These are the 11 hotels we’re most excited about opening this winter
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For travelers who look forward to new hotel openings from their favorite brands the same way children look forward to gifts from Santa on Christmas morning, we have good news: The holidays have officially arrived. Even though it may seem like business is grinding to a halt, new hotels all around the world are still preparing to welcome their first guests. Others are putting the finishing touches on massive top-top-toe renovations.
After an incredibly exciting fall season that saw everything from the arrival of the 100th Ritz-Carlton hotel to Andaz’s debut in South Korea, we can promise you, this winter has no shortage of hot new hotel openings sure to inspire your 2020 travels.
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These are 11 of the most exciting hotels opening this winter, from those that first welcomed travelers in December to the properties scrambling to cut the ribbon before the end of February. Don’t worry, there are ways you could use your hard-earned hotel points to book a stay at any one of these properties.
New hotels in Asia
In the mountains of Hokkaido, the stunning Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono will welcome guests in late January. One of four Park Hyatts to open around the world in 2020, this property will join a trio of Hyatt hotels at Niseko United, an Ikon ski pass resort roughly 70 miles from Sapporo on Niseko Annupuri mountain. In addition to slope-side access, the property has 11 onsite restaurants, a health club, swimming pool, onsen, and even offers ski rentals to guests. This Park Hyatt is just one of many significant points hotels debuting around Japan in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics. One night at this Category 7 property could set you back 30,000 points per night, or 38,700 yen ($354).
New hotels in Europe
The long-awaited Arctic Bath Hotel in Swedish Lapland welcomes guests in January. This remote wellness retreat, inspired by felled timber, floats on the Lule River, and is ideal for spotting the elusive aurora borealis in the winter or admiring the endless light from the midnight sun during the summer. Whether you book an overwater cabin or a suite on shore, you’ll discover exemplary Scandinavian minimalism all around the property, with neutral hues and geometric shapes echoed in the design. One room starts at 10,500 Swedish krona (about $1,115) and includes half-board for two (breakfast and a set five-course dinner), plus access to the spa. Because you’ll most likely book your stay directly through the hotel, consider using fixed-value miles, like those earned with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, to “erase” the travel purchase from your statement.
Complementing the existing Four Seasons Hotel Megève, the historic Rothschild-family property, Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, emerged from a significant renovation as a Four Seasons sister property at the base of the Mont d’Arbois ski slopes in the French Alps. Reopened on Dec. 13, this trio of chalets were recast by Pierre-Yves Rochon, the designer responsible for every Four Seasons property in France, according to HospitalityNet. Rates start at 660 euros per night (approximately $730), and the winter-only property will welcome guests until mid-April.
New hotels in North America
In the nation’s capital, the newly built Thompson Washington, D.C. will begin accepting reservations from Jan. 8, 2020. Located in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, this property is home to Danny Meyer’s first seafood restaurant and a rooftop bar with views over the Anacostia River. Rooms here take cues from the Navy Yard district, with hardwood floors and gorgeous blue-tiled bathrooms. Now that the Thompson Hotels brand has been integrated into the World of Hyatt portfolio, guests can earn and redeem Hyatt points for stays at these properties. Book a night at the Thompson Washington, D.C. this winter from $240, or 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night.
The Hostess City of the South is welcoming the traditional luxury of a JW Marriott to a former power plant on the Savannah river in February. Part of a mixed-use development that will extend the city’s bustling riverfront, the JW Marriott infuses the industrial bones of the building (ample white-washed brick) with the brand’s timeless design sensibilities expressed across three distinct buildings. Choose from the historic Power Plant, the old world Three Muses and the maritime-inspired Atlantic. Guests staying in one of the 419 guest rooms will have access to the dozens of dining, shopping and entertainment venues in the 225,000-square-foot complex. Cash rates are not yet available, but the Category 7 property should be available from 50,000 points per night during off-peak dates.
The former Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows will reopen next month as the first-ever Auberge in Hawaii. Located on the Kona Coast of the Big Island. Every room has a lanai balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows and organic textures and materials that evoke the surrounding landscape. Bring the kids to the Family and Keiki pools, or enjoy the solitude at the adults-only infinity pool. Either way, you’ll want to take advantage of the onsite food truck serving shave ice. Rates start at $499, according to San Francisco’s SFGate, and there is a daily $30 resort fee. This Auberge resort has already been loaded into Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, so you can enjoy daily breakfast for two, an upgrade when available, early check-in and late check-out when available along with other perks when you book with an eligible Chase credit card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve.
After more than two years, The Ritz-Carlton South Beach is finally preparing to reopen following a massive restoration triggered by Hurricane Irma. The renovation of the Miami mainstay touched nearly every element of the hotel, from the guest rooms and suites to the Club Lounge, spa, restaurants, lobby, and pool — travelers familiar with the property will discover refreshing updates, like the elegant wall moldings along with crisp white linens accented by blue velvet and leather accents. Though you can’t yet book a room here, the property confirmed they’re still aiming for a late-January reopening. The Category 8 property will require 70,000 points for off-peak award nights.
New hotels in the Caribbean
Closed since 2016, this luxury resort will finally reopen in January, following the most significant renovation since the property was opened by Laurance Rockefeller in 1964. All the light-filled rooms, suites, cottages and villas boast ocean views and embody the British Virgin Islands’ famous privacy and discretion. We found ocean-view cottages available from $1,200 per night, so don’t expect a stay here to be cheap. You can, however, book a stay through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts. So, if you have either The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, you could use Membership Rewards points to book your stay — or, instead, earn 5x points on prepaid bookings — and get exclusive perks like daily breakfast for two, a room upgrade upon arrival, when available; and an up to $100 spa credit, among others.
New hotels in Africa and the Middle East
The first Andaz hotel in Dubai opened on Dec. 15, on the iconic palm-shaped manmade island that stretches into the Persian Gulf. This hotel significantly expanded Hyatt’s foothold in the United Arab Emirates with an additional 217 rooms, suites and residences. Expect a contemporary, almost mod take on traditional Emirati design and textiles. Even the most basic rooms here have marble baths with rainfall showers and tubs, but we recommend booking a room with a balcony overlooking the city. Guests here have access to a private stretch of beach and five dining venues, including a beach club and underground lounge. One night at this Category 5 Hyatt property will set you back 880 United Arab Emirates dirham (about $240), or 20,000 points.
Six Senses transformed two historic Ottoman-era mansions on the Bosphorus waterfront into a new luxury hotel, which opened in December. The 45 guest rooms and suites have soaring shiplap ceilings and marble-clad bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. The property is still opening some dining venues, including a forthcoming concept from chef Mehmet Gürs, and the spa is set to open this spring with hammams, five treatment rooms and an indoor swimming pool. Rooms are available from 280 euros and, thanks to IHG’s recent acquisition of the brand, travelers can book award nights from 50,000 IHG Choice Rewards points.
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New hotels in Central and South America
One of our most-anticipated hotel openings of 2019, the Nayara Tented Camp finally opened in the lush jungle of Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica on Dec. 20. With 25 air-conditioned tents inspired by the ultraluxury accommodations you’d expect to find on an African safari, each guest gets a hot spring-fed plunge pool, an elegant canopy bed, a stunning freestanding bath tub and a double-head outdoor shower. Rates for a signature tent start at $900 per night, and both sister properties — Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens and the adults-only Nayara Springs — are available to book through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, so we’re optimistic the same will be true for Nayara Tented Camp. Until then, Nayara Tented Camp is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World collection.
Feature aerial image of Arctic Bath Hotel courtesy of Off the Map Travel.
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