Hello Dear Readers!
I’m pretty excited to talk about this today, simply because the Intercontinental was such an awesome stay.
I’ve told you guys previously that I have Platinum status (the second highest) with the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) simply because I hold their co-branded credit card. It’s got a $49 annual fee and gives you some pretty decent benefits. The sign up bonus from this card is also how I booked these nights, as detailed here.
Anyway, the benefits of being Platinum include early check-in, late check-out, a room upgrade, and a welcome amenity. That’s pretty cool, but there’s another oddball program out there specific to the Intercontinental Hotel called the Ambassador program.
Unlike every other program, this one you can purchase for $200, and it provides a host of benefits specifically at Intercontinental hotels. I’d been wavering on whether or not to purchase this, but on the day I was due to check-in, I went ahead and did it. (I’ll detail all the other benefits of the Ambassador program in a later post)
I’m so glad I did. You see, since I was booking my stay using points, I only qualified for the cheapest room available. That room, which goes for $300/night, is a hotel room in the main building.
With my status as a Platinum member, the hotel went ahead and upgraded me to a premium hotel room. This was about a $30/night difference. Not a huge deal, but pretty cool.
However, when I arrived, I wrote down my newly purchased Ambassador number on the check-in form, telling the reception clerk that I was indeed a Platinum Ambassador.
I kid you not, he gasped, starting typing furiously on his computer, and then swiftly disappeared to the back room.
When he came back, he handed me the key to my room, informing me that as a Platinum Ambassador, he’d gone ahead and upgraded me to their best available room, which was an entire bungalow with another private pool.
These rooms go for about $600/night. That’s a difference of $1200 over the course of my three day stay, and an excellent return on the $250 investment in my status ($49 for the card and $200 for the Ambassador program).
I was floored. I thanked him profusely, loaded myself and my luggage (my backpack) into a golf cart, and I was off.
The Intercontinental, while on the same island as the Hilton, is a totally different world. It’s on the opposite side, for one thing, and this hotel is much more…tropical.
Where the Hilton was polished and pruned into perfection, the Intercontinental is a part of the environment, a fact you can see as wild animals climb the many lush trees. This hotel also houses a sea turtle recovery clinic and a dolphin program, both of which are free to check out as a hotel guest.
I really enjoyed my stay here. I dug the different vibe from the Hilton, and I’d have a hard time choosing between the two in the future. However, while the Hilton gave off a very romance-y honeymoon feeling, the Intercontinental seemed much more geared to families, and I saw a lot more kids here. The hotel is also a lot bigger, and takes a while to walk from place to place.
I signed up for the themed buffet here too, since I was interested to see how the shows differed, and what kind of foods they would serve. The food was great- a traditional Polynesian barbecue, but you guys. It was the same show as the Hilton. Like, I don’t mean the same style. I mean the same exact performers came over two days later and did the exact same show at the Intercontinental. I was a little peeved, I’m not going to lie. At nearly $100 for dinner I felt a little gypped, and sat sulkily on my phone for a fair bit of it.
That is, until the lead dancer took advantage of my inattentiveness and pulled me on stage to dance. Luckily there was no one there to film it, so my poorly performed Polynesian dance is forever lost to history.
Next up- the benefits of the Ambassador program!
-Carissa “Platinum Ambassador” Rawson