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InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
FoundedApril 4, 1946; 75 years ago (April 4, 1946)
FounderJuan Trippe
HeadquartersDenham, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Number of locations
213 hotels and resorts
Area served
Key people
Keith Barr, CEO
Revenue$4.627 billion (InterContinental Hotels Group, 2019)
OwnerPan Am Corporation (1946–1981)
InterContinental Hotels Group (1981–present)

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is a British luxury hotel brand created in 1946 by Pan Am's founder Juan Trippe.[1] It has been part of InterContinental Hotels Group since 1998.[1] As of November 2020, there were 210 InterContinental hotels featuring over 71,045 rooms worldwide.[2]


In 1945, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Juan Trippe, President of Pan Am, discussed their concern for Latin America’s need for development dollars at a White House breakfast. The two men thought that one way to attract businessmen and tourists would be to offer luxury hotels in key cities.[3] Trippe, envisioning a rise in mass international air travel, agreed that Pan Am, with the support of institutions like the Export–Import Bank of the United States, could form a subsidiary to foster the implementation of the idea. The hotels would also serve to accommodate Pan Am crews and passengers in destinations where upscale hotels were not yet present.[3] On April 3, 1946, Intercontinental Hotel Corporation was founded. Intercontinental Hotels purchased its first hotel that year, the Grande Hotel in Belém, Brazil. The chain soon grew to include numerous hotels throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Phoenicia Hotel Beirut, the company's first hotel in the Middle East, opened in 1961

Intercontinental Hotels opened its first property in the Middle East in 1961, the Phoenicia Intercontinental Beirut. The chain became one of the first to operate in Eastern Europe when it signed a contract to manage the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel in 1964.

The company constructed new luxury hotels at Pan Am destinations around the world. In its hotel designs, Intercontinental aspired to combine Mid-century modern American luxury with decorative elements drawn from local cultures.[3] Between 1961 and 1985, Intercontinental's head designer, Neal Prince, designed interiors and branding for 135 hotels.[3][4]

The chain was officially rebranded as Inter•Continental Hotels in 1966, with the name commonly spelled with a hyphen as Inter-Continental when typed.[5] The Inter-Continental Kabul opened in 1969, but ceased operation following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The hotel continues to operate independently using the Inter-Continental name, but unaffiliated with the chain.[6]

In 1972, Inter-Continental started a line of moderately priced hotels, called Forum Hotels.[7] The chain opened its first hotel in the United States in 1973, when it signed a contract to manage the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco.

PanAm sold Inter-Continental to Grand Metropolitan on August 19, 1981. The new owners merged their existing chain of Grand Metropolitan Hotels into Inter-Continental and its sibling chain Forum Hotels. GrandMet sold the chain to the Saison Group in 1988, which in turn sold it to Bass in 1998. Two years later, Bass divested itself of its namesake brewing business and renamed itself Six Continents, focusing on hotels. In 2003, Six Continents demerged its bar and pubs business Mitchells & Butlers and the company renamed itself InterContinental Hotels Group. At that time, Inter-Continental Hotels dropped the hyphen in its name and became InterContinental Hotels. The chain is one of numerous brands today within the company.


Food poisoning[edit]

In July 2016, InterContinental Adelaide was responsible for giving at least 70 diners salmonella food poisoning. Twenty-one of these people had to be treated at hospital.[8]

Hygiene standards[edit]

In September 2017, a consumer rights group accused InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun of substandard hygiene conditions. Specifically during an undercover operation they had marked bed linen and toilets with an invisible stamp. Upon returning the next day the marks were still there.[9]


  1. ^ a b "History of InterContinental Hotels Group". InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Our Brands". InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Street, Francesca (December 8, 2021). "The inside story of InterContinental Hotels' quest to export 1960s American glamor to the world". CNN. Cable News Network. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  4. ^ "Neal Prince". Designing the Luxury Hotel: Neal Prince and the Inter-Continental Hotel Brand. New York School of Interior Design Library. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Gunmen attack major Kabul hotel". BBC News. 20 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  7. ^ Pace, Eric (1981-08-20). "Pan Am Unit Is Profitable, and for Sale". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
  8. ^ "Eggs blamed for salmonella outbreak at Adelaide hotel". August 15, 2016.
  9. ^ "Video sparks hygiene concerns in Beijing hotels". The Straits Times. September 11, 2017.

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