It’s annoying when I read about the best uses of free night awards only to find there is no availability. For example, not that I have any genuine interest in staying at the Conrad Koh Samui (the real party is across the way in Koh Phangan) but for the sake of maximizing my weekend certificates I inquired as to the availability of this isolated resort. The standard room, the 1 bedroom king ocean view pool villa is seldom available. The 1 bedroom waterfront pool villa, is always available but it doesn’t qualify for the redemption. The difference in price is nominal yet it’s enough to disqualify points travelers from burning their certificates.
The same can be said of the InterContinental : Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa which has virtually no availability though I was able to snag a couple nights for next spring using a defunct trick.
This week I received my IHG Chase Anniversary Free Night, a $49 charge that is worth $700 if timing and opportunity are on your side. And wouldn’t you know it, a random check of IHG’s site yielded free night availability at the InterContinental : Le Moana Bora Bora. In full disclosure, the resort doesn’t look as nice as the other InterContinental and the booking is for a Double Beach Bungalow, not an overwater one but I’ll get over it. The alternative was to do something unthinkable, spend cold, hard cash for the extra night.
Though it’s a remote possibility, perhaps I’ll be upgraded to an overwater bungalow on account of my prestigious platinum elite status or perhaps an overwater room will open up by then. In any event, I’d call this booking a success.
Here’s where I stand in my constructing Tahiti Triumph Trip Report:
- Shanghai – Papeete via Auckland on 787 Dreamliner Business: 60,000 United Miles Round Trip!
- InterContinental : Le Moana Bora Bora: Double Beach Bungalow; 1 Night; Stay Certificate; $0
- InterContinental : Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa ; Overwater Villa; 2 Nights; 100k ; $0
- Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa: King Guestroom Garden; 5 Nights; 280k; $0
- Papeete via stopover in Auckland to either Bangkok or Shanghai; $103
Obviously, I’ll have to pay for the upgrade at the Hilton but as it stands, $103 for 8 nights in Tahiti ain’t too shabby. The real problem is what I’m supposed to do there the whole time considering that I found Samui to be boring.