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10 Luxury Vacations at New Hotels That are COVID Safe

10 Luxury Vacations at New Hotels That are COVID Safe

Which luxury hotels and resorts provide the highest levels of privacy, social distance and open spaces for a COVID-19 era vacation right now? Our ace correspondent Jillian Tangen has curated a list of 10 luxury vacations at new for 2021 hotels and resorts in the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico that are as COVID-19 safe as they could reasonably be. As always, don’t travel without assessing the risks to you and your companions – but if you’re keen for a winter 2021 safe vacation escape, here are 10 destinations that might perfectly fit the bill.

are there any safe luxury escapes in winter 2021?

It may not seem possible – but you can actually escape safely to a luxury hotel or resort right now. We’re experiencing severe cabin fever, and you may be similarly situated.

To say that Covid-19 hurt the hotel industry in 2020, along with travel as a whole, is an understatement.  For much of last spring, planes stood grounded or flew nearly empty,  while many hotels closed their doors in an effort to stop the spread.

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Yet despite the bleak scenario, there has been a bright spot – as doors reopened a spate of new hotels also made their debut, welcoming guests for the very first time.  And just in time too, as 2021 brings with it vaccines and a plethora of new knowledge around Covid-19 safety making it safer for homebound travelers to venture out again.  Sure, there are still some unknowns for the months ahead, chief among them the continued ban on overseas travel, but unlike last spring travelers are feeling more comfortable leaving their homes for a much needed escape.

hotels are investing in safety as a core element of their luxury offerings

Not sure if you’re ready yet?  We spoke to Smart Flyer travel consultant and Everything Travel Guy, Albert Valera to get the scoop on travelling safely during the pandemic.  According to Valera, hotels and resorts are pulling out all the stops when it comes to offering safe vacation opportunities for travelers.

“Hotels are putting a big emphasis on Covid protocols. This includes basic things like enhanced cleaning, mandatory mask wearing and contactless check-in options.  But in many cases, they are also going above and beyond. They have bespoke services like pre-stocking refrigerators for quarantines, hiring out private chefs for clients weary of dining out, offering private villas and even opening onsite testing centers.”

And as is often the case, it’s the newest hotels that are leading the way.

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where you can you take a safe luxury vacation right now?

So what and where are these new hotels?  And just an important – what exactly are their safety measures?  Valera gave us the lowdown on some of his favorite hot new hotels. These hotels are going above and beyond protecting guests.  From an exclusive dark sky resort in Arizona to a Catskill Mountain retreat and the warm waters of Anguilla, here are 10 new hotels across the US, Caribbean and Mexico currently accepting guests from the US that you can travel to.

10 new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe visit in winter 2021

1. one & only mandarina

Just three hours by air from Los Angeles is the newly opened One & Only Mandarina along the Riviera Nayarit, about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  The beachfront resort features 105 free-standing villas and tree houses with amenities. It has private infinity pools, outdoor terraces, ocean views, spacious bathrooms and outdoor showers. It is all spread throughout 80 acres of dense jungle canopy making it ideal for social distancing.  Did we mention there’s butler service and a luxurious outdoor kids club too?

new luxury hotels for COVID-19 vacations

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021. One & Only Mandarina, Mexico. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: The resort offers both Antigen and PCR tests from privacy of your villa for both arrivals and departures.  There’s also in-room Fitness Kits to workout in your room, temperature checks, social distancing throughout the property, stringent hygiene and sanitation measures. This includes the sanitization of your luggage on arrival and a welcome kit with protective and sanitizing products.

2. adero scottsdale

Sitting on an elevated ridgeline where Fountain Hills abuts Scottsdale, the Adero Scottsdale is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and star gazers.  With breathtaking views and access to Arizona’s famed Four Peaks and McDowell Mountain Range, the resort is also the area’s only Dark Sky Zone resort.  Guests can also expect direct access to the Sonoran Desert. This will be through private trailheads, a concierge for guided excursions, golf in partnership with SunRidge Canyon Golf Club and biking excursions led by McDowell Cycling, as well as a world class fitness club, farm-to-table cuisine, pools and desert-inspired spa treatments.  The 177 spacious rooms (including 16 oversized suites) all feature a private balcony. Guests will enjoy unrivaled starry skies and views in nearly every direction.

new luxury hotels for safe COVID-19 vacations

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021. Adero Scottsdale, Arizona. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: Enhanced cleaning measures, social distancing, contactless check-in and out and mask wearing throughout public spaces.

3. montage healdsburg

The Sonoma Valley’s new Montage Healdsburg is home to 130 bungalow-style guest rooms nestled among the groves of oak trees and vine-covered hills of the resort’s 258 acre property. Each guest room is equipped with a private outdoor living space.  It is complete with fire pits and daybeds, lounges and chairs and comes stocked with local wines. The original artwork is crafted from acorns found and bronzed on site and oversized, freestanding tubs made of hand-poured concrete. Located a short distance from downtown Healdsburg, the property is adjacent to Jordan Winery. Jordan Winery is the award-winning family-owned winery known for its highly rated chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon wines.  Jordan offers outdoor food and wine pairings. It includes tasting experiences, picnic lunches, alfresco dinners and guided vineyard hikes.

new luxury hotels for safe COVID-19 vacations

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021. Montage Healdsburg, Sonoma, California. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: Enhanced cleaning, reduced capacity throughout public spaces and dining, social distancing, mandatory mask wearing, complimentary access to One Medical virtual care, temperature screenings and contactless concierge and check-ins.

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4. half moon jamaica

Fresh off a $75 million renovation, Jamaica’s storied, 400-acre Half Moon is back just in time to celebrate its 65th anniversary.  The hotel’s newly constructed rooms are low-rise, set back from two miles of Montego Bay beachfront.  The resort also boasts one of the largest spas in the Caribbean as well as Jamaica’s best restaurant, the Sugar Mill.  Elsewhere, sporty folk can engage with a Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed 18-hole golf course, 11 tennis courts and equestrian center when they aren’t relaxing by the water.

new luxury hotels for COVID-19 vacations

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021. Half Moon, Montego Bay, Jamaica. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: The hotel requires a negative PCR test result within 10 days of arrival per Jamaica’s requirements.  There’s also enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, social distancing and complimentary masks and gloves. There are sanitization stations and wellness concierge for all guests.

5. white elephant palm beach

The iconic White Elephant hotel in Nantucket recently opened its sister property, the White Elephant Palm Beach in the former Bradley Park Hotel – originally constructed in 1924 as one of the first hotels on Palm Beach’s Main Street.  The 32-room hotel was built to feel like a private residence. It features more than 100 works of art chosen by the owners. It includes a seven-foot white elephant statue by Santa Fe-based artist Fredrick Prescott (a “sister” elephant statue, Trunket, is on the grounds of White Elephant in Nantucket) and plenty of outdoor space.  Guests can also use a fleet of complimentary Priority bicycles and BMW vehicles.

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021. White Elephant Palm Beach, Florida. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures:  Enhanced cleaning measures, social distancing and face masks required throughout the hotel.

6. malliouhana auberge

Set on 25 acres of verdant gardens in southwestern Anguilla, Malliouhana Auberge features spacious rooms and suites, plus a host of amenities.  The celebrated destination recently underwent a multi-million dollar reimagination. It includes new beachfront suites and private residences that can fit up to 12 guests and come complete with a 24/7 butler.  There’s also an all inclusive experience and food package, a mixologist in residence crafting cocktails, lucid paddle boarding on transparent acrylic paddle boards and open air wellness classes on the beach.  And if that was not enough, guests can take their pick between two infinity-edge pools or a stretch of Meads Bay sand that offers free non motorized water sports equipment like sailboats, paddleboards and kayaks.

