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The Hyatt-SLH partnership is a gift that keeps on giving. I don’t know when these batches will stop coming, but the more the better, in my opinion. Having these unique and interesting properties with additional benefits for *all* Hyatt members (not just Globalists) is excellent.
Another 57 Small Luxury Hotels have arrived on the list, and like always, I had to take a look. I’ve previously written about my 7 favorite properties in the first batch and 10 favorites from the second batch. Here are the five I’m most interested in using my points to book in this third batch:
Correntoso Lake and River Hotel, Argentina
Take my points. Take all of them. This hotel tops my list, and the second isn’t even close. The Andes have been high on my list to visit, and I don’t really care which section, whether it is Quito, Cusco, or much, much further south in Patagonia. This beautiful hotel is located in Argentina, with Puerto Montt, Chile as probably the most recognizable sizable city in the area. I’ve always looked further south near El Calafate as the ideal place to visit in Patagonian Argentina, but this area looks amazing as well.
The Correntoso Lake and River Hotel has an utterly picturesque setting along Lago Correntoso with a backdrop of snow-capped peaks. Nearly all of the rooms have spectacular lake and mountain views. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, including boating, hiking and fishing.
The hotel is unfortunately just out of range of the Hyatt free night certificates, requiring 20,000 points per night as a Category 5 hotel. But I don’t care. I’d love to fly down and spend several nights in the area with my wife if we could scrape together the points.
Grand Forest Metsovo, Greece
This Grecian mountain retreat stands out to me since it is so different than the other SLH properties on the list that are located in Greece. Most are on the islands, but the Grand Forest Metsovo offers an entirely different set of scenery and opportunity for enjoyment. Metsovo is located in the Pindus mountains in the northwestern part of the country, and this hotel provides a wonderful opportunity for hiking and enjoyment of the surrounding landscape and parks.
The property is only an award Category 3, requiring only 12,000 points per night. Cash rates start at around €115 before taxes for a 30-square-meter junior suite, which is the base room type offered.
Hotel da Estrela, Lisbon
Portugal is a tourist hot spot, and its capital Lisbon is one of the most popular destinations. I’ve not done a lot of research into hotel options or the best places to stay in the city, but this SLH jumped out at me when I saw it on the list. Formerly home to nobility and then a school, the structure has been converted into boutique luxury accommodations. The hotel still retains some of the schoolhouse character in its 19 rooms and suites as well as its restaurant.
The other draw is that the Hotel da Estrela is a Category 4 award property, allowing you to use your Hyatt free night certificates from the anniversary bonus, spend bonus, 30-night bonus, or five brand bonus. The points cost is 15,000 per night. Rooms start at €146 before taxes, making this not the best value per point out there, but towards summer rates creep up toward €200 per night.
Pimalai Resort and Spa, Thailand
I sometimes struggle to pick out resort hotels, as they really aren’t my thing. I have only spent a few nights ever at resort properties, and none at anything you’d call a fancy resort (here’s a review of the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix). I’d much rather be at an interesting location that has plenty to do and see, so the idea of spending a few days at a resort without having anything to do doesn’t sit so well with me.
But maybe I need to get out and try it one of these days. And the Pimalai Resort and Spa in Koh Lanta, Thailand looks like a lovely property. I’d probably still opt for Keemala, from the previous list. But this would do nicely as well. The hotel offers spacious resort rooms with views of the ocean stretching out before you and all the amenities you’d expect from a luxury resort.
The Pimalai Resort and Spa is a Category 6 property, requiring 25,000 points per night for a deluxe room. Cash rates appear to start at over $350 per night, so points are almost certainly the way to go here.
El Convento Boutique Hotel, Guatemala
This charming hotel is located in historic Antigua, one of the most popular destination areas of Guatemala. Antigua is famous for its architecture and colonial history and is a designated UNESCO world heritage site. You could also make a trip out to the nearby volcanoes or to Lake Atitlán to the west. The hotel itself looks lovely and private, only having 26 rooms and suites. The location in the center of Antigua is also perfect for seeing the city.
As an award Category 3 property, El Convento Boutique Hotel is one of the more reasonable options on the list. It’ll set you back only 12,000 points per night, or you could use a Hyatt free night certificate that is good up to Category 4. Cash rates start at $150 or so before taxes. For a random weekend in April, the full charges come to about $191 per night, making this an excellent use of Hyatt points, especially considering you should be eligible for a one category room upgrade to a junior suite.
So there you have it; these are my top 5 picks. You can find the full list here. There are plenty more hotels on the list to browse, and I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking if none of these suit you. I’m working hard to spend enough on my Hyatt card and stay enough this year to earn top-tier Globalist. In the process I’ll earn a good number of Hyatt points useful for stays at any of these Small Luxury Hotel properties. We shall see how both of those pan out.