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New study ranks 2023's best luxury hotel brands in the world

New study ranks 2023's best luxury hotel brands in the world

Mandarin Oriental (one of my personal favourite brands) was recently named the best luxury hotel brand in the world.Source: LTI — Luxury Travel Intelligence.

Our congratulations to Mandarin Oriental  and all the nominees!

There are rankings of the best hotels in the world, but this list, released by the members-only group LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence, ranks hotel brands rather than individual properties. The ranking analyses many hotels within a brand in “granular detail,” using more than 100 “touch points” to evaluate “a brand’s ability to deliver,” ranging from its ethos to staff, according to a press release.

When announcing the rankings, LTI noted that "Mandarin Oriental has always performed well in LTI's ratings. This year, they have improved further across all our touch points, placing them at No1.

It is an engaging brand with a loyal and growing following, who appreciate its commitment to excellence"   (including us - it is a long-term favourite),  "...the much-anticipated opening of their London Mayfair property could be a pivotal moment for them."

Luxury Travel Intelligence memberships cost $700 per year and grant access to the group’s travel research. It doesn’t sell advertising, and research is independent and funded by subscriptions, according to its website.

The best luxury hotel brands

Mandarin Oriental was recently named the best luxury hotel brand in the world by LTI — Luxury Travel Intelligence. There are other rankings of the best hotels in the world, however,this list, released by the members-only group LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence, ranks hotel brands rather than individual properties. The ranking analyzes many hotels within a brand in “granular detail,” using more than 100 “touch points” to evaluate “a brand’s ability to deliver,” ranging from its ethos to staff, according to a press release. Luxury Travel Intelligence memberships cost US$700 per year and grant access to the group’s travel research. It doesn’t sell advertising, and research is independent and funded by subscriptions, according to its website.

2023's best luxury hotel brands

Here are this year’s results, reflected as percentages, with last year’s positions in brackets:

  1. Mandarin Oriental    81.4% (2)
  2. Oetker Collection     81.3% (6)
  3. Auberge                    79.6% (4)
  4. Six Senses                79.0% (1)
  5. Aman                         78.8% (5)
  6. Belmond                   76.3% (8)
  7. Four Seasons           76.1% (9)
  8. One&Only                 75.1% (7)
  9. Rocco Forte              73.8% (11)
  10. Rosewood                 72.1% (3)
  11. Peninsula                  69.8% (New Entry)
  12. Raffles                      68.5% (New Entry)

Mandarin Oriental took the top spot for the first time, — topping Oetker Collection by a very narrow margin, despite Ortker's  ranking rising by 4 places. Oetker Collection operates 12 hotels across the globe, including the icons Le Bristol in Paris, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, and The Lanesborough, London.

In 2022, Six Senses was ranked No. 1, followed by Mandarin Oriental (No. 2) and Rosewood (No. 3). So two of last years leaders have fallen a surprising number of spots - Six Senses has dropped 3 places and Rosewood has dropped 7 positions.

Auberge Resorts Collection — ranked third on the list — operates hotels like Mauna Lani in Hawaii, The Lodge at Blue Sky in Park City, Utah, and The Vanderbilt in Newport, Rhode Island. Those are just three of the 27 hotels and resorts under the Auberge brand.

Two well-known brands are new to the list this year: Peninsula Hotels and Raffles Hotels & Resorts.

Other recognized brands

LTI also highlighted other brands that it said “rated sufficiently” enough to be monitored. The brands are: 1 Hotels, Alila, Anantara, Banyan Tree, Como, Dorchester Collection, Firmdale, Jumeirah, Leela, Oberoi, Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La, Soho House, Red Carnation, St. Regis, Taj, The Luxury Collection and Viceroy.

Additionally, brands that have fewer than 10 properties — the minimum required to make the list — but were rated highly are: Airelles, Althoff Collection, Bulgari, Capella, Cheval Blanc, JK Place, La Reserve, Maybourne, Montage, Nikki Beach, Pendry, Soneva, Ultima Collection and Virgin Limited Edition.

Our associated Travel Agency - Rewarding Travel has a preferred relationship status with 10 of the top 12 brands and over half of the brands that rated special mentions. To see what makes them so special and how we can make your stay even more luxe at no additional cost, contact Rewarding Travel to discuss your preferences.

The scoring system

Luxury Travel Intelligence uses an algorithm to assess hotel brands, which has a maximum of 4,663 points, said Crompton.

This year, it measured 130 “touch points,” evaluating factors like in-room dining, guests’ pre-arrival process and a brand’s social media engagement, Crompton told CNBC Travel. The group uses a points-based system to remove “inevitable emotiveness and personal opinion” from the ranking, he said.

