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IHG Rewards has just announced a partnership with “Mr & Mrs Smith” which will see IHG Rewards members able to earn and burn their points at over 500 new properties across the world.
From “early next year” IHG.com users will see over 500 new boutique properties appear in their search results and these properties will be bookable using cash, IHG Rewards points or a combination of cash and points.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Mr & Mrs Smith, it’s a brand that was started up by a British couple in 2003 who have since grown their idea of a website that curates some of the finest boutique properties in the world into a “global travel club”.
As Forbes put it in a 2017 article…
Today Mr & Mrs Smith operates from offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Singapore and has more than one million members worldwide. The company represents more than 1,000 boutique and luxury hotels in its handpicked collection comprised of the world’s most unique, boutique hotels, which now also includes luxury villa rentals in Spain’s Mediterranean Islands, New Zealand, Greece, and Italy (with more destinations to come). Among the discerning, elite hotel class, Mr. & Mrs. Smith is often referred to simply as “the club”. Mrandmrssmith.com also has been voted twice as ‘Best Travel Website’ in Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.
Note: Mr & Mrs Smith now covers over 1,300 hotels and over 300 villas worldwide
The properties that fall under the Mr & Mrs Smith umbrella range from spectacular tree houses to idyllic boutique resorts set in some of the most beautiful locations the planet has to offer and the prices some of the properties charge and be as spectacular as the locations.
Not all the properties come with prices that most of us cannot even begin to imagine paying, so you’ll find properties like West Hollywood’s Sunset Tower, the Mercer in New York City, Blake’s Hotel in London and the Hotel Monte Cristo in Paris rubbing shoulders with Aman, One&Only and Six Senses properties (which IHG already owns) when you start combing through the hotels Mr & Mrs Smith offers.
How Is The IHG Partnership Going To Work?
IHG’s announcement talks about 500+ properties joining IHG Rewards so, with Mr & Mrs Smith covering over twice that many hotels, we can be sure that only select Mr & Mrs Smith properties will be participating (I’m guessing that the super-high-end properties won’t be bookable with points!).
Here’s what IHG has announced:
- From early 2020, IHG Rewards Club members will have the opportunity to earn and redeem points during qualified stays at over 500 luxury and boutique Mr & Mrs Smith properties.
- IHG Rewards Club points can be earned and redeemed at participating Mr & Mrs Smith hotels booked through IHG’s direct channels only.
- The partnership gives IHG’s members more choice in where to go, with the addition of Mr & Mrs Smith properties in 14 countries where IHG doesn’t currently have open hotels.
- IHG’s most loyal guests, including InterContinental Ambassadors and Kimpton Inner Circle members, will enjoy a free Smith Extra such as a bottle of champagne, picnic hamper or 30-minute massage on arrival at every Mr & Mrs Smith hotel, as well as automatic room upgrades whenever available.
- Elite IHG Rewards Club members will receive their tier Bonus Points on eligible room rates (10% Gold Elite, 50% Platinum Elite, 100% Spire Elite).
That’s actually pretty impressive.
Having some of the world’s nicest boutique hotels bookable with points is a huge boost to IHG Rewards members and it’s an added bonus that the very top-tier members will be able to enjoy a few extra perks when booking a Mr & Mrs Smith property.
It’s also pretty great that all IHG elites will continue to earn status bonuses at these properties too.
It’s interesting to note that when discussing “IHG’s most loyal guests” there’s no mention of Spire Elite members (top-tier IHG Rewards members) and that leads me to suspect that the InterContinental Ambassadors who are mentioned as being eligible for upgrades and special treatment will actually be Royal Ambassadors (invitation-only status) and not entry-level InterContinental Ambassadors (a status you can buy for $200)….but we’ll have to wait and see.
With IHG adding Mr & Mrs Smith properties as well as the already announced Six Senses properties to its loyalty program we’re seeing IHG Rewards go from being a program with a noticeable lack of truly high-end properties to a program with more high-end properties than any other program I can think of.
IHG has combined its own appetite for acquisition (Kimpton, Six Senses, Regent Hotels, Principal Hotels) with Hyatt’s idea of partnering with an existing large property portfolio (SLH) to really grow its own Rewards program significantly in a very short space of time.
Of course, we now have to wait and see just how many points/night these Mr & Mrs Smith properties will cost before we can judge how great this news is for IHG Rewards members (I’d be shocked if the entry-level rate wasn’t 100,000 points/night), but I have to hand it to IHG – this is a huge move for IHG Rewards and I don’t think many people saw it coming.
Featured Image: Baros Maldives courtesy of Mr and Mrs Smith