Next year is bringing with it lots of new travel options for clients looking to vacation in their own backyard, including new hotels, new tours and theme park fun.

This month, San Diego is set to welcome the first Pendry Hotels property, a luxury brand under the Montage Hotels & Resorts umbrella. The next Pendry property is expected to open in Baltimore in February 2017. Pendry Hotels will offer guests the five-star hospitality Montage is known for, but is aimed at travelers with a younger mindset. The San Diego property will feature six dining venues, and the Oxford Social Club, inspired by bygone-era social clubs.

Also on the Pacific Coast, Pacifica Hotels has opened the doors to the Oceanpoint Ranch, following a $4 million renovation of the central California coast landmark, San Simeon Pines Seaside Resort. The 61-guestroom Oceanpoint, located in Cambria, now features remodeled guestrooms styled with a ranch-chic design. The property also offers a heated pool, fireplaces, outdoor firepits, and indoor and outdoor games, including shuffleboard, cornhole, croquet and faux cow roping. Additional upgrades will be completed in 2017.

This month, MGM Resorts International will open MGM National Harbor, a luxury gaming resort located outside Washington, D.C. on the banks of the Potomac River. This marks the first resort/casino to open in the capital area and the first MGM Resort on the east coast. Featuring 308 guestrooms and suites, the property offers entertainment at The Theater at MGM National Harbor through its partnership with Live Nation. The programming will showcase comedians, concerts, UFC fights, boxing matches and more; scheduled acts include Bruno Mars, Cher, Duran Duran, and Panic! At the Disco. For those heading to Maui, the 390-villa The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, on North Kaanapali Beach, is now open for bookings, although it won’t open until summer 2017. The property features a lagoon-style pool, a children’s beach pool and play area, oceanfront cabanas, and the farm-to-table Mauka Makai restaurant.

Focus on Florida
Florida continues to be one of the nation’s most popular destinations, and for those clients heading to the Sunshine State, here are some new digs they can enjoy. sbe has launched its second SLS hotel in the Miami area with the opening of the 124-guestroom and -suite SLS Brickell, plus its sister property, SLS LUX Brickell, will soon open. “We already offer the ultimate South Beach experience with SLS South Beach and are now bringing our unique brand downtown,” said Sam Nazarian, founder and CEO of sbe, in a press release statement. And if you’re thinking your clients would prefer to stay beachside, let them know that SLS Brickell will offer guests VIP beach access at SLS South Beach.

Speaking of South Beach, next year Grupo Iberostar will open its first hotel in the area, the Iberostar Berkeley Shore. Farther south in the Florida Keys, Hyatt Key West, located in the city’s historic Old Town, has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and is now open under the brand, Hyatt Centric Key West, featuring 120 refreshed guestrooms, an upgraded Jala Spa and a renovated Blue Mojito Pool Bar and Grill.

This past November B Hotels & Resorts re-launched its beachside property, B Ocean Resort in Fort Lauderdale. The 484-guestroom and -suite property features a coastal-chic vibe, and is introducing a 2-story penthouse with a private elevator, kitchenette, sitting area, and ocean views. At the property’s Wreck Bar, guests enjoy porthole views into the hotel’s main pool where every Friday and Saturday night the bar hosts the MeduSirena Mermaid Show, a live underwater aquatic performance.

Theme Park Fun
One of the biggest draws to any state are its theme parks, and they are certainly no slouch when it comes to upping their entertainment. SeaWorld, for example, has an array of new attractions coming to its parks, including the Wave Breaker: The Rescue Coaster, which will debut at SeaWorld San Antonio next summer. The coaster will reach heights of up to 61 ft. and runs on a 2,600-ft. water track. At SeaWorld San Diego, the Ocean Explorer will be unveiled in summer 2017 as a 3-acre realm combining multiple aquariums, rides and digital technologies, and its signature attraction, the Submarine Quest, will take guests aboard submarines to see Ocean Explorer’s undersea animals. Also debuting during the summertime is the Ocra Encounter and Electric Ocean, the park’s new nightly spectacle event. SeaWorld Orlando, meanwhile, will welcome Kraken, a virtual reality roller coaster—the only one of its kind in Florida.

Busch Gardens is also welcoming new attractions. This spring, InvadR at Busch Gardens Williamsburg will debut as the park’s first wooden coaster, and at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, The Wildlife Docs: Live will be unveiled in May.

 

Evening views of Universal's new Volcano Bay, a new waterpark opening summer 2017.
Evening views of Universal’s new Volcano Bay, a new waterpark opening summer 2017.

Universal Orlando Resort will also be welcoming a new ride this spring, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon; and summer 2017 will welcome Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park. Also for 2017, Universal Cabana Bay will add an additional 400 rooms, and looking even further into the future, Universal’s Aventura Hotel will open summer 2018, with 600 guestrooms and 13 kids suites.

Touring Around the U.S.
For 2017, CostSaver has introduced 14 new tours in the U.S. and Canada, including to the Canadian Rockies, New York and U.S. national parks. Itineraries include the 10-day Fall Colours of New England; the 25-day America—From Hollywood to Broadway; and the 12-day Rhythms of the South.

Also offering new tour opportunities in North America is Amtrak Vacations, which added over 25 new rail vacations to its 2017 portfolio. These new itineraries feature national parks and popular U.S. cities: Grand National Parks; Great Cities of the Northeast; and Music Cities of America. “The demand for rail travel is undeniable. We are very excited about the launch of our new products that have been created based on the demand directly from our customers,” says Frank Marini, president of Amtrak Vacations.