a pool with a thatched roof overlooking the ocean

This is a trend with some exciting potential…

In the last six months, the hotel industry has changed more than in the last six years. Big chains are buying up the most sought after boutique hotel groups and that’s changing the hospitality landscape forever. First, Hyatt partnered with Small Luxury Hotels (SLH), then Hyatt acquired Alila resorts. This kicked off a major trend, which is now fully viral. Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) has announced the purchase of Six Senses, one of the most well respected and adored wellness resort and spa groups in the world. Here’s why you care…

a pool with chairs and umbrellas on a deckMore Places to Play

Travelers are often faced with a conundrum in the far reaches of the world: go for the better, boutique resort but lose loyalty perks, or go with the big chain property. IHG’s Six Senses acquisition almost inevitably means that many of the very best Six Senses wellness retreats and luxury resorts around the world will become a part of the IHG Rewards loyalty program, allowing hotel guests to earn night credits, and gain perks on stays. There’s more than 30 hotels at play here, from Europe to the far reaches of Asia.

a pool with a thatched roof overlooking the oceanLoyalty Points Potential

Almost assuredly, IHG will follow Hyatt’s footsteps and allow these exquisite Six Senses properties to become part of IHG Rewards, and thus bookable with points. While rates will most definitely be on the high side, being able to use points to curb the costs of truly first rate luxury stays is exciting. This means IHG Points will inherently become more valuable, as their potential for use grows.

a beach with waves crashing on the sandMore Brand Competition

As the behemoth brands of the hotel world lay claim to many of the most beloved brands, keeping customers happy is crucial. The fastest way to ruin an investment is to watch guests flee in droves, so the best may still be yet to come for these resorts. The biggest chains have access to better pricing on everything from bedsheets to champagne, so guests at many of these properties could experience more luxury in the near future without a change in price.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Generally agree that more luxury aspirational properties coming into the mix is a good thing.
    Only thing I don’t like is that it gives them an excuse to create a new higher redemption tier – perhaps a 90-100k vs the current 70k max, then they’ll start shifting the better 70k hotels into that tier.

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