I just completed my last business trip of 2017, and sadly, my last as a Kimpton Karma Inner Circle member. While I dedicated most of my hotel stays to Kimpton this year, the reality is that my business travel patterns changed when I took a new job and relocated to Washington, D.C. This year, I took fewer, but longer trips and in the end my number of stays and total hotel nights were down vs 2016. While I value elite status, especially Kimpton Inner Circle, I am not willing to “hotel hop” just to drive up stay counts.
Or course, there’s always next year, but with Kimpton Karma folding into IHG Rewards in 2018, it’s a little more difficult to know what one really has to do to qualify for Inner Circle. Starting in 2019, you will need to earn Spire Elite status AND receive an “exclusive invitation” to Inner Circle. It’s not clear what one has to do to get that invitation, but I’d assume a heavy focus on Kimpton stays might get you there.
Looking back, I probably could have “hopped” back and forth between Kimpton’s two San Francisco properties pretty easily on several trips this year. But the truth is that “the game” just doesn’t thrill me like it used to. I value things like comfort, location, ease of access to transportation, and caring staff when it comes to hotels, and I got that and then some at my most frequented Kimpton location, the Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco this year.
Will the #KimptonLove still be there after I join the “outer circle”? I don’t know, but I’m optimistic. My first Kimpton stays of 2018 are already booked. I’ll be sure to let you know how it (and exploring IHG Rewards) goes.
Are you a fellow Inner Circle member with similar concerns? Feel free to comment.
-MJ, December 17, 2017