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Are Indigo "boutique" hotels Holiday Inn's with a lipstick (Ontario CA Indigo)?

Are Indigo "boutique" hotels Holiday Inn's with a lipstick (Ontario CA Indigo)?

Old May 15, 09, 10:15 pm
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Are Indigo "boutique" hotels Holiday Inn's with a lipstick (Ontario CA Indigo)?

Tonight I decided to try out the Indigo in Ontario California because I have very early flight out on Saturday morning out of ONT. I normally only stay at the InterContinental hotels of the IHG chain but always willing to try out a new brand.

The upgrade showed up online before I tried to check in. I had been upgraded to a King Suite.

Outside the hotel looked like any other 3 star hotel. Nothing indicated that it would be a boutique hotel. The parking lot was empty and the few people I saw there were definitely Holiday Inn crowd.

At the check in everything went downhill resulted me canceling my stay and moving to nearby SPG's aLoft.

The check in started as usual. They run the CC and the lady said that she need to have a look at my ID. So far so good.

But next she said that she needs to make a photocopy of the ID. I refused and asked to speak with the manager on duty who first told me that this is a city ordinance and came from the Ontario police. This was, of course, for my protection. When I politely asked to see the ordinance then it changed to Indigo policy. According to the manager on duty the nearby Motel 6 also makes photocopies of the ID's.

Then he went ahead and showed a bunch of folios that had copies of other peoples ID's attached to them.

Anyway I am going to file a complaint with the IHG about this hotel. It is really not their business to make photocopies of the guests ID's.

I do think that I will just stick to the InterContinental hotels of the IHG chain and leave the Indigo also out of the properties that I consider when making accommodation reservation.

Last edited by holtju2; May 19, 09 at 3:59 pm
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Old May 16, 09, 1:04 am
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I see that your experience was pretty bad, but that doesn't mean all Hotel Indigo's are the same.

Regardless of class, I believe all IHG properties have the same policies. It is only the classiness and price tag of the hotel that changes.

I have stayed at many InterContinentals where I would've much preferred to stay at something lower. For example, I much prefer the CP London - The City over the IC London Park Lane. I also prefer the CP Times Sq to the IC The Barclay. It looks like the CP Paris Republique will soon become my hotel of choice in Paris.

However, make sure you do file a complaint on this hotel. If they are keeping a large folio of guest identification long after they have checked out and are then showing it to you, it is a clear breach of privacy.
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Old May 17, 09, 1:46 am
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I've stayed at my first 2 Indigo properties over the past month. I was thinking almost the exact same thing as the OP when I was walking around the Indigo Dallas a couple nights ago. It seems to me that Indigo is sort of like a poor man's W or something like that. They try to be hip and cool, but deep down they may be closer to a Motel 6 than a W. And I didn't even have any service issues, I'm just talking about the quality of the hotel. Seemed sort of run down to me. The Scottsdale Indigo was a bit nicer IMHO, but I believe it was a new-build and isn't so old so it doesn't have any excuses.

That said, I'd still stay at an Indigo over the average ex-Holiday Inn.........hopefully all the "new" Holiday Inns that are being renovated/upgraded will be nicer than the Indigos.
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Old May 17, 09, 1:54 am
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I stayed at my first Indigo this month, and thought it was fine. I guess it's trying to be trendy, but it doesn't matter much to me. In general, I'd put the one I stayed at on the level with a CP. They certainly didn't photocopy my ID.
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Old May 18, 09, 6:46 pm
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I've never had an IHG property ask to photocopy my ID, and like you, I would refuse if asked. My Priority Club card, my credit card, and a glance at my driver license is all the ID I'd ever give. I doubt it's Indigo or IHG policy, but something passed on from that hotel's ownership or management as a horribly misguided good idea.

(In a thread about 6-12 months ago, an OP asked for a photocopy of the desk clerk's and manager's driver licenses in exchange for him giving his.)
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Old May 19, 09, 3:28 am
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Originally Posted by gregorygrady View Post
I've stayed at my first 2 Indigo properties over the past month. I was thinking almost the exact same thing as the OP when I was walking around the Indigo Dallas a couple nights ago. It seems to me that Indigo is sort of like a poor man's W or something like that. They try to be hip and cool, but deep down they may be closer to a Motel 6 than a W. And I didn't even have any service issues, I'm just talking about the quality of the hotel.
I stayed only once at a Indigo Hotel, which was Dallas Indigo.
I felt exactly the same.

The check-in in the evening was horrible (but check-out was nice)
The room (no upgrade despite rooms available) was very small, quite noisy (the door is too thin) and I hated the design (Ikea kindergarten)
The "view" was the wall 4 meters from the window
There was a terrible smell of paint in the room and the corridor (when I asked to change, the answer was: no!)

Yes, Indigo is just Holiday Inn with a (vulgar) lipstick
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Old May 19, 09, 8:50 pm
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Originally Posted by nicolas75 View Post
I stayed only once at a Indigo Hotel, which was Dallas Indigo.
I felt exactly the same.

The check-in in the evening was horrible (but check-out was nice)
The room (no upgrade despite rooms available) was very small, quite noisy (the door is too thin) and I hated the design (Ikea kindergarten)
The "view" was the wall 4 meters from the window
There was a terrible smell of paint in the room and the corridor (when I asked to change, the answer was: no!)

Yes, Indigo is just Holiday Inn with a (vulgar) lipstick
Actually, that Indigo was one of the earlier Hiltons with a Holiday Inn paintjob, then converted to an Indigo paintjob.

