You are currently viewing From an overwater villa in the Maldives to a private island: 8 luxury hotels you can book with points

From an overwater villa in the Maldives to a private island: 8 luxury hotels you can book with points

There are many ways to redeem points for hotel stays. I usually redeem for good-value properties that I can book for relatively few points. Having hotel points opens up a whole world of possibilities and has allowed me to stay at some spectacular properties that I couldn’t — or at least wouldn’t — have booked if I couldn’t redeem points for my stay.

Many major hotel loyalty programs let travelers book amazing luxury properties with points. Unfortunately, standard award space for a reasonable-length stay is virtually non-existent at some properties, such as Calala Island (bookable with Hyatt points through a partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World) and Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi. You may snag award stays at these hotels if you set alerts or search frequently. But to set reasonable expectations, I left properties off this list that didn’t have at least decent award availability.

Here’s a look at some of the most amazing luxury hotels you can book with points, including a few I’ve been lucky enough to visit and several more that are still on my wish list.

Book Alila Ventana Big Sur with points

Pool at Alila Ventana Big Sur
Pool at Alila Ventana Big Sur in the United States. ALILA VENTANA BIG SUR/FACEBOOK

Cost in cash: From $1,793 per night

Cost in points: From 35,000 Hyatt points per night

You go to Ventana Big Sur to get away and relax. This rustic forest resort near Monterey, California, has 54 rooms and suites. Each resort booking includes all meals and select activities like yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and daily hikes. As such, Ventana Big Sur is certainly a resort where your points can provide significant value.

TPG’s Zach Griff loved his stay, as evidenced in his review of Hyatt’s Ventana Big Sur. But, I found when researching availability — and as Zach noted in his review — award space for rooms that price at off-peak award rates is limited. However, I did find several nights with off-peak Category 8 pricing for standard rooms and many nights with off-peak standard and premium suite availability.

The resort is adults-only, so no guests under 18 can accompany you. And note that the glamping side of Ventana Big Sur is different from the resort and doesn’t have access to many of the resort amenities.

Overall, this is a resort for those with plenty of cash, an ample stash of World of Hyatt points or celebrating a special occasion. I’d likely try to book a short stay with off-peak standard room award pricing and use my points for a larger Pacific Coast Highway trip to get the most value.

Related: The best Hyatt all-inclusive resorts in the world

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa
Pool at Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in the United States. MIRAVAL ARIZONA/FACEBOOK

Cost in cash: From $910 per night for single-occupancy (from $1,639 per night for double-occupancy)

Cost in points: From 40,000 Hyatt points per night for single-occupancy (from 57,500 points per night for double-occupancy)

Hyatt’s most luxurious wellness-focused brand is Miraval, which has full-scale resorts and spas in Texas, Arizona and Massachusetts. TPG staffers have reviewed all three, each with glowing reviews:

So, it’s not surprising that at least one Miraval resort would make my list of amazing luxury hotels around the world you can book with points. I’m most excited to visit Miraval Arizona, due to its desert location and its status as the original Miraval resort.

There’s a special World of Hyatt award chart for Miraval resorts, but redeeming Hyatt points still provides good value on most dates. All meals, snacks, coffee, smoothies and nonalcoholic beverages are included in stays. Plus, guests get shared shuttle transportation from Tucson International Airport (TUS) and a $175 per person nightly credit for spa services, fee-based activities or private sessions.

Related: Does it make sense to redeem World of Hyatt points for all-inclusive resorts?

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

plunge pool on wooden deck overlooking clear, blue waters
An overwater villa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, in the Maldives. CHRIS DONG/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $2,488 per night

Cost in points: From 92,000 Marriott points per night

If you have a lot of Marriott Bonvoy points and want a spectacular stay in the Maldives, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, is an excellent option. It’s just a 45-minute speedboat ride from the airport in Male, where most international flights arrive in the Maldives. The standard point redemption books into a one-bedroom ocean pool villa with an ocean view — although you can redeem more points at booking for an upgraded room type.

Former TPG reporter Chris Dong summed up his stay perfectly when he wrote: “I enjoyed my time at the Ritz, not because of how glamorous it was but because I felt truly cared for in a way that I’ve never felt at any other hotel in the world.”

Frankly, I doubt I’ll ever be willing to redeem the points required to stay at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives. But, especially considering paid rates, you’re getting a steal on most dates — especially if you redeem points for at least five nights of your stay and can get a fifth night free.

Related: Stay at these amazing Ritz-Carltons across the world

Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu overwater bungalow
An overwater villa at Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $952 per night

Cost in points: From 190,000 IHG points per night

My Six Senses Laamu review indicates how much I loved the resort, and it’s remained my favorite stay years later. As such, I had to include it on this list of amazing luxury hotels around the world you can book with points.

Six Senses Laamu is a rustic luxury resort focused on environmental sustainability. It employs an entire team of marine biologists, offers amazing on-site snorkeling opportunities, includes some memorable experiential activities, has a cool kid’s club and features multilevel overwater villas as its base room type.

However, I’d likely book a paid rate if I return to Six Senses Laamu (which I hope to do). Redeeming IHG points doesn’t make sense for most Six Senses stays for two reasons: you’ll get a lower redemption rate than at most IHG hotels, and Six Senses frequently offers excellent half-board paid rates if you stay at least four nights.

Related: Most luxurious Six Senses resorts across the world

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

Al Maha dubai
View from a villa at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai. MARRIOTT AL MAHA/MARRIOTT

Cost in cash: From $1,182 per night

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

I debated whether Al Maha was worth splurging on a few years ago. After visiting in the summer of 2022, I’m happy I decided to try out this aspirational, essentially all-inclusive resort in Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Our two-night stay was certainly memorable, from the meals on our villa’s patio and hours spent in our private pool overlooking the desert to the included activities.

The resort has 42 private villas with swimming pools, and guests redeeming points for their stay can enjoy three meals and two activities per day. Activities include archery, desert nature walks, desert drives, wildlife safaris, falconry demonstrations, horse riding, camel trekking and sundowners in the dunes. We learned a lot during our desert nature walk and enjoyed light dune bashing during our wildlife safari.

Related: The 26 best Marriott hotels in the world

JW Marriott Masai Mara

JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge
Entrance to the JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge in Kenya. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $1,554 per night for single occupancy ($2,576 per night for double occupancy)

Cost in points: From 106,000 Marriott points per night

I’d had my eye on the JW Marriott Masai Mara in Kenya, especially since TPG senior reporter Zach Griff returned from his trip, writing, “The stunning, tented, all-suite property with top-notch food, impeccable service and impressive amenities went beyond even my high expectations.”

This JW Marriott safari lodge includes meals, game drives, transfer from the airstrip and select beverages in all stays, so you can focus all your attention on enjoying the experience.

With points, you can book a deluxe river view suite with either one king bed or two queen beds. The suite has a patio with a private whirlpool, which sounds awesome. But award availability is spotty, so you’ll need to plan a trip around this resort’s availability if you want to redeem points for a stay of five nights or longer (which I’d recommend to get a fifth night free on your award stay).

Related: How to choose a sustainable African safari

Conrad Bora Bora

Pool in Bora Bora
Pool at the Conrad Bora Bora in French Polynesia. SUMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

Cost in cash: From $1,029 per night

Cost in points: From 120,000 Hilton points per night

I loved my trip to French Polynesia, during which I visited Bora Bora and a few other islands. But TPG’s Summer Hull fell in love with the Conrad Bora Bora, writing, “There’s no question that our four-night stay at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui was my best Hilton points redemption — ever. By far. It was a stay that none of us will soon forget.”

You can enjoy four different beaches at the Conrad Bora Bora. There’s also complimentary snorkeling equipment, kayaks and paddleboards to see marine life around the resort. Daily activities also await, including demonstrations on how to open a coconut and lei-making workshops.

Standard award nights typically cost 120,000 points per night at the Conrad Bora Bora. It’s easy to find five or more consecutive standard award nights during some seasons, while standard award availability is difficult to find during other seasons. And unless you have more Hilton points than you’ll ever be able to redeem, you’ll likely want to avoid the outrageous premium award night pricing. Finally, remember that Hilton Honors elite members can benefit from a fifth night free on standard award night stays.

Related: Which should you choose? 5 top Bora Bora resorts and how to book

Necker Island

Necker Island
Living area at Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. ADAMSLAMA/VIRGINLIMITEDEDITION

Cost in cash: From $5,650 per night

Cost in points: 2,000,000 Virgin Points per 7-night stay

Necker Island is one of the most epic hotels you can book with points. It’s even a stretch to call this private island retreat a hotel. But if you book an award stay at Necker Island, your stay includes your accommodation, breakfast, round-trip transport from Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (EIS) and access to water sports equipment.

Necker Island is also home to various animals, including lemurs, giant tortoises and flamingos. You’ll usually need to book a stay of four nights or longer, and individual guests can only book stays on set “Celebration” dates since the island is usually reserved for private groups. Children can stay for a surcharge on some “Celebration” dates, but the above prices are only for double occupancy.

Related: Private-island resorts you can book with points

Bottom line

This is far from a comprehensive list of luxury hotels you can book with points, and you’d likely include different hotels on your own list. While many travelers would include the Park Hyatt Sydney on their list, I personally think the best hotels are remote and separated from urban life. Even if your idea of an amazing hotel differs from mine, I hope this list helped you dream and aspire to build your stash of points and miles in 2024.