Crompton also noted that brands’ investments — either in new hotels or in the renovation of existing ones — was a major factor this year.

Crompton did not reveal how touch points are weighted, but said that “each year we tweak the touch points and the weighting.”


Luxury hotel Regent Hong Kong officially (re)opened its doors on 8 November 2023

Luxury hotel Regent Hong Kong officially (re)opened its doors on 8 November 2023

Regent Hong Kong, officially opened on 8 November after a considerable transformation from InterContinental Hong Kong.

Part of IHG Hotels & Resorts luxury and lifestyle portfolio, the 497-key hotel is located on the shore’s of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, surrounded by landmarks including K11 MUSEA, ‘Avenue of Stars,’ Art Square and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. 

“As one of Hong Kong’s legacy luxury hotels and host to generations of cherished memories, we are proud to officially launch Regent Hong Kong and ignite a new chapter of unforgettable moments for our guests,” said the hotel’s Managing Director, Michel Chertouh.

The 497-room hotel’s redesign was managed by renowned Hong Kong-born designer, Chi Wing Lo, as his first hotel project. Through his expertise in architecture, interior design, furniture and art curation, Lo has featured tactile natural materials throughout the hotel, including natural oak and granite crafted by skilled artisans.  

Tom Rowntree, Vice President Global Luxury & Lifestyle Brands at IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “As we open the doors to Regent Hong Kong, we celebrate not only a new chapter for the brand but also a journey back to the roots of luxury hospitality. With a legacy steeped in innovation, breathtaking views and landmark destinations like Regent Hong Kong, the brand is returning in earnest to redefine luxury once more,” said Rowntree.

IHG Hotels & Resorts acquired Regent in 2018, working to reinvigorate the brand.  Regent Hong Kong is a flagship property within the new Regent portfolio.  Other properties include Carlton Cannes, a Regent Hotel; Regent Chongqing, Regent Shanghai Pudong, Regent Phu Quoc, and the soon-to-open Regent Santa Monica Beach.

This Hong Kong opening will be followed closely by Regent Shanghai On The Bund in late 2023 and Regent Bali Canggu in 2024. 

About the hotel

  • 497 guest rooms, including 129 suites.
  • A new Presidential Suite features a sleek and sophisticated 3,500 square-foot duplex with a private terrace and infinity swimming pool, all with sweeping views of the harbour.  
  • Six globally acclaimed culinary experiences within the hotel, including the two Michelin-starred Lai Ching Heen, The Steak House, The Lobby Lounge and Nobu Hong Kong
  • The grand marble staircase previous guests may remember remains 
  • The pillarless Regent Ballroom can host up to 1,000 guests
  • ‘Regent Experience Agents’ are on hand to ensure a seamless guest experience
  • The Regent Club is an exclusive sanctuary and luxury residential retreat for guests on level two.   
  • The Pool Terrace and Fitness Centre includes an outdoor pool, three-temperature infinity pools overlooking the harbour, and a gym fitted with Technogym equipment and is open 24-hours.
  • Guests will have access to IHG’s loyalty program, IHG One Rewards.Rates start from HK$6,000 (about AUD$1,192) per night (plus 10% service charge) for a Classic Harbourview Room.
For more information, visit Regent Hong Kong.

How six of Spain's top hospitality companies keep their operations more sustainable

How six of Spain's top hospitality companies keep their operations more sustainable

Since 1973, the United Nations has recognized June 5 as World Environment Day, an annual event that it says "puts a global spotlight on the pressing environmental challenges of our times". This seems like the perfect time to highlight a few hospitality businesses and their sustainability initiatives.

In the hospitality industry, embracing more sustainable practices is more than a moral imperative; it makes good business sense. That's because sustainable tourism has become a top priority for a large number of travelers. (This is especially true of millennials and members of Generation Z.).  For some in the hotel industry, implementing more sustainable practices might mean taking small steps — they could replace plastic straws with reusable glass or metal ones, for example — or it might mean making major changes to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and eliminate food waste.

According to a 2022 Sustainable Travel Report from, 73% of travelers say they would be more likely to choose an accommodation that has implemented sustainable practices — and 81% intend to stay in an environmentally friendly location at least once in the next year. 

If this is you, read on to learn more about how these 6 hotel chains lead the way in conscious and meaningful sustainability.

Barceló Hotel Group

Barceló Hotel Group is Spain's second-largest hotel chain, with more than 250 four- and five-star urban and holiday hotels, and more than 55,000 rooms across 22 countries. The company's properties are marketed under the brands Royal Hideaway, Barceló, Occidental and Allegro. 

It has an active loyalty program - my Barceló. 

What they’re doing

Recognizing climate change as a global environmental crisis, Barceló Hotel Group has made a commitment to reduce its environmental impact.

At its Occidental hotels in the United Arab Emirates, for example, the company's sustainability practices are implemented through eco-friendly cleaning products, water and energy conservation, and waste reduction.

Occidental Al Jaddaf, for instance, uses solar panels to operate water heaters for energy conservation and features low-flow devices in public bathrooms and showers to reduce water consumption.

Barceló Hotel Group's vice president for sales and marketing for GCC, Raquel López, said in a news release: “We aim to be at the forefront of sustainability within the hospitality industry to ensure that our properties are not only safe for our guests at this current time, but also for the generations of travelers yet to come. The introduction of this comprehensive strategy has allowed us to lay the framework for even more sustainable initiatives in the future.”


Operating more than 100 hotels in 16 countries, Iberostar has built its brand image on its dedication to promoting responsible and sustainable travel. The Iberostar Group's offerings range from all-inclusive beachside resorts in Mexico, Jamaica and Brazil to chic urban hotels in cities like New York, Barcelona, Marrakech and Lisbon.

It has closed its own loyalty program - Iberostar Horizons.  Almost all properties now participate in the IHG One Rewards program via a marketing alliance.

What they’re doing

Iberostar's Wave of Change program signals that the international hotel chain is committed to moving towards a circular economy, promoting the responsible consumption of seafood and improving the health of coastal environments.

In addition to phasing out single-use plastic items in 1999 — eliminating the use of over 420 tonnes of plastics annually — the company has committed to making its operations waste-free by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2030.

Earlier this year, Iberostar reopened its Cristina hotel in Playa de Palma, Mallorca, following an upgrade in its energy supply that has eliminated the use of all fossil fuels in favor of electricity from renewable energy sources. This move makes the hotel greener by reducing its carbon footprint to zero without compromising the guest experience.

Iberostar has also pledged that its seafood consumption will be 100% sustainable by 2025, and it has already hit that target in Mexico. Investment in sustainable fishing supports local communities and helps preserve local ecosystems for future generations.

Iberostar is hoping that, by 2025, Wave of Change will be a major driver for 60% of all hotel-room bookings at its properties.

Meliá Hotels International

One of the 20 largest hotel companies in the world, Meliá Hotels International operates more than 380 properties on four continents.

It has an active loyalty program -  Meliá Rewards, for which we have a detailed guide.

What they’re doing

Meliá's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement has led it to identify specific medium-term environmental objectives related to combating climate change.

Driven by innovation and technology, Meliá has developed an efficient management system designed to reduce the use of natural resources and shrink each hotel's carbon footprint.

The company's sustainable strategies include:
  • Implementing sustainability criteria throughout the supply chain, beginning with hotel concept and design
  • Using certified sources of renewable energy, standardizing efficient management systems and implementing systems that reduce water usage
  • Reducing or eliminating high-impact waste from the ecosystem
  • Measurement and control of consumption through tools, indicators and scientific criteria
  • Training employees and raising customer awareness through programs focused on respect for the environment and biodiversity

NH Hotel Group

NH Hotel Group is one of the 25 largest chains in the world and operates 356 hotels across 33 countries in Europe, the Americas, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

It recently migrated its loyalty program to participate in GHA Discovery.

What they’re doing

NH Hotel Group has dubbed its environmental management plan UP FOR Planet, which is its roadmap for fulfilling the commitments it has made to combat climate change and progress towards decarbonization, the efficient management and consumption of resources and the development of more sustainable products.

The company has set a number of sustainable development goals, with the aim of achieving the following:
  • 64% of energy use by hotel buildings is to come from renewable energy sources
  • 15 million single-use plastic amenities (e.g. plastic straws and cups) eliminated each year
  • 35% yearly reduction in energy consumption per room nights
  • 89% local purchases

Palladium Hotel Group

Palladium Hotel Group is an international hotel chain based in Ibiza, with 48 hotels in six different countries (Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Italy) around the world.  

Palladium has its own loyalty program - Palladium Rewards.

What they’re doing

Palladium's green practices are focused on the following goals, among others:
  • Reducing single-use plastics 
  • Moving towards digitalization
  • Rational, sustainable use of water 
  • Measuring the company's carbon footprint more accurately 
  • Reducing energy consumption 
  • Circular economy initiatives 
  • Reducing, recycling and reusing waste 
  • Protecting biodiversity 
Palladium's sustainability initiatives include a turtle conservation and release program in Jamaica, beach cleanup and maintenance at all of its hotels, and a program that monitors the health of the mangrove forests on its properties along the Riviera Maya.


The state-owned Paradores de Turismo specializes in cultural and nature tourism, with 97 properties throughout Spain's autonomous communities and one in Portugal. In addition to having Paradores in nine cities that have been declared World Heritage Sites, the company also operates accommodations in national parks and other natural areas, often housed in heritage properties such as castles and monasteries.

Paradores has a little known loyalty program - Amigos de Paradores.

What they’re doing

Paradores has implemented a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate its impact on climate change, with the objective of being net-zero in 2030.

A few milestones on Paradores' sustainability journey to date:
  • In 2019, the organization announced that it would replace plastic straws, bottles and cups with compostable alternatives.
  • Starting in 2020, Paradores has calculated the carbon footprint of all of its properties with an eye toward replacing deficient or highly CO2-emitting equipment as well as the improvement of automatic control systems for energy consumption.
  • Electricity at each of Paradores' properties is generated through the use of renewable resources.

To find out more about sustainability in the hospitality industry, visit the website of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance include some of the biggest names in the hotel industry, such as Iberostar, Accor, Hilton and Marriott International.

Kimpton Secret Password - use before it self-destructs September 4

Kimpton Secret Password - use before it self-destructs September 4

Kimpton Hotels have a funky boutique hotel brand image. One of many aspects of its charm is the Kimpton secret password  that guests can mention at check-in to get a perk, benefit, or bonus. These include items like free parking, a free breakfast, a free upgrade, etc.

What's the latest Kimpton Hotel Secret Password?

It's been several months since the last secret password, which expired on February 20, 2023. Now, there's a new password running May 26–September 3, 2023.

When checking into a Kimpton hotel between those dates, you can use the secret password “no shade” to (hopefully) receive a special perk or privilege.

Kimpton Hotels have provided seasonal or monthly secret passwords to guests for years. The tradition started before IHG acquired the brand in 2014. Some of the secret passwords have been phrases such as “stay cool,” “flip flops,” “baby, it's cold outside,” “chilled to perfection,” and even “marshmallow.”

This summer, Kimpton Hotel is using the secret password “no shade.” It is valid at all participating locations May 26–September 3, 2023. Kimpton Hotels have stated that every hotel honors the secret password differently, so it's a surprise what you'll get.

Secret Password Perks You May Receive

Historically, guests have reported a wide range of bonuses when using the Kimpton Hotels' secret password. Here are some examples:

  • Free parking (regular or valet)
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Free upgrade
  • Complimentary bottle of wine
  • A whisky-tasting tour
  • Cupcakes
  • A movie night in your room
  • Free drinks at the bar
  • Surprise gift-wrapped presents
  • Drink kits (like Bailey's hot chocolate)
  • Mini-bar credit

The bonuses aren't always at the hotel, as some hotels have partnered with other companies. For example, such as another restaurant or perhaps a whisky distillery. It's been three months since the last password “expired,” so it's nice to see the Kimpton secret password is back. It's just a little thing, but adds to the vibe of the Kimpton brand, which I like.

If you do have a stay booked this summer, make sure to check Kimpton's social media to see if there's a new password.

Hyatt further expands its luxury footprint with Mr & Mrs Smith

Hyatt further expands its luxury footprint with Mr & Mrs Smith

The announcement
Mr & Mrs Smith has announced an agreement for a Hyatt affiliate to acquire London-based Mr & Mrs Smith, a platform offering direct booking access to a carefully curated collection of over 1,500 boutique and luxury properties in some of the world’s most desirable locations. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to the usual closing conditions.

The move is the latest in a string of acquisitions and partnerships fuelling Hyatt’s expansion into luxury and lifestyle hotels as well as deepening its portfolio of European properties.

What it means for Hyatt
The planned acquisition of Mr & Mrs Smith is expected to build on Hyatt’s leadership position in luxury and further strengthen Hyatt’s distribution capabilities, especially across Europe - a region where Hyatt has historically been under-represented.

This acquisition builds on a transformative growth period for Hyatt in the last 12 months, which included the recently completed acquisition of Dream Hotel Group’s lifestyle brand and management portfolio and the conversion of a portfolio of over 30 franchise agreements with Lindner Hotels & Resorts and me and all hotels, as well as substantial organic growth of Hyatt’s global portfolio.

As a result of Hyatt’s expanded brand portfolio and ever-growing offering for every stay occasion, membership in the World of Hyatt loyalty program has more than tripled during the past five years.

