IHG is one of the largest hotel companies with more than 5,000 hotels worldwide, although most people are more familiar with some of their brands than they are with the IHG name itself. IHG stands for InterContinental Hotels Group, a name you might be a little more familiar with as InterContinental is one of the hotel brands in their portfolio. Here’s a list of the different IHG hotel brands, along with what you can expect from each one. We haven’t had the pleasure of staying at every single one of these brands yet, so some of this information is based on research rather than experience.
LIST OF IHG HOTEL BRANDS INTERCONTINENTAL InterContinental hotels is a luxury brand, started in 1946 by Pan American World Airways. Most of their properties are located in large cities and each hotel has its own unique style – you won’t get a cookie-cutter experience staying at this brand. Breakfast isn’t included as standard, although each hotel has its own restaurant where you can order breakfast or other meals. They also have their own loyalty scheme called InterContinental Ambassador which provides benefits solely when staying at this brand.
CROWNE PLAZA Crowne Plaza is a brand primarily focused on business travelers. The rooms therefore tend to have better desk areas, while the hotels themselves have conference and meeting facilities. Breakfast isn’t included as part of your room rate but similar to InterContinentals, each hotel has a restaurant.
HOLIDAY INN This is one of the IHG hotel brands with which you’re probably more familiar. They’re a solid option for people traveling all over as they have so many locations worldwide. They don’t have breakfast included as part of your stay, although they do have a restaurant on site.
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS The Holiday Inn Express brand is much more of a cookie-cutter experience, meaning you’ll get a very similar experience no matter which one of their hotels you stay in. This is a great thing if you appreciate consistency when you travel, but it’s obviously a downside if you prefer staying in hotels that are a little more unique or boutique. A buffet-style breakfast is always included in your room rate and you can expect hot options like eggs and sausage, along with different breads, cereals, pancakes, yogurts and fruit. Although they provide breakfast, most Holiday Inn Express hotels don’t have an actual restaurant onsite. You can usually find them located within close proximity to off-site restaurants, oftentimes within walking distance.
HOTEL INDIGO If you don’t like the way that every Holiday Inn Express is similar, you’ll love Hotel Indigo. This is IHG’s boutique brand that’s most commonly found in large cities. There’s usually a lot of color and style in your room. The Hotel Indigo we stayed at in London was a stunning room with a four-poster bed, so this brand can be a great option if you’re looking for a fun and/or romantic weekend away. Each hotel has an onsite bar and restaurant, although breakfast isn’t included as standard.
HOLIDAY INN RESORT As the name suggests, IHG’s Holiday Inn Resort brand has hotels located in different resort areas around the world. Most of these are beach resorts, although there are a handful located in the mountains or by lakes. Bars and restaurants can be found onsite, although breakfast isn’t usually included. Having said that, a few of the resorts offer all-inclusive packages, so all your meals and drinks would be included.
STAYBRIDGE SUITES The Staybridge Suites brand is perfect for families and people who are planning extended stays for several reasons:
A kitchen is included in each suite and contains a fridge-freezer, dishwasher, stove and microwave
An extensive breakfast buffet is included in your room rate
There are often two bedroom suites available – some of which contain more than one bed per bedroom – so you can fit a lot of people in a single suite
Three days a week (Tuesday-Thursday), they offer a social where there’s complimentary food and drinks
There are laundry facilities
CANDLEWOOD SUITES Candlewood Suites are what I think of as a more budget version of Staybridge Suites. They have some of the same great benefits – each room has a kitchen, they’re dog-friendly and they have laundry facilities. However, breakfast isn’t included and they don’t have the evening socials either. That’s reflected in the price though as you’ll often find Candlewood Suites are the lowest priced option when doing a search on IHG’s website.
HOLIDAY INN CLUB VACATIONS The Holiday Inn Club Vacations brand isn’t one you’ll come across very often as they only have just over a dozen resorts around the US. They can be a great option for families traveling together due to the multi-bedroom options in their villas that come with a kitchen. With pools and other activities onsite, there should be plenty to do when staying at this brand.
EVEN HOTELS EVEN Hotels are a relatively new IHG brand and so they’re only based in a few locations at present. They place a focus on wellness, so have great gym facilities, healthier food options in their restaurants and calming hotel rooms and work spaces.
HUALUXE HOTELS The HUALUXE brand is a more upscale brand that’s been created to target Chinese guests. The decor is therefore different to all the other IHG brand hotels and you can expect service levels more akin to that which you’d receive at an InterContinental.
KIMPTON HOTEL SKimpton used to be their own chain before IHG took them over. Although they’re part of the IHG family, Kimpton are still their own entity with their own loyalty scheme called Karma Rewards. Update: Kimpton properties are now part of the IHG Rewards Club program. They’re boutique hotels found in larger cities; although we’ve never stayed in a Kimpton, everything I’ve read about them in the past has been positive. Kimpton also allow pets at every one of their hotels for no extra charge.
REGENT HOTELS Similar to Kimpton, Regent Hotels was a hotel brand that was bought by IHG. They’re a small luxury chain that has properties in Taipei, Berlin, Porto Montenegro, Beijing, Chongqing and Singapore.
AVID Avid is a new brand that IHG introduced in 2018 and which had 10 properties in July 2019. We haven’t had a chance to stay at one yet, but based on photos of the properties it looks they’re targeting people that might stay at an Aloft (one of Marriott’s brands) but with less of a party atmosphere.
VOCO At the time of writing this update in July 2019, there were five Voco properties – two in Australia, two in the UK and one in Dubai. It appears to be a higher end Hotel Indigo.
HOW WE’LL BE STAYING AT IHG BRAND HOTELS We’re expecting to spend a lot of time in IHG hotels on our 50 state road trip. They have locations everywhere and their PointBreaks hotels provide immense value for the low number of points you need. Top of our list will be Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites because of their dog-friendliness and inclusion of a kitchen in all their suites. We’ll also probably stay at plenty of Holiday Inn Expresses as they tend to be reasonably priced, include breakfast and we’ve always had good experiences with them. Having said that, not all of their hotels are dog-friendly, so that’ll affect how frequently we’re able to stay with them. We’ll likely stay at a few Holiday Inns and Crowne Plazas, but they’re not always dog-friendly either, plus they tend to be more expensive than our budget will allow. These two brands sometimes show up on each quarter’s PointBreaks list, so we’re more likely to stay with them using our points than paying cash. As much as we’d love to stay in a Hotel Indigo, InterContinental or Kimpton, they’re simply out of our price range. Shae and I each have the IHG credit card though which comes with a free night certificate each year. These more expensive hotels are therefore the best way to use that certificate – why use it for a free stay at an $85 a night Holiday Inn Express when you can use it for a $400+ a night InterContinental?!