8 amazing hotels around the world you can book with points

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Having hotel points opens up a whole world of possibilities when it comes to accommodations. Whether you redeem your hotel points for last-minute nights at a midrange property for a special event or splurge on a high-end resort for a dreamy vacation, having points can unlock opportunities that would otherwise carry a far-too-high price tag.

The world’s major hotel chains have plenty of luxury properties that are too costly for many people to stay at without the help of points and miles. Then there’s an even-more-exclusive group of hotels typically only frequented by the ultra-wealthy.

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Many of these uber-posh retreats are simply out of reach for most people. There are, however, properties around the world that might seem like they’d only cater to those with millions in the bank but are also bookable with points. Here’s a look at some of those properties, and how many points you can expect to redeem for a standard award night.

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North Island, A Luxury Collection Resort, Seychelles

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Cost in cash: From $6,876 per night.

Cost in points: From 385,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

North Island is an ultra-exclusive private island resort with just 11 private villas and an impressive conservation program. You can redeem Marriott points for your North Island stay, as the property is part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection. But rates start at 385,000 points per night, well above what you’ll typically find at other Marriott properties.

Awards book into one of the property’s 4,842-square-foot beachfront villas with ocean views and a private plunge pool. You can technically get a fifth night free when redeeming points, but you’ll still have to redeem 300,000 points for your free night as an “upgrade.”

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Redeeming Marriott points for a stay on North Island is only a truly viable option if you have millions of Marriott points to redeem. You can get a solid redemption rate on many dates, but you’ll still be on the hook for the 814 euros (about $815) helicopter transfer each way, plus food and drinks.

Related: Private islands and space flights: 8 of the most exclusive travel experiences you can book with points

Calala Island

CARISSA RAWSON/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $2,950 per night.

Cost in points: 35,000, 40,000 or 45,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Calala Island is a private-island resort in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Nicaragua. The resort bills itself as an “ultra-all-inclusive” property, which means that just about everything, including the majority of activities offered at the resort and the round-trip transfer from the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, are included with the nightly rate.

Perhaps one of the best possible ways to redeem World of Hyatt points, Calala Island will truly make you feel like you’re on your own island in paradise. There are only four rooms at the resort, meaning you’ll share the island with at most seven other people. The property has a three-night minimum stay on most dates.

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Former TPG writer Carissa Rawson reviewed Calala Island and called the resort an “homage to unspoiled island beauty.” Just don’t expect perfectly manicured beaches, air-conditioned rooms and made-for-Instagram spots, as Calala Island is all about connecting with nature and getting away from everything.

Related: 10 private-island resorts you can book with points

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

TOM GRAHSLER/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $1,973 per night.

Cost in points: 150,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

It’s not a private island, but resorts in the Maldives are typically so private you won’t even notice. The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi opened its doors in 2019 and has been considered one of the island nation’s best resorts ever since. The Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, had the chance to stay at this property at the end of 2019 and he wishes he’d had more than just four nights at the property — it’s that amazing.

The best part? You can book a “base” room — which measures more than 3,000 square feet, is right on the beach and has an overwater terrace and private plunge pool — with your Hilton Honors points.

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You’ll have to work to find standard room reward availability. Still, if you do, it’ll be worth the effort. As Brian said, this property “flawlessly embodies what it means to have a Maldivian vacation.”

Related: Maldives vs. Bora Bora: Which remote island chain should you visit?

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

CHRIS DONG/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $1,829 per night.

Cost in points: From 98,000 Marriott points per night.

It’s much easier to find standard award availability at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands. Of course, rates vary since Marriott now uses dynamic award pricing. But, if you want to redeem Marriott points for a stay of five or more nights and get a fifth night free, you can do so on most dates.

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One benefit of the Ritz-Carlton Maldives over some other resorts in the Maldives is that you take a high-speed boat instead of a seaplane between Male and the resort. As such, you’re less dependent on flight schedules and weather. But, these transfers won’t come cheap — even if you’re redeeming Marriott points for your stay. Expect to pay $678 per person round trip.

As for the on-site experience, you’ll find personalized service and gorgeously modern villas. There are ample on-site activities, including many complimentary options such as midday tea and morning yoga.

Related: 10 incredible overwater bungalows you can book with points

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai

ETHAN STEINBERG/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $1,317 per night.

Cost in points: From 96,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Many all-inclusive resorts have a bad reputation for skimping on the quality of the food and drink offerings and not giving you your money’s worth. Al Maha does it differently, which is why many at TPG consider it one of the best possible uses of Marriott Bonvoy points.

Award rates include everything except alcohol and entitle you to three meals and two desert activities per day. You can choose to dine in the comfort of your villa at no extra cost or eat in the main restaurant overlooking the vast expanses of desert. The food is top-notch, whether you’re craving Western dishes or something more local.

Complimentary activities range from falconry to archery to desert walks and camel rides. You’ll need to pay extra for some activities, such as dune bashing and horse riding. But, most guests spend much of their time enjoying their Bedouin suite. Upgrades for Marriott Bonvoy elites are extremely rare, but even the base room you can book with points is 807 square feet and includes a private patio and pool.

Related: Is Al Maha worth splurging on?

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

KYLE OLSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $862 per night.

Cost in points: From 88,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

If you have Marriott Bonvoy points and want to visit French Polynesia, the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort should be on your radar. The property is massive and offers a wide variety of restaurants on-site. The base level room you can book starting from 88,000 Marriott points per night is a 2,700-square-foot reef-side garden villa with an ocean view and a private pool.

Award availability is limited at standard rates. But, you can find five consecutive nights if you have flexible dates; by doing so, you can maximize your Marriott Bonvoy points and get a fifth night free.

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If you’re into snorkeling, you’ll love the resort’s private Lagoonarium, where you can see many different species of tropical fish and coral at your leisure. And if you want to visit Bora Bora’s Vaitape village, you can take a once-daily complimentary shuttle from the resort.

Related: 6 (almost) impossible hotel redemptions you can book now

Park Hyatt Sydney

ERIC ROSEN/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $686 per night.

Cost in points: 35,000, 40,000 or 45,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

The Park Hyatt Sydney offers sweeping views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, one of the most iconic cityscapes on earth. The hotel’s location is perfect for tourists and business travelers. It straddles the central business district and provides easy access to ferries, taking you to some of the prettier, less well-known beaches.

Perhaps the best part is that thanks to Hyatt’s generous award chart, you can book this fantastic hotel for 35,000 points per night on off-peak dates. However, note that award nights often net you a view of Hickson Road instead of the aspirational water views you might be dreaming of. The small but incredible rooftop pool offers excellent views, and the rooms have huge, spa-style bathrooms.

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Hyatt points transfer 1:1 from Chase Ultimate Rewards. So signing up for (or spending on) cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Ink Business Preferred Credit Card can make this aspirational redemption possible even if you don’t currently have many World of Hyatt points in your account.

Related: 6 reasons the Park Hyatt Sydney is still one of my favorite hotel points redemptions

Ventana Big Sur, an Alila resort

Ventana Big Sur Meadow Pool. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $1,700 per night.

Cost in points: 35,000, 40,000 or 45,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

When Hyatt acquired Two Roads Hospitality group in 2018, it opened up many new possibilities for those with World of Hyatt (or Chase Ultimate Rewards) points. Many points and miles enthusiasts believe one of the best properties integrated into the World of Hyatt program due to the acquisition is Ventana Big Sur, an Alila resort.

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Located off the Pacific Coast Highway about three hours south of San Francisco, the property is in one of the most scenic parts of California, if not the entire North American continent.

The whole resort gives off a California cabin vibe — a very luxurious one, to be sure. The property feels isolated and is set harmoniously among trees with the majestic Pacific Ocean below. Make sure you don’t miss the infinity-edge hot tub overlooking the impossibly tall trees and gorgeous mountain landscape in the distance.

Related: You can now earn Hyatt points and elite nights at a campsite in California

Bottom line

If you have a big stash of points to spend, resorts worldwide that you’d think would be off-limits could be very much within reach. Start planning by racking up earnings from everyday spending or signing up for a specific credit card and earning a big welcome bonus.

Once you have those points in hand, you can go all-out on your next vacation and treat yourself to something spectacular.

Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg and Tanner Saunders.