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Another year means another spate of hotel openings and fabulous properties around the world where you can earn and redeem points. We asked TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen to round up some of the most exciting new hotels to look out for as 2015 unfolds.
With the global economy recovering, many hotel openings or restorations that had been delayed or canceled in recent years are back on the books and set to take place in 2015—or have been completed in the past few weeks. While many of these are major-chain hotels where you can earn and redeem specific kinds of points, there are also some one-off and boutique properties that are either slated for thrilling new destinations or will add a dash of panache to some perennially popular ones. And hey, these are all hotels, so you’ll earn bonus points for your booking and stay by using a card like the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus, or by redeeming Arrival Plus miles with a 10% travel-category refund.
Without further ado, here are 15 new and newly reopened hotels to keep an eye out for in 2015:
JW Marriott Venice. For its first JW property in Italy, Marriott is pulling out all the stops. Scheduled to open in March 23 on the small, lush and private island of Sacca Sessola, this luxury Venice hotel will be surrounded by gardens and olive groves and have an infinity pool offering views across the lagoon to St. Mark’s Square. In addition to 266 rooms and suites, the hotel will include four restaurants, five bars, a cooking school, and Venice’s largest spa, which will incorporate Amala products. The property’s historic buildings are being restored by Matteo Thun & Partners (who also did the Missoni Hotels) using locally made bricks, glass and tiles in a neutral color palette of taupe, brown and light blue. Though its location is a bit out of the way, the hotel will have private boat service to take guests on the 15-minute ride to central Venice. In March, rates at this Marriott Category 8 hotel start at 306 EUR ($370 USD) or 40,000 points per night.
W Bogotá. Thanks to several years of peace, prosperity and tourism initiatives, Colombia is fast climbing up top-destination lists-including ours here at TPG. The newest hotel debuting in this South American country is Starwood’s W Bogotá, which opened its doors in the capital in December, though certain elements like the pool and the AU (as in gold) Room nightclub won’t be operational for a couple of months. Designed by Studio Gaia, the hotel’s decadent decor was inspired by the legend of El Dorado and includes gold elements woven into the textiles and tiling. The hotel has 168 rooms, an AWAY Spa, the casual Market Kitchen restaurant, the W Lounge for snacks, and the AU Room bar and club. Rates in January at this Starwood Category 5 hotel start at $360 or 12,000 Starpoints per night.
Mandapa Ritz-Carlton Reserve Bali. Ritz-Carlton opened its new resort on the beach in Nusa Dua earlier in December, but the luxury chain is also planning to launch one of its super-exclusive Reserve properties up in the hills near Ubud in the summer of 2015. Suites will be over 1,000 square feet and decorated with local handmade arts and crafts, offering views of surrounding rice paddies and tropical forest. There will also be one- to three-bedroom pool villas with separate reading/dining rooms and private outdoor gardens, as well as butler service. The resort will have a large main swimming pool, yoga classes for guests, a Mandapa Spa incorporating Balinese healing techniques, four distinct dining outlets including the indoor-outdoor Sawah Terrace for Indonesian and Balinese cuisine, rental bicycles and a calendar of guest activities based on local festivals. Rates are not yet available.
Park Hyatt Zanzibar. Set to open in March on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar—a name that conjures up the very exoticism of travel itself—the hotel will inhabit two historic buildings (one dating back to the 17th century) in the city center of Stone Town, a UNESCO Heritage site. Its 57 guest rooms and 11 suites will overlook the Indian Ocean and Dhow Harbor, as will a beachfront infinity pool and an Anantara spa. The Zamani Residence restaurant will have a range of cuisines and home-themed dining spaces (e.g., a Library, Veranda and Living Room), while the Pool Lounge will specialize in fish dishes and western lunch items like salads and sandwiches. Reservations and hotel category are not available yet, but stay tuned.
