Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas Opening February 2021

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt

It’s always exciting when there are new luxury points hotels in the pipeline. I’ve written before about how this property is expected to open soon. Well, this is a heads up that the hotel opening has just been pushed forward by about a month, for anyone who may want to visit. What’s especially exciting is that you can now redeem points here, and there’s also an incredible suite upgrade opportunity.

Alila Marea Beach Resort basics

The Alila Marea Beach Resort is accepting reservations for stays as of February 28, 2021, so it’s potentially just over three months from being open (over the summer the plan was that the hotel would open in January, but it’s not unusual to see timelines slip).

This will be a beachfront resort in Encinitas, which is in North County, San Diego (this is about 30 miles from SAN and about 100 miles from LAX).

The new Alila property will feature 130 garden and ocean view rooms, including:

  • 114 guest rooms
  • 10 junior suites
  • Four premier suites
  • Two presidential suites

Here are some renderings of the public areas of the hotel:

Here are some renderings of the guest rooms:

Alila Encinitas will be a Category 6 property

As mentioned above, the property is now accepting reservations for stays as of February 28, 2021. The new Alila will be a Category 6 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a free night will cost 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night (Hyatt’s top hotels are Category 7, and go for 30,000 points per night).

Paid rates at the new Alila seem to start at $500+ per night, which is roughly in line with what I would have expected. Interestingly as of now rates aren’t showing a resort fee, though I’d be surprised if that didn’t change.

While the hotel started accepting paid reservations last week, the latest update is that the hotel is now accepting award reservations, at the price you’d expect.

Amazing suite upgrade opportunity

For those looking to use World of Hyatt suite upgrade awards, or redeem points outright for a suite, there’s some great news. I called up Hyatt to ask what the standard suite is at the hotel, and I was told there are two choices for members:

  • The One Bedroom Suite Coastline View with Firepit
  • The One Bedroom Suite Ocean View

Both of these seem like fantastic suite upgrades, and in particular the ocean view suite seems almost too good to be true, as it’s more than 5x the price of a base room.

Do note that while these rooms have been categorized as the eligible suites, as of now these upgrades can’t yet be applied. This is pretty normal pre-opening for hotels, but it should be possible to apply them within a few weeks.

Why I’m excited about this Alila

On the surface, a beach resort in Southern California doesn’t hold that much appeal to me. Most of the nice coastal hotels between Los Angeles and San Diego are “luxury factories” (like the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel). They don’t need to try that hard because they have a captive audience.

That being said, there are two things that make me excited about this hotel, particularly in an era where we may be more restricted to domestic travel.

First of all, I love the Alila brand. Alila only has one other property in the US — Alila Ventana Big Sur — and I adore that hotel. I appreciate how Alila properties don’t have that many rooms, and I like the decor and concept they go for. There’s quite a difference between the 130 rooms here, and the nearly 400 rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.

What’s most exciting, though, is that Alila is part of World of Hyatt. As a World of Hyatt Globalist member I’m frankly thrilled for any new luxury additions in the US. Rates here are high, so this should be a good use of points, especially as a Globalist member:

  • All World of Hyatt members receive waived resort fees when redeeming points
  • World of Hyatt Globalist members receive free parking when redeeming points
  • World of Hyatt Globalist members receive free breakfast on all stays (unlike elite members at Marriott staying at Ritz-Carlton)
  • World of Hyatt Globalist members can use suite upgrades to confirm an upgrade at the time of booking

I probably wouldn’t care that much about this hotel if it weren’t branded as anything, but I’m very excited about the value of this place as a Globalist member, and look forward to visiting.

Just as a comparison, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel charges a $50 daily resort fee, $55 daily for parking, and doesn’t include breakfast for elite members. Meanwhile all of that is included as a Globalist member when redeeming points at an Alila.

Bottom line

A new Alila property will be opening in Southern California, and it’s now accepting reservations, including with points, as of February 2021. This will probably be the most luxurious Hyatt property for a beach getaway in North America.

I’m looking forward to this new resort — partly because the property looks like it will be gorgeous, and partly because I love the value World of Hyatt offers when redeeming points. As a Globalist member you simply can’t beat redeeming points at expensive coastal hotels, especially compared to the other options in the area.

Anyone else excited about the new Alila?

  1. Drive past whenever I take the 101 instead of I-5 to/from work.
    Ok, but surprisingly close to 101, mere feet, will stop by once it opens.

  2. Yes, very excited. You nailed the Ritz Carlton LN. Location is hard to beat, but interior looks like many other properties in the US — needs a major update.

    The Ritz did lower the resort fee to $20 during C19 because the gym isn’t open and they aren’t providing beach service as they usually do.

  3. As a resident of San Diego, it kills me every time I drive by this monstrosity. They built it on a beautiful piece of vacant land right next to the beach, and…*sigh*

    That’s progress I guess.

  4. As far as attainable luxury is concerned, you missed one of the better hotels in the world, Hyatt’s Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. Higher-end without the attitude, and with exceptional management. Beautiful pools and grounds, with one pool featuring waterslides for the kids. Huntington Beach is right across a pedestrian bridge that spans the famous Pacific Coast HIghway. When we want something nicer we’ll eat at Watertable, the excellent on-site restaurant, and when we don’t we walk 8/10ths of a mile for cheap fish tacos at Wahoo’s on Huntington Beach Main Street. You don’t even have to pay for parking: auto parking is 100% free 1/4th of a mile away on Beach Boulevard.

    Prior to coronavirus, the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort & Spa arranged various cool little free events: a couple years back they hired a company that taught interested folks how to build gigantic sand castles on Huntington Beach, using shovels and 80-gallon garbage cans. Kids loved it. I imagine once we’re magically cured these activities will slowly return.

    Right now the Huntington Beach Resort and Spa is an even better deal for Hyatt Globalists: since their Regency Club is temporily closed due to COVID-19 concerns, they are offering a lovely free breakfast at Watertable and free S’More kits if your kids look cute enough. We live just a few miles from the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, but find ourselves staycationing there often — about a week ago we ran and biked for an overnight stay. Along with the Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai, the Hyatt Huntington Beach is our favorite hotel and vacation spot in the world.

  5. This place looks like it will be long as you never leave the resort. I’ve lived right across the highway for over 60 years and am deeply saddened that it was built in the location it is at. Expect crowds and traffic back-ups. It is located at an intersection next to the small South Carlsbad State Beach parking lot, and small adjacent free beach parking lot that thousands of people try to park in with constant traffic jams. Directly in front of the entrance is a 3 way traffic light with the freeway 5 exit being east. North and South is the small Coast Hwy 101 which will get backed up entering a low speed area into Leucadia south. This is the first resort of its kind to be in our wonderful relaxed beach community. The beginning of the end of it’s uniqueness. They squeezed this place onto a small area. It is also built on very fragile cliffs that have continuously broken away during my lifetime here. Several locals were killed on the beach last year from them falling not more than a few feet away from this place. I can’t see it last very many years before it tumbles down. But the views will be great and hopefully you won’t book a room during a red tide when the lagoon next door smells like someone dumped an outhouse on your balcony. Enjoy.

  6. For those who know the area, is this just south of La Costa Blvd overlooking South Ponto Beach? It will have a great view, but won’t it be a hike down a steep hill to the beach?

  7. It looks amazing! It’s in a great location with fantastic restaurants off of the 101. Sure they’ll have great ones on property as well. For the naysayers, I totally get what you’re saying but I’m all on board with bringing more dollars into Encinitas. It’s good for businesses and the people that own them. It’s extremely doubtful that another project of this sort will ever be approved by the California Coastal Commission. So, enjoy what it brings.

  8. Yes, very excited. You nailed the Ritz Carlton LN. Location is hard to beat, but interior looks like many other properties in the US — needs a major update.

    The Ritz did lower the resort fee to $20 during C19 because the gym isn’t open and they aren’t providing beach service as they usually do.

  9. I live in this area, and for the life of me I cannot figure out how this structure ever got a building permit. It is built on an unstable bluff that has a history of collapses, including one adjacent to the site that killed three people. And when there is a king tide, the beach narrows to a strip only a few feet wide.

    The traffic will be horrendous. The hotel is built right on the edge of the Coast Highway. Keep in mind that the Coast Highway is only 35 miles an hour in this area, and for much of its length the two lane road has one of its lanes as a shared lane with bicycles, meaning they can take up the whole lane. And did anyone mention the railroad tracks that run right next to the road?

    People who live here already hate this place – except for the money it will bring in.

  10. Lol, know that spot well. We used to ride our BMX bikes on that site in 1979-82. We made single tracks with berms, doubles, table tops by hand. Then the city would come in and bulldoze it down, when blue hairs would complain. Tony Hawk would throw down on his bike before he big timed us and became TONY HAWK.

  11. I live just up the road from this property. The construction has been going on forever. It’s amazing they stuck this thing right into the hillside. The attached restaurant had been closed for years. I always thought it was a prime piece of property.

    It’s right where La Costa Avenue meets the coast highway which is basically the border where Carlsbad ends and Leaucadia begins.

  12. Booked an oceanfront suite (the $3000 night one) for a week in the summer. Had to secure it with 40,000 points a night because they couldn’t do 25k night with suite upgrade award until they opened. Hyatt concierge doesn’t think it will be an issue to do it once they open. Even though the description has a sofa bed listed in the living room they have the room occupancy to only 2. Hopefully that gets adjusted as I’m bringing my kids.

  13. @WJ

    Cue the annoying Small World theme music. My week-long high school graduation party was on South Ponto in that exact time frame. Oh the [fragments of] memories!

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *