WOW: North Island Bookable For 365,000 Marriott Points Per Night

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

In 2019 I wrote about how North Island joined Marriott’s Luxury Collection. North Island is located in the Seychelles. It’s one of the most exclusive hotels out there, as there are just 11 villas on this private island that typically retail for $8,000+ per night.

We’ve known that the hotel would be joining Marriott Bonvoy, though up until now we didn’t know what redemption rates would look like. We assumed they’d be higher than the currently published highest rates. Well, it looks like redemptions are now possible.

As Marriott tells me:

We are excited to announce that North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort in the Seychelles will start participating in Marriott Bonvoy later today. As you know, this exclusive, 11 villa private island resort commands a very high average daily rate far in excess of all other participating properties. As a result, the nightly award rate will be 365,000 points per night. If the resort experiences significant change to its average daily rate, the rate may be recalibrated (Note: this will not be done dynamically). The redemption rate includes breakfast, complimentary use of an island buggy, morning yoga, kids activities and more. Since the category chart tops out at 100,000 points for category eight peak rates, North Island will not be included. Members will see award rates when searching on our booking channels after they clicked “Use Points.” Additionally, the property will not be participating in Cash + Points nor Pointsavers.

North Island is now bookable for 365,000 points per night. If you’re like me and value Bonvoy points at ~0.7 cents each, that’s like ~$2,555 per night, which is a steep discount over the normal rates (though still a ton, of course).

It looks like this is already bookable with points, and I priced out a five night stay below. One cool thing is that you can book a two bedroom villa with points, and it prices out this way even when you choose four adults, so you could really travel with four people.

Marriott isn’t offering their standard fifth night free redemptions, though pricing does seem to be a bit cheaper if booking fifth nights. They’re charging 358,000 points per night (rather than 365,000 points), and one of the nights prices at 273,000 points, a discount of 85,000 points.

I’m not sure if that’s a pricing error, or what.

On the plus side, award stays seem like they can be canceled up until two days before departure, which sure seems generous.

Furthermore, I was under the impression that this hotel used to be all inclusive, though that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Even paid rates only show breakfast included. Have I been wrong all along, or?

Also, best I can tell, the only way to get to North Island is by a 15 minute helicopter ride, and that costs 814EUR each way. One would think there would also be an option for a boat, though I don’t see that published.

Bottom line

365,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night is frankly just about the best case scenario I was expecting in terms of pricing, especially when you consider that this is the pricing for four adults. That’s obviously a ton of points, but this place is also out-of-this-world expensive.

Unfortunately on top of that you can expect to pay for the transfers and meals other than breakfast, it would seem.

So, who is ready to redeem points at North Island? 😉

Comments
  1. 365,000 points is ridiculous. Who is going to do that when there are so many islands and semi-secluded resorts?

  2. ROFL, I don’t think a stay at this hotel will be exponentially better than other dream destinations. Do celebrities churn points too? Cause I don’t know who would want to blow this many points for this hotel.

  3. Who is ever going to be able to save up enough points if they are just starting out and don’t travel 75-100 nights per year for work? This same question applies to many aspirational properties thanks to dynamic award pricing. By the time you save 500,000+ points for 5 nights the pricing will change and you won’t have enough points.

  4. You increasingly write about ridiculously priced hotels and paid fares as if your audience consists primarily of one percenters. I don’t know anyone that would think this is a good deal.

  5. Useless. Only possible for Americans with credit card bonuses. Those who have to collect the points as they were intended to be collected will have passed away before having 350k.

  6. @Lucky: I also noticed that the “free night” is not really free anymore since it comes exactly with what you see in your reservation as a # points for upgrade. I am not sure what that means. I tried to quote the JW Marriot in Venice, Italy for 5 nights and the “free night” had points there.

  7. @ Tom C — LOVE your reviews, the funniest on the internet! Read your North Island reviews, but any sense of how crazy pricing is for food once you’re there? Didn’t see that referenced in your reviews…

  8. @ Ron — Admittedly this doesn’t have the widest appeal, but that’s also because there are only 11 total villas. But I don’t think that makes this “useless.”

  9. @ Brenton — This post isn’t just intended for those actually considering redeeming, but I think it’s a fascinating precedent in general that will interest a lot of people. This is the first ever Marriott to be priced higher than the award chart.

  10. @ Armani S — Not many people, you’re absolutely right. But this is also an island with a very limited number of rooms. This is definitely more geared towards those who have saved up and are staying many, many nights with Marriott.

  11. @ Lucky

    For me, and I guess many with me, it is a completely useless offer.
    Bonvoy Platinum here. Through my stays I have trouble to even collect a 100k. From the Amex Platinum (non US) I get at best another 40k. Means It takes me about 2,5 years to collect the points for a 1 nite stay.
    I call that useless.

    CC bonuses are rare outside the US. And CC earning rates are about 10-20% of US earning rates.
    This is a nice game for US residents, not so for anyone else.

  12. With Marriott Bonvoyed the Courtyard in Detroit will be 400,000 points per night
    in two years or less
    So this very well may be a very good deal
    I’m booking a week with my points ASAP

  13. For everyone asking who this caters to – I work in ultra-luxury travel and yes this is obviously a 1%’er location (in reality a .001%er location).

    Yes, most of our clients book directly and the rate doesn’t mean anything to them. Believe it or not, many of them also use points and have many millions of them to blow, from accumulating over years, business expenses, etc.

    One of my clients just the other day found out she has over 8mm AA miles. A nice casual find on just another Tuesday…

    That’s who spends points like that.

  14. Cheers, Ben.

    I stayed in 2016 and 2018, back when it was a single rate and all-inclusive. They’ve since changed the rates to offer different packages: https://www.north-island.com/rates/

    We’ve booked B&B for next month, as we don’t drink, aren’t into diving and don’t care to eat like the host of Man vs Food whilst it’s 30C. I now suspect they’re going to charge €250 for a soup, so you’ve made me double check and request their food menus.

  15. I guess I’m a 1%er since I found this interesting?

    The helicopter pricing is ABSURD. The website notes 814 EUR *one way* (per person), so for 4 people you’re looking at $7000 RT to get to the hotel. And the best part is, it’s a third party vendor so you can’t even get some Bonvoy pesos from that spend.

  16. I do 225-250 nights per year in Marriott hotels. Let’s conservatively say my average hotel is $150 per night. With bonus points or incidentals, that’s about 2,000 points per night. So, 450,000–500,000 points per year, excluding promotions, credit cards and service recoveries. If I’m going here I’m going for at least 6 nights, 7 days. That’s 2.1 million points. So it will take me 4.3 years to accumulate enough points by which point the price for an award-redemption stay will surely have increased given that Marriott has changed its categories and pricing at least 4 times since 2018. I accept there are people who spend maybe $250 per night on average and, therefore, get more points per year than I do. But I suspect we’re talking about less than 15,000 customers worldwide if you accept there are 2-4 ambassador elites at every Marriott hotel every Sunday-Friday. This is a purely a gimmick — a novelty so Marriott can tout this hotel in its Bonvoy marketing. But as someone else said, almost nobody will ever utilize it.

  17. Lucky – this happens a lot. If you don’t book a “Standard” room, then your “upgraded” cost in points does not get waived for the final night. I have a St R maldives booking, for 5 nights straight into an OW bungalow. The “free” night is 35k pts, as that is the upgrade cost, and the remaining nights are 85k each.

  18. Why are all of you whining about how useless it is to you. It’s supposed to be one of the most exclusive resorts in the World. If all of us COULD use points to stay here easily, it would completed ruin the resort’s exclusivity. If you don’t have the means to stay here, don’t stay here. It’s a property for the top 0.5% . It’s interesting nonetheless that you can now (in theory) stay here on points. I’ve stayed at Al Maha on SPG points. Nice place, but I would never spend the cash for it even though I could. I have no problem burning points for that type of luxury because points can only be used for that purpose. I can find other uses for my cash.

  19. @FNT: 15,000 customers? I think that is high because most Marriott hotels are limited-service brands. I suspect the ratio of ambassadors to overall customers is much higher at than full-service properties in big cities than all properties system-wide. Also, I suspect the number of ambassadors in Asia is low because the $20,000 spending threshold is a very high threshold for anyone outside Hong Kong, Tokyo or Singapore. I bet there are less than 5,000 customers who can collect enough points in a single year to pay for 5 or 6 nights at 365,000 points per night.

  20. Hiya

    I’m from Seychelles. You do not want to get a boat to North Island – the open water in Seychelles is very rough and is not comfortable at all. The boat journey to North Island would also be very very long, probably the best part of a day and it would be on a very small boat too. If you were to book the helicopter yourself you might be better going through Zilair directly (Seychelles’ helicopter operator). However I wouldn’t suggest booking North Island, to me it has always seemed a little bit stuffy and pretentious – there are many other equally luxurious (though not cheaper) hotels around the other islands in Seychelles

  21. @Brenton I totally agree with you.

    @JMM I also agree with you, I’ll never ever spend any money in these made for excess places.
    I don’t buy into it.

  22. I guess the 85K off for the fifth night kind of makes sense. I booked an upgraded room category for 5 nights once (at the W Maldives) and was told that the fifth night free only applies to the base room cost, at that time 60K points/night, and not the upgrade portion of the nightly points. So they’re basically treating this as a cat 8 property with a big points upgrade charge.

    (Which in itself is a worrying way for them to be thinking about it, since it just makes it seem that much more inevitable that the Maldives hotels and other top properties will eventually be treated the same way, much like SPG did.)

  23. Isn’t this where Kate Middleton and Prince William went for their honeymoon (and booked the entire resort). Looks amazing but sadly unlikely to go.

  24. We are going to be on a cruise next year that overnights in Mahe. I would go for it and spend the night on the North Island. I have the points, but sadly not the almost $4,000 for the helicopter. I love reading about these aspirational properties. It’s what my hard earned points are four, not a Marriott or Sheraton airport.

  25. This is bad news. Very very bad news. There might be some indirectly Bonvoyed by this price.

    I think I need to cash out ASAP on next transfer bonus for Citi or Amex.
    Next hard part is finding a week available.

  26. My guess is their search engine is factoring in the 5th night free, but just is coded to top out at a max discount of 85k (the standard level cat 8 price). The balance of the charge for that night is their “upgrade” pricing for a premium room, which all the villas here are categorized as.

  27. I wonder how the lounge access would work, assuming there is a lounge at this property if you have a two bedroom villa with four adults and one reservation.

  28. Hotel offers multiple rates now (B&B, Half board, Full board, All inclusive). Sorta defeats the purpose of North Island which was basically show up and not have to worry about signing a check your entire stay. They at one point didn’t even have a credit card processor on property. Should help Fregate Island’s success…

    https://www.north-island.com/rates/

  29. Just checked in May for 2 nights and 4 people.

    Charged an extra 1000 euro per person and cancellation date is tomorrow!

  30. I’ve got the food prices through now. They’re not that bad, actually. Think along the lines of being in any number of the major touristy European capitals, like London, Paris or Rome – but obviously in the expensive areas.

  31. I mean sorry, but this is an amazing deal—that the deal is for an expensive property doesn’t make it any less of an amazing deal. Through permitting purchasing Bonvoy points and pooling them in various ways ways, I think Marriott just introduced a sale price for North Island of around $3k per night. That’s unbelievable.

  32. I was going to ask, is that 850 euro 15 mins flight each way, is that for the whole trip or per person. I guess somebody replied above me that is per person. They’ve got to be freaking mad.

  33. Don’t forget that if this place was doing well financially and from a marketing standpoint that it wouldn’t have had to flag as Luxury Collection and join Marriott. As my Dowager Countess of Grantham would say, real luxury doesn’t market itself as luxury. The fact is they needed whatever business Marriott could bring them, both through Luxury Collection and now points. And it’s a huge win-win for Marriott because they can now promote this property in marketing for use of points knowing full well that almost nobody just starting now will ever accumulate enough points to stay there.

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