Prince William’s £6,800 per night honeymoon resort joins Marriott! Will redemptions be possible?

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This is a story so odd that it is hard to believe that it is true, but it is.

You may have heard of North Island Resort in the Seychelles.  If the name rings a bell, it is because it is where Prince William went on honeymoon, as did George and Amal Clooney.  It is situated 30km from Mahe Island, the capital of the Seychelles.

The resort website is here.

North Island Resort has a grand total of 11 rooms across its 500 acres.

‘Rooms’ is perhaps understating it, however.  The 11 villas are each 450 sq m, so about 6x the size of the average new-build UK house.

It is reassuringly expensive as you would expect, with rates – see here – at €6,433 per night before a 15% tax and 6% service charge.  That is £6,800 per night all-in.  If your children are 12+ there is an extra charge.

If you want to read a review, my friend and occasional HFP commentator Tom has been a couple of times.  He reviewed it on his blog – which is probably the worlds biggest source of private island resort reviews written by the same person – here and here.

Why is North Island joining Marriott?!

You may have heard of ASMALLWORLD.  This is an organisation with, to put it mildly, a chequered history.  Set up as, basically, a ‘Facebook for rich kids’, its Wikipedia entry features a long list of allegations against it.

For extra kudos, disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein owned the company at one point.

Today, ASMALLWORLD styles itself as “the leading private international lifestyle club”.

A few weeks ago it acquired LuxuryBARED, an online luxury travel agency, as the foundation of a new division called ASW Hospitality.  It has now announced that ASMALLWORLD is taking over management of North Island.

This seems, on the face of it, crazy.  We are talking a business with a chequered past and no experience in hotel management moving into the sector by taking over what is arguably the most famous private island resort in the world.

And it gets odder ….

ASMALLWORLD has decided to add North Island to “The Luxury Collection”, one of Marriott’s brands.  The switch is scheduled for December.

Unless there is some change in the rules, this means that you will be able to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points – and remember the nightly cap from the end of 2019 will be 100,000 points which I value at £500 – for a villa selling for £6,800 per night.

Somehow I doubt that will be happening, but let’s see.   After all, Jan Luescher, ASMALLWORLD’s CEO said:

“North Island is one of the very few resorts the whole world knows and talks about. ASMALLWORLD is proud to manage this iconic property and to work alongside Marriott International to get more ASMALLWORLD and Marriott International’s loyal guests to experience this one-of-a-kind resort.”

It is not substantially crazier than expecting Prince William or George Clooney to hop onto to book their honeymoons …..

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  1. youngtraveller says:

    I’m not sure if my calculations are correct or not but is virgin Atlantic redemption on Dubai economy flight of good value or not. It is 10k miles +470 aed(97.90 GBP) in taxes while if I bought the same ticket I would be paying 1290 aed (268.69 GBP) cause I need to get the bag. So my calculations were 170.79/10k = 1.7p so I think it is of good value.
    Thanks in advance, Any help appreciated!

    • Yes, can’t argue with that if you only need a one-way – although Dubai is often available, return, for £325 or less in economy.

      • youngtraveller says:

        Awesome thanks. I have Etihad miles which are expiring in a couple of months so was thinking to use them on my way from Singapore to Dubai since got no other use for them. Will stay a day or two in Dubai then can come back with VA to London. (was trying to see if I can get business from Dubai to Heathrow through krisflyer through amex points but no availability for my dates in March). I’m using the anyway pass from Lufthansa to go to Singapore.

        • Don’t know what points you have, but there are some good sq krisflyer economy and business redemption promotions available in march.

  2. Has anyone seen that fyre festival documentary?

    • …Yes?

      • “We are talking a business with a chequered past and no experience in hotel management moving into the sector by taking over what is arguably the most famous private island resort in the world.”

        This reminded me of it. Can see it ending the same way

    • OMG, that was a fun watch. I could smell the BS on Billy in the opening scenes…

  3. I’m staying at the Four Seasons Seychelles this year and would like to try the lovely looking Conrad Maldives (albeit not as lux). The Royals stayed here for their honeymoon, but chose not to return when they explored another Indian Ocean hideaway: The owners suite at Chevel Blanc Randeli, Maldives. North Island is in the Necker Island league (limited rooms and rates to price out most). Amans, O&O Reethi Rah and other top Maldives resorts offer privacy and luxury, but much cheaper. BTW, has anyone watched the Necker Island documentary? Odd place.

  4. The Streets says:

    OT but vaguely related… I am still waiting for my x3 Hilton bonus points from the AMEX MR offer that was emailed before Christmas. Anyone else in the same boat?

  5. Somewhat related. The wife and I are flying out on a BA 241 CW redemption in a couple of months time and island hopping a few times.

    My sister-in-law and husband were looking to do the same, but now cannot see Mahe on the Reward Flights finder – have BA pulled the route from their redemptions?

    • It’s the usual “new” flights not appearing on the finder. Go to make a booking page.

    • Reward Flight Finder shows it – there are 2 CW seats available going out Jan 1st 2020, they should snap them up if they can travel then!

  6. OT (no bits): Economist offer from Norwegian Rewards

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Just about to post this – Essentially double your money if you ignore the fact Norwegian aren’t exactly the most financially sound operation on earth, and that unless you use the earned points v quickly you can consider yourself a poster child for unsecured creditors!

      The fact they’re giving £290 of cashpoints for a £159 subscription is frankly not an encouraging sign, and that’s ignoring that it’s not norwegian who get the £159!

  7. OT,

    Need a hotel in Eixample Barcelona, any recommendations? Not too pricy.

    • Just got back from The Corner Hotel which was about 4 blocks south-west of Passeig de Gracia. Booked it a while back usiing one of the AMEX Travel promos as nothing stood out from a redemptions perspective. Would happily stay again.

      We ate round the corner one night at Maur Muntaner and that was quite an experience!

  8. OT: Question re Qatar Airways if someone could help please.
    My relatives will be flying in to Doha in economy and then have an ongoing flight to Karachi (KHI). I would like upgrade the second short flight. Will their tickets be classed as First and hence them having access to Al-Safwa? I remember I had a Business class ticket from Helsinki to DXB but the Doha to DXB was classed as First and not Business (as they only have First and Economy on those flights) and hence we had Al-Safwa lounge access. Right now it is not showing any upgrade options in Manage Booking option but I want to be clear when I call them if it’s worth their while or not.

    • Prins Polo says:

      No, it will be Business.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I thought Qatar excludes lounge access on upgrade fairs, which stuck out as ridiculous. I might be wrong though just what I recall from FlyerTalk discussions.

      Flights within the Middle East are first and get al safwa access but Pakistan and India aren’t in that bracket.

  9. GUWonder says:

    ASW, some time after it’s control was bought away from Weinstein, tried to get its members to sign up to be paying members and was trying to hook paid members by way of travel services. It never amounted to being very good in that regard, and this Seychelles arrangement is probably yet another desperate ploy by current ASW management to make something of ASW and get more membership fees.

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