Constructing Tahiti: The IHG Rewards Bora Bora Trick

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How do you get to Tahiti? That’s a question for another day. Unlike my planning for most award bookings, I’m going to start by securing the hotels then moving onto flights. If difficult is the word used to describe finding award availability at the Hilton Bora Bora Nui then impossible is the appropriate word for consecutive free nights at the InterContinental Hotel Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa.

On paper a night at the InterContinental would cost 50k IHG Rewards Club points but take a look at February 2016 and March 2016 award availability:

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One free night at $700 may be worth it, but where do you stay the other nights!

So how do you book more than one night? A few weeks ago, I scrolled to April 2016 and noticed that no bookings paid or otherwise are available more than 50 weeks out. Even that far in advance, there was only reward availability for a single night. The next day I saw availability for the following day so I booked that as well. As each day passed, I added one night at a time until I had four separate but consecutive reservations.

With an award booking, I can cancel the day prior and avoid a cancellation penalty. That’s amazing considering that the rooms go for over $1000 if you book the refundable rate.

That's $1100 a night for a refundable booking.
$1100 a night for a refundable booking.

Also, unlike the Conrad Maldives or Hilton Bora Bora there is no additional cost for a overwater villa. That is substantial given that it was $600 extra a night for the Maldives bungalow, a cost that was rationalized as ‘once in a lifetime’.

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Conrad Maldives Upgrade Costs

By booking one night at a time 50 weeks in advance (as ridiculous as that is), Step 1 of another once in a lifetime  has been completed. The next will be to book rooms when they come available using my Hilton Award Certificates. From there, if I am successful, I will reveal the greatest airlines points redemption ever.

Stay tuned.

 

 

11 COMMENTS

  1. I’m so glad you posted this. Although my trip isn’t till next October, i was noticing that rooms were being booked literally as soon as they opened up. My question for you is, do they come available at 1201 , or do you know ? Thanks for the info !

    • Not sure if these replies are coming through. I noticed that it was next day in the US that was working not local because my guess is it is based on the reservation center…

    • At the time I did it, I was going off of Pacific time and was able to add on nights with regularity. Now I see no availability at all when I went to see if I could postpone the trip.

  2. Hi, I have been looking for the rewards night availability for IC in Bora Bora consistently for my honeymoon but there is no room available. Even 50 weeks ahead but it still shows nothing. I am looking for next March in 2017 but nothing available. Would you mind to share any trick to get a room? Thank you.

    • Hello, if you read the follow-up posts I write that the ‘trick’ as I called it no longer works. They used to show availability 50 weeks out but now it’s damn impossible.

  3. What follow up posts? Being able to redeem IHG points for this property seems to be an Internet myth that will not die.

    • Hello Jorge, I am writing all the trip reports stuff for tahiti in the next few days to prove it isn’t a myth!

  4. Hello, I know I am posting late to the conversation. But I wanted to add some helpful info.

    I agree for Thalasso Spa, the trick does not seem to work. 50 weeks out, no availability at all.
    But for Le Moana I had very good success with ‘the trick”.

    I was able to book 2 consecutive reward nights , but had to book them as separate stays.

    This was back in April 2016, Around 2am CST ( Dallas, TX time) I saw an opening for Le Moana for April 21-22 stay. So I snatched that up with a reward reservation. Then I noticed that reward nights were still available for 21-22. Do I did a duplicate reservation for 21-22 and I got it. So now I have 2 reward night reservations for the same day. I noticed that reward was still available for the same date, So I did a 3rd night reward redemption and I got it !! After I got the 3rd reservation with reward, I observed that reward availability was no longer showing up on the website. I think this property caps the amount of reward nights to only 3, Because it only has 12 Beach Bungalows total. Le Moana does not give out over the water Bungalows for reward. But my plan is to have a family reunion in Bora Bora so that is why I reserved 3 stays for the same day.

    The next night, I did the same thing for April 22-23 when that date opened up on the IHG website. I was also successful in getting 3 reservations. So a total of 6 separate reservations = 3 Beach Bungalows for April 21 + April 22.

    I was also able to get 2 days, 3 rooms a day for reward at Moorea in Tahiti. I didn’t need the use the 50 week trick because it seems they have plenty of reward rooms available ( not beach bungalows, only LANAI ROOM available for reward ).

    So total points used was 600k points

    360k for Le Moana ($3384USD if booked with cash)
    +
    240k for Moorea ($1416USD if booked with cash)

    Does anyone think they will upgrade any of my rooms if there is availability for an over water bungalow – I am a Spire Elite member and normally do get free upgrades. But I know this is Bora Bora and Tahiti , they may not have availability.

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