TPG’s guide to the best all-inclusive resorts you can book with points
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All-inclusive resorts make vacationing easy.
You simply book your lodging, show up and then 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, 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.
Now, all that’s changing. While it’s still not a terribly large number, notable high-end properties around the world have made their entire luxury experience all-inclusive or at least offer packages as an option for guests. Large chains have made a play at all-inclusive properties, too, 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.
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 how you can redeem to stay there.
World of Hyatt’s top all-inclusive contenders
Recently, Hyatt completed its acquisition of Apple Leisure Group, opening a new door to all-inclusive resorts for World of Hyatt members.
The acquisition adds 100 hotels and resorts across Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America to Hyatt’s portfolio – including all-inclusive resorts from AMR Collection brands like Secrets Resorts and Spas, Dreams Resorts and Spas and Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts (all have properties in the Caribbean and Mexico).
In a statement to announce the closure of the deal, the hotel brand said, “Hyatt now offers one of the largest collections of luxury all-inclusive resorts in the world, including new destinations for Hyatt such as Acapulco, Curaçao, the Canary Islands, Menorca and St. Martin.”
And while we’re still waiting for official news on when the new properties will officially join World of Hyatt and how many points will be required for reward nights, TPG will update that information as soon as it’s available.
If you’re ready to book a Hyatt all-inclusive stay right now, the brand already 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 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.
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 2 bonus points total per dollar on purchases that normally earn 1 bonus point per dollar, 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.
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 country
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 beverages, you’ll get yoga, workout and meditation classes, hiking and more included in the price of a stay.
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, cash 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 Cap Cana, Dominican Republic; Rose Hall, Jamaica; and Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Meanwhile, adults-only Zilara properties can be found in Cap Cana, Rose Hall and Cancun.
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.
Marriott’s fantastic Dubai option and more all-inclusives on the way
Marriott’s long had one of the most coveted points redemptions 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 offerings 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
As we mentioned above, Al Maha is one of the most desirable properties in Marriott’s entire portfolio, located just outside Dubai.
As you’d expect, it’s a top-tier Category 8 property in the Marriott Bonvoy award chart, meaning nights will cost 70,000 points during off-peak availability, 85,000 points during standard availability and 100,000 points during peak availability.
However, 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 dirhams (about $6) per night.
Delta Hotels by Marriott, Riviera Nayarit, an All-Inclusive Resort
Part of the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio, Delta Hotels by Marriott announced the opening this summer of another all-inclusive addition to Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit.
The Delta Hotels by Marriott, Riviera Nayarit, an All-Inclusive Resort debuted Aug. 9 atop a hillside in the fishing village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, about 15 miles north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR).
A Marriott Bonvoy Category 7 property, reward nights here will cost you between 50,000 and 70,000 points, depending on dates and availability. The 117-room hotel is both Delta Hotels by Marriott’s first all-inclusive and the brand’s first foray into Mexico.
While not on the ocean, the property has two pools, rooms with private balconies and mountain views and a free shuttle that can bring you to the beach club in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, about 10 minutes away.
Along with the price of your room, all meals and snacks are included at the hotel’s main restaurant (it’s also — for the time being anyway — its only restaurant), which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are also included during your stay, as well as all snacks and beverages at the hotel’s beach club.
There are plans for a Japanese restaurant to open at the hotel down the road, but time will tell if that will be included in the all-inclusive rates.
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, depending on the dates of your stay.
Earlier this year, Marriott signed a deal that increased its all-inclusive footprint dramatically, acquiring Sunwing Travel Group’s hotel division, Blue Diamond Resorts, with properties located in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua and Costa Rica. Some of the more notable additions include several Planet Hollywood sites as well as Royalton properties in places such as Cancun; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and St. Lucia.
Reward categories at these properties range from Category 7 to 8. It’s best to find the properties through Marriott’s website to find out which reward category they are, because that info doesn’t seem to be fully integrated yet for all of the properties on the Royalton and Planet Hollywood sites.
For example, the St. Lucia and Antigua properties have all been assigned a Category 8 rating. And the Planet Hollywood Costa Rica All-Inclusive Beach Resort is a Category 7, as is the Royalton Splash Punta Cana All-Inclusive Resort & Spa.
It’s likely that other properties — if and when they’re announced — will fall into similar categories.
15 Hilton all-inclusive offerings
Hilton has a small portfolio of 15 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 in Mexico; 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 in Mexico, Hilton has all-inclusive properties in destinations much further afield, such as the DoubleTree by Hilton Bodrum Isil Club Resort in Turkey and the Hilton Marsa Alam Nubian Resort in Egypt.
And there’s the new Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort, that made TPG’s list of the best new hotels in 2021. An award night in a standard room here will set you back around 95,000 Hilton points and it looks like free night certificates will be valid at this property.
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 you can receive free weekend night awards with certain Hilton cobranded credit cards, including the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card.
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.
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 such as the Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay in Jamaica; Secrets St. Martin Resort and Spa; Sunscape Curacao 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 at 25,000 Privileges points but can increase significantly from there.
More than at 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 spend very little cash on your next vacation.
Featured photo of the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Hyatt.
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