As fall approaches, there is a sliver of good news in the travel industry as many hotels continue their plans to open across the country and around the world. While it may seem like an inopportune time, costs to slow or stop construction altogether can be greater than those of moving forward (even if hotels operate at limited capacity).
Many hotels opening now began work more than a year ago, and they were close to opening when Covid-19 hit. In addition to supporting local jobs, it can make sense for them to open now in hopes they can attract some business.
According to a recent recovery insight study by Mastercard, smaller, independent hotels are recovering faster than larger properties. Its data, based on anonymized and aggregated sales activity across its sales network, show that the global recovery rate of small independent hotels is outpacing that of larger hotels by over 50 percent with a similar, yet smaller upward trajectory, taking place domestically. It also notes a growing trend in regional travel with people traveling to destinations closer to home.
Hotels and airlines are encouraging cautious travel through bonus point promotions since they know loyalty programs drive business. That’s in addition to the numerous precautions they are taking to assure travelers that it is safe to stay with them. This summer, dozens of new hotels opened their doors, and more are on the way.
Whether you are looking for a complete hotel buyout for maximum privacy or some Instagram-worthy places to stay, these are some of the newest hotels to open around the world this fall.
In the northeast and mid-Atlantic
CitizenM will open a new hotel this month in Washington, D.C. in a mixed-use building that has hotel, retail, and residential space. The Dutch brand is known for offering “affordable luxury.” With strong emphasis on eclectic, high-end design at a budget price, citizenM offers kiosk-style check-in, living room-style lobbies showcasing eclectic art and books for guests to borrow, and rooms that all cost the same price.
The Ven at Embassy Row, also in the nation’s capital, will open in October as a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, which is a member of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program. In Dupont Circle, this 231-room hotel is close to the city’s diplomatic quarter.
Close to area restaurants and shops, Hyatt Centric Philadelphia will open in October one block from Rittenhouse Square.
In November, the Delta Hotels by Marriott Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites will open with 295 suites. While the coronavirus threw “a curveball” for its original spring opening plans, according to the hotel, it is now seeing significant demand from the regional drive market. Its beachfront, Chesapeake Bay location certainly helps, too.
With national parks and secondary destinations growing in popularity, travelers will find a new option to consider in Sevierville, Tennessee. Near Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Central Hotel on the city’s Public Square will open this month as part of Choice Hotels’ Ascend Hotel Collection.
Across the midwest and southern states
Omni Viking Lakes Hotel in Eagan, Minnesota will open Oct. 1 with design inspired by Nordic architectural traditions. The hotel is adjacent to the new Minnesota Vikings NFL team headquarters and practice field. Sports fans might be excited to know that it will host the home team before all of their games.
In Cincinnati, a new lifestyle, boutique hotel is coming to town when the Kinley Hotel opens downtown in October. Designers say that the 94-room hotel is “unpretentiously hip” with a custom mural in the lobby and food and beverage offerings designed to draw locals to the property.
Aparium Hotel Group is targeting secondary cities with its upcoming hotel plans to open six hotels, including two this fall. Most of the company’s hotels open as part of adaptive reuses of historic buildings, and its founders are no strangers to opening hotels during challenging times. Before starting Aparium, they opened the Elysian Hotel in Chicago during the last economic recession. They believe that background and a focus on “under-served places with incredible creative capital, strong personalities, and rich histories” will help their hotel openings planned for the fall.
One of them is The Surety Hotel in downtown Des Moines, which will open in the 1914, Beaux-Arts Hippee Building (once the tallest building in Iowa). A rotating exhibition of art chosen for the hotel will be on display once the hotel opens in mid-October.
In the Nashville Yards development, the Grand Hyatt Nashville will debut in October with 591 rooms and seven dining outlets including a restaurant in partnership with James Beard award-winning chef Sean Brock.
Further south, Thompson Dallas will open in a 50-floor downtown mixed-use tower that was once a bank. With 218 rooms and a rooftop observation deck offering 360-degree views of the city, the hotel will eventually become a social hub for both guests and locals. Thompson Hotels is part of World of Hyatt, which has offered several promotions this year including triple points over the summer and free parking on award stays throughout the year.
