My points and miles trip to Tahiti and Bora Bora was one that I was so excited about that I had trouble sleeping for two nights before departure. Both were destinations that I had wanted to go to for some time. After a recent trip to the Maldives, I also wanted to compare the trips knowing that the flights to Tahiti and Bora Bora were shorter. Here’s our trip report using points and miles to the Conrad Bora Bora. You can hear more on this episode of our PODCAST!
Our original plan was a trip to Bora Bora. To get there, you fly to Papeete, Tahiti, and then fly to Bora Bora. Well, that made us decide to check out Tahiti for a couple of nights too! Going into this trip, we knew it would be a more expensive trip with points and miles and even cash, but we were all in for the experience!
The ability to one day find lodging at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui (a Hilton property) was the start of this trip. I had saved Hilton Honors points for some time with the plan of staying there. Availability was hard to find. One night, I heard that award redemptions had opened up at the Conrad for 95K/night and started looking. Flexibility was key in this case. I didn’t have a date that I was looking for. I just wanted availability.
I found some dates in November of 2023 and started planning. I had a little difficulty with the website, and it was getting late, so I thought I might go to bed and do it in the morning. I decided to try once more and was able to book a 5-night stay. The next morning there was not any availability, so I was so, so glad I didn’t give up!
With Hilton properties, you get the 5th night free on award stays, which made this stay 380K points total. Standard rooms here have gone up since I booked and now you are looking at spending 120K points a night.
For our stay in Tahiti, we also stayed at a Hilton property, the Hilton Hotel Tahiti. We found rooms for 80K/night.
We could book these rooms with points that my husband and I had earned with Hilton. Cards that earn these points include:
For this trip, my daughter Kasey was joining Alex and me, and we all had United miles, so that is how we decided to travel. It was NOT easy to find flights in business class. Well, it was easy but so, so expensive! Kasey opted to pay 175K each way for business class seats. Alex and I couldn’t do that in principle (and also because we didn’t want to spend that many miles).
Alex booked a flight over there in Economy Plus since it was daytime hours for 35K + $200. The morning of the flight she looked on her United app and saw that she could upgrade to business class for $899. She jumped on that and got her $200 back for her economy plus upgrade. For her flight home, she booked right into business class for 120K points.
I couldn’t part with that many valuable United miles, so I opted to purchase my flight for about $800 each way and upgraded with 40 plus points that my husband had. I was put on a waitlist for business class and nervously waited. Luckily, they both cleared. Yay! I had my business class seats and had saved my precious United miles. I didn’t mind paying the $800 because I had earned the money through bank account bonuses this year.
We also had to book flights on Tahiti Nui Airlines from Tahiti to Bora Bora and back. The plan was to use our Capital One Venture X annual $300 credits to pay for most of the $393 ticket, but it wasn’t working out, so we opted to pay cash.
We were in high hopes that this hotel would give us a little feel of Tahiti. Not so. It is basically a very nice transit hotel. Located about 5 minutes from the airport, it is a nice property but does not feel like what I expected from Tahiti. In retrospect, we wished we had only done one night there and moved on to Bora Bora. The rainy weather didn’t help it.
After two nights here, we returned to the Papeete airport and checked in quickly for our flight to the Bora Bora airport. You only need to check in about 30 minutes before the flight, so don’t bother to get there 2 hours early – an hour is fine.
Once we got to Bora Bora, it was easy to find the signs for the Hilton Conrad. We pointed out our luggage to the representative and headed to the boat to take us to the Hilton. This transport was about $150/per person, and it took us about 20 minutes to get there.
Representatives of the hotel were there to greet us and give us a cool washcloth and a welcome drink, and then they oriented us to the resort. We had just booked a standard room, but our cute guide returned and let us know that they upgraded us to an overwater villa for our last night. 😍
Our original villa was huge, though, and we had plenty of room. They do charge a surcharge of about $150/night for the third person, which seems a little weird as it is just for a couch that is already there. Oh, well, what can you do?
The resort is absolutely beautiful, with many gorgeous views throughout it. We received free breakfasts at the buffet each morning. There were a lot of choices (amazing pastries), but you had to pay an upcharge of $12 for Eggs Benedict, omelets, and a few other items. We thought this should have been included for guests as the hotel is NOT cheap. We got crepes almost daily, fried eggs, yogurt and fruit, and lots of pastries. The banana muffins and the kouign amman were our favorites. I may have snuck extra kouign Amman out each day that they had them.
Geez, it is expensive to eat here! Almost everything started at about 4100 xpf (approximately $35). We ate at all the restaurants except the Chinese restaurant (the Banyan) and Upa Upa (sushi), as Alex has a soy allergy. Here are the different restaurants:
A huge note is that they seem only let so many reservations be made. We got there on the first day and couldn’t get a reservation. We went to the Tamure Beach Grill, and they said we had to have reservations even though it was an hour before closing and there were only about six tables filled. They said other people had reservations, but after they finally seated us, no one else came. We were totally confused about the eating reservations throughout the week. We did multiple messages to them on their app and finally got reservations, but it was NOT an easy system, and we were constantly wondering, “Why is it so hard because no one is here?”
The resort offers daily activities such as lei-making, braided coconut leaf headbands, stretching, Zumba classes, etc. There are also kayaks and paddle boards that you can use free of charge. Additionally, there are excursions into the small town, snorkeling, fishing, and visiting a nearby island for a small fee.
We had a massage at the Hina Spa, and it was so good that I almost fell asleep. The cost was about $185, including a 20% tip. The spa is located up on a hill, and its views are in our top photo. When you get through with the massage, you wake up to another unbelievable view too.
As I said above, they upgraded us to an over-the-water bungalow on our last night. It felt like a different resort with an ocean view, and we were really appreciative of the upgrade.
The King Garden Villa at the Conrad Bora Bora costs about $1,000 a night, while the King Overwater Villa costs around $1,350 to book. Our stay would have been over $6,000 for 5 nights. Each of our flights would have cost about $5,000 roundtrip in business class (not a bad price, actually). We also had that $300 flight to Bora Bora to pay too. Instead of paying about $17,000 for two people at the Conrad Bora Bora, we used points and miles to pay for the bulk of our travel. AMAZING!!
Now the question is? Bora Bora or the Maldives. Stay tuned as Alex and I duke this one out!
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