Skift Take

Growing the luxury side of the business is clearly a priority for newish CEO Keith Barr, and IHG does need another high-end offering to truly compete with the likes of Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons. We're wondering which brands IHG is looking at buying.

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InterContinental Hotels Group might be home to one of the best-known names in luxury, but the company clearly thinks it is not enough.

Last week in its full-year results announcement, IHG made a commitment to expand the luxury side of its business by establishing a new unit and most intriguingly by stating it wanted to buy one or two new brands.

At the moment, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is out on its own, unless you want to include Kimpton (nice try IHG), so it could do with some high-end company.

IHG isn’t in the market for a big deal, which sort of rules out something like Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, and ideally is looking for something small and asset-light to incubate.

We’re not exactly sure what brands IHG has in mind, but if any of you do, please get in touch.

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

6 Looks at Luxury

InterContinental Hotels Wants to Buy Luxury Brands: Under previous CEO Richard Solomons, the company had looked to fill “white space” in its portfolio and it looks like this plan is continuing under his successor. Despite having a well-established luxury brand, the area is something of a weak spot, with no true high-end offering. It sounds like IHG is well on the way to rectifying this.

Thought Leadership Conferences Target High-End Travelers: Nowadays, luxury travel is all about discovering new frontiers. It’s not just about expanding physical and geographic boundaries. The travel cognoscenti are “brain dating” around the world in order to stretch their minds.

CEO Interview: The Future of Boutique Hotels Is to Go Big: Can such a thing as a boutique or lifestyle casino resort with nearly 3,000 rooms actually work? We’ll find out soon.

Airbnb Plus and Everything CEO Brian Chesky Just Announced: To be honest, we weren’t very surprised by Thursday’s launches. In fact, we wondered why they haven’t been launched sooner. But for the most part, all of them certainly seem in step with Airbnb’s plans for being much more than just about any other travel brand or company out there.

United Reboots Its Polaris Business Class With a Focus on Consistency: The airline overpromised with its Polaris business class. Instead of rethinking business class, it should have focused on providing a simple and consistent product.

China Takes Control of New York Waldorf Astoria Owner Anbang: The Chinese government is trying to contain the economic fallout from Anbang’s over-reaching. From a long-term perspective, Starwood dodged a bullet when it ended up in Marriott’s arms instead of the opaque Chinese insurance conglomerate.


Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [[email protected]] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Tags: hotels, luxury

Photo credit: The InterContinental Sydney Double Bay in Australia. Parent company IHG wants to buy a new luxury brand or two. InterContinental Hotels Group

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