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Hilton’s journey to space, Hyatt’s new Japanese hotel brand and other hotel news you may have missed

Oct. 02, 2022
6 min read
outer space
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Every month when I sit down to write my monthly hotel news column I ask: How is it already (insert new month here)?

I know that time is a force that can't be stopped, but here I am again wondering how it's possible that October is already here.

It seems like just yesterday we were lounging by the pool in swimsuits, reaching for the sunscreen and watching the sun set late in the evenings. But now, I've pulled my sweaters out of storage and I'm reporting on the best hotels for seeing stunning fall foliage.

At the beginning of the month, I got to go on the best assignment of my life: TPG sent me to Tennessee to spend two nights sleeping on Dolly Parton's retired tour bus at her resort at Dollywood. So, really, I can't complain at all. I had the perfect summer.

In the hotel world, a lot happened in September, and while we do our best to cover it all, sometimes there are stories we save to share with you, such as Hyatt launching a new brand in Japan (which is finally expected to reopen to tourists in October) and Marriott's expansion in the Asia Pacific region.

Here's all the fun hotel news you may have missed in September.

Hyatt's new Japanese hotel brand

KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

This month, Hyatt teamed up with Japanese brand Kiraku to launch a new series of "modern-style hot spring ryokans," which are essentially Japanese-style inns, called Atona. While specifics about the properties have yet to be announced, Hyatt says the ryokans will be scattered throughout various regions of Japan and centered around hot springs. Each will reflect "the unique charm of each region’s architecture, design, cuisine, activities and hospitality."

It's unclear at the moment if Atona (the name means "me and you" in Japanese) will participate in World of Hyatt. Our guess is that the brand will eventually join the program, considering Hyatt owns 50% of the venture.

Japan announced in September its plans to finally reopen to tourists beginning Oct. 11, and visitors coming from 68 countries — including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada — will be able to enter without a visa. We're still waiting for word on what COVID-19 requirements, if any, will be in place.

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For now, it appears there will be some time before we get to check out Atona ourselves, but once we know more about the forthcoming brand, we'll share all the details.

Edition is heading to Lake Como

MARRIOTT

Edition is my favorite brand in the Marriott portfolio thanks to its effortlessly cool vibes, Le Labo scents and chic design that's modern but not at all fussy. Though I didn't have a chance to spend the night, the Madrid Edition is probably the most beautiful hotel lobby I got to see with my own two eyes this year.

Now, Marriott (alongside Bain Capital Credit and Omnam Group) has announced the brand will set up shop in Lake Como, Italy. Set for 2025, the Lake Como Edition will feature 145 guest rooms and two penthouse suites as well as a lobby bar, multiple restaurants and a floating pool in a 19th-century building on the western side of the lake.

Earlier this year, Ian Schrager, the force behind Edition and the boutique hotel movement, signaled he'd be stepping away from the Edition brand. However, that hasn't stopped Edition from announcing forthcoming locations, such as the recently opened Tampa outpost and a healthy pipeline of projects around the world.

Marriott's rapid Asia Pacific expansion

MARRIOTT

Much of the Asia Pacific region remained closed to tourists until recently, so it's exciting that many destinations — including Australia, New Zealand and Japan — have reopened or are planning to reopen to tourists. Behind the scenes, major hotel companies have been expanding rapidly in the area. They're also fighting to win the high-spending travelers who frequent luxury hotels. Marriott is no exception.

In September, the company announced that, by the end of next year, it will open 14 new luxury properties in the Asia Pacific region, where it currently operates more than 150 hotels and resorts. Spread across 13 different countries, some of the upcoming openings include new properties from brands like Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Edition, JW Marriott and Bulgari.

A few that I'm particularly excited about include the W Sydney in Darling Harbour, which is the third W Hotel in Australia; The Tokyo Edition, Ginza (yes, I really love this brand), which is the second outpost in Japan; and the sure-to-be sleek Bulgari Hotel Tokyo.

Hilton is going to ... space?

In one of the most exciting and unexpected announcements of the month, Hilton says it has become "the official hotel partner" of Starlab — a planned free-flying commercial space station set to replace the International Space Station. Operated by Voyager Space, a company that received $160 million in NASA funding last year, Starlab will be able to host four astronauts working and researching in space.

Hilton will work with Voyager "to develop Space Hospitality crew headquarters aboard Starlab, including communal areas, hospitality suites and sleeping arrangements for the astronauts," according to a statement from the company. The partners will also work together to find "longer-term efforts including the ground-to-space astronaut experience, global co-marketing and branding, and other tourism, educational and commercial efforts."

In other news

Reviews you should read

Featured image by HILTON
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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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
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023