Crowne Plaza Vientiane, Laos - wonderful new property

Old Feb 9, 17, 9:27 pm
  #1  
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Crowne Plaza Vientiane, Laos - wonderful new property

I just returned from Vientiane where I discovered the newly opened Crowne Plaza. While I do not normally stay with Crowne Plaza elsewhere, this hotel is really something special, and feels more like an Intercontinental. I have already booked my next stay.

It has just opened and has an energetic management team who are really "on" and obviously working very hard to open the hotel nicely. They are very proactive and most welcoming!

For my next stay I have noticed there is an option of adding 1,000 bonus IHG points per night for only a USD $5 premium/night. I am not really that into points, but if that is a good value I will take it. It wouldn't make sense for me to redeem at this property because rates are very reasonable, but I could always use points for stays in Thailand (Pattaya or Hua Hin) or in Hong Kong.

So, I am just wondering

1) Are 1,000 points valued at more than $5?
2) Can IHG points be used to upgrade to higher category rooms and/or club rooms, such as with Hyatt?
3) Will IC Ambassador status get me anything at Crowne Plaza branded hotels?
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Old Feb 10, 17, 12:15 am
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i was just checking it out.. looks nice they have executive lounge. But what i did notice is they are charging 30usd a night for another person staying with you. Don't like that at all. and that is just for basic room no lounge.
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Old Feb 10, 17, 6:33 am
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Getting 1K elite qualifying points for $5 is generally a good deal.

No upgrading using points, however, although some hotels make a mistake and allow different categories of room to be booked with points.

Ambassador gets you nothing outside of ICs. I can't recall if Ambassador automatically comes with some kind of IHG status.

Otherwise, thanks for the heads-up about the new hotel. I was stuck in a hotel room during my last visit to Laos, so have been looking for an excuse to go back...
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Old Feb 10, 17, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Ambassador gets you nothing outside of ICs. I can't recall if Ambassador automatically comes with some kind of IHG status
Officially indeed, however there is some anecdotal evidence that it sometimes does (e.g. I recall the Crowne Plaza Causeway Bay having a strange policy of normally upgrading Ambassadors to Club Rooms, then again that's a hotel that could easily be flagged as an IC if it just had larger public spaces).

I think from memory it comes with Gold status.
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Old Feb 10, 17, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
I just returned from Vientiane where I discovered the newly opened Crowne Plaza. While I do not normally stay with Crowne Plaza elsewhere, this hotel is really something special, and feels more like an Intercontinental. I have already booked my next stay.

It has just opened and has an energetic management team who are really "on" and obviously working very hard to open the hotel nicely. They are very proactive and most welcoming!

For my next stay I have noticed there is an option of adding 1,000 bonus IHG points per night for only a USD $5 premium/night. I am not really that into points, but if that is a good value I will take it. It wouldn't make sense for me to redeem at this property because rates are very reasonable, but I could always use points for stays in Thailand (Pattaya or Hua Hin) or in Hong Kong.

So, I am just wondering

1) Are 1,000 points valued at more than $5?
2) Can IHG points be used to upgrade to higher category rooms and/or club rooms, such as with Hyatt?
3) Will IC Ambassador status get me anything at Crowne Plaza branded hotels?

My two cents for your questions:
1) 0.5 cents per point is the value I use when deciding to use points or cash. Most of the time the price in points and cash is very similar (considering that you get points for a cash booking). If you have some good way of using points then I would take that opportunity, otherwise not.
2) No, only free nights
3) No. You could get their credit card to get status, but even Spire (their highest tier) is not worth much. Ambassador is only for ICs.
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Old Feb 10, 17, 12:40 pm
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I think I will pass on the 1,000 bonus point offer as it seems I would essentially be buying points at face value, especially as I have no specific high value redemptions currently in mind.
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Old Feb 10, 17, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Thanks everyone for the replies. I think I will pass on the 1,000 bonus point offer as it seems I would essentially be buying points at face value, especially as I have no specific high value redemptions currently in mind.
Many redemmers work on value of points as 0.7cents ie us$70 per 10k points ($7/1000) , the normal and previously chapest way to obtain points before th bonus points on stays became offered.

Ignore peoples minimum value for using on redemptions, that's not relevant to cost of accumulating points
eg...if easily and frequently replaced and earned free with work paying for stays an IHGer will put a lowr value on when to use points for personal stays/nights versus paying for a personal night

Bonus points and points+cash do not count towards IHGs limit of buying 60k per calendar year.

