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IHG is running a very poorly publicised promotion (I only found it by accident) which offers discounts of between 15% and 30% on hotel bookings in 6 major US cities. Importantly, it looks as if 8 InterContinental properties are participating in this sale and the locations on offer are actually ones that you’re likely to want to visit so this is a sale worth a closer look.
The IHG City Lights Sale – Headline Rules
- The “City Lights” promotional rate is valid for bookings made from February 1, 2018 through February 28, 2018.
- Stays must be consumed through April 30, 2018 at participating hotels.
- Bookings must be made at least three days in advance.
- This rate is fully pre-paid and non-refundable.
- A minimum of three consecutive nights is required in order to qualify for the discount, which ranges from 15% to 30% off the Best Flexible Rate.
- The discount varies by hotel
- Blackout dates apply,
- Not applicable with other discounted rate promotions.
- Not applicable to group bookings.
- Hotel specific early departure fee applies.
The City Lights Sale Cities & Properties
The six cites hosting the IHG properties which are offering the discounts are:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- San Francisco
- Washington D.C.
The full list of properties can be found on the dedicated sale page (no Kimpton properties seem to be taking part) and here are the participating InterContinental properties:
- InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta
- InterContinental Los Angeles Century City
- InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
- InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco
- InterContinental New York Barclay
- InterContinental San Francisco
- InterContinental The Willard Washington D.C.
- InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf
While these aren’t all of the InterContinental properties in each of the cities this still isn’t a bad list to start with.
Things To Be Careful About
There are some very nice properties participating in this promotion and there are definitely some good deals to be had….but you need to be careful with promotions like this and not allow the discount to cloud your judgement.
Firstly, bear in mind that you have to book a minimum of 3 nights – if you weren’t planning to book a stay as long as 3 nights before this sale came around then you won’t really be saving money by booking in this sale.
Secondly, the discounts are being calculated based on the “Best Flexible rate” but the rate you’re actually getting is a fully pre-paid non-flexible rate. If your plans are likely to change this isn’t a rate you should be looking to book.
Thirdly, because the basis of the discount calculation is a flexible rate the end rate you’re offered may not be all that much better than other rates you can find. Take this rate at the InterContinental New York Barclay as an example:
In this example, the City Lights Sale rate is only a little over $4 cheaper per night than the AAA rate but the AAA rate offers free cancellation up to 24 hours before check-in. In this case the City Lights Sale rate is clearly a poor proposition.
The important thing here is that you do your research carefully. Make sure you check how much the regular (non-sale) rates are, check how much other discounted rates are and what flexibility they offer and then check what rates are available in the City Lights Sale.
If the math works out (and it will in a number of cases) then there could be some nice savings to be had here but, if you don’t do your homework, you could easily find yourself overpaying…and that’s not the point of this hobby.