Adding Mr and Mrs Smith could make 36-million-member Hyatt’s loyalty program more valuable to it users, complementing Hyatt’s offerings (eg expanding into Villas). Initially, Hyatt will  seek to leverage Mr & Mrs Smith’s one-million-strong membership base.

It aims to launch direct booking access to properties within the luxury specialist’s platform and also attract its members to the World of Hyatt program,

Benefits for World of Hyatt members
World of Hyatt members will gain access to even more global luxury of offerings across hundreds of geographies – including over 20 countries where there are currently no Hyatt hotels such as Fiji, Croatia, Iceland and Anguilla (though World of Hyatt members can find points-earning and redemption options in some of those places thanks to the program's affiliation with Small Luxury Hotels of the World).

Hyatt plans to unveil direct booking access to properties within the Mr & Mrs Smith platform through Hyatt’s distribution channels, including and the World of Hyatt app.  Hyatt is exploring ways to enable World of Hyatt members to earn and redeem points across eligible hotels in the Mr & Mrs Smith collection.

IHG loses out
The deal comes at the expense of IHG Hotels & Resorts, which for a few years had a marketing partnership with Mr & Mrs Smith where IHG selectively offered to its loyalty members access to a few hundred of its 1,500 hotels in markets where IHG didn’t already have a strong presence of similar upscale properties like InterContinental, Kimpton or Six Senses.

Unfortunately, that partnership never really got onto solid ground from a loyalty program perspective.  

*  When staying at Mr & Mrs Smith hotels as an IHG One Rewards member, many travellers noted it was a clunky endeavour to book the hotels via IHG, and you often had to manually remove any other brand option but the Mr & Mrs Smith partnership in the search.

*  Disjointed loyalty recognition was another sticking point amid the IHG partnership, as IHG One Rewards members earned one set of benefits while those in IHG's separate InterContinental Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle members enjoyed elevated benefits at Mr & Mrs Smith properties

That deal presumably will end by the time this transaction closes.We expect that Hyatt’s experience with its SLH partnership will mean that many of these types of issues will not be faced by World of Hyatt members.

The fact that these hotels and others in the Mr & Mrs Smith ecosystem will now be part of Hyatt puts significant pressure on IHG to find a new partner with unique luxury properties to entice its members to remain loyal. This comes on the heels of several other challenges IHG has faced recently, including a planned Six Senses property in New York City that switched brand affiliation to Accor’s Faena label.

Parting thoughts
This acquisition will strengthen Hyatt’s position in the luxury traveller market, broadening the range of properties available and further addresses Hyatt’s historically small footprint in Europe relative to its main competitors. What we like most is Hyatt’s focus on quality and strategic acquisitions, rather than being drawn towards being bigger just for its own sake.

About Mr & Mrs Smith
Founded in 2003, Mr & Mrs Smith is the travel club for hotel lovers: an award-winning boutique and luxury hotel booking service specialising in the world’s most seductive stays. There are now more than 1,800 hotels and villas in the collection, all hand-picked and anonymously reviewed. 

2023 hotel openings - our "can't wait to stay" list

2023 hotel openings - our "can't wait to stay" list

Exciting New Properties Opening in 2023

There are many brands opening new properties globally this year, as the worst of the global pandemic may be behind us. This is our ” bakers dozen” list of properties opening in 2023 that we are super excited about and can barely wait to book, listed in geographic regions.  With most of these, booking through Rewarding Travel can provide you with luxury perks (eg daily breakfast, room upgrade st availability...) at no additional cost.

It’s going to be a busy year…

1.  Raffles London at The OWO (2Q 2023)
An architectural masterpiece, the Old War Office on Whitehall (OWO) is undergoing a meticulous restoration to create the Raffles’s first UK hotel.  OWO dates back to 1906 and is famed for housing influential leaders. These include Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and John Profumo. It also inspired Ian Fleming to write the James Bond series after working here as a key liaison.
The landmark building has undergone a monumental transformation and now features 120 lavish guestrooms and suites, 85 spectacular private residences, 9 ultra-stylish restaurants and 3 bars, bars including one gracing the rooftop with views across The Mall on to Buckingham Palace.

 An exclusive Guerlain spa and member’s health club (a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, saunas and steam rooms ) by movement and nutrition experts Pillar will offer private memberships for locals in the know.

2. The Peninsula, London (May 2023)
Swish Hong Kong hotel group Peninsula – famed for its Rolls-Royce fleets, crisp-suited bellboys and want-for-nothing service – is finally landing in London. Located at one of the most prestigious addresses in the British capital, overlooking Hyde Park Corner and the Wellington Arch, The Peninsula London is bringing the best of British – culture, art, and cuisine – to this new build in Belgravia.

