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Travel TPG’s guide to the best all-inclusive points resorts

19:26  28 may  2021
19:26  28 may  2021 Source:   thepointsguy.com

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a beach with palm trees and a pool of water © Provided by The Points Guy
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All-inclusive resorts make vacationing easy.

You book your lodging, show up and practically everything is included. You can have as much or as little food and drink as your heart desires — without signing the check at every meal.

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a plate of food on a picnic table: Al Maha Resort (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Al Maha Resort (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

In the past, all-inclusive properties may have gotten a bad rap for sacrificing quality in order to provide an all-inclusive experience while still turning a profit. And, for years, there weren’t many options to use points for an all-inclusive resort stay.

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Now, all that’s changing. While it’s still not a terribly large number, notable high-end properties around the world have made the entire experience all-inclusive or at least offer packages as an option for guests. And, large chains have made a play at all-inclusive properties, with Marriott making the most recent move by acquiring numerous properties across the Caribbean to convert them into Marriott-branded all-inclusive hotels.

All-inclusive points properties present a type of “Goldilocks” solution for picking a hotel: You get the traditional aspects of an all-inclusive hotel, with unlimited food, drink and more (depending on the property), but also can receive elite recognition and benefits (though those likely won’t go too far at a place where food and drinks are already included) and earn points for stays.

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On top of it all, you can use your hard-earned points for the all-inclusive accommodation, meaning, in theory, you could go on a trip for the cost of the flights (unless you use points for those, too, of course) and the taxis from the airport to the hotel and back, ultimately increasing the value of the hotel points you’ve earned.

a group of people swimming in a pool of water: (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Here’s a look at which all-inclusive points properties are worth saving up for — and how you can redeem to stay there.

World of Hyatt’s top all-inclusive contenders

Hyatt has a range of all-inclusive properties in its portfolio — from beach resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean to wellness retreats in Massachusetts. And, you can use points for all of them. Rates will vary by property but remember it’s easy to earn World of Hyatt points, especially because Chase Ultimate Rewards points, earned from cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.

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a large pool of water in front of a building: Miraval Berkshires (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Miraval Berkshires (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Alternatively, you could sign up for the World of Hyatt Credit Card, which is currently offering a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 bonus points: 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within your first three months from account opening, plus up to 30,000 more points by earning 2x bonus points total on purchases that normally earn 1x bonus point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening.

Alila Ventana Big Sur

Situated in one of North America’s most naturally beautiful locations, Alila Ventana Big Sur has become one of the crown jewels in Hyatt’s portfolio and just recently became an all-inclusive resort.

a long bridge over a body of water: Ventana Big Sur Meadow Pool (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy © The Points Guy Ventana Big Sur Meadow Pool (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

It is a Category 7 World of Hyatt property, so base rooms cost 30,000 points per night, though note that there are very few base rooms in this hotel, so you’ll likely pay more for a suite.

3 Miraval resorts across the US

Hyatt’s small but expanding lineup of Miraval wellness resorts has proved to be a popular option for redeeming World of Hyatt points. With properties in Tucson, Arizona; Austin, Texas and the Berkshires in Massachusetts, the Miraval brand provides a place to get away from the stresses of everyday life in abundant style. In addition to most food and beverage, you’ll get yoga, workout classes, meditations, hiking and more included in the price of entry.

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a bench next to a body of water: Miraval Austin. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Miraval Austin. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Speaking of the price, Miraval resorts don’t fit into the current World of Hyatt award chart. They’re priced separately at 45,000 points per night for single occupancy and a steep 65,000 per night for double occupancy. Often, though, rates exceed $1,000 per night, making this a solid use of points, especially considering what the experience is.

a house with a large pool of water: Miraval Berkshires. (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Miraval Berkshires. (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva in the Caribbean and Mexico

For a more “traditional” all-inclusive resort experience on the beach, look no further than Hyatt’s Ziva and Zilara brands. Often — but not always — co-located at the same spot, Ziva caters to families while Zilara is reserved for adults 18 years or older only.

a pool next to a body of water: Hyatt Ziva Cancun. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy) © Provided by The Points Guy Hyatt Ziva Cancun. (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

You’ll find family-friendly Ziva properties in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic; Rose Hall, Jamaica; Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Meanwhile, adults-only Zilara properties can be found in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic; Rose Hall, Jamaica; and Cancun, Mexico.

a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a table: Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Award nights at Ziva and Zilara hotels cost between 20,000 and 25,000 World of Hyatt points for double occupancy, and additional guests can be added at a rate of 10,000 or 12,500 points per night, all depending on which property you select.

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a group of palm trees next to a body of water: Hyatt Cap Cana in Punta Cana (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Hyatt Cap Cana in Punta Cana (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

A fantastic Dubai option and more Marriott all-inclusives on the way

Marriott’s long had one of the most-coveted points redemption for award travelers, which happens to be an all-inclusive property in the middle of the desert in the United Arab Emirates.

a house with a pool in front of a building: Al Maha Dubai. (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Al Maha Dubai. (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

But recently, it’s begun to expand its all-inclusive offering closer to home, buying up several properties in North and Central America to integrate into its portfolio.

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai

Like we mentioned above, Al Maha is one of the most desirable properties in Marriott’s entire portfolio, located just outside Dubai.

a living room with a bed and a mirror: A villa at Al Maha (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy A villa at Al Maha (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)

As you’d expect, it’s a top-tier Category 8 property in the Marriott Bonvoy award chart, meaning free nights will cost 70,000 during off-peak availability, 85,000 during standard and 100,000 during peak availability.

But, along with the price of your room, you’ll receive full board (meaning breakfast, lunch and dinner) and two desert activities.

a herd of cattle standing on top of a sandy beach: (Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy)

Children must be at least 10 years old, no upgrades are available at the all-villa property and finally, you’ll be charged a “tourism fee” of 20 AED (~$6) per night.

Marriott’s all-inclusives in the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica

In the past, Marriott has had a limited portfolio of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. One of the top options has long been the Westin Reserva Conchal, an All-Inclusive Golf Resort and Spa in Costa Rica. A Category 8 property, award nights cost either 70,000, 85,000 or 100,000 points per night, depending on the dates of your stay.

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water next to the ocean: The Westin Reserva Conchal in Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of Marriott) © The Points Guy The Westin Reserva Conchal in Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of Marriott)

Earlier this year, Marriott signed a deal that would increase its all-inclusive footprint dramatically, with the properties located in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua and Costa Rica. Some of the more notable additions include several Royalton properties in places like Cancun, Punta Cana, Montego Bay and St. Lucia.

a view of a swimming pool: The House Barbados, Now Part of Marriott (Photo courtesy of Elegant Hotels) © The Points Guy The House Barbados, Now Part of Marriott (Photo courtesy of Elegant Hotels)

The Barbados properties have been assigned a Category 8 rating, while other locations in Mexico and elsewhere have yet to be rated, though it’s a good bet they’ll also fit into the same category. Interestingly, the majority of these new resorts do show up on Marriott’s website for booking, but if they’re not fully integrated into Marriott’s systems, you’ll be brought to the individual property’s website to book in cash.

10 Hilton all-inclusive offerings

Hilton has a small portfolio of 10 all-inclusive properties in locations all around the world. In addition to hotels in expected all-inclusive destinations like the Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-Inclusive Resort Hotel; the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Jamaica; Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Only Resort in the Dominican Republic; and the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort, Hilton has all-inclusive properties in destinations much further afield, like the DoubleTree by Hilton Bodrum Isil Club Resort in Turkey and the Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort in Egypt.

a large lawn in front of a pool of water: Hilton Rose Hall Resort Jamaica (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Hilton Rose Hall Resort Jamaica (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Since Hilton doesn’t maintain a fixed-rate award chart, be aware that points rates can change dramatically from night to night, so be sure to take advantage of Hilton Honors‘ flexible dates option to find times with more agreeable rates. Also, note that free-night certificates earned with certain Hilton cobranded credit cards, including the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card.

Countries most dependent on tourism

  Countries most dependent on tourism Stacker consulted the World Bank’s TCdata360 database released in 2020 to rank the countries most dependent on tourism.

The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

a group of people swimming in a pool of water: Hilton Playa del Carmen. (Photo by Madison Blancaflor/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Hilton Playa del Carmen. (Photo by Madison Blancaflor/The Points Guy)

This is why you need Choice Privileges points

An often-overlooked program, Choice Hotels has a number of all-inclusive properties in very desirable destinations around the Caribbean and Central America at which you can redeem your Privileges points.

a bedroom with a large bed in a hotel room: (Photo courtesy of Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay Jamaica/Facebook) © The Points Guy (Photo courtesy of Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay Jamaica/Facebook)

Choice has numerous properties in Mexico, including in areas like Cancun, Tulum, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and more. Elsewhere, you can book an all-inclusive stay at resorts like the Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay in Jamaica; Secrets St. Martin Resort and Spa; Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa and Casino; Zoetry Agua Punta Cana and more.

a house with a pool in front of a building: (Photo courtesy of Zoetry Agua Punta Cana/Facebook) © The Points Guy (Photo courtesy of Zoetry Agua Punta Cana/Facebook)

The majority of these properties fall under the brand’s Ascend Hotel Collection and award nights start from 25,000 Privileges points but can increase significantly from there.

Bottom line

More than any point in recent memory, the major hotel chains are getting in on the all-inclusive resort party. This is great news for anyone sitting on hotel points, as the inclusion of food and drinks (as well as other activities) in the award rate stretches your points much further and means you can outlay very little cash on your next vacation.

Featured image of the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Hyatt

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Countries most dependent on tourism .
Stacker consulted the World Bank’s TCdata360 database released in 2020 to rank the countries most dependent on tourism.

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