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

Nov 7, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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.

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.

Additional reporting by Jennifer Yellin and Edward Pizzarello. Featured photo courtesy of the resort.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Aside from the welcome offer you'll earn up to $300 in statement credits each year at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program and 1 free night (worth up to 50k points) every year after your card renewal month. Terms apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
16.49%-25.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.