The new IHG One Rewards elite program offers a huge improvement in elite benefits.
There’s confirmed suites (starting 14 days prior to arrival, out of revenue inventory, but not valid on award stays or prepaid rates), club lounge access, and breakfast. And benefits even apply at brands like Intercontinental and Kimpton that historically exclusively had their own recognition programs.
Rolling out benefits across over 5000 hotels and ensuring compliance is tricky, and delivering consistently is hard (Cf. Marriott Bonvoy). So I’ve been interested to see how big new promises would cash out in practice on property.
The breakfast benefit doesn’t officially start until ‘early June’ so there aren’t a lot of reports yet. Hotels aren’t required to give Diamond members breakfast this month. However some are beginning to do so, which gives us a window into what to expect.
Here’s the first Diamond breakfast coupon I’ve seen reported, and it comes from the Holiday Inn & Suites Denver Tech Center-Centennial.
Valid for ONE selection from Specialties or Hotel Favorites on Burger Theory’s breakfast menu up to $10.50. Coffee or soft drink included. Juice NOT included. Gratuity NOT included. No cash value. Not transferable. Chef may substitute hot buffet on high occupancy days. Not valid with room service or takeout. Other restrictions may apply.
This Holiday Inn is offering breakfast. That’s more than IHG elites used to receive. I’m not sure that excluding juice from the breakfast really follows program terms, though.
The program terms say Diamond breakfast “includes one main menu item with unlimited non-alcoholic beverages or full buffet with unlimited non-alcoholic beverages per person.”
It’s interesting that the hotel is capping the breakfast choice value. The program terms say you can choose a main menu item – they don’t say any main menu item, so perhaps a cap is allowed? As long as the cap was high enough to cover a breakfast item, perhaps they could even limit guests to a single option.
The benefit’s terms are silent on tip (Hyatt’s breakfast explicitly includes tip). This property realizes that, and says tip is not included.
Benefit delivery is always tough, and some hotels are going to be more generous adhering to the spirit of the program than others. We haven’t seen the hotel benefit guide leaked yet, so don’t know what rules are actually being imposed on properties that may differ somewhat from the way the benefit is described in the program terms. But some hotels are always going to squeeze, as this one does here with juice.