Journey through the InterContinental
InterContinental New York Barclays

A lot happened back in 1946. As the world rebuilt after a devastating war, some of the seeds planted way back then have since bloomed and today represent some of the most endearing and beloved brands, names, faces, icons and global treasures that bring so much warmth, joy and happiness to communities all over the world.

Did you know America’s NBA professional basketball league first formed in 1946. Cathay Pacific took to the skies for the first time. The beauty world was first graced by the Estee Lauder name. The world’s first Vespa scooter was built. The world first met Sylvester Stallone, Cher and Steven Spielberg among many other names bound for fame. And the year also saw the opening of London Airport at Heathrow, which is today one of the largest and busiest gateways in the world.

Journey through the InterContinental
Phoenicia InterContinental in Beirut overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.

That same year, Pan American World Airways Founder, Juan Trippe, coined the InterContinental Hotels and Resorts brand, with the first doors opening in the town of Belém, a quaint coastal city on the Guamá River in northern Brazil. His vision centred around a desire to bring luxury hotel accommodation to every corner of the planet. Since then, the brand has been on quite a journey to reach its present home as the flagship brand of IHG Hotels and Resorts, and its claim to titles such as the world’s largest and first true luxury hotel brand is widely acknowledged and respected.

In those 75 years, the InterContinental brand has been a key figure in some pivotal moments both at local and regional levels and also in some of the world’s true ‘zeitgeist’ timestamps. It was the first international brand to arrive in the Middle East when the Phoenicia opened in Beirut in 1961.

Journey through the InterContinental
The first InterContinental hotel was in the northern Brazilian town of Belém.

Equality trailblazer, Martin Luther King Jr, wrote his iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech at InterContinental The Willard in Washington D.C. These major affiliations continue today with InterContinental New York Barclay serving as the Official Hotel of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament won so spectacularly by rookie qualifier, Emma Raducanu.

The brand has also been front and centre in some true feats of architecture and engineering when in 2018, the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland became the world’s first ‘quarry hotel’ with 16 levels below ground and even two considered to be underwater.

Today, more than 200 hotels marked with the InterContinental insignia can be found in 60 countries. Another 70 are signed and still to come. And all are bound by the ingrained mantra that guests are welcomed and encouraged to ‘Live the InterContinental Life’ each time they walk through the door.

Journey through the InterContinental
Only two floors at the new InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland are above ground level.

For InterContinental’s Diamond Anniversary, champagne corks are popping all over the world, namely those of the Piper-Heidsieck brand by virtue of a partnership between the two. Also on board is The Botanist Islay Dry Gin, which combined with the aforementioned bubbly creates the deluxe ‘InterContinental 75’ cocktail, available in 130 InterContinental hotels around the world. A delightful non-alcoholic equivalent starring Seedlip Distilled non-alcoholic spirit and Fever Tree mixers is also available. Completing the decadent epicurean soiree will be a variety of carefully curated food pairing menus aligned to each hotel’s locale.

For InterContinental, the future is bright. The brand’s flagship InterContinental Paris Le Grand continues its palatial renovation. Barcelona joins the network and, closer to home, progress continues on exquisite modernisation projects in Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Wellington. Auckland, Sorrento and Parramatta continue their path through the pipeline to fruition. And Hayman Island and Perth continue to delight, inspire and indulge guests daily.

Kudos to InterContinental. Long may it prosper.