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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – Citi Prestige Card, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card
Here’s a look at the coolest new hotels opening around the world in May, from city debuts in Paris and Baltimore to coastal escapes in California and Cabo. Since not all of these are points properties, make sure you read up on the best credit cards to use when you’re paying cash for a hotel stay.
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Number of Rooms: 360
Three Interesting Facts: 1. Like the Cadillac in Miami, this is another one of the budget brand reno/rebrands that are so popular lately they could tentpole their own HGTV show. In this case, it’s the former DoubleTree Fess Parker getting upscale-d into a proper Hilton. The property, originally built in 1986 by actor Fess Parker, has been undergoing renovations since September 2017. 2. Can’t beat this location, right on Cabrillo Boulevard across from the beach. The hotel’s lawn and gardens peppered with strappy palm trees offer uninterrupted views of the Pacific (though not all rooms do). 3. Action centers around the huge oval pool, but there are half a dozen nearby beaches, including popular East Beach right across the street.
Loyalty Program: Hilton Honors
Price: From $240 or 56,000 Honors points per night.
Book With: The Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express, which lets you earn 12x points on stays at eligible properties within the brand’s portfolio of hotels and resorts.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Number of Rooms: 181
Three Interesting Facts: 1. One of London’s most luxurious hotels (dating back to 1902) completes a grand renovation this month. Earlier this year, the Mandarin’s lobby, reception and Knightsbridge-facing rooms were completed; now it’s the rooms facing Hyde Park getting updated with buttercream wainscoting, pops of green-apple upholstery and leather-topped desks. 2. Speaking of rooms, there are two spectacular penthouse suites on the 9th floor with wraparound terraces coming online this month (the Mandarin Penthouse) and in July (the Oriental Penthouse). 3. One of the best assets of this hotel is its location. The rear of the castle-like building is directly across from Hyde Park, while the front is across the street from the Knightsbridge Tube stop and down the road from Harrods, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and much more.
Loyalty Program: Fans of M.O., which is not a points-earning/redeeming program but is still worth signing up for because it’s free and provides valuable benefits. All members get free Wi-Fi and a welcome amenity standard, plus if you book directly online, you get to select two additional benefits, like daily breakfast, a spa credit, room upgrade (subject to availability) and early check-in/late check-out. These can be seriously valuable, especially in a city like London.
Price: From $1,585 per night.
Book With: The Citi Prestige will earn 3x points on your stay, and you can take advantage of its nifty 4th Night Free perk, or use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to earn 3x points on travel purchases — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 2x points on travel as well.
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Number of Rooms: 167
Three Interesting Facts: 1. Savannah’s a great town, with not-so-great hotel options. Perry Lane Hotel, part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection, comes out swinging in the city’s Historic District halfway between the riverfront and Forsythe Park. 2. The owners pulled design inspiration from the surrounding mansions: rich woodwork, black-and-white-checked marble floors and a library-like lobby with a fireplace and piano. Rooms feature peacock-blue walls, curved sofas and velvet pillows. 3. There’s a café, lounge and full-service restaurant on the ground floor, plus a bar called Peregrin on the roof, where you’ll also find a pool — a major key if you’re visiting Savannah anywhere from late spring through early fall.
Loyalty Program: SPG
Price: From $239 or 12,000 Starpoints per night.
Book With: Use the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express so you can earn up to 5x Starpoints on eligible Starwood stays, depending on your elite status level. And remember that changes will be coming to this card in August, including new earning rates, and a new luxury card will be launching that earns 6x points on SPG stays, not factoring in the bonus points you’d get if you hold elite status.
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Number of Rooms: 29
Three Interesting Facts: 1. Located in Falmouth on the western end of Cape Cod, the Coonamessett reopens this month under the umbrella of Lark, the New England-based boutique group with resort-y properties in places like coastal Maine, Newport and Nantucket. 2. The hotel’s new look keeps the location in mind with maritime-inspired materials like linen, shiplap and knotty pine. The rooms aren’t seaside caricatures, though. Neutral tones keep them looking fresh and modern. 3. If you’re planning on being in the Cape this month or next, take advantage of the Coonamessett’s opening discount. You’ll save 15% on the daily rate any day of the week in May, and on Sundays through Thursdays in June.
Loyalty Program: On a Lark Club
Price: From $139 per night.
