Secret Hotel Passwords, An All-Vegan Marriott And Lunar Beach Parties

In the waning months of winter, hotels straddle the line between offering popular winter amenities while also preparing new offerings for spring. Knowing the newest happenings can help you choose which hotels should be on your travel radar later this year.

Of course, it’s even better when you can earn bonus points for your stay to redeem later on another vacation or take advantage of loyalty program perks like reciprocal elite status benefits and travel deals on the journey. From secret passwords that yield prizes to desserts shaped like designer shoes or handbags, these hotels have surprises in store for your next visit.

New villas at Italy’s Palazzo di Varignana

Palazzo di Varignana announced the addition of six luxury villas, each with between four and six bedrooms, to its accommodation options. Set across 850 acres, this estate is an agrotourism haven with its farmland and vineyards supplying ingredients for the property. Only 30 minutes by car from Bologna, the property is a world unto itself. It features four restaurants (including a formal option inside a historic train car) and a 43,000 sq ft spa that uses the estate’s own olive oil for signature massage and beauty treatments. Around the grounds are seven indoor and outdoor swimming pools plus a medical center that specializes in detox and immunity-boosting treatments. Its relaxation areas include various saunas and steam rooms, a Moroccan hammam, “emotional showers,” a music therapy pool, ice waterfall, Italian salt room, Japanese onsen and Kneipp circuit. Whether staying in the main hotel or one of the new, more private villas, all guests get free access to the wellness areas.

Four Seasons Madrid brings back Jimmy Choo desserts

It’s back. “The Jimmy Choo Patisserie” is making a triumphant return through the end of March after a successful run last fall. Back by popular demand, the desserts are replicas of hand bags and shoes from the fashionable British brand. The hotel’s own pastry chef has been making these sweet treats daily, and they come with a special price on the spa’s celestial black diamond non-surgical face lift treatment for added effect.

Marriott targets Belgian-bound Vegans

Marriott now has its first 100% vegan hotel with the Sapphire House Antwerp, Autograph Collection hotel in Antwerp, Belgium. The property offers plant-based fine dining and a completely vegan experience from start to finish. All meals in the restaurants, via room service and in the minibar are totally vegan. Bart De Pooter, a two Michelin star chef, manages the hotel’s menu to assure it remains within the realm of what plant-based, Marriott Bonvoy diners will prefer.

Lunar celebrations at Margaritaville St. Somewhere Holbox Island

Each month of 2023, Margaritaville St. Somewhere Holbox Island will host special lunar celebrations that guests can enjoy on the 3,000 feet of untouched shoreline. They will include live entertainment and fire shows on the beach with barbecues, drinks and local cultural activities. Special ancestral mixology sessions will honor ancient rituals as part of the seasonal events that begin Jan. 6. Holbox is a less-trafficked, nature-filled part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

New secret password yields perks at Kimpton Hotels

If you know, you know. Guests that check in at Kimpton Hotels, part of the IHG One Rewards loyalty program, between now and Feb. 23 can take advantage of special perks by whispering the secret password (”the snuggle is real”) when checking in for the stay. Among the benefits for those armed with these magic words are free breakfast, free parking, welcome drinks or other special surprised. Each hotel has its own special giveaway for guests using the secret password, which has been an entertaining way for the brand to engage with loyal guests.

St. Regis Maldives opens new teppanyaki restaurant, updates spa products

The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort recently opened its newest restaurant, T.Pan, a gourmet teppanyaki restaurant with set menus and an enviable view of the sea. Instead of the traditional hibachi antics of U.S. Japanese steakhouses, this option offers an upscale set menu with accompaniments like the largest sake library in the country. It’s not just good news for diners here as the resort’s spa also launched a new partnership with French skincare brand Biologique Recherche. Its Iridium Spa will now offer specially curated facial and beauty treatments using the famed products with the option to tailor the service for individual needs. Afterwards, guests can take a dip in the Blue Hole seawater hydrotherapy pool, the largest of its kind in the Maldives.

Casa de Campo unveils new section of suites

Opened in time for the holiday season just over two months ago, the new Premier Club at Casa de Campo is like a hotel within a hotel with an exclusive Premier Club Lounge offering a private reception area and all-day snacks and refreshments. Reserved for guests staying in the new suites, each accommodation will have access to a private golf cart, customized pillow and aromatherapy menus, and private concierge service.

Radisson Rewards Americas and Choice Privileges offer reciprocal points exchange

As part of the tie-up between the two brands, members in either program now have the opportunity to move points between them to reach a redemption award faster. For every two Radisson Rewards Americas points, members would receive one Choice Privileges point (or vice versa). Both brands have been working hard to expand their portfolios to go beyond budget and midscale properties. Internationally, Radisson has added brands like Radisson Blu and Radisson Collection with more to come. Choice has been making a similar move in the U.S. with its Cambria brand. Between the two, the combined loyalty program now gives access to nearly 7,500 properties from 22 brands in 46 countries and territories.