At the start of 2019 the most expensive award price at any Marriott property was 60,000 points per night. Then they added category 8 raising the top price to 80,000. Then in September they introduced peak pricing raising the top price to 100,000.
In December Marriott changed its terms and conditions to say that category 8 high season pricing of 100,000 points per night is no longer the highest price a hotel can get.
It turns out that prospect was all about just a single hotel: the $7000 per night North Island in the Seychelles has now joined Marriott’s Luxury Collection. I don’t think anyone expected to be able to use 100,000 Marriott points per night at North Island, that would have meant redemptions 10 times the average value of their points.
Credit: North Island
North Island is now redeemable. Marriott has set the price at 365,000 points per night which during peak season still represents good value (especially with 5th night free).
A Marriott spokesperson shares,
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.
In fact official pricing notwithstanding it looks like it’s available for a bit less:
I’m tempted to try for a booking here, although an 814 Euro helicopter transfer each way is required and not included in the redemption booking. I have enough points for a five night stay.
My concern, however, is now there’s a mechanism in place for charging more points than the award chart’s top category peak season price, it’ll be tempting to expand the practice to other expensive or unique properties. For instance Al Maha, where every guest has their own villa with private pool, includes meals (even room service) and activities.