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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.

Enjoy!

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?