Last week, One Mile at a Time wrote “AMAZING: Redeem Hyatt Points At $2,350+ Per Night Nicaraguan Private Island.” This got my attention. Calala Island is an all-inclusive resort that is part of SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of the World). SLH, meanwhile, partners with Hyatt on some, but not all of their properties. Over time, the partnership has steadily added more and more member hotels (you can find info and an up-to-date list here). With participating Hyatt+SLH hotels, Hyatt members can earn Hyatt points on paid stays or can use Hyatt points for reward stays.
I previously wrote about why I was excited about the Hyatt/SLH partnership here: On my mind (Hyatt & Small Luxury Hotels of the World edition). And Nick described his positive experience with the partnership here: Stay in a castle with Hyatt points (SLH is a nice win after all)
So, I was already excited about the Hyatt/SLH partnership, but Calala Island brings things to a whole new level. It is a tiny private island all-inclusive resort with only four rooms: 3 junior suites and 1 master suite.
Paid prices for junior suites start at $1,650, but with Hyatt points it’s possible to snag these same rooms for 40,000 points per night. That’s a fantastic value. Whether you book with points or cash, it appears that everything is included. The following is quoted directly from the resort’s website:
A term not used lightly here at Calala Island, virtually everything is included in our rates. From a morning mimosa (or three) through to an evening digestif before bed (our bar only closes when the last guest is asleep!). From casual, pool-side dining to formal evening tasting menus (our Executive Chef will cater to your tastes and you choose where to dine). And not to mention all the boring things like internal transfers and taxes. And the fun stuff from fishing to snorkelling.
…..and almost everything you can think of in between!
The downside to all of this is that snagging awards is very difficult. This is hardly a surprise given that only 3 rooms on the island are even theoretically available for awards. One Mile at a Time recommends searching the Calala website for availability of at least 3 consecutive nights in a junior suite (here’s a link for the search tool) and then switch over to Hyatt’s website to look for award availability. In my experience, availability of junior suites for sale on Calala’s website does not ensure that awards are available. In fact, there are many times where the Calala website shows availability but I can’t even find paid rates for the same date on the Hyatt website. Worse, the Hyatt website often times out:
504 Gateway Time-out
The server didn’t respond in time.
Looking beyond Calala for luxury
I wasted a lot of time trying to book a Calala Island award. I came up empty. So then I wondered if I could find similar high end luxury at other SLH properties that partner with Hyatt…
Private Island SLH Hotels
The SLH website actually has a page dedicated to private island hotels (found here). Out of the 12 SLH properties listed there, only four are currently part of the Hyatt partnership:
- Calala Island, NiCaribbean, Nicaragua (40K points or cash from $1650)
- Hotel & Spa des Pecheurs, Bonifacio, Corsica, France (40K points or cash from $309)
- Monkey Island Estate, Bray, England (25K points or cash from $289/night)
- Pangkor Laut Resort, Perak, Malaysia (20K points or cash from $162)
As you can see by comparing the point prices to the lowest paid prices I could find, only Calala Island offers consistently good point value. It is also the only all-inclusive private island on the list. One other note: Monkey Island Estate looks nice, but it’s probably not what you think of when you think of a private island. It’s situated on an easily accessible island on the Thames river.
All Inclusive SLH Hotels
The SLH website also has a page dedicated to all-inclusive hotels (found here). Out of the 17 SLH properties listed there, only six are currently part of the Hyatt partnership. And only two of these are really all-inclusive:
- Calala Island, NiCaribbean, Nicaragua (40K points or cash from $1650)
- Diamonds Dream of Africa, Malindi, Kenya (15,000 points or ~$220/night). This is not an all-inclusive property, but they do offer all-inclusive paid rates starting “from $304”. I don’t think you can book the all-inclusive rate with points.
- Casa Velas Boutique Hotel, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (30,000 points or ~$640/night). This hotel is not all inclusive
- Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali, Indonesia (20,000 points or ~$280/night). This is an all-inclusive resort. All stays include: “Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring healthy, nutritious food; Daily deluxe 50-minute spa treatment.”
- Saint Ten Hotel, Belgrade Serbia (15,000 points or ~$160/night). This hotel is not all inclusive.
- The Liming Bequia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines (40,000 points or cash from $1,200/night). This is not an all-inclusive resort, but the rate does include breakfast.
Even though most of the above are not really all-inclusive, a couple of properties stood out as potentially excellent point values for high-end luxury:
- Casa Velas Boutique Hotel, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (30,000 points or ~$640/night).
- The Liming Bequia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines (40,000 points or cash from $1,200/night). This one is very interesting to me. Even though the hotel offers lower level junior suites, award nights book into the much more expensive 1 bedroom suites. Unfortunately award availability here is very difficult to find.
Other good finds
I looked through all of the category 8 (40K per night) SLH hotels to try to find high-end luxury that delivered at least 2 cents per point value (e.g. I looked for properties that cost $800 per night or more).
- Severin’s Alpine Retreat, Lech, Austria (40K or cash from ~$800)
- Hotel Le Strato, Courchevel, France (40K or cash from ~$1300)
- Eight Hotel Portofinio, Portofino Italy (40K or cash from ~$900)
- Eagles Villas, Halkidiki, Greece (40K or cash from $900)
- Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel (40K or cash from ~$990)
- Canaves Oia Epitome (40K or cash from ~$980)
- Carpe Diem Santorini (40K or cash from ~$1,100)
- San Antonio (40K or cash from ~$800)
- Santorini Secret Suites & Spa (40K or cash from ~$800)
Summary of the best finds
I set out to try to find SLH properties that rival Calala Island, but nothing really comes close to the amazing value that Calala Island appears to offer. Still, a number of these SLH hotels look very nice.
