InterContinental ICons

InterContinental ICons aims to uncover and spark conversations around what makes some of our most-visited cities unique and why they continue to inspire visitors and residents. Responding to research demonstrating that the most popular sights in global cities are not always representative of the cities’ unique spirit, we invite you to rediscover these places with #intercontinentalicons.



Through an independent study, carried out in Dubai, Mexico City, London, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Sydney, we revealed that travellers often feel that they only scratch the surface of a city, with more than 70% feeling obliged to only see the most popular tourist sites, despite 80% expressing the desire to experience more of what the city has to offer and exploring like a well-informed local.

Social media analysis reveals that the Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most over-exposed tourist site in the world, representing 10% of all posts worldwide, with Buckingham Palace the most-tagged site in London (21%) and Central Park the most-tagged in New York City (20%).

We want to ensure our guests, and all worldly travellers, are able to discover the true essence of a destination. We invite you to take part in a global conversation debating what makes a city truly iconic. What do you see as the most symbolic sights, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings in these cities? The findings will inform the top five InterContinental ICons in Dubai, Mexico City, London, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Sydney, to enable travellers to create a more authentic itinerary on future visits.

Some of the leading InterContinental Hotels and Resorts across the world have curated bookable experiences inspired by the InterContinental ICons.


The winning ICons from New York

Fresh bagels at a West Village bagel shop
Sipping craft cocktails in a bar in an up-and-coming neighbourhood in Brooklyn
The sharp blue sky against the striking architecture of the city skyline seen from the Hudson River Ferry
Soaking up the sunshine on a lunchtime picnic in Central Park
The astonishing luminosity as you stand on the concourse of the Oculus

InterContinental New York Barclay

Step into the kitchen of The Barclay with Chef Peter Betz for a private New York Breakfast at the Chef’s Table. Enjoy a classic NY breakfast prepared live by our own Chef and participate in crafting the dishes. Shake up a cocktail from one of our historic classics menu.

Includes a tour of The Barclay rooftop garden and Apiary, two (2) tickets to One World Observatory and a Central Park picnic-inspired welcome amenity. Min two night stay in a suite accommodation.

Inclusions for the New York breakfast:

  • Classic New York Bagels with house smoked salmon, whitefish, selection of flavored cream cheese
  • Artisinal pastries
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Fresh fruit
  • Smoothies and fresh squeezed juice prepared live

Please call the hotel at +1 212-906-3100

    • Package is subject to availability
    • Please contact the hotel at least 1 week in advance to confirm your booking


The winning ICons for Mexico

The smoky flavour of tacos al pastor
The scent of mezcal just before taking the first sip
The surprising downtown museums, like the Palacio de Bellas Artes with its Diego Rivera paintings
The contrast of buildings in Zocalo, from the plaza and National Palace to the Templo Mayor ruins
The view of Paseo de la Reforma in the early morning

InterContinental Presidente Mexico City

Get to know Mexico City and its museums with this iconic city tour:

InterContinental Presidente Mexico City invites you to be part of this adventure that begins by walking along the iconic Paseo de la Reforma Avenue until you reach Chapultepec Park, where you will enjoy the most important green lung of the city. At the highest point of the green forest, visit Chapultepec Castle and be surprised by its history and beautiful views.

Later, don’t miss Plaza Garibaldi, where you will enjoy the traditional live Mariachi music, as well as visit the Tequila and Mezcal Museum where you can taste these typical Mexican drinks.

Our guide will accompany you all the time to make this a unique experience.


  • $230 dls (1-3 personas)
  • $400 dls (4-7 personas)

Book with our Concierge department preferably 24 hours in advance directly at the desk or by mail at



The winning ICons for Paris

Smell of oven-fresh bread from the boulangeries of Oberkampf
The tickles of the blades of grass during a springtime picnic in the Buttes Chaumont
Sounds of laughter and glasses tinkling at apero hour on the terraces in Bastille
The washing sound of boats as your stroll along Seine near the haven of Ile Saint-Louis
Filling your basket with organic cheeses and prunes from the organic market in Les Batignolles

InterContinental Paris – Le Grand

Eat like a Parisian – take an IConic journey through one of the world’s capitals of gastronomy

InterContinental Paris – Le Grand will highlight the InterContinental ICons in Paris through an experience that allows you to Eat Like a Parisian

  • Start the day with Laurent André, Executive Chef of InterContinental Paris – Le Grand, and accompany him to the Batignolles market to hand pick some delicious organic produce.
  • With your fresh produce in hand, head back to the hotel and enjoy a private cooking lesson with Chef André in the kitchen of the iconic Café de la Paix.
  • You’ll then discover the authentically Parisian park, Les Buttes Chaumont, whilst enjoying your freshly created springtime picnic amid the lush greenery.
  • After lunch, stop to enjoy the scent of freshly baked bread from the boulangeries in Oberkampf and enjoy a croissant from the bakery « Utopie », voted best bakery in France in 2016.

Thanks to this multi-sensory journey, you will discover why Paris is a true world Icon.

For bookings and more information, please contact at InterContinental Paris – Le Grand.


The winning ICons for London

The contrast of old and new architecture on the ever-changing London skyline
A Sunday roast enjoyed by the fireside in an historic, hidden London pub
Hearing the market traders and watching the eclectic mix of people on Portobello Road on a Friday morning
Spotting the stags emerge in Richmond Park on a misty, autumn morning
The thrill of seeing the twinkling lights of the capital as you cross the Thames in a cab at night

InterContinental London Park Lane

IConic London at Dawn

Stay in one of InterContinental London Park Lane’s stunning suites and wake up to the glorious morning view of London’s skyline, a contrast of the old and new architecture which makes this city so special. Guests will then be taken to Richmond Park for a walk around one of London’s most beautiful green spaces to spot the stags and deer that roam freely there before enjoying a deluxe picnic basket (including blanket and binoculars for wildlife watching), containing their choice of a continental breakfast or lunch from the hotel’s Theo Randall restaurant.

For bookings please call the hotel at +44 20 7409 3131 quoting “IConic London at Dawn”

InterContinental London – The O2

IConic London at Dusk
Stay in one of InterContinental London – The O2 to appreciate the other side of London. After a day exploring London, guests can return and enjoy one of five craft cocktails inspired by the London ICons. The IConic London at Dusk package includes
  • Welcome tea in Meridian Lounge
  • Seven-course dinner at Peninsula restaurant for two
  • Two ‘IConic cocktails’ in Eighteen Sky Bar (must be from ICons menu. 1 per person)
  • Buffet Breakfast in the morning
  • Late checkout until 4pm (subject to availability)
To book ICONIC LONDON please visit the website.  Advanced purchase and fully prepaid. Non-refundable. Blackout dates apply


The winning ICons for Dubai

Tasting the many unique flavours of Karak Chai along Jumeirah Beach Road
The enchanting smell of burning bukhoor, transporting you back in time
Sound of water lapping an Abra as it glides along Dubai Creek
The crackle of a campfire breaking the silence on a night-time desert escape
The fascinating contrast of old and new under the glow of a warm Dubai sunset

InterContinental Dubai Festival City

A sensory journey taking you back in time

Savour Karak Chai and Emirati delicacies during a sunset Abra cruise

Embarq on an Emirati journey mixing contemporary and Bedouin traditions along Dubai Creek. Discover the sights, senses and charms of old Dubai in this traditional boat made of wood at sunset accompanied by our InterContinental Chef delicacies including Karak Chai with different local spices.

Karak is derived from the word ‘kadak’ which means strong in Hindi. A legacy of the UAE’s long-standing trade and cultural relationship with India.

A bespoke Arabic bukhoor session with our InterContinental expert

There are many benefits of bukhoor – physical, spiritual, emotional, and medicinal. Discover the rich history, uses and benefits of each ingredient from our InterContinental Les Clefs d’Or Concierge. Mix frankincense, sandalwood, infused oils and spices to create your very own incense to bring home with you.

Get to witness how bukhoor are stored and made exclusively from the perfume shops’ factory in Al Quoz.

For additional information and to book your IConic experience, please visit InterContinental Dubai Festival City’s website.

InterContinental Dubai Marina

An IConic Karak Experience

Discover a unique tea-tasting experience with our masterclass in the heart of Dubai Marina
The creamy, fragrant and truly addictive ‘Karak’ (chai) stands strong as one of the most popular drinks in Dubai and tasting its unique flavours has been voted an InterContinental ICon.
How does one recreate that immaculate cup of Karak that is not bitter, weak or bland? Here at InterContinental Dubai Marina, you will learn the best methods to brew the perfect cup of tea in order to bring out all its refreshing flavors.

Our expert will show you how to prepare the perfect brew and we’ll take you back in time to learn the humble beginnings of Karak. To add to this quintessential experience, bring home a custom blend of Karak chai and clay cup souvenir.

