The Complete Guide to IHG Luxury & Lifestyle

IHG Hotels & Resorts is a major hotel chain with a portfolio of over 6,000 properties worldwide. In recent years, IHG has put more focus on expanding their luxury hotel sector, in part by introducing the Luxury & Lifestyle Collection.

IHG also has a loyalty program, IHG One Rewards, where you can use points for hotel bookings, and receive extra benefits by earning IHG elite status. However, with no Canadian co-branded credit cards, it’s fairly difficult to climb the ranks of the IHG One Rewards loyalty program.

Luckily, IHG has a program in place for you to enjoy elite benefits at select hotels without having to be an elite member: the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle program.

In This Post

What Is the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle Program?

IHG Luxury & Lifestyle is IHG’s preferred partner program, through which hotel guests can enjoy extra benefits at no additional cost. To receive the perks, stays must be booked through an authorized travel advisor, as you can’t book these rates on your own.

The room rates found through the Luxury & Lifestyle program are the same as the best available rates you’d be able to find on your own for the same participating hotel.

Enjoy extra benefits at the InterContinental Sydney by booking with IHG Luxury & Lifestyle

While you may be able to find cheaper rates if you have access to corporate codes, promotions, or member-exclusive rates, the benefits you’ll receive through the Luxury & Lifestyle program often outweigh the difference in pricing.

The included perks differ, depending on which group of hotels you stay in: the Luxury Collection or the Lifestyle Collection.

The IHG Hotel brands that make up the Luxury Collection are as follows:

  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Regent Hotels & Resorts
  • Kimpton Hotels & Resorts outside of Canada and the US (with some exceptions)

The benefits for IHG Luxury Collection hotels are as follows:

  • Guaranteed 2pm late check-out
  • Daily breakfast for two at the hotel’s restaurant
  • Value-added amenity, specific to each hotel, up to $100 (USD) value per stay
  • Upgrade to next room category, subject to availability on arrival

The IHG Hotel brands that make up the Lifestyle Collection are as follows:

  • Hotel Indigo
  • Vignette Collection
  • Kimpton Hotels & Resorts located in Canada and the US

The benefits for IHG Lifestyle Collection hotels are as follows:

  • 2pm late check-out, subject to availability
  • Value-added amenity, specific to hotel, up to $50 (USD) value per stay
  • Upgrade to next room category, subject to availability on arrival

At this time, Six Senses Hotels & Resorts doesn’t participate in the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle program, despite being a luxury brand under the IHG umbrella.

Between the two Collections, the biggest difference in offerings is the complimentary breakfast. If you book a Lifestyle Collection hotel through the Luxury & Lifestyle program, you won’t receive complimentary breakfast, but you can still use the $50 (USD) hotel credit to cover your breakfast.

Luxury Collection hotels booked through Luxury & Lifestyle have much better benefits. This is not only due to the free daily breakfast for two, but also because of the elevated hotel credit of $100 (USD) and the guaranteed 2pm late check-out, which allows you to extend your time on the property.

Book the Kimpton Naranta Bali with IHG Luxury & Lifestyle and enjoy extra benefits at no additional cost

Both the Luxury and the Lifestyle Collection hotels will give you the benefit of an upgrade subject to availability on arrival, as well as additional welcome benefits, such as fresh fruit, a handwritten welcome note, and bottled water.

An upgrade to a more spacious room can certainly enhance a trip, and if you’re celebrating a special occasion, your travel advisor can reach out to the hotel to advocate on your behalf.

Why Book Hotels Through IHG Luxury & Lifestyle?

The main reason why you’d want to book through IHG Luxury & Lifestyle is because it tends to be the best deal for booking one of the participating luxury hotels, after factoring in the extra perks.

The benefits you receive through a Luxury & Lifestyle booking are similar to the benefits of top-tier IHG One Rewards elite status, without having to put in the legwork to earn the status in the first place.

In fact, in many ways the perks from Luxury & Lifestyle are even better than the benefits offered to IHG’s highest status members.

Booking through IHG Luxury & Lifestyle gives you elite-level benefits without having status

For example, IHG Platinum Elite members who have stayed 40 nights at IHG hotels don’t receive complimentary breakfast as a benefit, and the highest IHG Diamond Elite status members who have stayed 70 nights don’t get guaranteed late check-out or any hotel credits.

However, if you’re an IHG One Rewards member, bookings made through IHG Luxury & Lifestyle program will count towards earning elite qualifying nights to help you in retaining your IHG status, or leveling up to the next elite status tier.

Furthermore, in addition to earning elite qualifying nights, you’ll earn IHG One Rewards points on all IHG Luxury & Lifestyle bookings.

How to Maximize Value with IHG Luxury & Lifestyle

While bookings made through IHG Luxury & Lifestyle tend to be the best deal available, you’ll want to ensure you consider all of your options to ensure you’re getting the most value for your stay.

This is especially true if you’re booking one of the IHG Lifestyle Collection hotels, as it may make more sense to book through another program to receive better benefits.

Compare with Public Rates

First, you should always compare the rates found through the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle program with the publicly available rates. The price you find directly with IHG may be cheaper than the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle rate, but keep in mind that with a cheaper price, there are usually stricter cancellation and change policies.

Even if the price is cheaper, you’ll want to consider the added benefits and whether or not the hotel credit, breakfast, and other benefits make up for the difference in pricing.

If you have IHG One Rewards points, you should look at the number of points required for your desired hotel, and weigh up whether it makes sense to use points or pay cash for your upcoming stay.

Compare with Virtuoso and Amex FHR

Virtuoso and American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts are similar to IHG Luxury & Lifestyle, in that bookings made through their platforms will also give you additional benefits at no extra cost.

You can only book Virtuoso with a travel advisor, while Amex FHR is only available if you hold the American Express Platinum Card or the American Express Business Platinum Card.

Many of the IHG Luxury Collection hotels can also be booked through either Virtuoso or Amex FHR, but you won’t be able to find many of the IHG Lifestyle Collection on either of the other platforms.

Benefit

IHG Lifestyle  Collection

IHG Luxury Collection

Virtuoso

Amex FHR

Complimentary breakfast

N/A

Daily breakfast for two guests, in the restaurant

Daily breakfast for two guests, in the restaurant 

Daily breakfast for two guests, in the restaurant

One-category room upgrade

Subject to availability upon check-in

Subject to availability upon check-in

Subject to availability upon check-in

Subject to availability upon check-in

Property credit

Value added amenity, specific to hotel (up to $50 (USD))

Value added amenity, specific to hotel (up to $100 (USD))

$100 (USD)

$100 (USD)

Early check-in

Subject to availability

Subject to availability

Subject to availability

12pm, subject to availability

Late check-out

2pm, subject to availability

Guaranteed 2pm

Subject to availability

Guaranteed 4pm

While it almost always makes more sense to book participating hotels directly with IHG Luxury & Lifestyle, there are some situations where you may want to use one of the others.

For example, Amex FHR offers a guaranteed 4pm late check-out, compared to the guaranteed 2pm late check-out with IHG Luxury Collection, and the 2pm late check-out, subject to availability, with IHG Lifestyle Collection.

Therefore, if you want to enjoy an extra two hours in the hotel, then Amex FHR may be your best option, as long as you hold one of the American Express Platinum cards.

Compare benefits from IHG Luxury & Lifestyle with Virtuoso and Amex FHR to ensure you’re getting the best deal

On the other hand, booking through IHG Luxury & Lifestyle will give you the best chance for a room upgrade, as hotels will often prioritize requests booked directly, rather than through another proprietary program.

If you’re able to find an IHG Lifestyle Collection hotel through Virtuoso or Amex FHR, then it’s most likely be better to book the hotel through one of those programs, as you’ll receive complimentary breakfast, as well as a hotel credit worth more than $50 (USD).

Either way, your travel advisor will be able to tell you all of the best options available for your desired trip.

Book Shorter Stays

Keep in mind that you’ll only receive the $50 or $100 (USD) credit once per stay, no matter how long your stay is. Therefore, the credit will be relatively more valuable on shorter stays, rather than longer stays.

If you make separate consecutive bookings for nights at the same hotel through the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle program, all of the nights will be combined and treated as one consecutive stay, and you won’t be eligible for multiple hotel credits.

Stack with IHG Ambassador Benefits

If you happen to participate in the paid InterContinental Ambassador program, then you can stack the Ambassador perks with the IHG Luxury and Lifestyle program at participating IHG properties.

As a reminder, InterContinental Ambassadors enjoy the following benefits, amongst others:

  • Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
  • Guaranteed one-category room upgrade
  • $20 (USD) restaurant and bar credit

The best part of stacking these two programs is that you can enjoy a 4pm late check-out with InterContinental Ambassador, which beats the 2pm guaranteed late check-out at IHG Luxury Collection hotels and the possible late check-out at Lifestyle Collection properties. Likewise, since you already enjoy a one-category room upgrade as an Ambassador, you can possibly enjoy a further upgrade with the Luxury and Lifestyle booking.

Lastly, the $20 (USD) restaurant and bar credit is in addition to the property-specific amenity, so it’s an added bonus.  

Property-Specific Special Offers

Sometimes, properties offer a free night if you book a minimum number of nights. Whenever this happens, you stand to benefit from a reduced cost for all nights, and it’s a great deal.

Indeed, this can be a dealbreaker when deciding which channel to book through, as the free night will often bring the price down to much lower than any other option available.

Currently, there aren’t any active offers of this sort, but we’ll be sure to update this section once they become available.

Conclusion

Booking hotel stays through the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle program lets you enjoy elite benefits at many of IHG’s higher-end hotels without having to work your way up to the top IHG elite status tier.

The extra benefits you’ll receive at either the Luxury or Lifestyle Collection hotels won’t cost you any more than if you book the property on your own at the best available flexible rate.

Whether you already have status with IHG, and especially if you don’t, the IHG Luxury & Lifestyle program is a great way to get the most out of your next stay, without paying any extra.

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