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En Route back from Zambia, before heading onwards to Japan, we opted to stay right at the airport. Originally, our plan had us heading back to the Intercontinental Sandton towers, but the commute back and forth is laborious for just an overnight. So while we were in Zambia, I hopped on the IHG site and checked to see if any rewards nights were avail. Lucky for us…there were, for 30,000 points. Factoring in the 10% discount with the Chase, IHG credit card gives us, we’re talking 27000 points. The cash rate was roughly, $250 plus tax. $250 was a no go, but 27000 per room, yes sirree bob. Now that’s not a bad use of IHG points, considering you can buy them for $0.07 at the time of booking – that’s less than $200 and my family has a huge stockpile of IHG points.
The Intercontinental is located just across from arrivals. We’re talking 5 mins MAX from the time you get your bags, clear customs, and exit the hotel. That’s a damn good deal.
Yes, this swanky patio is literally a hop, skip, and a jump.. and like a 200 steps from the airport.
Intercontinental Ambassador is definitely worth the 200 bones ( 150 after the first year ) if you stay at a few Intercontinentals a year. In fact, the free weekend night ( when staying 2) completely pays for the annual membership, but for stays like this one, it gave us nice upgrades, great breakfast, and a nice welcome amenity. Alone, not worth $150, but after a few stays, most certainly worth it, and after factoring in the free night, you’d be way ahead.
I almost prefer this to the Sandton Towers – it isn’t just a convenient airport hotel, it’s legitimately great.
The rooms had a private door that separated just these two rooms from the hallway. Every floor had the same layout, and despite lacking a living space, it actually provided what seemed like a suite, private set up.
The rooms were fantastic, and we made use of the spa and pool on the top floor which overlooked the main runways of the airport. It was very crowded and honestly didn’t feel comfortable taking pix of people in their bathing suits and lounging around. So here are a couple pics from the hotel website:
The spa was nice, nothing out of this world, but I think makes for a great spot to relax and rejuvenate. Had we opted to stay here on the way into town, it would have made for a nice refuge and also a great place to recover from jet lag. As we did it, it was on our way out of the country and made for a great spot ( with a late check out of 2pm) to stay pre-flight.
Quills: breakfast and dinner
Great lobby level restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating. My dad actually thought his main entree, a seafood risotto, was one of the better dishes he’d all trip. That says a lot, because South Africa is a wonderland of culinary delights!
The breakfast spread, which was delicious and on the house, really set us up nicely before the long flight to Tokyo. Having status really reaps benefits.
All in all, I would highly recommend this hotel. In hindsight, to start the trip I may have even stashed us away here rather that go into the Sandton Towers; however, Sandton was a great hotel with outstanding food and wonderful staff. South Africa, I’m excited to see you again. Hopefully sooner than later.
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