Holiday Inn Got a Makeover

A $1 billion refresh brings new lobbies, rooms and dining options for guests to enjoy.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Published

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Holiday Inn is one of IHG Hotels & Resorts' key brands — part of what IHG calls its “Essentials Collection”— and participates in its IHG One Rewards hotel loyalty program.

In 2007, IHG decided to give the Holiday Inn brand a makeover, elevating its standards to a level that the customer of today wants. It is spending more than $1 billion to invest in the product, which includes overhauling every single Holiday Inn around the world — a process that is still ongoing.

The result aims to make the Holiday Inn brand appeal to a new generation of travelers, with special attention given to creating a more uniform experience across both new and existing properties.

The Holiday Inn dates back to 1952 and started as a pioneer in hotel services, offering new conveniences like free parking, free stays for children, swimming pools, and extra amenities like cribs and telephones. Today, these are all expected perks, so how can the new Holiday Inn stand out from the pack?

How to know if a Holiday Inn is renovated to new standards

If you’re staying in a renovated hotel with the new Holiday Inn experience, you can expect more open spaces, new open restaurant and bar concepts, adaptable meeting space and more modern accommodations.

The new open lobby combines the restaurant, bar and hotel concierge with more coworking space to create a lounge environment where people can gather outside of their room.

These updates are in line with what other hotels in the midscale/mid-tier, full-service category are doing.

Features in the new-concept guest rooms include:

  • A welcome nook with space for keys, a hook for coats and a charging port. The brand describes this as what many people may have in their own home’s entryway.

  • Moveable desks and the ability to work with a laptop or other device in many areas of the room rather than just at a single desk.

  • Upgraded bedding.

  • Blackout shades.

  • Upgraded shower facilities.

True to its origins, kids 11 and under still eat free in Holiday Inn restaurants, assuming an accompanying adult pays for a meal.

According to IHG, 50% of its hotels in the U.S. will be renovated by 2025 — with its first new-build prototype opening early next year as well.

In Europe, the majority of Holiday Inn hotels have completed the new open-lobby renovations. Another new amenity for European Holiday Inn hotels is a to-go coffee station, featuring Starbucks.

Push aside any previous thoughts you had about the brand. IHG’s efforts are meant to upgrade the brand to be full-service offerings that cater to a variety of travelers, not just families, roadside overnights or business travelers. While Holiday Inns may not be the most expensive in each destination, they are not meant to be a budget offering.

5 redesigned Holiday Inns worth a visit

1. Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort & Casino

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

The Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort & Casino now offers guests three pools, whirlpools, a spa, five restaurants and bars (including one on the beach), and a casino.

With nearly 600 rooms directly on Palm Beach, this property has been welcoming guests. It is one of 45 open Holiday Inn Resorts and nearly three dozen Holiday Inn Vacation Club properties around the world.

2. Holiday Inn Singapore Little India

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

In one of the city’s heritage districts, this 20-story hotel benefits from recent renovations and showcases the new open-plan lobby lounge design.

Business travelers appreciate its convenience to the Central Business District while leisure travelers will enjoy the pool and easy walking distance to dining and shops, many with Indian heritage.

3. Holiday Inn Paris - Gare de Lyon Bastille

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

This Holiday Inn could not be more Parisian with its belle époque facade ("beautiful age"), fitting right into the neighborhood.

It showcases the latest brand design with renovated guest rooms and an open-plan lobby. Want to get around the city by metro?

As its name suggests, the Gare de Lyon train station, a major hub for metro and express trains (RER), is just a short walk from the front door.

4. Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

The Holiday Inn Belfast City Centre is well-positioned for touristic pursuits around Northern Ireland’s capital city. The property is close to public transportation options as well as the city’s entertainment and shopping districts.

Fans of "Game of Thrones" and Titanic history can earn IHG One Rewards points while visiting top attractions.

5. Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Lake Buena Vista

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

Just one mile from Walt Disney World Resort, this renovated resort has pools, whirlpools, an arcade, a splash pad and poolside activities like dive-in movies and ping pong.

Like other Holiday Inns around the world, kids eat free when their parents order a meal, which can be a budget-friendly move when paying for expensive theme park tickets.

How to earn elite status with IHG One Rewards

Guests earn points for their stays, but for a fast track to IHG elite status, there are IHG co-branded credit cards that can get you there. They include:

Cards with IHG elite status perks
IHG&® One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
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on Chase's website

IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card
IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
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on Chase's website

IHG&® One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
IHG One Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
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on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0.

$99.

$99.

Elite status perks

Includes automatic Silver Elite status.

Includes automatic Platinum Elite status.

Includes automatic Platinum Elite status.

Welcome offer

Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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With elite status, you can earn bonus points during your stay (the number increases as your status moves up the chain) as well as other perks like room upgrades and late checkout.

Holiday Inn is not the same brand you may remember

With a $1 billion brand refresh that is making its way to Holiday Inns around the world, guests will find new lobby and guest room concepts, plus more food and beverage options than before.

As IHG repositions the brand to focus on full-service at a mid-tier price point, guests stand to benefit from the changes.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Hotel Cards from Our Partners
IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card

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140,000

Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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World Of Hyatt Credit Card

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World of Hyatt Credit Card
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Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent on qualified purchases at Hyatt hotels & up to 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.

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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
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Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card. 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

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Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

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