Travel took a hit in 2009, but with a new year brings new opportunities. The silver lining of 2009’s travel industry was hotels – rates dropped, and new properties like CityCenter took center stage just as travelers closed out their year-end budgets and found a few extra dollars in the bank.
Analysts have predicted that hotel prices are on the rise in 2010, so the sooner you book the better the savings. Thankfully, the options are endless. New hotels popped up all around the world and some of the most notable were here in the U.S. I’ve highlighted a few of the new and notable North America hotels that opened their doors in 2009 and are worth a visit in 2010.
So, where will you spend your first overnight?
1. Mandarin Boston: The Mandarin Oriental Boston is located in the city’s Back Bay, one block from Newbury Street and within walking distance from Boston’s best restaurants and nightlife. The hotel opened its marble doors and welcomed guests to a feng shui-style wonderland in the fall 2009. For travelers looking for a little zen, don’t miss out on the Mandarin’s signature spa treatments.
2. Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe: The ski-in, ski-out access makes this particular Ritz-Carlton a must-visit in 2010. You can enjoy the outdoor adventure of Lake Tahoe while also indulging in the luxury that accompanies the Ritz-Carlton name.
3. Banyan Tree – Mayakoba: – Banyan Tree’s first North America resort welcomes guests into Asian-meets-Mexican-style villas with outdoor pools, Jacuzzis, and rooftop terraces. After you’re perfectly relaxed, take a riverboat ride through the forest to the white sand beaches, courtesy of the Banyan Tree Mayakoba. (We just got word that the Banyan Tree will be opening its Banyan Tree Cabo Marques in Acapulco in February 2010.)
4. Viceroy Miami: The Viceroy Miami (pictured above) is a feast for the eyes. Located in Biscayne Bay, the hotel features one of the most expansive roof-top infinity pools in Florida, a roof-top bar, full-service kitchens in the rooms and a decadent spa.
5. Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa, Scottsdale: The 35-acre Arizona retreat is built to resemble an Andalusian pueblo blanco. The Intercontinental Montelucia hideaway is made up of four “villages” decorated with fountain-filled courtyards, garden terraces, and landscapes of Camelback Mountain.6. Canyon Ranch – Miami: A staple in Massachusetts and Arizona, the Canyon Ranch moved into Miami in 2009 and is giving other spas a run for their money. Between yoga, fitness and nutritional programs, you can spend a night on South Beach and replenish your soul the next day at the Canyon Ranch Miami.
7. The Standard New York: The glass-and-concrete hotel towers over the Meatpacking District in New York, making The Standard a soon-to-be-recognizable landmark. Inside the hotel are supped-up suites with glass-enclosed showers and walls of windows showcasing the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty, and views of Manhattan.
8. The Nines – Portland: The future of green hotels sits in Oregon. The Nines was inspired by Ralph Pucci and Tiffany decor, and received its LEED Silver certification, making it one of the greenest luxury hotels in the nation.
9. Hard Rock HTH Las Vegas: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas debuted its 374-suite tower with rock-star amenities, including in-room juke box systems, leather sleigh bed and black out drapes. Guests looking for a truly unique experience can rent one of the penthouse suites, complete with virtual women and virtual gaming.
10. ARIA- Las Vegas CityCenter: Sin City hit a new level when CityCenter opened its doors to guests earlier this year. The focal point is the 4,004-room ARIA Hotel & Resort, which features a a spa, 16 restaurants, 10 bars, three pools (including one adults-only pool) and entertainment featuring Viva ELVIS™ by Cirque du Soleil.
Hotels to watch for in 2010:
Fashion 26 – a Wyndham Hotel: Located on West 26th Street and steps away from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Fashion 26 is garnering major buzz from New York city-goers eager to get a glimpse of the fashionable digs. Rumors have the hotel opening in March 2010.
Hard Rock Punta Cana: The Hard Rock Hotel is going all-in with the Moon Palace Resort and opening its first all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana in spring 2010. The resort will have 1,800 guest rooms, a 48,000 square foot casino with 40 table games, eleven swimming pools, a kids’ pool and lazy river, a and floating wedding pavilions.
Hotel Palomar, Chicago: Kimpton is opening its newest hotel in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, near the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier and McCormick Place. The Hotel Palomar Chicago‘s most unique feature is its “green roof,” covered with grass and plants intended to collect and clean rainwater and improve air quality.