One of the most interesting things about InterContinental Hotels Group is the wide spectrum of hotels they manage, from $800/night InterContinental hotels to $50 roadside Holiday Inn Express properties. It’s tough to manage customer expectations in such an environment, especially since the number of InterContinental properties worldwide is limited, meaning many otherwise loyal InterContinental customers looking for luxury hotels will take their business elsewhere when not staying in a city with an InterContinental hotel.
When I tell people I’m traveling abroad and staying at a Holiday Inn or Crowne Plaza, I sometimes get a response somewhere along the lines of “ew, really?” Well, internationally I actually find most Crowne Plaza hotels to be excellent, far superior to the average property here in the US.
On the contrary, check out the Crowne Plaza South Beach Z Ocean Hotel. This is a boutique hotel in South Beach that commands substantially higher rates than the InterContinental Miami, and actually looks really nice. This raises a simple question: why the hell affiliate yourself with Crowne Plaza, at least in the US? That hotel looks to me like it should be an InterContinental. I just don’t know if the hotel is doing itself justice, since it’ll have a hard time capturing travelers looking for luxury under the “Crowne Plaza” name.
At the same time you can’t do a good job of managing the expectations of typical Crowne Plaza customers, who are used to paying a third of what this hotel charges, and likely expect more free amenities than most luxury hotels offer.
Will this hotel eventually be rebranded as an InterContinental? I don’t know, but I just can’t rationalize why they’d stay branded as a Crowne Plaza. Nonetheless it looks like a great hotel which I’ll try to check out the next time I’m in Miami.