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As winter weather sets in across much of the country and the busy holiday travel season gets underway, your thoughts might be turning toward a relaxing beach getaway. And no one would blame you. What better way to unwind after the stress of the holidays than sitting on a beach sipping tropical drinks and snorkeling along vibrant reefs full of fish?
By some estimates, though, more than 50% of Americans end each year with unused vacation days. Make a resolution not to be one of them. Instead, get some inspiration from this list of exciting recent and upcoming beach hotel openings. Many of them even participate in loyalty programs where you can put your points to use saving money while getting a tan.
Location: Langkawi, Malaysia
Opened: September 21, 2017
Number of rooms: 114
Details: Langkawi has seen a luxury hotel boom lately with resorts cropping up all over the island, including a St. Regis last year. This new property from Ritz-Carlton just opened in September.
The hotel has 70 rooms, 15 suites and 29 villas. Room architecture and décor is inspired by traditional local buildings and crafts, with huge windows overlooking jungly gardens and the Andaman Sea. The restaurants include the Langkawi Kitchen for Malay cuisine, Hai Yan for Chinese fine dining, Horizon for Thai food and the Beach Grill for casual seaside fare. It has a lagoon-style family pool and an adults-only infinity pool overlooking the hotel’s secluded cove. The hotel’s spa utilizes ESPA products and has five freestanding treatment rooms resembling traditional Malay fishing traps that are perched above the coastline. Although room rates regularly top $500 per night, awards are widely available for just 40,000 Ritz-Carlton Rewards or Marriott Rewards points per night.
Location: Saint Kitts and Nevis
Opened: November 1, 2017
Number of rooms: 126
Details: One of the most highly anticipated hotel openings of of 2017 was this new luxury property from Hyatt on the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, located within the exclusive Christophe Harbour development on Banana Bay.
It comprises 78 rooms and 48 suites that blend colonial style with contemporary architecture and incorporate local materials, not to mention private balconies and terraces, rainfall showers and picture-perfect Caribbean views. Among the resort’s restaurants is Fisherman’s Village for so-called ‘ocean-to-table’ cuisine at lunch and dinner. The Stone Barn is an adults-only fine-dining eatery, while The Great House is the hotel’s all-day eatery, complete with a rum bar and plantation-style afternoon tea. The hotel has two pools, one for families (called The Lagoon Pool) and one for adults only (The Rampart Pool). Guests can also take advantage of private beach access and non-motorized water sports. There is a fitness center with a yoga and meditation area and a Miraval Life in Balance Spa for island-inspired treatments. Rates in January start at $600 per night, or 30,000 World of Hyatt points.
Location: Pointe de Flacq, Mauritius
Opening: December 1, 2017
Number of rooms: 142
Details: One of Maritius’s first luxury resorts (it opened over 40 years ago), the One&Only Le Saint Géran closed for a top-to-toe renovation in February and will reopen this month.
The 142 rooms and suites have been completely refurbished with new continuous indoor-outdoor floor plans, a bright, beachy color palette and marble-lined bathrooms. Guests who book suites enjoy 24-hour butler service, and the new two- and three-bedroom suites will have interconnecting options for families. Among the restaurants, PRIME is a steakhouse specializing in Australian Angus Wagyu cuts, Tapasake serves Spanish-Asian fusion tapas alongside the resort’s lagoon, La Terrasse, the main restaurant, serves international dishes, L’Artisan is a new artisanal bakery and coffee shop and La Pointe is the place for fresh fish grilled over firewood right on the beach. The resort sits on a private peninsula surrounded by colorful coral reefs. Guests looking for leisurely lounging can enjoy the three pools, including a new family-friendly one at Palm Grove. The hotel also has a fitness center, yoga pavilion, a One&Only Spa that partners with ESPA and activity clubs for kids and teens. Rates in January start at $827.
Location: Ambergris Caye, Belize
Opening: January 1, 2018
Number of rooms: 205
Details: Since launching its Curio brand in 2014, Hilton has quickly expanded the quirky chain-within-a-chain of distinctive individual properties, including some landmark hotels like San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado. One of the newest additions will be this sweet little resort on Belize’s popular Ambergris Caye.
The resort looks like a Caribbean village, thanks to the rooms and suites spread out among whitewashed wooden cottages and villas. With breezy high ceilings, exposed wooden walls and fixtures, vibrant accent furnishings, indoor-outdoor showers and even covered porches in some suites, the décor aesthetic reads as island-chic. The Restaurant will have an indoor-outdoor dining room and views of sunset and the bay; Rum Bean will serve coffee and cocktails; Stirred, in The Great House, the resort’s main building, will be an upscale mixology bar; Shaken will serve signature cocktails and craft beers at the Bay Club; The Verandah will be the signature fine-dining restaurant with a menu of Caribbean dishes. Guests will have access to a private white-sand beach; activities range from scuba and snorkeling on the Belize Barrier Reef to yoga classes at the nearby Science and Soul Wellness center. Rates in January start at $369 per night or 80,000 Hilton Honors points.
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Opening: February 2018
Number of rooms: 119
Details so far: Asia-based COMO Hotels is opening its third Bali property this winter near Canggu on the island’s southern coast, about 20 minutes from the popular beach area of Seminyak.
The hotel will offer a range of accommodations including regular rooms, suites and one- and two-bedroom residences and three-bedroom penthouse duplexes, which will each have its own rooftop pool. The hotel’s main pool, meanwhile, will be a gigantic 115 meters (377 feet) long with curved edges meant to evoke the waves crashing on the beach beyond. For those who want to hang ten, just off the coast from the hotel is the famous surf break at Old Man’s Beach; brush up with a lesson courtesy of the resort’s Tropicsurf shop. The resort’s main restaurant, COMO Beach Club, will serve menus of Balinese and Western dishes using locally sourced ingredients. Guests will also have access to the Nirwana Bali Golf Club. Opening rates start at $250 per night.
Opening: March 1, 2018
Number of rooms: 71
Details so far: The aesthetic of this soon-to-open beach resort is castaway cool: think Robinson Crusoe meets Saint Tropez. It will be on its own island with nearly nine miles of white, sandy beaches.
The resort will have just 71 accommodations in categories that include villas, suites and residences, each with direct beach access and vintage décor touches meant to evoke 19th-century exploration in the area. There will be four restaurants, including Claudine, whose menu will draw from Mediterranean Riviera classics, the Lighthouse, which will serve grilled fish and seafood for dinner, a poolside bar serving tropical cocktails and creole tapas and The Deli for takeaway and light breakfast fare. The hotel’s spa will have five treatment rooms, including one for couples, an anti-gravity yoga pavilion, a hair and beauty salon and two steam rooms. Treatments will use Terres d’Afrique organic skincare. There will also be activities and adventures you’d expect in a setting like this, including a kids’ center, a water sports center, interactive educational programing about the environment and local marine life, a gym and more. Opening rates start at 725 euros ($856) per night.
Location: Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
Opening: March 2018
Number of rooms: 259
Details so far: Not so much a new hotel as a rebranding, the former Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is being given a $46 million makeover and will debut as a Westin this March, just in time for spring break.
There should be cool new design touches like a library with a vertical living wall and check-in pods for privacy in the lobby. The hotel claims to have the largest guestrooms on the Kohala Coast, starting at 700 square feet. They’ll be kitted out with Westin Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Showers. The hotel will feature a new adults-only beachfront pool, a new Westin Workout facility with a CrossFit studio and four dining outlets including Meridia for Mediterranean food and the Naupaka Beach Grill for casual dining and local beers. Rates start at $199 per night, but the lowest we could find were $385 in March. The hotel will be an SPG Category 5 property where award nights cost 12,000-16,000 points, or 6,000 points + $110 using Cash & Points (though no Cash & Points availability has been loaded yet).
Location: Dubai, UAE
Opening: March 2018
Number of rooms: 350
Details so far: Though opening in March, this Starwood hotel is not yet accepting reservations. However, we do know it will be an SPG Category 6 property where award nights will cost 20,000-25,000 points each. It joins another W in the city at Al Habtoor, though this one is going to be more of a beach resort.
Rooms and suites come in nine categories ranging from starter Wonderful Rooms to palatial E-Wow Suites. The hotel will also have an AWAY Spa with 11 treatment rooms and a premium partnership with Medi Spa, a WET pool deck with loungers and private cabanas, plus a SoBe Rooftop bar and lounge with views of the sea. The hotel’s other dining outlets will include the Italian Torno Subito, Akira Back for Asian cuisine, LIV for Mediterranean menus and the W Lounge for cocktails and light dishes. Guests can take advantage of the resort’s extensive beach with watersports like windsurfing, paddle-boarding, wakeboarding and kayaking.
Location: Nassau, Bahamas
Opening: September 2018
Number of rooms: 185
Details so far: Rosewood is bringing its signature brand of luxury to the Bahamas with the opening of this new resort in Nassau’s tony Baha Mar enclave, which is also home to a Grand Hyatt and an SLS Hotel.
The Rosewood will have 185 guestrooms and suites plus five beachfront villas, all decorated in bright Bahamian colors and British colonial styling. The hotel’s amenities will include four dining outlets, including Commonwealth, a farm-to-table restaurant with a private dining room, the nautical-themed Bar Riva for craft cocktails and small plates, the Library Lounge for afternoon tea, and the Pool Grille for seafood and grilled dishes poolside. The hotel will have a Sense, A Rosewood Spa, as well as a salon and barbershop, a fitness center, two private swimming pools and luxury cabanas plus direct private beach access for guests. Opening rates start at $660 per night in September.
Location: Sanya, China
Opening: Late 2018
Number of rooms: 280
Details so far: This opening is still a ways off, so details are scant. However, it seems like good news that eco-conscious — think furniture made from salvaged items and key cards created from recycled wood — mini-chain 1 Hotels is expanding its portfolio beyond the US, where it currently has two hotels in New York City and one in South Beach.
Late in 2018, brand aims to open one of its first international properties on Hainan Island, often referred to as the Hawaii of China thanks to its beaches and balmy weather. The resort will have 280 guestrooms and suites, three sky villas, a 1 Hotels–branded organic spa and an activity complex that includes a pool and fitness center. The hotel also plans to have its own onsite organic farm to provide fresh produce for its restaurants and bars. Opening rates are not yet available.
Featured image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels.
With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees