Every One of IHGs 17 Hotel Brands, Explained

Old Jul 11, 22, 7:26 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: PARIS (France)
Programs: AF/KLM Club 2000 | InterContinental Diamond RA |AMEX Plat | Visa Infinite |Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 9,611
Every One of IHGs 17 Hotel Brands, Explained

Skift presents its analysis of IHG brands (forgetting to mention the IHG x Mr and Mrs Smith partnership).

I'm not sure that brand analysis is always relevant.

InterContinnetal
Its competitors are Grand Hyatt, W Hotels, JW Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton
Is W really a competitor to InterContinental?

Vignette
The Vignette Collection is currently open in Brisbane and Bangkok, but other locations in Asia and Europe are coming soon. It’s a soft brand, which enables IHG to compete with similar branches of Hilton and Accor, which have both pointed to luxury and lifestyle hotels as leading sources of growth.This brand seems like it might be one of the final touches for IHG’s ultra-luxe hotels
Considering the hotels currently under this brand, neither the Vignette in Brisbane nor the one in Bangkok are uber luxurious hotels.
Grand Htel Vienna might be different.

Kimpton
IHG’s partners have invested in fresh rethinkings of some properties, such as Kimpton Saint George (Toronto) and Kimpton Banneker (D.C.), but we worry that IHG hasn’t been giving enough support to help this gem of a brand fulfill its full market potential.
I think that on the contrary the purchase by IHG gave the brand a new start: Kimpton hotels before the purchase by IHG were often outdated in terms of design, and the concept had lost its strength.

Indigo
This brand changes each property’s design every five years to maintain its fresh feel, suggesting that it will be “hip” for a long time.
Like many hotel chains, and even if Indigo has made significant improvements since its launch (the horible Indigo Atlanta Downtown and Indigo Dallas come to mind), the quality of the design is often inconsistent, with some elegant properties (Shanghai On the Bund, Hong-Kong, NYC, Vienna, Belgrade, Cagnes-Sur-Mer, Inuyama, Milan, Verona - Grand Hotel Des Arts, Antwerp, Berlin - East Side Gallery, Helsinki - Boulevard), and others much more mediocre.

Voco
Part of Voco’s magic has to do with the opportunity for owners to truly make it their own.
That's the problem, with some very good hotels (voco Hangzhou Binjiang Minghao, The Bank, Johannesburg, The Hague) next to the quickly repolished Holiday Inn like hotels (voco Al Khobar, Podgorica).

Crowne Plaza
IHG removed 90 hotels from Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn in an attempt to maintain profitability. This brand has paid its dues and will stick around so long as the transition back into a bustling, business-oriented world continues.
Crowne Plaza has implemented a major refurbishment programme, and properties that have been renovated or recently opened are of a very good standard. However, the brand still suffers from too many properties, particularly in the US and the Middle East, that are not up to standard.

Last edited by FLYGVA; Jul 15, 22 at 3:56 am Reason: typo in source
nicolas75 is offline  
Old Jul 11, 22, 8:32 am
  #2  
Hilton Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: AMSTERDAM = one of those attic homes with steepstaircases of death
Programs: Lufthansa: Senator || IHG: Diamond Royal Ambassador Inner Circle || Plutonium Status
Posts: 1,580
An interesting analysis....

My experiences with the IHG brands,

IC is more similair to a Marriott/Grand Hyatt/Hilton,
There are however exceptions like IC AMS / IC Bordeaux etc...


W is just .... W (there is nothing smiliair in the industry) the only certainty is that you stay there if you like loud, louder, and noise.
And seen and be seen until it becomes clownesk and till tragic/comedy effect.
No IC remotely compares to W (thank heavens)

Interesting that Vignette took over Voco's brand roll as conversion brand, if i understand correctly.

Kimpton's in the EU are indeed nice hotspot hotels without the attitude where one feels comfy in any lifestyle.
I think IHG did well there in brand consistency and experience.

Indigos are comfortable bit quirky hotels
Crowne Plaza is just a business hotelbrand, no confusion there
HIX & HI are simple places for an overnight
staybridge is a handy concept for long stay
Atacama40 likes this.
HadesNL is offline  
Old Jul 11, 22, 11:54 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Programs: IHG Diamond Ambassador, Accor Plus Platinum, Caesar's Diamond, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold,
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by HadesNL View Post
W is just .... W (there is nothing smiliair in the industry)
I would say Accors So Sofitels are kinda going for a similar vibe?
cln likes this.
jaytw is offline  
Old Jul 11, 22, 9:24 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates & Arizona, USA
Programs: UA MM/1P, EK Ag, QR, TK, Marriott Life Ti, Hilton Dia, IC Dia, Hyatt Glob, Accor Au, Shangri-La
Posts: 4,404
I am not familiar with this web site, but it seems (like most travel publications) as just an outlet for company PR and/or payola: "Six Senses successfully shifts the luxurious hotel narrative into something healthier for the environment"; "Voco’s magic"; Crowne Plaza "is making forward strides to rebound"; etc. for almost all of them. Not credible.
mecabq is offline  
Old Jul 11, 22, 11:10 pm
  #5  
Marriott Contributor BadgeHyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kuwait (KW)
Programs: Qatar Airways, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott
Posts: 2,163
Wow, Skift went really downhill - this drifts between being promotional fluff and missing the mark entirely content-wise. And to think they shifted their model a few years ago to an exorbitantly-priced subscription one.

What a load of bollocks. If youre going to charge for something, at least make it good.

khabah
IAN-UK likes this.
khabah is offline  
Old Jul 12, 22, 5:28 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 4,280
Agreed, it's disappointing to see the downward trend on Skift...

re. the analysis...

W is certainly not competing with IC. IC is the least competing luxury brand from IHG with W, I would say.
In any case, there is no brand similar to what W is trying to do, I don't think. Although maybe SO/ is trying to get close. Simply it's a hotel for instagram party crowd - there's definitely individual properties around the world which fall into the market but I don't know about a specific brand.
From what I'm told, the likes of FIVE Palm Dubai is the same sort of customer.

In contrast, you can hardly get more old-school than IC, without going uber-traditional ultra luxury.


Other thoughts:
Just because design standards are a bit more relaxed than traditional chain brands, doesn't mean hotels are "boutique".
HI is in risk of becoming stale - no ...., Sherlock. Whole IHG is becoming stale, that's why they push that they are pioneering this and redefining that so much, particularly in top brands.
In general, I was just looking for this Sponsored Content tag all around but could not find it.
cln likes this.

Last edited by Fabo.sk; Jul 12, 22 at 5:37 am
Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Jul 12, 22, 6:26 am
  #7  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
Programs: Many
Posts: 6,799
I would say RC are solidly a cut above IC, not competitors.
Atacama40 and cln like this.
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Jul 12, 22, 7:11 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: PARIS (France)
Programs: AF/KLM Club 2000 | InterContinental Diamond RA |AMEX Plat | Visa Infinite |Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 9,611
Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
I would say RC are solidly a cut above IC, not competitors.
Considering the hard product, it really depends on properties :
InterContinental and Ritz Carlton in Osaka or Washington DC are playing in the same league, for example.

Ritz Carlton Vienna is above InterContinental Vienna.

Ritz Carlton Hotel Arts is below InterContinental Barcelona.

But I was never very impressed by service by a Ritz Carlton, which is rarely at the level of Four Seasons or Regent.
nicolas75 is offline  
Old Jul 12, 22, 10:19 am
  #9  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
Programs: Many
Posts: 6,799
I would absolutely not put the Hotel Arts below the Intercon in Barcelona. Depends which RC you mean in DC, the M street RC is > IC. Haven't stayed at the others or the Osaka property. I can't think of any city that has a RC and an IC in which I would choose the IC. In general RC are a half step or so behind most but not all FS properties. Have never stayed at a Regent, seems like an odd off brand property.
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Jul 12, 22, 1:00 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Taiwan
Programs: IHG Diamond, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Gold, oneworld Emerald
Posts: 1,166
Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
I would say RC are solidly a cut above IC, not competitors.
It depends. For example, in Jakarta there are two RCs, one is great (especially if you get a nice upgrade), another one dated and disappointing. IC will be probably in between the two.
barracuda93 is offline  
Old Jul 13, 22, 3:46 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Programs: BA EC Gold, IHG Rewards Spire Ambassador
Posts: 75
The feelings towards hotels are completely subjective and unfortunately people here often don't understand IHG's business model in which all the hotels are independently owned and subject to brand standards which are not measured on subjective appeal. Hotels cost a fortune to own and run and to renovate and they get old quickly.
I have stayed in Holiday Inns (e.g. Manchester City Centre) which are far better than nearby Crowne Plaza (Manchester City Centre)... meanwhile the Crowne Plaza Marlow is a lovely hotel which has been recently refreshed, whilst a number of Holiday Inns which were old Crest / Forte hotels in the UK are decidedly ropey (IMHO)
Meanwhile Indigos can be amazing - Paris Opera is an example, as well as several across the UK. The European Kimptons are excellent (in my opinion again)
Most IHG hotels in the US (new or not) are simply not as good as European ones in my experience...
ProjectSunburst likes this.
Irons80 is offline  
Old Jul 13, 22, 6:34 am
  #12  
jxd
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: SIN/BNE
Programs: HHonors gold
Posts: 674
Vignette collection is not uber-luxe. I wouldn't even consider it luxury. The brisbane property is nothing more than a glorified crowne plaza/voco.
nicolas75 likes this.
jxd is offline  
Old Jul 15, 22, 3:20 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,146
Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
I would say RC are solidly a cut above IC, not competitors.
Agree with that
Atacama40 is offline  
Old Jul 15, 22, 3:23 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,146
Originally Posted by HadesNL View Post
An interesting analysis....

My experiences with the IHG brands,

IC is more similair to a Marriott/Grand Hyatt/Hilton,
There are however exceptions like IC AMS / IC Bordeaux etc...


W is just .... W (there is nothing smiliair in the industry) the only certainty is that you stay there if you like loud, louder, and noise.
And seen and be seen until it becomes clownesk and till tragic/comedy effect.
No IC remotely compares to W (thank heavens)

Interesting that Vignette took over Voco's brand roll as conversion brand, if i understand correctly.

Kimpton's in the EU are indeed nice hotspot hotels without the attitude where one feels comfy in any lifestyle.
I think IHG did well there in brand consistency and experience.

Indigos are comfortable bit quirky hotels
Crowne Plaza is just a business hotelbrand, no confusion there
HIX & HI are simple places for an overnight
staybridge is a handy concept for long stay
Certainly mirrors my thinking Hades. A few exceptions aside.
Atacama40 is offline  
Old Jul 15, 22, 6:16 am
  #15  
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Kuwait (KW)
Programs: Qatar Airways, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott
Posts: 2,163
I think IHG has done a lot of work to define their brands more succinctly, especially as they expand their portfolio... but there is still work for them to do yet. Some thoughts by collection:

Luxury & Lifestyle brands
  • Most of IHG's brands sit in this bucket, and incidentally, it's the one that needs the most attention and resources paid to it.
  • I think Six Senses is good to go - IHG has allowed it to remain largely autonomous so the aesthetic and direction they've had from before seems to be intact.
  • Regent needed a lot of help since it was historically all over the place, with a significantly larger portfolio of departed hotels than the six they had in operation when IHG took them over. I think they're doing a great job regenerating the luxury gravitas the brand once had, but their rollout of it is way too slow and too Asia-centric - at this point, I would have loved to see a flagship Regent in Europe and North America announced. Also, they're being promoted as a modern luxury brand that bucks the trend set by classic competitors like Peninsula and Ritz-Carlton... but when I see properties like Berlin and its ancient aesthetic, the outdated Beijing hotel, Taipei with its metal keys and beige rooms and Singapore with its 1980s feel, that's half the existing portfolio that stands at odds with what corporate is saying the brand is. Those hotel still all carry and use the old Regent logo, despite a new one being loudly unrolled more than three years ago!
  • InterContinental needs help. I personally never saw it as a legitimate luxury brand as its portfolio is too inconsistent: you've either got beautiful modern properties like Shanghai Wonderland, Rome Ambasciatori Palace and Ljubljana, lackluster renovated properties like Appi Kogen, Sydney and Barclay New York, or dumps like Chicago, Abu Dhabi and both properties in Cairo. IHG may be celebrating the brand's rich heritage, but it needs to push its owners into falling in line with a strong brand that unifies the global portfolio so that the gorgeous Asian hotels and the generally meh Western ones look more like a family. In my experience with IC properties in Dubai, Cairo, Muscat and some of the departed ones in India, I generally found the service to be standoffish and not at all what I'd expect from a luxury brand. They are firmly below what I'd expect from a Ritz-Carlton [I know RCs are not in ICs comp set, despite the idiots at Skift juxtaposing it with RC], no way design-forward as W and not necessarily on par with Fairmont and JW Marriott. As the company's namesake, IHG needs to tighten the screws on this one.
  • What the Hell is going on with Vignette? For a flexible luxury brand, adopting an aborted Indigo in Brisbane and an incredibly mediocre-looking hotel in Thailand doesn't set the right tone. I'm not expecting total brand unity as this is a collection brand of independent properties, but two hotels that look barely upper-upscale shouldn't be branded as luxury, especially when you've got respected forthcoming entrants like Grand Hotel Wien and the two properties in the Algarve.
  • I've always liked Kimpton, and like that, similarly to Six Senses, they've been left alone to their own devices; I love the mid-century brand aesthetic, the abundant artwork and the consistent programming like the F&B and social hours you see at all their hotels from Los Angeles to Koh Samui. I just wish we'd see a stronger rollout beyond the US, especially in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
  • I'm very pleased with how Hotel Indigo is shaping up - it went from being a chintzy, cutesy flowery brand to something that is far more artful, intricate and localized. The new properties in Madison, Dubai, Belgrade, Vienna and Japan are all shining examples of this, and I look forward to seeing more Indigos sprout up.
Premium Collection
  • voco is shaping up nicely into a bright brand, but some of the properties in their portfolio look like Holiday Inns with yellow details. I also don't get what exactly voco represents - it's a conversion brand to bring new hotels quickly into its fold, but it has a strict identity so... what is it trying to say and do, exactly?
  • Hualuxe is China-based for now, at least until their planned Times Square hotel opens, but I think it seems fine as an upper-upscale/lower-luxury brand of decent hotels that appeal to Chinese customers. No issues here.
  • Crowne Plaza is a hot mess suffering from a lot of the glaring inconsistencies across the IC brand, but at least they've published clear brand guidelines and new concepts for how they want to redesign the brand identity - something IC has not done. They've actively weeded out many properties and even though there is work to be done, I look forward to seeing CP come back as a stronger brand and shed its dreary image.
  • I don't know much about EVEN other than its fitness emphasis, but as a strictly-formulaic and US-based brand, this one strikes me as a been-to-one-been-to-all brand that shouldn't be too hard to mess up.
Essentials Collection
  • Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are IHG's bread and butter brands, and they've done good work modernizing them and having them conform to strict standards... even though both of their large portfolios are loaded with crappy properties, most of which are in the US. Similarly to CP, I see a lot of properties getting the boot for failing to perform, so that's always a good sign.
  • For Avid, see comments re EVEN above.
Suites Collection
  • These brands are highly formulaic, so I don't expect too much innovation here.
  • Staybridge Suites has a new look that was unveiled in 2019, and although it's a bit too beige and brown for me, it looks clean and homey. Their newer properties look good.
  • Atwell looks promising as an artsy middle ground between the more classic Staybridge and milquetoast Candlewood; it's still too new to make a proper impression, but so far, it looks like it has a strong identity and programming to stand on its own.
  • Candlewood has a reputation for being dumpy, but at least IHG has put in the resources to generate a new logo and design template, creating something that looks far less depressing and more inviting.
  • I completely don't get why Holiday Inn Club Vacations is advertised as its own brand, so I'll leave this one alone.
The theme I get is that IHG is strong at formulas and popping out template properties [the Essentials and Suites brands demonstrate this], but they have lots to do yet when it comes to their more independent properties. IHG has always been weak at understanding luxury and I'm sure they're learning plenty from their acquisitions of Kimpton, Regent and Six Senses, but they really have to demonstrate more that they know what they're doing if they want to attract high-spending customers looking for distinctive design and experiences.

khabah
khabah is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread