Why Marriott Bonvoy Features An IHG Hotel On Its Website

by joeheg

Hotel properties change brands all of the time. Sometimes it’s a brand change under the same corporate umbrella, like the Andaz Wall Street becoming a Hyatt Centric hotel. Other times it’s a change from one company to another, as we saw close up when the Radisson Hotel near Celebration, Florida took four years to rebrand as a Delta Hotels property. In that case, the hotel left Radisson and became an independent property until it finished the necessary updates required to join Marriott Bonvoy.

This leads me to an interesting thing I found when looking at Key West, Florida hotels. Hotel prices in the Old Town side of the island are always at a premium and the major chains only have a minor presence.

Hyatt has the Hyatt Centric, which is so popular it’s moving to Category 7 in a few weeks. Hilton has the Casa Marina and The Reach, both part of the Curio Collection. IHG has a selection of hotels, including several Kimpton Key West properties spread around the area.

The hotel chain missing from the party is Marriott Bonvoy. While they used to have a Westin property right next to Mallory Square, it was turned into a Margaritaville (and is now an Opal hotel). Their only hotel in Old Town is The Saint; while very popular, it’s also very small.

I’d imagine that Marriott would love to have a large hotel right in the middle of Key West. Maybe that’s why there’s already one advertised on its website.

a white and black sign

Marriott has a website for the La Concha Hotel, located right on Duval St. It’s the tallest building in Key West and has fantastic sunset views from the roof.

a view of a city from a high point


It’s a fully fleshed-out site, complete with pictures of the rooms (which are correct and not generic hotel room photos) and details about the onsite restaurants.

a room with a bed and a couchThere’s only one problem. From everything I see, the hotel is still a Crowne Plaza and part of IHG.

a close-up of a logo

You can make a reservation on the IHG website. I searched through the summer and there are rooms available. In addition, you cannot make a reservation for the Key West LaConcha on the Marriott website.

So is it a Marriott or IHG property?

As it turns out, the property owners announced in 2019 that they intended to change from an IHG Crowne Plaza to a Marriott Bonvoy Autograph Collection property. The change was supposed to have happened by July 2022…but it obviously didn’t.

Part of the agreement with Marriott was a $13.7 million Property Improvement Plan. This included updates to the exterior, guestrooms, guest bathrooms, corridors, lobby, restaurant, lounge, pool and meeting space. That’s pretty much everything in the hotel.

The improvements were to bring La Concha in line with what is expected from the Autograph brand. That’s understandable because we stayed at the hotel in 2013 and felt that it was nice but not anything special. Key West is full of charming places to stay, and a generic-looking hotel stands out by lacking any character.

To make things more interesting, I found this when searching on Google.

a screenshot of a hotel

According to Google, the hotel is going to open on March 30th. And while the listing says Crowne Plaza, the link takes you to the Marriott website for the hotel.


So will the La Concha finally become a part of Marriott Bonvoy’s Autograph Collection on March 30th?

If so, what will that mean for everyone who’s booked rooms using IHG points? Typically hotels will honor revenue bookings when changing brands but you might have problems with a free night using IHG One Rewards points. With scarce excess inventory and high cash rates, it might be a good idea not to book a reward stay at the La Concha Key West until you know it will be honored.

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1 comment

MoreSun March 4, 2023 - 11:00 pm

Or is it a better idea to book a reward stay now + book a back up elsewhere in case they don’t honor it?


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