Free Breakfast?! The InterContinental Bora Bora Says No

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‎Do you know who I am! It almost slipped out when I checked into the InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana and was told in no uncertain terms that there would be no upgrade, no free breakfast, and no additional perks. TPOL has manners so I bit my tongue then relentlessly asked why breakfast wasn’t included as a IHG Platinum. I’ve only stayed at one InterContinental in Joberg so I know little about the program. I just assumed that my status included breakfast. The best offer I received was a fifty percent discount which brought breakfast to a reasonable $20. Well nourished from beef jerky, I declined.

Honestly, I don’t care about breakfast but I do care about attitude. We all have been pampered more than we deserve on account of our status. SPG, Hilton, and Hyatt make life on the road sometimes feel better than home. The soaps, the buffets, the upgrades make me feel like a member of their family. At IHG the impression I got was that I was lucky to find a points redemption and I should appreciate that my sneaky ways got me this far. Asking or hinting for anything more would be an insult.

Maybe I’ve grown too accustom to VIP service, but I don’t understand the point of the hotel telling me all the things I won’t be receiving. Perhaps they are sick of all the points people coming in and not falling for their outrageous prices. Perhaps they knew in advance of TPOL’s complaining ways (in which case I’m glad they are reading this post‎). In either scenario, they could be a little nicer about it.

The real crime is how the hotel has a Nespresso machine but charges $5 for capsule. Come on, that’s just stupid. ‎

Punishment for a life of complaints is an overcast day
Punishment for a life of complaints is an overcast day

45 COMMENTS

  1. If you read the IHG platinum benefits, you would know free breakfast is not included. FWIW, Intercontinental properties almost never recognize IHG status for reward stays and the only way to get upgrades is through the Ambassador program (which depending on how long you stay could be worth the cost of $200/yr).

    • Yeah I gathered that from the look on his face when I asked. Too spoiled from the other brands I guess. Where in the Terms does it say no coffee included! Lucky for me I’ll be relocating to Hilton where Diamond life awaits. Blame the brands that do provide amenities for the monster I have become.

  2. I renewed my Ambassador status for $150 this year, got 10000 bonus points and 1-night weekend certificate which made it essentially free:).

    IC does not care about IHG Platinum.

    • I know nothing about this ambassador program. I do know that this other IHG pictured in the post refunded my 100k bc their AC is out.

      • If you know nothing, you should not complain. I am RA of IC and I receive everything in IC bora bora you cannot imagine. You know nothing but you write a point blog. What a pity!

    • I got the certificate as well, but have yet to figure out how it works or where it works. The Intercontinental Hotel website is atrocious. If you follow the instructions they give you, or the URL to redeem it, you are not going to find availability anywhere on the planet. There must be some other way it works.

    • The other thing is – i read that they jack-up the rates on your paid night so the savings is minimal w/ the free weekend night cert. I still plan on using mine – just need to find out how it all works.

      • I found 3 nights of award availability (see tahiti triumph trip report)but it took a miracle to piece it all together. They are refunding 100k of my points because the ac is broken. I will get my chase award stay certificate and use that in a place like Hong Kong. The rest I will save for points breaks situations. I don’t see the point of dealing with IHG for ripoff luxurious properties when I have other brand options.

  3. I’m Spire elite and have stayed at locations across the brand all over the world. The only hotel that offered free breakfast for Spire elites was a Crowne Plaza in Milan – which also offered two free drinks at the bar. Many places made pomp and circumstance over having upgraded me to a high floor, and that was the beginning and end of that. And that’s why I’m done with IHG and am making a move on Hyatt diamond status to compliment the matched Hilton Diamond I’ve got and Marriott Gold from $10k spend on the Ritz card annually. There’s just no value in IHG beyond milking the promos when you can get nearly 50k points in one or two nights. No Elite recognition, paid or unpaid.

    • ‘Pomp and circumstance’ best way to describe it. Hyatt is so welcoming. I just stayed at Andaz Shanghai and Grand Hyatt Shanghai. What a difference!

  4. IHG platinum can be achieved by just signing up for an IHG credit card. Don’t expect much out of it.

    As a Spire, I’ll confirm that IHG elite status provides no real enhancements to your stay, just more points. I like to think they structure their program around awarding business travelers to use them on work trips, and shower them with points for leisure trips.

    • Of course but now I’m in IHG Thalaso so I’m isolated on an island with a yummy bag of beef jerky.

  5. Hi
    When Platinum was the highest level you might have gotten. But better take the Ambassador program that will help. Amd become Royal Ambassador. The highest just like you are at other programs. I cannot say about the french polynesia properties but all others i stayed got me upgrades on point stays. Brealfast club lounge suite all. In August i can share with you the perks they give for royal spire ambassador. I try all 4 ic properties there.

