Hyatt hotels are beloved by frequent travelers, and World of Hyatt points are some of the most lucrative points to book free hotel stays. But the knock against Hyatt has been that it's a fraction the size of giants like Hilton or Marriott, making it harder to earn or use those points.
But that's changing – and in the most delightful way. In 2019 alone, Hyatt has added hundreds of new properties to its portfolio. And these aren't just your standard, big-box city hotels, but include plenty of smaller, intimate hotel chains and independent properties. With those additions, there are more places to earn and use Hyatt points, including some great bargains at off-the-beaten-path properties for something a bit different than a typical hotel stay.
And perhaps no hotel brand captures that better than Alila, which you can find along the coasts or rainforests of Bali, China, the Middle East, and right here in the U.S.
All About Alila
Alila is Sanskrit for “surprise.” It adds up.
There are just 18 Alila properties in all: 16 throughout Asia, one in the Middle East, and one in California. But they're all unique, tucked away in the mountains, in a rainforest or jungle, a desert camp, or even a boat sailing through the Flores Sea in Indonesia.
No matter where you are, these are not your typical hotels. They're designed with each location in mind, blending in while emphasizing local cuisine and activities.
But in many cases, the price tag doesn't reflect how special some of these properties are. A night's stay at Alila properties starts at just 5,000 World of Hyatt points, with the most luxurious costing 30,000 Hyatt points per night. Here's a full list of all the current Alila properties.
|Property||Location||World of Hyatt Category||Standard Rate|
|Alila Ubud||Bali, Indonesia||Category 3||12,000 points per night|
|Alila Manggis||Bali, Indonesia||Category 2||8,000 points per night|
|Alila Villas Uluwatu||Bali, Indonesia||Category 7||35,000 points per night|
|Alila Seminyak||Bali, Indonesia||Category 5||20,000 points per night|
|Studios at Alila Seminyak||Bali, Indonesia||Category 1||5,000 points per night|
|Alila Solo||Java, Indonesia||Category 1||5,000 points per night|
|Alila SCBD Jakarta||Jakarta, Indonesia||Category 3||12,000 points per night|
|Alila Bangsar Kuala Lumpur||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Category 1||5,000 points per night|
|Alila Villas Koh Russey||Bamboo Island, Cambodia||Category 6||25,000 points per night|
|Alila Anji||Anji County, China||Category 5||20,000 points per night|
|Alila Wuzhen||Wuzhenzhen, China||Category 5||20,000 points per night|
|Alila Yangshuo||Guilin, China||Category 4||15,000 points per night|
|Alila Fort Bishangarh||Jaipur, India||Category 4||15,000 points per night|
|Alila Diwa Goa||Goa, India||Category 2||8,000 points per night|
|The Diwa Club by Alila||Goa, India||Category 3||12,000 points per night|
|Alila Jabal Akhdar||Al Hajar Mountains, Oman||Category 6||25,000 points per night|
|Ventana Big Sur an Alila Resort||Big Sur, California||Category 7||30,000 points per night|
|Alila Purnama||Flores Sea||N/A||N/A|
Scan through the list, and you'll see some tremendous ways to redeem Hyatt points – and relatively few Hyatt points – for free stays. Bali, Indonesia is a standout destination for Alila, with five hotel options scattered across the island from the beaches of Seminyak to the mountainous rice terraces of Ubud to the coast of Uluwatu.
Unfortunately, Hyatt is moving to peak and off-peak award pricing in March. That means it will require more points to stay during the busy seasons, while an off-season stay may require fewer points.
Each hotel offers activities with an emphasis on educating guests on the local region, culture, and traditions. For an extra cost, you can often book cooking classes, tours, hikes, and others organized by the hotel.
But the Alila brand also puts an emphasis on maintaining the environment and cultural sustainability. Alila participates in EarthCheck certification, an international scientific research organization aiming to make travel and tourism more sustainable. They provide sustainability certification to businesses and destinations.
And all Alila properties are committed to supporting the local economies by purchasing and sourcing food and products locally, along with employing locals from the nearby communities.
Alila Ubud, Bali
Mr. TT and I recently stayed at the Alila Ubud, Bali for just 12,000 Hyatt points a night.
Just 15 minutes outside of the Ubud's bustling city center, the Alila Ubud is nestled in a jungle river valley – a quiet retreat. The hotel has a spa, gym, two restaurants, and a pool overlooking the surrounding rice terraces.
Our room was fairly small but comfortable, and many of the rooms have an outdoor shower. Only one of the restaurants, the Cabana Lounge, was open during our stay. That meant breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served in the open-air restaurant near the pool.
At Alila Ubud, monkeys come free! But beware: They will steal your food right off your table at the restaurant.
Breakfast each morning was a small cold buffet with pastries, fruit, fresh local juices, and a menu with hot dishes. This menu consists of small plates so you can order a few different items from a mix of international fare and local cuisine.
There are many activities offered such as cooking classes and local tours – most at an extra cost. Yoga or tai chi are offered every morning free of charge at different locations on the property.
The Spa, comprised of several buildings, including an outdoor nail salon, has many offerings. A 75-minute Balinese massage cost around $55 USD – a bit expensive by Bali's standards but worth it for the quality and convenience.
What stood out most about the Alila Ubud was just how eco-friendly it was. They have implemented their own water filtration system to cut down on plastic waste. All water bottles are glass and refilled for you daily. They use as many locally sourced products as possible to limit their carbon footprint and are working towards being more energy-efficient.
The staff, whom 80% are local, are incredibly friendly and helpful and made our stay that much better.
At just 12,000 points per night, the Alila Ubud was outstanding. It was a real bargain for a great stay, and hammered home the value of Alila properties.
Many hotels feel like you could be anywhere. But Alila hotels' unique locations, attention to detail, and focus on local culture and sustainability make them stand out. And the ability to book some of these outstanding properties for just a few thousand Hyatt points is the icing on the cake.