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Alila Villas Uluwatu
In August we took an incredible trip around the world hitting up Bali, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Paris. We flew some amazing cabins, but what was the most surprising? The Alila Villas Uluwatu – they were flat out amazing. Located on the southern coast of Bali in the spiritual haven of Uluwatu, Alilas the flagship property sits perched atop cliffs overlooking the ocean.
If you’re unfamiliar with Alila you’re not alone. Alila is a small luxury brand that focuses on health, well being, and incredible service. It was picked up and integrated into Hyatt after the recent Two Roads acquisition. Lucky for us, Alila was integrated into Hyatt’s point program roughly a month prior to our visit, and we seized the opportunity. I could not have been more impressed with the property, service, quality of food, and accommodation.
I’ve stayed at numerous Hyatt properties around the world, toured even more, and in my opinion, this is the best Hyatt property in the world. I’ll go into further detail below, but it’s just that good.
- When: August 2019
- Length: 5 Nights
- Rate: 30k per night
- Room: Pool Villa
- Status: Explorist
The Alila Villas Uluwatu entry level rooms measure 3k sq ft, all have private pools, rates start at roughly $1k a night ( it says $830 but after fees and taxes…$1k+) Compare that to the 30k a night using points.
Our Strategy towards lowering cost
Hyatt and Chase are transfer partners and we had more than enough points to cover the 5 night stay between my fiancee and I; however, that’s a lot of Ultimate Rewards to burn on hotels.
Enter Hyatt Buy Points with 40% bonus promo.
Hyatt was running a promo ( and is again until 12/31/19 ) whereby you could purchase points for roughly 1.7c a piece, equating to $510 per night. As a result, we each transferred enough points for 3 nights, and then purchased 60k points for $1020 to shore up our combined accounts to 150k. That effectively meant paying a little over $200 a night.
Hyatt recently announced a variable priced award chart which will be introduced in March of 2020. The long and short is that the rate of this property will fluctuate from 25k-30k-35k depending on the season. You can do the math, but going off season/shoulder could be an incredible opportunity.
You should also be aware that you can merge points into a single reservation. We ultimately didn’t do this, and instead made two separate reservations, and notified the hotel, in advance, to combine the reservations. This was done seamlessly, and whomevers reservation is last will acru the points for the stay.
Arrival to Alila Villas Uluwatu
We arranged in advance for the hotel to pick us up by private car. Uluwatu is roughly an hour from DPS airport, and I would highly advise choreographing with the hotel for transport. You certainly could hop in a taxi, but the hotel car is roughly $50 each way, has snacks, cold water, and they will know of your arrival ahead of time.
You’ll turn off the main road, venture for 5 to 10 minutes, and then find an oasis waiting for you at the end of a road you’d otherwise never explore. Your car will be inspected by hotel security, a gate raises, and your jaw will drop. From the first glimpses it’s a stunningly beautiful resort. The main entrance is an open air concept of ivory and muted grey stone perfectly integrated with water features. It’s effortlessly chic and soothing.
You’ll be greeted and taken to have a welcome drink along with snacks.
Just look at this place
Next you’ll be given a quick rundown of how the resort works, it’s features, and then via golf cart driven to your villa
You know you’re in for a treat the moment you push the door. It’s an absolute beast, perfectly places on a swivel that makes it float open. Immediately you’ll get hit with a flash of cold air, and voila…an array of baked goods and snacks all in a box.
Nearly all of the villas on property are similar in size spread across 4 different levels. There are some two bedroom and a 3 bedroom villa, but those a few and far between. They all come with private pools, massive living indoor/outdoor living spaces that can combine to create a magical space for relaxation or hosting friends which we did throughout the stay. There are indoor and outdoor showers.
If I were to come back to the property, I would request to stay on the 400 block of rooms which are strung across the top tier of the property. These would have the most dramatic views and also the most private as you’ll never have anyone walking past your villa to theirs.
The biggest downside to villa 209 was its placement at the end of the walkway guests use to get to and from the main facilities and their villa. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but you could almost see into our pool area if you were at the right angle while ascending the stairs.
The villa is open concept and optimizes the space wonderfully. You can open the collapsible doors and either relax on the large sofa bed, or as we dd a few times, just lounge in bed and enjoy the full view of the villa.
