Today InterContinental® Hotels Group is one of the world's leading hotel companies with over 4,700 IHG® hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories and a portfolio of nine preferred brands that have a deep history and heritage and are easily recognised by millions
around the world.

Highlighted below are just some of the milestones, achievements and innovations that have come to define IHG and our family of brands.

1777 – The story begins

1777 – The story begins

It all began in 1777 when William Bass opened a brewery in Burton-on-Trent in the UK. Bass made its first significant move into the hotel industry in 1988, buying Holiday Inn International. By 2003 the business had changed from domestic brewer to international hospitality retailer and on 15 April InterContinental® Hotels Group PLC became a standalone hotel company listed on the London and New York stock exchanges.

1946 - InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts

In April 1946 Juan Trippe, the founder of Pan American Airways had a vision to bring high-quality hotel accommodation to the end of every Pan Am flight route. In 1947 the first InterContinental was opened, the Hotel Grande in Belem, Brazil. From here InterContinental Hotels & Resorts expanded steadily to become the world’s first truly international luxury hotel brand. This video tells more of the story and is shown in-room to all InterContinental guests upon arrival.

1952 - Holiday Inn®

In 1951, a Memphis businessman called Kemmons Wilson went on a two-week trip to Washington D.C. with his wife and five children. Along their drive, they found hotels of varying quality that tended to charge for each of his children to stay.

Kemmons recognised a need for clean, comfortable and affordable places for families to stay and didn't believe that hotels should charge extra for children. To deliver on his vision of an innovative hotel brand people could trust, he opened the first Holiday Inn in Memphis, Tennessee in 1952.

1952 - Holiday Inn®
1952 - Holiday Inn®

1965 - HOLIDEX®

In 1965, we launched HOLIDEX the world’s first computerised hotel reservation system. It was the first programme to connect directly with travel agents and airlines and received a major upgrade investment to become HOLIDEX PLUS in 2002.

Today HOLIDEX PLUS is the enabler for all of our booking channels handling over 800,000 reservations every day.

1982 - Holiday Inn Club Vacations®

1982 - Holiday Inn Club Vacations®

Holiday Inn Club Vacations is the result of a partnership between IHG and the family of Orange Lake Resorts. Like Holiday Inn, Orange Lake Resorts was founded by Kemmons Wilson and the Wilson family continue to own and operate the resorts today.

This picture shows Kemmons at the flagship resort in Orlando, Florida, adjacent to Walt Disney World Resort that was founded in 1982. This property is now among the largest single-site timeshare resorts in the world.

1983 - Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts

Crowne Plaza is one of the world’s top upscale brands with hotels found in major urban centres, gateway cities and resort destinations around the globe.

Its aim is to help guests reach their personal business goals and one of the brand’s ways of doing this is through Sleep Advantage®. It’s a holistic sleep program that includes luxurious bedding, aromatherapy kits, Quiet Zone floors and a Guaranteed Wake-up Call. It’s all to give businesspeople a good night’s sleep and a restful evening.

1983 - Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts

1991 - Holiday Inn Express®

Launched in 1991, Holiday Inn Express is one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the world, geared towards the smart business or private traveller who appreciates value but doesn’t want to compromise on comfort and style.

The brand offers a straightforward, uncomplicated guest experience. There’s a clean, fresh room and our signature Free Express Start Breakfast where you might find sausages and baked beans in the UK, cinnamon rolls and bacon in the US, tortilla in Spain or traditional buns in China.

Toast Toast Toast

1997 - Staybridge Suites®

At Staybridge Suites hotels, familiar comforts are all around you. Like the Great Room with a fireplace, flatscreen TV and cozy couches; your spacious suite with a fully equipped kitchen and room to relax. Start your day with a complimentary hot breakfast and the perfect cup of coffee. In the evening, join us for complimentary food and drinks and unwind with great conversation. Because when you feel welcome, connected and completely comfortable, you feel a little closer to home.

1997 - Staybridge Suites®

2003 - Candlewood Suites®

2003 - Candlewood Suites®

At Candlewood Suites hotels, everything about your stay is designed to be as flexible as you are. From full kitchens, comfortable recliners and large workspaces to free wireless, free gym and guest laundry, you’ll find all the things to feel at home, especially for longer stays. At the Candlewood Cupboard, guests can pick up a variety of food, beverages, and even toiletry items, all on the honor payment system. Available at over 300 locations in North America, our guests can live, work and relax on their own schedule.

2004 - Hotel Indigo®

Hotel Indigo is the world’s first upscale boutique brand and, just as no two neighbourhoods are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are alike. Each hotel reflects its local surroundings – you can taste the local flavour on the menu and see it in the art and design.

Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown was the first for the boutique brand and opened in 2004 in the vibrant arts and entertainment district around the historic Fox Theatre. Everything captures the energy of the neighbourhood, from the fabrics of the furniture, to the wall of lit up ticket stubs, to the piano inspired bar.

Hotel Indigo Hong Kong Island is designed to reflect the vibrant neighbourhood of Asia, Hong Kong and Wan Chai. The hallway art pieces reflect some iconic Wan Chai landmarks and bring guests through the past and present streets of Wan Chai.

2004 - Hotel Indigo®

2006 - Room to be yourself

Our employer brand helps us to stand out from the crowd, attract the very best talent and make us all feel proud to come to work each day. It’s about giving people room to be themselves so that they can grow and develop as individuals. And it is our people that make us one of the World’s Great Companies winning awards like the Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For in 2013.

  • Do the right thing
  • Show we care
  • Aim higher
  • Celebrate different
  • Work better together
Jacquetta Yassmin Gavin Karl Mike Paul

2006 - IHG® Academy

2006 - IHG® Academy

IHG Academy is a global programme that provides local people in the places we operate with skills development and employment opportunities in one of the world’s largest hotel companies.

IHG Academy programmes partner IHG hotels with local community organisations and/or education providers, to offer formal training and work experience placements, giving participants the skills that come with real in-hotel experience.

Since the programme launched in 2006, over 10,000 people from all walks of life have benefited from IHG Academy programmes, including many who may find it harder to secure employment such as war veterans, homeless people or those living with a disability.

In 2012, we celebrated the 150th IHG Academy in China. The programme partnered with Pu'er University of South West China's Yunnan Province and Crowne Plaza® Xishuangbanna to train and develop hospitality and tourism managers. The IHG Academy continues to expand and we now have over 200 programmes across 45 countries.

2007 - Holiday Inn Resort®

In 2007, Holiday Inn began a $1 billion brand family relaunch - the largest refresh in the hospitality industry with over 3,700 hotels globally.

As part of this relaunch, a new brand was developed. Launched in 2008, Holiday Inn Resort offers the perfect destination for family fun and relaxation with KidSuites, designed specifically with kids in mind. The rooms have kid-friendly furnishings, bunk beds, TV and electronic video games. There’s also our Kids Club, a programme of free on-site activities for the whole family.

2007 - Holiday Inn Resort®

2009 - IHG® Green Engage

  • Hotels using IHG Green Engage
  • Energy Use
  • Energy Target

IHG Green Engage is our online sustainability programme, and it allows us to design, build and run even greener hotels. The innovative and advanced system allows individual hotels to measure the impact to the environment from the day-to-day running of their hotel.

For example, Green Engage Hotels know their energy, water and waste usage and are provided with recommended actions, ideas and green solutions helping Green Engage Hotels to reduce energy by up to 25% per year.

2012 - HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts

HUALUXE is the world’s first international upscale hotel brand designed specifically for the needs and preferences of Chinese guests. The hotels and resorts focus on the unique Chinese aspects of etiquette, rejuvenation in nature, status recognition, and spaces enabling social interactions. We celebrate the essence of word-class Chinese hospitality underpinned by internationally renowned consistency. This video brings to life the future experience of a guest at a HUALUXE Hotel, the first of which is due to open in 2014.

2012 - EVEN Hotels

2012 - EVEN™ Hotels

Launched in 2012 following 18 months research with over 4,000 guests, EVEN Hotels are designed to support customer’s wellness goals. There’s wellness-savvy staff, a best-in-class fitness experience and healthy-minded food and drink. Natural items, like terrarniums, are designed to bring the outside in and enliven the rest areas in our hotels. In a world of cold, shiny, synthetic and over-designed surfaces, it’s refreshing to step into a hotel environment thoughtfully designed with natural elements and fresh scents.

2012 - London Olympic & Paralympic Games

  • Olympic Image 1
  • Olympic Image 2
  • Olympic Image 3
  • Olympic Image 4

In 2012 IHG showed the world what great delivery looks like when Holiday Inn & Holiday Inn Express became the Official Hotel Provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Through our London 2012 secondment programme, 75 of our colleagues, showcased our hospitality expertise, dealing in everything from pressure testing the water system to helping assemble 17,000 beds.

72 inspirational colleagues were nominated as Olympic torchbearers and over 60,000 of our people ran, walked, swam and cycled more than 340,000km, raising $300,000 for our IHG Shelter in a Storm programme

2013 - IHG® Rewards Club


Originally launched as Priority Club® Rewards in 1983, our loyalty programme is the oldest and largest in the industry.

In July 2013, during our 10th anniversary year as a standalone hotel company, we renamed the programme as IHG® Rewards Club and introduced improved benefits that, along with the scale and diversity of our brand family, shows why IHG® Rewards Club has been chosen by more travellers than any other hotel loyalty programme worldwide.

IHG Rewards Card