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Last year saw exciting hotel openings take place across the globe, and 2016 looks to be even more impressive. TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen takes a look at the hottest properties slated to open in the coming year.
Despite turmoil in various parts of the globe, travel advisories and a slew of other concerns, the travel industry still seems to be doing well thanks to low oil prices, a strong dollar and more airline and hotel options than ever. The coming year looks to be even more exciting with great new hotels opening in countries all over the world, including many where you can earn and redeem your points.
Plus, since these are all hotels and generally categorized as travel purchases, you can even earn extra points by using a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred (2 points per dollar on travel), Ink Plus Business Card (2 points per dollar at hotels), Citi Premier Card (3 points per dollar on travel) or through exclusive benefits from premium cards like American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts for Platinum Card holders or the 4th night free benefit with the Citi Prestige.
In the meantime, be sure to check out these posts so you can maximize your upcoming hotel stays:
- Maximizing Bonus Categories – Hotel Stays
- Rookie Guide To Award Travel: Maximizing Hotel Points
- Online Travel Agency Loyalty Program Basics
- Which Are The Best Hotel Credit Cards For Free Nights
Here’s a list of the most exciting 16 hotels opening in 2016 so far…
Uber-luxe chain Aman opened its first Japanese property in Tokyo last year, and is quickly following up with a rural property in a national park about 200 miles southwest of the capital. The hotel will sit on the shores of Ago Bay, which is known in local lore as the Bay of Pearls, in the heart of lush Ise-Shima National Park. The aesthetic is inspired by traditional Japanese inns, or ryokan, and the property will have just 24 suites and four two-bedroom villas.
Suites and villas start at a whopping 1,065 square feet, and each has its own onsen, or mineral hot spring. There will also be a branded Aman Spa with two onsen of its own, four treatment rooms, a watsu pool, gym and yoga studio. The on-site restaurant will feature local artisanal produce including fresh seafood and the famous Matsusaka Wagyu beef. The resort is scheduled to open March 1. Rates start at $900 per night in March.
Malaysia will welcome its first St. Regis property with the opening of this luxury hotel from Starwood in April. This is a beach destination on the Andaman Sea, so this will be a resort property rather than one of the brand’s city hotels. It will have just 85 suites and four water villas right on the Straits of Malacca — all with signature St. Regis butler service, of course. The hotel will also have five bars and restaurants, including a gourmet deli, L’Orangerie for all-day dining, a wine bar called Decanter and an Asian restaurant called Kayuputi. The grounds will also feature a swimmable lagoon and an Iridium Spa. Rates start at $609 per night, or 20,000 Starpoints.
3. Park Hyatt, St. Kitts
Park Hyatt’s first Caribbean property will be this secluded hideaway in the Christophe Harbour luxury development on St. Kitts’ Banana Bay, with views over The Narrows strait to the neighboring island of Nevis. The hotel is being designed by Arcadia Architects and will have just 125 rooms and suites. The property will have three restaurants and bars, along with an 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Fazio. There will also be a 12-room spa with an outdoor treatment pavilion and a full fitness center and infinity pool. The hotel is slated to open early in 2016, but it’s not yet accepting reservations.
4. Conrad Chicago
Wait, isn’t there already a Conrad Chicago? Well, there was, except it’s been taken over by Starwood’s Luxury Collection and renamed the The Gwen. Hilton is instead planning to open an all-new property at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Erie Street sometime this spring, though there is currently no website or news on opening rates. The new Conrad will take over a formerly vacant 20-story office tower and is designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon (his past projects have included the Peninsula Shanghai, London’s Savoy, the Paris Shangri-La and various Four Seasons hotels including the Georges V). It will have 275 rooms and 12 suites. The hotel will be just the sixth Conrad in the US, though Hilton also plans to soon open Conrads in Ft. Lauderdale and Washington, D.C.
5. Park Hyatt Mallorca, Spain
Set to debut in the spring of 2016 (no exact date has been set), this hotel will be the first Park Hyatt resort property in Europe. The Park Hyatt Mallorca will be located near the town of Canyamel near Cap Vermell (with panoramic views of the Mediterranean), about an hour’s drive from the Palma airport. It will have just 142 rooms and 16 suites with private panoramic balconies and will be decorated in a style reminiscent of traditional Balearic Island fishing villages. The property will also have two main pools, a restaurant serving traditional local fare, another focused on South Asian cuisine, a tapas bar and a relaxed all-day bistro. There will also be a spa and fitness center. Opening rates are not yet available.
6. Ritz-Carlton Budapest, Hungary
Back in May, Ritz-Carlton announced plans to open a new hotel in the Hungarian capital overlooking Erzsébet Square and St. Stephen’s Basilica. It’s actually taking over the former Le Meridien Budapest and will reopen as the Ritz-Carlton in spring 2016. The hotel is housed in a historic building dating to 1913 that was originally the Adria Insurance Company. It will have just 192 rooms and suites (some with private balconies overlooking the Danube River and Buda and the Castle District on the other side). The restaurants will include Le Bourbon for French fine dining, La Terrasse for more casual fare and The Bar for cocktails and small bites. The hotel will also have a small spa and fitness center. Rates at the Tier 3 property start at 50,000 points per night.
7. Ace Hotel New Orleans, USA
Ace Hotels have opened in Panama City, Pittsburgh and LA in the past few years, and the next location is set to be New Orleans. The hotel will be housed in an Art Deco building dating to 1928 in the city’s Warehouse District, which is now home to some of NOLA’s hottest restaurants, museums and galleries. Design firm Roman and Williams (also responsible for the Ace in NYC) is overseeing the project, and the hotel will eventually have 234 rooms, a restaurant and bar, a café from Stumptown Coffee Roasters and a rooftop pool, which is beginning to seem de rigueur at Ace properties. The hotel is set to open in August, but it’s not yet accepting reservations.
8. QT Hotel Melbourne, Australia
Set to open mid-year (it’s looking like August), this Melbournian property is the latest from funky-chic Aussie mini-chain QT Hotels. The hotel will take over a 12-story building that used to be the Greater Union Cineplex on Russell Street, and will offer 200 guest rooms and suites and 24 residences in addition to a signature Bar & Grill courtesy of executive chef Robert Marchetti. The interior design will be by Nic Graham, and will incorporate signature QT quirks (expect bewigged reception agents, cheeky elevator music and rooms inviting enough for anything from a quiet, sophisticated city weekend to a full-fledged bacchanal). Opening rates are not yet available.
9. St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
It’s hard to believe, but this will actually be the first St. Regis property in the Maldives. The hotel is slated to open September 1 on a private 20-acre atoll about a 40-minute flight from the capital of Malé. It will offer just 77 villas on its private beach and lagoon, in addition to a St. Regis Bar, an all-day dining restaurant and three specialty restaurants. Guests can also unwind in a six-room spa or around the main infinity pool, or book activities in the water sports and diving center. Rates and points information are not yet available.
10. Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, China
Scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2016, one of Hilton’s newest properties will take pride of place 700 feet above the streets of Chengdu’s central Tianfu district in the top 15 floors of a mixed-use skyscraper (there are apartments in the lower part of the building). The hotel will have 300 rooms and suites, and it will be the third Waldorf Astoria in China after hotel openings in Shanghai, Beijing, Baoting and Sanya. There is no website for the hotel yet and no exact opening date, so though it’s meant to open by summer, chances are it will be later in the year.
11. Delano Cartagena, Colombia
Over the past year or so, Colombia has become one of the hottest jet-set destinations, and coastal colonial Cartagena is its crown jewel. This past year saw the opening of an InterContinental there, but in 2016, travelers can expect a sexy new property from the Morgans Hotel Group. The Delano will be located in an area on the south side of Cartagena called Mar de Indias. It will have 186 rooms and suites, as well as amenities like a full-service beach club, beach bungalows, fine-dining outlets, bars and a nightclub. It will be in a mixed-use development area, so guests will also have access to an 18-hole golf course and a spa. The hotel will open sometime in the second half of 2016.
12. Four Seasons Downtown, New York City
Four Seasons is opening a second NYC property in mid-2016 on the same block as the historic Woolworth Building in the city’s Financial District. The hotel will actually be part of a soaring residential tower designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern, though it will occupy the building’s first 22 floors. The new hotel will have 185 guest rooms and suites designed by hotel starchitects Yabu Pushelberg, and will also have a full-service spa with seven treatment rooms and an indoor lap pool, as well as an outlet of Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse, CUT. Reservations are not yet open.
13. InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay, Singapore
Though InterContinental already fields a Singapore hotel, it’s opening a second location on touristy Robertson Quay along the Singapore River. Whereas the original InterContinental is done in a very colonial Peranakan style, this new iteration designed by SCDA Archictects is meant to be much more contemporary and cosmopolitan. It will be housed in a sleek glass tower and open to the surrounding promenade with restaurants and shops on the ground floor, with reception tucked away a few floors up for more guest privacy. It will have about 225 rooms with prime views of the river and the growing Singapore skyline. The hotel is expected to open late in 2016. Rates are not yet available.
14. The Guest House at Graceland, Memphis, USA
You might not be able to redeem points to stay here (though you can earn bonuses by using the right credit card to pay for your stay), but there’s no way I could not include a new hotel at Elvis Presley’s home! The project will be massive, with 450 rooms and is one of Memphis’s biggest construction projects ever. The design is being overseen by Priscilla Presley to reflect the style and character of Graceland itself — think plantation-style façade and special theme suites inspired by the King. The hotel will have two restaurants, lots of meeting spaces and a 464-seat theater for movies and live performances. There will even be a VIP club called The Founders that will bestow perks for members like special access to the grounds and mansion at Graceland and invitations to exclusive events. The hotel is expected to open in October 2016.
15. JW Marriott & The Douglas Autograph Collection, Vancouver, Canada
Parq Holdings and Marriott announced a partnership to bring two hotels and a variety of entertainment and events venues to the area around BC Place Stadium in Vancouver later this year. Estimated to cost around CAD$600 million, the project is billed as an urban resort that will house the Edgewater Casino along with two Marriott-brand hotels, the JW Marriott and an Autograph Collection property. The complex will also house conference and meeting spaces, a plethora of restaurants, a fitness center and a spa. The JW Marriott will be the first such property in British Columbia and will have 288 guest rooms and 41 suites in all. The Autograph Collection property will be called The Douglas and is named after Canadian botanist and explorer David Douglas (after whom the Douglas Fir is also named). That hotel will have 178 rooms and just 10 suites as well as a “living lobby” meant to be an urban arboretum-like garden. The entire complex is expected to open toward the end of 2016.
16. Andaz Mayakoba, Mexico
Located on the Riviera Maya between Cancún and Playa del Carmen, Mayakoba is a luxury development with properties from Rosewood, Banyan Tree and Fairmont. There are also plans to open a fourth hotel on the sprawling canal-laced eco-preserve: an Andaz courtesy of Hyatt. The hotel is slated to open toward the end of 2016 (fingers crossed!), and construction is already well underway. It will have 213 rooms and suites. The property will feature several outdoor pools, a spa with eight treatment rooms and a salon and a gym with a yoga studio, lap pool and fitness area. Guests will also have access to the El Camaleón golf course. There will be three original restaurants and bars, including one out by the pool, another on the beach and one on one of the lagoons that transect Mayakoba.
Which of these upcoming hotels would you most like to visit?
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