Alila Ventana Big Sur Awards Nights Now Wide Open

Filed Under: Hotel Deals, Hyatt

There’s suddenly lots of free night availability with points at what’s probably my favorite Hyatt property in the US.

Ventana Big Sur is one of my favorite points hotels

About a year ago I stayed at Alila Ventana Big Sur. This property is a fairly new addition to World of Hyatt, and was added 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 pretty ideal destination if you plan on traveling during these times. Big Sur is all about the outdoors, as you do a lot of driving and a lot of hiking, the hotel’s restaurant has outdoor seating, etc.

Dining at Ventana Big Sur

As of June 2020, Ventana Big Sur became all inclusive, so rates include three meals per day. While the rate when paying cash increased, amazingly enough the hotel still only costs 30,000 points per night.

Lots of points availability at Ventana Big Sur

As mentioned above, Ventana Big Sur is a Category 7 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a free night redemption costs the following amounts, depending on the type of room you want to redeem for:

  • 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

The catch is that historically finding “standard” rooms here has been extremely challenging. That has just changed — it seems that Ventana Big Sur has recategorized its base rooms:

  • Previously the base room was a “1 King Bed” room, but there seemed to be very little availability for this room type
  • Now the base room is a “1 King Bed with Fireplace,” and there’s lots of availability for this room type

Previously I saw very little base room availability at this hotel with points over the next several months, while now I see points availability for a standard room for most dates. Note that there’s often a three night minimum stay for points redemptions, so if you don’t see availability, it might be because your stay is too short.

You can redeem just 30,000 points per night here…

…when a standard room would sometimes cost well over $2,000 per night.

Of course you can also redeem for a standard suite or a premium suite, if you prefer (though you could also use a Globalist suite upgrade award to lock in a standard suite when redeeming points for a base room).

Bottom line

Alila Ventana Big Sur seems to have recently recategorized its rooms, and award availability for base rooms is now wide open. Previously it could be tough to find dates with standard room availability, so this is awesome.

Redeeming just 30,000 points per night here is such a phenomenal value when you consider that this property now includes three meals per day (and more) even when redeeming points.

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

Anyone able to take advantage of this additional Ventana Big Sur award availability?

  1. @ Stvr — You can literally book this over the next 12 months, there’s no need to travel right now, and I think all of us hope that things will be better several months down the road, thanks to promising vaccine news.

    And if you’re trying to make a point about what one should or shouldn’t do in California, I think specifically referencing the governor might not be the best way to convey that, given that he also said we shouldn’t be having indoor meals with many households…

  2. @Stvr
    This is a travel blog…so you can feel free to avoid reading it if you have already committed yourself to not traveling.

  3. @ben
    thank you for your blog and your ongoing effort to help us. My wife and I were able to stay at the Hot Tub Suite at Ventana Big Sur back in August 2020 for 45,000 points per night (after rebate).

    haha i was going to say the same thing

  4. Please stop posting about this hotel, its too good right now and as soon as the masses figure out this is the best use for Chase points it will be 100k points a night haha.

  5. I just came back from a 4 nights stay there, and it was indeed truly amazing. We had one of the standard Big Sur Suite – just a little irked that they name those suites, since they really aren’t (more like junior suites since there is no separate bedrooms). But agree that this is a wonderful property, the staff is incredible, great food (with stunning views), etc.

    Those cash rates are SO obnoxious though. Maybe it’s because it’s the only option along with the Post Ranch Inn across the street. And since construction is not allowed anymore in that area, I guess that they just can. We had a really interesting discussion one evening with the person that Hyatt sent over to manage things there. Despite our stay being during the week and not even the weekend, she said they only had 2-3 rooms available, and that redemptions through Hyatt points have been hugely popular.

  6. Gov. Newsom has set a high standard for Californians. Wear your mask indoors, wear it outdoors, wear it to bed, and when you’re eating, wear it between bites. Unless of course you’re meeting 12 lobbyists at the French Laundry.

  7. I agree with your assessment of Big Sur. As a native Californian, I can attest to the fact that you can thank the voters of California (Prop 20) and the establishment of the California Coastal Commission back in the early ‘70s for preserving the pristine coastline of Big Sur as well as other coastal lands. I make the drive through there a couple times a year and it’s like stepping back in time. It never ceases to amaze me.

  8. @Stvr
    Your governor (I didn’t vote for him. That’s how it works, right?) is also a virtue signalling slimebag who got caught dining indoors at the French Laundry with 12+ lobbyist buddies, then has the audacity to declare a curfew a few days later on the little people. Your governor’s administration is also spending loads of money on California tourism ads. Strange if they didn’t want people visiting. So keep your stupid virtue signalling to yourself, and go back to your parents basement where your little safe space is.

  9. What is the optimal amount of time to spend here? It seems like there are a lot of included activities as well (yoga, meditation, tai chi, spa, etc). I would want to experience those while also getting to explore Big Sur a bit, but also not feeling rushed at any point. 3 days seems too short, no?

  10. Three days worked fine for us. Activities were thinly attended. It’s not like Miraval. We thought we’d be off property everyday, visiting local parks but it was so comfortable at Ventana in terms of COVID-related security, that we were very content to hike around the property. It felt a lot like a private preserve.

    Food was delicious too.

  11. Thank god for award points as I would have never splurged at over $1300 a night. I am way too cheap for Cali spiritual retreats.

  12. Book now and plan ahead as far as you can for the obvious; this time next year everyone and their mother will shell out whatever the cost to get out of the house.

  13. Thanks Lucky! 3 nights booked with a suite upgrade for birthday next year. Californians, so this is our back up plan if Park Hyatt New York doesn’t work out and Napa is shut down.

  14. In my opinion, this is the best single redemption option in World of Hyatt wordwide! Big Sur is one of nature’s crown jewels, and then you add in a comfy luxury hotel with free gourmet food? And no $2000/night price tag? Um – yes please!

    My partner and I went there in July and had an amazing time (60,000/night for spa suite) and can’t wait to come back again! The falconry experience was amazing too.

    And now it is even better with a wide choice of dates and standard room award availability. Plus, with applying a Globalist suite upgrade, this is a slam dunk. Anyone with Hyatt points and the ability to be in California should definitely jump on this! Going there for my birthday in March for 6 nights

  15. Lucky,
    Thanks for clarifying what Governor Gavin really said after he was either caught 1.) With his pants down… or 2.) Wearing no clothes…
    You really parced his words to where it should be all clear to all of us. Except he wasn’t within a household. He was within a business; probably an LLC; kinda complicates things.
    Lucky, there are times when you should take this advice…
    1. When you don’t see a receiver open, throw it out of bounds.
    2. When their best hitter is up, and first base is open… walk him.
    3. When you hold a plethora of Exxon shares, do not double down, but instead invest in Green energy alternatives.
    4. When your meet a guy named Harvey Weinstein, do not invest in his latest movie.
    5. Do not follow this guy, John Edwards, if you want to get ahead in DC.

    The next time you try to venture into the swamp of justifying the deeds of the elite, you will look as stupid as your pathetic, weak explanation of his mea culpa. Where is Saturday Night Live??? There is so much material here that should be red meat for comedy writers that are hired for that show. Where are they?

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