Last month Hilton Honors massively increased the costs of awards at some of its best resorts. At the time I didn’t know whether this applied to the Conrad Bora Bora, because that hotel wasn’t showing availability for a standard free night for any night over the entire next year.
Conrad Bora Bora Nui now costs 120,000 points per night. That’s still a high value redemption against the retail cost of a room there (you’ll generally get 1 – 1.5 cents per point and I normally value Hilton points at $0.004 apiece).
The hotel doesn’t seem to really follow standard Hilton rules for award availability. Instead they seem to dump a lot of inventory all at once all of a sudden. That just happened, and now there’s availability from May 2022 through April 2023.
- As of this writing that includes the first 10 days of December consecutively and the last 10 days of January
- And every day in March and April
- As well as reasonable availability in other months.
There are even nights where 8 or more rooms are available. Of course since it’s highly unlikely that 8 standard rooms were cancelled every night of February and March all of a sudden, this points to the hotel playing games with availability. Still, you need to grab it when it’s there if you’re interested.
I spent my honeymoon at Bora Bora Nui back when it was a Starwood property years ago. As part of Hilton it’s still a cheaper award redemption. I returned to what is now Conrad Bora Bora over Thanksgiving in 2019. I lucked into a couple of award nights there and then over the course of six months watched, day by day, looking for additional nights to add to the trip. I finally pieced together what I needed.
I was thrilled with my stay. I highly recommend it, though Bora Bora isn’t for the most active of tourists. “Nui” means large and Bora Bora Nui was the largest hotel in Bora Bora when I first stayed there 17 years ago. They’ve added onto it since. It is in some ways on ‘the wrong side’ of the island since only a handful of rooms offer archetypal views of Mt. Otemanu.
Until recently the hotel was bookable at 89,000 points per night which – when there’s a conversion bonus – made transfers from American Express Membership Rewards something to consider. At 120,000 it’s a bit more of a stretch for that, though some will consider it.
The best thing about having all of the availability open at once is that you can easily take advantage of Hilton Honors 5th night free redemptions. When I pieced my trip together it required hunting for rooms a couple of nights at a time which made this more difficult.
Yea, that didn’t last long.
I hate that this hotel was 80,000 points and now it’s 120,000 per night, that it had no availability and now magically has a lot.
You are still confused and usingredemption values and nominal or “face” values of points currencies interchangeably. Well, they are not interchangeable because one is highly subjective and the other objective. Stay with me as I give yet another glimpse in the ‘demystification’ of hotel loyalty points currencies.
The bolded part of the quoted statement reflects a general misunderstanding of points currencies that leads to the universal lumping together of two distinct concepts, as elaborated below:
1. There are nominal values of points currencies (i.e., the “face” value of each points currency denomination), which are fixed, can be calculated analytically and are, thus, objective. These are also the values of points that bloggers publish and can be arrived at by making hundreds of dummy bookings and then calculating the values of points as the average over all dummy bookings of
[nightly revenue room rate in $]/[nightly room rate in points]
The two methods (i.e., analytical calculations and average of hundreds of dummy bookings) yield identical results, if done just right.
2. Then there are redemption values of points currencies, which are not fixed because they do not exist until points have been redeemed through a highly subjective process that depends on how and for what each individual redeems their points.
Illustratively, if one gets 180K HH points as a signup bonus for the HH AMEX Surpass card, then one can say that the nominal cash value of those bonus points is:
180,000 HH point * $0.004/HH point = $720.
There, I used this site’s nominal or “face” value of a Hilton point of $0.004/ Hilton point.
On the other hand, there are many highly subjective ways that those 180,000 HH signup bonus points can be redeemed. Some people would dread flying across the world to redeem them for an award stay on some Indian Ocean atoll with a strange sounding name, but I would do, I have done and I am doing such a redemption again in about 9 months. For that upcoming award stay on the far away atoll, I will be paying 120K HH points per night for a standard villa that would cost $1,829 per night, excluding taxes. Therefore, I can ‘estimate’ the nightly redemption value of that award stay as
$1,829/120,000 HH points = $0.015/HH point,
i.e., 3.75x more than this site’s nominal value of 0.005/HH point.
Of course, my actual redemption value for what will be a 5-night award stay will be much higher because steep taxes and other fees are excluded from the total cash value above and I got the 5th award night free</b
Thus, at least for me, the cash value of those 180K bonus HH points would be $1,820 and change, i.e., twice as much as bloggers would estimate based on their nominal or “face” values of hotel points currencies.
In short, the quoted statement lumps together two distinct concepts: (a) nominal or “face” values of points currencies, which are fixed and can be calculated objectively; and (b) redemption values of points, which do not exist until points have been redeemed according to personal preferences and/or circumstances and are, therefore, highly subjective.
Got it now?
Please stop looking a gift horse in the mouth. A resort that seldom has any award availability dumps months worth of standard awards and you complain that “it’s playing games with availability” instead of grabbing what you can afford before they are all gone! Chutzpah comes to mind…
Moreover, the change in award costs is a fact of life in loyalty known as “devaluation” to which no program is immune. With members flushed with points due to the inability to redeem them for 2 years, paying 120K HH points for an award night is steal, especially with the 5th award night free. For some perspective, and keeping in mind the recent massive devaluation World of Hyatt’s high-end awards, paying 120K HH points/night is equivalent to paying 40K WoH points/night. Does that still seem like a such a bad deal for a villa, factoring in the 5th award night free that WoH elites do not even get ?
Lastly, considering how easy it is to earn loads of HH points, anyone who would transfer AMEX points to HH points, regardless of how good the conversion, is stupid and should be burned at the stake for heresy.
Thanks for sharing! I grabbed 3 nights in February. I shouldn’t have hesitated, I could have made it a 5 night stay.
Thanks! Used this to book a trip in April 2023… will my 3rd time staying there in 1.5 years. Wonderful property, although I miss the 89,000/night point range.
Here’s why getting the 4th or 5th award night free is quantifiably the single most valuable perk in hotel loyalty.
There are complaints that the cost of standard awards for Conrad Bora Bora has been raised to 120K points/night, exceeding the prior maximum of 95K/night.
Now, notice how much those same awards still cost even at 120K/night when booked as a 5-night award stay with the 5th award night free:
120,000 * 4/5 = 96,000K/night
That is right, a HH award that costs 120K points per individual night would cost “just” 96K/night if booked as a 5-night award stay. Admittedly, a 5-night award stay would have cost even less if the nightly rate were still 95K points or less. But that is fantasy because award rates cannot be expected to remain at the same level indefinitely, any more than revenue rates can be expected to. Thus, the best mitigatory measure against the inevitability of standard award devaluations is the 4th or 5th award night free perk…
In terms of Hyatt points, which some might better appreciate, an award costing 40K/night would cost…
40,000 * 4/5 = 32,000/night
…when booked as a 5-night award stay with the 5th award night free.
That is right, a Hyatt award that costs 40K points/night would cost “just” 32K points/night if booked as a 5-night award stay with the 5th night free…too bad WoH does not offer their members the perk to offset or mitigate the devastation of the program’s recent massive devaluation of their high-end awards!
why is dcs clogging up the comments section?
For early December 3 night stay it shows 292.000 points per night for the king garden villa, which seems to be the cheapest room they have.??
Same as for my planned stay Nov. 22-25.
@eblen – Get smart. Read the ‘clog’.
@Ulrich Rotermund — What you are seeing for 292.000 points/night are premium awards. While folks were being distracted with tales of a gift horse with suspicious teeth, the huge dump of standard awards that was available just 24h ago went ‘poof!’ into think air…