IHG & Iberostar Strategic Partnership: How It Works

IHG & Iberostar Strategic Partnership: How It Works

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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.

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.

World2Fly is owned by Iberostar

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.

Iberostar Grand Paraiso

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.

In addition to being able to earn IHG One Rewards points, IHG Diamond and IHG Platinum members can take advantage of the following perks:

  • 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.

Iberostar Albufera

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.

Iberostar property rate in points
Iberostar property rate in cash
Iberostar Herceg Novi

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:

The following properties in Jamaica now participate in IHG One Rewards:

The following properties in Mexico now participate in IHG One Rewards:

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:

Iberostar Cozumel

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.

Iberostar Selection Hacienda Dominicus

Bottom line

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?

Conversations (5)
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  1. Lori Guest

    I am confused. I have almost 420,000 IHG points but when I look up some of the Iberostar rooms to book it is telling me that I don't have enough points! The one hotel shows that it is 124,000 points per night. I clearly have that many points! Or am I missing something here???????

    1. Harry Guest

      Lori, you didn't include how many nights you're trying to book. If you're trying to stay 4 nights then you don't have enough. If you are staying 3 days then you do. I'm having a similar issue except it's that I'm trying to book a room for 2 adults and 3 kids. 2 kids ok, but the 3rd kid just can't fit into their reward rooms.

  2. Darren C Diamond

    I have upcoming resort stays with Marriott (Ritz-Carlton Maui) and Hilton (Waldorf Astoria Maui) but have never considered an IHG resort. Iberostar will definitely now be on my radar and I would book through IHG for my platinum benefits.

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      If you stay at Ritz and Waldorf you will not be happy with Iberostar. If you want an all-inclusive in Mexico it’s time to play the Chase/Hyatt game.

  3. Regis Guest

    Redemption rates are awful. 150K points/ night at Iberostar Cancun for a cash rate of $350. Similar ratios at other properties.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Sel, D. Guest

If you stay at Ritz and Waldorf you will not be happy with Iberostar. If you want an all-inclusive in Mexico it’s time to play the Chase/Hyatt game.

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Harry Guest

Lori, you didn't include how many nights you're trying to book. If you're trying to stay 4 nights then you don't have enough. If you are staying 3 days then you do. I'm having a similar issue except it's that I'm trying to book a room for 2 adults and 3 kids. 2 kids ok, but the 3rd kid just can't fit into their reward rooms.

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Lori Guest

I am confused. I have almost 420,000 IHG points but when I look up some of the Iberostar rooms to book it is telling me that I don't have enough points! The one hotel shows that it is 124,000 points per night. I clearly have that many points! Or am I missing something here???????

0
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