Travel TPG’s guide to the best all-inclusive points resorts
3 reasons I want to splurge on this aspirational hotel redemption — and 4 reasons I may pass
From the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi to the Park Hyatt Sydney, you can use hotel points to unlock many excellent hotels. One of the aspirational hotels high-up on many award travelers’ lists is Marriott’s Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa outside of Dubai. TPG contributor Ethan Steinberg went so far as to …TPG contributor Ethan Steinberg went so far as to say Al Maha Resort is the best value Marriott award redemption. TPG’s Ariana Arghandewal listed an upcoming trip to Al Maha as one of the reasons she finally caved and got the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex card.
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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In the past,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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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. Citi is a TPG advertising partner. Travel rewards credit cards entice new cardholders with flashy sign-up bonuses and waived annual fees during the first year. However, many of the premium rewards cards on the market also offer ongoing travel benefits. These perks include not only things …Travel rewards credit cards entice new cardholders with flashy sign-up bonuses and waived annual fees during the first year. However, many of the premium rewards cards on the market also offer ongoing travel benefits.
Now, all that’s changing. While it’s still not a terribly large number, notablearound 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 , 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.
Here’s a look at which all-inclusive points properties are worth saving up for — and.
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, earned from cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.
How to save on your next trip to Cancun with points and miles
Cancun is one of the most popular spots for a quick beach getaway. Not only is it easily accessible from the U.S., but it’s also an extremely award-friendly destination. All of the major U.S. carriers offer nonstop flights to Cancun and all of the major hotel chains have a presence there. Plus, many of the …It’s an even more desirable destination now as there are no restrictions or requirements to enter Mexico at this time. All you’ll need is a negative COVID-19 test to re-enter the U.S., but most resorts can assist you with this. However, as a result, cash rates have gone up. Luckily, points and miles can come to the rescue and help you book your vacation for little out of pocket.
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,has become one of the crown jewels in Hyatt’s portfolio and just recently became an all-inclusive resort.
It is a Category 7property, 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 and the , 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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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.
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.
You’ll find family-friendly Ziva properties in; Rose Hall, Jamaica; , and . Meanwhile, adults-only Zilara properties can be found in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic; ; and Cancun, Mexico.
Award nights at Ziva and Zilara hotels cost between 20,000 and 25,000points 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 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.
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 , located just outside .
As you’d expect, it’s a top-tier Category 8 property in theaward 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.
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 thein 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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Earlier this year, Marriott signed a deal that wouldwith the properties located in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, , 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.
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 thethe 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 Isil Club Resort in Turkey and the Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort in Egypt.
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‘ 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
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.
This is why you need Choice Privileges points
An often-overlooked program,has a number of all-inclusive properties in very desirable destinations around the Caribbean and Central America at which you can redeem your .
Choice has numerous properties in Mexico, including in areas like Cancun,, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, , 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.
The majority of these properties fall under the brand’s Ascend Hotel Collection and award nights start from 25,000points but can increase significantly from there.
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
SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.
And when you do spend on dining, you should use aand potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
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.