Analysis: Best Kimpton Hotels to Redeem with IHG Points

On December 16, 2014, IHG announced that they would acquire the Kimpton Hotel portfolio for $430 million in cash. Since the acquisition, we haven't been able to book Kimpton Hotels with IHG points until now. 

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Analysis: Best Kimpton Redemptions w/ IHG Points

Methodology

We pulled the hotel data for all 65 Kimpton Hotel locations on their website. The two factors we analyzed were:

  1. How much it cost in points — data pulled directly from Kimpton's site
  2. Retail rate — price range pulled from Trip Advisor

Are Kimpton Hotels worth booking with points?

One thing worth mentioning is that there are three point redemption options:

  1. Redeem with only points
  2. Points + cash rate
  3. Fewer points + more cash rate

For example, if you wanted to redeem a free night at the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, the redemption options are:

  1. 55,000 IHG points
  2. 50,000 IHG points + $40
  3. 45,000 IHG points + $70
sir francis drake

How to calculate value

To calculate if the hotel is worth booking with points, take the retail rate and divide it by the points rate. 

Example 1: $1,000/night hotel for 50,000 points
= $1,000/50,000 points = $0.02 = 2 Cents Per Point (CPP)
= buying points at 0.8 CPP makes sense; 1.2 CPP gain/arbitrage

Example 2: $250/night hotel for 50,000 points
= $250/50,000 points = $0.005 = 0.5 CPP
= buying points at 0.8 CPP does NOT makes sense; overpaying

Most Expensive by Average Price

To find the most expensive Kimpton Hotel, we used the average price from Trip Advisor. The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands is the most expensive Kimpton Hotel. 

 most expensive kimpton hotels

most expensive kimpton hotels

Although the Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa has the best redemption value, a few factors to consider is if you want to visit the Cayman Islands and flights. 

Best Redemption Value

To calculate the best points redemption value, we took the average retail price and divided it by the points price. The Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa ranks first with an average of 2.45 CPP. The Kimpton Hotels in St. Petersburg, FL and San Francisco, CA are tied with an average of 0.89 CPP. 

On a side note, the Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel is in a great location next to Union Square in San Francisco.  

CPP 1.JPG

IHG points are worth 0.6-0.7 CPP due to recent downgrades in redemption rates. This means the optimal strategy is to find a property with a redemption of 0.7 CPP or higher.