18 Of The Best Points Hotels I Hope To Stay At

18 Of The Best Points Hotels I Hope To Stay At

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Miles & points can let you have some pretty incredible experiences for pennies on the dollar. With airline miles you can fly almost any first or business class product in the world, as there are very few aspirational products that aren’t bookable with miles.

Hotels are a different story, though. There are a lot of great points hotels, though the reality is that many boutique and high end brands don’t belong to any of the major hotel groups with loyalty programs. That means there’s no way to redeem points for stays there, short of earning cash back through credit cards and then redeeming that towards a stay.

Fogo Island Inn, one of my favorite hotels in the world (not bookable with points)

While many of us probably aren’t at the point where we’re planning travel yet, I think many of us are certainly dreaming about travel. Yesterday I shared some general thoughts on domestic trips I’d like to take once its responsible to travel again.

Now I wanted to update a post that I first wrote nearly a year ago about some awesome points hotels that I look forward to staying at once things return to normal.

The Best Points Hotels I’ve Stayed At Recently

This post was originally from last year, and over the past several months I’ve stayed at some incredible points hotels. Some of the highlights include the following:

  • Calala Island (bookable with Hyatt Points), which is an incredible private island in Nicaragua with just four villas
  • Alila Ventana Big Sur (bookable with Hyatt points), which is an awesome hotel, but even more than that, Big Sur has to be one of the most gorgeous places in the US
  • Las Alcobas Napa Valley (bookable with Marriott points), which is a beautiful hotel, though in particular I enjoyed Napa Valley more than I was expecting to
  • Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills (bookable with Hilton points), which is easily one of the best city hotels I’ve stayed at in the US
  • Andaz Tokyo (bookable with Hyatt points), which is an excellent city hotel with great views

Calala Island, Nicaragua

Points Hotels I’d Like To Stay At

With the above out of the way, let me share some awesome points hotels that I look forward to staying at. Some I hope to stay at as soon as things improve, while others may very well remain on my bucket list for a while. In no particular order:

Waldorf Astoria Maldives

This hotel is fairly new, and is arguably the most aspirational Hilton property yet. I’m somewhat skeptical of the hotel based on how close it is to Male (unlike some of the other private islands, which are far away), but I’ve mostly heard very good things about it. It’s cool to be able to use Hilton points for a hotel that retails for $1,500+ per night.

Booking with points: 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night (how to earn Hilton Honors points)

Waldorf Astoria Maldives

The Gritti Palace Venice

I haven’t been to Venice in about 15 years, so I’d like to return at some point. I know it’s overrun with tourists, so if/when I go, I would do so in shoulder season. When I do, I’d like to stay at The Gritti Palace, which is the Marriott Luxury Collection property, as it’s regarded as one of the best hotels there.

Booking with points: 70,000-100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (how to earn Marriott Bonvoy points)

The Gritti Palace Venice

St. Regis Hong Kong

St. Regis is my favorite Marriott brand, partly because I like the style of most of their hotels, and partly because I like that they actually honor elite benefits, unlike EDITION and Ritz-Carlton. One of the newest St. Regis properties is in Hong Kong, and I would love to stay there.

Booking with points: 70,000-100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

St. Regis Hong Kong

Alila Jabal Akhdar

I loved Alila Ventana Big Sur, so would like to stay at another Alila property, and Alila Jabal Akhdar is at the top of my list. This is a hotel in Oman that I’ve heard great things about, and it could be a good side trip the next time I find myself in the UAE or in Muscat.

One of the reasons I’ve put this off is because Alila is supposed to open a second property in Oman this year, called Alila Hinu Bay, and I’d love to go when I could stay at both of them. Unfortunately I haven’t heard much about this project, so I’m not sure if it’s delayed by months or years (if anyone knows, please let me know!).

Booking with points: 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night (how to earn World of Hyatt points)

Alila Jabal Akhdar

Tambo Del Inka Peru

This is a hotel that’s not on my list because I think the hotel as such is that amazing, but rather because I still haven’t visited Machu Picchu. The fact that Marriott has good options in both Cuzco and the Sacred Valley is all the more reason to take this trip sooner rather than later.

Booking with points: 40,000-60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Tambo del Inka Peru

Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali

In case you can’t tell, I’m really excited about Hyatt’s acquisition of Alila. 😉 Alila has several properties in Bali, though the one that interests me most is the Uluwatu Villas property.

