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Kimpton is for sale [sold to IHG]

Kimpton is for sale [sold to IHG]

Old Dec 16, 14, 11:15 pm
  #46  
 
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From reading the posts, I'll clearly be in the minority. But I think this is a really interesting move on IHG's part. I don't think it was done purely for the investment potential, but rather for IHG to acquire some of the expertise that makes Kimpton so special. All the major players, with the possible exception of Starwood with W (which is getting tired) are struggling in the boutique/lifestyle space. But IHG has some really intersting Indigos - like Tianjin and Shanghai on the Bund in China - that aren't corporate cookie cutters. And in Asia, at least, my IC and Crowne Plaza experiences have been universally great.

I think IHG will be studying Kimpton very closely to pick up the DNA that makes Kimpton tick. It will be very interesting to see how they brand these hotels in the IHG portfolio, and expand the brand. This could form the nexus within IHG for a boutique brand of 'independent' hotels, which could be a really interesting development. My hope is that IHG doesn't screw it up. The biggest problem with IHG IMHO is brand consistency over its sprawling portfolio. But their 'new' brands, HI Express, Indigo, Staybridge and Candlewood, are much more consistent than their legacy brands, IC, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. Hopefully they'll be able to nurture the Kimpton buy into a boutique portfolio of maybe a hundred hotels. With a new brand and new franchise agreements, they might be able to actually require and enforce brand standards.

I agree that IHG is piss poor at consistent frequent traveler recognition. I'm IHG Platinum and IC Ambassador (not Royal). At some properties I'm treated like royalty, at others barely above a Priceline deals guest. I think they need to make Platinum more difficult to achieve, but at the same time make it actually worth something.

For Kimpton, a niche player in the U.S., this expands their global reach and recognition. IHG brands are well regarded in Asia, and this will greatly increase visibility for the brand in Asia.

Hopefully some of the key features of Kimpton hotels, like being pet friendly, will be part of the brand standard, and could be expanded to other IHG hotels/brands.

Overall, I think IHG is a very interesting company to watch. Because of the size of the company, the muddled brands and legacy franchise agreements, it can seem like change their is pushing a battleship with a row boat. But they seem willing to try things. True, Into the Nights was a bizarre promotion, but the Big Win promotion was interesting and generally well liked. Both, though, were different than anything any other hotel company has tried, and I give them points for that.

If IHG could get its act together with its legacy brands outside of Asia and leverage the Kimpton buy into something really special, it could give Starwood a run for its money, something Hilton and Marriott have been unable to do. And maybe, just maybe, some of that Kimpton stardust will make its way into the IHG DNA.
rgdave is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 12:21 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I sometimes joke that I am exactly, 100% Kimpton's target market. I hatecookie cutter chain hotels (they make me feel like just another day on the road). With the IC upgrades, I love getting interesting/different rooms (and a chance at some really fabulous suites). I love that their hotels are nice/upscale without being off-puttingly fancy to me. I love the focus on food/drink. I love the little perqs and the element of surprise. I've got pets. I care about the social issues they promote (environmentalism, LGBT-friendly).

If IHG is able to preserve all of that, and expand the network, that would be excellent. I've got some doubts, but I'll reserve judgment.

In other news, I spend way too much time thinking about Kimpton as a company/brand. Probably because I spend too much time in their hotels.
jewels421 is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 3:19 am
  #48  
 
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TOO BAD !!!
That will translate into soulless management, impoverished rservations systems.
Yet another step towards globalization.
UStravelfan is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 7:01 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by rgdave
From reading the posts, I'll clearly be in the minority. But I think this is a really interesting move on IHG's part. I don't think it was done purely for the investment potential, but rather for IHG to acquire some of the expertise that makes Kimpton so special. All the major players, with the possible exception of Starwood with W (which is getting tired) are struggling in the boutique/lifestyle space. But IHG has some really intersting Indigos - like Tianjin and Shanghai on the Bund in China - that aren't corporate cookie cutters. And in Asia, at least, my IC and Crowne Plaza experiences have been universally great.

I think IHG will be studying Kimpton very closely to pick up the DNA that makes Kimpton tick. It will be very interesting to see how they brand these hotels in the IHG portfolio, and expand the brand. This could form the nexus within IHG for a boutique brand of 'independent' hotels, which could be a really interesting development. My hope is that IHG doesn't screw it up. The biggest problem with IHG IMHO is brand consistency over its sprawling portfolio. But their 'new' brands, HI Express, Indigo, Staybridge and Candlewood, are much more consistent than their legacy brands, IC, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. Hopefully they'll be able to nurture the Kimpton buy into a boutique portfolio of maybe a hundred hotels. With a new brand and new franchise agreements, they might be able to actually require and enforce brand standards.

I agree that IHG is piss poor at consistent frequent traveler recognition. I'm IHG Platinum and IC Ambassador (not Royal). At some properties I'm treated like royalty, at others barely above a Priceline deals guest. I think they need to make Platinum more difficult to achieve, but at the same time make it actually worth something.

For Kimpton, a niche player in the U.S., this expands their global reach and recognition. IHG brands are well regarded in Asia, and this will greatly increase visibility for the brand in Asia.

Hopefully some of the key features of Kimpton hotels, like being pet friendly, will be part of the brand standard, and could be expanded to other IHG hotels/brands.

Overall, I think IHG is a very interesting company to watch. Because of the size of the company, the muddled brands and legacy franchise agreements, it can seem like change their is pushing a battleship with a row boat. But they seem willing to try things. True, Into the Nights was a bizarre promotion, but the Big Win promotion was interesting and generally well liked. Both, though, were different than anything any other hotel company has tried, and I give them points for that.

If IHG could get its act together with its legacy brands outside of Asia and leverage the Kimpton buy into something really special, it could give Starwood a run for its money, something Hilton and Marriott have been unable to do. And maybe, just maybe, some of that Kimpton stardust will make its way into the IHG DNA.
This is a very thoughtful post, but isn't the real point that IHG needs a lifestyle portfolio given that its existing efforts have essentially stalled ? If they didn't take Kimpton, they would be leaving that market to Starwood, Marriott and Hyatt. And though buyers always talk about spreading the values of the target into the broader business, that usually tends to evaporate very soon after a deal is completed as the focus then turns to making the target more efficient. Many may disagree, but I think that high levels of customer service are also high cost - and so to achieve those efficiencies, wouldn't a buyer will impose its own cost structures on the target as opposed to the other way around ?

This is an interesting topic for sure.
grumbler is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 3:33 pm
  #50  
 
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I stayed at a Kimpton Expresss last night

I can see the new great Kimpton adds! I may not be a ______. But I did stay at a Kimpton Express last night! It had great wine and beer, MD2020 and Bud Lime. And those Pringles were really fantastic.
GrandOldTurkey is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 5:13 pm
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer
Wow...my heart is broken. Time took away Southwest and Continental; now Kimpton too. So sad.
Time takes away everything. Change is the only constant. One door closes, another will open.
italdesign is offline  
Old Dec 17, 14, 8:11 pm
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by SJC AA
Do any of these even still exist? I've been IC for 2-3 years and have not had a single one of these.
I did the tour of the headquarters this year after recommendation from a GM at a NYC property.

In 2014, I did not receive any of the emails for the annual Kimpton gift or an invitation for the inner circle dinner with the CEO. Once Depatie become CEO, these had just stopped for some reason or they raised criteria for who would receive or be invited. I do know that they had some sort of appreciation dinner this year at the Donovan House for the D.C. area loyalty members back in Sept as I stayed in the property a week after it happened (sadly no invite).

The last CEO dinner I attended was in 2012 with Leondakis at the Muse hotel. Only 20 elites were invited. Free hotel room was provided and 9 course dinner and pre and post drinks. We were also given lifetime free appetizer cards for the restaurant there. I still have my name tag somewhere in a folder. I was also invited to attend the same type of dinner in Boston in 2012 the month after.

I was invited to a celebrity loyalty event at the Eventi this year, but unfortunately could not attend due to work schedule.

I had 60+ nights with Kimpton in 2012, hence I was invited and given quite a few things by the company. In 2013, my travels had dwindled to 25 nights (I started splitting between hyatt and Kimpton) (but still over 15 stays for IC). It could possibly be I was not an HVC for them anymore so I did not receive any of the benefits I was given the past few years.


Still quite sad to see such a dramatic change with the sale, the company had been so personable to me over the years with my travels. I do hope the best for all of them and that they find security amidst the transition.
KissFlyGoodbye is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 8:40 am
  #53  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Kimpton is for sale [sold to IHG]

I hope they let us know about program changes soon. I have quite a few stays booked at Kimptons in early 2015 and depending on the changes, I may opt to switch these to Hilton properties.
Sunshinedaydream1 is offline  
Old Dec 18, 14, 1:27 pm
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by Sunshinedaydream1
I hope they let us know about program changes soon. I have quite a few stays booked at Kimptons in early 2015 and depending on the changes, I may opt to switch these to Hilton properties.
Don't hold your breath. I think the message so far is that nothing is going to change immediately. Or, stated another way, there are not yet specific plans to change the rewards, etc, program.
JohnMacWW is offline  
Old Dec 19, 14, 3:20 pm
  #55  
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Originally Posted by JohnMacWW
Don't hold your breath. I think the message so far is that nothing is going to change immediately. Or, stated another way, there are not yet specific plans to change the rewards, etc, program.
That said, I wouldn't count on the benefits surviving beyond 2015.
kipper is offline  
Old Dec 20, 14, 10:19 am
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by kipper
That said, I wouldn't count on the benefits surviving beyond 2015.
This is such a shame. I hope they are clear on their messaging when transitions will happen and don't mislead us.

I have really gone out of my way the past several years to make sure to stay as many properties as possible, and have done the 20 different properties every year. I'm really not looking forward to the change.
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Old Dec 21, 14, 12:43 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by rgdave
I agree that IHG is piss poor at consistent frequent traveler recognition. I'm IHG Platinum and IC Ambassador (not Royal). At some properties I'm treated like royalty, at others barely above a Priceline deals guest. I think they need to make Platinum more difficult to achieve, but at the same time make it actually worth something.
I wonder if this will finally be the impetus for IHG to reconsider the Rewards Club / Ambassador split? I could see them integrating a status equivalent to Royal Ambassador above Platinum in a combined program, and reducing the night count required for Platinum to something commensurate with its (few consistent) benefits.
dtremit is offline  
Old Dec 23, 14, 4:14 pm
  #58  
 
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Have 3 Jan/Feb trips I just booked at Starwood instead of Kimpton. Concern isn't just the experience, but the rewards program. No way of knowing what 2015 stays will get me in 2016, so only choosing Kimpton now when there are good deals.

Before the announcement, would have spent a little extra on these three trips to get going on my 2016 IC qualification.
PotomacApproach is offline  
Old Dec 29, 14, 2:58 pm
  #59  
 
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So maybe my earlier thoughts weren't so bad that I needed to edit myself

As a Plt Ambassador and IC I guess this will be good for status. For quality stays, I just don't know. My IHG stays in Europe have been good and there has been recognition everywhere even on award stays. But... Where does IC fit in in the IHG universe? Am I raised to Royal? How do I maintain that status going forward? What does my Chase IHG credit card do for me now? Plt with Kimpton is what? And here is a biggie ---- On an award stay, Kimpton treats ICs the same as if it was a paid stay. Upgrades, food/drink, dining, etc - all provided. IHG doesn't seem to do that according to the IHG threads - especially true for RAs and mini bar/upgrades, etc (albeit, as noted above, not based on my experience). As for IHGs inability to run a promo, imagine going to the Nicosia Holiday Inn, saying the secret word, and then expecting something . (picking on this hotel b/c I just had a 3 night stay - nothing bad about it).

Cheers -
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Old Dec 29, 14, 3:29 pm
  #60  
 
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Having just discovered Kimptons a few months ago, and staying at 3 different properties in the last 2 months, I'm hopeful/worried they will drop their awesome pet policies.

Literally the main reason I love Kimptons is due to the fact that I can bring my dogs, which normally limits how I can vacation. I really hope they either leave the pet policies alone, or expand them to other brands within IHG.

2nd the comment about the Goleta Kimptons (The Goodland), this is just a sad excuse of a property for them to own. (No s'mores ...?)
pixitha is offline  

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