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021

The new luxury hotels for safe COVID-19 vacations: Malliouhana Auberge. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: Per Anguilla law, the resort requires negative PCR test results within 5 days of arrival, a second negative PCR test upon arrival and quarantine in-room until results come in (usually less than 24 hours).  There’s also enhanced cleaning and disinfection, masks and social distancing required throughout

7. wayfinder hotel

Formerly the Mainstay Hotel, the completely refurbished Wayfinder Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island houses 197 spacious rooms featuring custom furnishings and contemporary local art.  It is a fresh take on coastal style that introduces fun bold pops up colors such as the mustard yellow fireplace in the lobby. It gives the space a youthful energy while distinguishing it from the typical Newport experience.  Located in the North End, minutes from the downtown waterfront, it boasts an outdoor pool, pet-friendly programming and a rotating selection of local food trucks serving classic New England bites.

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021. Wayfinder Hotel, Newport, Rhode Island. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: Enhanced cleaning, sanitization of luggage, social distancing and mask requirement, self and contactless check-in, booking 50% occupancy to ensure safety, sanitizing stations and flexible cancellation policy.

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8. riggs hotel

Adding to an already buoyant hotel scene for the U.S. capital is the newly opened Riggs Hotel located in the Penn Quarter   Situated in the historic former Riggs National Bank building on the corner of 9th and F Street, the hotel pays homage to the building’s legacy and the golden age of banking – each of the 181 guest rooms and suites is reminiscent of a private safety deposit box.  The hotel is also home to a grand café, a roof terrace and Silver Lyan, a subterranean cocktail bar from internationally-acclaimed bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana.  Finally, guests can borrow complimentary Priority bicycles to venture out to the National Mall and other nearby landmarks.

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021. Riggs Hotel, Washington, DC. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: The hotel has put in place lower occupancy limits, social distancing and face coverings, enhanced cleaning, special food safety guidelines and a mobile based guest experience.

9. urban cowboy

Just two-and-a-half hours from New York City, the Urban Cowboy in the Catskills offers luxury amenities in the middle of a 68-acre wilderness retreat.  It is set creek side overlooking mountain terrain and is the perfect location for activities. This includes hiking, skiing and fly-fishing. In addition cozying up for cocktails by the fire.  The rustic chic resort has only 28 rooms.  It is spread out among five buildings, and has expansive, open-air communal spaces that lead to natural hideaways of hiking trails and an on-site swimming hole.

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021. Urban Cowboy, Catskills, New York. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: Social distancing and masks are required. The property does not accept reservations from guests traveling in from any states not contiguous to New York.

10. camp sarika by amangiri

Nestled in the midst of 1,483 acres of wilderness in the middle of the Utah desert, Camp Sarika by Amangiri is likely one of the most luxurious glamping experiencesin the world. The property sits on 136 stunning acres of land among towering mesas, slot canyons and rust-colored sands. . It is a 30-minute hike from its sister resort, Amangiri.  You’ll find 10 canvas-topped pavilions. Each one has its own living area, dining, bedroom(s) and a spacious terrace with a fire pit. There’s also a private plunge pool for sunset dips and telescopes for counting Saturn’s rings. Everyone also has access to the camp’s communal spa, restaurant and bar.

The best new luxury hotels and resorts for a safe vacation in this COVID-19 era of winter 2021

New luxury hotels and resorts safe for COVID-19 vacations: Camp Sarika by Amangiri in Utah. Courtesy Photo.

Safety measures: In-depth cleaning and sanitization measures, mandatory masks and social distancing.

The 10 new for 2021 luxury hotels and resorts to safely visit right now

There you have it. Ten new hotels that it appears you can safely visit when you feel comfortable. Or whenever your next case of wanderlust strikes.

Finally, no matter when you choose to travel, or if you opt to drive or fly, take care before you go. Talk with your physician before you go, and don’t be afraid to change plans if conditions change. And do be sure to follow your state’s quarantine rules upon return.  Safe travels!

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier and a former Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in New York and is married with three young children. She loves cross-country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

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