Hotels

Use IHG points to book Aspirational Six Senses resorts ( IHG Premier 4th night free works!)

an island with a dock and buildings in the ocean

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Book Six Senses Hotels with IHG points

Dreaming of using IHG points on $1k a night villas with pools hanging over the Indian Ocean? Well…now you can. It’s been nearly two years since IHG paid $300 million for uber lux brand Six Senses and finally we’re getting the chance to throw some hard earned IHG points at some of their jaw dropping properties. In case you’re wondering, some Six Senses properties had been bookable for quite some time ( Singapore’s Duxton and Maxwell ), but they are now Marriott properties. Currently, there are 12 Six Senses Resorts bookable with IHG points.

Does a glass bottom bathtub, sitting on a glass bottom bungalow that hangs over the Indian Ocean with a window that looks out over the best view known to man sound luxurious? Don’t tell me there is a netted hammock too. OMG, there is. Don’t tell me I could basically do it free with points. You’re telling me that too?! Yes, yes I am.

a view from a window of a room with a glass sink and a hammock over water

How does IHG price their award redemptions?

IHG uses a supply/demand model to price their award redemptions, or what many call dynamic pricing. As demand increases, and their supply of rooms decrease, IHG will price properties differently. This can be advantageous as well as frustrating since you could score an amazing deal if a property plummets in price – especially if it falls below 40k a night which is the threshold to use an IHG Premier free night certificate.

Here are the 12 Six Senses properties you can now use your IHG points to book

Starting April 27th, 2021 you’ll be able to use your IHG points at 9 Six Senses Resorts. I found resorts ranging from 60k to 200k.  I will note that the 200k Six Senses resort is in the Seychelles and regularly prices in excess of $2k a night. Ridiculous. Keep an eye out for Covid restrictions as well as minimum stay requirements.

  • Six Senses Botanique (Brazil)
  • Six Senses Fiji (Fiji)
  • Six Senses Ibiza (Spain )
  • Six Senses Residences Courchevel ( France )
  • Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey
  • Six Senses Laamu (Maldives)
  • Six Senses Kanuhura ( Maldives )
  • Six Senses Shaharut, Israel.
  • Six Senses Ninh Van Bay (Vietnam)
  • Six Senses Uluwatu Bali (Indonesia)
  • Six Senses Yao Noi (Thailand)
  • Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles

When the program first debuted The Six Senses Vietnam started out at 75k points per night, it’s now 144k per night. If you incorporated a 4th night free, you’d be paying 432k for 4 nights. If you accumulated those points at 1/2 a penny, you’re talking about $500 a night, which is still cheaper than the $750 to $1k a night the resort charges, but no where near the deal it was when it first debuted.

The Six Senses Seychelles is screaming high at over 300k points per night. I’d love to stay here, but that is ridiculously expensive. IHG caps the number of points you can buy per year at 500k ( when the sale is buy 250k bet 250k ) unless you use the IHG Points + Cash trick, or take advantage of the USTA promos once a year. Neither of these count towards your maximum purchased points. Either way, even with an IHG credit card 4th night free, you’re talking about almost 1 million points for a 4 nights stay. That’s $1250 a night.

 

IHG Premier 4th night free perk works!

The Chase IHG Premier is well worth the annual fee solely because it offers a free night at IHG properties worldwide that price under 40k a night. You can also add points to that night to make a redemption work at higher levels. But, if you’re looking at longer stays it can be incredibly value. Cardholders of the IHG Premier get a 4th night free when booking with IHG points.

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Chase IHG Premiera close up of a credit cardLearn More here

Needless to say, this could be incredibly valuable on properties of this caliber. For instance, the Six Senses Maldives requires a 4 night stay. It was pricing at 100k per night. With the 4th night free, you’d end up spending just 300k. I tried it out and it works!

Earning enough IHG points to stay at these properties

There are you a few ways you can earn IHG points.

Just a quick overview of the IHG Cash + Points trick

If you don’t have enough points in your account for a booking, or you don’t wish to use all of your points at that property, IHG will allow you to book that hotel with Cash + Points. Let’s take a look at the following example.

This is for a hotel that requires 35k points per night. It also gives the option to pay 25k points + $60. That’s effectively buying 10k points for $60 which is effectively $0.006. IHG views this is a de facto points purchases and is selling you the night as if it were paid completely in points and you were simply buying the amount that you don’t have.

If you cancel that booking, you won’t get your cash back, only the points, 35k of them to be exact.  Each night I was buying 10k points for $60, in total $840 bought me 140k points.

a screenshot of a phone

Can you see where I’m going? You can always buy IHG points, without limit, at 6/10 of one penny. This doesn’t really make sense when point sales are running at 1/2 a penny per point, but if you see the property you want, and you’re short on points, you can accumulate them this way. That means the example above for the Six Senses Maldives that required 300k points could be straight up purchased for $1800 by this method. That’s $450 a night – over half the market rate.

10% back for legacy IHG cardholders

Hattip to reader Sonu who reminded me that IHG cardholders still get 10% back on all award bookings. This means that you could stay 4 nights at the Six Senses Bali for just 162k points, or $810 when points are on sale. Not bad for a property that runs $500-700 a night regularly.

This card no longer available, but many, like myself still hold it and happily  pay the $49 annual fee.

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

Needless to say…I’m excited about the Six Senses properties

Consider this added to my bucket list.

a pool with a deck and a house overlooking the ocean
image courtesy of IHG

 

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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8 Comments

  • dave shen April 1, 2021

    How are you see availability?

    all six sense properties vanished from ihg.com seach

    • Miles April 1, 2021

      They show up when I search now but then redirect to a six senses page where reward space can be found

      • dave shen April 1, 2021

        I was finally able to find six sense laamu. it just wouldnt populate while searching maldives for me.
        I had to search laamu, and even then had to refresh acouple of times.

        I have an award booking for IC maldives but was thinking of switching to six sense, rates at IC are higher than six sense. what are your thoughts on the 2?

        • Miles April 2, 2021

          Dave – glad you found it, I haven’t stayed at either property. From my perspective, in general though this is what I’d expect. Six Senses offers a more relaxed luxury, more personal detail, and a boutique hotel experience focused on sustainability and blending into the environment. The intercontinental will contemporary luxury with people who expect that kind of experience – less bolthole, more fancy hotel, food, etc plopped down in the Indian Ocean. If you want to feel like you washed up on a lost island go with Six Senses, if you want to feel like you’re at a brand new luxury hotel that exudes modern vides and amenities go with Intercontinental.

          • dave shen April 2, 2021

            THanks,

            Also I’ve noticed Ihg silently bumped up award costs, or maybe it was a scheduled one. IC maldives is now 120k anight up from 100k since being able to book six sense properties.

  • Sonu April 1, 2021

    Don’t forget to include 10% rebate on points if also have the old IHG card!

    • Miles April 1, 2021

      great shout! I’ll add it in, TY

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