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.
How to Book Alila Properties with Points
You’ve got a few different options to pile up the Hyatt points you need
You don’t need to be a road warrior who constantly stays at Hyatt hotels to earn enough points for a stay at any of the Ziva and Zilara properties. There are a few different credit cards that make earning Hyatt points relatively simple and straightforward.
The first is obvious: World of Hyatt Credit Card. Just for opening the card and spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership, you will receive 30,000 World of Hyatt points. You can earn another 30,000 points (60,000 points total) by earning 2x points on all purchases up to $15,000 spent in the first 6 months.
The card has a $95 annual fee which is not waived for the first year of card membership. However, starting in year two, it offers an annual free night certificate to be used at any Hyatt category 1-4 property. That means you can use a free night certificate at more than half of these Alila properties.
Click Here to learn more about the World of Hyatt Credit Card
But you can also earn Hyatt points by transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards. Because Hyatt is one of the twelve airline and hotel transfer partners of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points into your World of Hyatt account at a 1:1 ratio. This means one Chase point will equal one World of Hyatt point.
And if you don’t have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, they can be earned from a number of personal and business credit cards. Most notably the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which is currently offering a welcome offer bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. Again, that’s enough for at least two nights at any Alila property – and potentially much more.
This card also has an annual fee of $95 which is not waived in the first year of card membership. However, the welcome offer bonus alone is worth at least $750, and often times much more. If you book a few nights at one of these Hyatt properties, you could easily get $1,000 or more out of these points.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is another option for earning Ultimate Rewards points, and you can think of it as the older brother of Chase Sapphire Preferred. While the Sapphire Reserve earns the same Ultimate Rewards points, it offers a number of premium benefits that push the card’s annual fee to $450 a year.
Do you have a spouse or a significant other? You can both earn points in your own World of Hyatt accounts and book back-to-back reservations for a longer stay, or just combine your World of Hyatt points.
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.