No the us$5/1000 is cheapest way to purchase points possible. The points also count as EQPs towards status

buying points can be at one of following rates
a)straigt IHG purchase, depending on quantity at $11-13/1000
b)when booking award using points and cash , typically $70/10k so rate of 1k for$7 .... For many IHGes this is as cheap/easy as it gets
c)In an IHG points sale, often with different 25/50/100% discount offer via email set to ones member-number and you need logon to find out. EVEN if 100% discount and your offered discount could be only 25/50% the cost per 1k is still $5.50
OR
d)using POINTS+CASH option when booking award nights, either us$40/5k or us$70/10k
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Old Feb 10, 17, 8:14 pm
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For the dates I looked at the 1,000 bonus points offer is about 25USD more than best available rate. It is $5 more than the rate with breakfast....but if you select the bonus point deal then that doesn't include breakfast. Consequently not a great deal.
Looks like a nice hotel, though.
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Old Feb 10, 17, 10:26 pm
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Originally Posted by paolo64 View Post
For the dates I looked at the 1,000 bonus points offer is about 25USD more than best available rate. It is $5 more than the rate with breakfast....but if you select the bonus point deal then that doesn't include breakfast. Consequently not a great deal.
Looks like a nice hotel, though.

Thanks for the replies. To clarify, it is $5 more than the best available flexible rate - the rate I will otherwise book as I avoid non refundable pre-paid rates. I also usually do not have breakfast, so that is irrelevant. Do you think I should take the 1k/night bonus point rate?
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Old Feb 11, 17, 1:12 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
Thanks for the replies. To clarify, it is $5 more than the best available flexible rate - the rate I will otherwise book as I avoid non refundable pre-paid rates. I also usually do not have breakfast, so that is irrelevant. Do you think I should take the 1k/night bonus point rate?

In your circumstances I would take the points, it is a good/reasonable deal. In mine, IE always looking for cheapest even if pre-paid, no.
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Old Feb 11, 17, 1:41 am
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Who pays rack rate? Hopefully not any of my friends.

You are an IHG member? They automatically get a lower rate. Checking a random Friday in March, I see $113 advance purchase, $125 IHG member rate with or without breakfast. $130 member rate with 1k points, $132 rack rate, and $137 rack with 1k.

All the member rates are cancelable up to 6pm on day of arrival.

I have found that IHG status does count for something in Asia. I've gotten upgraded to suites, gotten club access as a gold and platinum member, and many other perks, even on a points stay.

And IHG points are pretty useful when Pointbreak 5k deals come out. Having 20-30k on hand is a good idea. Over the years, I've used 80-90 Pointbreak nights at a lot of varied hotels. IC's and CP's were usually the best deals.
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Old Feb 11, 17, 2:26 am
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Thanks again, everyone. I have decided against the bonus points. FWIW, I have booked the IHG members' rate inclusive of breakfast at no incremental cost over room only members' rate. If I avail of breakfast even once, I'm saving, and if I don't I still haven't paid a cent more.

In general I avoid non refundable pre-paid rates, unless the savings is very significant AND my dates are set in stone. Otherwise, the risk of possibly having to forfeit the full cost of a stay outweighs the savings (which is rarely more than 15%, and in this case is not even 10%).

I'm not that into points anyway, I am glad to collect them if they are there for the taking, but I do not plan any of my travel around earning or redemption of points.

Anyway, this hotel really impressed me. Service was lovely, and I found the overall experience nicer than what I have had at some Intercontinental branded properties.

Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Feb 11, 17 at 9:15 pm
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Old Feb 11, 17, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Unterwegs View Post
3) No. You could get their credit card to get status, but even Spire (their highest tier) is not worth much. Ambassador is only for ICs.
Ambassador status does come with Gold Elite for use at non ICs, which these days is worth very little.
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Old Feb 13, 17, 6:28 am
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Do they upgrade Spire members to club ??
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Old Mar 22, 17, 8:58 am
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Staying at This property right now i have to say its very nice. Im on a point stay so no club but can be upgraded for 50usd. i say it would be worth it because the breakfast is 27usd and if you drink at the evening cocktail hours then it is worth it. They upgraded me to what is called the business room which is right below the suite . Very nice room all brand new nice pool and restaurants. By far the best hotel here by a mile... River is less then 10 minute walk.
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