Book With: Use the Citi Prestige card to earn 3x points on your stay and take advantage of its nifty 4th Night Free perk, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to earn 3x points on travel purchases — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 2x points on travel as well.
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Number of Rooms: 120
Three Interesting Facts: 1. This Montage resort is located on 39 beachfront acres of Santa Maria Bay, part of one of the planned real estate developments that line the modern highway linking San Jose del Cabo (the colonial town closer to the airport) and marina-centered Cabo San Lucas. (Montage is closer to the latter.) This is one of the few swimmable beaches in Los Cabos, and the hotel features full list of water activities. 2. Rooms start at nearly 900 square feet, and all of them have outdoor living spaces, outdoor showers, soaking tubs and water views. 3. Montage just announced an exclusive brand partnership with nutritionist, health coach and author Kelly LeVeque. This partnership makes menus created by LeVeque available at the hotel for guests looking to stay on a healthy meal plan. For the rest of us: another round of margaritas, please.
Loyalty Program: N/A
Price: From $525 per night.
Book With: Use the Citi Prestige card to earn 3x points on your stay and take advantage of its nifty fourth night free perk, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to earn 3x points on travel purchases — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 2x points on travel as well.
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Number of Rooms: 107
Three Interesting Facts: 1. Located in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood, the Revival is the first Baltimore property for Two Roads Hospitality’s Joie de Vivre brand. 2. A past influenced by the arts is rooted deep in the foundation of the hotel. The site was formerly home to an art enthusiast’s mansion and the 1923 inaugural exhibition of the Baltimore Museum of Art. This history carries into the design of the hotel with mixed-media installations ranging from oil paintings to digital photography to custom wallpaper to murals to furniture and textiles — the custom quilts laid over the beds in the rooms are embroidered with maps of the Chesapeake. 3. The Revival has partnered with a number of Baltimore artisans to localize the guest experience, from a custom whiskey crafted by Old Line Spirits to antique jewelry for from desk associates sourced by vintage shop Bottle of Bread.
Loyalty Program: Joy of Life Club
Price: From $149 per night.
Book With: Use the Citi Prestige card to earn 3x points on your stay and take advantage of the 4th Night Free perk, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to earn 3x points on travel purchases — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 2x points on travel as well.
Location: Paris, France
Number of Rooms: 97
Three Interesting Facts: 1. Part of Renaissance’s global redesign strategy, the brand’s property in the 1st arrondissement reopens this month following a full renovation. 2. If you’re visiting the City of Light for the first time, you cannot beat this central location, just one block from both Place Vendome and Jardin des Tuileries, and a 10-minute walk to the Seine, Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. It’s touristy, but also convenient and beautiful. 3. The hotel has 10 room categories, ranging from 194-square-foot “petites” to ground-floor “urban patio” rooms that open onto the courtyard to “Parisian corners” that maximize natural light with four windows. Regardless of style or size, the cool rooms have all been renovated with jewel-toned chairs, multiple textured drapes, art (on the ceilings, above the beds), exposed-filament pendant lights and cappuccino-colored hardwood.
Loyalty Program: Marriott
Price: From $590 or 40,000 to 45,000 Marriott Rewards points per night.
Book With: Use the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card to earn 6x points on your stay.
Location: Elk, CA
Number of Rooms: 13
Three Interesting Facts: 1. Built in 1916 by architect Louis Christian Mullgardt, this boutique inn faces the rugged Pacific on Highway 1, 20 minutes south of Mendocino. The main inn and four detached cottages have all been redone during a four-year renovation. No two are like. 2. Truly boutique in scale, the Harbor House is all about intimacy and coziness, from the warmth of the original redwood paneling on the first floor to the fireplace in each room. When you can pull yourself out of your room/robe, the inn has all the hook-ups you need to explore the coastline and the surrounding redwood forests. 3. Destination dining is part of the experience. The Harbor House’s chef Matt Kammerer was most recently the executive sous chef at Saison in San Francisco and has also worked around the world in famous restaurants like Attica in Melbourne and In De Wulf in Belgium. Daily breakfast is included in the rate.
Loyalty Program: N/A
Price: From $475 per night.
Book With: Use the Citi Prestige card to earn 3x points on your stay and take advantage of its nifty fourth night free perk, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card to earn 3x points on travel purchases (excluding the $300 travel credit) — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 2x points on travel as well.
Featured image courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
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