Keep in mind that this is far from an exhaustive list. For example, I hardly looked at all at properties that cost less than 40,000 points per night. Given that caveat, here’s what I found from best value to worst with only the properties offering at least 2 cents per point value listed:
- Calala Island, NiCaribbean, Nicaragua (40K points or cash from $1650). 4.1 cents per point value.
- Hotel Le Strato, Courchevel, France (40K or cash from ~$1300). 3.2 cents per point value.
- The Liming Bequia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines (40,000 points or cash from $1,200/night). 3 cents per point value.
- Carpe Diem Santorini, Santorini Greece (40K or cash from ~$1,100). 2.75 cents per point value
- Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel, Santorini Greece (40K or cash from ~$990). 2.5 cents per point value
- Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini Greece (40K or cash from ~$980). 2.5 cents per point value
- Eight Hotel Portofinio, Portofino Italy (40K or cash from ~$900). 2.25 cents per point value.
- Eagles Villas, Halkidiki, Greece (40K or cash from $900). 2.25 cents per point value.
- Casa Velas Boutique Hotel, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (30,000 points or ~$640/night). 2.1 cents per point value
- Severin’s Alpine Retreat, Lech, Austria (40K or cash from ~$800). 2 cents per point value.
- San Antonio, Santorini Greece (40K or cash from ~$800). 2 cents per point value.
- Santorini Secret Suites & Spa, Santorini Greece (40K or cash from ~$800) 2 cents per point value.
Note that a focus on point values, like above, disregards other important factors. For example, just because a place is expensive, does not mean that it is a great place to stay. It’s possible to find much more luxurious accomodations for fewer points or cash in less expensive countries. Also keep in mind that it’s possible to find more luxury for fewer points within Hyatt’s own portfolio. Hyatt’s top-end Park Hyatt brand costs no more than 30,000 points per night (and many cost less). Plus, in many cases with Hyatt properties (but not with SLH), it’s possible to book incredible suites for reasonable numbers of points thanks to Hyatt’s suite and premium suite awards. See: Finding extreme luxury in Hyatt Premium Suites.
How about you? Have you found any amazing gems in the SLH / Hyatt partnership?
[…] research here if you have gazillions of Chase Ultimate Rewards or World of Hyatt points to blow. Searching for Hyatt SLH Extreme Luxury. I don’t know, blowing 40,000 Hyatt points for just one night is a bit much for me. But we […]
Greg, your statement on this: •The Liming Bequia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines (40,000 points or cash from $1,200/night). This is not an all-inclusive resort, but the rate does include breakfast.
Is breakfast included for bookings on Pts too or just cash?
Yes. Actually all SLH properties offer a minimum of continental breakfast to those who book through Hyatt with either points or cash. Here are the other benefits that you get by going through the Hyatt channel:
5 Base Points per eligible $1 USD spent
Complimentary continental breakfast for two
Early check-in 12:00pm (based on availability at check-in)
Late check-out 2:00pm (based on availability at check-in)
One category room upgrade (based on availability at check-in)
Nights count toward elite tier status
Elite members receive their standard tier Bonus Points on eligible room rates (10% Discoverist, 20% Explorist, 30% Globalist)
World of Hyatt Credit Cardmembers can earn 4 Bonus Points per eligible $1 USD spent on their card at participating SLH locations.1 Hyatt Credit Cardmembers can earn 3 Bonus Points per eligible $1 USD spent on their card at participating SLH locations.
That’s great to know, thanks Greg!
I understand you are covering SLH here, Greg, but I also know you love Kauai. A new Destination redemption is the Lodge at Kukuiula on the South Shore. I’ve previously explored the area, & it is truly wonderful. Has its own golf course & shops. Windswept, open feel close to Poipu. Nice to see new inventory (finally) opening up on the island between Hyatt & Marriott (Kalanipuu).
Great to know, thanks!
I’m booked into the Pillars Hotel in Ft Lauderdale. Looks like a very pretty place on the Intracoastal. Not a bad redemption at 20k points/nt considering rooms run $500 all-in easily.
(also have my eye on the Wentworth Mansion in Charleston)
Looks like a good value SW flys there FLL (points) I looked before .I almost booked a Hotel ocean side & view right there .Been to SB (Free hotel) 2x on ORD>MIA $115 Rt ..Is there something to see there for 3 nites or just the view.
in my case, for a spring wedding weekend!
Funny, I have a night booked at Pillars as well.
The Rich think alike Poor Me ..
you travel like a rock star, CD, no sympathy here lol!
Rock not Star but I Follow the Best …
Do u have a Link ($$) to the new BMO 35K offers ? No fee and 2 P-lounge passes first year ..
I got no reply by FM so I applied by my account . It I don’t get approved I’ll go in person on the 7th .
May God Help Them ..
Sorry CD. No we don’t have BMO links, but thanks for asking!
Cape Fahn in Koh Samui
I’ve seen 1K+ rates at 20K redemptions on Hyatt for a Villa with a Private Pool.
Wow, awesome find. That looks amazing!
I am currently working with Hyatt and Calala on the discrepancy between availability. Essentially, they are both pointing fingers to each other. Hyatt is adamant about award inventory being controlled by Calala. Calala says otherwise “I’m afraid that the inventory for points bookings is controlled directly by Hyatt so this is not something I am able to assist you with.”
Good to know! I considered going down that route too, but decided that I had already invested too much time into it. Please let us know if you get it figured out!