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Just because Labor Day weekend is behind us doesn’t mean it’s time to stop traveling. Whether you’re planning a fall or wintertime getaway, these 10 hot new hotel openings should be on your travel radar. While the list below is by no means exhaustive, it represents the best of the best of fall openings in destinations both close to home (like in Phoenix and the Hudson Valley) and far-flung (like New Zealand and the Seychelles). So get booking and remember, just because several of these properties don’t have a big-brand affiliation, you can always earn and redeem with cards like the Citi Prestige, Chase Sapphire Preferred and our new favorite, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which gives you 3x the points on travel and dining worldwide.
1. HELENA BAY LODGE
Where: Helena Bay, near the northeastern tip of New Zealand’s North Island
Getting There: Fly into Auckland (AKL), then catch a connection to either Whangarei Airport (WRE), which is a 40-minute drive south of Helena Bay, or Kerikeri Airport (KKE) in the Bay of Islands, located about a 90-minute drive north. To arrive in style, opt for a private 45-minute flight on an Augusta Westland AW109S Grand helicopter from AKL directly to the lodge.
Why You Should Go: Built in the style of New Zealand’s European country houses, Helena Bay Lodge’s main house — complete with its own restaurant, spa, pool, library and gallery — and its five villa suites face a dramatic, island-dotted seascape. The estate sits on 750 gorgeous acres laced with hiking trails and hidden beaches.
2. FOUND:RE PHOENIX
Where: Phoenix, Arizona
Why You Should Go: Think of this one as having an Ace Hotel aesthetic but with more square feet. Rooms in this downtown property have floating beds, concrete floors and penny-tiled bathrooms. Art is the through-line, with an onsite gallery and resident “Cultural Curator” who sources contemporary works by local artists. Found:Re’s opening is noteworthy because it will bring some millennial-focused swagger to a major city that’s hotel scene is a bit two-dimensional at the moment.
3. THE SHORE CLUB
Where: Turks and Caicos
Getting There: Fly nonstop to Providenciales International Airport (PLS) from seven US cities year-round — service expands to more cities on a seasonal basis.
Why You Should Go: Positioned on Long Bay Beach, one of Turks and Caicos‘ most pristine spots of sand, The Shore Club is part of a $100 million development that includes 106 ocean view suites and six luxury villas. Relaxation-seekers will melt over the 12,000 square-foot spa. There are also three on-site dining concepts, the centerpiece of which is a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant.
4. HYATT CENTRIC WAIKIKI
Where: Honolulu, Hawaii
Why You Should Go: Housed in the old Waikiki Trade Center, this hotel will be the first property in Hawaii to open under Hyatt’s boutique Centric brand. The 230 rooms’ floor-to-ceiling windows will offer views of Waikiki Beach, and while rates aren’t locked in yet, Centric’s Andaz-on-a-budget positioning should make this property a relatively affordable, stylish option for your next Hawaiian getaway. The hotel is a Category 5 Hyatt property, requiring 20,000 points for a free night stay.
5. CHILENO BAY RESORTS & RESIDENCES
Where: Los Cabos, Mexico
Getting There: Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) offers nonstop service from about a dozen US cities year-round (and even more cities seasonally). The California area is particularly well serviced, with Alaska Airlines flights from LA, San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco and Orange County. Once you arrive, Chileno Bay is about a 40-minute drive from the airport.
Why You Should Go: A member of the super-luxe Auberge Resorts Collection, Chileno Bay Resorts & Residences sits in a 1,200-acre development on Cabo’s Zona Hotelera, the stretch of hotels arranged along the modern highway between San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. The three-tiered zero-edge pool cascades down to one of the area’s only swimmable beaches.
6. NEKUPE SPORTING RESORT & RETREAT
Where: Nandaime, Nicaragua
Getting There: Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) is the main airport in Nicaragua, located in the capital city of Managua. Nandaime is about 40 miles from Managua and roughly 20 miles from the colonial city of Granada, another popular destination.
