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Kontiki Expeditions: SLH’s first water-based member



Here’s an exciting concept, even though it’s not something most of us will probably ever book …

What are 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 many of the other major hotel groups is that SLH does not manage any properties directly, but rather it essentially functions as a marketing and sales platform for a community of independent hotels.

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

Kontiki Expeditions yacht joins SLH

Kontiki Expeditions has just become the first water-based member of SLH, as the company will offer sailing experiences off the coast of Ecuador.

The first Kontiki Expeditions yacht, Kontiki Wayra, is scheduled to start sailing per. May 31

, 2021. The 128-foot yacht will have nine staterooms and will offer two different weekly routes.

Kontiki Wayra exterior


Kontiki Wayra exterior

As described, “Kontiki transports guests to non-tourist areas of Ecuador to explore and celebrate the indigenous cultures within a well-being environment.”


Kontiki Expeditions itinerary

The experiences will include 10 crew members and two local experts. The crew will include wellness professionals, natural history guides and a local chef.

The yacht has a sun terrace, gourmet lounge, two outdoor lounges, a bar, a jacuzzi and a gym and a fitness area.


Kontiki Wayra tires


Kontiki Wayra jacuzzi


Kontiki Wayra tires


Kontiki Wayra tires


Kontiki Wayra indoor dining room


Kontiki Wayra indoor lounge


Kontiki Wayra Guest Room


Kontiki Wayra Guest Room


Kontiki Wayra bathroom

Prices for the experience start at $ 7,425 per person. Person pr. Week based on double room. This includes all activities, meals, transfers to and from ports, park entrance fees, guided expeditions and more.

Looking at pricing for the first itinerary, I’m a little surprised at the lack of price difference between rooms. For example, a room with a porch is only approx. 10% more expensive than a room with portholes. It is also a really nice bathroom for a yacht …


Kontiki Expeditions prices


Kontiki Expeditions prices

Why am I even writing about this?

I’m not writing about this because I’m ready to go on a coronavirus era cruise, or because I’m thinking “what a deal, you should all jump on this $ 15,000 week long cruise.”

I rather write about this because I find the concept a fascinating extension of what we typically see from hotel groups:

  • There is often not much middle ground between a cruise ship with hundreds or thousands of guests and a private yacht charter that costs $ 100K + for a week
  • While there are some shared yacht charter concepts out there, they are typically not marketed very well, it can be difficult to figure out the details, and they typically cannot be booked as easily.
  • As far as semi-private yachting is concerned, the price of this experience actually does not sound that bad, especially considering how good the ship looks (although I am almost surprised at how much they are able to take care of a ship that “only” 128 feet long)

The interesting point here is that SLH and Hyatt have a partnership whereby World of Hyatt member can earn and redeem points on selected SLH properties:

  • This property is not yet a part of it, and I honestly doubt it will be; I would not be surprised if Hyatt and Lindblad Expeditions have an exclusive partnership when it comes to cruising
  • Although this yacht was to join the Hyatt and SLH partnership, I would not expect it to be bookable at standard cost
  • If the yacht participates in the partnership, some may appreciate the earning potential – you can then earn points, elite evenings and credit for the globalist status of a lifetime

Bottom line

Kontiki Expeditions has become the first water-based member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It is interesting to have a yacht with less than 10 rooms participate in a larger hotel marketing group.

From now on, there are not many implications for those who want to earn or redeem points, although it would certainly be interesting if the boat were to become part of the World of Hyatt collaboration …


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