    Chris

  6. The more I read about your trip to Bora Bora, the more I think you are pathetic and selfish. I kept reading because I want to see how low it can go. You flew to Bora Bora for free. You stay at a nice hotel for free and you do what? EAT BEEF JERKY! That’s pathetic. Either you have no money to eat or you are cheap and don’t want to let go the little money you have. And then the whining about why I didn’t get free breakfast. Ai Caramba! Are you that desperate to get free stuff all the time? You don’t even know what you entitled to, you just assumed because Hilton Gold status gives complimentary breakfast that all the other hotel chains should also give you free breakfast. They gave you 50% off for breakfast at $20 and you don’t have $20 to eat breakfast? Instead you munch beef jerky! How low can this go? Chewing gum?
    I thought I was cheap for going to the local supermarket on Vaitape to buy my food, but boy you beat me by a long margin! Do you think the local people who work at those hotels to cater the tourists like you work for free? Instead of spending money for food there to help the local economy, you sneak in snacks.
    Let me tell you a story. We were 4 in Hong Kong last October and stay at the Conrad on a two 2 nights certificate, cost zero, saving $1600. Having the Diamond status, we went up to the executive lounge during Happy Hours to have some beers and then go out for dinner later. Henry, the lounge waiter took care of us. We learned that he is a student and works in the evening at the Conrad to go to school. He was so nice and we had a great time at the lounge that we didn’t hesitate to drop $100 tip. Why did we do that? We save $1600, so $100 tip is nothing.
    My advice to you is you already saved a couple of thousand bucks for the stay in Bora Bora. So let go a few $20. It’s not gonna hurt. Life is short, enjoy it and don’t be selfish.

    • Lol. You are one angry person. I’m not against spending $, I’m against wasting it. It’s $6 for a Coke. That’s just ridiculous. TPOL prefers street food and cheap beer without the fake aura of luxury.

      I booked this trip because it was an aspirational redemption challenge. I have no business being in an uppity place that overcharges for average food. Yes I understand how these posts come off of as whiny and entitled but put it in the context of a points travel writer comparing one locale to another. Seychelles and Mauritius were very expensive but delivered more value and better service. Maldives had crap service and terrible prices but so far it is better than Tahiti.

      Perhaps read the post and note the words ‘spoiled’ among others before getting so emotional.

    • Also, in reading your comment again I would like to make three points. 1. I love beef jerky. 2. Your insults are unwarranted. Let’s not play the child’s game of big bank take little bank. 3. I believe the whole point of points travel is to get from A to B for free. Sorry I’m great at what I do.

      Comments are welcome but insults via the Internet? That’s sad and pathetic.

  7. “insults via the Internet”

    Lol, welcome to the Internet.

    “I believe the whole point of points travel is to get from A to B for free.”

    You DID get from A to B for free. Doesn’t mean the food at B will be free though, just like the food at A (home) wasn’t free either. When I get free trips, I see it as an excuse to splurge a little on food and other stuff to make the trip better since I didn’t have to use it for the flight. $6 for a coke no, but I don’t drink soda, but a nice sit down meal in a fancy locale for $20 isn’t THAT ridiculous IMO. Oh, and on most of my trips I have found the worse food is at the hotel and once got chicken nuggets at the free Hilton breakfast, but you’re isolated, so that isn’t gonna matter.

    • LOL, though I hate to use such expressions, ‘this ain’t my first rodeo.’ I’ve been to many deserted islands and am always appalled by the prices. Of course food isn’t free at home and it isn’t free in Tahiti. But I have principles for spending money that are unique to me. For example, did I buy a $100 bottle of champagne at the Duty Free of which I will spill on my S7 phone like Weezy (joking)? Damn right I did. Did I buy the $6 Coke to mix with my Bacardi? You bet I did.

      Did I say ‘hell no’ to the $30 hotel pizza? I think you know the answer. I love a great steak and will spend whatever if I’m going to City Hall in my former home of Scottsdale, Arizona. I love street food and will spend next to nothing if I’m in Shanghai eating dumplings. But, I will not capitulate to hotels that overcharge for food made sin pasion!

      That’s the cruelty of coming to places like this. It is a true Garden of Eden: Come for the beauty but dare touch the apple, it will cost you dearly and for an eternity.

      I think I will use this comment as a post tomorrow, thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Your first sentence of the blog pretty much shows that the above poster’s are right about TPOL. Do you know who I am? Really? Your a no one who blogs and is staying at ICs and doesn’t know what the ambassador program is? Fail

    • Davi, that was a joke. How do you not see that? Clearly, you do not read my blog or you take things too literally. I’m not a no one, I’m somebody, at least that’s what my 3rd grade teacher told me. Onto the next angry comment…

  9. Pretty pathetic post with no knowledge of the IC hotels. Getting a worthless platinum status that you got with the card for free expecting benefits that are for royal ambassador. Takes 75 paid nights plus other conditions to get that status .no comps So you won’t get it

    • I see the word pathetic is popular among the group. So what if I didn’t have knowledge of IC. I stay at the other brands (like I wrote) and my not so worthless Hilton Gold (which is now Diamond) gets me free breakfast. Tomorrow I’ll be in Moorea feeling like a king under the tender loving care of Hilton.

  10. I think TPOL still didn’t get it. We didn’t come to your blog to find out you made to Tahiti for free. We got that already before coming your blog. That’s pretty much the theme of BoardingArea. We don’t disagree with you that Tahiti and Bora bora are overpriced. I don’t disagree you should save money on food. We, I mean I was hoping that in your blog, TPOL ventured out of the hotel and found a great local place to eat. Instead what we got in TPOL blog about Tahiti is complains, whining, feeling insulted because of rejection. We were looking for value and there was none about the Tahiti blog. Turn something negative into something positive. Your blog about Pho was great, that’s value added. Continue on that path.

    • I’m stuck on a deserted island! How many times do I have to say the same thing? I’m being held hostage by my isolation. I’m not scared to admit that I would never stay here again. Maybe mindless people who spend money without caring would enjoy this exploitation but I would rather bring a tent and sleep on a beach, catch wild fish, and pretend like I know how to cook it (as I did in Koh Phi Phi).

      Also, I’m very proud of the award redemption. Going JFK-PVG-AKL-PPT is a unique way of coming to captivity in style.

  11. Dannngggggggggg somebody is getting raked over the coals. Sorry but I kind of agree with Alex the poster above. Those were my thoughts when first reading this post but did not decide to express them;)

    • LOL. Where are all the comments for my more thoughtful articles?? +1000 posts and counting and this is the one that gets all the attention? I’m not backing down from my point either. It’s not cheapness, it’s not necessarily entitlement, it’s that other brands treat me better for my loyalty (cc earned or nights stayed earned) while IHG (at least in French Polynesia) does not.

      “If I was stuck on a deserted island” I would hope it would be with SPG, Hilton, or Hyatt where I could have free breakfast.

  12. Eh, I somewhat agree with Alex.

    If you’re too cheap to spend $20 on a breakfast (that you could probably parlay into also saving for lunch) then really you have no business going to Bora Bora.

    Giving the front desk guy a hard time for not comping breakfast due to a status you received in signing for a credit card is the definition of being a crappy person. The poor guy is just doing his job.

    It bothers me to see others treat hard working people with such disdain and disrespect.

    I don’t understand this blog. Is this all to get attention…?

    • So you miss the point like Alex did.

      Nobody gave the front desk guy a hard time. I was being facetious, a word that seems unfamiliar with the annoyed people commenting. Read my other 1000 posts, or don’t. In the end I hope St. Peter lets me into heaven and offers me free breakfast. Otherwise, I’m not going.

  13. At least this guy did not delete these comments. There is another blogger called point and martini, something like that. That guy is really really cheap. Always some $5 gift card discount on eBay or free games of iPhone, guess the most frequent topic he has? He got a lot of Aneicanexpress targeted offer of 100k business platinum cards. That is his life. I wrote some comments there and he delete immediately. Haha

    • LOL, what’s there to delete? The people commenting have misconstrued my post so let them enjoy their self-righteous ways of telling me that I’m cheap, I’m a bad person, and all the other misguided comments. They fail to see the levity in my writing. One person actually believed I was going to say ‘do you know who I am?’

      That’s actually a very good question to those leaving comments. Do you know who TPOL is? Do you not get that there’s sarcasm in my tone? Did you not read the part about my propensity to complain? (when warranted, there’s a whole blog category on that) Ah well, I welcome all comments. I just wish people would comment on my more thoughtful posts.

  14. I like this free stuff. How do I get these rewards. I tip big and have no attitude. Clue me in pls. How do I save 1600$ ??

    • LOL. I like free stuff. I’m not a fan of tipping. I’d rather just pay more and be left alone which is why Uber (more so Lyft these days) is the best. All the info your heart desires on free travel is included within this blog.

  15. Dear TPOL, it seems like it doesn’t matter what words you use in your post. They are not taken out of context because it seems like they are not read at all. Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m coming to your defense simply because I’m speaking to you as if you and I are not the same person, but what is up with these comments?

    Where in your post do you say that you actually said ‘do you know who I am?’ How do readers of points blogs not understand that this attention grabbing sentence was used in jest. Surely, they can’t think that you are that oblivious to the backlash you would receive had you actually said that.

