IHG has announced a new partnership with the travel club Mr & Mrs Smith. The partnership will allow IHG Rewards members to earn and redeem points at 500 selected properties around the world.
IHG says this will double the number of luxury and boutique hotels available to its members.
On the surface, this all sounds good. Having said that, there is only limited information to go on at the moment. We will have to wait next year to find out the full details. For example, we do not know which 500 hotels will be participating.
Mr & Mrs Smith
Mr & Mrs Smith is a travel club that specialises in boutique hotels. It appears to operate largely as a marketing channel.
While Mr & Mrs Smith feature over 1,200 hotels in their portfolio, not all will be featuring in IHG Rewards. As mentioned, IHG Rewards are claiming 500.
Mr & Mrs Smith list a number of hotels in Australia. As some of these are in other loyalty schemes, they may not all join IHG Rewards. For example, QT Hotels are already in Priority Guest Rewards and the Discovery programs. In addition, the Tribe Hotel in Perth is in Le Club AccorHotels.
Outside Australia, Mr & Mrs Smith look to have some interesting properties in some very interesting locations. In particular, Mr & Mrs Smith have hotels in 14 countries where there is no current IHG presence.
So, how will this work with IHG rewards?
Firstly, to take advantage of this partnership, the bookings will need to be made through IHG channels. When earning IHG Rewards points, members will receive their appropriate tier bonus.
InterContinental Ambassadors and Kimpton Inner Circle members will be in line for a Smith Extra. Depending on the hotel, this could include a bottle of champagne, picnic hamper or 30-minute massage.
The partnership looks similar in a lot of ways to the tie-up between World of Hyatt and Small Luxury Hotels.
So, it is a bit of a trend.
I think it is a good development and will open up a range of opportunities. We just need to wait a while for the full details to be revealed.