Okay, so this is the story of how I drove from Idaho to California to Florida to New York City in the middle of a pandemic! We stopped in six different cities, going coast to coast staying exclusively in IHG Hotels & Resorts along the way. I’ll go through and explain exactly where we stayed when passing through the six cities, to give you a few ideas for your road trip.

Before we start, I’d like to give you a little background on some of the brands, and why we felt comfortable staying in IHG facilities. While driving coast to coast with IHG Hotels & Resorts, we stayed in Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, InterContinental, and voco Hotels.

Why IHG?

From South Carolina to Thailand, I have stayed in IHG hotels all over the world and have been part of IHG Rewards since I graduated college in 2016. It’s a brand I know, love, and trust. Especially during these times, it was important to stay safe. IHG Way of Clean includes deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants, and guests can expect to see enhanced procedures. These may include: face covering requirements, various ways to reduce contact throughout the hotel, social distancing measures within public spaces and procedures based on local authorities’ guidance and/or advice. In addition to many other initiatives, the IHG Clean Promise launched in June 2020 so that guests can be reassured that their room will meet IHG’s high standards of cleanliness, and if not, the hotel will make it right.

Another perk of traveling with IHG is that when you book your stay direct at one of their qualifying properties, you can choose one of their flexible rates to include the flexibility to change or cancel your reservation at no charge! With the uncertainty of travel in 2021, this is a fantastic perk. For full details, refer to their Travel Advisory details. Alright, let’s dive a little deeper!

The Brands

Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigos are all about the local experience. Although located separately geographically, each hotel is styled differently, and they always incorporate the neighborhood into aspects of their design. It’s about getting out and experiencing the city around you with the hopes of giving you a fresh perspective. We stayed at a Hotel Indigo in San Diego and Austin.

Holiday Inn

Most people have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express, however what I think people forget is that Holiday Inn is a completely different entity. Holiday Inn has been giving people trusted stays for over 70 years. It’s a classic, full-service hotel experience that cultivates an environment that connect people, inspire, and deliver exceptional value. We stayed at a Holiday Inn in New Orleans and Charleston.

InterContinental

InterContinental, to me, is iconic luxury. The brand has been helping generations enjoy luxury travel for 70 years in more than 180 locations around the world. Whether you’re looking for an immersive spa experience, vibrant city life, or special time with the family, a ton of options await. In our case, we stayed at the InterContinental Miami, where all those options were available in one!

voco

voco is a brand-new hotel brand for IHG, and it’s about giving people a different choice. Where they make themselves unique is that the important things you can depend on will always be the same, but each location will have its own identity. It’s upscale, with a laidback spirit. “voco” comes from Latin and means “to invite” or “to come together” and that should be transparent with the warm welcome you receive. Outside the warm welcome are two other hallmarks – me time and voco life. The bedrooms and bathroom amenities are both luxurious and cozy and encourage you to take moments for yourself. voco life refers to making sure that the bars and lounges are places you’d want to utilize, be it in the morning or evening!

We stayed at voco The Franklin in New York, which is the first one to open in the US, but there are more options abroad.

And we haven’t even scratched the surface for their domestic options! You can see why we chose IHG. With all that said, let’s hit the road!!

The Cities

City #1 San Diego, California

Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

For my quick stay in San Diego, I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. Like I mentioned, the Hotel Indigo is all about the local experience. Each hotel is styled differently, and they always incorporate the neighborhood into aspects of their design. At this location, the beach was definitely incorporated, but with a hip, breezy California way of doing things!

The Room

I think our suite was one of the most beautiful and spacious rooms I’ve ever stayed in! The separate living area, spa-like bathroom, and spacious bedroom drenched with natural light made it feel like a home away from home.

The Amenities

Free high speed Wifi, Business Center Services, On-site Fitness Center, Pets allowed for free, an adjacent parking garage.

Overall

Overall, this was a definite favorite. We stayed here the day after we got engaged and my fiance said it was the nicest hotel room he’s ever stayed in! I would love to come back when the rooftop was open again, after the pandemic. As soon as you walk into the lobby, your experience feels elevated and the room décor was so easy and comfortable. It really gave a boutique-type experience.

Please visit their website to learn more, but here is a little of the logistic information:

509 9th Avenue San Diego, California 92101 619-7274000

City #2 Austin, Texas

Hotel Indigo Austin Downton University

I love Austin! I have been twice before: once for Austin City Limits and once for work. Surrounded by neon lights in one of the most thriving neighborhoods of Austin, this Hotel Indigo was more eclectic than San Diego.

The Room

We were able to stay in a suite, with a view of the incredible pool! It was incredible being able to compare this one right after staying in San Diego. While still under the Hotel Indigo umbrella, the hotel décor was so remarkably different. While San Diego had a lot of more neutral and beachy elements, Austin incorporated bright colors like orange and fun patterns into the design.

The Amenities

The largest amenity of this spot, without a doubt, was their pool which was open year-round. The outdoor area felt so luxurious and had a beautiful view of the Austin city skyline. The hotel is also equipped with a business center, conference rooms, an on-site fitness center, free WIFI, and dogs are allowed. Also, when it’s safe, the location offers cocktails at their outdoor pool area and live music! You can also find an on-site restaurant called Ladybird Kitchen + Bar—which at the time of this article is closed until it’s safe to reopen.

Overall

I think this may have been my favorite stay of all?? It’s so hard to choose one, but I do know that the day I spent at this hotel’s pool in 75 degree sunny Austin weather was the perfect fuel for me to carry on with our thousands of miles driving. The staff was friendly and the grounds were so close to many Austin restaurants and attractions. If on your Austin visit, your goals are relaxation and to listen to live music, you truly should stay here for the location and the vibe!

Please visit their website to learn more, but here is a little of the logistic information:

810 Red River Street Austin, Texas 78701 512-481-1000

City #3 New Orleans, Louisiana

Holiday Inn French Quarter Chateau LeMoyne

Out of all the cities I’ve visited in my life, I had never been to the bayou of the USA. On our cross-country road trip, we needed to see what the Big Easy was all about! I was in awe at where we got to stay, because the Holiday Inn French Quarter-Chateau Lemoyne is literal steps from the iconic Bourbon Street. The bright exterior and iron details matched the iconic NOLA aesthetic.

The Room

This room, although one of the smallest on our IHG tour, was no shy of character. We were greeted by the rich brick elements, complimented by dark green, and charming decor such as an old gin sign. The weather rainy for almost the entire time we were there, and the room was SO cozy. It was the perfect place for a movie day indoors. We honestly had to give ourselves pep talks to go outside and enjoy the city, because the room was so comfortable. Alas, exploring was to be done & off we went!

The Amenities

This hotel is equipped with a business center, free Wifi, and parking on-site. It had the most beautiful pool area and cocktail lounge! Unfortunately, at the time of my stay, the area was closed, but I can only imagine how amazing it will be upon opening again. Because of the charm and the convenient location, this hotel has been known to host many weddings, as well.

Overall

To be here at the time of Mardi Gras was truly special! The lobby was decorated for the occasion and although things look a little different in 2021, I still felt every bit of that New Orleans charm. Just steps from the iconic Bourbon Street, you simply cannot beat this location!

Please visit their website to learn more, but here is a little of the logistic information:

301 Dauphine Street New Orleans, Louisiana 70112 504-581-1303

City #4 Miami, Florida

 InterContinental Miami

So, I’ve moved over 20 times in my lifetime, but the one place that truly feels like “home” is South Florida. On our road trip, we had to stop by Miami for the night. We stayed one night at the iconic InterContinental Miami, which is such a luxury surrounded by stunning views of Biscayne Bay.

The Room

At the InterContinental Miami, there are a variety of room choices, but we stayed in a standard room, which comes with an option of either a bay view or a city view. Once we got there, I thought they had upgraded us because the room seemed too nice to be the “standard” option. The view of this room was hands down, the best part of this stay. I sat watching the sunset and the sunrise out this gorgeous view of Biscayne Bay. The room was equipped with a lounge area by this window, a workspace/desk, a coffee bar, and a mini bar.

The Amenities

The hotel is equipped with a spa, fitness center, two on-site restaurants, a pool,

34 meeting rooms including 4 ballrooms and a Club Lounge.  mySpa is their premier spa in Miami, with 10 spa treatment rooms, including a unique SpaJet2 hydro capsule and a couples suite. Although currently closed until it’s safe to reopen, the staff was kind enough to show me around. The outdoor area, Skylawn, is a 34,000 square foot outdoor space by the pool that overlooks the bay.

And then finally, there is a Club Lounge that includes breakfast, all day refreshments and evening cocktails.

