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6 can't-miss hotels opening in the US this month

March 04, 2020
13 min read
A rooftop bar at a hotel
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March is a month for optimism. Winter is almost over (yay!) and it's time for spring break for families nationwide. We recently shared our favorite ideas for terrific springtime getaways, but if you haven't made plans for March, you might consider one of the hotels on this list.

Related: The 20 new hotels we can’t wait to book in 2020

Each property either just welcomed its first guests or is opening later this month. There are two new hotspots in Orlando, purpose-built for those theme park visits, and a hip luxury lodge debuting in the Catskills. Marriott's Autograph Collection opens two properties: one in Austin, and another in West Palm Palm Beach that's leveraging incredible local history. Finally, the new Quirk Hotel Charlottesville in Virginia is joining Hyatt's portfolio.

Here's what's so special about these six new hotels.

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JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World and you'd prefer a luxury points hotel over one of Disney's themed on-site resorts? The new JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa — the brand's second location in Orlando — is opening later this month, and could be perfect for you.

Disney's Magic Kingdom is a little more than six miles away, a quick 10-minute commute. You can even see the theme park's nightly fireworks from the resort's rooftop terrace and some room categories.

JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek. (Image courtesy of Marriott)

The 516-room resort offers a multitude of room types to accommodate all types of travelers, including guest rooms with one king bed, one queen bed, two queen beds or a king bed plus a sofa bed. Some rooms feature two bathrooms. There are two types of Family Suites with a combination of beds, bunks and multiple bathrooms.

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Views from the rooms vary from the resort itself to its pool area to Disney Springs, as well as the aforementioned fireworks.

Like other resorts at Bonnet Creek, the JW Marriott has an expansive outdoor pool complex where you can book a private cabana. There's Family by JW kids' programming (games and arts and crafts), a miniature nine-hole golf course, a rock-climbing wall and a 9,920-square-foot Spa by JW with 10 treatment rooms and a fitness center. If you don't have all day to lounge in the spa, that's OK. There's a neat menu of 12-minute "mini" spa treatments.

When it comes to dining, there's a pool grill, lobby bar serving small plates, a steakhouse, a restaurant with fireworks views serving contemporary cuisine, a casual European-style venue serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a beer garden. There's also the brand's signature JW Market for to-go snacks and drinks all day.

Pegged at Category 6 in Marriott's Bonvoy program, you can spend 50,000 points (standard dates) for a one-night stay or redeem a 50,000-point Marriott reward-night certificate, like the one you can earn on the anniversary of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. Nightly cash rates will vary seasonally, but we found rooms in May for $587 per night for a king resort-view room.

Related: The complete guide to Marriott Bonvoy elite status

Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Dockside Inn and Suites

If your family prefers Universal over Disney, Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Dockside Inn and Suites is a fantastic new (and affordable) place to stay. Its sister hotel, Surfside Inn and Suites, was the first Value hotel on-property.

Slated to open March 17, Universal's eighth on-site hotel managed by Loews checks the box for budget travelers with nightly rates starting as low as $79 (from $120 for a two-bedroom suite). That sort of pricing paired with accommodations that have separate bath and vanity areas may be a game-changer for families who've been dreaming about visiting Universal Orlando and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Universal's Endless Summer - Dockside Inn and Suites (Image courtesy of
Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Dockside Inn and Suites. (Image courtesy of

With 2,050 guest rooms, this won't be a boutique experience — but that's probably not what you're looking for on your theme park vacation anyway. Select a 313-square-foot standard room (two queen beds for up to four people) or a 440-square-foot, two-bedroom suite that accommodates up to six people and includes a kitchenette area and picnic table for in-room meals.

Rooms are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, a minifridge, USB outlets and free Wi-Fi. Families can dine at a convenient food court, get pizza delivery or swing by the coffee shop. There are also two bars: one in the lobby and one by the pool.

There are two large pools, a children's play area and sand beaches, plus a fun arcade-style game room and fitness center.

But the real benefit of staying at Universal hotels are the perks: early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and free round-trip transportation to the theme parks, Universal's Volcano Bay waterpark and the Universal CityWalk dining, shopping and entertainment complex.

You can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a stay at Universal's Endless Summer Resort - Dockside Inn and Suites through the Chase travel portal. Or, pay cash to earn UR points with a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Related: Review of Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

Urban Cowboy Lodge

Scenes from last season's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" depicting the fictional Steiner Mountain Lodge left many viewers with a new curiosity about New York's Catskills region. Those scenes were filmed at Scott's Family Resort at Oquaga Lake. But this spring, the region will see a flurry of new hotel openings, including the Urban Cowboy Lodge.

Nestled on 68 acres of wilderness in Oliverea, New York -- a 2.5-hour drive from midtown Manhattan -- the lodge buildings date back to 1898. The property has been restored and modernized, and now has a deliberately rustic and luxurious vibe. If you need to unplug, this is the place to go. Urban Cowboy is surrounded by the Catskills state park and the lodge has no cellphone service (though guests get free Wi-Fi).

Select one of 28 rooms in five buildings -- each has its own flair with antiques selected by the owners, hand-printed wallpaper, stocked minibars, Wright mattresses, Pendleton robes and a private deck. Suites have extras like clawfoot tubs, potbelly stoves, heated bathroom floors and forest views.

During the day, enjoy hiking or fly fishing or participate in one of the lodge's farm and food projects, where you can help the staff in the kitchen or garden. In the evenings, you'll be hard-pressed to leave the fireplace at the bar, and there's also the Dining Room with a menu that changes seasonally.

We checked rates for a weekend in March, and the Walden King room cost $255 a night while the Walden Forest Bathing Suite was $400 a night.

Pay for your stay with your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and then erase the travel charge on your statement (one mile equals 1 cent).

Related: The best travel credit cards for 2020

Urban Cowboy Catskills (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
Urban Cowboy in the Catskills. (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

The Otis Hotel, Autograph Collection

Just opened in Austin, Texas, is The Otis Hotel, Autograph Collection. Located in the city's Campus District near the University of Texas, Marriott's first Autograph Hotel in Austin is also a dual-branded property with AC Hotel Austin-University.

The 191-room boutique-style property features guest rooms with a "vintage school room" vibe and a nod to Austin's musical heritage: There's a vinyl-record player in every room and access to a curated record library. Each room has either a king bed or two queens, or travelers can splurge on a corner Studio Suite with a king bed or the Luminary one-bedroom suite with a king bed and sofa bed.

Sliding barn-style doors separate the bedroom space from the hall and bathroom, which is finished with granite countertops and makeup mirrors along with complimentary toiletries from Guild + Pepper's luxury collection.

A king room at The Otis. (Image courtesy of the hotel)
A king room at The Otis. (Image courtesy of the hotel)

When it comes to dining, the hotel is home to the upscale Acre 41 that serves locally sourced meats, comfort foods and sushi. There's a rooftop pool with extra-fee poolside cabanas and the Otopia Rooftop lounge. There's a walk-up Burger Bar window -- its original location is on Congress Avenue -- serving burgers, fries and hand-spun shakes. And, finally, there's a Bar AC serving Spanish tapas, wines and classic cocktails.

As a Category 6 Marriott property, The Otis costs 50,000 points per night on standard dates. You can also use your Marriott 50,000-point reward-night certificate that you earn on the anniversary of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. Or, transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Marriott Bonvoy account instantly.

Related: 13 great ways to redeem the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 50,000-point award night

The Ben, Autograph Collection

Another new Autograph Collection hotel opened this month in West Palm Beach: The Ben. According to Marriott, the 208-room new-build is downtown's only waterfront hotel with views of Palm Harbor Marina and the Intracoastal Waterway. From The Ben, you can easily walk one block to Clematis Street, Palm Beach's "main drag," and to Rosemary Square.

It was designed to pay homage to the circa-1892 Ben Trovato Estate, one of the city's original homes with a storied past. Author Byrd Spilman Dewey -- grandniece of President Zachary Taylor -- owned the Victorian home, and dignitaries and celebrities from Woodrow Wilson to the Vanderbilts visited from time to time.

The Ben, which blends vintage Floridian flair with modern comforts, seeks to capture that sense of cultural importance and become the new spot for socializing and entertaining in West Palm Beach.

As you explore your guest room, you'll notice rich earth tones, varied textures and unexpected accents. In some suites, for instance, a bookcase slides to expose a window into the shower. Standard rooms can be booked with either a king or two queen beds. La Bottega amenities are found in the bathroom.

A guest room at The Ben, Autograph Collection. (Photo courtesy of the hotel)
A guest room at The Ben, Autograph Collection. (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

We especially love the rooftop complex with a pool, cabanas, fire pit and Spruzzo, an Italian-inspired lounge and restaurant (open for lunch, dinner and late-night dining). Proper Grit, a chop house, is the hotel's second restaurant. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Ben is a Category 5 property in Marriott's Bonvoy program, so you can redeem 35,000 points for a free night on standard dates, or use a 35,000-point reward-night certificate.

Related: How to maximize 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points

Quirk Hotel Charlottesville

In Hyatt's portfolio, we've had our eye on the new 80-room Quirk Hotel Charlottesville, Destination Hotels (opening March 5). Touted as a "boutique art hotel," it comprises two 19th-century homes in the city's historic downtown district. Its main feature will be an art gallery showcasing pieces by local, regional and national artists.

It's the second Quirk Hotel created by founders Katie and Ted Ukrop. The first property, in Richmond, Virginia, is a landmark 1916 building.

Quirk Hotel Charlottesville (Image courtesy of the hotel)
Quirk Hotel Charlottesville. (Image courtesy of the hotel)

Accommodations at the Charlottesville location range from standard and balcony guest rooms with either a king bed or two queens, to one-bedroom suites and a loft suite. Guests enjoy views of downtown Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Art is an important focal point of each room, which all have an original work. And each bedroom's headboard was designed by local abstract artist Kiki Slaughter.

Despite being an intimate hotel, it offers a bevy of dining options including The Pink Grouse, Quirk Cafe coffee bar, Bobboo (for barrel-aged spirits), a lobby bar and an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar.

Redeem your World of Hyatt points at the Category 4 Quirk Hotel Charlottesville. A 283-square-foot king room costs 15,000 points per night, or 7,500 points plus $120. Or, use a Category 1 to 4 reward-night certificate like the one you earn on the anniversary of the World of Hyatt Credit Card. You can also instantly transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to your Hyatt account at a 1:1 ratio.

Related: Big changes to World of Hyatt coming March 22

Featured image by COURTESY OF THE BEN
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.