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InterContinental Ambassador members lose an important option in Europe


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The past few weeks haven’t brought good news for members of the InterContinental Ambassador program. Back in November, IHG confirmed that Ambassador benefits soon won’t be offered at Regent Hotels & Resorts and that the programs free weekend night certificate will no longer be useable at Kimpton properties, and now we’re told that a major InterContinental property in Europe is being reflagged.

What’s the InterContinental Ambassador program?

InterContinental Ambassador is unlike IHG One Rewards and unlike most other hotel loyalty/rewards programs that we discuss on Traveling for Miles because it’s not a program in which you earn elite status. It’s a program in which you pay to access select benefits that are, primarily, focused on IHG’s InterContinental properties.

You’ll find full details of the InterContinental Ambassador program together with thoughts on the value that it offers on this page.

What’s changing?

No changes to the program have been announced, but a hugely popular (and very nice) InterContinental property in Europe will soon no longer be somewhere that Ambassadors can enjoy all the benefits that they pay for – the InterContinental Carlton Cannes is leaving the InterContinental brand.

If you head over to IHG’s InterContinental Carlton Cannes page, you’ll find an “important announcement” at the top of the page which informs prospective guests that “The Carlton Cannes is currently closed for its great metamorphosis until spring 2023” and that “We are looking forward to welcoming you back in the heart of the bay of Cannes“.

That, however, doesn’t tell the full story.

IHG has today announced that as part of the continuing development of its luxury & lifestyle portfolio in France, the Carlton Cannes will reopen as a Regent Hotel following its refurbishment.

“Carlton Cannes, a Regent Hotel will open in Spring 2023 after a two-year multi-million Euro redevelopment. The property will become a flagship property within the new generation of Regent Hotels & Resorts, as the brand – part of IHG’s Luxury & Lifestyle Collection – returns to reimagine modern luxury once more.”

We’re told that following the renovations, the Carlton Cannes will have 332 rooms and 37 residences and that while all the key historic features of the property will be preserved, the property’s interior will have had a big, modernizing, makeover.

Quick thoughts

For a lot of InterContinental Ambassador fans (especially those based in Europe), this is going to be sad news as the Carlton has log been a great property to stay at and to use (to great effect) the free weekend certificate that comes as one of the benefits of the Ambassador program.

As a Regent Hotel, the Carlton Cannes will still be part of the IHG One Rewards Loyalty program so for those of us who aren’t part of the Ambassador program, this news won’t mean very much, but as this is now the second high profile InterContinental property to be reflagged as a Regent Hotel (the InterContinental Hong Kong will reopen as a Regent Hotel next year), it’s not unreasonable to wonder if any other significant InterContinental Properties will follow down the same path.

Bottom line

The InterContinental Carlton Cannes is currently closed for renovations, but once the hotel reopens its doors next year, it will do as a Regent Hotels and not as an InterContinental property. For regular IHG fans, this won’t mean much of a change, but for InterContinental Ambassador members it will mean one less great property at which they can use their benefits.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t consider this a great loss. We’ve stayed at the Carlton Cannes and it’s beauty is in the grand public spaces and not the hotel rooms. We decided not to stay there again, but it’s definitely worth a visit to the bar and restaurant.

  2. I have stayed at Intercontinental Cannes twice as an Ambassador. While the Ambassador perks were nice, the hotel was really overdue for a renovation.

    Rates were always too high for me to justify the Ambassador BOGO voucher, but I’m sure there are great opportunities off-season to do so.

    It comes down to if you prefer:
    1) 60k point per night Intercontinental: an outdated hotel with a guaranteed room upgrade, some fresh fruit, and BOGO vouchers
    2) 80k (I assume) per night for a Regent: standard room at a world class hotel, with a small chance of getting an upgrade

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