to offer holistic wellness, integrative medicine, and longevity.

"Secret" password for One Rewards members to receive a surprise for Kimpton stays

"Secret" password for One Rewards members to receive a surprise for Kimpton stays

Kimpton Hotels have just launched their new Secret Password, “Stay Cool,” valid for stays through September 5, 2022.

IHG One Rewards Members who say these words when checking in are in for a "feel good" surprise that could be anything from a complimentary breakfast or drinks to free parking (it's up to each individual hotel to decide what their offer is, which is part of the fun). 

With locations all around the world, Kimpton is a popular brand with travelers and IHG loyalists thanks to evening happy hours, its “raid the minibar” perk for select guests and the brand's right royal treatment of four-legged guests - Kimpton is famous for being pet-friendly.

You can access IHG’s Kimpton page here.  

Better yet, you can book through our Travel Agent service, (an IHG Lifestyle Collection specialist) to receive advice and support, while still earning IHG One Rewards points.

Simply arrange a time to discuss or drop us a brief email.

Australia’s First Kimpton Hotel opens for Valentine's Day 2022

Australia’s First Kimpton Hotel opens for Valentine's Day 2022

I’m pleased to say that one of my favourite hotel chains has opened its first Australian hotel today, on Valentine’s Day.

The Kimpton Margot, Sydney is a gorgeous repurposing of an art-deco ex-public building into a luxury hotel. There is a rooftop pool (for guests only) and a separate rooftop bar to enjoy those balmy evenings.

No water views but very centrally located on Pitt Street within an easy walk of Town Hall Rail and Light Rail stations, Hyde Park and Chinatown.

IHG Rewards members can currently book an awards stay for 33,000 points per night – a premium compared to the 27,000 points required at the (older but still very nice) InterContinental Sydney that is closer to Circular Quay.

Checking my points balance right now…

For bookings with elite benefits included, make a time to talk with our associated travel agency.

A few hours go, IHG announced that it will be making several changes to its loyalty program - IHG Rewards Club.

The first to be shared relates to a new tier and bonus point earning structure:

  • a new Silver Tier is being introduced. Qualification is 10 nights (only). Tier bonus will be 20%.
  • Gold Tier will have higher qualification requirements -  20 nights or 40,000 points (currently 7 nights or 7,000 points) The biggest increase, but tier bonus will increase from 10% to 40%
  • Platinum Tier will have higher qualification requirements -  40 nights or 60,000 points (currently 30 nights or 30,000 points). Tier bonus will increase from 50% to 60%. 
  • The top Elite Tier will have much higher qualification requirements -  70 nights or 120,000 points (currently 55 nights or 55,000 points)
  • Renaming of the ‘Spire Elite’ tier to ‘Diamond Elite’ - tier bonus to remain at 100%.
So far, no changes to be made to the Ambassador or Royal Ambassador programs. 

All members’ statuses have been extended through February 2023. To requalify, you will need to satisfy the requirements under the new tier structure which goes live from March 2022.

Note that due to Covid-19 there are currently reduced earning requirements in place, which will remain until the changes go live on March 1, 2022 – these are as follows:
  • Gold Elite qualification by earning 7,000 points or staying seven nights
  • Platinum Elite qualification by earning 30,000 points or staying 30 nights
  • Spire Elite (soon to be known as Diamond) qualification by earning 55,000 points or staying 55 nights
One concession is that all stays from January 1, 2022 will count toward your new status when it goes live.

So, consider some of the current IHG promotions to help you get status before the criteria change in March. A 7 night stay somewhere before 1 March could be enough to qualify for Gold tier.

We will cover this program in greater detail once further details on the changes to the program are released. 

Initial reaction - subject to seeing what additional benefits will be included at the various status tiers, this looks like a less attractive development. The lowest elite tier now has a minimum number of nights rerquirement only (points/spending won't get you there) and the bar has been lifted significantly for qualification at higher tiers.

Six Senses Laamu is Rewarded For Its Conservation Efforts in the Maldives

Six Senses Laamu is Rewarded For Its Conservation Efforts in the Maldives

Six Senses has long been highly regarded as a luxury spa brand with a sustainability focus (before other chains more recently caught up).

Recently, Maldives Underwater Initiative (MUI) the marine biology team at Six Senses Laamu, has been named Marine and Coastal category winner at the 2021 Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards for a second time (the first being in 2018).

Three independent sustainability experts judged 50 entries from 26 countries, placing MUI top in its category ahead of five other projects.

Philippa Roe, MUI’s Head Marine Biologist said that “For years, the partners within MUI – Six Senses Laamu, the Manta Trust, Blue Marine Foundation, and the Olive Ridley Project – have been gathering research on Laamu’s marine ecosystems and species, much of which was used as evidence to support marine protection.”

