While Hilton HHonors is a rewarding program in terms of the number of points they offer for hotel spend, my major complaint with the program is the lack of aspirational properties at which to redeem. While there are some, in my opinion they have fewer high end hotels than some of their competitors.
If you’re someone who prefers aspirational redemptions, points are only so valuable when there aren’t that many properties you actually want to redeem your points at. So there’s some good news as far as aspirational Hilton properties go.
The Hilton Bora Bora closed earlier in the year, and is undergoing a big renovation. Next year it will reopen as the Conrad Bora Bora, and they’re now accepting reservations for stays as of April 1, 2017. It looks like this was announced a while back, though I didn’t catch onto it until now.
The hotel will feature 86 overwater villas and 29 garden and beach villas, for a total of 115 rooms.
I’ve heard that the Hilton Bora Bora was decent, though hopefully they lux it up a bit when it becomes a Conrad. So far the pictures of the new resort look great.
The resort is now bookable, and in many cases it can represent a great use of points. The standard room at this hotel is a King Garden View Suite, which is 1,087 square feet — that’s huge. The Conrad Bora Bora is a Category 9 HHonors property, which in theory range in cost from 50,000 points to 80,000 points per night. However, in the case of the Conrad Bora Bora, it seems to consistently be pricing out at 80,000 points per night. That’s still much better than a Category 10 property, which can cost up to 95,000 points per night.
Rates at this hotel seem to often start at ~$750 per night for a pre-paid rate.
Keep in mind that with Hilton you get a fifth night free when redeeming points for free nights, which means the average nightly cost on a five night stay would be 64,000 points. I value Hilton points at ~0.4 cents each, so to me you’d be paying an average of ~$256 per night worth of points for a five night stay.
Points availability at this hotel isn’t great at the lowest cost, even when booking in advance.
That’s because they’re sort of playing games with availability. In order to book the lowest cost award you need to book a base room, or else you get into variable pricing. The base room at this hotel is the King Garden View Suite, which I’m guessing they only have one or two of.
The King Lagoon View Suite isn’t available on points at the saver level, which would be reasonable enough if it weren’t a standard room. However, on cash stays it’s pricing out identical to the base room. So is it really fair to claim that a room is “premium” when it doesn’t cost more than a base room?
Keep in mind that the sign-up bonus of two free weekend nights earned on the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card can be redeemed at this property. Furthermore, you receive an annual free weekend night when you spend $10,000 on the card per year, so that can be used at this property as well.
Lastly, the increased sign-up bonus on the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card can also help you get closer to a stay at this property.
The Conrad Bora Bora looks great, like a very nice improvement over the Hilton Bora Bora. It’ll be great to have another nice hotel at which to redeem Hilton HHonors points. I’m surprised the hotel isn’t even a Category 10 property, so at 64,000 points per night over a five night stay, this represents an excellent value.
I’ll certainly be considering this if/when I make it to Bora Bora…
Anyone considering staying at the Conrad Bora Bora, or stay at the former Hilton Bora Bora?
(Tip of the hat to Jung)