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4 new hotels to visit when New Zealand reopens in May

April 10, 2022
5 min read
aerial photo of Queenstown Zealand at night with glowing streets and mountains at sunset in the back
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Get your passport ready, because another country we've been longing to visit since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is finally reopening. New Zealand will begin welcoming vaccinated tourists from visa-waiver countries starting May 1 — and wow are we excited.

Despite being closed to tourists for the better part of two years, the beautiful nation has been quietly developing new hotels that are either ready to welcome guests or are expected to open very soon.

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Though getting to New Zealand is quite the journey, we've pulled together everything you need to know about getting to and staying in the country on points and miles. Or, if you're planning a trip for later in the year, check out the new ultra-long-haul flight from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Auckland Airport (AKL), which is a whopping 17 hours and 35 minutes and launches in September.

Until then, check out this list of new hotels you can book to get some rest after that incredibly long flight and make your home base when you explore New Zealand.

Park Hyatt Auckland

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

Though the Park Hyatt Sydney in neighboring Australia might be one of the best points hotels of all time, New Zealand's Park Hyatt Auckland is here to give it a run for its money.

Having opened at the end of 2020, this Park Hyatt is the first in the country and located right on the water with views of Waitemata Harbour and Wynyard Quarter's Lighter Basin. With 195 modern rooms, an infinity pool, a spa and a handful of bar and restaurant options (including Onemata, a restaurant serving fresh New Zealand meat, fish and produce) a stay here is bound to be a highlight of your trip to the southern hemisphere.

How to book: You can find cash rates from around $250 per night here for a standard king room, or World of Hyatt members can trade in 17,000 to 23,000 points for a standard free night award at this Category 5 hotel.

The Carlin Boutique Hotel in Queenstown

(Photo courtesy of The Carlin Boutique Hotel)

On New Zealand's South Island, the gorgeous city of Queenstown has a luxurious new boutique hotel to visit, The Carlin.

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With one-to-four-bedroom suites plus a larger-than-life penthouse, The Carlin's accommodations come with large indoor and outdoor spaces looking out across the scenic landscapes surrounding the hotel, along with hot tubs, gas fireplaces and teams of concierges, butlers, massage therapists and chefs who can help with any need.

Home to the Oro restaurant, which serves steaks and seafood, plus spa experiences that come straight to your suite, this new property is one of the most exciting openings in the country in the last few years.

How to book: As a truly luxe hotel, you can expect suites to start around $1,500 per night and go up. Some go way up.

Voco Auckland City Centre

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

Located in the heart of Auckland, this Voco property from IHG is slated to open on June 1 with more than 200 cozy rooms with eco-friendly showers in marble-clad bathrooms, Chromecast-enabled televisions and a locally inspired welcome treat to help set the tone of your stay.

On the 38th floor, Bar Albert serves cocktails in an elegant, leather-filled setting while Mozzarella & Co has a la carte breakfast options plus Italian bites such as wood-fired pizza Napoletana and Bolognese for lunch and dinner.

How to book: Cash rates start at $194 while award nights are 34,000 IHG points.

Related: The award travelers guide to IHG Rewards

Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park

(Photo courtesy of IHG)

Last year, Holiday Inn Express opened its 3,000th hotel and the brand keeps pushing forward with both Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. If you're looking for a modern version of the classic hotel, it's time to head to Queenstown, where this particular Holiday Inn is conveniently just a few minutes from the airport.

Here, you'll find modern rooms with smart televisions and walk-in showers alongside views of New Zealand's striking snowcapped mountains. Those same views are on offer in the large and colorful open lobby space as well as the hotel's restaurant, cafe and bar.

How to book: Cash rates for this new Holiday Inn start around $72 per night or 12,000 points.

Featured image by Getty Images
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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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees