I’m browsing through the redemption section of Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Blue Miles, because they have quite a few unique hotel redemption options. As you may know, Virgin is run by Richard Branson, who famously lives on an island (off the British Virgin Islands) called Necker Island.
Apparently after buying the island the government told him that he had to be a BVI citizen or own a hotel to own the island. So he dropped a few million and opened a hotel with only 10 rooms.
The island has become a playground for the ultrarich and celebrities. Private island, private chef (and staff of 100?), includes watersports, two infinity pools, etc… All this for a mere $30,000 for a week (for two people).
Imagine my surprise when I saw that you can spend miles to book Necker Island on Flying Club’s website.
Price? This is going to sound absurd, but let me explain that it is doable.
1,200,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Miles for a 7 night stay for 2 people including all meals and drinks (alcoholic drinks included).
I’m going to talk about earning for a minute but make sure you read the details on booking if you’re serious.
A lot of miles, I know. But the good news is that they are relatively easy to come by, being a BOA card.
This link give 75,000 miles after spend requirements and what not. The spend is $12,000 in 6 months, and the card earns 1.5 miles per dollar. Plus you can get 15k on your anniversary date.
Plus, these cards are handed out like candy. So if you’re moving through these cards quickly and getting the 93k for spend and then ditching it for a new one, you would need 13 of these cards.
Note that the $95 annual fee is not waived for the first year, so you’re buying the 1.2-million points for $1,235. I guess that’s $177 a day on Necker island.
I’d pay that much to hang with Richard Branson. 😀
However, I’m not sure they’ll allow you to split payments so you can pay with two different mileage accounts. That’s certainly not a normal thing, but this is a bit unusual and I wouldn’t count on it. But it’s a lot easier if Carrie and I both got these cards, that’s 6/7 each.
But Virgin Atlantic is also a transfer partner of Amex MR, Chase UR, SPG points, and now Citi TY points. If you have a card to earn points on, you can transfer to Virgin.
The Chase Ink Plus earns 5x at Office Supplies (FM has a guide to Staples gift cards). And Amex Everyday earns 3x at Supermarkets (not a good option, but an option). (Plus, see FM’s list of resources that may include info on liquidating gift cards). Although, it would probably take a good less-public strategy to do this at large scale and to do it cheaply, it is possible.
At 3x though, that’s a lot of work, and a lot of money if you’re relying on gift cards.
What’s included in Necker Island?
Look at the water sports list: windsurfing, kite-surfing, water-skiing, sailing, snorkelling and even SCUBA diving plus much more.
Scuba? Water skiing? What the heck?
Now the IC Koh Samui let me take the little catamaran out after I told them I knew how to sail (meaning I watched a tutorial on youtube (turns out you don’t learn enough that way)), but never have I had this stuff included.
As I said earlier, all meals and all drinks are included. This is not your normal all-inclusive food, but one with Branson’s handpicked chef. Drinks included as well.
But this seems to be over the top too. One of the restaurants is a floating sushi option. The chefs float on Kayaks down the beach pool to give you the sushi options. How absurd… absurdly amazing.
Transfer to the island
This is a private island, but luckily they include roundtrip transfer from “Virgin Gorda or Beef Island airports”.
It appears that you can only really make reservations for these rooms on select dates which seem to be from August to October.
Right now here are the dates listed for 2015:
- 8 Aug 2015 for 7 nights
- 5 Sep 2015 for 7 nights
- 12 Sep 2015 for 7 nights
- 19 Sep 2015 for 7 nights
- 26 Sep 2015 for 7 nights
- 17 Oct 2015 for 7 nights
- 24 Oct 2015 for 7 nights
Bookings are strictly on these days and for 7 nights for two people. Children are an extra $4,165 per child (leave em at home!).
To book you just call up Flying Club.
How many agents do you think have taken that call before? My guess is none.
This is not your normal resort. This is a “billionaire’s paradise” as the BBC put it. This is one with a zipline down to “turtle beach” and bathtubs inside and outside. It’s absurd.
To be honest, this is epic enough that I got pretty excited about it and went a while telling myself I would do it one day. But it’s just not in my budget to blow the points on one week. But whoever does this first… they have to bring me, since I told you about it.