$7000 Per Night North Island Resort Now Bookable With (The Wrong Number Of) Marriott Points

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Nobody is actually going to redeem points here because of the huge added cost of getting there. I bet there will only be a few dozen, at most, reward stays per year. Also, the cost of alcohol and food must be absurdly high. I am also concerned that this will be used as a precedent by other pompous properties — especially from Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection and even Edition, St Regis or Ritz-Carlton — to charge more than the maximum award category. I also don’t understand how this property joins but then Bulgari is exempted or Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

  2. 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.

  3. Can you clarify the word “wrong” in the title? If it’s bookable at 365,000 points, are you saying the right number is 700,000 or 1000,000? Sorry to be thick.

  4. 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.

  5. @Jack – OMAAT: “Marriott tells me that they offer a fifth night free on these redemptions” as he points out the online pricing is wonky but I noted that as well in the post.

  6. This place has to be worse than Bora, Bora, Boring, Maldives, etc.
    I preferred wandering around Male to staying on an island. At least we found Dr Usama Bin Laden’s dentistry practice.
    Last 2 times in The Maldives a Chinese tourist threatened to slit the throat of his significant other (it did take several trips to decide it was just boring)

    Give me a Hyatt Ziva anytime. Just. Cant. Wind. Down. Enough.

  7. @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.

  8. Gary, since you got enough points to book for 5 nights and the place accommodate up to 4 people. Why don’t you book it and invite 3 other readers of your blog to come along. We’ll figure out the helicopter fee lol.

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