These properties are not cheap, but can be an excellent value when booked with Marriott Bonvoy points, which can earned easily through offers like the fantastic Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express® Card, which offers a big 100,000-point welcome bonus until April 24.
Then there are some independent properties so exclusive, remote and, well, expensive that they can make even a St. Regis seem ordinary in comparison.
Think Richard Branson’s Necker Island Resort, which can be booked with Virgin Atlantic miles provided you have Flying Club status — a massive 1.2 million miles are required for a seven-night stay.
Another exclusive, super high-end property is North Island Resort located in the Seychelles, a tiny archipelago of 115 tropical islands off the east coast of Africa. ASMALLWORLD AG has announced it will be taking over the management of North Island Resort Seychelles this year. The most interesting part of this for points and miles collectors is that the property will join Marriott’s Luxury Collection brand from December this year.
The property is located on an exclusive private island that is reached by helicopter from Mahe, the main airport of the Seychelles, and rates start at a hefty $7,300 per night, excluding 21% in VAT and service charges. Fortunately, those rates include all meals, most drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and most activities, but you’ll still have to fork out even more for the helicopter transfers, most spa treatments and full-day fishing trips.
At that price point, as you might expect, this property isn’t just any old beach resort. You certainly won’t need to be at the pool by 8am to score a sun lounger.
The North Island Resort is most famous for having hosted some very famous guests — George and Amal Clooney, and Prince William and Kate Middleton all chose North Island Resort for their honeymoons, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have also stayed there.
There are only 11 guest “rooms” on the island, with each being an enormous 5,000-square-foot villa all with direct beach access and views, and privacy thanks to careful landscaping. This is part of what makes it so desirable for celebrities and other ultra-wealthy travelers — you’re unlikely to see many other guests unless you really want to.
Marriott Bonvoy’s new redemption table maxes out at 85,000 points per night for Category 8 properties from next month, which is where most Luxury Collection properties sit. TPG contacted Marriott regarding how the property will fit into the Bonvoy program, and unfortunately, Marriott advised us it’s not yet sure either.
However, it is likely that this property will not be available for redemptions — at the Category 8 level, anyway. Given how expensive rack rates at North Island Resort are, if it were to become a Category 8 property it would not only be possibly the best value hotel redemption in the world, but would also be the most desirable and aspirational, leaving properties in Tahiti and the Maldives in its wake.
More likely is that as part of the Luxury Collection, Bonvoy points will at least be earned for cash stays. The rates are so high that earning a base rate of Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar, each night for a cash rate at North Island (including VAT) would earn enough points for a Category 8 redemption.
It doesn’t make much sense for Bonvoy to create a separate level for a single property among its 6,000 properties, especially if ASMALLWORLD plan to take over and introduce more ultra luxury properties to Marriott Group.
If you are lucky enough to be staying here on a cash rate, hopefully you will at least earn Bonvoy points from later this year. As well as an amazing travel experience at one of the most luxurious and private resorts on earth, you could be in for quite a haul of points.
Featured photo courtesy of the resort.