I’m staring out the window right now, watching my 8-year-old son Bear on his pogo stick. His brow is furrowed in a look of deep concentration because he’s working on beating his record of 215 jumps. He’s been out there for almost an hour, determined to get to 216 before dinnertime.
I know exactly how he feels.
I’ve somehow become completely obsessed with finding a Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) for an Intercontinental Hotel. I stayed up late last night, relentlessly clicking and searching for deals. The thing is, it can’t be just any old Intercontinental; it has to be located in Chicago or Tokyo, for the exact dates of my already-booked travel.
This is harder than I thought it would be.
I’ve booked plenty of BRGs in the past. (You can read these posts about my Marriott, Hyatt, and Club Carlson success stories.) However, I have yet to book the Holy Grail of BRGs – a free night at the Intercontinental.
The terms of the offer state that if you find an IHG hotel for less on a different site, the first night of your stay is free (even if the stay is one night). This includes all IHG properties.
I don’t know how I became so obsessed with this, but I can’t stop searching! Last night I was thrilled to find a deeply discounted rate for my dates at the Strings Intercontinental in Toyko on Orbitz. Everything was perfectly aligned: the room descriptions were exactly the same on both sites, the cost of the Orbitz room was much less – both before and after taxes, both rooms were fully cancelable and refundable. I thought I had a winner for sure…until I realized that I had a currency issue.
The terms of the IHG Best Rate Guarantee state that the room price and the total room cost on the non-IHG website must be available, viewable, quoted, booked, and paid for in the currency of the hotel. Since Orbitz only charges in US dollars, and the IHG website insisted on charging me in Japanese yen, I knew my claim would not qualify for a BRG.
I decided to submit it anyway at around midnight last night, just to see what happened. Just now, I got an email back from IHG. With trembling fingers, I clicked to open it, scrolling down as fast as I could to get to the answer: would they approve it against the odds?
In fact, in addition to the currency issue, they cited another incredibly nitpicky difference, claiming that the cancellation policy on Orbitz was “restrictive compared to the reservation made on the IHG website.” See what you think:
The reservation I made on Orbitz had free cancellation before 6:00 PM on 3/20/14.
If I canceled or changed my reservation after 6:00 PM on 3/20/14, the hotel would charge me $435.
The reservation I made with IHG had free cancellation before 6:00 PM on 3/21/2014.
If I canceled or changed my reservation after 6:00 PM on 3/21/14, the hotel would charge me $435.
So it’s back to work. I’m determined to do this.
Bear just fell off his pogo stick. He’s getting up now and waving to me. I can tell that he’s having a blast doing what he loves.
So am I.
But I have to know: have you ever booked a Best Rate Guarantee at an Intercontinental? Where? How? On second thought, maybe don’t tell me…figuring it out is half the fun.