I stayed on the top floor center suite when it was in its last days of Holiday Inn-hood. Boy, was that place overdue for renovation. Great view if you had a room that didn't face internally, but I can see why you didn't like it. For such a huge hotel, they should have been able to move you to a non-fuming room. It's way too big to have a legit "botique" feel.
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Old May 20, 09, 12:18 am
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My general perception is that if the hotel even asks to see your driver's license, they are located in a somewhat sketchy area. They usually check IDs to verify that you are indeed the credit card holder. Thus, a hotel with a lot of bogus credit card issues = higher than average shady clientele. I had my DL checked just this evening at a HIX in southern California.

Might not stay here next time I'm in the area...unless our department's cost-control person is still in power. There usually is a very good reason when a hotel offers cheap rates in this area.

Photocopying the ID is a bit odd, I admit. Maybe they do it in case the cops get called for something? Easier to track down a perp if they have IDs of all the guests, perhaps?

And think about all the security cameras recording your every move in the lobby, hallways and just about all public areas of just about every hotel in the civilized world...

Seriously though, I've had my passport photocopied on check-in lots of times outside North America. I never considered refusing.

Last edited by FLYGVA; Jul 18, 12 at 12:17 am Reason: edited because of reference to inapp. reference to time in Germany bw. 1933 - 1945
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Old May 20, 09, 10:47 am
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We're getting one here in Waco, new construction slowed/delayed by the "Panic of '08-9".

Given the market demographics and the location, between Baylor and the Downtown, (CC, regentrified area), I'll accept the conclusion that the result may be lipstick on a Holiday Inn pig, sort of a niche filler for those for whom a HI or even a CP are simply beneath their standards.We live in a world in which "status" seems so often directly connected with brand ID. When this arises in my own travels, I'll always turn to research before simply selecting a brand name.

After all, I remember people who actually drove Cadillac Cimarons, simply a bit of re-badging and fancy seat covers in a Chevrolet Cavalier which allowed GM to double the price for those convinced that they wanted small but still Cadillac.
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Old May 20, 09, 10:53 am
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Requests for backup ID are becoming routine throughout the lodging industry and no longer seem limited to properies on the edge of "Hot Pillow" zones.

I did recently see my PP being copied at an upscale Marriott brand in Central Europe and though nothing of it, but then I'm so old that I recall the years when French hotel keepers filled out a "fiche"(?) for delivery to the gendarmerie or checking by the flics.

Simply a sign of the times, one of those countless invasions of privacy stimulated by all the focus on the Right to Privacy. I'll admit that it would be quicker (and more informative) to simply look me up on the Internet.
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Old May 20, 09, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by TMOliver View Post
We're getting one here in Waco, new construction slowed/delayed by the "Panic of '08-9".
OT:
I'm surprised that Waco is getting an Indigo, not just because they are usually in bigger city-ish areas but also because IHG just opened a full-service (read: express with a restaurant) Holiday Inn that is quite nice on 12/1/08. I only remember the date because I helped open the hotel.
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Old May 20, 09, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by TMOliver View Post
Requests for backup ID are becoming routine throughout the lodging industry and no longer seem limited to properies on the edge of "Hot Pillow" zones.

I did recently see my PP being copied at an upscale Marriott brand in Central Europe and though nothing of it, but then I'm so old that I recall the years when French hotel keepers filled out a "fiche"(?) for delivery to the gendarmerie or checking by the flics.
Personally I have zero problems if the property wants to have a look at my ID.

In some countries, especially in Asia, they just record your passport details i.e. number and expiry date and keep that in their system for subsequent visits. I have no problems with this either.
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Old May 20, 09, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by NewsBruin View Post
I've never had an IHG property ask to photocopy my ID, and like you, I would refuse if asked. My Priority Club card, my credit card, and a glance at my driver license is all the ID I'd ever give. I doubt it's Indigo or IHG policy, but something passed on from that hotel's ownership or management as a horribly misguided good idea.
Anyway I am flying out of ONT tomorrow as well. I will stop by the hotel and take a picture of the "rules" they have up there and post the picture here so you can all see.
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Old May 20, 09, 2:57 pm
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Too bad to hear that a lot of the Hotel Indigos are crappy. My first stay at a Hotel Indigo was last week at the London - Paddington location. The room didn't appear to be that low of quality and the staff was very nice and helpful. And this was after staying a few nights at the IC Park Lane the week before.
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Old May 20, 09, 3:31 pm
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I've stayed in 6 Indigo properties: Chicago Gold Coast, Scottsdale, Nashville, Sarasota, Ontario and Paddington - and due to stay in the Ottawa location shortly.

Indigo is meant to be a design-led hotel, with more emphasis on the design than the top service you'd expect in an Intercontinental. For example:
- cafe bar rather than full restaurant
- unlikely to have luggage taken to your room

However, for many business or leisure stays, this is likely to be more user-friendly. I have no problem taking my luggage from the airport to the hotel, so why does someone need to move it the last 10 metres to my room? I don't want a full meal each night; I do want free wifi; etc... So it all depends on your needs at the time.

Out of all the hotels listed above, I was most disappointed with the Ontario property (as noted by the opening poster) despite its new build status. This was originally going to be a suites hotel (hence the weird room design); the cafe bar seemed to be a bit of an afterthought and hence had no atmosphere whatsoever. Some of the older buidling conversions seem to have had a lot more thought put into them (e.g. Paddington).
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