Bakhoor Masterclass
Indulge in a private masterclass of incense expertise with a Master Perfumer

Bakhoor is the Arabic name given to wood chips or bricks made from sandalwood, resins, ambergris soaked in fragrant oils. It is traditional in many Arab countries to pass Bakhoor among guests in a Majlis as a gesture of hospitality.

Guests will be given a two-hour private session by Shaikha Al Remeithi starting with a brief history of Middle East’s beloved Bakhoor, which has been used and appreciated since ancient times.

Bakhoor is also aromatherapy, often associated with its ability to bring about calmness in the nervous system. The two-hour bespoke workshop offers access to a library of ingredients, to make your own fragrant blend.

For additional information and to book your IConic experience, please visit InterContinental Dubai Marina’s website.



The winning ICons from Sydney

The cool breeze on your face as you ride the Manly to Circular Quay ferry
The Sydney skyline viewed from a rooftop in Five Ways Paddington
The smell of sunblock and a barbeque cooking up on the North Bondi grassy knoll
Fish and chips enjoyed barefoot at Kutti Beach
The sun on your shoulders on the Hermitage Foreshore walk while you soak up the best views over Sydney Harbour

InterContinental Sydney Double Bay

Located in Sydney’s exclusive suburb of Double Bay, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay is offering a luxurious gourmet picnic lunch to its in-house guests at the Hermitage Foreshore Walk, voted one of the InterContinental ICons.

Enjoy a selection of cheeses, sandwiches, salads, sweet treats and refreshments all packaged into a picnic basket for you to grab on departing the hotel for the Hermitage Foreshore Walk. You can catch a taxi or local bus which only takes 15 minutes to arrive at the start of the trail; you can soak up the scenery and enjoy your refreshments at a hidden bay (Queen’s Beach or Milk Beach are our favourites).

Picnic Basket is $85 based on two adults
Children’s menu available upon request. Please notify the team when placing the order if you have any dietary requirements.

T&C’s -Bookings set to minimum of 2 people. Full pre-payment required, non-refundable. Deposit of $150 is required for the hire of the picnic basket. 72 hours advance bookings essential.

More information is available on our website.


The winning ICons for Shanghai

The intersection of Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River at Waibaidu Bridge
The melodious bells of the clock tower on the Bund
The warm aroma of Xiaolongbao at the Temple of the City Gods
Brightly lit Lujiazui Financial Centre
Old songs played on a vinyl record player

IHG currently operates six spectacular InterContinental properties in Shanghai. From a historical mansion to some of the most breath-taking landmarks of the city, guests can immerse themselves and their senses as they explore the InterContinental life.

Shanghai, known as the ‘Pearl of Asia,’ is famous for its historical landmarks as well as its modern ever-expanding skylines. Go on a walk around the iconic Bund by Huangpu River and take in fascinating sights that contrast the historical architecture in Puxi (the west part of Shanghai) and the brightly lit Lujiazui Financial Centre in Pudong (the east part of Shanghai). Both located near Huangpu River, InterContinental Shanghai Pudong and InterContinental Shanghai Expo are the ideal choice of accommodation for those who want to explore a walk along the river.

To travel back in time, stay at the InterContinental Shanghai Ruijin which will transport you to the old Shanghai with classic songs played on a vinyl record player under sycamore trees.

For adventure seekers, our one-of-a-kind InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland built into the side of an abandoned quarry takes you 88 meters closer to the heart of the earth.

If you are travelling for business and are looking to stay close to the CBD, centrally located InterContinental Shanghai Jing’An and InterContinental Shanghai Hongqiao NECC are your best options.


These worldly and influential individuals are searching for what makes the cities they love truly iconic. Join the conversation #intercontinentalicons

Sarah Harris

Deputy Editor and Fashion Features Director, British Vogue

Brandon Bryant

New York-based Creative Director of Wall Street Paper and Venture Partner of Harlem Capital Partners

Dina Broadhurst

Sydney-based mixed media artist

Isaac Jero

Mexico City-based photographer

Haifa Beseisso

Dubai-based Palestinian-American TV presenter and activist

Jacob Santiago

New York-based photographer

Manu Espinosa

Mexico City-based content creator, travel blogger and marathoner

We’ve been helping generations enjoy luxury travel for 70 years in more than 180 locations around the world. From Shanghai to New York, Paris to Tokyo, every day around the globe people are discovering how they can experience luxury travel as it should be.
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