    Why is it such a big deal that you are not an expert of the IC program? Where do you say that you are? Is it because you write a points blog that you should know everything? While that’s flattering, that’s pretty ridiculous. Please share all the perks of the Accor hotel well you get a chance, unless you are too ‘pathetic’ to know how that program works! ! !

    Also, I’m confused as to where in the post that you said that $20 was outrageous for breakfast. Someone who reads carefully would see that you used the word ‘reasonable’. After reading these comments, I had to go back and read the original post because the mob almost had me convinced that you were complaining about the discount.

    Finally, why is everyone sticking up for IHG? Hilton gives away status like candy on Halloween while providing free upgrades and free breakfast. Is it so unreasonable, given that this is IHG’s almost highest status, that you would expect free breakfast here too? Even Club Carlson, the master of disaster devaluation, offers such a perk with its US Bank Card. I don’t think your line, “At IHG the impression I got was that I was lucky to find a points redemption and I should appreciate that my sneaky ways got me this far. Asking or hinting for anything more would be an insult,” was appreciated. It seems like you were telling me that IHG made you feel more like an unwelcome relative at Christmas than a member of the family who flew thousands of miles to get there. Who cares if your flight was free? It still took you forever and a day (literally) to get to point B.

    I’m with you TPOL, you are the man. Keep blogging and getting after it. Sometimes you do complain a bit too much but even you admit that in your post!

    • Generally like the sarcasm and wit. Not sure why the intense slam session, although u did trip up on the bkfst detail of IHG. Hate to correct you again, but Club Carlson doesn’t give breakfast for the credit card’s Gold status either; that’s at Concierge level.

  16. You can justify your comments all you want, the truth of the matter is your readers do not care for your attention grabbing heading. I WAS actually interested in your article and you’re Tahiti blogs, because I will soon be visiting Bora Bora this September. And like yourself I was lucky enough to be able to book a week at at the Thalasso on points. Reading your article has been more of a downer if anything and a reminder that many people are entitled spoiled brats, and always look for things to complains about.

    If I’m not mistaken you’ve recently had a whole series about constructing a trip to Tahiti. Many readers have been following your progress with the trip however do you think that they like to hear that once you finally arrived at the destination that you have nothing to do but complain. Also it seems your lack of knowledge about the hotels that you were visiting is kind of well disappointing for a blogger. Go on and say that we are miserable and angry posters, but the truth of the matter is you make a living doing something that people would dream about period to complain about a program that you know nothing about shows your incompetence and lack of knowledge towards the subject.

    • I’m so sorry to disappoint you with my straightforward analysis of the resort. TPOL will always tell it like he sees it even if it is perceived as complaining. Obviously, I planned for this trip for a long time and had higher expectations from the hotel. Mind you, I’ve had a great time (pictures to come) in spite of the sub par service.

      Also, I do not make a living from blogging. I wrote a post ‘how bloggers make money’ in which I confess that I may be the worst grossing blogger of all time. I write because I enjoy writing and I write what I want to write. I discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly and do not apologize for it.

      And I don’t care if I don’t know anything about IHG. I already said I wasn’t an expert on it. Get over it.

  17. OMG What a bunch of morons. Eff the haters TPOL. I spend about 80% of my time on the road for my job and 50% of that is international travel. When I finally do have time to take a vacation, I expect to be well taken care of, including free breakfast, free hotel transfers and excellent service.

    Alex? That guy’s just pissed off that he’s stuck working as a cashier at Kroger, only got 30k bonus points for the IHG VISA card and is not hanging in Bora Bora.

    That said – IHG does pretty much suck for any benefits other than throwing a couple points your way – the Ambassador program does give a few perks like a room upgrade, IHG gold status and a free weekend night cert, but that may not be worth $200/year to you – I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to stay at an IC if there were other choices.

  18. We vacay annually in Thailand and this year was not any different. Booked 3 rooms for 3 nights on points at the ICH Hua Hin Thailand at a cost of 280K IHG points (8 nights) plus redeeming the annual CC night. One room for me & the missus, 2nd for mother in law and my two kids, and the third for my sister-in-law and her family. All 3 rooms were upgraded to premier type of rooms next to each other and two were actually connected. The GM came out to personally greet us at check in because he never encountered anyone that redeemed so many points at one stay. He further upgraded our room further to club category to include breakfast, teatime, and happy hour benefits for the 4 of us. I am a Platinum Ambassador.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/albums/72157667165632131

    Last year, we stayed at the HI Resort Patong and our upgrade was a connected room with boat-beds for the kis and breakfast, no club at that property. https://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/albums/72157651581022488

    So, basically, YMMV!

    • Not sure why your comment said pending approval. Nice work on the bookings. You make a good point about the arbitrary nature of amenities. When I get more than I deserve the comments are that I’m exploiting the system. When I get the short end of it then I’m just complaining too much.

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