Expect Peninsua’s usual sleek and understated elegance in each of its 190 rooms, while several destination restaurants, a Peninsula Spa (including a 25m indoor pool ) and a grand ballroom are also on-site. The Peninsula London also features a one-storey shopping arcade, with nine retail shops housing international luxury brands keeping luxury style very close at this new central London location.

 3. Mandarin Oriental. Mayfair (2Q 2023)
The luxury hotel chain is expanding its presence in London with the opening of Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, London providing a smaller, more intimate sister property to the award-winning Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in nearby Knightsbridge. Situated on Hanover Square, Mayfair’s oldest square, the hotel will provide a calming, discreet sanctuary for hotel guests.

The property comprises 50 guestrooms and 78 private residences in the heart of Mayfair, one of London's most stylish neighbourhoods. Taking advantage of its world-class location within walking distance of London's admired fashion houses on Bond Street and the boutiques of Saville Row, as well as art galleries, the new hotel will offer guests and Fans of MO ( its loyalty program ) exclusive access and experiences from high fashion to art, culture, and dining. It will also house the first namesake Akira Back restaurant in the UK from Michelin Star award winning Chef Akira Back, as well as his 'ABar Lounge' concept. There will also be an urban spa, focussed on renewal and recalibration, featuring an indoor 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, vitality pool, relaxation room and a myriad of bespoke wellness treatments.

4. Adagio London Whitechapel (Late 2023)
For guests who desire the helpful services of a hotel and the freedom to live like a local in a neighbourhood apartment, Adagio offers an easy balance of both. Designed for longer stays, the 147 serviced apartments conveniently located on Whitechapel Road in East London will provide one or two-bedroom apartments, complete with kitchens.

5. 100 Princes Street  Edinburgh (August 2023)
Red Carnation Hotels’ group first Scottish property is to be 100 Princes Street, whose name is a nod to their illustrious address on one of Edinburgh’s most famous streets. The interiors – designed by the team behind Ashford Castle in Ireland – will be full-blown Scottish chic with custom-made tartan by Araminta Campbell, roaring fires and a central staircase with a hand-painted mural of Scottish explorers by Croxford and Saunders restoring the former Overseas League building to its former glory. There’ll be just 30 guest rooms, some looking to Edinburgh castle, and a staff ratio of 2:1, so you know service will be a priority.

6. Six Senses Rome (March 2023)
For their new Rome hotel, Six Senses painstakingly restored parts of a Roman 15th-century compound, including the exterior Renaissance facade and interior staircase. Architect Patricia Urquiola is masterminding the interiors - guest rooms feature traditional cocciopesto plasterwork, locally-sourced travertine limestones, and sun-drenched terraces. Located steps from the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, overlooking via del Corso, it is a great place to rest after a long day exploring the city. They currently have an opening offer, valid until 30th of April:- 15% off best flexible rate.- Includes: breakfast, upgrade upon availability, a welcome drink, use of Roman Baths, Sleep questionnaire, bedding and sleep tracker and access to their Earth Lab. From Deluxe Suite onwards receive a one-way Airport transfer as well and a 20-minute skin instant lab. Contact RewardingTravel for more details.

7. Bulgari, Rome
The eternal city’s hotel scene is seeing an injection of fresh style with new branches of Nobu Hotels and Six Senses, plus the boutique ROMEO, in a 16th century palazzo. But top of our must-visit list for OTT luxury is Bulgari Rome. This Italian brand owns hotels as far afield as Shanghai and Bali, but finally opens its flagship on home city turf this coming spring or summer. Set in a 1930s modernist building dripping in travertine marble and red brick, it’s sure to be the epitome of more-is-more Bulgari style with warm jewel tones, fabulous artwork and unashamedly luxurious suites.

8.  Anantara Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi. (April 2023)
Following extensive restoration and renovation works, the heritage hotel – occupying a 13th-century monastery and former Cappuccini Friars Convent – will be restored to its original glory. The historic 52 guest room and suite  property will reveal new-look accommodation, refreshed dining concepts and a completely redesigned spa, all perched on a clifftop 80 metres above sea level with spectacular views of the Mediterranean Coast.

9. Maison Delano Paris (Early 2023)

Located in the heart of the ultra-chic 8th Arrondissement, Maison Delano Paris is an oasis within the bustling city. Occupying an 18th century courtyard building at 4 Rue d’Anjou, this is a place to experience exceptional and exclusive culinary concepts by three-star Michelin Chef Dani García, a fresh perspective on wellness and hyper-exclusive curated moments.

