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Alila Marea Beach Resort Studio King Room Review

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Thinking of staying at the Alila Marea Beach Resort? Here’s what a Studio King Room looks like at the luxury boutique beachfront hotel.

I reserved two nights in the cheapest room at Alila Marea Beach, a King Coastline View with Patio. This room starts at $425 a night in the off-season. When I visited during spring break, it was $693 a night.

Because the resort is part of the World of Hyatt program, I only paid 25,000 Hyatt points a night. This is a great example of when to use points instead of cash for hotel rooms.

Now, with the introduction of Category 8 hotels, you’ll pay 35,000 points a night. You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt from any of these cards.

As a Hyatt Globalist, I got a free upgrade to a Studio Coastline View with Balcony. This represents a 5 category upgrade.

In the off-season, these rooms start at $827 a night. During my stay, they cost $943 a night. Globalists also get free breakfast at VAGA Restaurant.

Studio King Room With Coastline View

beachfront luxury hotel room

Studio rooms are 538 square feet to 816 square feet. Some rooms have a king while others have two queen beds. Studios on the ground level have a fire pit. While studios on the second and third floor have a balcony.

When you walk into the studio, just past the foyer there’s a padded bench seat to your left. Perfect for sitting down to take off your shoes or laying down your beach bag or shopping bags from an excursion to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, a Simon Mall. 😉

On the wall above the bench are coat hooks to hang swimsuits, wetsuits, jackets, or hoodies. On the shelf above the bench, you can place your hat, sunscreen, and other beach essentials.

At the foot of the king bed is a loveseat. Unfortunately, this does not convert into a sofa bed.

There are no sofa beds in any of the rooms at Alila Marea Beach. Nor are there any rollaway beds. If you’re traveling with children or more than two people, you’ll have to book a room with two Queens.

Pro-tip: The suites only have King beds. If you book a two queen room, you usually won’t get upgraded to a suite because the bed type is different.

There are only 5 suites at Alila Marea Beach in the 130 room hotel. You likely won’t get a suite upgrade.

You should know this when making your reservation. Don’t expect to receive an upgrade or be able to use a suite upgrade.

Because there are only a few suites and the hotel restricts availability.


While not a Hyatt Grand Bed, the bed is extremely comfortable thanks to the mattress pad. Bedding consists of a comforter encased with two flat sheets.

king bed in luxury hotel

This means, unlike your bed at home, there is no additional sheet between you and the comforter. I asked housekeeping for a flat sheet after our first night, because the cozy comforter was too hot.

The new pillows, while puffy, unlike the hard new pillows at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, these pillows are pliable and you can smush them down.

The bedside ottoman is a great place to sit and read by the balcony. Perfect for when you want to read, curl up and relax when it’s too chilly outside and you don’t want to lay in bed.

It’s also a nice makeshift area to work if you don’t want to sit at the dining table. Because you’re next to a set of outlets and USB ports in the headboard.

While there aren’t a lot of outlets in the room, the ones that exist have been thoughtfully placed.

There is a phone, notepad, and pen, and a menu for VAGA on the nightstand closest to the balcony.

On the opposite nightstand there is a Tivoli Audio Model One Bluetooth radio. Don’t let the compact size deceive you, the sound quality is amazing.

The simple design fits in beautifully with the resort’s aesthetic.

compact bluetooth radio

Pro-tip: This is a radio, not an alarm clock. So be sure to set the alarm on your phone or ask the front desk for a wake-up call.

As with the opposite side of the bed, there are two outlets and 3 USB ports in the headboard.

On the other side of the room is a small dining table with two chairs sit next to the dresser. There is a 65″ flat screen TV mounted above the dresser.

At first I didn’t think there was in-room safe. But remembered to check the drawers, which I never use because I don’t unpack my suitcase when traveling, except on occasion to hang a few items.

In the top left drawer of the dresser is a laptop-sized drawer safe. It’s large enough to hold a 17’ laptop.

Pro-tip: Drawer safes are not as deep as standard safes. So you may not be able to fit everything you normally would put in the safe.

But better to have a safe, even a smaller one, than no safe at all.

There’s a set of plantation shutters, but since Alila Marea Beach is in So Cal, I’ll call them California shutters, in the wall between the living area and bathroom.

You can look into the bathroom from the studio. Or look out from the bathroom into the studio, depending on which room you’re in.

Pro-tip: You can close the shutters if you’re traveling with family or friends and want privacy.


luxury hotel room bathroom with dual vanity

The spacious bathroom has a dual vanity with two individual wall mirrors. I liked how each side of the sink had its own bath mat.

There is a one-side makeup mirror. Although, the resort fee says toiletries are from Alila Living Bath, ours were Votary brand, the Rosemary and Chia scent.

There are no towel rings or hooks on the walls. Towels are stored on the shelf under the sink. There’s a single hook outside the shower and two hooks on the ladder shelf in the shower.

Towels are oversized but not as luxurious as one would expect from a luxury resort. They are a bit on the thin side and not thick and fluffy like the towels at Ventana at Big Sur, an Alila Resort.

Each room is equipped with a hairdryer.

The deep soaking tub is a nice touch. Perfect to warm up your body before a massage or after a chilly day exploring San Diego.

deep soaking tub at luxury hotel

The generous walk-in shower is large enough for two people. You can easily hose down after a day at the beach.

large walkin shower with two shower heads at luxury hotwl

It has a handheld showerhead and a fixed shower head, set high enough so that tall people can stand under it without ducking.

The showerhead is adorned with fresh eucalyptus sprigs.

Pro-tip: Eucalyptus helps with nasal congestion.

There’s a relatively large toilet room.

A three drawer desk vanity is in the hallway between the foyer and bathroom.

Two hand-colored photographs by artist Roy Kerkhoffs: Cardiff Dream and Cardiff 18 (lifeguard tower 18) sit on the shelf near the minibar.

You can buy these prints and others on his website.

hand colored photograph of Cardiff beach by artist Roy Kerkhoff

Pro-tip: The suites at Marea Beach Resort uses a different set of Kerkhoff’s works.

On the counter below the prints is an ice bucket, two glasses, two reusable aluminum water bottles, and an outlet.

If you want ice, you have to call housekeeping. Self-serve ice machines are closed for guest use because of the pandemic.

Pro-tip: Globalists get unlimited reusable water bottles during their stay.

You can refill your water bottles at the water refilling station next to The Pocket.


Rooms have a Dometic HiPro locking minibar.

Pro-tip: Minifridges are great for van life. The SMETA 12v/110v compact refrigerator is a less expensive alternative to Dometic if you want an upright fridge.

For our Sprinter Van, we went with a chest model and got the Truckfridge TB51A.

The minibar wasn’t stocked because of the pandemic. But because Alila Marea Beach wanted to do something nice for all the guests, each minifridge includes two cans of Ashland Hard Seltzer: Blackberry Lemonade and Pineapple flavor.

Ashland Hard Seltzer is a San Diego business. Based in Cardiff which is the city south of Encinitas.

You may have noticed a theme. Alila Marea Beach is committed to the local economy. All hotel art is done by local artists and food for the restaurant is sourced from local farmers.

There’s a luggage rack, ironing board, iron, and two pairs of slippers in the closet. But only one closet rod on the shorter side of the closet. So if you want to hang your dresses, they’ll get wrinkled.

hotel closet

I’m not sure if all the closets are like that or just the one in my studio.

The robes were missing from my closet. I had to call housekeeping to request robes.

I’m so glad I did. Because they are the most comfortably soft robes ever!! I thought I loved the hoodie robes at Hyatt Centric Arlington.

But the soft terry cloth robes at Alila Marea Beach are wonderful! They’re going on my Christmas list.

Balcony With Coastline View

ocean, beach, and lagoon view from hotel balcony

On the balcony is a padded chair and lounger where you can sit and enjoy the views. We didn’t spend much time on our balcony because the first day we rode the electric bikes, and spent the next day enjoying a leisurely breakfast and relaxing at the pool.

You can hang your swimsuits and wetsuits on the coathooks to dry.

My room had a coastline view which meant it overlooked the ocean, beach, and Batiquitos Lagoon. This view is similar to the one at VAGA Restaurant & Bar. Stay tuned for my review of the restaurant.

Pro-tip: If you book a Presidential Suite: Ponto Suite or Grandview Suites, you get an amazing ocean view but also a view of the beach and lagoon.


If you’re thinking of staying at Alila Marea Beach Resort, consider booking a Studio King Room With Coastline View. All the rooms at the luxury boutique beachfront resort are amazing. But the rooms that offer an ocean or coastline view are worth it.

You can use your Hyatt points from your World of Hyatt Credit Card and The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card to stay for free. You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, and Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.

I really enjoyed the Studio King. Our staycation felt more relaxing and luxurious being in a larger room.

Do you prefer an ocean view or a coastline view?

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melissa major

Saturday 17th of April 2021

wow, the room is huge, looks bright and refreshing too! Looks like a wonderful place to stay


Friday 16th of April 2021

This credit card sounds awesome. I am in the market for a new card actually.


Thursday 15th of April 2021

This is beautiful room spacious too. Love that bathroom. Also beach view is wonderful.


Thursday 15th of April 2021

OMG! I can't believe that this room costs so much. It's definitely a very beautiful, comfortable and luxurious room. Thanks for sharing your tips.


Thursday 15th of April 2021

It's so good that you can use points instead of cash. It looks amazing there!!! I'd love to go with my husband.

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