In downtown Fort Myers, Florida, The Luminary Hotel & Co. plans to open Sept. 17 as a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. The hotel will participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program and will open at 40 percent occupancy with staggered openings for its onsite venues. As part of the River District, the hotel will feature a rooftop lounge, and coming in 2021, a new retail center and outdoor amphitheater. In preparation for opening, the hotel’s job fair led to 50 local employees being hired on the spot.
Also in Florida is the new White Elephant Palm Beach, sister property to the White Elephant Resort in Nantucket. The 32-room hotel feels like a private residence with more than 100 works of art chosen by the owners and plenty of outdoor space. Guests can also use a fleet of complimentary Priority bicycles and BMW vehicles during their stay when the hotel officially opens in November.
Scheduled to open later this fall, the 202-room Moxy South Beach will feature six food and beverage options and a lobby with outdoor courtyard. This will be the first hotel opening outside New York for developer Lightstone, which has already opened several Moxy properties in New York City. The company says that while occupancy may not be as high as originally projected, South beach is more resilient than most as a resort destination. Like other Moxy properties, it will participate in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program giving travelers the chance to earn and redeem points during their stay.
Hotel Haya, the largest of the Aparium group of hotels, will open this month in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood. Décor will feature a “mid-century Cuban” style similar to that of the 1950s heyday of Havana. Before Covid-19, Aparium’s food and beverage outlets accounted for more than 40 percent of top-line revenue at each property, according to the company. This translates to the added potential of support more local jobs in the food and beverage industry in the long term.
In the west
Montage Healdsburg will open in November on 258 acres with 130 high-end bungalow-style rooms and suites. The resort has partnered with numerous area vineyards to coordinate private tastings and tours. Both Healdsburg and Sonoma County were seeing strong local demand from road trippers before the most recent forest fires caused disruption, and the resort believes it will be able to support the local economy by opening as planned in November.
Also in wine country, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences will open in Napa Valley this fall. Located in a vineyard, the resort will offer wine tasting sessions and the chance for guests to participate in wine making classes.
In November, the Westin Anaheim Resort will open to the delight of Disney fans as well as Marriott Bonvoy points collectors. Close to Disneyland and California Adventure, this will be the first new Westin to open in southern California in 25 years.
Loge, a hotel group that revitalizes motels close to towns and trails, is opening its second property in downtown Leavenworth, Washington in November. Guests are treated to free Raleigh cruiser bikes and can rent outdoor gear from the hotel. The Bavarian-style mountain village of Leavenworth is convenient to hiking and biking trails in the Cascade Mountains as well as fishing and river rafting, all perfect for a time when people prefer outdoor, socially distanced activities.
In the Pacific Northwest, Lotte Hotel Seattle will open in September as the Korean brand’s third hotel in the U.S. The 189-room luxury hotel will tower 44 floors over the city and feature a Philippe Starck-designed interior. Opening during an unusual time has prompted the hotel to provide guests with an amenity bag when they check in containing masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and a “button pusher.”
In old-town Scottsdale, a new Canopy by Hilton is opening this month in the arts district and close to the Museum of the West. It will be the first new hotel to open in the area in nearly a decade and is part of the new Museum Square project in the city. Management points out that as a smaller hotel, the operating model is more efficient meaning that it can yield a profit at lower occupancy.
In addition to the stringent health and safety protocols it has put into place, the new ARRIVE Phoenix believes there will be demand for its outdoor spaces and common areas. It will open in phases with 50 percent occupancy at first and has delayed the opening of its rooftop lounge for now.
ARRIVE Hotels & Restaurants CEO & co-founder Matt Steinberg says, “From touchless on-site payments, to sanitized and pre-bagged linens and bathrobes, every aspect of the guest experience has been thoughtfully redesigned for today’s hospitality world.”
