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Chase recently changed the benefits of its Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card to include a new sign-up bonus of three complimentary nights at a Tier 1-4 property when you spend $5,000 in the first three months of account opening, Priority Pass Select membership, a $100 Global Entry application credit and Visa Infinite benefits, among other perks.
That might have you looking more closely at the card and at the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program in general. Especially since the card also earns 5x points per dollar at Ritz-Carlton and Marriott properties, a 10% annual bonus on all points earned with the card, three Club Level upgrades per year on paid stays of two night or more, Gold status for the first year of account opening and each subsequent year you spend $10,000 or more on the card and more. All that translates into a ton of potential value on Ritz-Carlton stays.
While the chain is relatively small compared to some of the other big players out there, it has a rapidly expanding network of member and affiliated hotels across the globe. Here are a few of the most exciting ones that have recently opened (or that are expected to soon) where you can put those card benefits to use.
One of Ritz-Carlton’s newest hotels is actually in a very old building. Taking over what used to be the Le Méridien and then the Elizabeth Park Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton is housed in a landmark 1914 edifice on the central Elizabeth Square with views of St. Stephen’s Basilica. It has 170 rooms and 30 suites with Club Levels on the eighth and ninth floors as well as a new bar and two restaurants including Deak St. Kitchen for Hungarian-inspired dishes and grilled fish and meats. The Kupola Lounge takes pride of place underneath the building’s soaring stained-glass dome and enormous crystal chandelier. There’s also a new spa and fitness center offering Ritz-Carlton signature treatments. The hotel is a Tier 3 property, where award nights require 50,000 points per night.
As of December 2015, this historic 1865 Swiss property on the shores of Lake Geneva became a Ritz-Carlton partner hotel and has been undergoing an extensive renovation ever since. It is expected to relaunch by the end of the year, with renovations completed by August 31, 2017. All 69 guest rooms and 15 suites will be refreshed, though their postcard-worthy views of Lake Geneva or Mont-Blanc Square will remain the same. They will also offer guests free Wi-Fi and Nespresso machines to put a little pep in your step. The hotel houses a Michelin-starred restaurant called Vertig’O, which is also under renovation and will reopen as a new concept in the autumn. The hotel will be a Tier 3 property, where award nights require 50,000 points.
3. The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui
Thanks to pristine waters, plentiful beaches and easy access to many Asian hubs, Koh Samui has become one of Asia’s beach playgrounds. No wonder Ritz-Carlton plans to open a hotel there mid-2017. The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui will have 187 rooms and pool villas, not to mention its own private beach and a plethora of dining options. It will be located on the spectacular northeastern end of the island near Choeng Mon.
4. The Ritz-Carlton, Mission Hills and The Ritz-Carlton, Nanyan Bay, China
Ritz-Carlton is teeing up two golf properties in China, both slated to open mid- to late-2017 on tropical Hainan Island (sometimes referred to as the Hawaii of China). The Ritz-Carlton, Mission Hills will be part of the Mission Hills Golf Club complex, which will eventually boast 10 golf courses. It will have 201 rooms, including 21 private villas, as well as five restaurants and bars, tennis courts, two swimming pools, a Ritz-Carlton Spa and an activities pavilion. Ritz-Carlton also recently announced the opening of a second Chinese golf resort, also on Hainan.
The Ritz-Carlton, Nanyan Bay (pictured above) will open on the eastern side of the island near the city of Wanning. It will feature the first Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in China, and a nine-hole course designed by Jack Nicklaus. It will feature 14 private villas and 244 guest rooms and five dining outlets, including a pool bar and grill, a lobby lounge, an all-day restaurant and a Chinese restaurant. There will also be a spa and fitness center, multiple swimming pools and a beach just adjacent to the resort.
5. The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi
Langkawi, Malaysia is fast becoming a hotspot destination thanks to a spate of new hotel openings and announcements, not least of which will be the appearance of a Ritz-Carlton in mid-2017. The luxury resort, near Pulau Payar Marine National Park, will have 90 rooms and 30 suites, all designed with an aesthetic that pays homage to traditional kampong villages in the surrounding communities. The property will also have three swimming pools, including one specifically for children, and a specially designed Ritz Kids Club, as well as a Ritz-Carlton Spa for adults who need a little rest and relaxation. There will be several restaurants offering a panoply of the region’s traditional cuisines, including Malay, Chinese and Indian, plus a casual beach grill and a French fine-dining restaurant.