The entry level rooms here are villas with pools, so this is a pretty awesome place to redeem points.

Booking with points: 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night

Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali

St. Regis Lhasa

I love the outdoors, and have long been interested in visiting Tibet. The St. Regis Lhasa seems like a cool opportunity to check out a nice points hotel while visiting a destination that has been on my list.

Booking with points: 30,000-40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

St. Regis Lhasa

Hotel Marqués De Riscal

While I’ve visited the major cities in Spain and have also been to many of the beach destinations, I’d like to explore more of the country. Hotel Marques de Riscal is in Elciego, and was designed by Frank Gehry.

Booking with points: 50,000-70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Hotel Marques de Riscal

EDITION Bodrum

I’m supposed to go to Bodrum in a couple of months, though at this point that seems unlikely. I love the EDITION brand, and Bodrum looks beautiful and relaxing. If I don’t make it there in June, hopefully I make it there at some point in the future.

Booking with points: 50,000-70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

EDITION Bodrum

Canaves Oia Epitome Santorini

Greece is one of my favorite places in the world, and Santorini is gorgeous (a couple of years ago I stayed at Mystique). Hyatt has a partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and that includes some of the “Canaves Oia” properties in Santorini. The nicest-looking and newest of those properties is the “Epitome” one, which seems like a great option if returning to Oia.

Booking with points: 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night

Canaves Oia Epitome

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

This is a relatively new addition to the Hilton portfolio, and seems like an awesome luxury option in Mexico. Hotel taxes and service charges in Mexico are really high (30%+), so being able to redeem points there is ideal, since you can avoid those fees.

Booking with points: 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night (how to earn Hilton Honors points)

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal

Miraval Berkshires

In 2017 Hyatt acquired wellness brand Miraval, and this summer they’ll be opening a property in the Berkshires. I love the Northeast in summer, and think could be a cool property. Miraval stays include all food and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as many activities. When redeeming points you also get a $175 per person credit.

Booking with points: 65,000 World of Hyatt points per night (for two people)

Miraval Berkshires

Park Hyatt Auckland

New Zealand is one of my favorite countries in the world, though I don’t love Auckland as such. Nonetheless I’m intrigued by the Park Hyatt Auckland. This hotel’s construction has been delayed significantly, and it’s now expected to open in a few months. Hopefully that actually happens, as it has already been delayed by years.

Once the hotel opens it should be impressive… hopefully.

Booking with points: 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night

Park Hyatt Auckland

Park Hyatt Kyoto

Okay, my (relatively) newly found love for Japan is about to show with the next few hotels on my list. Ford and I can’t wait to return to Japan, and we’re probably most excited at the prospect of staying at the new Park Hyatt Kyoto. Ford has never been to Kyoto, and you can’t beat Globalist benefits at Park Hyatt properties.

Booking with points: 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night

Park Hyatt Kyoto

Park Hyatt Niseko

Niseko is in a part of Japan I’ve never been to before. I’m not sure if I’d like to visit in summer for hiking, or in winter so Ford can ski and I can stay inside. 😉 Regardless, the hotel and landscape look gorgeous.

Booking with points: 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night

Park Hyatt Niseko

Ritz-Carlton Nikko

The Ritz-Carlton Nikko is supposed to be opening shortly, and is a fairly short train ride from Tokyo. The hotel is set along Lake Chuzenji, so as someone who loves nature this seems like a cool side trip the next time I’m in Tokyo.

Booking with points: 50,000-70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Ritz-Carlton Nikko

St. Regis Cairo

You can file this one under “I’m a weirdo” more than anything. I’ve never witnessed a hotel opening that’s as delayed as the one at the St. Regis Cairo.

The hotel’s opening had already been delayed by years, and then the Gulf blockade happened. While it’s my understanding that the hotel is more or less ready to open, it can’t open because it has Qatari investors. I’m really curious to see how this unfolds, since there’s no end in sight for the blockade.

Booking with points: 30,000-40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (if it ever opens)

St. Regis Cairo

North Island Seychelles

I’ll throw this one in for fun, though I doubt I’ll ever make it here. Rather puzzlingly, the $8,000+ per night North Island property in the Seychelles became a Marriott Luxury Collection property, which I can’t make sense of.

The points rates are totally different than any other Marriotts, so it’s outrageously expensive. Also not included is food/drinks or the helicopter ride to the hotel. But it doesn’t cost anything to dream, right?

Booking with points: 365,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

North Island Seychelles

Bottom Line

More than ever before it’s fun to dream of all of the great opportunities available with points. As you can see, there are some awesome opportunities with Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott, and I can’t wait to check out some of these properties as soon as travel becomes a thing again.

Which points hotels do you most want to stay at?

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  1. Michael R

    The Bodrum Edition is just ok. The Mandarin Oriental is far superior with better rooms, service, views, beach, spa and gym. I stayed at both in October.

  2. qofmiwok

    I've never been impressed with an "aspirational" hotel. I think you should be more honest about how these types of redemptions are really best for people with high status. Otherwise you get the smallest, lousiest room in the hotel, and you get nickel and dimed to death. I'd much rather use a mid-level chain where you can be assured of getting a large room or suite, free breakfast and parking, etc.

  3. Jason

    We stayed at the Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali (got engaged there actually) and it was truly a magical place. The thoughtful layout of the resort, incredible local food and service, in addition to the scenary and spa has honestly set the bar for me that most places won't match. Need to try the Bulgari resort in Bali which may offer a similar experience. Only negative I would give Alila Uluwatu is the pricing for...

    We stayed at the Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali (got engaged there actually) and it was truly a magical place. The thoughtful layout of the resort, incredible local food and service, in addition to the scenary and spa has honestly set the bar for me that most places won't match. Need to try the Bulgari resort in Bali which may offer a similar experience. Only negative I would give Alila Uluwatu is the pricing for F&B compared to the rest of Bali but that's to be expected at a luxury resort of its calibre. Otherwise, it's STAGGERINGLY beautiful. Stay for at least two nights.

    I agree with one of the above commenters that Alila Seminyak is only ok. It's a great resort with wonderful service, but nothing compared to Alila Uluwatu. Stay in Seminyak at a private villa and visit the Alila's pool club instead during the day ;)

  4. K Steel

    Ooops, I forgot to say that the $550 plus 30K Starwood points at the Gritti was for two nights.

  5. Ray

    Two years ago we spent my birthday at the Marques de Riscal. I have been living just outside of Barcelona for 30 months now. We stayed in the main building. Booking in the spa building makes no sense, don’t go to a destination location and then try to do it as cheap as possible. The rooms were unique. The restaurant was top notch for breakfast and dinner. Had a nice tour but have done these...

    Two years ago we spent my birthday at the Marques de Riscal. I have been living just outside of Barcelona for 30 months now. We stayed in the main building. Booking in the spa building makes no sense, don’t go to a destination location and then try to do it as cheap as possible. The rooms were unique. The restaurant was top notch for breakfast and dinner. Had a nice tour but have done these often in Napa area. The small village attached has some great little restaurants and wine shops. As noted above, it is worthy of a short stay in my opinion.

  6. iamhere

    Lhasa won't be easy especially given the way you travel.
    1. Special permits are required for Tibet
    2. Travel to Tibet needs to be with a designated tour operator
    3. The permits, if issued, are issued just several days in advance. Permits being issued is kind of an on-again off-again thing.

  7. Nate

    Lucky, we got married at Marques de Riscal, and we took 40 of our closest on a bus tour from Madrid to the North and then down into Rioja. I would never stay there again on points or cash based on what others have said about the quality of rooms etc., but the wedding was exceptional. I lived in Spain for four years and have some close personal contacts there if you want some recommendations...

    Lucky, we got married at Marques de Riscal, and we took 40 of our closest on a bus tour from Madrid to the North and then down into Rioja. I would never stay there again on points or cash based on what others have said about the quality of rooms etc., but the wedding was exceptional. I lived in Spain for four years and have some close personal contacts there if you want some recommendations on stuff to do that won't necessarily be on the beaten tourist path (yes, it's still possible)

    Cheers.

    PS. Also happy to share our wedding itinerary.

    Nate

  8. Mary Jane Dresser-Asmar

    Stayed at the Gritti Palace 7 years ago after they completely renovated the property.
    The attention to detail was amazing. Two tips: when booking on points-don't book the lowest room category, spring for the next highest category. Also, take a private boat taxi to the hotel. I thought my family would enjoy a water bus (local flavor) but I regret to this day, not pulling up to the dock of the hotel in a...

