Regent Hotels Joining IHG Rewards Club As Of February 1, 2019

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In March 2018 it was announced that IHG would be acquiring a 51% stake in Regent Hotels. IHG paid $39 million for the 51% stake, with the right to acquire the remaining 49% in a phased manner starting in 2026.

Currently there are six Regent properties, in Beijing, Berlin, Chongqing, Porto Montenegro, Singapore, and Taipei. Eventually IHG hopes to have about 40 Regent properties, as they want to grow this into their flagship luxury brand.


The Regent Singapore

$39 million might not sound like a lot for a 51% stake in six hotels, though the important thing to understand is that Regent doesn’t actually own any of the hotels, but rather just has management contracts for them. In other words, IHG was just buying rights to manage the hotels, rather than actually buying the hotels.

Obviously part of what IHG hopes to get out of this investment is more luxury hotels, since it’s an area where the brand otherwise struggles. While IHG has InterContinental Hotels, other than that they don’t have any real luxury brands, and rather are focused on limited service hotels. They did acquire Kimpton a few years back, though I’d consider Kimpton to be more “full service” than “luxury.”

So as part of this new investment, IHG will be renovating the InterContinental Hong Kong, and eventually plans on branding it as the Regent Hong Kong. That suggests that Regent will be IHG’s highest tier property.


InterContinental Hong Kong

Anyway, presumably part of what they hope to gain with this investment is being able to integrate Regent into IHG Rewards Club, which should cause more people to stay at Regent hotels, given how many IHG Rewards Club members there are.

Up until recently we haven’t had a timeline regarding when that would happen, but then we learned that Regent Hotels & Resorts will be joining IHG Rewards Club as of February 1, 2019, meaning it will be possible to earn and redeem points for Regent stays as of that date.

We also now know how many points will be required for stays at each of these properties, which we didn’t before:

  • Beijing — 60K points
  • Berlin — 55K points
  • Chongqing — 50K points
  • Porto Montenegro — 60K points
  • Singapore — 55K points
  • Taipei — 60K points

If you’re interested in redeeming at those costs, you should be able to do so starting in a couple of days.

Here’s the email that IHG sent members regarding this development:

It is our pleasure to introduce you to Regent® Hotels & Resorts – your newest opportunity to earn and redeem with IHG® Rewards Club beginning February 1. At Regent, you’ll be welcomed by enchanting views that stretch as far as your imagination. Intimate spaces designed for total relaxation. And sensational experiences you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Stay in the Regent Beijing, an imperial sanctuary set against the backdrop of the Forbidden City, or escape to an urban oasis in the illustrious Regent Singapore. With locations suited for every desire, Regent is your gateway to stays both exhilarating and serene.

Indulge yourself while you earn and redeem at this unparalleled collection of hotels and resorts. We look forward to bringing you into a new era of luxury.


The Regent Beijing

As of now we don’t yet have many details on what exactly Regent’s participation in IHG Rewards Club will look like beyond the points requirements.

For example, in addition to IHG Rewards Club, IHG also has the Ambassador program, which is specific to InterContinental hotels. Since the Ambassador program is targeted at luxury properties, could we see Ambassador and Royal Ambassador perks also be extended to Regent properties? I suspect this will eventually happen, though maybe not immediately.

I’m very excited to see Regent join IHG Rewards Club in a couple of days.

What are you expecting from Regent joining IHG Rewards Club?

Comments

  1. The InterContinental in Hong Kong used to be a Regent before, so the rebranding of that hotel makes sense.

  2. I have a mid-February stay booked on points at the Singapore Intercontinental (heritage wing). At the moment IHG are selling rooms at the Regent and the Intercontinental for the same dollar figure. Assuming the Regent comes on-line on February first at the same points cost as the Intercontinental does anyone care to offer a recommendation as to which hotel is superior for a one night stay?

  3. johannes beat me to it — I used to walk past that old Regent in HKG every day (back before you were born, Ben!). Amusing that it’s going to go full circle.

  4. I think all these sub-brands dilute the main IHG brand. That’s even more true of Marriott. So while more luxury hotels for IHG is a good idea, I think sub-brand proliferation is unhelpful.

  5. Surprised that they think this will be a luxury brand. I just looked up the Regent Singapore and it runs about $200/night for November. Checked it on TripAdvisor and it seems to be a little old and tired. Nothing I saw said luxury to me and certainly didn’t suggest that it would need a new category above the current Intercontinentals.

  6. Fascinating that the Intercon in HK is coming full circle, as some others had mentioned it originally opened as the Regent Hong Kong back in the 80s.

    Regent is an interesting brand that no one ever seems to have known what to do with – for a long time in the 90s and 2000s it was part of the Four Seasons group I believe. Nice to see another large hotel group potentially take up the name and loom to expand the brand, although I hope this doesn’t mean IHG continues to move Intercontinental downscale (a direction that chain has arguably been moving for a long time).

  7. IHG would be better off bringing up the standards and consistency of its Crowne Plaza brand.

    I applaud them for getting rid of all the motel-style Holiday Inns, but Crowne Plaza is still a very inconsistent brand. As for Intercontinental, I can’t tell you what this brand is supposed to be. I always used to think of it as Ritz-Carlton, but the last few years it’s somewhere between Westin and J.W. Marriott.

    What are Regent properties? Do they have executive lounges? Butler service? Etc.

    It’s kind of like when Marriott bought Delta, an otherwise unknown hotel brand outside of Canada. Now Delta is weird. Some of the properties are re-flagged to Delta from other brands. Others are legacy Delta properties in Canada that are mostly equivelent to an average Sheraton or Marriott. Yet others are new-build properties that are somewhere between Holiday Inn and Marriott.

  8. This seems like a plus to me. Stayed at the Regent Berlin in 2017 and had a lovely suite and the service was very good. And I thought the prices were quite reasonable. I suppose if other Regents are anything like that location then I look forward to this new development. Though looking at some other comments, maybe it’s a bit uneven across hotels?

  9. I wonder how this played out with Regent Singapore, which just transitioned from Four Seasons (in an awkward step child relationship where it wasn’t part of their brand portfolio) to Capella. I still believe this is a great move on behalf of IHG and I look forward to seeing this brand given the breath of new life. As much as I love FS, their acquisition in the early 90s buried the Regent brand as many properties were rebranded as Four Seasons.

    Here is to hoping IHG can pump enough love into this endeavor to compete at the level of Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and St. Regis. The Intercontinental Hong Kong is a great place to start…

  10. Funny how things go around, come around… as many others pointed out, the present InterCon HKG started life as the flagship Regent HKG & looks to return to the Regent brand after a much needed refurb; the present Regent SIN however, started life as a John Portman-designed InterCon SIN… The Four Seasons years did absorb many prime Regent projects into the FS brand – IM Pei’s FS New York, Milan, & Istanbul (Sultanahmet) if I’m not mistaken. All brilliant designs & adaptive reuse.

  11. @LarryInNYC The Intercontinental Singapore (Bugis, not Robertson Quay) offers way better connectivity for a one night stay, even to and from the airport, and is part of a more modern mall in the city. In contrast, the Regent Singapore is tucked away in a distant corner of the Orchard Road shopping belt where pretty much nothing goes on.

  12. Just checked future February dates for The Regent Taipei, IHG reward nights showing @ 60K. A bit steep IMHO.

  13. IHG definitely could use a full 5-star luxury brand. I’ve always considered Intercontinental to be a “premium 4.5-star” brand not equivalent to Four Seasons, Peninsula, Ritz Carlton etc. Regent could be a good vehicle to IHG achieving this considering it’s so small and unknown. They can take the brand and build it up.

    As others have mentioned, my understanding of the Singapore Regent though is that it’s a dated, low-price not-quite luxury hotel. I’ve been tempted to stay there a few times because the room rates tend to be quite reasonable, but it’s tucked away up in Tanglin and my partner always reminds me that it’s not top-class.

  14. Regent used to be a top-notch brand back in the day.

    In the early-to-mid 90s (SHUT UP! I’M OLD!) I would always stay at either the Oriental or the Regent depending on why I was in Bangkok and where I needed to be the most. Before some of the high end (Peninsula, etc.) and boutique-y hotels (think Sukothai and the like) opened, the Oriental and the Regent were considered two of the best hotels in the city, and the prices were very similar as well. I remember watching the Skytrain go up in front of my window in the Regent – there used to be uninterrupted views of the racetrack before the Skytrain was completed

    What was the Peninsula Bangkok (80s – There is still a Peninsula Plaza shopping mall next door) became the Regent Bangkok became the Four Seasons and is now one of the Anantara properties.

  15. In defense of the Regent Singapore, I had the same concerns about the property prior to staying there the first time. I typically liked to stay at the Four Seasons around the corner but given I spend a few days in Singapore a month, I wanted another option nearby for when the FS was either full or selling over standard rates (the normal rate is very reasonable). While the Regent is on the older side (as pointed out by @grenn it is a 1982 Portman design, which means a very 1980s atrium style), the rooms are large with green views, immaculately clean, great high pressure showers, and lovely staff. The bar down stairs (Manhattan) is highly acclaimed in the region. The Club lounge is nice, with a great team, and serves its purpose well. Thus, all considering, I give the Regent Singapore high marks, especially considering you can typically score a room for around $200.

    When searching for an alternative to the Four Seasons I also landed at the St Regis several times, which is across from the Regent. But I was so underwhelmed during my stays that I would take the Regent any day. To each his own I guess.

    The Regent is also on a quiet corner at the far end of Orchard / Tanglin, which is a tranquil plus for me but may be a block out of the way for others.

  16. The Regent in Taipei is very nice and definitely a luxury hotel. The 60,000 redemption rate is definitely steep though. Luxury hotel cash rates in Asia tend to me much lower, especially during off-peak.

  17. @Lucky, would it kill you to mention that the post was updated? Reading through it, it felt like deja vu. When I saw the comments, I knew you had (yet again) recycled a post without saying so. In this case, I think you just added the points redemption rates, so just say so at the beginning! It saves people from reading something you’d already posted. Seriously, you’re turning into TPG, and that’s not a good thing…

  18. @Larry – I’d go with the IC Singapore over the Regent.
    The service at the Regent is very good, but it’s just old, 80s through and through…some people like it, I don’t…
    Tanglin is a pretty upscale corner of Singapore, but not ideal for short visits ..

  19. Heading to southern Croatia this summer… and going to switch to a couple of nights at the Regent Porto Montenegro so we can travel around there and further down into Albania. Looks a great place (spectacular views) and 60k is good value vs room rates at the same time, giving a return of ~2c a point

  20. Regent has an odd assortment of properties that lack consistency. Didn’t they have a hotel in Zagreb once?

  21. Let’s see….the original Regent Singapore became the first of two Four Seasons, and then, what Lucky?, now back to Regent???

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