Shortly after this announcement, the Maldivian President and his administration designated six naturally unique and eco-rich areas in Laamu Atoll as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs):

  • the turtle nesting beach, mangrove and seagrass area of L. Gaadhoo (a neighboring uninhabited island of Six Senses Laamu),
  • the channel between Six Senses Laamu and L. Gaadhoo,
  • the mangrove of L. Hithadhoo (an inhabited island on the other side of Six Senses Laamu),
  • as well as two channels, a mangrove, a wetland and an island in other areas of the atoll.
Congratulations (and thanks) to Six Senses and more specifically Six Senses Laamu (advertiser).

Six Senses resorts and spas can be booked either direct or through IHG to earn IHG Rewards points.

IHG Rewards Members can also book award stays for 100,000 points per night.

The all-suite and villa resort InterContinental Bali Sanur Resort will be a rebrand of the hotel formerly known as Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali, and will relaunch soon with a fresh identity and ready to welcome guests.

It boasts 26 villas, each with a private pool, as well as 94 suites and is located on Sanur Beach which is known for its long stretch of sandy beach with shallow waters. 

Pre-pandemic, Sanur Beach was growing in popularity with an increasing supply of hotels, restaurants and bars and travellers looking to enjoy the laid-back nature of Bali while being easily accessible from the both the airport and the city.

Tempted? Perhaps top-up your existing IHG Rewards balance to experience this relaxing luxury.   

IHG is running a targeted offer for some IHG Rewards members.

If you're part of the targeted campaign, you can register now and stay two nights between 1 January and 31 January 2022, and you’ll earn 5,000 bonus points.

Worthwhile checking your IHG Rewards account to see if you have received this offer.

IHG's new Vignette Collection | launch hotel is in Brisbane

IHG's new Vignette Collection | launch hotel is in Brisbane

Hotel X Brisbane Fortitude Valley in Brisbane has officially opened as the world’s first hotel in IHG's new "collection" brand.  Vignette Collection is IHG Hotels & Resorts’ first collection brand and part of the Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio of brands, along with Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Hotel Indigo.

Hotel X boasts 146 rooms and suites and three meeting spaces, including an open terrace overlooking Brunswick Street. Foodies will love Iris, the Mediterranean rooftop bar & restaurant, while Bisou Bisou, the phenomenally cool bistro will be dishing up French delicacies.

Hotel X celebrates a strong sense of individuality in this iconic Brisbane neighbourhood through ultra-cool art, Avant Garde lighting and strong design.

Soon after the opening, signings of two additional hotels to the Vignette Collection were announced - one in each of Austria (pictured is Grand Hotel Wien, Austria) and Portugal.

Exciting new world-class luxury hotels with an independent ethos have joined the IHG family.

 Start saving those IHG Rewards !

Kimpton's winter 2021 "secret" password | valid through 21 Feb 2022

Kimpton's winter 2021 "secret" password | valid through 21 Feb 2022

Kimpton Hotels is a funky boutique hotel brand and is a luxury boutique brand of IHG.

One of its many charms is the Kimpton “secret” password or “social password” that guests can mention at check-in to get some form of perk, benefit, or bonus.

Kimpton tweeted on its official account earlier today (after a hiatus while few people were travelling) that from today through to 21 February 2022, just say ‘Just Chilling,’ to the front desk team at check-in, and you’ll be rewarded with a feel-good surprise.

Each hotel offers its own variation of the surprise, which can include items like free parking, a free breakfast, a free upgrade, complimentary bottle of wine, or mini-bar credit.


Six Senses Ibiza - anti-ageing program in a luxury spa retreat

Six Senses Ibiza - anti-ageing program in a luxury spa retreat

Six Senses Ibiza (pictured) is the first sustainable BREEAM certified resort and residential community in the Balearics, occupying a breathtaking position in Xarraca Bay. It has teamed with RoseBar to offer a residential anti-ageing health & wellness program.

At the time of writing, prices per night were from EUR 595 in early December 2021 and EUR 925 in mid-June 2022, including airport transfers.  Alternatively, in both cases, 150,000 IHG Rewards points.

If you buy IHG Rewards during a promotion, you could enjoy a wonderful, luxury break to invest in your personal health & wellness - possibly the best investment you can make!

IHG Rewards extends Elite Status & Points expiration

IHG Rewards extends Elite Status & Points expiration

Once again, IHG Rewards is extending the elite status that members earned in 2019. This time the extension is good until February 2023.

Previously, elite statuses were extended through January 2022.

In addition, IHG is extending some free night certificates and its pause on the expiration of points until 31 December 2022.

Today, as part of the launch of its "Department of Epic" program, IHG Hotels & Resorts announced a contest that will give one lucky US-based traveller the chance to win back a year of missed adventures with 365 days worth of epic hotel experiences at various IHG locations around the world, including InterContinental, Kimpton and Holiday Inn Express.

Pictured above is the InterContinental Bora Bora resort and Thalasso Spa - just one of many possibilities.

Read on for more details and how to enter.

There was an article in Le Figaro (later syndicated through Reuters) saying that Accor was looking closely at IHG with a view to takeover or merger.  How would that look ?  Where are the overlaps?  What might it mean for the respective programs of Accor Live Limitless and IHG Rewards Club?