Vignette Collection: New IHG Luxury & Lifestyle Brand

Vignette Collection: New IHG Luxury & Lifestyle Brand

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has just launched its newest hotel brand, called Vignette Collection.

Basics of new IHG Vignette Collection

Historically IHG has lagged when it comes to its luxury portfolio. Fortunately this is an area where the company has been improving — IHG first acquired Kimpton, then Regent, and then Six Senses, all while growing its luxury footprint with existing brands organically. On top of that, IHG has a marketing partnership with Mr. & Mrs. Smith, opening up luxury properties around the world.

IHG is now formally launching a new luxury & lifestyle collection brand. The plan is to allow independent luxury hotels to join IHG with minimal conversion costs, allowing them to retain their distinctive identity, while benefitting from IHG’s distribution power and loyalty program. This will be along the lines of Hilton Curio Collection, Hyatt Unbound Collection, or Marriott Autograph Collection. IHG is hoping to grow this new brand to over 100 properties globally in the next decade.

The first two hotels to join IHG’s Vignette Collection will be the following:

  • Hotel X, a 5-star hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley
  • Pattaya Aquatique, located in Pattaya’s Aquatique District

Here’s how Keith Barr, IHG’s CEO, describes the new brand:

“Our new Vignette Collection gives IHG a compelling way to welcome world-class independent hotels into our brand family, combining each property’s distinctive identity with the power of our global scale. As our first hotels in Australia and Thailand both showcase, each property is as unique as the next, and all will be endorsed by IHG’s trusted reputation for quality.

We’ve been strategic with the enhancements we’ve made to our Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio in recent years, which at more than 400 hotels and 100,000 rooms is the second largest in the industry. We’ve built on the heritage and global success of our InterContinental brand, with the rapid international expansion of Kimpton and Hotel Indigo, and acquisitions of Six Senses and Regent. We expect to attract more than 100 Vignette Collection hotels in 10 years, and the brand will be key to delivering our ambition of industry-leading net rooms growth.”

Here’s a video IHG has published about the new brand (why do all new brand videos have to basically be the same?):

This new brand makes sense for IHG

A big focus for the major hotel groups in recent years has been converting existing independent hotels, rather than just signing contracts for new hotels. For existing hotels joining a brand, the “independent” hotel collection concept makes a lot of sense. That’s because hotel conversion costs are low with this model, since hotels can maintain their own design, rather than having to go full-on cookie cutter.

This gives independent hotels the upside of a global hotel group’s distribution power and loyalty program, all without paying much money upfront.

A couple of years ago IHG launched the Voco brand, which is also an independent hotel group concept, except it’s a bit lower end (it’s “upscale” rather than “luxury”). This new brand is clearly intended to be a bit higher end, so in Marriott terms you can think of this as Tribute Portfolio vs. Luxury Collection.

I’m curious to see how fast this new brand grows for IHG, given that just about all of the major hotel groups have independent luxury collections nowadays:

  • On the one hand, I don’t think IHG has quite as loyal of a following as some of the other major hotel groups
  • On the other hand, perhaps hotels will like that IHG’s loyalty program benefits are cheaper and easier to provide; IHG doesn’t offer elite members free breakfast, a guaranteed upgrade benefit, guaranteed late check-out, etc. (though I do wonder if these hotels might participate in the InterContinental Ambassador program, in addition to IHG Rewards Club)

Bottom line

IHG has officially launched Vignette Collection, a new luxury & lifestyle independent hotel group. This is a segment that has become popular with the major global hotel groups in recent years, but it’s a market that IHG hasn’t really gotten into.

IHG has Voco, which is a similar concept but lower end, and IHG also has Kimpton, which offers hotels that each have their own charm, but are still fairly consistent. This new brand will allow just about any independent luxury hotel to join IHG without spending that much on the conversion process.

What do you make of IHG’s new Vignette Collection brand?

Conversations (9)
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  1. Gdawg

    Yep, the rooms are so tiny, in the standard room with 2 single beds, the TV has to be mounted from the ceiling and there isn't even any seating area in that room because there is no space for a chair! It feels more 'ibis styles' than luxury...

  2. Emily

    I am a big fan of IHG properties. I think their being underdogs is the key to the quality that I experience at IHG properties. One of my favorite IHG properties is the IHG Intercontinental on Marine Drive in Bombay. The deluxe suites contain a large glass façade with views of the majestic Arabian Sea - a treat during sunsets with a flute of champagne.

    https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/mumbai/bomhb/hoteldetail

    Note: I am not affiliated with IHG or...

    I am a big fan of IHG properties. I think their being underdogs is the key to the quality that I experience at IHG properties. One of my favorite IHG properties is the IHG Intercontinental on Marine Drive in Bombay. The deluxe suites contain a large glass façade with views of the majestic Arabian Sea - a treat during sunsets with a flute of champagne.

    https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/mumbai/bomhb/hoteldetail

    Note: I am not affiliated with IHG or the Intercontinental in Bombay. I take pleasure in pointing out excellent destinations/hotels most people are unaware of.

  3. Mark

    Lately I've found myself coming to the OMAAT blog for the latest hotel updates & reviews. Really appreciate you keeping us up to date in this area, Ben! Looking forward to see IHG's continued expansion into the luxury hotel segment with the Vignette Collection. Already a huge fan of Kimpton!

  4. Miamiorbust

    I really like this blog but when commenting on global chains’ business strategies, please try not to take such a painfully American outlook. In many European countries, many/most hotel business models include breakfast for most rates so commenting on that as an elite benefit is kind of silly. IHG has a massive footprint in China. Have no idea if the new brand might be attractive in Asia but would imagine an affiliation with IHG is...

    I really like this blog but when commenting on global chains’ business strategies, please try not to take such a painfully American outlook. In many European countries, many/most hotel business models include breakfast for most rates so commenting on that as an elite benefit is kind of silly. IHG has a massive footprint in China. Have no idea if the new brand might be attractive in Asia but would imagine an affiliation with IHG is at least as attractive as Marriott - and definitely better than Hyatt - for a high end hotel in Thailand trying fill rooms in 2022 and beyond. While IHG may not be great if your goal is a free breakfast in Memphis, it serves many geographies well and has a large footprint. So yeah, if the terms are fair I can see why hotels may partner with this brand instead of other chains.

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Miamiorbust -- I'm happy to be correct, so please prove me wrong? Which luxury chain in Europe belonging to one of the major global groups includes breakfast for all guests? I can't think of a single one. Yes, traditionally breakfast is sometimes included with independent hotels in Europe, much more often than in the United States. But that often stops happening once they join a chain.

    2. Laurel

      Well IHG also has real benefits for Spire Elite members in China, whereas the same cannot be said for the rest of the world.

  5. Gdawg

    I wouldn't consider hotel X fortitude valley 'luxury'...

    1. MDA

      I’m with you. I just checked price. 267 AUD for a basic room. The standard rooms are really small. I’d rather stay at The Calile in the valley.

  6. John

    New drinking game idea: take a shot every time Ben uses the phrase “distribution power.”

    Guaranteed to get blitzed in 5 or fewer hotel brand articles.

Featured Comments Load all 9 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.

Gdawg

Yep, the rooms are so tiny, in the standard room with 2 single beds, the TV has to be mounted from the ceiling and there isn't even any seating area in that room because there is no space for a chair! It feels more 'ibis styles' than luxury...

MDA

I’m with you. I just checked price. 267 AUD for a basic room. The standard rooms are really small. I’d rather stay at The Calile in the valley.

Emily

I am a big fan of IHG properties. I think their being underdogs is the key to the quality that I experience at IHG properties. One of my favorite IHG properties is the IHG Intercontinental on Marine Drive in Bombay. The deluxe suites contain a large glass façade with views of the majestic Arabian Sea - a treat during sunsets with a flute of champagne. https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/mumbai/bomhb/hoteldetail Note: I am not affiliated with IHG or the Intercontinental in Bombay. I take pleasure in pointing out excellent destinations/hotels most people are unaware of.

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