Alila Ventana Big Sur Suite: $3500/Night All-Inclusive Stay for FREE

Stay at the beautiful Alila Ventana Big Sur for Free!

Back in 2018, when I started getting into the hobby of credit card points and miles, I had heard about an extremely sought after property in Big Sur, California that was very difficult to book using points. So when the chance to book a stay presented itself, I took the opportunity to gift my Mum the perfect birthday getaway during a busy 4th of July week,

Finding Reward Space

With Alila Ventana, you have to start looking for next year – today. Accordingly, I started searching for standard room award space September of 2022 for a stay in July 2023. I leveraged the online search tool MaxMyPoint (not affiliated – but a great search tool to find any hotel award space).

You can sign up for their notification tracker for more real time alerts. I was specifically looking for the 4th of July week and standard reward opened up sometime in October and I secured two nights at base rate for a total of 85K World of Hyatt Points (which I transferred over from my Chase UR Account). Given the stay is all-inclusive, there were no other out of pocket charges (alcohol not included).

I called my Hyatt Concierge (a perk of being a Hyatt Globalist status holder) and let them know the stay was going to be a Guest of Honor stay (another perk) for my parents and that it was to celebrate my Mom’s 52nd birthday. I also requested an upgrade but it was subject to availability.

The Big Sur Suite

Since my parents were staying as Guests of Honor, all my Globalist benefits applied to them including early check-in, late check-out (both subject to availability), free parking on award stays and suite upgrades. 7 days prior to check-in, the hotel emailed them about meal preferences and any dietary restrictions to best cater to their needs.

Upon check-in, they were upgraded to the Big Sur Suite, provided with an in-house bottle of red wine and informed of all the activities on property.

Needless to say both the suite and property itself were amazing and nothing like something they had experienced before. They were in Big Sur surrounded by large redwood trees – native to California and it felt very peaceful.

The same room would’ve costed almost $7000 for the two night stay netting a whopping 8.1CPP redemption of my Chase points.

The Experience

There will always be a group that would say they’d never stay here or pay that much for a hotel room as it isn’t worth it but I will say this property is more of an experience that is rare. If you look at their availability, this property is pretty much sold out every weekend due to its location, being adult-only and the experience it offers at a price many are willing to pay. I’d personally not pay $7K to stay here but being able to gift an experience unlike any other to my parents for 85K was a no-brainer and after their stay – I proceeded to book another 2 night stay for 90K points for myself (more on that in a future article).

Every meal they had was like eating at a Michelin Star restaurant and even though my mom is strictly vegetarian, they were able to amaze her with a variety of dishes (although I wish they also made something Indian).

Given that it was a birthday stay, the staff went above an beyond to cater to their every need and also left personalized notes for them during their stay and presented an new birthday themed desert every evening.

What are you waiting for?

I’d highly recommend staying here to celebrate a special occasion like your honeymoon, anniversary or birthday especially if you are able to find standard award space – which can be difficult to find. The next best option is booking the standard suites at 66K points per night but even then you get a lot for your points and the experience is unforgettable.

If you do not have enough points, consider getting the World of Hyatt Credit card in addition to the Chase suite of cards to bolster your points balance. You can also learn more about how I redeemed my points for over $11,000 of free hotel stays in 2022.

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