Now we all know that LottyEarns is all about luxury on a budget, so when it comes to booking hotels (and I book A LOT of them), you’re really not going to see me in a scruffy hotel that looks like the setting to a horror film.
You know, I would stay in anything when I was younger, from giant cockroach infested hostels, to a motel in Vermont which freaked me out so much, I couldn’t bear to spend a second longer in there than necessary.
I have really high standards when it comes to hotels, but of course that doesn’t mean that I spend a fortune on them. If you have the know-how, you can bag incredibly beautiful, convenient hotels at properly bargainous prices.
It’s just having that knowhow… but don’t worry, I have you covered.
I am a big fan of independent hotels, but they can be so hit or miss. If I have personal recommendations from friends about one, then I’m happy to trust it, but many times I’ve stayed in kooky little ‘hotels’ where the owners lingered around too much and everything was a bit dusty.
So often, I’ll choose a well-known group of hotels, such as the IHG® hotels, where there are lots of different brand options and choices but at least you can expect a good quality stay (and you can collect rewards!).
IHG® is a British hotel group, made up of brands you’ve probably heard of, including InterContinental®, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express®, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants® and Staybridge Suites®.
If you follow me on social media, you’ll probably know that I am somewhat obsessed with America and am trying to travel through all the states. I’ve done the east coast, west coast and deep south and have stayed in IHG hotels most of the time.
In fact, I’m a little obsessed with Holiday Inn’s in America – they are so nice, usually with free WIFI and are a ⅓ of the price of everywhere else – honestly – could talk about my love of those hotels for hours!
I don’t just use them abroad either. For me, 2018 (mostly due to the heatwave) is the year of the staycation, so have been spending the odd night/weekend away in parts of the UK I never usually visit. Check out my stay in the Holiday Inn in Manchester.
Booking direct with IHG®
You know I always tell you to do your research (and you should always do price comparisons), but the thing with IHG is that 100% of the time your best bet is booking direct with the hotel.
It has a best price guarantee, which means that they’ll promise you the lowest available price online, or they’ll match it and give you five times the IHG Rewards Club points, up to a 40,000-point maximum.
By going through the IHG site as an IHG Rewards Club member, you get member exclusive rates which are always at the best price.
Oh, there are also no booking fees either – which should be a standard, but just isn’t the case for so many companies. Bit of a cheek really!
So you know me, not going to just take their word for it – going to test this out with a few hotels.
The first one is the Hotel Indigo London – 1 Leicester Square which looks SO incredible. I’ve picked the dates the Sat 1st – Sun 2nd September. Going direct via the IHG site as a Rewards Club member costs you £239.40.
- With Booking.com – £253
- Amoma.com – £253
- Alpharooms £263
That’s 9% cheaper than Alpharooms!
Next test, Paris for my birthday (Jan 6th if you’re asking ;). I spotted the most amazing looking Holiday Inn in Notre Dame. Like – it’s super cool – possibly verging on hipster – but up my street. Ok, so booking January 5th – 6th.
Going direct through IHG, you’ll pay £117.02 (according to exchange rates right now).
- Going via Hotels.com £149
- Booking.com £149
- Expedia £149
- Alpharooms £162
If you booked through a comparison site such as Expedia, you’d have paid 21% more – but if you had booked through Alpharooms you’d pay an eye wateringly whopping 27.8% more.
So that’s all the maths I can manage today! Ha. Long story short – they ain’t lying when it comes to that guarantee – book direct.
Getting a discount on an IHG hotel
Okay, so we’ve established that booking direct with IHG is the cheapest way to stay at one of the hotels. But you know me – I like to double/triple up on those discounts!
The first place you need to go to bag yourself a discount on a hotel is the main IH® website. There’s an ‘offers’ page [link] which you need to get yourself acquainted with.
Of course, these offers will change up depending on when you come to this page, but currently I spotted:
- Up to 20% off a weekend stay in Manchester until 07 September
- Get 20% off stays at any IHG hotels in the UK or Ireland until 17th September for stays between 20th July to 30th September 2018.
Joining the IHG Rewards Club
So another perk of booking direct with IHG is you get to join its massive rewards club (which is free to do) and gets you:
- Free internet worldwide when you’re staying, and I kid you not – staying in fancy hotels in the USA would often cost an extra $20/$30 dollars a night (I’d go sit in the local McDonalds and email there than do that, but you know what I mean). So, it can potentially save you a fortune. My road trips would often last a month!
- You get extra cheap rates and discounts that only members get
- You also earn and redeem points at most of the hotels which you can use to pay for rewards/discounted stays etc.
You can see the full list of rewards here. Plus, it’s free – so is just a no-brainer.
Have you stayed in an IHG hotel before? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.
*This is a collaborative post*