InterContinental initiates global brand evolution

Pictured: rendering of InterContinental’s new concierge gallery design.
IHG Hotels & Resorts’ flagship brand, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, is being reimagined for today’s luxury travellers.

As part of IHG’s luxury and lifestyle portfolio, InterContinental’s transformative journey is driven by the line’s long held belief that travel can expand minds and connect cultures, enhanced by cutting-edge technology and innovative design.

Holistic evolution

The holistic evolution includes new offerings and experiences, a fresh brand culture, unique brand differentiators, and a game-changing food and beverage and hotel design strategy tailored to the traveller of tomorrow.

With InterContinental hotels in major world cities from Rome to Shanghai, and 93 new hotels and resorts in the pipeline, these concepts will shape the future of the marque.

Intentional flexibility

Modern travellers lead diverse lives, and InterContinental acknowledges the need for seamless transitions throughout their day. To address this, the brand is committed to helping guests ‘shape shift’ through their day.

New initiatives include scientifically backed food and beverage programmes aimed at helping guests reduce travel fatigue while ensuring dining options reflect differing guest needs throughout the day.

InterContinental is collaborating with neuroscience-based designer Isabelle Sjovall to revolutionise guestroom spaces to enhance the restorative process needed for travel fatigue and reimagine other versatile physical spaces so they can seamlessly adapt to evolving needs at different times of the day.

Concierge galleries

The concierge, at the heart of cultural exploration, will play an even more significant role in the brand’s future. InterContinental will develop Concierge Galleries in hotel lobbies, transforming them into epicentres of local, cultural knowledge.

Going beyond the standard concierge desk, these new outposts will more closely resemble a luxury boutique, bringing together interactive displays, library spaces and informative features, in some cases art installations or designer pop-ups. From a design perspective, these social spaces will eschew the traditional desk in favour of a more interactive worktable allowing for more natural and engaging interactions between the guest and concierge.

Micro-event spaces

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts will further elevate micro-occasions for guests who wish to enjoy life’s milestones, from birthdays to baby showers, through its new Incredible Occasions programme.

The Incredible Occasions programme will help signpost bookable spaces around the hotel, where groups of guests can enjoy privacy while celebrating memorable moments. Each intimate space will include programming and packages, consisting of amenities and experiences, such as tablescapes, candlelit dinners or private masterclasses.

Bringing together expertise, infrastructure and imagination, InterContinental will also unveil Celebration Suites across its global portfolio. These are reimagined spaces designed specifically to help guests elevate life’s most special moments, from dinner parties to landmark birthdays.

Cultivated elegance

The brand’s evolution focuses on further elevating quality design and timeless style under the umbrella of ‘cultivated elegance’.

Melissa Messmer, global head of design for luxury brands at IHG, said: “Each InterContinental hotel or resort is an experience-driven bespoke concept, tied together by our new design pillars that form the strength of our brand design style, cultivated elegance.”

Comprehensive transformation

Tom Rowntree, vice president of luxury brands at IHG, concluded: “This isn’t a rebrand or repositioning; rather, it’s a comprehensive transformation from start to finish of InterContinental, ensuring we stay at the forefront of crafting a luxury experience for the modern luxury traveller.

“Collaborating with our 215 hotels worldwide, we are committed to delivering precisely what today’s and tomorrow’s guests, owners and colleagues require.”