Something I wish I would have taken advantage of is their Beach Bliss package, which includes ferry service to South Beach, where you are given two lounge chairs and an umbrella, as well as beach hotel bicycles, access to a South Beach pool and activities, such as Zumba, yoga and more.

Overall

This was definitely the most luxurious stay we had while driving across the US. Being in such a great location, I actually wish we were able to stay there for a few days. Miami, I will be back soon!

Please visit their website to learn more, but here is a little of the logistic information:

100 Chopin Plaza Miami Florida, 33131 305-370-1000

City #5 Charleston, South Carolina

Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview

I had the pleasure of staying at the Holiday Inn Riverview while in Charleston, and although a very quick stay, I can definitely recommend this spot for someone visiting this colorful and vibrant area!

The Room

At the Holiday Inn Riverview, there are two types of rooms and because of the circular architecture, one option is a stunning view out onto the river (hence the name). Unfortunately, we were only in town for under 24 hours, and the fog was STRONG on our visit. I have been to Charleston so many times though, and on a good day, you will want one of these views. The bed was also so big and the room had tons of storage space available for your luggage! I thought the bright turquoise wall was such a nice touch, and really captured the essence of Charleston’s magic, as you walk down every street finally a new bright and colorfully painted buildings.

The Amenities

While staying here, I truly felt like the hotel wanted to ensure everything was taken care of. There was free parking, an on-site gym, a business center, free coffee in the lobby, an outdoor pool, on-site guest laundry services, a cocktail lounge and restaurant with a killer view, and a free shuttle across the river to historic Downtown Charleston!

Overall

Although I was heartbroken about the fog, I know the Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview is a place I would stay again. This hotel really felt like they go above and beyond for their guests’ comfort and you really can’t beat the views of the Ashely river, from both the rooms and from the restaurant on the top floor.

Please visit their website to learn more, but here is a little of the logistic information:

301 Savannah Highway Charleston, SC 29407 843-556-7100

City #6 New York, New York

voco The Franklin

For my arrival into New York City, I had the pleasure of staying at voco The Franklin, which recently opened as the first voco in the United States! The gorgeous modern aesthetic perfectly complemented that classic New York charm.

The Room

voco The Franklin had multiple room options, but we stayed in the King Studio, which was their most spacious option, with a desk and seating area. Each room is complete with a chandelier and original photography. I felt the elements were really welcoming and I felt so relaxed waking up every day to find the Upper East Side peeking through the white, dreamy curtains.

The Amenities

voco The Franklin is equipped with free high speed WiFi, Business Center Services, dogs allowed up to 30lbs, adjacent parking garage (which is so rare in NYC)! Although there is no on-site food, there is a small café with tea and coffee options, and I also noticed a sign that outdoor dining is coming soon.

Overall

Honestly, I loved staying here! The charming touches of the entire hotel were so chic & warm. The staff was ridiculously great, the room was very comfortable, and we even extended our stay an extra night. But you guys… I haven’t even shared the best part: the night we arrived, the staff brought us champagne on ice, chocolates and a hand signed card to welcome us to New York and celebrate our engagement. Are you kidding?! I swear Bradley & I both got a little misty eyed. Thank you so much, voco The Franklin for that!!!

Please visit their website to learn more, but here is a little of the logistic information:

164 East 87th Street New York, NY 10128 212-369-1000

Final Thoughts

If you would have showed me all those hotels in the beginning of my trip and asked me if they were under the same company, I would not have believed you! IHG is a dynamic organization. If you’re looking for a place to rest your head after 15 hours of traveling or looking for the luxury getaway of your lifetime, IHG Hotels & Resorts has you covered.

Every room we stayed in felt clean and safe for our journey, and the staff was friendly in all locations! We collect room keys, and thankfully each staff member obliged and let us keep ours upon check out. It’s hard to choose which one location was the best, but I can wrap up a few highlights for each.

Hotel Indigo was my favorite experience, having felt like I got a true local experience in each stay. The Holiday Inn Chateau LeMoyne’s location was unbeatable, and the Holiday Inn Riverview’s customer service was great. The InterContinental was stunning, both in details and in views. And finally, voco felt like home.

All of that proving my loyal opinions, IHG Hotels & Resorts is the way to go! Please comment if you’d like to learn more specifics about any of my stays.

** Thank you to IHG Hotels & Resorts for sponsoring this post. Although sponsored, as always, all opinions are my own. **

As always, thanks so much for reading & happy traveling!

xoxo alex

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