The bathroom was drop dead gorgeous with two large vanities, his/her toiletry sets, a large closet, robes, and an amazing shower with multiple heads. If that wasn’t enough, you could also nip outside to shower in a private garden area, or draw a bath in the deep soaker tub.
Each villa comes with a large plunge pool which isn’t heated, but with high humidity and 90-100 degree heat a cool pool was quite refreshing. I’ve stayed at other properties with plunge pools ( Chitwa Chitwa ), but none where every single room comes with one that isn’t a super small lodge.
Activities + Facilities
Main Infinity Pool
Can we take a minute. Ok two. This is just ridiculous. Get out the gram, tok, or youtube vlog up and running…it’s time to flex. Whether you’re a social media influencer, or you just share family snaps, this is incredible spot to make anyone drool over your vacay digs.
The large hanging structure is the hotel’s bar which is the perfect place to watch the sunset.
It would be hard to find a more beautifully integrated gym anywhere in the world. Located between the lobby and the front gate, cozied up next to a reflecting pool is a small, but well appointed gym.
Hiking and Yoga
There is an incredible set of stairs down to the water between the bar and infinity pool. A fancy myself in decent shape, but it was definitely a challenge on the way back up. Additionally, in the bar, they have yoga and hanging yoga in the morning
A day of spiritual enlightenment + other activies
On one of the days we visited local Hindu temples, experienced a prayer ceremony, blessings, and visited the Uluwatu temple. If you stay at the resort I would highly recommend this experience.
There are two restaurants at the Alila Villas Uluwatu. One, you’ll have breakfast at each morning named Cire. It’s western cuisine, fresh, and the service is fantastic. The waitstaff doesn’t write down orders, is prompt, and the views are incredible.
The second restaurant is Indonesian fare, The Warung. It’s a bit fancier, and we ate there our first night at Alila. Other nights we had room service, ate at Six Senses, Cire, and another place off site. I’d highly recommend eating in one of the little bungalows hanging over the water.
One thing I regret not enjoying was a spa treatment. If it was anything remotely close to the rest of the experience they would have been divine.
There is also a library with floor to ceiling glass, and if you must get work done in paradise…this is a pretty gorgeous spot to do it.
You won’t regret splurging at the Alila Villas Uluwatu. There are 5 star properties all across the world, but there aren’t many that exceed the star rating, and of those…how many can you use points for the experience? Alila Villas is just that, and if you’re looking for a special property to spend a honeymoon, anniversary, or treat yourselfication – the only regret you’ll have is not booking an extra night.
A few thoughts from the intro I wanted to address…
At the beginning of this review I declared the Alila Villas Uluwatu the best Hyatt in the world. I thought I’d show you around the resort to begin with before explaining why I came to this conclusion. The Alila Villas are a true experiential resort, something that even the best Park Hyatt’s in the world won’t compete with…even the Park Hyatt Maldives ( which many say is dated ). Maybe you could make a case for Miraval.
Sure, there are properties like the Park Hyatt New York, Paris, Tokyo that have been truly aspirational city hotels, but you can stay at other properties in those cities for far fewer dollars and get a similar experience. I’m not sure that’s really true in Bali – yes there is the St Regis in nearby Nusa Dua, but that is a massive resort comparatively speaking. Maybe the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay compares, but it’s a grand as well. So is the Six Senses ( soon to be an IHG property btw ).
Also…aside from NY – the Park Hyatt city hotels are often pricing off reputation not their current state. Tokyo is in dire need of a reno, so is Paris. I don’t mean that you wouldn’t get a great experience at those properties, I just don’t think they warrant the price, nor would I pay 30k a night to stay at them vs other Hyatts or the competition. You’re also getting a base room, not a 3000 sq ft villa with a private pool.
I would happily pay 30k to stay at the Alila again.
There are many SLH of the world hotels that you could compare, and I surely haven’t stayed at many of those – I have eaten at quite a few to get a feel for what I’d get however. But they aren’t Hyatt properties. In fact, if the hotel decides to decouple with SLH, they also decouple with Hyatt, but Alila are now Hyatt properties. I’m looking forward to experiencing other Alila hotels to see if they compare from a service standpoint – I suspect they do.
Next up, I’m planning on visited the Alila in Jaipur India. I’ll report back when I do. Only 15k a night ( or a cat 4 cert)
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.