All-inclusive resorts are a ideal vacation for many people. You get to jet off to a warm, sunny beach locale and just enjoy the experience. Sure, they’re pricey. But there are a number that you can book using points, which is an excellent deal.
Our only all-inclusive experience was at a small resort along Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. They were offering an amazing family deal for September, and we were able to stay three nights for right around $160. Crazy. It wasn’t a top-notch property, to be sure. But it had multiple pools, two easy-access beaches, and we could enjoy three meals a day on property.
While this finally let me “see the light” when it comes to all-inclusive vacations, they still aren’t my ideal. I love active vacations, and most all-inclusive hotel packages aren’t geared toward this. But I am eyeing a property for an all-inclusive stay later this summer.
Alila Ventana Big Sur Changes to All-Inclusive
The Alila Ventana Big Sur became part of the Hyatt portfolio along with the other Alila hotels in Southeast Asia last year when the brand (plus three others) were acquired. The Ventana Big Sur is the only stateside location, which made it the subject of interest among some in the points and miles community.
The property looks fantastic. It’s a mix of rustic style with modern furnishings and amenities, all situated in an absolutely gorgeous location along the central coast of California. There is plenty to do and see in the area in the event you didn’t want to spend all your time relaxing and enjoying the amenities of the resort.
Previously, meals were not included. Globalists would receive the standard breakfast benefit, but that is it. But now that has changed. The Alila Ventana Big Sur has changed to an all-inclusive pricing model. Per their website, the nightly rate now includes:
The cost of the Alila Big Sur was already expensive, and burning 30,000 Hyatt points was a solid deal most of the time. However, with the inclusion of everything into the rate (which are now $1,400-$1,600/night much of the time), points are hands down the way to go.
Wait…Where Is The Award Space?
The issue I ran into when looking for a few different windows for potential bookings is that nothing was showing up as available. At first I looked over weekends. Then for Sunday-Wednesday stays. Nada.
This was a bit perplexing, as I tried literally 20 different date options between August 2020 and April 2021. I couldn’t find a single stay that had award nights. The base room every day was a King Bed with Fireplace. The standard King Bed room wasn’t showing.
So…either one of two things has happened: the Ventana Big Sur realized what am amazing deal this is and they are getting hosed, and they pulled the award space. Or this was simply so insanely popular in the miles and points community that everything is literally booked up. Or one led to the other. It is a boutique property with a limited number of rooms.
Now my worry is that the hotel may be pushing to increase their award category. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being treated the same as Miraval, another all-inclusive brand with special pricing.
When the news broke that the hotel was changing to all-inclusive, I became far more interested in giving it a try. Living in California, I’d looked at the Alila Ventana Big Sur a couple times for a potential stays. It would be an easy one-hop flight down the coast to get there. But at 30,000 Hyatt points per night, I was inclined to give it a pass.
Now with three squares a day plus activities at a resort property, I’m far more willing to burn that number of points.
We’ll see if award space opens up. I’d love to make this happen later this year, hopefully once the brunt of COVID-19 has passed and places are completely opened up.
One thing to note is that hotel guests must be 18+ years old. This wouldn’t be a stay with the kids. 😉
Featured image courtesy of Hyatt.