13 Points Hotels I Hope To Stay At

Filed Under: Hotels

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 very 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 them towards a stay.

So in this post I wanted to share 13 awesome points hotels that I look forward to staying at. In no particular order:

Waldorf Astoria Maldives

This hotel has just opened, and is arguably the most aspirational Hilton property yet. It remains to be seen if it lives up to the hype, but it is 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)

Las Alcobas Napa Valley

I’ve never been to Napa Valley before, and Las Alcobas is a Marriott Luxury Collection hotel that looks really gorgeous.

Booking with points: 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (how to earn Marriott Bonvoy points)

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 nowadays so I’d rather go 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: 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Ventana Big Sur

With Hyatt’s recent acquisition of Alila, they’ve picked up a bunch of awesome new luxury hotels. One of those is Ventana Big Sur, which is an incredible coastal California hotel. This is a hotel I’ve been wanting to stay at even before Hyatt’s acquisition, so the fact that it can now be booked with points is awesome.

Booking with points: 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night (how to earn World of Hyatt points)

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. The newest St. Regis is in Hong Kong, and I am hoping to stay there soon.

Booking with points: 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Alila Jabal Akhdar

Much like with Ventana Big Sur, this hotel is also joining World of Hyatt as part of their acquisition of Alila. This is a hotel in Oman that I’ve heard great things about, and could be a good side trip the next time I find myself in the UAE or in Muscat. Note that this hotel only joins World of Hyatt on July 15, 2019.

Booking with points: 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night

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: 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

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

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: 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is without a doubt the best points hotel in LA, based on everything I’ve heard. I’d like to check the hotel out for myself, since the LA-area historically has a lack of decent points properties.

Booking with points: 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night

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: 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

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 last I heard the hotel is expected to open before the end of the year. Hopefully that actually happens, as it has already been delayed by years.

Once the hotel opens it should be impressive… hopefully.

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. So 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.

Equally interesting is how the hotel always pretends they’re on the verge of opening. For example, in early June the hotel’s website said they were opening in June, and then at the end of June the opening got pushed back to September.

At this point it’s a race between the 737 MAX and St. Regis Cairo to see which is operational first.

Which points hotels do you most want to stay at?

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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..

  6. 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.

  7. @ 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.

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

  9. @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

  10. @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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. @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?”

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. @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.

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

    Their personal attention is truly superb.

  30. @ 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).

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. @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.

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