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A sweet suite with scratch-and-sniff wallpaper and other hotel news you missed this month

April 30, 2022
8 min read
hotel room with food-themed wallpaper, circular bed with food-shaped pillows
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For me, spring is the best time of the year. It means the colder months are mostly behind us and summer, with its sunscreen-scented heat, is soon to come. I fell in love with hotels in the spring and summer while crisscrossing the country with my parents during work trips from sea to shining sea.

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Now, as a hotels reporter, it's my duty to keep you, loyal readers, up to date on what's going on in the hotel world, both right here in the U.S. and beyond. We do our best to keep you current on stories about the most important matters — like the hotels we're most excited to see open this spring and how hotels are one of the driving forces of U.S. inflation (sigh). However, there are smaller stories that sometimes have to take a backseat. (We are only human, there are only so many hours in the day, we cover basically the whole world and so on and so forth, etc., etc.)

In my monthly news roundup, those backseat stories get a chance to shine — and oftentimes they're my favorite to report on. And speaking of reporting, when I joined TPG last year as the company's senior hotels reporter, I was a one-man team. Thankfully, I now have reinforcements as the super talented and in-the-know journalist Cameron Sperance has joined the team. He's also a senior hotels reporter, and will help you better understand your rights as an Airbnb guest, as well as why a company would build a $3 billion casino off the Las Vegas Strip.

Together, and with the help of all our incredible TPG crew, we're gearing up to take our hotel coverage to the next level to help you maximize your travel. With that, here's the hotel news you might have missed in April.

All Design Hotels will integrate into Marriott Bonvoy

(Photo courtesy of Design Hotels)

I'm obsessed with Design Hotels, a collection of over 300 independent hotels dotting the globe, of which a handful are currently active in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. In fact, earlier this month I stayed at Chapter Roma, a Design Hotels affiliate that's seriously, in my humble opinion, one of the most charming hotels in Italy. For me, picking a property that resonates with me in terms of design and energy, like Chapter Roma, is always a priority over picking a hotel simply based on my own allegiance to a particular loyalty program. Unfortunately, the hotel wasn't active in Marriott Bonvoy, but I booked it anyway.

Now, it's been announced that Design Hotels is launching a new affiliation program that will roll out starting this summer and will eventually see all of the hotels in the portfolio participate in Marriott Bonvoy. A Marriott spokesperson confirmed to TPG that guests will have the opportunity to earn and redeem points, earn elite qualifying nights and receive other benefits "as non-participating hotels convert to the new Design Hotels Affiliation model over the next few years and as new properties join the Design Hotels portfolio."

This is exciting news for everyone because die-hard Bonvoy fans will now have access to more hotels — in particular, the ones I find most charming and true to the spirit of the destination. Also, folks who might not be interested in points and miles will have a reason to start taking advantage of a program that will help them stay in more places while earning rewards and potentially free future stays. If you find yourself in that latter category, here's a primer on the Marriott Bonvoy program to get you up to speed. And seriously, if you find yourself in Rome, you won't regret a stay at Chapter Roma.

These Hilton brands might be your new favorites

(Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Canopy by Hilton, Tempo by Hilton and Motto by Hilton are the Hilton brands to keep your eye on right now. There's also a big chance you might consider one for your next stay as the three brands make up 20% of the company's lifestyle category pipeline.

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For me, Canopy is a solid brand that's community-driven and laid-back. It offers guests the chance to feel like they're in a hotel that's unique to that city and not just a cookie-cutter property you could find anywhere. I'm excited to check out new properties in Nashville and Cannes, France. Tempo, with its Peloton bikes, Bluestone Lane coffee and stylish rooms, will be making new homes in Nashville (two, in fact); Memphis; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and San Diego. Additionally, Motto, a brand with smaller rooms that are still big on design, is taking Brazil by storm with locations in Sao Paulo and Recife.

Meet the 'first anticipated net-zero hotel' in the US

(Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Speaking of Hilton, the Hotel Marcel New Haven, part of the Tapestry Collection, is changing what we know about how hotels operate as it's set to be "the first net-zero hotel in the United States," according to the company. Operating independent of fossil fuels and with zero carbon emissions, this hotel, set in a '70s-era Brutalist-style building, will have 165 guest rooms and suites and is slated to open May 19. Sustainability is a huge focus for hotels right now, and this one is upping the ante with heat and hot water power being generated from solar panels, electric car charging stations and a "Power Over Ethernet" lighting system that reduces lighting energy use by more than 30%.

This NYC hotel suite has an edible wall, ice cream bed and on-demand sundae service

(Photo courtesy of McCormick)

Sometimes hotels are more than just hotels. They become interactive experiences that include scratch-and-sniff wallpaper, photo booths and even an "edible wall" with snacks from around the world. Food brand McCormick, the one that makes all your favorite spices, teamed up with the Omni Berkshire Place hotel in New York City to create the Flavor Suite, an over-the-top penthouse experience that celebrates up-and-coming flavor trends we'll likely see at bars, restaurants and even in our own kitchens.

Though you can't book this suite with points, some lucky folks will have an opportunity to stay for a weekend in the converted 1,000-square-foot Rodgers & Hammerstein Suite. They'll also be able to take advantage of a phone linked directly to someone who will deliver ice cream topped with international flavors (trust me, the spicy Mexican chamoy is mwah!) and a bar with blood orange and beet margaritas. To win the stay slated for May 20-22, download McCormick's Flavor Maker app on iOS or Android to enter between now and May 10.

In other news

Recent hotel reviews to inspire your next trip

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of McCormick)
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.

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  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
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4 / 5
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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.