The most expensive Hyatt isn’t a Park Hyatt and it’s not even a hotel.
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At the end of November 2018, Hyatt acquired Two Roads Hospitality which included brands some were aware of in the US such as Thompson, Joie de Vivire, tommie, and Alila. It was a relatively small acquisition compared to prior interest in brands as large as SPG with just 74 properties under management.
Alila, just 16 of those 74, are almost exclusively in Asia, half of which are in Indonesia. As I began exploring the brand, I found the Alila Purnama which isn’t a hotel at all. Rather, it’s a boat with (5) suites aboard.
Alila reps indicated that the most common booking is a charter, though that could change as they integrate further into the Hyatt family. Purnama joined Alila in 2012.
The boat does not sail if they do not have at least three suites booked, which makes it precarious for travelers who want to try it out but cannot ensure there are others who will join. Komodo Island bookings can be as short as two days while Raja Ampat requires a five-night minimum.
Pretty much everything except booze, tips, and spa treatments. Here’s their list of included amenities :
- Use of all water sports equipment including water ski, 2 stand up paddleboards, 2 two-person kayaks, snorkeling equipment for 10 guests
- Scuba Diving for certified divers including all equipment for 10 guests and nitrox refill (on-board 2 dive instructor and 1 divemaster).
- Use of 2 tender boats.
- All gourmet meals & non-alcoholic drinks Excursions and guide fee Park entrance fee & boat clearance fee.
- All local taxes and fuel charges.
- Internet via satellite.
- Personal laundry.
- Airport to boat transfers.
- Insurance for all activities while on-board, including scuba diving.
- International and domestic airfares
- Excess baggage fees
- Passport, visa or airport tax fees (both international and domestic)
- Diving certifications
- Any unscheduled excursions outside of the itinerary
- Medical insurance.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa treatments
- Scuba diving courses
- Crew gratuities
- Expenses due to the situation beyond our control included but not limited to flight cancellation or flight delay
How Expensive Is It?
Considering that the Park Hyatt Maldives has traditionally been thought to be the most expensive in the chain, the Purnama makes that luxury hotel look downright affordable. The Park Hyatt Maldives added a $500/person flight from the international airport to its private island, on top of rates in the neighborhood of $1,000-1,200/nt. Others like the Park Hyatt New York City or Park Hyatt Sydney have been known to get in the same range (though without the mandatory transport flight.)
But the Purnama room rates range from $3,000-5,500/nt for their suites or $16,000+ for a private charter of the boat. The least expensive reservations are two-day trips to Komodo Island.
While Hyatt is still trying to work out the details, inquiries are collected and responded by email. Interested readers can contact Ms. Agung Rini email@example.com for inquiries. Bookings are not currently available online.
What Point Level Redemption?
If you were hoping to utilize some of Hyatt’s bonus points, one of those Category 1-4 certificates, or even transfer in some Chase Ultimate Rewards points for an award stay, I have bad news.
I would really love to say this is a Category 7 (30,000 points/night) or even Category 8 (40,000 points per night) as is the case with Miraval all-inclusive properties (another Hyatt acquisition) – it’s not available for points redemption at all. Only cash rates will do, though I remain hopeful that it will appear on the award chart at some point.
If there was ever a case for an exception to points redemption, it would be this. The Ritz-Carlton yacht doesn’t appear to be available by points (I logged a request and no one ever got back to me.) It would be incredibly difficult to offer points redemptions in theory, and of course, there can’t really be upgrades, all of the rooms are suites.
Then again, If there was a super-category, let’s say a Category 9 or 10 for 60,000 or 75,000 nights, I could see this being an option. They could also split off the transportation from the airport to better align with the Maldives for example which require cash payment regardless of a points redemption stay.
The cynic in me says that all Hyatts should be available for redemption. Even in the case of the SLH partnership, they either participate or the properties are excluded altogether. But none of them get to choose not to offer a points redemption option and still maintain a partnership with the program.
I’m fascinated by this “property” and how it fits into the Hyatt system. I am a fan of the chain and had no idea it existed until last week. My family really enjoyed a similar boat on a day trip in Vietnam and I could see many other travelers loving this bucket list opportunity.
What do you think? Would you book this with World of Hyatt points, if so, what point value should be assigned? Would you book it outright given the challenge of getting to the port and arranging it?
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Alila is full of surprises, huh? 🙂 I sure hope the Hyatt braintrust doesn’t leverage (water down) the Alila brand by tagging it to a bunch of Park Hyatt type properties that are unworthy of the name.
It looks incredible, but for $16k, I’d expect it to. 75k points per night per suite? Nope, I sure wouldn’t, but that’s me. I wouldn’t use points to stay at the Paris Vendôme either.
My guess is this eventually becomes a redemption opportunity, but you’re dreaming if you think even 75k points/night will get you there. WoH will probably market a 5-night stay/cruise as an “experience” for 1 million points or something.
@Meanmeosh – Ever the skeptic… The Park Hyatt Maldives prices at 25,000 points for a $1,000/nt hotel, so for a $3,000/nt suite, 75,000 points/nt could be a reasonable assumption though it could be 90-100k instead. Hyatt points earn at such a slower rate than other programs ($1 = 1 point for CC charges compared to $1 = 10-20x points at Hilton; 6.5 points/$1 of room rate vs 20x/$1 of room rate at Hilton.)
I appreciate your skepticism which, frankly, has often been right – but in the case, I think and hope you’re wrong.
Unsurprising that few wealthy Americans visit that particular part of New Guinea, since the unfortunate demise of Michael Rockefeller.
Purnama means ‘full moon’ in Indonesian; perhaps it’s an oblique reference to the fact you’d have to be barking mad to contemplate paying those cash rates. Even so, one can see the charm and attraction in it.
LOL I had to laugh at the Purnama reference. However, Raja Ampat is not in New Guinea. It’s in Papua, Indonesia. And that’s where the Rockefeller disappeared. You’ll be surprised how many Americans from different backgrounds, visit the area. It’s not that expensive to go to.
Just a tad outside .. of my wallet size. If only they included alcohol, that would have made all the difference.
For the price you would think alcohol would be included..but it is very expensive there.. WE were in Hoi An at the Nam Hai and crappy chard whit wine was $90 a bottle vs $15 at home.
Hyatt category 8 is 40K a night, not 45K as you mention in the article.
Noted, updated. Thanks Rhys!