The hotel offers some creative amenities. Its reception desk doubles as a popsicle shop (guests get some of the cold treats when they check in), and the hotel’s Cartel Coffee Lab grinds and brews exotic blends.
Around the world
Keith Barr, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group says, “the impact of this crisis on our industry cannot be underestimated, but we are seeing some very early signs of improvement as restrictions ease and traveler confidence returns.”
That is especially true in many Asian markets where his company is opening two new Kimpton properties this October including one in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district and another in Bangkok. Kimpton Shinjuku features interior decor inspired by New York’s art scene yet with plenty of regional touches. Kimpton Bangkok Maa-Lai, next to Lumpini Park, will have a rooftop garden and bar overlooking the surrounding skyline.
Also in Thailand, Banyan Tree Krabi will open Nov. 1 with 72 pool suites and villas. Its hillside location provides beautiful sea views. For those wanting to feel like they have the resort to themselves, privacy is assured in the seven two-bedroom villas and one three-bedroom villa. The resort participates in the Accor Live Limitless loyalty program.
The 46-room Azerai Ke Ga Bay in southeastern Vietnam, which has done much better than other countries in controlling the spread of Covid-19, will open this fall as a combination of villa and suite accommodations. Nearly half will have their plunge or larger private pools.
The Kahala in Yokohama, Japan will open in September. Many travelers may already be familiar with the Kahala name from its Hawaiian property, which is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and the I Prefer loyalty program. It will feature 146 rooms along Yokohama’s waterfront.
Despite being closed to much of the outside world, there are several new hotels opening in South Australia including the 120-room EOS by SkyCity and 128-room Oval Hotel in Adelaide. The latter, which is part of the city’s Adelaide Oval stadium, will be the country’s first hotel to be integrated into its architecture. The stadium regularly hosts major sporting and cultural events and concerts. For the adventurous, there is also a roof climb experience.
For something more intimate, the 14-suite Sequoia Lodge at Mount Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills. It offers the ideal retreat secluded from city life with beautiful views of Piccadilly Valley.
Across the Tasman Sea, the Park Hyatt Auckland will open Sept. 15 with views across Wynward Quarter’s Lighter Basin and the Waitematā Harbour. Like South Australia, New Zealand is being commended for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Europe, Florence, Italy is getting a new luxury hotel with the November opening of IL Tornabuoni. The 62-room hotel on Via Tornabuoni is in the historic 12th century Palazzo Minerbetti, which is one of the city’s oldest palazzo residences. A rooftop restaurant overlooking Santa Maria Novella and the city’s famous skyline and a champagne bar are expected to be highlights.
Nobu Hotel London Portman Square will open in November with its namesake Nobu Restaurant featuring an outdoor terrace. Japanese minimalism is notable in the design of its public spaces and 249 rooms and suites.
In Mexico, Conrad Punta de Mita has opened as the first Conrad resort in the country. The 324-room property along the Riviera Nayarit features villa-like “casas” housing guest rooms and suites, some of which have private plunge pools, large patios, and bathrooms with soaking tubs and outdoor showers. The spa also offers the first authentic temazcal in a Hilton property. Hilton Honors members can earn and redeem points during their stay.
Another Riviera Nayarit property, the One&Only Mandarina, will follow through with its previously planned November opening date. The cliffside property overlooking the Pacific Ocean will be one of the first One&Only resorts to operate a private home collection for those looking to invest in real estate or relocate to paradise (while being less than an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta’s international airport). Travelers can also book one of these homes for maximum privacy to keep a group within a “bubble” while there. It’s sort of like a hotel buyout, but with your own private villa.
On the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, The Ocean Club, A Luxury Collection Resort, will open in November and, like other Luxury Collection hotels, participate in Marriott Bonvoy. The opening of the resort, which will have 60 ocean-view apartment suites, was postponed from earlier in the year, but is now on track with plans to create 200 new jobs in the area.
Also in the Dominican Republic, Live Aqua Beach Resort, 20 minutes from Punta Cana’s international airport, will also open in November as a 345-room all-inclusive resort. The property will have swim-up suites as well as several with their own private plunge pools.