In November 2022, IHG revealed the details of its 18th hotel brand, which came in the form of a strategic alliance. In June 2023, we saw the brand partially integrated into the IHG One Rewards program, and as of December 2023, we’ve finally seen award redemptions introduced at these properties. Let’s go over all the details.
In this post:
Basics of the IHG & Iberostar alliance
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Iberostar have a long term commercial agreement. For those not familiar with Iberostar, it’s a family-run business based in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, which has been around for more than 65 years. The hotel group has a heavy focus on the all-inclusive beach resort sector, and also owns an airline, World2Fly.
Iberostar continues to maintain 100% ownership of its hotels, preserving its autonomy. However, up to 70 hotels (and 24,300 rooms) are being added to IHG’s system, under the Iberostar Beachfront Resorts brand. This is IHG’s 18th hotel brand, and boosts IHG’s global system size by up to 3%. Iberostar is included in a new “Exclusive Partners” category in IHG’s brand portfolio, alongside its Suites, Essentials, Premium, and Luxury & Lifestyle categories.
With this partnership, Iberostar gains access to IHG’s enterprise platform, including its distribution channels and the IHG One Rewards loyalty program, which has more than 100 million members. Meanwhile IHG gets increased awareness of its current brands with a new set of travelers, and gives existing customers access to more properties.
IHG One Rewards perks at Iberostar properties
As of June 2023, the loyalty integration between IHG One Rewards and Iberostar launched. Specifically, members can earn points and enjoy on-property perks when staying at Iberostar Beachfront Resorts.
- Early check-in and late check-out (up to 2PM), subject to availability
- Complimentary room upgrades, subject to availability
- Guaranteed room availability
- A welcome amenity at check-in — 600 IHG points or $15 hotel credit for Platinum members, and 600 IHG points or $20 hotel credit for Diamond members
- Free internet
- Priority check-in
- The annual lounge membership perk can be used for the member and one guest
In order to be eligible for these perks, you must book either directly through IHG or through Iberostar.
Redeem IHG One Rewards points at Iberostar properties
As of December 2023, it has become possible to redeem IHG One Rewards points for stays at Iberostar properties. IHG has dynamic award pricing, so the cost of an award stay varies based on the property, night, etc. There are no blackout dates.
Unfortunately one of the major downsides of the IHG One Rewards program is that there aren’t as many outsized award redemption values as with other programs. Personally I value IHG points at ~0.5 cents each, though virtually every redemption option I’m finding with Iberostar offers less value than that.
I suspect that’s because the commercial agreement between the two brands probably provides a pretty high reimbursement rate for award stays, and IHG’s award rates reflect that.
Which Iberostar properties belong to IHG?
Which Iberostar properties participate in the IHG One Rewards program? You can find the list of participating properties here, and it’s expected that even more will be added in the future.
The following Iberostar properties in Brazil now participate in IHG One Rewards:
The following properties in Dominican Republic now participate in IHG One Rewards:
- Selection Bávaro
- Coral Level Bávaro
- Iberostar Dominicana
- Iberostar Costa Dorada
- Grand Bávaro
- Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus
- Iberostar Punta Cana
The following properties in Jamaica now participate in IHG One Rewards:
The following properties in Mexico now participate in IHG One Rewards:
- Iberostar Cozumel
- Selection Cancún
- Grand Paraiso
- Selection Playa Mita
- Iberostar Paraiso Beach
- Selection Paraiso Lindo
- Iberostar Paraiso del Mar
- Selection Paraiso Maya
- Iberostar Quetzal
- Coral Level Cancún
- Iberostar Tucan
The following property in Montenegro now participates in IHG One Rewards:
The following properties in Morocco now participate in IHG One Rewards:
The following properties in Spain now participate in IHG One Rewards:
- Selection Anthelia
- Iberostar Cristina
- Selection Playa de Palma
- Iberostar Royal Andalus
- Iberostar Bouganville Playa
- Iberostar Playa Gaviotas
- Selection Lanzarote Park
- Selection Sábila
- Grand Salomé
- Selection Fuerteventura Palace
- Iberostar Ciudad Blanca
- Iberostar Alcudia Park
- Iberostar Albufera Park
- Iberostar Albufera Playa
- Iberostar Club Cala Barca
- Iberostar Bahía de Palma
- Selection Andalucía Playa
My take on IHG’s partnership with Iberostar
This strategic alliance between IHG and Iberostar is different than some of the other hotel portfolio growth we’ve seen in the past. This obviously isn’t as major as a full-on acquisition (as we saw when IHG acquired Six Senses, for example), though it’s more significant than just a marketing partnership, which we’ve seen quite a few of in the industry lately.
IHG isn’t actually buying a stake in Iberostar here, but this is a 30+ year partnership, and the Iberostar Beachfront Resorts are being integrated into IHG’s portfolio.
While Iberostar’s integration into IHG has been slow, it seems like it’s pretty seamless on the points earning and elite benefits side. I appreciate that you can book through IHG or Iberostar, and still be eligible for points and elite perks. While redeeming points with Iberostar is straightforward, unfortunately it’s not very rewarding, based on how much value you can get per point.
Ultimately it’s great when global loyalty program members have access to a larger portfolio of hotels. However, I find that IHG is especially bad when it comes to consistency and actually integrating new brands into its portfolio. For example, plans were announced for IHG to acquire Six Senses in early 2019, and several Six Senses properties still haven’t been integrated into IHG One Rewards.
IHG and Iberostar have a strategic alliance, whereby Iberostar Beachfront Resorts have been added as IHG’s 18th hotel brand. The first set of hotels are integrated into the program, and it’s expected that by 2024, up to 70 Iberostar properties will participate in IHG One Rewards.
For those who are into all-inclusives, this is no doubt a nice add. We saw earning opportunities and elite benefits added several months ago, and now we’ve also seen redemption opportunities added.
What do you make of IHG’s new alliance with Iberostar?