InterContinental Hotels & Resorts: The Pioneers of Luxury Travel

There is something to be said for travel brands that hold a rich history. To withstand the test of time signifies you must be doing something right: acting as a pioneer and a trailblazer, and committing to constant reinvention while honoring the past. From its diverse global portfolio to a commitment to the future of responsible travel, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is a true industry leader. As the first global luxury hotel brand, InterContinental was at the forefront of culture-expanding international travel and continues to lead the way today. 

It all started in 1946, when President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt instituted the “Good Neighbor” policy, encouraging trade and travel between the United States and Latin America. Juan Trippe, the Founder and Chairman of Pan American Airlines, saw this as a prime opportunity. His airline already flew passengers to far-flung corners of the world, but many destinations lacked the infrastructure needed to host modern travelers. With a progressive vision of providing luxury accommodations in every city his airline serviced, Trippe opened the first InterContinental Hotel in Brazil in 1949—preceding the American Embassy by more than a decade. Trippe’s vision changed the travel landscape, enabling jet-setters to explore the world in a way that wasn’t possible before. This boundary-pushing and innovative spirit still drives InterContinental Hotels & Resorts today. 

From its origins as an aviation company to its opening of the world’s first underground hotel, take a look back on the dynamic history of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts while also looking towards the future. 

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

At 1,100 feet above street level, guests can take in California sunsets from a setting unlike anywhere else on the West Coast. The InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown offers modern luxury in the middle of LA at Wilshire Grand Center. 

Designed by AC Martin and opened in 2017, the property’s 73 stories boast an impressive 360-degree experience, from the Southern California-inspired guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows to the sky lobby with impressive panoramic views. The innovative design not only ensures a memorable stay, but also implements sustainability practices that are paving the way for the future of the industry, such as using recycled content for building materials and reserving storm water to reduce the burden on the city’s infrastructure. InterContinental is giving back to the bustling metropolis where it resides through progressive commitments that are redefining modern, world-class hospitality.