Joie de Vivre Hotels and Joy of Life Club

Joie de Vivre Hotels calls itself California’s largest collection of boutique hotels. If the cookie-cutter design of another Hampton In, Holiday Inn, Residence Inn, aloft, or Hyatt Place is just too much for your individualistic sensibilities, then Joie de Vivre Hotels may be the change you are looking for in a California hotel.


The company’s “About Us” page fact-sheet pdf lists five word descriptors:



Fresh, Inventive, Grassroots, Casual, Experience-driven.

From Orange County to Marin County, Sonoma, and Sacramento, nearly 40 hotels are under the Joie de Vivre umbrella of boutique hotels. Joie de Vivre started out in San Francisco and is best represented in this city with 16 San Francisco hotels including Hotel Vitale on the San Francisco Embarcadero waterfront. Local to my Monterey home-base is the Ventana Inn at Big Sur, directly across the road (non-ocean side) from Post Ranch Inn. Ventana Inn has some nice ocean views too from the hillside location and the restaurant just recently re-opened.

The Joie de Vivre hotel loyalty program, Joy of Life Club, provides opportunities to earn credit for your paid stays and spa visits. Joy of Life Club is a points based program tied to hotel and spa spend. There are three tiers of membership and your points earning rate increases as you accumulate more spending status.

Joy Seeker is the base membership level for members with fewer than 2,500 points earned. Points are awarded on room rate and spa services only. Members can receive credit for up to three rooms per stay. Members receive a “Welcome Indulgence”.

A friend of mine told me she and her husband signed up for Joy of Life Club last month at the hotel upon arrival and received a complimentary bottle of wine and fruit tray. She was the one who asked me if I ever write about Joie de Vivre hotels and although I have been in a couple of the properties, I have not written about the Joy of Life hotel loyalty program until now.

Here is a “Girlfriend’s Spa Trip” opportunity for the loyalty traveler. The Joy of Life member can receive points for up to three individuals per spa visit if eligible charges for the individuals appear on the member’s folio and the member received one of the services.

Based on the spa folio charges I have seen for my wife’s spa trips with the girlfriends, I’d say reaching elite membership in Joy of Life Club should not be too difficult for some individuals.

Earning Joy of Life Club Points

Joy Seekers        (0 – 2,499 points based on your lifetime program earnings)

$1 = 1 point at participating Joie de Vivre hotels

                $1 = 2 points at participating Joie de Vivre spa

Joy Enthusiasts (2,500 – 9,999 points)

$1 = 1 point at participating Joie de Vivre hotels

                $1 = 2 points at participating Joie de Vivre spa

Joy Aficionados (10,000+ points)

$1 = 2 points at participating Joie de Vivre hotels

                $1 = 4 points at participating Joie de Vivre spa


Redeeming Joy of Life Club Points

An account goes “to sleep” after two years of account inactivity. Your lifetime status points and membership level remains once your account is reactivated.

There are three points redemption levels at 2,500 points, 7,500 points, and 10,000 points.

On the redemption side of Joy of Life Club are experience opportunities like surfing and rock climbing lessons at 2,500 points.  Dining and tours or hotel/spa gift certificates are also offered.

2,500 points = $100 gift certificate for a hotel/spa

Assuming you earned 2,000 points on spa treatments ($1,000) and 500 points on hotels ($500), the certificate would be equivalent to just a 6.7% rebate. Based on hotel spend only and no spa services,  the value is a lowly 4% rebate. That is not comparable to the value you typically see with a major hotel loyalty program like Marriott Rewards or Starwood Preferred Guest where 20%+ value is typical for your hotel spending.

7,500 points rewards include hot air balloon ride or a year of monthly chocolate deliveries. The hotel or spa gift certificate is $300. There is basically no advantage to saving up to 7,500 points for a gift certificate which seems odd to me. Forget cashing in for gift certificates at this level since the much better value is found for 10,000 points.

10,000 points may be redeemed for the “Design Your Own California Adventure” hotel gift certificate package of $750 with five $100 certificates and one $250 certificate.

The Joy Aficionado member is looking at $5,000 in hotel spending to earn $750 in hotel/spa gift certificates. A 15% rebate on $5,000 hotel spending is a respectable loyalty program exchange.  Spa aficionados are looking at $750 in hotel/spa credit for $2,500 (4 points/$1) in spending.

Now, that is some California loyalty massaging for the Joy of Life member. 

Links: Joie de Vivre Hotels; Joy of Life Club hotel loyalty program

Ventana Inn, Big Sur, California

Ventana Inn, Big Sur, California



About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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