Interesting Opportunity To Redeem Points At Alila Ventana Big Sur

Filed Under: Hotel Deals, Hyatt

There’s an interesting opportunity to redeem points at my favorite US points hotel — it’s not an “amazing” deal for most, but I do think it’s worth being aware of, for those who have been wanting to visit.

Ventana Big Sur is one of my favorite points hotels

Several months ago I stayed at Alila Ventana Big Sur. This property is a fairly new addition to World of Hyatt, and came as the Alila brand joined World of Hyatt in 2019. This is a Category 7 property, so I redeemed 30,000 points per night here.

Hot tub at Ventana Big Sur

I can’t even begin to say how much I enjoyed Big Sur. The hotel as such is nice, but what really blew me away was how gorgeous Big Sur is. It’s one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been, and it’s hard to believe it’s so close to some major cities.

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, California

I’ll take it a step further — I think Big Sur is a fantastic place to go once you’re comfortable traveling again. It’s all about the outdoors — you do a lot of driving and a lot of hiking, the hotel’s restaurant has outdoor seating, etc. You could easily travel here while being fairly responsible, especially when you consider that it’s driving distance from many places on the West Coast.

Dining at Ventana Big Sur

Do note that the hotel is closed through mid-June as of now, and that has the potential to be extended. That being said, you can always plan a trip there for this coming fall or winter.

Redeeming points at Ventana Big Sur

While you can redeem 30,000 points per night for a stay at Ventana Big Sur, the reality is that there’s often not points availability, as standard rooms tend to sell out way in advance.

One of the cool things about Hyatt is that you can redeem points for suites as well. For Category 7 properties:

  • A standard room costs 30,000 points per night
  • A standard suite costs 48,000 points per night
  • A premium suite costs 60,000 points per night

Usually you have to call to book suites, but the Hyatt app is showing points availability for suites at Alila Ventana Big Sur as well. This can be a good opportunity because often you’ll find there’s no award availability for a standard room, but there is for a suite.

You can redeem 48,000 points per night for a Big Sur Suite, which is the standard suite.

Most interesting is that you can choose from several different options when booking a premium suite.

Many hotels restrict you to just one suite type for premium suites, while this property gives you several options. You can redeem 60,000 points per night for all the way up to a Vista Hot Tub Suite, which often retails for $2,500+ per night. This is a very premium suite.

While the rate shows as “confidential,” when you click “book” the correct points requirement will show.

Bottom line

Obviously redeeming 48,000-60,000 World of Hyatt points per night is a lot, though I suspect this may still interest some. A lot of readers have expressed interest in going to Alila Ventana Big Sur, but pointed out the lack of award availability, so this is an option for those people.

Keep in mind that World of Hyatt is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, so there are lots of ways to earn these points.

If you’re going to redeem for a premium suite, at least you have your choice of many suites.

Ventana Big Sur is also a great place to go in terms of maximizing social distancing and being as responsible as possible, given that many people can drive there, it’s all about the outdoors, rooms are all along outside corridors, etc.

Anyone plan to redeem points for a suite at Alila Ventana Big Sur?

(Tip of the hat to steveholt)

  1. My wife and I are booked here for 2 nights in late July at the basic 30k level (a late replacement for the Italy trip we canceled). We chose this for the exact reasons in this post: we can drive there in 5 hours, and it seems like as good of a place for social distancing as can be expected.

    Thanks for this post—not necessarily planning on upgrading to a suite, but good to know if that changes.

    I’m cautiously optimistic we will be able to go, and I’ll report back if so.

  2. Nice to have options but better deal is paying with pts and using TSU to the Big Sur suite.

  3. Selfishly not happy that you are publicizing this.
    Big Sur and the Ventana Inn are special places, that I have been visiting for over 40 years and they have been overrun in recent years by the Instagram crowds.
    I want to be able to visit there (on points of course) without competing with the worldwide points gang too.

  4. @JohnnyBoy

    Rest assured, there are many who thinks Big Sur is overpriced and overrated. But then again, overpriced and overrated can pretty much apply to NorCal too.

  5. My wife and I booked in a Big Sur Suite on points for mid-July after reading your review as a replacement for a San Francisco trip given COVID. Hopefully they open.

  6. They recently extended their shutdown dates through to July. I had a speculative reservation for the last weekend of June but the hotel cancelled it two days ago.

    I don’t blame them for being safe, and it must be challenging to decide when to reopen. Hopefully by late July they’ll be receiving guests again.

  7. I live in Los Angeles and this is my first travel plan as soon as California opens up since I can drive there. I won’t be booking however until the stay at home order is lifted. As long as restaurants are closed I don’t imagine it would be easy to travel here, and California keeps extending the order. As a physician I’m happy about it but as a traveler I’m going nuts!

  8. I’ve never stayed there but have had dinner and it’s great. I was camping near by and since it was a good friend’s birthday who was out with his 4 year old daughter from Minnesota, we decided that though we are all good cooks and eating well campfire side that we shouldn’t miss out on a fab dinner. The service was great as was the food. My friends 4 year old is very well behaved so we knew she would be appropriate and they treated her like a princess (but smart to put us away from others since they didn’t know her). Hope to stay there soon and Big Sur is just shockingly amazing. I’m still surprised it’s not a national park and just a lowly state park.

  9. Thank! I have a TSU but not sure I want to Year it.

    Ben, since you’ve been there, would you prefer a room with the best view or a base suite with the average view for those suites?

    Also, it looks like the suites are large junior suites as opposed to truly separate living and sleeping areas (with a door in between). True?

    Stay safe!

  10. I booked two nights at Ventana using points in October. Big Sur is pure magic and i agree that the booking process for standard rooms can be frustrating.

    Interesting strategy using premium bookings to open up availability since they are sold out of standard point bookings until November. I would do it in a heartbeat.

  11. Suite sounds nice but still can’t justify that cost. King room would be fine because there are still public pools but if the resort does open, I assume those would still be closed due to social distancing? I know no one has an answer for that right now but I can’t justify booking early not knowing that. Otherwise, the 30,000 rate is actually a good deal – at least 2 cents per point.

  12. No one pays resort fees when booking on points. Also something i didnt remember seeing in Lucky’s review was that the resort has a fleet of Volvo SUVs that will take you anywhere in the area. They will pick you up and drop you off anywhere near the hotel in Big Sur (post ranch, Nepenthe, Deetjen’s, etc). I went in February after seeing Ben’s review and hotel was not crowded at all and we were upgraded to a suite and i had no hyatt status.

  13. Gorgeous place. We didn’t stay, stayed in Monterey, but had cocktails at the bar and it was magnificent. I would definitely try this if possible. It’s so peaceful.

  14. This is a fine example of why I’ve never been very interested in luxury property points redemptions. In this case, yes booking a suite for 48,000 points would appear to present a “value” of over 2.5 cents/point/night. However, there are numerous short-term rental properties in Carmel for $350/night or under, including carriage houses and full apartments. In many cases, these properties would be preferable to me in terms of dining and activities options. Given these options, the “value-to-me” of this stay is less than 1 cent/point.

    Of course, you could say, “You are a fool – this is a very special luxury resort and you are comparing apples to oranges.” Indeed, I am only basing this analysis on my own preferences.

  15. Is anyone else having trouble actually booking these ‘Confidential’ rates? I see them show up on the mobile app, but not on their website. When I click book on the mobile app, I get an error message that says “System Outage”. While it could be because I don’t have enough points in my account yet (don’t want to transfer points over from Chase yet until I know I they are real), I find it strange that availability is only showing up on the mobile app. Guess I could call but wondering if anyone else has seen this happen?

  16. Called and they are showing inventory over the phone, just not on their website apparently.

  17. Update if anyone scrolls down this far: Calling Hyatt right now to book on points and they re-routed me to the all-inclusive line.

    Looks like anyone who was able to book on 30k points set for their re-opening is getting an even better deal since the points price is increasing! FYI for anyone looking to book, earliest dates available for a 30k redemption is in November

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