Why You Should Go: Unlike Nicaragua’s other eco-resorts, Nekupe is situated away from the Pacific coast, favoring a location near Lake Nicaragua instead. The eight-room hotel sits in a 1,300-acre nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary, making it ideal for adventure-seekers. Try your hand at hiking, ATV-ing, horseback riding, skeet shooting and sport fishing while you’re there.
7. W GOA
Where: Goa, India
Getting There: Goa International Airport (GOI) is an easy connection from India’s other major gateway cities, as well as London, Abu Dhabi or Doha. The W is about a 70-minute drive north, situated along Vagator Beach.
Why You Should Go: The W brings a chic edge to Vagator Beach, an area more readily associated with backpackers and trance parties. Expect 173 rooms and public spaces imbued with the Starwood brand’s youthful style, filtered through the local design language — think gem tones, mirrored bathrooms and ornately patterned wallpaper. The location, right on Vagator Beach, is enviable. The W Goa is an SPG Category 5 property requiring 12,000-16,000 Starpoints for a free night stay (depending on the season).
8. JW MARRIOTT PHU QUOC EMERALD BAY RESORT & SPA
Where: Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Getting There: Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) requires a connection in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), Singapore (SIN) or, if you’re flying through Europe, you can route through Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) after December 18, 2016, thanks to seasonal service by Thomson Airways. The airport is about a 30-minute drive north of the resort.
Why You Should Go: Located near An Thoi, this luxurious JW Marriott resides on the lush island of Phu Quoc, an up-and-coming Vietnamese island in the Gulf of Thailand just off the coast of Cambodia. Keep an eye on this part of the world as the property is being developed by the Sun Group, which has several upcoming projects on the island including a Ritz-Carlton and an InterContinental. Translation: Phu Quoc is about to blow up as a points-redemption bonanza.
Massive stone dog statues guard the jungle-backed entrance, part of an aesthetic conceived by famed landscape architect Bill Bensley, while inside you can expect to see airy turquoise-accented rooms (the exact room count is TBD, but the resort appears to have some sprawl), multiple restaurants and a pool that meanders down to a gorgeous beach. Though Marriott hasn’t yet confirmed a category, a Marriott Rewards representative estimated Emerald Bay will be listed as Category 4 property, which would require 20,000 Marriott Rewards points for a free night stay (15,000 at the saver level).
9. GROVE LODGE AT MOHONK MOUNTAIN HOUSE
Where: Hudson Valley
Getting There: Grove Lodge is about a two-hour drive from the city, or you can catch a train to Poughkeepsie (about a 90-minute ride from Penn Station) and drive another half an hour to the resort. Travelers who have to fly should route through Philadelphia, St. Pete/Clearwater, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale or Detroit, which all offer nonstop service to Stewart International Airport (SWF), about a 45-minute drive from Grove Lodge.
Why You Should Go: A hotel-within-a-hotel, Grove Lodge’s six handsome suites are the first new accommodations at the iconic Mohonk Mountain House in more than a century. Natural stone fireplaces, furniture by local craftsmen and sumptuous spa bathrooms define the rooms. While Grove Lodge doesn’t have its own dining section, its guests still receive all-inclusive access to all the resort’s restaurants.
10. SIX SENSES ZIL PASYON
Where: Félicité Island, Seychelles
Getting There: Seychelles International Airport (SEZ), located on the island of Mahé, can be reached via connection through Paris, Dubai, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi and Mumbai, among other cities. From there, it’s a 20-minute helicopter ride or a 90-minute boat ride to Félicité Island.
Why You Should Go: One of the Seychelles’ 115 islands, Félicité is the site of the latest resort from the luxury wellness-oriented Six Senses brand. There are only 30 villas spread around the hotel’s emerald estate, plus a 7,000-square-foot spa, six restaurants, three beaches, an outdoor pool and a kids camp. Lots of activities are available, with many of them being nature- and wildlife-oriented since the Seychelles are home to some of the rarest animals in the world.
Which of these hotel openings are you looking forward to the most?
Feature image of Chileno Bay Resorts and Residences courtesy of the Auberge Resorts Collection.
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