26 February 2020

InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts reveals multi-sensory experiences in seven cities around the world that have been voted as InterContinental ICons 2020

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InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts unveils some of the most authentic ways to experience New York, London, Dubai, Paris, Mexico City, Sydney and Shanghai, inspiring and redefining travel in some of the world’s most famous cities in 2020 
The curated selection was voted for by the public then ranked by leading travel experts including National Geographic photographer Charlie Hamilton James  
The InterContinental ICons 2020 will inspire bookable experiences at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts allowing travellers to rediscover their favourite destinations in new and unexpected ways 

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest luxury hotel brand, today reveals the most iconic sights, sounds, tastes, smells and sensations that travellers should experience in 2020 if they want to really get to know the city they are visiting. The first ever InterContinental ICons range from the smell of fresh bagels at a West Village shop in New York and the unique flavours of Karak Chai in Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, to enjoying the sight of contrasting old and new architecture in London.  

The list of experiences was determined through an online public vote and then ranked by a panel of worldly influencers and leading travel experts as the best additions to conventional tourist destinations. The InterContinental ICons will also inspire curated experiences that can be booked at some of the leading InterContinental Hotels and Resorts across the world.  
Top InterContinental ICons in each city: 

  • Paris – Smell of oven-fresh bread from the boulangeries of Oberkampf 
  • London – The contrast of old and new architecture on the ever-changing London skyline 
  • New York – Fresh bagels at a West Village bagel shop 
  • Dubai – Tasting the many unique flavours of Karak Chai along Jumeirah Beach Road 
  • Sydney – The cool breeze on your face as you ride the Manly to Circular Quay ferry 
  • Mexico City – The smoky flavour of tacos al pastor 
  • Shanghai – The sound of old songs played on a vinyl record player 

The campaign was developed based on insight from an independent study by the brand. The research revealed that most locals (59%) feel visitors are missing out on the true spirit of a place, while 75% of luxury travellers want to experience cities like a well-informed local.  

Jane Mackie, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, IHG Luxury Portfolio, commented: “True to the InterContinental brand’s heritage of pioneering luxury travel, we’ve spent the last few months working with leading experts and canvassing public opinion to uncover truly fascinating and meaningful details that showcase the best of global cities around the world. We are excited to reveal the first ever list of InterContinental ICons as well as curated itineraries to inspire travellers to go deeper.”

Charlie Hamilton James, Photographer, National Geographic and member of the judging panel commented: “I loved working on the InterContinental ICons campaign – it opened my eyes to the many undiscovered facets that I’d been missing in each of these well-visited cities. Each one holds an infinite number of secrets and experiencing the ICons is just the way to start uncovering them.”

For more details on InterContinental ICons visit life.intercontinental.com/icons Images, video, infographic, global and London specific statistics & spokespeople available on request 

Discover the InterContinental ICons

New York  
1. Fresh bagels at a West Village bagel shop 
2. Sipping craft cocktails in a bar in an up-and-coming neighbourhood in Brooklyn 
3. The sharp blue sky against the striking architecture of the city skyline seen from the Hudson River Ferry 
4. Soaking up the sunshine on a lunchtime picnic in Central Park  
5. The astonishing luminosity as you stand on the concourse of the Oculus  
Mexico City
1. The smoky flavour of tacos al pastor 
2. The scent of mezcal just before taking the first sip 
3. The surprising downtown museums, like the Palacio de Bellas Artes with its Diego Rivera paintings  
4. The contrast of buildings in Zocalo, from the plaza and National Palace to the Templo Mayor ruins 
5. The view of Paseo de la Reforma in the early morning 
1. Smell of oven-fresh bread from the boulangeries of Oberkampf 
2. The tickles of the blades of grass during a springtime picnic in the Buttes Chaumont 
3. Sounds of laughter and glasses tinkling at apero hour on the terraces in Bastille 
4. The washing sound of boats as your stroll along Seine near the haven of Ile Saint-Louis 
5. Filling your basket with organic cheeses and prunes from the organic market in Les Batignolles 
1. The contrast of old and new architecture on the ever-changing London skyline 
2. A Sunday roast enjoyed by the fireside in an historic, hidden London pub  
3. Hearing the market traders and watching the eclectic mix of people on Portobello Road on a Friday morning 
4. Spotting the stags emerge in Richmond Park on a misty, autumn morning 
5. The thrill of seeing the twinkling lights of the capital as you cross the Thames in a cab at night 
1. Tasting the many unique flavours of Karak Chai along Jumeirah Beach Road  
2. The enchanting smell of burning bukhoor, transporting you back in time 
3. Sound of water lapping an Abra as it glides along Dubai Creek  
4. The crackle of a campfire breaking the silence on a night-time desert escape 
5. The fascinating contrast of old and new under the glow of a warm Dubai sunset 
1. The cool breeze on your face as you ride the Manly to Circular Quay ferry  
2. The Sydney skyline viewed from a rooftop in Five Ways Paddington 
3. The smell of sunblock and a barbeque cooking up on the North Bondi grassy knoll  
4. Fish and chips enjoyed barefoot at Kutti Beach 
5. The sun on your shoulders on the Hermitage Foreshore walk while you soak up the best views over Sydney Harbour  
1. The intersection of Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River at Waibaidu Bridge 
2. The melodious bells of the clock tower on the Bund 
3. The warm aroma of Xiaolongbao at the Temple of the City Gods 
4. Brightly lit Lujiazui Financial Centre  
5. Old songs played on a vinyl record player  


For further information please contact:

Caroline O'Grady
+44 7500 977 013

About IHG®

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN Hotels®, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, voco™, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Holiday Inn Club Vacations®, avid™ hotels, Staybridge Suites®Atwell Suites and Candlewood Suites®.


IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 5,900 hotels and approximately 884,000 guest rooms in more than 100 countries, with over 1,900 hotels in its development pipeline. IHG also manages IHG® Rewards Club, our global loyalty programme, which has more than 100 million enrolled members.


InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales. More than 400,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally.


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