Kontiki Expeditions: The First Water-Based SLH Member

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Here’s an intriguing concept, although it’s not something most of us will probably book…

What are the small luxury hotels in the world?

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is a collection of over 500 boutique hotels around the world. What sets SLH apart from most other large hotel groups is that SLH does not manage any property directly, but rather acts as a marketing and sales platform for a community of independent hotels.

SLH also has a partnership with World of Hyatt, although unfortunately this new experience does not participate in the Hyatt partnership (at least not yet).

The yacht Kontiki Expeditions joins SLH

Kontiki Expeditions has just become SLH’s first nautical member, as the company will be offering yachting experiences off the Ecuadorian coast.

Kontiki Expeditions’ first yacht, Kontiki Wayra, is expected to start sailing from May 31, 2021. The 128-foot yacht will have nine cabins and offer two different one-week itineraries.

Exterior of Kontiki Wayra

Exterior of Kontiki Wayra

As described, “Kontiki will transport guests to non-tourist areas of Ecuador to explore and celebrate indigenous cultures in a context of well-being.”


Kontiki expedition itinerary

The experiments will feature 10 crew members and two local experts. The crew will include wellness professionals, naturalist guides and a local chef.

The yacht will feature a sundeck, a gourmet lounge, two outdoor lounges, a bar, a Jacuzzi and a gym and fitness room.


Deck Kontiki Wayra


Jacuzzi Kontiki Wayra


Deck Kontiki Wayra


Deck Kontiki Wayra


Kontiki Wayra indoor dining room


Kontiki Wayra indoor lounge


Bed & Breakfast Kontiki Wayra


Bed & Breakfast Kontiki Wayra


Salle de bain Kontiki Wayra

The price of the experience starts at $ 7,425 per person, per week, based on double occupancy. This includes all activities, meals, transfers from and to ports, park entrance fees, guided expeditions, etc.

Looking at the prices of the first route, I am a little surprised at the lack of price difference between the rooms. For example, a room with a veranda is only about 10% more expensive than a room with portholes. It is also a very nice bathroom for a yacht …


Prices for Kontiki expeditions


Prices for Kontiki expeditions

Why am I even writing about it?

I’m not writing about this because I’m ready to go on a cruise in the coronavirus age, or because I’m wondering ‘what a deal, you all should jump on this $ 15,000 weeklong cruise. ”

I write about this instead because I find the concept to be a fascinating extension of what we typically see in hotel groups:

  • There is often not much to compromise between a cruise ship with hundreds or thousands of guests and a private yacht charter that costs over $ 100,000 for a week.
  • While there are concepts for chartering shared yachts, they are usually not marketed very well, details can be difficult to understand, and they usually cannot be booked as easily.
  • As far as semi-private yachting goes, the price for this experience doesn’t sound too bad, especially considering the beauty of the ship (although I’m almost surprised at how well they can fit on a ship that ‘128 feet long)

The interesting points angle here is that SLH and Hyatt have a partnership, through which World of Hyatt members can earn and redeem points at certain SLH properties:

  • This property is not yet one of them, and frankly I doubt it is; I wouldn’t be surprised if Hyatt and Lindblad Expeditions have an exclusive cruise partnership
  • Even if this yacht joined the Hyatt and SLH partnership, I would not expect it to be bookable at the standard award fee
  • If the yacht were to join the partnership, some might appreciate the earning potential – then you could earn points, elite nights and credits to achieve Globalist status for life.

At the end of the line

Kontiki Expeditions became the first water-based member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It is interesting to see a yacht with less than 10 rooms joining a large hotel marketing group.

At the moment, there aren’t many implications for those looking to earn or redeem points, although it would certainly be interesting if the yacht were part of the World of Hyatt collaboration…

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