Hyatt’s Alila Ventana Big Sur is an adults-only resort in Big Sur California. We first stayed here for four nights in early March 2020 and paid 30,000 points per night. On that trip, a friend with Globalist status booked our stay for us as a Guest of Honor reservation. This gave us all of the perks of top-tier Globalist status during the stay (free breakfast, suite upgrade, etc.). Cash rates at Ventana at the time were often over $1,000 per night, but rates tend to be even higher today now that they’re all-inclusive. Even then, 30,000 points per night resulted in very good value for our points especially when considering that we didn’t have to pay resort fees (Hyatt doesn’t charge resort fees on award bookings).
UPDATE: Ventana rates now include 3 meals per day and they still charge the same 30,000 points per night standard (35K peak or 25K off-peak). This makes Ventana an even better deal than before!
Ventana Big Sur Bottom Line Review
Wow. Wow. Wow. Did I say “wow”? Wow.
My wife and I loved everything about Ventana. The property itself is beautiful. The surrounding area (Big Sur) is fantastic. Our suite was awesome. We plan to return often.
This is not the place to go if you want to play golf or tennis. You won’t find those options here. This is not a place to bring kids — it’s adults only. This is a place to relax, to enjoy nature at its most beautiful, and to bring your dog — dogs are welcome here.
- Points Price: Category 7 (expect to pay peak prices most of the time)
- Room: 30K points per night standard, 25K off-peak, or 35K peak.
- Suite: 48K points per night standard, 43K off-peak, or 53K peak.
- Premium Suite: 60K points per night standard, 50K off-peak, or 70K peak.
- Update: Ventana is increasing to category 8, effective as of Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. CDT. New pricing:
- Room: 40K points per night standard, 35K off-peak, or 45K peak.
- Suite: 61K points per night standard, 56K off-peak, or 66K peak.
- Premium Suite: 80K points per night standard, 70K off-peak, or 90K peak.
- Point value: Fantastic. Base rooms often cost over $2,000 per night, so even at peak award pricing you’ll often get 5 cents per point value or more.
- Location: Excellent. Big Sur is a gorgeous area. The drive itself, along highway 1 is breathtaking.
- Resort Dining: Excellent. Breakfast was very good and the ocean view when seated outside was incredible. We ate dinner at the resort restaurant (The Sur House) once, and it was fantastic.
- Room: We were upgraded to the Vista Hot Tub Suite. It was a huge one-room suite with a very large and private rear patio featuring nature views and, of course, a hot tub. We loved everything about the suite.
- Daily Complimentary Activities (Updated 2/10/22):
- 8am: Morning Yoga, Tai chi, or Meditation
- 10am: Guided Redwood property hike daily
- 3pm: Coastal View Hike
- 4pm: Sur House Social (Free specialty cocktail at the Sur House patio)
- 8pm to 10pm: S’mores
- Additional Complimentary Activities (not available every day):
- Falconry at 1:30pm Sunday and Friday
- Foragers Hike: 1:30pm Tuesday and Wednesday
- Beekeeping at 1:30pm Monday, Thursday, and Saturday (staring 2/22/22)
- Astronomy at 8pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday
- Pet friendly: We didn’t bring a pet, but there were many dogs on property and they seemed very happy.
- Service: Excellent
- Turn-down service? Yes, daily turn-down service
included delicious chocolatesnow includes a small souvenir gift.
- Resort fee: $90 per night “service charge”. Keep in mind that Hyatt doesn’t charge these fees on award stays, so we didn’t have to pay this. Those with top-tier Globalist status don’t pay resort fees on paid stays either (I can’t promise though that a Globalist would be exempt given that that they call this a service charge rather than a resort or destination fee).
- Welcome gift: We had notified the resort ahead of time that we would be celebrating a major anniversary and so they delivered a bottle of Prosecco and chocolate covered strawberries. Update 2/10/22: The new standard welcome seems to be a charcuterie tray rather than chocolate covered strawberries.
- No phone service for me: I can’t remember the last time I went four straight days with no phone signals. I use Google Fi which is on T-Mobile’s network. T-mobile seems to have given Big Sur a hard pass. My wife had service most of the time via AT&T. Update 2/10/22: On a return visit and now using AT&T, phone service was fine.
- Hyatt Elite Benefits: Excellent…
- We were upgraded to a suite the day before check-in (we could see the room assignment through the Hyatt app)
- Breakfast was free, up to $82 per day, either at the Sur House restaurant or for in-room dining. If the weather is good, I highly recommend going to the Sur House. Update: This benefit is no longer relevant since all meals are now included.
- The desk agent proactively told us that we were eligible for 4pm late checkout (but we didn’t need it since we had a plane to catch).
- Would I stay again? Duh.
Photos and captions follow…