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Fit for royalty: One of the world's most exclusive private island resorts just joined Marriott

Nov. 07, 2019
5 min read
Fit for royalty: One of the world's most exclusive private island resorts just joined Marriott
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Marriott is already home to some pretty distinctive properties as part of its Luxury Collection, such as Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa in Dubai and The Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu. But there are some independent properties so exclusive, remote and, well, expensive they can make even a St. Regis seem ordinary by comparison.

Think: Richard Branson's Necker Island Resort, which can be booked with Virgin Atlantic miles provided you have Flying Club status. Of course, a massive 1.2 million miles are required for a seven-night stay.

Just 924,000 Amex MR points can get you a week on Sir Richard Branson's private island.
Necker Island Resort. Photo courtesy of the resort.

Another exclusive, super high-end property is North Island Resort in the Seychelles, a tiny archipelago of 115 tropical islands off the east coast of Africa. Earlier this year, ASMALLWORLD AG announced it would be taking over the management of North Island Resort Seychelles, and the property would join Marriott's Luxury Collection brand in December 2019.

Well, it looks like Christmas has come early, because on Thursday, Nov. 7, One Mile at a Time reported that the property now appears on Marriott's website.

The property is hidden away on an exclusive private island accessible by helicopter from Mahe, where the main airport of the Seychelles (SEZ) is located, and rates start at a hefty $6,800 per night — not including 21% in VAT and service charges. You can even opt for more expensive package rates that include half or full board, drinks (alcoholic and nonalcoholic) and water activities.

On top of the nightly rate, you'll still have to fork out even more money 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. And you certainly won't need to be at the pool by 8 a.m. to score a chaise, as there are only 11 villas.

North Island Resort, Seychelles (Image courtesy of the resort)
North Island Resort, Seychelles. Photo courtesy of the resort.

The North Island Resort is most famous for having hosted some very famous guests, including George and Amal Clooney, and Prince William and Kate Middleton. Both couples chose North Island Resort for their honeymoons, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have also stayed at this stunning retreat.

North Island Resort, Seychelles (Image courtesy of the resort)
North Island Resort, Seychelles. Photo courtesy of the resort.

All of the 5,000-square-foot villas have direct beach access and views, plus plenty of privacy thanks to careful landscaping. This is part of what makes it such a desirable getaway for celebrities and other ultra-wealthy travelers. You're unlikely to see many other guests unless you really want to.

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North Island Resort, Seychelles (Image courtesy of the resort)
North Island Resort, Seychelles. Photo courtesy of the resort.

Though you can now book through Marriott with cash (and lots of it), the hotel is not yet available to be booked with points. Marriott Bonvoy's redemption table maxes out at 85,000 points per night for Category 8 properties, which is where most Luxury Collection properties sit. TPG contacted Marriott to find out more details about how the property will fit into the Bonvoy program, and received the following comment from a spokesperson:

"We are excited to welcome North Island, a Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles into the Marriott International portfolio. In the near future, Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to earn and redeem points for award stays. We will have more information to share with members soon."

It's unlikely this property will slide right into Category 8 on the award chart, given how expensive rack rates are at North Island Resort. If it were to become a Category 8 property, it would not only be possibly the best value hotel redemption in the world, but might also be the most desirable and aspirational, leaving properties in Tahiti and the Maldives in its wake.

Guests will be able to earn Marriott points on paid bookings in the future, but we'll just have to wait to see how such a unique property will handle benefits for Marriott elite members. One single night at North Island could potentially earn you enough points for a Category 8 redemption — something to consider if you want to justify the cost.

North Island Resort (Image courtesy of the resort)
North Island Resort. Photo courtesy of the resort.

If you're lucky enough to be staying here on a cash rate, it promises to be an amazing travel experience at one of the most luxurious and private resorts on earth. We'll be sure to update this story when more announcements are made.

Featured image by North Island Resort, Seychelles (Image courtesy of the resort)

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TPG featured card

Best card for Marriott loyalists
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6XEarn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
3X3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
2X2 points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

150,000 points
Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.

Annual Fee

$650

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card is a good choice for those who spend time at Marriott properties. While it’s not a great choice for everyday spending, this card does earn 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. You can also redeem Marriott rewards points at more than 7,100 Marriott locations globally.

Pros

  • Earn up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • 1 free night award (up to 85,000 points) every year after your card renewal month.
  • Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required)
  • Automatic Platinum status

Cons

  • $650 annual fee isn't insignificant
  • May not make sense if you don't stay at Marriott properties
  • Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • A Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite member will earn 50% more points on eligible purchases at participating hotels for each U.S. dollar or the currency equivalent that is incurred and paid for by the member.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Brilliant Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases, Card Members are eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit. Benefit options include: Five (5) Suite Night Awards, 85K Free Night Award, and mattress and box spring $750 discount from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques.
  • $100 Luxury Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85) when you pay the application fee with an eligible Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Cell phone protection: You can be reimbursed for your costs to repair or replace your damaged or Stolen cell phone up to $800, subject to a $50 deductible, for 2 approved claims per 12-month period when your prior month's wireless bill was paid utilizing an Eligible Card Account. Terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6XEarn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
3X3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
2X2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.

    150,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $650
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card is a good choice for those who spend time at Marriott properties. While it’s not a great choice for everyday spending, this card does earn 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program. You can also redeem Marriott rewards points at more than 7,100 Marriott locations globally.

Pros

  • Earn up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • 1 free night award (up to 85,000 points) every year after your card renewal month.
  • Priority Pass Select membership (enrollment required)
  • Automatic Platinum status

Cons

  • $650 annual fee isn't insignificant
  • May not make sense if you don't stay at Marriott properties
  • Earn 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy® bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
  • A Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite member will earn 50% more points on eligible purchases at participating hotels for each U.S. dollar or the currency equivalent that is incurred and paid for by the member.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Brilliant Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases, Card Members are eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit. Benefit options include: Five (5) Suite Night Awards, 85K Free Night Award, and mattress and box spring $750 discount from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques.
  • $100 Luxury Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85) when you pay the application fee with an eligible Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass Select, which offers unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • Cell phone protection: You can be reimbursed for your costs to repair or replace your damaged or Stolen cell phone up to $800, subject to a $50 deductible, for 2 approved claims per 12-month period when your prior month's wireless bill was paid utilizing an Eligible Card Account. Terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees