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19 for 2019: The Hotels We Can’t Wait to Book Next Year

Dec. 21, 2018
19 min read
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This past year has been momentous for hotel points programs. Marriott and Starwood completed their merger. Hilton took its credit card portfolio over to American Express and launched several credit cards in the process. World of Hyatt members learned they could earn and redeem points at over 500 Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties, and Leading Hotels of the World revamped its Leaders Club program. And those were just some of the bigger headlines.

Hundreds of hotels also opened around the world last year, and 2019 is shaping up to be just as exciting, with flagship properties set to debut from both established chains and boutique upstarts alike.

To help inspire your travels in the new year, we looked at 19 of the most anticipated hotel openings for 2019. They are loosely ordered by projected opening date, though travelers should keep in mind that these are almost always subject to change. (A few of the properties we were looking forward to most in 2018 still haven't opened yet, including the Baglioni Resort Maldives and the Rosewood Hong Kong.) This list is a mix of points hotels, stunning luxury properties, industry game-changers and hotels putting entirely new destinations on the map.

Remember, even if you’re not staying a hotel that participates in one of the major loyalty programs, you can still earn bonus points by paying for your reservation using a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You could also score a free fourth night with the Citi Prestige, or use The Platinum Card® from American Express to earn 5x points and extra perks like on-property credits when booking through Fine Hotels & Resorts.

From rebounding US cities to far-flung national parks, these are 19 hotels we can't wait to stay at in 2019. Sound off in the comments below about which properties you're most excited to book next year.

1. Shinola Hotel in Detroit, Michigan

Opening: January 2019
Detroit is in the midst of a renaissance, with new shops, restaurants and bars invigorating the city center. One to watch is the Motor City-based timepiece and leather goods company, Shinola. Though not new, the respected luxury brand partnered with a real estate firm to create a boutique hotel set to open right after New Year’s. The 129-room property will occupy two historic buildings (the TB Rayl Co. department store and a former Singer Sewing Machine store) and three new buildings along one of the city’s main arteries, Woodward Avenue. The property is walking distance to Ford Field and Comerica Park.

Design firm Gachot Studios oversaw the interiors, and rooms are outfitted with original Shinola products made exclusively for the hotel, including desk clocks and alpaca throws. Overall, the look is best described as colorful, nostalgic Americana. On-site restaurants will include a Southern Italian spot called San Morello, the Evening Bar for seasonal cocktails and a beer hall called The Brakeman, as well as Penny Red's, a fried chicken joint. There will also be small retail spaces from Madewell and Le Labo. Opening rates start at $195 per night.

2. Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito in California

Opening: February 2019
The beachy community of Montecito, just south of Santa Barbara, is already home to the likes of Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres, but there’s going to be just a little more star power once the luxurious Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito opens there in February. The 161-room beachfront hotel will feature a Sense Spa, four restaurants and a poolside ice cream parlor. Guest rooms, meanwhile, will start around 500 square feet and will include furnished terraces or patios, locally produced minibar goodies and marble bathrooms with freestanding tubs among the other luxe touches.

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The Rosewood Miramar Beach is just one of a number of Rosewood properties slated to open next year. The brand's rapid expansion includes properties in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Guangzhou and Yangon, Myanmar. Opening rates for the Montecito property start at $525 per night.

3. Kachi Lodge in Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Opening: February 2019
Until now, the most exotic place to stay in Bolivia’s remote salt flats has been the famous Palacio de Sal: a hotel constructed from salt. Decidedly upping the cool quotient, however, is this soon-to-open luxury camp from Amazing Escapes. The collection of six domed guest tents have double beds, en suite bathrooms and clear walls for uninterrupted views of the high-altitude landscape and starry night sky.

During the day, guests can enjoy scenic hikes, village visits and exploring the ruins of ancient civilizations. The lodge’s restaurant is an out-of-the-way outpost of the award-winning La Paz restaurant Gustu. Rates start at $1,980 per person per night based on double occupancy.

4. TWA Hotel in Queens, New York

Opening: Early 2019

In what is perhaps the geekiest of AvGeek news, the long-awaited, Jet Age-inspired TWA Hotel will finally open in Eero Saarinen’s historic 1962 TWA Terminal at New York City’s JFK Airport in the spring. It's a hotel debut that could set a new precedent for airport hotels. The hotel’s 512 retro rooms will feature runway views and custom-made cocktail minibars. It will have a huge rooftop observation deck and pool and a 10,000-square-foot fitness facility, as well as a museum devoted to aviation history and TWA. There will be six restaurants and eight bars, including the 200-seat Paris Café helmed by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and a cocktail bar inside a refurbished TWA Lockheed Constellation. Room rates will start at roughly $250 per night.

5. Waldorf Astoria in South Malé Atoll, Maldives

Opening: March 2019
There are already plenty of points hotels in the Maldives, including TPG favorites like the Park Hyatt and the St. Regis. However, the paradise-like Indian Ocean island nation is getting a fabulous new option in the form of a Waldorf Astoria. The resort will be located on Ithaafushi, a 30-minute yacht ride from Malé International Airport (MLE). Accommodations will include 121 villas, each with an infinity pool and huge outdoor space with views of the surrounding atoll. Guests can indulge in Asian-inspired treatments in the overwater and beach spa villas, or join a class in the dedicated yoga pavilion between activities like sailing and scuba diving. Little ones will enjoy activities arranged by the Waldorf Kid’s Club. There will be 10 bars and restaurants, including an overwater Chinese restaurant called Li Long and one in the treetops called Terra. Information on opening rates for both paid and points reservations is not yet available.

6. EDITION West Hollywood in California 

Opening: Early or Mid-2019
There are few Los Angeles locations more iconic than the famous Sunset Strip, so obviously that’s where you’d expect a flashy new opening from EDITION Hotels. Details are still scant, but based on images available at this time, travelers should expect the brand's reliably swanky lobby bar, as well as views over the city, an expansive lawn with a pool and tree-shaded loungers, a garden restaurant and a rather glam spa (think: fur throws, golden poufs and candle-lit luminaries). Oh, and did we mention the subterranean dance club? No word yet on opening points or paid rates for the property's 190 rooms.

7. Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere in Austria 

Opening: April 2019
Although the look is completely contemporary (some might say stark), one of the inspirations for this new Vienna hotel will be Prince Eugene of Savoy, the 17th-century nobleman who established the Belvedere Palace and its world-famous art collection. Guests should expect to see exhibits by local artists and designers, as well as homages to Vienna’s historical arts and culture. The 259 guest rooms and 44 suites start at a generous 330 square feet and look airy and bright thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. The pared-down palette includes white-on-white linens, parquet blond-wood floors and gray-scale cityscapes stenciled on the walls. Eugen 21 will be the main, meat-driven restaurant, while guests can take in city views and craft cocktails at a rooftop bar called Aurora. Opening rates are not yet available.

8. Nobu Los Cabos in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Opening: April 2019
Cabo will benefit from some fabulous resorts popping up in the near future, including a Four Seasons at Costas Palmas and Zadún, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve. And you can add the latest outpost of the Nobu family, the group’s first Mexican hotel, to the list, since it’s due to open in the 2019. The resort will be located to the west of Cabo San Lucas and buffered from the party scene by a long beach and the Diamante Cabo San Lucas golf course.

As befits a hotel that’s dubbed “a Japanese beach house,” the 150 guest rooms and 50 suites are decorated in Nobu’s signature minimalist aesthetic, featuring pale wood accents and neutral-toned fabrics. Of course, there will also be a Nobu restaurant on the property where guests can enjoy the namesake chef’s signature dishes. The hotel will be a member of Leading Hotels of the World for those interested in earning points and perks with the group’s newly revamped Leaders Club program. Opening rates start at around $490.

9. The Farmstead at Royal Malewane in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Opening: May 2019
There will be just four rooms at the newest property from the South African luxury group The Royal Portfolio. But really, how many folks do you want to share your safari experience with?

The Farmstead is actually a new addition to the recently refurbished Royal Malewane lodge in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park. The accommodations include a main lodge and three farm suites on one side, plus a larger 3.5-room Farmhouse villa to the other, each with its own swimming pool. Expect the same exuberant décor as at the collection’s other properties (Cape Town’s Silo Hotel and La Residence in Franschhoek), as well as facilities like private viewing decks, outdoor showers and full baths.

Guests can take game drives with the camp’s team of guides during the day, then relax with a spa treatment before a leisurely dinner or a sundowner around the fire pit at night. Reservations recently opened, with starting rates around $4,000 per day based on double occupancy.

10. Mandarin Oriental CastaDiva Resort & Spa in Lake Como, Italy

Opening: Mid-2019
Mandarin Oriental will be taking over management of this spectacular lakeside resort in one of Europe’s most iconic settings when it reopens toward the middle of the year. Most of the 73 rooms, 58 suites and two private villas will offer lake views, though some overlook the carefully manicured gardens. The décor seems contemporary but playful (think: terra cotta lamps, filigreed headboards and tongue-in-cheek touches like cupid cutouts).

The L’Orangerie restaurant boasts an unparalleled location along the lake, where guests can enjoy modern Mediterranean dishes, while Giardino Dei Sapori & Grill will serve pan-Italian cuisine and Bar Bellini will mix up classic cocktails. The spa will be the largest on Lake Como, with nine treatment rooms including a hammam-style suite. Opening rates start at 595 euros ($670 USD).

11. St. Regis Hong Kong

Opening: June 2019
It seems hard to believe that Hong Kong doesn’t already have a St. Regis, but that will no longer be the case come June, when the luxury brand makes its grand entrance near the city's waterfront in Wan Chai — close to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. If the interiors look familiar, that’s because they were designed by Andre Fu, whose fingerprints are also all over the Upper House Hong Kong, the Andaz Singapore and the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, among other high-profile hotel projects.

The 112 rooms and 17 suites will range in size from 538 square feet up to 2,583 square feet, though all will offer St. Regis’s signature butler service. In addition to The Drawing Room for light bites and afternoon tea and the customary St. Regis Bar, the hotel will have two restaurants run by two different chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants: L’Envol for French-Asian fusion by Olivier Elzer and Rùn for Chinese by Hung Chi-Kwong. Points and paid rates are not yet public.

12. InterContinental Hayman Island in Queensland, Australia 

Opening: July 2019
Hayman Island is home to one of Australia’s most famous resorts, thanks to its pride of place on a much-visited stretch of the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately, the past several years have been rather tumultuous for this property, as it’s changed management a few times and, you know, been hit by some cyclones. After a complete refurbishment, however, it’s finally scheduled to reopen under the auspices of InterContinental this summer (well, winter in Australia).

The 166 guest rooms, suites and villas will have either pool, jungle or ocean views through massive windows, and some of the villas even feature their own private pools. While not out on the water exploring the reef (including on the resort’s own luxury yachts), guests can hang around at the lagoon-shaped pool, fill up at any of five new restaurants and bars or enjoy an open-air spa treatment. Room rates in July start around $640 AUD ($460 USD) or 70,000 points.

13. Raffles Hotel in Singapore

Opening: Mid-2019
It’s not exactly a new hotel, but Singapore’s grande dame, which originally opened in 1887, is set to relaunch toward the middle of 2019 after a complete renovation. The historic facades and other features will all remain intact after a restoration. However, guests in the 115 rooms can expect several new elements including a restaurant called BBR by superstar chef Alain Ducasse, a Chinese restaurant called Yì from chef Jereme Leung and a fully restored Long Bar in case you’re hankering for a Singapore Sling in the bar where it was invented. The suites will have the same 14-foot ceilings and colonial embellishments, but updated technology, redesigned bathrooms and new amenities provided by the signature Raffles Butlers. Opening rates not yet available.

14. Four Seasons Philadelphia in Pennsylvania

Opening: Mid-2019
Four Seasons will show some love to the City of Brotherly Love when it opens a new hotel there later this year. The hotel will occupy the top floors of the 60-story Comcast Center, which was designed by Lord Norman Foster, and will be the city’s tallest skyscraper.

Among the high-end inclusions are a restaurant and lounge by Jean-Georges Vongerichten on the 59th floor and a ground-floor, fish-focused venue from James Beard Award-winner Greg Vernick. A spa offering treatments like a warm crystal massage and a health center with an infinity pool will open on the 57th floor.

Guest rooms (there are 219) will start at 350 square feet and will mostly be done up in cream and taupe tones with locally milled birch furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows for prime skyline views. Rates are not publicly yet available, though the hotel’s general manager has been quoted as saying they are expected to start at approximately $600 per night.

15. Kimpton Barcelona in Spain

Opening: Late 2019
Though most of its properties remain within the US, this pet-friendly IHG brand-within-a-brand is fast expanding beyond the borders of North America with a slew of hotel openings planned for Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. One of the most exciting is a 156-room property in Barcelona that is expected to debut toward the end of 2019. It will be located near the city’s tourist hub of La Rambla. It will have a lobby lounge and all-day restaurant, plus a rooftop lounge and pool with views of Barcelona’s cathedral. No word yet on opening rates or how many points will be required for award nights.

16. Nayara Tented Camp in Arenal, Costa Rica

Opening: Late 2019
Though tented camps are more often associated with Asian jungle resorts or African safari lodges, the look suits the lush slopes of Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park, where Nayara's camp will open toward the end of 2019.

Of the 18 kitted-out tents, 12 will be combinable into two-bedroom units for families or friends traveling together. Each will offer panoramic views of Arenal, plunge pools fed by natural hot springs, outdoor showers, full indoor bathrooms and wooden floors and four-poster canopy beds. The main lodge will have its own pool and swim-up bar, a gourmet restaurant with an outdoor rainforest terrace. The plethora of activities available will include whitewater rafting and nature hikes to see the region’s vibrant wildlife, such as tree sloths, monkeys and hundreds of bird species. Rates not yet available.

17. Six Senses Shaharut in the Negev Desert, Israel

Opening: Late 2019
Spa and resort brand Six Senses is coming to Israel this year with the planned opening of a desert-inspired hotel in Israel’s Arava Valley. The architecture of the resort’s villas will reference the surrounding topography and construction materials will incorporate regional rocks and pigments, while furnishings will be sourced from local artisans.

Accommodations will start at 495 square feet and each will include extensive exterior spaces and private pools. True to Six Senses’ environmentally-conscious ethos, all vehicles on the property will be electric. The hotel will field an all-day restaurant for buffet and à la carte menus, a juice and alchemy bar at the spa and a poolside grill, all of which will highlight ingredients freshly harvested from the resort’s own gardens or produced by nearby kibbutzim. Opening rates for the 60 rooms are not yet available.

18. Eden Rock in St. Barts

Opening: Late 2019
St. Barts was among the islands hardest hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017, and communities and hotels are still recovering, including this iconic resort on the Baie de Saint Jean. The hotel has been a magnet for jetsetters and celebrities since it opened back in the 1950s, and Oetker Collection is looking to restore that patina of glamor as it undertakes major renovations and restorations of the beloved hotel.

Its 34 guest rooms and villas are set along the beach and rocky coastline, and will be furnished with locally sourced materials, display new artwork and offer Ligne St. Barth amenities. Breezy verandas will provide views of the lush gardens and the sea, complemented by bright fabrics and upholstery that channels an upbeat Caribbean vibe.

Sand Bar will be an outpost of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who is figuring heavily on this year’s list), while Rémy Bar, named after the hotel’s first owner, will serve creative cocktails in a colonial-inspired setting. The Eden Rock Spa by Ligne St. Barth will include two indoor cabanas and a beach cabana plus in-room treatments. There will also be a private recording studio in case you’re feeling inspired by the setting. Room rates not yet available.

19. One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Virunga, Rwanda

Opening: Late 2019
This sleek safari lodge represents the next push into adventure travel for luxury hotel chain One&Only, which has taken over and is currently refurbishing this landmark camp. The property is located near Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. In addition to treks to see majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, guests can visit Dian Fossey’s Karisoke Research Camp and take wildlife hikes to spot various other highland creatures like golden monkeys and nearly 200 species of birds — when not being pampered by personal butlers and the private chef, that is. Opening rates not yet available.

All images by Abbie Winters / The Points Guy.

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