The travel industry has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, but recent upticks in Transportation Security Administration travel numbers signal that travel is on the upswing. In addition, global hotel chains continue to open new hotels despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The future is bright for travelers as we look forward to visiting these new hotels and taking epic adventures again. However, in the meantime, we’re able to properly prepare and make money moves now to set ourselves up for big trips down the road. As you begin to make future travel plans, remember to compare credit cards and find ones that will help you achieve your travel goals. The right travel credit card can help you earn valuable rewards, which can be redeemed for award flights and discounted hotel stays.
Used responsibly, the best travel credit cards could help you save on a future dream vacation — potentially to one of these 21 incredible new hotels in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America that opened during COVID-19.
21 amazing new hotels that have opened during COVID-19
Hotels in Africa
Zannier Hotels Sonop
The Zannier Hotels Sonop is located in Namibia and features a luxurious array of 10 tents, a restaurant, a cocktail and cigar lounge, an outdoor heated infinity pool, a spa, a fitness center, and stables. Sonop is the ideal destination for enjoying a remote and untouched desert landscape, though you have access to a private airstrip for convenient transportation. If you want to relax in a pristine atmosphere and catch possible sightings of oryx, hyenas, jackals, and leopards, this could be the hotel for you.
The Jao Camp located in the Okavango Delta in Botswana is designed with the adventurer in mind. Its prime location makes it easy to explore the wilderness straight from the doorstep of your luxury villa or suite. After your day of driving, boating, walking, or riding a helicopter to see the local landscapes and wildlife, relax at the camp with your private plunge pools, lounges, and dining areas. Wildlife sightings might include lion prides, elephants, buffalo, leopards, zebras, and more.
Xigera Safari Lodge
The Xigera Safari Lodge is also located in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, so you’ll have many of the same opportunities to see wildlife and the surrounding area as you would at the Jao camp. However, this hotel is built on an area called Paradise Island, so you might expect more water-filled views from your lodging. Choose from 12 air-conditioned suites to call your own as you enjoy the safari life in this stunning destination.
Hotels in Asia
Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo
If Tokyo, Japan, is on your bucket list, consider the new Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo hotel as an option for your accommodation needs. Located in the busy Shinjuku district, the Kimpton Shinjuku combines New York City design inspiration with classic Kimpton luxury. Because Kimpton is an IHG brand, IHG Rewards Club members are able to use points for award nights at this hotel.
You can also make your points stretch even further with the right credit card. For instance, with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, new cardmembers can earn 150,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. It also offers 25X on IHG hotels and resorts (10X points for being a Cardmember plus 10X for being an IHG Rewards Club member plus 5X with automatic Platinum Elite Status) and a free award night each year on your cardmember anniversary. This can go a long way in setting yourself up for a trip to Tokyo you won’t soon forget.
Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai
Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts are part of the Accor hotel group, so your Accor Live Limitless rewards are a great way to book award nights at the Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai. This hotel resort located in the mountainous region of Khao Yai, Thailand, is ideal for family gatherings, corporate events, wellness retreats, weddings, and more. It features many options for luxurious rooms and villas, plus it’s only a few hours drive from Bangkok. So if you want to get away from the bustling lifestyle of Thailand’s capital city, consider this Tuscan-inspired resort as an option.
Higashiyama Niseko Village
Higashiyama Niseko Village is a Ritz-Carlton Reserve hotel, so you know you’re in for a stay of the highest quality. The hotel has 50 rooms and suites to choose from that overlook Mount Yotei and Niseko Annupuri on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. The main attraction here is skiing in the winter, but you can also enjoy biking, trekking, and golfing during other seasons of the year. When you’re ready to relax, visit the natural hot springs before your traditional spa experience.
Andaz, a Hyatt hotel brand, is known for its luxury lodgings in more than a dozen countries worldwide. The Andaz Bali brings this luxury to the sun-soaked shores of Sanur in Bali, Indonesia. The hotel’s design is inspired by contemporary Balinese villages, so expect a mix of traditional and modern influences. The hotel has 127 suites, 22 villas, four swimming pools, and direct access to the nearby beach.
If you’re interested in offsetting the cost of your stay at the Andaz Bali or another Hyatt property, the World of Hyatt Credit Card can help you earn free nights as well as other valuable perks, like 9X points on Hyatt stays and elite status.
Ace Hotel Kyoto
The Ace Hotel Kyoto marks Ace Hotels’ first hotel in Japan, and it couldn’t be in a better location. Kyoto, the former capital city of Japan, is rich in tradition and Japanese culture and a popular destination for anyone traveling to Japan. When you’re not exploring nearby attractions like Nishiki Market and the Museum of Kyoto, enjoy your stay in one of many suite and room options.
Banyan Tree Krabi
Krabi is a gorgeous slice of beach-filled paradise located on the west coast of southern Thailand. Banyan Tree, an Accor luxury brand, has recently opened its Krabi beachfront resort with an offering of 72 luxury suites and villas. Head out to the beach whenever you want, or stay in and relax with your own private pool. Yes, each suite and villa has its own private pool, so you don’t have to venture far to cool off in the water.
Azerai Ke Ga Bay
Azerai Ke Ga Bay is one of the newest resort offerings by Azerai, a luxury resort chain with three options in Vietnam. This new resort is located in southeastern Vietnam along the East Sea coastline. Azerai Ke Ga Bay has 46 suite and villa options from which you can explore more than 3 miles of secluded shorelines, white sand beaches, and the oldest lighthouse in Southeast Asia.
Hotels in Europe
Nobu Hotel Warsaw
Nobu Hotels recently opened its luxury Warsaw location in the heart of Poland’s capital city. The hotel’s design is based on the city itself, combining both art deco and modern architectural features. Nobu Hotel Warsaw boasts 117 rooms and the world-famous Nobu restaurant. When you’re ready to leave the hotel, wander the surrounding neighborhood and admire its pre-war buildings, galleries, and craft studios.
If you’re planning a trip to the capital of Denmark, make sure you’re staying at a hotel that fits your needs. The Villa Copenhagen features three different types of suites and four types of rooms to accommodate most lodging needs. You also get access to a 25-meter outdoor heated pool, and you’re in a prime location to explore the city, within walking distance of nearby bus stops and the Copenhagen Central Station.
The TownHouse Mykonos
The Greek island of Mykonos is a dream destination for many travelers because of its island atmosphere and stunning white buildings. For a luxury stay near the water, consider the newly renovated TownHouse Mykonos. This hotel has 20 rooms and suites to choose from, as well as access to the 54 Cocktail Bar & Sunset Lounge and the Pump Gym. Because the hotel is located in a pedestrian-only area, you won’t have to worry about constant traffic or the noise that comes with it.
Domaine de la Résidence
The Domaine de la Résidence, located just outside of Metz, France, offers guests an option to stay in one of 14 unique nature lodges. Choose from either waterside or forest-edge lodges as you enjoy a harmonious retreat from the nearby city. So as to not distract from your wellness experience, a gourmet basket filled with fresh regional produce is discreetly delivered to you each morning.
Le Belgrand Hotel Champs-Elysees
Le Belgrand Hotel Champs Elysees, part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, is located near popular Parisian landmarks in France’s capital city. This offers excellent opportunities to walk around and explore the City of Lights without having to venture too far from your hotel. The hotel itself is a cozy affair with a patio, bar, and lounge and plenty of room types to choose from.
The right Hilton Honors credit card might also help you reduce the cost of your stay at the Le Belgrand Hotel Champs Elysees and other Hilton properties. With the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, you can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
Plus, it offers other perks like 12X points when spending directly with an eligible Hilton hotel or resort; 6X points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3X points on all other eligible purchases, as well as complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status.
Hotels in North America
The Maker hotel is located in the Hudson Valley of New York, U.S., about a few hours north of New York City. The hotel is designed in collaboration with creative individuals from the Hudson Valley area, as well as other areas. Many of its rooms are designed with certain themes in mind, whether it’s the architect studio, the artist studio, or the writer studio. You have 11 rooms to choose from in total, spread across three different buildings.
Four Seasons Embarcadero
The Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero in San Francisco, U.S., is one of the newest luxury hotels by the Four Seasons hotel group. Located near the Embarcadero area of the San Francisco Financial District, the Four Seasons Embarcadero occupies a unique position among the top 11 floors of the 48-story 345 California Center building. Sitting this high up, your rooms are sure to give excellent views of the surrounding area, possibly including the bay and many famous landmarks.
Westin Anaheim Resort
The Westin Anaheim Resort is a new hotel option for anyone considering a trip to Disneyland Resort in California, U.S. This AAA Four-Diamond property is located directly across from Disneyland, so you don’t have to worry about being far away from the park. Of course, this also makes it easy to get back to your hotel whenever you want to get some privacy from the crowds or simply need to relax a bit by the pool. You can also enjoy Disneyland fireworks from multiple locations within the Westin Anaheim Resort.
The best hotel credit cards can help you rack up the needed points before making your reservation. For instance, with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, you can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Plus, you’ll get other perks, like 6X points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X points on all other eligible purchases, as well as free award nights.
Located along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, Florida, U.S., the Luminary Hotel provides amazing options for dining, corporate functions, and special events. In addition, the hotel offers a number of luxurious rooms and suites with plenty of space and modern amenities. Marriott Bonvoy loyalty members can use their points to book award nights at the Luminary Hotel.
Montage doesn’t currently have many hotel and resort offerings, but what it does have is considered upscale and luxurious. The Montage Healdsburg is one of the newest offerings, situated in California’s Sonoma County in the U.S. among 258 acres of vineyards and groves. To help guests enjoy the outdoor atmosphere, each of the 130 guest rooms has one-third of its space dedicated to outdoor living. The hotel also features a huge 11,500-square-foot spa, a pool, and multiple dining options.
Riggs Washington DC
The Riggs Washington DC is a luxury hotel and event venue located in the Penn Quarter of Washington, D.C. in the U.S. The hotel sits on the former site of the Riggs National Bank building and draws much of its interior design influences from its historic predecessor. All 181 guest rooms and suites designs are inspired by private safety deposit boxes, giving guests a unique experience during their stay. Guests can enjoy all-day dining, including semi-private and private dining for groups, at Cafe Riggs on the hotel’s ground floor.
The bottom line
Travel may not be back to what it was before COVID-19, but seeing new hotels open up worldwide is a significant sign of hope for the travel industry. If you’re planning a vacation this year, the right travel credit card might help you offset the cost of your trip. Depending on the card you choose, you could even end up staying at hotels for free. If you aren't loyal to a particular hotel brand, a general travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred could be an option worth considering. You can use Chase Ultimate Rewards to book travel through the Chase portal or transfer them to over a dozen airline and hotel partners, including Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt, and IHG Rewards Club.
However, you can also use the best cashback credit cards to earn cash rewards on everyday purchases. Then it’s a simple matter of putting the cash you earn toward any travel reservations you make in the future, whether it’s for a flight, hotel stay, rental car, or other travel-related expense.
New, Higher Sign Up Bonus - Worth $1250 Toward Travel
up to 5X points
- Best offer ever! 100,000 point sign-up bonus
- 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 10% anniversary point bonus each year
- $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
- Premium travel protection benefits
- Has annual fee
- Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards
- Earn 100,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases