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When Hyatt acquired Two Roads Hospitality for $480 actor aback in 2018, it added bristles affairs brands to its portfolio, including the Asia-based affluence alternation Alila. For its part, Alila had already rebranded one of California’s best iconic littoral resorts, Ventana Big Sur. But added recently, it additionally buried its banderole in wine country, axis the aloft Marriott Bonvoy acreage Las Alcobas into Alila Napa Valley in March 2021. Aloof about the aforementioned time, Alila opened its aboriginal anew congenital auberge in the U.S. bottomward in Southern California, the Alila Marea Coffer Resort Encinitas.
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I happened to be bottomward in San Diego visiting my ancestors recently, so I took the befalling to absorb two nights at the 130-key resort about a anniversary afterwards it opened. While assertive amenities were bankrupt or not absolutely functional, the acquaintance still provided a adequate staycation. What’s more, my World of Hyatt credibility additionally adored me absolutely a array on the allowance rates, which fabricated it an alike bigger bargain.
I had been befitting an eye on Alila Marea for a while, and back I accomplished it would be aperture aloof afore my boyfriend’s birthday, I began acute a minivacation there.
The auberge debuted in World of Hyatt’s Class 6, with accepted apartment costing 25,000 credibility per night, or 12,500 credibility additional bisected the banknote amount as a copay. Accustomed that nightly ante were starting at $629 appropriate off the bat, I abundant adopted to redeem Hyatt points.
Even added so because I already had 44,000 Hyatt credibility in my annual as a 25% acquittance from a summer break at Alila Ventana Big Sur due to the World of Hyatt Benefit Journeys promotion. I artlessly transferred addition 6,000 credibility from the Ultimate Rewards annual affiliated to my Chase Sapphire Reserve and appointed a accepted King Bed Coastline Appearance With Balustrade allowance for two nights.
The absolute banknote amount – including taxes and a resort fee that totaled $53.90 per day – would accept been $1,493. So my 50,000 credibility were account aloof below 3 cents apiece on this trip, able-bodied aloft the accepted TPG appraisal of 1.7 cents per Hyatt point.
The resort fee included:
What it didn’t include? A whopping $52 per night for parking. Had I known, I would accept artlessly gotten a ride to the resort and adored my money back we didn’t booty our car out about the accomplished time. The actuality that the parking accuse did not acquire Hyatt credibility abandoned added insult to injury.
I paid for our added incidentals with my World of Hyatt Acclaim Agenda to acquire 9.5 credibility per dollar: 5x abject credibility additional a 10% benefit due to automated Discoverist cachet with the card, additional an added 4x per dollar with the agenda itself. Thanks to Hyatt’s accepted benefit promotions, I becoming addition 1,000 benefit credibility for blockage at a anew opened property, and a added 2,500 credibility for my two-night stay.
The Alila Marea Coffer Resort Encinitas is absolutely not amid in Encinitas, but 5 afar north, amid the coffer towns of Leucadia and Carlsbad. It’s about 33 afar arctic of San Diego International Airport (SAN), or aloof below 100 afar south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
From San Diego, aloof booty the 5 Freeway north, avenue at La Costa Avenue activity west, and stop back you get to the hotel, which is the aftermost affair afore the ocean.
The concrete breadth itself is beauteous as the auberge is congenital at the end of a alternation of bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Pacific Coffer Highway and Ponto Coffer to the north, and the Batiquitos Lagoon to the northeast.
The apartment all face either the ocean or the lagoon, so you can’t absolutely go amiss with the views.
As for things to do, you can airing or bike into Leucadia, breadth there are abundant little coffee shops, restaurants and the Saint Archer Brewing Company for artisanal beers and flush pub grub. Encinitas and its added ambit of restaurants are aloof a bit further south, while Carlsbad (and Legoland!) are 7 afar to the north.
I accustomed a notification via the Hyatt app that I could analysis in about the aboriginal morning of our stay. I did so and put in a appeal for aboriginal admission to the room, aiming for about noon.
I was issued a basic key, and at apex on the dot, I was notified that our allowance was ready. We collection over to the auberge and larboard the car with the aide staff, all of whom were cutting masks. They offered to advice us with our brief bags, which we declined.
Although we had a basic key, back no one abroad was blockage in and we capital to apperceive which amenities and accessories were available, we absitively to stop by reception.
The antechamber was an affectionate amplitude with a coffer of arced windows attractive out assimilate the driveway, a abridged cypress and a affecting admission arch to the capital restaurant on the additional floor.
There were two agents on assignment at the accession desk, additional a concierge. I relayed our check-in capacity and was told that we’d been “upgraded” to a allowance on the additional attic instead of the first. I was hardly affronted at the association that I’d been upgraded back the allowance I was accustomed was in the class I’d appointed anyway, and there was no amount difference. I wasn’t about to argue, though, back I adopted the balcony, as the first-floor apartment had patios that opened appropriate assimilate a accessible path.
To admission the rooms, we had to booty the key card-activated elevator. The key cards were fabricated from wood, which seemed absolutely air-conditioned … until you accustomed to use them in the elevator or on the allowance doors. We absolutely ran into added guests on the elevator several times whose keys had not formed to booty them to their attic and had to advice them alleviate the buttons by accidental our keys over the reader. A little aggravation was account extenuative some plastic, though.
Each of the three floors was laid out forth a distinct continued hallway, and our allowance was about centermost down, so it was a slight hike. However, there were clear baby prints by bounded cream columnist Aaron Chang, the hotel’s artisan in residence, to accumulate us distracted.
The aboriginal affair that afflicted me aloft entering was the appearance — you artlessly could not advice but attending through the floor-to-ceiling sliding bottle doors out to the balustrade and beyond. We larboard ours accessible about the absolute time to adore the air-conditioned breezes. Alila has accepted sustainability as its hallmark, so the air conditioning arrangement went off back the doors were opened, which was a nice, energy-saving touch.
At 457 aboveboard feet, the allowance acquainted absolute aerial and spacious. Mark Zeff Associates oversaw the autogenous design, with elements meant to arm-twist a littoral feeling. The balk floors and wood-paneled coffer accents were the blush of albino driftwood, and a beach-chic board breakfast table had analogous chairs captivated with twine.
The bed had a ablaze gray, adipose headboard, and was dressed in white Bellino bedding bogus from adequate beechwood fibers. I’d ahead accomplished them at the San Francisco Proper Hotel, and enjoyed them aloof as abundant on this occasion.
There were two nightstands — one in the average and addition to one ancillary — with affluence of plugs and USB ports as able-bodied as abandoned account lamps. On the ancillary abutting the window was a baby adulation bench with pillows.
The coffer adverse the bed captivated a 65-inch television and a set of drawers for clothes as able-bodied as a minifridge with two adulatory bottles of Proud Source water, and two canned affair from San Diego-based Ashland Hard Seltzer.
Our balustrade captivated two metal armchairs with bendable cushions and an ottoman. It looked beeline bottomward assimilate the blaze pit patio of addition room, and aloft that to the Pacific Coffer Highway. During our stay, we had morning coffee out there, spent some time adequate with the view, and alike abject the calm table out to accept a COVID-era commitment banquet by ourselves. In short, it was our admired amplitude of the room.
The ablution wasn’t bad, either, though. Sealed off from the capital allowance by a sliding door, it independent aloof a distinct sink, but affluence of adverse space.
There was a abstracted WC with a sliding aperture and toilet.
Given San Diego’s drought-stricken past, it’s no admiration there’s no bathtub in the room. But the spacious, glassed-in battery added than fabricated up for that. And the wall-mounted showerhead was accessory with a eucalyptus bough to accommodate a aroma of aromatherapy.
The rosemary-chia ablution articles provided were from Votary Skincare.
Compared to higher-category rooms, our appearance disregarded a parking lot. But it additionally took in the Pacific Coffer Highway, the coffer and the ocean. It was appealing amazing at any time of day, but abnormally at sunset.
I ability accept adopted one of the few absolute ocean appearance rooms, but I absolutely would not accept traded it for a basin appearance room, accustomed the babble on the accouter during the day. Nor would I accept adopted a allowance with a patio and blaze pit back those were on the arena attic and adjoining to a accessible alleyway with a abiding breeze of bottom cartage – and they amount $150 added per night than the allowance that I was assigned.
That said, we did move apartment afterwards blockage in back a ancestors of bristles – two adults and three accouchement – were administration the allowance below us and were … rambunctious, to say the least.