10. COMO Le Montrachet (2Q 2023)
Fine wine plus a fine spa – what else do you need? Launching in picturesque Burgundian village Puligny-Montrachet , COMO Le Montrachet is the latest (and first French) property in the wellness-focused COMO resort group is a celebration of life’s good things. Spread across four 18th century stone buildings, serene contemporary suites will channel pure Gallic serenity; meanwhile the Shambala Retreat spa will turn out deep tissue massages and hydrating facials. The restaurant will come with a superb Burgundian wine list, of course. Prefer spirits? Look instead to another exciting French opening: La Nauve, a former cognac distillery turned hotel near the Charente river.  Teasingly Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group has said that “ Besides Europe, we will also add a new luxury resort in the South Pacific to the portfolio next year.”  (ie 2024)
The COMO Group is an international privately-owned company with long-term investments in the world of fashion, wellness, high-level sports and luxury hotels. The group also supports its philanthropic mission through the COMO Foundation. Its subsidiary, COMO Hotels and Resorts, includes 14 international properties. Destinations in APAC include Bali, the Maldives, Bhutan, Thailand and Australia. In the Americas, the group own and operate a private island in the Turks and Caicos. In Europe, The COMO Group operates two city hotels in London and a resort in Tuscany.

11. The Standard, Singapore (late 2023)
Opening right off Singapore’s famed Orchard Road is the Standard Singapore, which aims to enhance the city’s already vibrant cultural scene with its buzzy, night-life-focused brand. In addition to their 143 rooms will be a signature restaurant, an infinity pool, and a bar set within a botanical courtyard. The Standard prides itself on shaking up the establishment and defying convention to deliver a unique experience. The company says its careful consideration of design, detail and service has allowed it to "cultivate a reputation for irreverent and playful sensibility".

12. Capella Sydney (March 2023)
The first property for Capella Hotels and Resorts to open in Australia will be housed in a magnificent heritage-listed sandstone building, centrally located just a short walk from the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge Capella Sydney is all about contemporary luxury balanced with the historical Edwardian-Baroque features – grand soaring ceilings, marble-clad foyer – with contemporary design, international art and 70 species of local floral on a seven-metre-tall ‘green wall’ of this 100-year-old building. Guests will also be granted access to the private Living Room – a signature of Capella properties across the world. Here, local pros or Capella Culturists will be on hand to organise guest activities both in and outside the hotel.

Over eight levels, 192 guest rooms and suites feature walnut wood, natural stones and deluxe textiles with standalone tubs, custom Italian Frette linen and Haeckel’s amenities in the bathroom. Three ground-level bars and restaurants include Brasserie 1930 and McRae Bar is a modern rendition of a Victorian-era drinking den. On level six is an Aruga spa, fitness centre, yoga platform and 20-metre heated indoor swimming pool. While the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge are all within walking distance.

13. The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne (March 2023)
At the Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, which promises to be Australia’s tallest hotel, check-in happens at the Sky Lobby, 80 floors above the city. All of the hotel’s high-rise rooms, spread across levels 63 to 79, will have stunning views of the city and Port Phillip Bay. 

 A sharp eye for design, and two highly respected chefs are set to be the calling cards of Australia's latest Ritz-Carlton, delivering local, seasonal and cutting-edge cuisine across the luxury hotel's culinary offering. The restaurant will sit a cool 80 floors above the CBD alongside the lobby, and below it will lie a holistic wellness spa that includes a heated indoor infinity pool, spa, sauna and yoga studio.  The 257 carefully appointed rooms will feature interiors with custom leather and velvet furniture, handmade glass panels and marble bathrooms with art works by local artists gracing the walls.

Exciting Renovated Properties that will Re-Open in 2023

Not quite "new" but having had significant renovations or refurbishments, these half-dozen properties are also on our list. 

1.  The Dorchester: London

The Dorchester has been a London icon for the last 90 years, and now it's slated to debut its largest renovation since the '80s next year. French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon is redesigning the hotel's entrance, promenade, guest rooms and suites, along with a new Cake & Flower boutique. The legendary Martin Brudnizki Design Studio is redesigning the famous cocktail bar, which is now dubbed Vesper Bar.

2.  The Royce Hotel, Melbourne (4Q 2023)
What do you want from your next trip to Melbourne: a culture hit or a dose of nature? At The Royce, sitting on the border of the CBD and South Yarra’s parklands, you can enjoy both. This 1920s gem is being restored to its art deco glory, complete with a 14-metre high marble fireplace in the lobby lounge and a two-metre wide chandelier. The name pays tribute to its former roles as Rolls Royce (Australia) HQ and major showroom.  
The latest refurbishment, which aims to immerse guests in glamour with its 94 guest rooms, a marble staircase and fireplace, 24-hour concierge, and a swanky bar. In the rooms, freestanding baths, Molton Brown amenities and botanical wallpaper will round out this trendy South Yarra spot.

3.  Le Meridien Melbourne (early 2023)
From its Bourke Street perch, Le Meridien Melbourne will bring a touch of French flair to the theatre district. Expect plenty of surprises behind the art deco façade including an immersive arts program, house-made gelato and a dazzling rooftop pool deck with views looking over Parliament House towards Fitzroy Gardens.  The Parliament end of Bourke Street will welcome back Le Méridien to Australian shores. Originally built as a hotel in the 1850s before going through lives as a cinema, nightclub and theatre, the building will return to its origins as a hotel for the first time in decades. The 235-room hotel is set to have expansive views over the Royal Botanic Gardens along with a rooftop pool deck.

4.  Fairmont Port Douglas
Port Douglas is where the rainforest meets the reef and luxury brand Fairmont promises that its new Port Douglas resort will immerse guests in the area’s spectacular nature.enabling them to  connect with nature amidst eco-friendly luxury.  Expect organic architecture, a treetop walk, and butterfly nets above the children’s swimming pool, as well as an operating philosophy focused on sustainability.

5.  Manly Pacific, Sydney
A seaside favourite gets a new lease of life courtesy of the MGallery Hotel Collection and designers Coco Republic, who have given Manly’s best-located hotel (right on the foreshore)  a five-star makeover. Apart from the spa and the rooftop pool, highlights include a French bistro and Tokyo Joe restaurant, featuring sushi, sashimi and more courtesy of an ex-Nobu chef..

6.  W Sydney (October 2023)
Darling Harbour’s distinctive new development has already attracted plenty of attention for its eye-catching architecture. It will become even more of a landmark once W Sydney opens with all the modern pizzazz of the W brand . With 585 stylish guest rooms and suites occupying 25 floors with spectacular Darling Harbour views and interiors inspired by the waterfront location (think powder blue tiles and deep circular tubs and stunning Sydney views) we expect this will be one of the city’s buzziest hotels. 
Forming part of the development that includes an IMAX theatre and a retail wing. W Sydney features a two-storey rooftop bar, Level 29 WET® Deck with a heated 30m infinity pool, AWAY® Spa, FIT gym, all-day restaurant, Living Room bar, 1300sqm of event space and direct access to Darling Harbour waterfront precinct, and links across Cockle Bay and Sydney’s International Convention Centre (ICC).). .

Six Senses wins award for Best Luxury Hotel Brand from LTI - 3rd year in a row

Six Senses wins award for Best Luxury Hotel Brand from LTI - 3rd year in a row

Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI) has taken the past 12 months to apply a rigorously defined algorithm that measures the performance and values of luxury hotel brands.

Six Senses has taken the top spot for the 3rd consecutive year for its ability to deliver, “passion, commitment, ethos and values, as well as the quality of its management and staff.”

The algorithm has 128 touch points relevant to the luxury hotel sector. Each has its own weighted score value with a total maximum accumulative score of 4628. They relate to overall brand performance, not the performance of individual properties. Continuing investment and how it’s used is also a major factor – particularly for new properties and the refurbishment of existing ones.

To make its decision, LTI researchers engage with everyone from the CEO to the management, hosts, and guests. Every year, the process starts again so the results from previous years have no bearing on the following year and therefore reflect what is happening within the dynamic hospitality sector. This is all part of the process for creating destination-led reports for the organization’s members, who wish to make informed travel decisions based on its honest and detailed intelligence.

On awarding Six Senses World’s Best Luxury Hotel Brand, LTI noted, “We continue to be very impressed with Six Senses. It delivers an authentic blend of wellness, sustainability, warm hospitality and crafted guest experiences. Also, with Six Senses London and Rome due in 2023 this is an exciting time for the brand and its loyal followers.”

Responding to the award, Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs credited the whole team, “Six Senses hosts take a bow! To win this award three times in a row reflects everyone’s unwavering commitment over three bumpy years and across our entire group. We take a proactive role in sustainable well-being, whether that means for our guests, hosts, or the land and communities around us. But for it to work, it has to be honest and championed with care. Perhaps this authenticity is what guests appreciate the most.”

Six Senses is one our preferred resorts and spa/wellness brands.  It has long had a focus on bare-foot luxury with sustainability, so this success comes as no surprise to us.  It is well-deserved.

Some properties participate in the IHG One Rewards loyalty program - that alone may be sufficient reason to sign-up as a member. 

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 Langham, Shangri-La. Rosewood, Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Raffles, Preferred Hotels, 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?