🏨 How to book the most exclusive hotel with points

🏨 How to book the most exclusive hotel with points

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 25 seconds

🤓 Trivia Tuesday: Do you know what kind of music originated in Jalisco, Mexico? Keep reading to find out!

Good morning and welcome back to Daily Drop, the only newsletter that we can confidently say is better than a day at literal Disney World. There’s fun around every corner… and no freaking 80-minute lines… 😓

I said what I said.

Here are the magical hacks we have in store today:

  • 🏨 Award Drop: The most exclusive hotel in the U.S.

  • ✈️ Southwest introduces some AWESOME new perks

  • 🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday

🏨 Award Drop: The most exclusive hotel in the U.S.

If there’s one thing I know about you people, it’s that you LOVE a good deal.

Generally, our Award Drop segments feature excellent deals for booking the best flights in the world with points.

But today, we're gonna shake things up like a squirrel with a caffeine addiction trying to out-dance the Gangnam Style horse! How’s that for imagery? 🐿

That’s because today’s Award Drop will feature a hotel. And it’s an epic hotel. And it’s a deal you’re going to want to know about. And the value will blow your socks off. 🧦

If you haven’t heard of it before, the Alila Ventana Big Sur is a SUPER luxurious hotel situated in the picturesque Big Sur, California.

People in the points and miles community rave about this place because it’s basically the pinnacle of hotels that are bookable with points.

As a Hyatt Category 8 hotel, you can book this place with the following points quantities:

  • Off-peak rate: 35,000 points per night

  • Normal rate: 40,000 points per night

  • Peak rate: 45,000 points per night

The only issue?

It’s almost never available to actually book with points… Part of being so exclusive means they only usually have a handful of award nights to book.

Right now, however, there is availability for quite a few dates over the next year (Mostly in 2024, but still some this year).

Being a part of the Hyatt program means there are only a couple of ways to book this amazing place—by transferring points from either this bank or Bilt Rewards.

The first option (this bank) is definitely where most of you have points already, given that this card is by far the most popular among Daily Drop readers.

You can transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to Hyatt instantly, making it a super convenient option.

Now 40,000 points might feel like a lot for a single hotel night… because it DEFINITELY is…

But the value you get is immense, given the property costs $2,400 per night if paying cash.

Yep, you saw that right. $2,400 freaking dollars per night.


Because it’s truly a one-of-a-kind hotel. Allegedly. I haven’t stayed there myself, but I’m thinking about it now…

Imagine a relaxing cabin in the woods, but the cabin is also a 5-star hotel… with a full spa… and unlimited food and drinks… and other activities… in one of the most scenic and picturesque places in the world.

That’s right, it’s an all-inclusive hotel, meaning you’ll get access to all of the restaurants and the many activities they offer for no additional cost.

If you still think this is a little too rich for you, I highly recommend you Google the place and read some reviews that people have posted. It looks legitimately INCREDIBLE, and it’s not always possible to book with points like it is right now.

If you want to rack up the points for a stay here quickly, you can simply open this card.

After meeting the minimum spend, you’d already have enough points for almost two nights (over $5,000 in value), which is pretty sweet for a credit card that costs less than $100 a year…

I don’t know about you, but an all-inclusive luxury mountain getaway right in the U.S. sounds pretty good to me. Especially a free one. 🤷‍♂️

✈️ Southwest introduces some AWESOME new perks

Back when I first started flying, Southwest was the budget airline in town. I remember booking flights for $40 a pop on the regular (for all you Spirit and Frontier fans, $40 for a flight used to be actually special).

The payoff was that there weren’t many perks to enjoy. It was just a seat that got you from A to B.

But things have changed over the years, and Southwest continues to keep reasonable fares while introducing non-budget perks.

Here are the latest changes they’ve just announced:

  1. Free same-day standby for ALL travelers, regardless of fare type

  2. Free wifi for business-class fares

Both of these are great, so let’s break it down.

If you aren’t familiar with standby, it’s a great tool that I use all the time.

Basically, if there is space on a flight operating your route earlier on the same day you’re scheduled to fly, you can get on a waitlist to get that earlier flight.

For example, if you were booked on the last flight of the day (in the block below), standby allows you to get on standby and potentially fly on any one of the five earlier flights on the same route and same day.

To be clear, this new update will apply to ALL Southwest fares, even the cheapest ones.

As for the second update, free wifi will be offered to people who book a “Business Select” fare.

Of course, this is a more expensive ticket, so it’s not worth booking JUST for the wifi (which otherwise only costs $8). However, Business tickets also come with other perks like free cancellation, priority boarding, and free drinks on board.

As of now, there is no confirmed date when these changes will take effect, but I assume it will be sometime in the very near future.

Overall, it’s great to see airlines make strides toward offering MORE value - the opposite of how these things normally go… 😒

🤓 Travel Trivia Tuesday

Correct answer: Mariachi, of course!

That’s right! The vibrant melodies of Mariachi music first blossomed in the heart of Jalisco.

Mariachi is said to have begun around the early 1500s! 🤯 

And, this type of music was a blend of Mexican, European, and African influences and styles.

After 1910, mariachi bands traded their usual garb for matching outfits, which is what most of us would picture today. 

Mariachi even grew in popularity in the United States around the 60s. In ’61, Los Camperos began playing at a venue called La Fonda, which was the first venue designed specifically for this kind of music.

Read more about the history of mariachi music here.  

Did you know that Daily Drop has a Youtube channel? Check out our latest video for some visual travel hacking tips 👇

That’s all for today, mis amigos! Next time you hear from me, I’ll be on my first flight kicking off my six-week trip around the world… I can taste the crappy airplane food already… 😅

While I finish packing, tell me something:

Only Email Recipients can participate in polls.

Take care and see you first thing tomorrow,

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

52°22'35.4"N 52°15'17.4"W

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