Kontiki Expeditions: SLH’s First Water-Based Member (Earn Hyatt Points)

Kontiki Expeditions: SLH’s First Water-Based Member (Earn Hyatt Points)

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In late 2020 I wrote about an intriguing new concept, even if it’s not something most of us are likely to ever book. It has just become more interesting, as you can now earn (but not redeem) World of Hyatt points for this experience.

What is Small Luxury Hotels of the World?

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is a collection of over 500 boutique hotels around the world. What differentiates SLH from many of the other major hotel groups is that SLH doesn’t manage any properties directly, but rather it essentially acts as a marketing and sales platform for a community of independent hotels.

SLH also has a partnership with World of Hyatt, whereby World of Hyatt members can earn and redeem points, and receive some perks, for stays at select properties. However, not all SLH properties participate in this partnership.

Kontiki Expeditions yacht joins SLH

Kontiki Expeditions has become the first water-based member of SLH, as the company will offer yachting experiences off the coast of Ecuador.

The first Kontiki Expeditions yacht, Kontiki Wayra, is scheduled to start sailing as of August 8, 2021. The 128-foot yacht will have nine staterooms, and will offer two different week-long itineraries.

Kontiki Wayra exterior


Kontiki Wayra exterior

As it’s described, “Kontiki will transport guests to untouristed areas in Ecuador to explore and celebrate the indigenous cultures within a context of wellness.”

The experiences will feature 10 crew members and two local experts. The crew will include wellness professionals, naturalist guides, and a local chef.

The yacht will feature a sundeck, gourmet salon, two outdoor lounges, a bar, a jacuzzi, and a gym and fitness area.


Kontiki Wayra deck


Kontiki Wayra jacuzzi


Kontiki Wayra deck


Kontiki Wayra deck


Kontiki Wayra indoor dining room


Kontiki Wayra indoor lounge


Kontiki Wayra guest room


Kontiki Wayra guest room


Kontiki Wayra bathroom

Kontiki Expeditions joins World of Hyatt

As of July 15, 2021, Kontiki Expeditions has joined World of Hyatt through the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collaboration. Unfortunately this is a “property” where you can only earn World of Hyatt points, and not actually redeem World of Hyatt points, but that’s still a pretty awesome opportunity.

Why does this have potential (keep in mind you have to book directly through Hyatt to receive these perks)?

This isn’t the only cruise for which you can earn World of Hyatt points. Hyatt and Lindblad Expeditions also have a partnership, allowing you to earn and redeem points for some pretty epic cruises.

How expensive are Kontiki Expeditions cruises?

Pricing for the experience begins at a bit over $1,000 per person per day, based on double occupancy. This includes all activities, meals, transfers to and from ports, park entrance fees, guided expeditions, and more.

Looking at pricing, I am a bit surprised by the lack of price difference between rooms. For example, a room with a veranda is only about 10% more expensive than a room with portholes. Also, that’s a really nice looking bathroom for a yacht…

Why I find this “yacht” concept to be intriguing

I’m not writing about this because I’m ready to go on a cruise, or because I’m thinking “what a deal, y’all should hop on this $15K week-long cruise.”

Rather I’m writing about this because I find the concept to be a fascinating extension of what we typically see from hotel groups:

  • There’s often not much middle ground between a cruise ship with hundreds or thousands of guests, and a private yacht charter that costs $100K+ for a week
  • While there are some shared yacht charter concepts out there, they’re typically not very well marketed, it can be tough to figure out the details, and they typically can’t be booked this easily
  • As far as semi-private yachting goes, the price for this experience actually doesn’t sound that bad, especially given how nice the ship looks (though I’m almost surprised how much they’re able to fit on a ship that’s “just” 128 feet long)

Bottom line

Kontiki Expeditions has become the first water-based member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and has now also joined the World of Hyatt partnership. It’s interesting to have a yacht with under 10 rooms join a major hotel marketing group, and even cooler to see that you can now earn World of Hyatt points for this experience.

This is definitely more of a niche option, but for those into luxury cruising, it’s worth being aware of…

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  1. Marcel Guest

    Hi Andrew,

    I know you were skeptical, but now the yacht is in the water. I was on board in April. Loved it, not because of the luxury though... (it was there). Because of the experiences, the expedition itself unveils worlds best cocoa beans, beautiful beaches, UNESCO heritage hats made of toquilla straw, untapped flavours of Ecuadorean ceviche and so much more... truly a once in a lifetime experiencew.

  2. Andrew Guest

    Superficial, but the whole "it's a CG render of a yacht" makes me think this is an idea not ready for market. The model home idea is not always the same as reality. (Having been on a cruise in Ecuador before, it was not this. ;-)

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Marcel Guest

Hi Andrew, I know you were skeptical, but now the yacht is in the water. I was on board in April. Loved it, not because of the luxury though... (it was there). Because of the experiences, the expedition itself unveils worlds best cocoa beans, beautiful beaches, UNESCO heritage hats made of toquilla straw, untapped flavours of Ecuadorean ceviche and so much more... truly a once in a lifetime experiencew.

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Andrew Guest

Superficial, but the whole "it's a CG render of a yacht" makes me think this is an idea not ready for market. The model home idea is not always the same as reality. (Having been on a cruise in Ecuador before, it was not this. ;-)

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