Hilton London Bankside. Hilton has over a dozen properties in and around London, but that’s not stopping the chain from building another. Just around the corner from the Tate Modern, this purpose-built property will feature a low-profile, split-level and industrial-chic design with 292 guest rooms (including 31 suites), an executive lounge, a restaurant, a bar and a café, as well as a LivingWell fitness center with a swimming pool. Conceived by designers at Dexter Moren Associates, the overall look is meant to reference the warehouses and buzzing urban vibe of the surrounding neighborhood, as well as incorporate newly updated Hilton brand standards. The opening date hasn’t yet been set, but is expected sometime during the summer of 2015, with details on the hotel’s Hilton HHonors category to follow.
Radisson Blu Hotel Marrakech Carré Eden. This Club Carlson property has been scheduled to open since 2011, but it looks like its big debut might finally happen in mid-2015. Located in the Guéliz district of Marrakech, the hotel will be part of a multi-use development of apartments, shopping, entertainment venues and public areas known as the Carré Eden. The Radisson Blu will have 198 rooms and suites designed by architects Lotfi Sidi Rahal and Meriem Benkirane, and its combination restaurant-lounge-bar will serve organic charcoal-grilled meat and fish, as well as tapas and sushi. The hotel’s pool will have a large sun patio to provide you with a break from traipsing through the city’s famous Medina. The hotel will most likely be a Category 6 property based on past assertions by Carlson, requiring 50,000 points per award night.
Soho House Istanbul. The trendy chain of private clubs, which includes hotel/houses in New York, Chicago and Berlin, will open its biggest property ever in Istanbul early in 2015—pushed back from an original opening date of spring 2014. This latest Soho House will be located in the historic Palazzo Corpi, a palatial mansion in the Beyoglu neighborhood that was built in 1882 by a wealthy Genoese family and later became the U.S. consulate. The club will have a courtyard garden, two rooftop pools, a fitness center, a private screening room, several events spaces, a signature Cowshed Spa, and as its main restaurant, a second outpost of L.A.’s Italian hotspot, Cecconi’s. The property’s hotel component will have 87 bedrooms in all, and rates have not yet been released.
Mama Shelter Los Angeles. Mama Shelter is a hip, affordable mini-chain with four locations in France and one in Istanbul. Its newest location will be in a six-story 1923 building in Los Angeles’ famed Hollywood, on the bustling corner of Selma and Wilcox. Unlike its sister properties, which were designed by starchitect Philippe Starck, this latest Mama Shelter will be overseen by Thierry Gaugin. Details are still a little sparse, but the hotel should have 70 rooms, a 160-seat restaurant and bar in the ground-floor lobby, as well as a rooftop patio bar/café with decor inspired by L.A.’s Venice Beach. The hotel is presently planning to open in February 2015, but based on the construction progress so far, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that date pushed back a few months. Room rates should start in the $150 range according to a recent interview with co-owner Benjamin Trigano.
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Rose Hall. Hyatt has been busy in the Caribbean this winter, opening two adjacent all-inclusive resorts on Jamaica’s famous Montego Bay, just in time for the holidays. Ziva is geared toward families, while Zilara is adults-only. The Zilara has 234 suites, while the Ziva has 387 rooms and suites, including 28 with swim-up access to the pool. Guests at both properties can access seven restaurants and bars, including Choicez for a buffet, Di Roza for Italian and Calypzo for Caribbean fare. Only guests at Zilara can dine at Petit Pariz, the French restaurant, and a seaside restaurant called Silhouettez. This winter, rates at Ziva start at $384 (jumping to around $620 after the Grand Opening Sale rates run out) or 25,000 points per award night. Those at Zilara start at $488 (rising to about $860 post-Grand Opening Sale) or 25,000 points per award night. All-inclusive rates at both Hyatts include meals and beverages, as well as airport transfers and a private lounge at the airport, a round of golf at either of the two courses, and an excursion on a catamaran.
Suiran Luxury Collection Kyoto. Ritz-Carlton opened a property in Kyoto early in 2014, and now Starwood is looking to get into this burgeoning market with the opening of the Suiran, its first Luxury Collection hotel in Japan. The hotel is scheduled to open March 31, 2015 in the city’s western Arashyama district, occupying part of the World Heritage Tenryuji Temple grounds and set inside two historic buildings that are currently being restored with design references to traditional Japanese ryokan, or inns. In order to provide an intimate guest experience in one of Japan’s most heritage-rich destinations, the property will have just 39 rooms and suites (the latter reportedly including private terraces with open-air baths) and offer a lobby lounge, a signature restaurant, meeting rooms, a fitness center and spa. Rooms are not yet bookable, but their as-yet unpublished rates are expected to run Y60,000-Y80,000 ($500-665 USD) per night according to News on Japan.
Langham Sydney. Formerly Orient-Express’s Observatory Hotel, this property was acquired by the venerable Langham brand and renovated to the tune of 30 million AUD before its reopening at the beginning of December. The hotel’s all-new Art Deco-inspired look includes a Calacatta-marble-paved lobby, a fine-dining concept called Kent Street Kitchen, and the chain’s signature Chuan spa, and a version of the London flagship property’s famous Palm Court offers afternoon tea with Wedgwood service. The hotel’s 98 rooms and suites all have therapeutic Duxiana beds, thanks to an exclusive partnership with the Swedish mattress brand, and many guest rooms have terraces overlooking Sydney Harbour. Rates start at $635 AUD ($515 USD) per night.
Four Seasons Ko Olina. Four Seasons is taking over the former JW Marriott Ihilani on Oahu, and after spending a projected $250 million in renovations, hopes to reopen it by December 2015. This will be one of Four Seasons’ larger properties, with about 200 rooms and 200 hotel-condominiums, as well as a new tower with 150 residences that will be available for sale roughly 18 months after the reopening. Other details are presently scarce, but the property is likely to include around a half-dozen restaurants, an expansive spa and numerous guest activities related to Hawaiian culture. This will be the first Four Seasons on Oahu and the chain’s fifth property in Hawaii.
SLS New York. The uber-hip SLS brand has three locations in Beverly Hills, South Beach and Las Vegas, and late in 2015, it will open a fourth property in New York City at the corner of Park Avenue South and East 30th Street. As with the other three, Philippe Starck will lead the design of this property’s 90 guest rooms and planned restaurant and bar venues, one of which is rumored to be another outlet from star chef José Andrés. While the original Beverly Hills location is still in the Starwood family, the other two existing hotels are not part of the Luxury Collection, so it looks like this one is unlikely to be either—but here’s hoping!
Hotel Ritz Paris. One of the world’s most famous luxury hotels, the Ritz Paris originally opened in 1898 and quickly became a landmark, thanks to illustrious guests/bar patrons like Marcel Proust and Ernest Hemingway. The hotel was closed in August 2012 for restoration of its 71 rooms and 72 suites (including 15 unique “prestige suites,” like the one named after longtime resident Coco Chanel), a large-scale project led by interior designer Thierry W. Despont; reopening is expected in the second quarter of the year. Though not a points hotel, the property is likely to be an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner, so if you have the Platinum Card, look for special perks when booking through there.
St. Regis Dubai. Though the global financial and trade hub of the U.A.E. has quickly become one of the world’s premier hotel destinations, it still has a few luxury-property openings to go—including this 182-room, 51-signature-suite St. Regis, which is set to open its doors in October 2015. Said to be inspired by the Beaux Arts style of the brand’s New York City’s flagship, the imposing property will include a grand staircase, eight gourmet restaurants, and a musical fountain that seems more reminiscent of Vegas than Manhattan. Rooms are not yet bookable and the Starwood category hasn’t been announced, but plan to spend either 12,000-16,000 points if this is a Category 5 property like the St. Regis Abu Dhabi, or 20,000-25,000 points if this is a Category 6 property like the St. Regis Doha.
Are you hoping/planning to stay at any of these properties in the year to come? Please let us know in the comments below. With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.
With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.