Hot on the heels of its wildly successful The Big Win promotion, IHG recently announced a new promotion for its Southeast Asia properties titled “The Big Nguyen.” The idea is that, in a global hotel chain with a more or less universally sterile approach to booking and customer service, local flavor can be added in more ways than just outfitting rooms with mass-manufactured Asian-themed decor and hiring all-Asian staff.
The terms of the promotion are intentionally vague, but the gist is that customers can book rooms by negotiating a price (in points, of course) with IHG properties in the region. Anyone who has purchased anything in Saigon, Bangkok, Phnom Penh or any other major city in Southeast Asia is already surely familiar with this process. In further keeping with local traditions, many hotels, like the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake, will employ pushy taxi drivers and various touts to greet travelers at airports and train stations.
IHG’s new and potentially lucrative promotion kicks off this Friday, coinciding with the Lunar New Year celebrated throughout Asia. This is great timing, as we’ve always felt those red envelopes are the perfect size for room keys.
We at Points Envy have been looking forward to The Big Nguyen for some time, though we were frankly very concerned about the prospect of economy-class travelers haggling their way from their Holiday Inn Expresses into our luxury hotels. Our fears were somewhat allayed, however, after we managed to deftly negotiate a three-week stay at the InterContinental: Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort for only 888 points per night, a pretty decent redemption value.
We look forward to seeing if any of our dear readers can beat that, though we of course know they will not.
Chúc mừng năm mới!