InterContinental at 70: A journey through history

InterContinental at 70: A journey through history

The InterContinental brand is the jewel in IHG’s crown and this year we are celebrating 70 glorious years as one of the world’s leading luxury hotel brands.

The InterContinental story started back in 1946 when airline Pan American World Airways decided to open their own chain of luxury hotels throughout Latin America to encourage business trips and tourism to the area. The Grande Hotel in Belém, Brazil became the first InterContinental hotel to open in 1949 and soon the brand expanded across Latin America.

Since then, InterContinental has grown worldwide to become one of the finest hotel brands on the globe and has always had its hand in landmark moments in history.

 It was in the InterContinental Carlton in Cannes, France that Grace Kelly first met Prince Rainer III of Monaco and it was in Washington D.C’s Willard InterContinental in 1963 that the Reverend Martin Luther King put the finishing touches to his legendary ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

However, it’s not just InterContinental’s incredible history that we’re so proud of. It’s the magic moments that all of our team strive to achieve on a daily basis that makes the InterContinental experience such a special one.

In this blog we’re going to look at some of the most special moments that our InterContinental staff have enjoyed being a part of and look forward to a future filled with many more!


Intercontinental staff


InterContinental staff to the rescue!

Assistant Front Office Manager at the Semiramis InterContinental Hotel in Cairo, Nevien Farouk, came to a bride’s rescue after an unfortunate mishap with her dress and a fire extinguisher sprinkler.

Back in April 2015 a wedding reception was being held at the hotel. Earlier that day a friend of the bride hung the wedding gown on a fire sprinkler on the ceiling of the bridal suite. As soon as she disturbed the sprinkler water flooded the room, leaving everything, bridal gown included!

Naturally, panic ensued from the bridal party. Searching for a dress rental service Nevien recommended the hotel’s in-house Laundry Team. A mere two hours later the dress was back, washed and laundered and looking good as new! As Nevien herself says, “I was very happy to turn a very sad bride (only for a few hours) from unexpected desolation into real happiness.”

A perfect example of the dedication to superior service that InterContinental is known for!

InterContinental staff help to make dreams come true!

Executive Chef at InterContinental Marseille— Hotel Dieu, Lionel Levy, remembers a particularly poignant guest and how he helped him to bring one of his dreams to life. Lionel says,

“[My most special story was] the day I met the little François, 4 years old, who was suffering from terminal cancer. His dream was to become a chef, so I offered him my InterContinental chef jacket and spent the evening with him inside the kitchen of the Michelin starred restaurant Alcyone. I taught him how to cook the traditional bouillabaisse, which he then got to taste with his family in the restaurant later that evening.”

Little François lost his brave battle, but Lionel still to this day keeps in touch with his family so they enjoy the memory of making this brave little boy’s dream come true during their stay with InterContinental.

If you think you have what it takes to provide magic moments like these to our guests across the world then we would love to hear from you! Head on over to our dedicated careers site to browse our vacancies and make sure you get in touch – we love to hear from people dedicated to making hospitality as magical as possible!


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