Free stuff during hotel stays!

Ever heard of Hyatt Privé? IHG Luxury & Lifestyle? How about Marriott Luminous? No, me neither, until earlier this year and what a revelation it has been. Welcome to the world of free stuff!

Only accessible through a select number of specialist travel agents, rates booked under these programmes include value added benefits, and the best thing? The rates are usually no more expensive than the hotel’s best available rate.

The benefits vary by programme and hotel, and not every hotel in a chain participates in the programme so you can either do a bit of research online to see which properties offer the special rates, or the specialist travel agent can help you with it.

IHG Rewards is my go-to hotel loyalty scheme so let’s take a look at their Luxury & Lifestyle programme benefits.

Luxury benefits apply at InterContinental, Regent (mostly found in Asia) and some (non-USA) Kimpton hotels and include;

• Daily breakfast for two in the hotel restaurant (worth £30-£100, depending on the hotel)

• Value-added amenity, specific to hotel ($100US value per stay, converted in to local currency)

• Upgrade to the next category room (subject to availability on arrival)

• Guaranteed late check-out (until 2PM)

•  Free Wi-Fi (unlimited devices)

•  Handwritten, personalised welcome card

• Bottled water, fresh fruit, and snacks in room upon arrival

Lifestyle benefits apply at select Kimpton (mostly in the USA) & Hotel Indigo properties and include;

• Daily breakfast for up to two guests in the hotel restaurant (worth £30-£60)

• $50US hotel credit once per stay (converted to local currency)

• Upgrade to next room category (subject to availability on arrival)

• Welcome amenity on arrival

• 2PM late check-out (subject to availability)

• Free WiFi (unlimited devices)

Uniquely for IHG, benefits apply even on 1 night bookings so it’s really easy to get mega value for money. I’ve got a booking at the Kimpton Clocktower in Manchester (pictures above) coming up, which is booked on the Luxury programme so will share my experience after the stay.

I’ve also got a booking at the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong for November (if we ever get there!) which is booked on the Hyatt Privé programme. Similar to the IHG programme, benefits include;

• Daily breakfast for two (worth £30-£60)

• A $100, $75, $50 or $25 property credit per room per stay (varies by brand, converted into local currency)

• One category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking

• Early check-in and late check-out (4PM and subject to availability)

• Welcome gift and letter

At higher end brands such as Park Hyatt, Miraval, Andaz & Thompson Hotels, benefits include;

• Daily breakfast for two (worth £30-£100)

• $100 property credit per room per stay (converted to local currency)

• One category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking

• Early check-in and late check-out (4PM and subject to availability)

• Welcome gift and letter

A two-night minimum stay is usually required but 1 night stays at Park Hyatt, Miraval, Andaz & Thompson Hotels qualify for the benefits.

Did I mention that the best thing about these special rates is that they’re usually no more expensive than the hotel’s flexible rate?! I tend not to book non-refundable rates (even pre-covid) so if you don’t either, it’s easy to get value for money by booking these rates.

As the rates are only available through specialist travel agents, it’s worth checking availability on the hotel’s website to make sure you’re happy with the price and then contacting the agent to make the booking. You’ll need to guarantee the booking with a credit card but there’s usually no deposit to pay and the rate is cancellable in line with the usual flexible rate. I’ve used Bon Vivant to make my bookings and Emyr has been really helpful.

I’m really looking forward to my first hotel stay in 9 months and the fact that it’s booked via one of these programmes makes it amazing value for money, which is my kinda trip!

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