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In the past four days, Hyatt has announced the opening of two properties that are new to the World of Hyatt program, and with both properties belonging to the upscale Alila brand and with both properties located in my home state of California, this is news that I’m genuinely excited about.
Alila Napa Valley
The Alila Napa Valley was once a property called Las Alcobas which sat within Marriott’s ‘Luxury Collection. Las Alcobas closed its doors and left Marriott in the second half of last year and it has since undergone some work (nothing major) before reopening its doors on 15 March as part of Hyatt’s Alila portfolio.
The 68-room hotel is surrounded by the vineyards of the Beringer Estate in St Helena and is partly built around a stately, Georgian-style guesthouse that was originally constructed in 1907 and which is now used to house the restaurant, bar, and seven guest rooms.
The property has reopened as an “adults-only retreat” and is promising to offer “personalized hospitality” as well as an “exclusive, curated and truly luxury travel experience”.
The Alila Napa Valley’s rooms all come with automation controls, marble bathrooms, custom-designed furniture, oversized balconies (or wrap-around terraces), and fireplaces. Some rooms also offer an outdoor bathtub.
The Alila Napa Valley features a newly rebranded Spa Alila located within a contemporary farmhouse which includes a lap pool, steam room, and a couples massage suite, a fitness center (complete with various wellness offerings such as daily yoga classes, creative fitness programming, and complimentary bicycles), an outdoor pool that overlooks adjacent vineyards, as well as what Hyatt describes as a “seasonally driven restaurant and bar” (Acacia House). The dining area offers a half horseshoe-shaped bar for sipping and tastings as well as indoor and outdoor seating on a covered terrace with “towering columns”.
Unsurprisingly, rooms at the Alila Napa Valley don’t come cheap – a 3-night stay between 8 and 11 September is currently pricing up at $768.10 taxes and fees per night ($2,658 for the whole stay)…
…but when the property can be booked for 30,000 points/night (for the same dates as mentioned above)…
…I don’t think that there will be too many World of Hyatt fans complaining.
Given the choice of spending 90,000 points or $2,658, I know which option I’d go for!
Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas
As its name suggests, the Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is located in the Southern California coastal town of Encinitas (a little south of Carlsbad and around 30 miles north of San Diego).
The property is a new-build and it opened its doors just two days ago (17 March) after almost two decades (yes, you read that correctly) of development – I’m going to go ahead and guess that there may have been one or two planning issues down the years.
The Alila Marea Beach Resort offers 130 rooms made up of 114 guestrooms, 9 studio rooms, 5 one-bedroom suites, and the Ponto and Grandview presidential suites, and all rooms offer coastal or garden views. The majority of rooms are also said to feature a balcony or patio and many include a private fire pit.
The Ponto and Grandview presidential suites are 1,037 square feet each and offer floor-to-ceiling windows with direct views of the Batiquitos Lagoon and the Pacific Ocean. Guests will enjoy a double-sided fireplace that opens up to an outdoor living space on the patio or balcony, a living room, a separate bedroom, and a large bathroom with dual vanities and a deep soaking tub.
The property is home to VAGA (a restaurant & bar) which is the resort’s signature dining destination offering locally influenced dishes alongside views of the seaside bluffs and an exhibition kitchen.
The Pocket is the resort’s pool deck with ocean views and food and beverage offerings centered on dishes from Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. Menu highlights include tacos, sushi, and local fish complemented by light craft cocktails.
The Alila’s Spa offers five treatment rooms, separate men’s and women’s saunas, and a relaxation space. Guests can enjoy “signature treatments that feature the curative benefits of all-natural ingredients for the ultimate pampering and rejuvenation”, facials will incorporate luxury products by Maya Chia and Dr. Dennis Gross, while body treatments will feature the local, aromatherapy-based Body Bliss line.
If all of that sounds like something you’d like to enjoy you’re probably wondering how much this all costs and, just as we saw with the Alila Napa Valley, the rooms at the Alila Marea Beach Resort aren’t exactly cheap.
I’ve seen room rates at over $700/night + taxes and fees and a 2-night stay between 1 and 3 October is currently pricing up at $587.88 + taxes and fees per night ($1,403 for the whole stay):
The good news is that the property can be booked for 25,000 points/night (for the same dates as mentioned above)…
…and that means that this could make the Alila Marea Beach Resort another great location at which to burn World of Hyatt points.
BEWARE: One disappointing aspect of this property that has to be mentioned is that it has chosen to charge a rip-off $49/night “resort fee” which is far from obvious when you first take a look at the property’s webpage. Even though this fee would be waived for World of Hyatt members redeeming points, it’s not waived for members paying a cash regular rate.
Speaking personally, I’ll definitely stay here if I’m paying with points and I can have the resort fees expunged from my bill, but I will not be staying here when the resort fee is charged.
Hyatt may not have as big a global footprint as the likes of Marriott, Hilton, and IHG but the more I look into its portfolio of properties, the more I think that the World of Hyatt has more properties that I’m genuinely excited to try out than any of the other hotel programs. The recent additions of the Alila Marea Beach Resort and the Alila Napa Valley to the World of Hyatt just reinforces that belief and I can’t wait to try them out (as long as I don’t have to pay a resort fee!)