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Champagne sabering, Aesop soap and a Miraval spa in California: Hotel news you missed in August

Sept. 01, 2022
8 min read
pond in frotn of resort with palm trees
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As Taylor Swift so perfectly put it, "August slipped away like a bottle of wine."

Yes Taylor, it sure did. (More specifically, like my favorite rosé, Summer in a Bottle from Long Island's Wolffer Estate, or Gulp Hablo, a Spanish orange that's perfect to beat the heat here in New York City.)

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But while we can't bottle up August, we can take a look back at some of the hotel news that might have gone unnoticed while we all tried to hang on tight to the last few weeks of summer, before turning our attention to the best hotels for leaf peeping.

One of the most exciting parts of August, personally, was keeping tabs on the now-open and long-awaited Aman New York. The hotel opened its doors to a very exclusive clientele of people who can drop well over $3,000 a night for a room — or an eye-watering $200,000 a year for a membership. Near the end of the month, I actually got to take a (quick) tour of the hotel to see if it lived up to the hype. (Answer: It's a mixed bag.)

My colleague, Cameron Sperance, spent the month on earnings calls, looking to find out if Meghan Markle's beloved Soho House — sorry, I just finished "The Palace Papers" — will finally be profitable. Hyatt's luxury hotels, on the other hand, are giving the Chicago-based company the boost it needs to simply return to profitability.

Though I'm always sad to see summer go, I'm also looking forward to the rapid approach of a few personal fall trips I've been planning for a long time. In October, I'll close my laptop and head to Hawaii for the first time for a whirlwind trip with many stops, including The Royal Hawaiian hotel, "the pinkest place on Earth."

Whether you're ready for the summer sun to set for the year or already planning some warm weather escapes as a respite from the winter, here's the hotel news you need to know to help with all your travels.

Hyatt's Bonus Journeys promotion is back

HYATT.COM

If you're trying to solidify your World of Hyatt status before the clock runs out, it's time to register for Hyatt's Bonus Journeys promotion. With the latest iteration of the journey, members who register (seriously, don't forget to register) can earn points or qualifying nights in two different ways:

  • Earn double points on qualifying stays of two or more nights at participating Hyatt hotels globally. This promotion is valid for stays between Sept. 15 and Dec. 20.
  • Earn double elite qualifying nights on tier-qualifying nights completed at Hyatt’s Inclusive Collection properties worldwide. This promotion is valid for stays between Sept. 15 and Dec. 20.

Members must register by Nov. 15 and complete qualifying stays between Sept. 15 and Dec. 20 of this year. Of course, we've simplified all the fine print for you to understand Hyatt's Bonus Journeys promotion here.

Waldorf Astoria goes all-in on Aesop

I've never gone out of my way to book a specific hotel because of its in-room toiletries. But let me tell you I do keep tabs on which brands offer what, and which are my favorites. Ask the larger TPG team and you'll hear all about their love of Le Labo, Davines Momo, Byredo and so on.

But one brand we know we can always count on is Aesop — and you can now also count on Waldorf Astoria to have its products waiting for you in your room (which, hopefully, also has a great bathtub to soak in). Soon, Waldorf Astoria properties around the world will have Aesop shampoo and conditioner, Resurrection Aromatique hand wash, geranium leaf body wash and rind concentrate body balm.

But in an effort to improve its sustainability efforts, Hilton will swap out individual, single-use amenities with 500 mL bottles made from 97% post-consumer recycled plastic. Yes, I'll miss taking those little bottles home for my own bathtub, but I'm glad to see more brands stepping up to eliminate unnecessary plastics and waste.

It's time to yield Champagne and a sword

ST. REGIS HOTELS AND RESORTS

Generally speaking, I probably shouldn't be trusted to handle a saber, a sword or even my niece's Nerf Gun — especially if there's alcohol involved. But I think I might just make an exception (sorry, Mom) on my next trip to a St. Regis hotel or resort in North America.

At those properties, hotel guests and locals can now book private Champagne sabering masterclasses taught by an expert St. Regis butler. St. Regis hotels have sabered bottles at hotels around the world since 1904, when John Jacob Astor IV, the brand's founder, started it as a nightly tradition to "celebrate the transition from day to night."

The experience is currently available for groups of up to four people. The 30-minute class includes a bottle of Champagne (obviously) and canapés plus other add-ons, depending on the property. To book, reach out directly to any of the Waldorf Astoria locations including Atlanta, Aspen, Bal Harbour, Deer Valley, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, D.C.

Related: Did the classic stay timeless? (Re)living the dream at The St. Regis New York

A Miraval Spa is heading to a Park Hyatt

Here at TPG, we love the Miraval brand. I mean, we really love it. And while there are only three locations (Arizona, Austin and the Berkshires), we're excited to hear the brand's Miraval Life in Balance Spa, a key component to any Miraval resort stay, is heading for the first time to a destination outside its own brand ecosystem: The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa in Carlsbad, California.

The new Miraval spa, set to open next spring, will take over and redesign the resort's current 15,000-square-foot space. It will feature 20 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, a spa pool, a special space for hanging yoga silks, a fitness center and more. Visitors to the spa can expect Miraval's innovative treatments and experiences, including the Ayurveda program.

While this is the only announced Miraval spa outside of a Miraval property, it'll be interesting to see if this is the way Hyatt moves forward with spas across Park Hyatt or its other luxury brands.

I haven't been to a Miraval resort yet, but based on the way the team here talks about them, it's an experience like no other — and I can only imagine that will carry over to this new stand-alone spa (and potential future locations), too.

In other news

The latest hotel reviews

And, lastly, I want to leave you with one of my favorite articles we published here at TPG last month. Despite coming from hotel reporter Cameron Sperance, it has nothing to do with hotels: ’Til death — or a first-class upgrade — do us part: Testing wedding vows at 35,000 feet.

Featured image by HYATT
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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    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.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases