I spent my honeymoon at Bora Bora Nui back when it was a Starwood property years ago. As part of Hilton it’s a much cheaper award redemption. However availability is tough.
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.
Right now, for some reason, award nights at the Conrad Bora Bora are wide open through March 2022. Book for 89,000 Hilton points per night (a great value), and they’re fully cancellable. If you have Hilton points there’s no reason not to book a trip (as long as you’re vaccinated, a requirement to enter French Polynesia currently). Transferring in American Express points to top off an account is something to consider, but isn’t as clear a no-brainer.
Redemption availability is open at the standard level most nights, although several weeks in September and October aren’t bookable. For instance here are August and February:
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. So stay 4 nights at 89,000 points per night, and the 5th night is free (so 71,200 points per night). That’s like getting the room all in for ~ $285 a night, valuing Hilton points at 4/10ths of a cent apiece, when base rooms go for around $875++.
“Nui” means large and Bora Bora Nui was the largest hotel in Bora Bora when I first stayed there 16 years ago. They’ve added onto it since. It is in some ways on ‘the wrong side’ of the island, since it lacks the archetypal view of Mt. Otemanu from most rooms. On my honeymoon I was upgraded to overwater villa 105, one of the very few rooms with this view, and I managed the same room again in 2019.
As a standard room redemption you’ll be booked into a base room. All the rooms are large, with the biggest different in most of them being location. You can buy up to an overwater villa if you wish, of course.
Breakfast at the resort was fantastic – with full access to the buffet complimentary via my Gold status from the American Express Platinum card.
View From The Spa
View From The Main Pool
Regular readers of the blog know that I am not much of a photographer. And I use a fairly old phone taking photos. The remarkable thing about Bora Bora is how amazing photos look anyway. It’s just one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
Still, one of the first things you realize in French Polynesia is that even where service is good it’s never quite as good as you expect (for the price of things). You’re in the middle of the ocean, staff come at a premium, and the local employment culture is heavily influenced by the French. Requests are sometimes forgotten, service can be slow.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)