6. A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Tamuda Bay, Morocco
Morocco is fast regaining the glory of its 1960s heyday, thanks in part to several recent and upcoming hotel openings. Ritz-Carlton is joining the fray with the planned opening of yet another Reserve property there toward the end of 2017. Like some of the other Reserve properties, this one will have residences as well, but the hotel portion will include just 100 villas, many with their own private plunge pools. There will also be three public pools including one just for adults, a private beach club, a yachting and fishing marina and a small retail village, as well as a Nicklaus-designed 18-hole championship golf course. The aesthetic takes traditional Moroccan architecture as its inspiration, with villas and public spaces clustered around intimate courtyards that provide an overall feeling of privacy and exclusivity. Tamuda Bay is about 40 miles east of Tangiers, so it’s an easy trip over from Spain or the rest of Europe.
7. The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley
This new US property is scheduled to open early in 2018 just outside Scottsdale, Arizona. The desert resort will cover over 20 acres and include 200 casita-style guest rooms with views of Camelback Mountain. There will also be a destination spa on the property offering health and wellness programs and a menu of desert-inspired treatments. The resort’s chefs will have their own onsite garden and citrus orchard to supplement their kitchen supplies with fresh, homegrown ingredients. The resort will also have a residential component with 45 single-family homes and 94 villa residences. Construction began over the summer, so further details are still under wraps, but as the resort takes shape over the coming months, more specifics should become available.
8. A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Los Cabos, Mexico
This new Reserve property is scheduled to open late in 2018, and will be the first Reserve property in Mexico. Part of the draw here is that the resort is located in the upscale Puerto Los Cabos development, where guests can take advantage of a yachting marina, private beach clubs, not one but two golf courses (one designed by Jack Nicklaus and the other by Greg Norman), a botanical garden for native cacti and more. The overall ambiance will incorporate traditional local art and architecture, and the hotel portion of the property (there are also residences) will comprise 124 single-story one-, two- and three-bedroom villas with views looking out over the Sea of Cortez. Look for other in-room touches like private plunge pools and outdoor terraces, fire pits and more.
9. The Ritz-Carlton, Mumbai
Back in 2014, Ritz-Carlton announced it would be opening a new hotel, its second in India (the first is in Bangalore), sometime late in 2018. The Mumbai hotel will have 238 rooms and suites and will be located along the Arabian Sea coast in the Worli business district, not far from the city’s international airport. Renowned designer Tony Chi, whose work you might recognize at properties like the Rosewood London and Park Hyatt Shanghai, signed on as the interior designer. The hotel is planning to have two fine-dining restaurants, and bar with ocean views and a branded Ritz-Carlton Spa. No word yet on the Tier in which it will open.
10. The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City
In October 2015, Ritz-Carlton announced plans to open a new urban hotel in Mexico City, with a launch date slated for the fourth quarter of 2018. The hotel will have 153 rooms and suites along with a Club Lounge, and it will be part of a 58-story mixed-use urban development project called Chapultepec Uno. The hotel will occupy the 36-47th floors of the building for prime skyline views. No word yet on dining outlets or spa partners, but stay tuned.
11. Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
This top-shelf Ritz-Carlton, the first Reserve property in Japan, will have just 50 rooms and ski-in/ski-out access. It’s scheduled for completion in 2019, so it’ll be a few years before you’ll be able to enjoy a stay there. But with Hokkaido quickly becoming an international ski destination thanks to some of the world’s best ski slopes and comparisons to Aspen and Gstaad without the moneyed hordes (yet), the area should remain a winter sports-lover’s paradise for the near future. Though details are still scant, the hotel should have an on-property spa and onsen (hot springs). It will provide easy access to the nearby retail and dining village, and is close to two golf courses for spring and summer guests.
12. Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne
Australia’s second city is getting a new Ritz-Carlton as well. It will occupy the 64-77th floors of a new skyscraper, which will make the hotel the highest in Australia. Construction is set to begin next year, and when it opens in 2020, the hotel will be Ritz-Carlton’s second in Australia after one that was previously announced in Perth. Details are still scant, but you can expect several on-property bars and restaurants and a Ritz-Carlton Club, as well as 250 rooms and suites.
Which of these Ritz-Carlton properties are you most excited about?
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