Don't you just dream of going on holiday staying at 5 star resorts and living like a king or queen? Well read on to find out how you can make that dream come true.
Now lets start off by explaining that this only applies to the Intercontinental Hotel Group also known as IHG. This includes InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites. Now my title is slightly misleading as only the InterContinental is a 5 star but the rest are very good too and excellent value for money considering what you get. Now at this point I should also point out that always check trip advisor and compare to other hotels to ensure the hotel you select is a good one. Don't be fooled by the polished Photshopped pictures.
Now lets move onto the actually getting these bargain prices. Many people would assume that friends and family rates are just for employees and their close ones but the term here is used loosely. All you have to do to get this rate is ensure you hand in a voucher with the persons name on it when you check in. I'll explain more about the voucher later. Check in will not ask how you know this person or any other questions. If they ever do, just say you know them on Facebook.
Go to the following link. This is the friends and family page for an employee of IHG called Steve Sickel.
On the right hand side of the search box enter a destination, fill in the dates, number of people and hit search. You will then be presented with a list of hotels that have the friends and family rate available.
Select the hotel from the list and it will list the rooms and rates that are available. If breakfast is usually included in a room e.g. Club Rooms, Suites, etc, then the friends and family rate for that room should also include it. Likewise if the hotel usually gives breakfast as standard such as Holiday Inn Express then it should also be included. If in doubt, you can contact any of the hotels directly and they will be happy to answer these questions.
Once you've decided on the room you want, you can go ahead and complete the reservation. Please note you do NOT get any priority club points on these bookings even though it allows you to enter your membership number.
Once the booking is made all you need to do is print the voucher and ensure you present it when checking in. Sometimes staff will not even ask but just in case they do ensure you have it on you. The link for the voucher is here. Just fill in the employees name, arrival date, number of nights and reservation confirmation number and you're all done.
That's all there is to it. If I use the example from the screen shots above which is for a search in Istanbul, Turkey, we find the Ceylan InterContinental Hotel standard room available on the friends and family rate for €249.05 instead of the standard rate of €293 when you do a regular search on the best available rate. That's a saving of €44 per night. If you stayed for 7 nights that's a total saving of €308. Now that's just one example. If you play around with the search tool, you might be able to find better deals from other hotels all around the world. I should also remind that you ensure you check against published rates as sometimes they have deals like 2 for 1 nights and so on which can work out cheaper.
One more thing, this definitely works as I've tried it myself. Maybe you were never thought that you'd ever stay in 5 star hotels or maybe you're the type that only stays in such luxury places. Either way I'm sure that this will save you money in the future.