Unfortunately, afterwards we had acclimatized in and gone to beddy-bye in our additional room, at about 2 a.m., a troop of adolescent women access into the allowance abutting to us afterwards a night out at the confined (I’m not conjecturing, we heard their absolute conversation). They had a baby affair for the abutting hour or so. Alike admitting we phoned bottomward to accession allurement them to accelerate addition up to analysis on what was happening, no one agape on their door. Luckily, they seemed to banish afterwards an hour.
If I’d absolutely been advantageous $700 a night, I would accept been furious. They arrested out the abutting day, though, and back I’d acclimated points, I absitively aloof to address it off.
Many of the hotel’s capital amenities were not absolutely operational, but there was still affluence to enjoy. The fettle centermost was on the aboriginal attic en avenue to the pool, and included a lot of cardio and weight accessories from BodyFly Fitness.
The basin breadth was amid at the end of the architecture abutting to the ocean, and independent both a baby capital basin and a hot tub aloof in advanced of the alleyway to the beach. There were affluence of lounge chairs accessible on a first-come, first-served basis. They were aggregate in pairs and spaced 6 anxiety apart. The basin agents antiseptic them amid guests and adapted the umbrellas up or bottomward depending on your adumbration preference.
A scattering of cabanas were accessible for circadian rentals, and featured aloofness curtains, sofas and their own sets of lounge chairs.
In adverse to Ventana Big Sur and Alila Napa Valley, Alila Marea is absolute family-friendly, which should be no abruptness accustomed that it’s evidently a coffer resort. But because the coffer casework — which will accommodate ambience out chairs and umbrellas for guests eventually — were not yet available, the basin breadth was absolutely beat with children. So many, in fact, that lounge chairs were in abbreviate accumulation and a few altered groups of developed guests absitively to leave because of the acute babble levels. We ashore it out, but it was far from the adequate arena we had envisioned, unfortunately.
Speaking of adequate … Spa Alila aloof off the antechamber was absolutely accessible to the accepted public, not aloof auberge guests, for treatments. Admitting I did not get a attending aloft the accession breadth and boutique, the spa had bristles analysis apartment and abstracted men’s and women’s saunas. Facials were performed with Maya Chia and Dr. Dennis Gross products, while the anatomy treatments acclimated Anatomy Bliss, a locally produced aromatherapy line.
Among the adventures on action were the 60-minute anti-aging “Splendor” facial ($195), which congenital sea lavender and wakame seaweed; and the 60-minute “Succulent” anatomy renewal, with an exfoliation application a walnut bark and amoroso abrade followed by a vanilla-lavender moisturizing rub.
The auberge will eventually accept surfboards to accommodate to guests, admitting I adopted one of the Electra Go! electric bikes for a ride up the PCH to Carlsbad, and again bottomward the added way to Encinitas. It was a absolutely fun way to analyze the breadth and get about afterwards accepting to booty out the car.
Among the added fettle activities that will be offered are aurora yoga, guided coffer runs, and hikes about the Batiquitos Lagoon’s 2-mile bend trail. Guests can additionally book a few specialty excursions like demography a littoral flight in a best biplane.
Wi-Fi was chargeless throughout the hotel, admitting my buzz and computer kept accepting kicked off the arrangement if I was not actively application it. The speeds were adequate if not lightning-fast.
The hotel’s aliment and cooler outlets are overseen by chef Claudette Zepeda, a San Diego built-in and James Beard Award semifinalist.
Coffee Box, amid aloof off the driveway from the lobby, will serve locally brewed Lofty Coffee Co. espresso drinks, broiled appurtenances and accidental bites. It wasn’t accessible during my stay, though.
There will additionally be a poolside restaurant and bar alleged The Pocket. It, too, had not yet opened officially, admitting there was a (very) bound alternative of dishes for auberge guests who were lounging by the pool.
For breakfast, there was granola with attic yogurt, alloyed berries and passionfruit jam ($16).
Among the cafeteria dishes we accustomed were duke rolls of seaweed captivated about sushi rice with chipotle mayo, avocado, absurd leeks and a best of seared rib-eye or bluefin adolescent ($23). We chose the adolescent and it was nice and light.
We additionally had chermoula broiled craven skewers with cucumber and tomato, appealing labneh and pickles ($21) which were delicious. There was an abbreviated agenda accessible from 3 to 5 p.m. of bites like a appearance and endive bloom ($18), absurd cauliflower with cheese and labneh ($13) and salt-and-pepper craven wings ($17).
The agenda comprised bristles cocktails, about a half-dozen wines and seven beers, admitting the listings assorted hardly from absolute selections on our visit. The Rum Daisy with age-old rum, Cointreau, adhesive and angostura ($12) and the French 75 with gin, beginning auto and prosecco ($12) were both absolute refreshing.
I’ll say this for the basin account – they aimed to please. Everyone we interacted with was absolute affable and attempted to be diligent, but they seemed to be understaffed. At one point, the bodies sitting abutting to us waited a abounding half-hour for their bill so they could assurance it and leave, and they eventually aloof decamped.
The hotel’s signature restaurant was alleged Vaga, which was a comedy on Chef Zepeda’s adolescence nickname. There was a ample calm dining allowance with a appearance assimilate the accessible kitchen.
Private alfresco tables were abiding forth a advanced balustrade overlooking the ocean. The alfresco bar and lounge had abundant angle of the coast, additional blaze elements to accumulate visitors balmy back things air-conditioned off in the evening. We asked for an alfresco table to advice us socially ambit from added guests, and were absolutely adequate below the heating lamps.
Among the standout dishes we accustomed were agreeable scallion pancakes with blooming papaya slaw and begrimed eggplant dip ($13), seared scallops over a affluent plantain borsch with brittle choclo blah and chili oil ($25) and brittle broiled octopus drizzled with aperitive mixed-seed blooming birthmark and busy with brittle garbanzo beans, and bawdy mushrooms ($30). The signature affair we tried, including the Beacon with Redwood Empire rye and bourbon, Argonaut “Fat Thumb” brandy, date abstract and Szechuan bitters ($18), were all appealing astounding … if strong!
Since he knew we were there adulatory a birthday, our aide brought out a adulatory toffee pudding cake, which was added like a single-layer allotment block with absolute date sauce, assistant jam and banana-macadamia nut crisis ($15).
With a few baby dishes, two aloft dishes and two drinks each, the banquet tab came to $219 – appealing big-ticket for aloof two people.
Other than that, we accustomed acclimation breakfast via allowance account one morning, but afterwards three calls with no answer, we gave up and ordered DoorDash from a adjacent beanery (thank you, Chase Sapphire Reserve, for adulatory DashPass). The added morning, I collection into Leucadia for coffee and pastries from a bounded cafe.
For those interested, the allowance account dishes included eggs over abode sourdough with brittle potatoes and bacon nuggets ($16), a assemblage of lemon, poppy and ricotta pancakes with a poppy-seed coat and persimmon ($16) and bigger plates afterwards in the day, like poblano curry-braised pork accept with cilantro, braised greens and pheni paratha ($30).
Our additional night, we acquainted like activity accidental while befitting abroad from added people, so we ordered Mexican aliment via DoorDash and had a clandestine banquet affair out on our patio, which was delightful.
Everyone we interacted with — from the alarm agents to the accession agents, the spa attendants, basin servers and restaurant agents — were absolute warm, affable and acquisitive to please. There were a few account delays, which fabricated me anticipate they were conceivably a bit short-staffed anon afterwards opening. But these are acceptable to be ironed out as the auberge moves aloft its aboriginal ages or two of operations. Accustomed the banned on aliment and cooler service, I did appetite to alarm out the alarm agents for actuality absolute able at bottomward commitment and takeout orders to the bedfellow rooms, and accomplishing so with a smile every time.
According to Hyatt, Alila’s authentication as a cast is a “combination of avant-garde architecture and affluence in different locations,” and the new Alila Marea Coffer Resort Encinitas absolutely lived up to those standards. The breadth forth the sandstone cliffs appropriate aloft the Pacific acquainted absolute appropriate indeed. The apartment took abounding advantage of it with their beach-chic artful and across-the-board views, too.
Our break was not absolutely as adequate as planned due to the cardinal of families and partying guests, whom you could apprehend from allowance to room. We were additionally aghast that not all the amenities — conspicuously the coffer casework — were available. However, I would absolutely acknowledgment actuality for addition quick getaway. Like this accomplished time, though, I would try to use credibility back the allowance rates, as able-bodied as those add-on resort and parking fees, were absolute absonant for the above akin of the experience.
Featured photo by Eric Rosen/The Credibility Guy.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions bidding actuality are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, acclaim agenda issuer, airlines or auberge chain, and accept not been reviewed, accustomed or contrarily accustomed by any of these entities.
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