    Stayed at the Gritti Palace 7 years ago after they completely renovated the property.
    The attention to detail was amazing. Two tips: when booking on points-don't book the lowest room category, spring for the next highest category. Also, take a private boat taxi to the hotel. I thought my family would enjoy a water bus (local flavor) but I regret to this day, not pulling up to the dock of the hotel in a private water taxi. One of the best hotel experiences of my life.

  9. Charles / Shanghai

    The St Regis Lhasa might be other-worldly: you could fly on Tibet Airlines to Lhasa Gonggar Airport (that you mentioned here on 09 Jan 2019).

    It depends on how we define what is a 'country' yet, how many countries have you travelled to so far?

  10. Alan

    Wow that's a really Marriott and Hyatt-heavy list! Unfortunately from the UK those are both pretty terrible programmes with limited options to earn either points or status. Hilton and IHG far far better for me!

  11. Luke

    St Regis in Cairo is kinda hard to follow right now. Trying to stay there in December on a family trip but recent press releases indicate Marriott is opening a different St Regis elsewhere in Cairo instead. Maybe they scrapped the original project.

  12. K Steel

    I stayed with my son in 2018 via Starwood cash and points : $550 plus 30K Starpoints (90K Marriott Points). I thought is was a steal! So nice and elegant and we were upgraded (Platinum) to a lovely large room with a huge bathroom over the entrance which meant I could see the canal very well even if I was not right on it. Truly, I did not expect a canal room in late June...

    I stayed with my son in 2018 via Starwood cash and points : $550 plus 30K Starpoints (90K Marriott Points). I thought is was a steal! So nice and elegant and we were upgraded (Platinum) to a lovely large room with a huge bathroom over the entrance which meant I could see the canal very well even if I was not right on it. Truly, I did not expect a canal room in late June as I read they only had four. A fabulous free breakfast for two on the deck overlooking the Grand Canal was my Plat amenity. Perfect low key attention from concierge, which included complementary wine and cheese delivered to the room. Unfortunately, my son spilled a bit of the wine on his white pants and, although I got most out with a sink wash, a pink stain remained. The only solution I could think of was the sun -- I hope the Gritti didn't mind the pants hanging out the window in the sunlight over their front entrance... it worked!

  13. Carlos

    In Santorini you may want to consider San Antonio, another SLH property. I loved the hotel, the privacy that you have (something not easy in Santorini with the treks in front of the properties and the location, between Oia and Inmerovigli, walking distance to both.

  14. John

    I am surprised the Al Maha, Marriott, outside of Dubai did not make your list.

  15. Richard Toscano

    Is the Alila Jabal Akhdar better than the Anantara Jabal Akhdar (the latter I have heard is an incredible hotel)?

  16. Reginald

    By the way, I'm not a huge Venice person. Feels like a bit of a tourist trap to me. Glad I saw it but once is enough for me. More of a Southern Italy fan.

    ~ The Honorable Reginald

  17. Tim

    I initially studied architecture my first few years of university in the mid-80s and Gehry was the It Girl. His design sense has made no progression decades later. His buildings all resemble one another and, except for Bilbao, look completely misplaced. At this point, I find all his designs reductive and childish. Skip that ugly hotel and stay anywhere in San Sebastian. We were there 10 years ago and stayed at an old boutique hotel...

    I initially studied architecture my first few years of university in the mid-80s and Gehry was the It Girl. His design sense has made no progression decades later. His buildings all resemble one another and, except for Bilbao, look completely misplaced. At this point, I find all his designs reductive and childish. Skip that ugly hotel and stay anywhere in San Sebastian. We were there 10 years ago and stayed at an old boutique hotel at waters edge. It was old world European charm and the town is delightful.

    I'm with @BC regarding prepositions. Another sin is that very few people understand the adverb!

  18. The nice Paul

    @JS
    It’s not grammatically incorrect, though some pedants think so. As Churchill put their case, “ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put”.

  19. Reginald

    65k Hyatt Points for the Miraval Berkshires? Are you nuts? I would never in a million years spend that. I don't care what kind of cash credit they are giving you.

    No reason to spend 30k Hyatt points on Park Hyatt Kyoto either. There are very nice and inexpensive lodging options in that city. You're going to be out exploring anyway so I don't see the need for it.

    On this list, the WA Maldives...

    65k Hyatt Points for the Miraval Berkshires? Are you nuts? I would never in a million years spend that. I don't care what kind of cash credit they are giving you.

    No reason to spend 30k Hyatt points on Park Hyatt Kyoto either. There are very nice and inexpensive lodging options in that city. You're going to be out exploring anyway so I don't see the need for it.

    On this list, the WA Maldives is probably the most appealing as I've been thinking about getting back there.

    ~ The Honorable Reginald

  20. Jake

    Lucky,

    Should you make a trip to Venice, I highly recommend also staying at the JW Marriott there. It is on its own private island which allows for a reprieve from the tourists should you want it and is only a short private boat ride to the Piazza San Marco. Also, there is nothing quite like getting off the water taxi that enters the hotel through a canal that runs under the lobby. Very James Bond if you ask me.

  21. Carl

    We loved our stay at Tambo back in 2012

  22. Sven

    Would be nice if the recycled articles are somehow marked. I don't blame you though for recycling during these slow travel news days.

  23. Matt

    If you go to Bodrum, you should visit the Mandarin Oriental, if nothing but for their welcome terrace.

  24. Marcus

    My three favorite hotels none of which can be booked with points are The Tawaraya in Kyoto, Vanyavilas in Ranthambore and the Cipriani in Venice. During certain times the Connaught in London is also a fav

  25. JS

    Lucky, I love your blog and have learned a LOT. Being the son of an English teacher, your grammatically incorrect title of this piece is glaring. Nails on a chalkboard to me. Please change it!!

    Also, because of having interior designers/decorators as friends, equally gruesome to them is when you are reviewing a hotel room and refer to a piece of furniture as a "couch". A couch is something that comes in a furnished trailer...

    Lucky, I love your blog and have learned a LOT. Being the son of an English teacher, your grammatically incorrect title of this piece is glaring. Nails on a chalkboard to me. Please change it!!

    Also, because of having interior designers/decorators as friends, equally gruesome to them is when you are reviewing a hotel room and refer to a piece of furniture as a "couch". A couch is something that comes in a furnished trailer house. For the nice hotels you review, the more correct terminology is "sofa".

  26. Alex

    Alila Uluwatu was like something out of the cosmos. When we booked we weren’t sure what to expect. We had stayed at the Alila in Seminyak earlier in our trip and it was fine. But Alila Uluwatu really was a highlight of our trip to Bali.

  27. Tommy O

    Stayed at Park Hyatt Kyoto a few weeks after it opened, and it was fantastic. Really loved every little detail. Having a few cocktails at the bar overlooking Gion was just amazingly cool.

    Also- I really loved Tambo del Inka (also stayed at Palacio del Inka and JW Cusco). However, we did not use Tambo del Inka as our hotel the night before Machu, as we just stayed at some super cheap budget hotel in...

    Stayed at Park Hyatt Kyoto a few weeks after it opened, and it was fantastic. Really loved every little detail. Having a few cocktails at the bar overlooking Gion was just amazingly cool.

    Also- I really loved Tambo del Inka (also stayed at Palacio del Inka and JW Cusco). However, we did not use Tambo del Inka as our hotel the night before Machu, as we just stayed at some super cheap budget hotel in Aguas Calientes. We did Machu/Wayna Picchu as early as possible and didn't find it to be crowded at all (got out in front of the pack with a little speed and will, haha). We did the whole hike up to the top of Wayna, had a long lunch back in Aguas Calientes, then took the train to Tambo, which is super easy. Awesome, awesome base for a few other attractions in the area.

  28. Daniel

    Tambo is quite nice, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    In Cusco, definitely go for one of the Belmonds. Palacio was not very nice.

    Also def do the Belmond train back from Mapi.

    Alila Oman was overrated imo. LTE talked it up too much. I found it pleasant but not incredible.

    I would also love to see a list of non-points hotels. Why not?! What else do we have to do these days...

  29. William

    BEN isn’t it your 30th Birthday tomorrow !?

    I turn 30 this year to. It’s so funny and ironic to me that as people who love to travel that we may always remember our 30th birthdays being stuck in our houses lol

  30. mofly

    I had stayed at Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali in February and the property is nice but the service is not that great and in general, there are so many great new options in Bali, not sure it's quite worthy of your list. ;)

  31. YY

    I’ve heard about not so great service at PH Kyoto, looking forward to a report

  32. Iamhere

    Tibet is not an easy one due to additional permits and travel requirements

  33. Jon

    @Stentplacer

    This stay was booked at the old rates prior to the addition of Marriott category 8. The old rate was 60,00 points/night with the fifth night free. The nightly rate is now 85,000 points for the least expensive room type. Your rate may include a room upgrade if they're also charging you 3,000 euros/night.

  34. Stentplacer

    Jon,

    I tried to book Gritti Palace in October...2 nights.

    I was told 85,000 points plus 3000 euros per night. Do you think I got bad information? You got 5 nights for 240,000 points only?????

    Please advise.

  35. Jon

    Recently (5/27-6/1) stayed at The Gritti Palace at the old points rate (240,000 points for 5 nights). Beautiful hotel in a great location. They honored the free breakfast (amazing!) perk of status but did not honor the room upgrade benefit when better, Grand Canal view rooms were definitely available for our stay.

  36. Andy

    While I think both the 737 MAX and the St. Regis Cairo have a shot at being delayed the longest, we all know the GOAT of delayed projects is and always will be Berlin Brandenburg

  37. BC

    Hi Ben!

    I'm a long-time reader, and I have stayed at the Las Alcobas in Napa. It's a nice property, but they did not install any soundproofing between the floors, so you really need to stay on the top floor, otherwise it will sound like a troupe of clog-wearing gymnast hippos are staying above you (the floors are wood). The management was really up front about this when we asked them, so I definitely recommend...

    Hi Ben!

    I'm a long-time reader, and I have stayed at the Las Alcobas in Napa. It's a nice property, but they did not install any soundproofing between the floors, so you really need to stay on the top floor, otherwise it will sound like a troupe of clog-wearing gymnast hippos are staying above you (the floors are wood). The management was really up front about this when we asked them, so I definitely recommend reaching out to them before booking to see if the situation has improved.

  38. Paul McGlynn

    Also stayed at the Marques de Riscal and loved it. Mind you we were in the main building, so that may colour your opinion as those rooms were also designed by Gehry. So they have some amazing angles and are just unique rooms. A great experience hotel if your into architecture and wine. Though I probably would not stay for more than one night.

  39. platy

    @ Ron

    Gritti Palace had a $60 million refurbishment in 2013.

    It is a superb hotel only bettered by non-points hotels (such as the exceptional and tiny boutique hotel Al Ponte Antico and on a par with the legendary Cipriani on Giudecca - others may recommend Aman although I haven't stayed there myself).

  40. Benjamin

    Gritti Palace is a fine hotel, but I'd rather go back to Aman Venice.

    Their personal attention is truly superb.

  41. Huff Daland

    @Sam and @Lorraine: You should know that the Marina Cristina is not taking redemption bookings at this time. Marriott's cheapest rate is for my October trip is currently $833 per night. Ouch.

  42. SusanG

    We spent two nights at the Marques de Riscal. We loved all the restaurants, but would rate the rooms as mediocre. Our biggest problem was that the car rental companies were closed when we arrived on the only flight from from Madrid and closed when we left on the only flight for Madrid. Because of this we couldn’t rent a car, and we’re forced to rely on the hotel or extremely expensive transportation.

  43. CoreyL

    St. Regis Shenzhen is in the second tallest building in Shenzhen. Their duplex suites are unique and fun. Club lounge is on the top floor with great view, excellent food and drinks.

  44. Phil

    I would agree with others that the JW Marriott Cusco is amazingly beautiful. It’s built around a courtyard (as are many of Cusco’s high end hotels) with gorgeous design and furnishings. The breakfast is awesome!

  45. Stentplacer

    Tried to book Gritti Palace...wanted 85,000 points per night Plus 3500 euros
    For their basic room. I said no thanks.

  46. colleen

    @Bc @tda Yep, we're fighting a losing battle. Deal with it with (old joke) humor:
    _____________________________________________________________

    Visitor in Harvard Square: "Excuse me, where's the library at?"

    Harvard student: "Sir, this is Harvard. We don't end our sentences with prepositions."

    Visitor: "Oh, I'm sorry. I meant to ask, where's the library at, asshole?"

  47. Ron

    Stayed at the Gritti Palace about 15 years ago...it lives up to it's gritty name. Very underwhelming. Hope it's been renovated since then.

  48. Dan

    Stayed at Las Alcobas, quite underwhelmed. As Platinum did get a ground floor vineyard view. The firepit is nice, but otherwise this property does not feel high end. St. Helena is a nice town and Napa valley worth a visit especially if you like wine.

  49. Mohammed

    The new St Regis Venice looks very promising

  50. Christian

    I also loved our stay at the Marques de Riscal so I guess so far 2 people that loved it and 2 that haven’t.

  51. Fio

    Stayed at Marques de Riscal and loved it. Very very cool property, wine pool, free wine tour on check in, Michelin star restaurant and quaint town - what’s not to like?

  52. Ari

    BTW, JW Marriott Cusco is awesome. Like a museum/hotel. Worth staying there for the novelty to do a trip report for sure. (Have to be sure to take the nightly tour.) I would stay there again-- just a nice luxury hotel in a nice location.

  53. Ari

    Do NOT book Tambo del Inka Peru just because you're a points freak-- you must do Belmond OVERNIGHT at the top for the full proper, semi private sunrise/sunset experience with Ford. I did it with my mother (you met her FRA-SEA, LH F several years ago-- just the two of you in the cabin, good mountain views on the flight, you did a review). You WILL NOT regret it. Sorry, sometimes you have to pay...

    Do NOT book Tambo del Inka Peru just because you're a points freak-- you must do Belmond OVERNIGHT at the top for the full proper, semi private sunrise/sunset experience with Ford. I did it with my mother (you met her FRA-SEA, LH F several years ago-- just the two of you in the cabin, good mountain views on the flight, you did a review). You WILL NOT regret it. Sorry, sometimes you have to pay to get it right. Don't make this "World Heritage" mistake for the sake of using a points hotel. The place is getting overcrowded with people like us: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/machu-picchu-ticket-policy/index.html. Take the opportunity to explore Machu Picchu after most of the visitors for the day have left and again after you wake up before most of the visitors for the day arrive. It is truly magical.
    Have a massage on American Express. Enjoy dining on full their board. Marvel at their over-the-top train while not waiting in line for the buses with everyone else. Save points for they add value to a trip; don't use them when they detract value from a trip.

  54. Lorraine

    We just came back from an extended trip to hit my 100th country and stayed at the Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman. Anyone staying should do the Via Ferrata - you will have the time of your life.
    It is one of my favorite hotels in the world and that is saying a lot coming from someone who has Lifetime Diamond with over 1500 nights at Hilton and Lifetime Titanium with over 1800 nights...

    We just came back from an extended trip to hit my 100th country and stayed at the Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman. Anyone staying should do the Via Ferrata - you will have the time of your life.
    It is one of my favorite hotels in the world and that is saying a lot coming from someone who has Lifetime Diamond with over 1500 nights at Hilton and Lifetime Titanium with over 1800 nights at Marriott/SPG. Alila Jabal Akhdar is Luxury Redefined.

    I have also stayed at the St Regis Lhasa. Great location and we got a fabulous upgrade to a Suite because of my SPG with Ambassador status. Room was great. However, food left a lot to be desired.

    I second the person saying the Maria Cristina in San Sebastian is a great hotel. We got a nice upgrade based on my status and San Sebastian has the MOST amazing food.

  55. Bob

    Stayed at Alila Uluwatu for our honeymoon. Architecturally stunning and friendly staff but prior to that stay we spent a few days at a local property in Ubud that is part of a small chain called Komaneka and we preferred Komaneka a lot more. At Alila, there is definitely the shock and awe effect and we felt like pampered guests but at Komaneka we felt like we were pampered hotel guests and royalty at the same time.

  56. Avi

    Fyi, I canceled my pre-Marriott devaluation booking at the Ritz in HKG for the St Regis there and had a truly exceptional stay. Great hotel!

  57. Andrew

    Stayed at Las Alcobas last year for our anniversary. Beautiful hotel but make sure you have room overlooking the vineyard! Gorgeous view and very enjoyable with the firepit and a glass of red.

  58. Ben Holz

    As others have already mentioned, Marques de Riscal is not a very good hotel... Have not personally stayed there, but have had friends who have payed north of 300€ and they weren’t very happy. I did visit the winery and it was ok (there are many that are as good or better and just cost a fraction of the price). However the architecture is stunning and in my opinion it was worth the visit (not for an overnight stay though)

  59. Rob

    I just checked out of the St. Regis Lhasa earlier today after a two night stay. The property is beautiful and has a great view of the Potala Palace. The base room (used Chase veers) was gorgeous and huge. They offered a “happy hour” at the bar on the 6th floor for elites but it was underwhelming.

    The big let down though was the service. Not at all up to St. Regis standards. And...

    I just checked out of the St. Regis Lhasa earlier today after a two night stay. The property is beautiful and has a great view of the Potala Palace. The base room (used Chase veers) was gorgeous and huge. They offered a “happy hour” at the bar on the 6th floor for elites but it was underwhelming.

    The big let down though was the service. Not at all up to St. Regis standards. And I can’t just blame it on the property being in China. I had amazing service at the Hyatt House Shenzhen Airport.

    But overall, the property itself is excellent, especially being able to use a free night certificate.

  60. Stuart

    Ventana Big Sur is a beautiful property in a stunning location... BUT...the service is a mess. The location makes it hard to find decent staff and they are routinely understaffed and poorly trained. Just a heads up to go without much in the way of expectations beyond the property itself.

  61. tda

    @Bc - You’re fighting a losing battle against dangling prepositions. When the top alternative is, “13 Points Hotels At Which I Hope to Stay,” it’s not hard to see why.

  62. Peter

    @Lucky- Anyway you can find out from your Hyatt contacts when that Auckland hotel will open for reservations. Or at least let us know. I have my eye on that one as well for January

  63. Peter

    @Lucky. You will love those Alila properties. Personally the one in Oman is one of my favorite of all time

  64. Jay

    I'd love to see what you think are the best points bookable hotels in the world too! Special points I suppose for best bang for your buck points too.

  65. Nev Johnson

    Lucky how about the RC in Perth Western Australia ? Opening soon..

  66. RC

    Tambo del Inka is a nice hotel. In Cusco, might want to try the JW or something different. Palacio del Inka wasn't as impressive..

  67. Bc

    Please, for the love of all things English, don’t end a sentence (let alone a title) with “at.” It is worse than nails on a chalkboard. Suggested alternatives:
    13 Points Hotels At Which I Hope to Stay
    13 Points Hotels On My “Must Visit” List
    My Wish List of 13 Points Hotels

  68. Sam

    Just stayed at the Marques de Riscal and IMHO not worth it. The hotel and rooms are dated. Better use of points is the Maria Cristina in San Sebastián. A wonderful town and amazing hotel.

    1. Tiffany

      @ Sam -- +1 Marques de Riscal felt like they had a hotel there almost by accident. Felt like they had a lovely winery, wanted a Gehry-designed building, and then thought "I guess we could make it a hotel." The fact that only a handful (like, maybe ten) of the rooms are actually in the swirly building, and the rest are in an adjacent building above the spa (and smell correspondingly of chlorine), says a lot.

  69. tda

    Big fan of the Waldorf Beverly Hills. Even their standard rooms are large and luxurious.

    A piece of advice: I’ve only ever seen accessible rooms with points availability, so make sure you check that box when searching award space.

  70. Alex

    Would be cool to do the same list for hotels that cannot be booked with points, good use of Citi 4th night free

Featured Comments Load all 72 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Michael R

The Bodrum Edition is just ok. The Mandarin Oriental is far superior with better rooms, service, views, beach, spa and gym. I stayed at both in October.

qofmiwok

I've never been impressed with an "aspirational" hotel. I think you should be more honest about how these types of redemptions are really best for people with high status. Otherwise you get the smallest, lousiest room in the hotel, and you get nickel and dimed to death. I'd much rather use a mid-level chain where you can be assured of getting a large room or suite, free breakfast and parking, etc.

Jason

We stayed at the Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali (got engaged there actually) and it was truly a magical place. The thoughtful layout of the resort, incredible local food and service, in addition to the scenary and spa has honestly set the bar for me that most places won't match. Need to try the Bulgari resort in Bali which may offer a similar experience. Only negative I would give Alila Uluwatu is the pricing for F&B compared to the rest of Bali but that's to be expected at a luxury resort of its calibre. Otherwise, it's STAGGERINGLY beautiful. Stay for at least two nights. I agree with one of the above commenters that Alila Seminyak is only ok. It's a great resort with wonderful service, but nothing compared to Alila Uluwatu. Stay in Seminyak at a private villa and visit the Alila's pool club instead during the day ;)

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