Conrad Bora Bora Opening Next Year — Great Use Of Hilton Points!

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.

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The hotel will feature 86 overwater villas and 29 garden and beach villas, for a total of 115 rooms.

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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.

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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.

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Points availability at this hotel isn’t great at the lowest cost, even when booking in advance.

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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?

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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.

Bottom line

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)

Comments

  1. Do you know how easy this property is to get to? Does it require a private transfer like many Maldives properties? What is the best way to get to Bora Bora on miles?

  2. I went this year to Bora Bora and stayed on the Intercontinental La Moana on points and free chase cards nights. The Hilton Bora Bora was my first option, but I changed my mind because upgrades to overwater villas were $500 (I end paying 150 to upgrade to the best overwater villa on IntC La Moana) and the transfer fee to the hotel were like 200 rt for my wife an I (free on the IntC). But we love Conrads so next time on BOra Bora we will definitely go, at least to use the Citi Reserve free certificates.

  3. I have the Citi Hilton Reserve card. It does not look like the 3rd free weekend night certificate is earned during the first year. At least in my case, I did not receive it. Only the two when I get the spend requirement. Did you get a third night at $10k spend?

  4. John the Wanderer- you get the third free night certificate once you pass the one year anniversary of having the card. In my case I had to email them to trigger it, but I think most of the time it’s automatic. But yes, you are right, you won’t get it for a while- probably too late to use all 3 at the same time, as the certificates expire after a year.

  5. I’m already booked here next summer for my honeymoon, snagged 5 nights for 64,000 per night. Been waiting on the reservation system to open for a while now, and jumped on it as soon as it did! Now just waiting for them to release the upgrade rates…

  6. Travel bloggers are like bad students who were given a “cheat sheet” with every answer wrong, but stuck to those answers even after they were revealed to be all wrong.

    Just look for the right answers, which is so easy to do in the internet age!!! Just find a listing of luxury Hilton hotels and provide it when you make the OUTDATED claim about how the chain is thin on luxury hotels! Relative to its size that might be true, but in terms of absolute numbers, does Hyatt have more luxury hotels than Hilton? Does Starwood (r.i.p.)? That would be nice to know and would give you credibility. So gives us the goods! Just a suggestion.

    Speaking of luxury, I am at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria, where I scored an automatic (unsolicited) DOUBLE suite upgrade to a full Corner Suite, with full Imperial Floor privileges! This is not just luxury. It is decadent luxury and it is offered by Hilton!

    Ciao, bello!

  7. I have 7 nights booked at a revenue rate in the base room here next fall. Will I be able to change it to points/free night certificates from my Reserve cards when those are deposited into my account?

  8. @DCS Who cares what he thinks! I’ve got the Hilton 2 nights to be used before the end 2017, but I don’t think I’ll make it to where it’s “aspirational” I’m going to the beach this week (Down Under) so I don’t think Bora Bora will happen. Park City is a great use in winter. Hint: Sundance Film Festival/skiing/snow mobiling

  9. The Hilton has a transfer boat to the BB airport. The hotel had a so-so restaurant operation. There were quite a few of the low-point redemption garden suites and they were really nice, and large. Leaving the island to eat got harder last time we were there— they charged for the evening ferries to the main island. Better to get a restaurant on the mainland to come get you on the motu.

    It runs $500 per person r/t to fly from Papeete to BOra Bora.

  10. Hotel rebranding to justify the high price. Stayed in IC Thalasso last year, definitely the best location in Bora Bora for swimmable lagoon & view, and they provide shuttle to La Moana on the main island so you don’t feel trapped. We went to the Lagoon restaurant at St Regis for dinner one night, liked that property as well, service is more formal than IC Thalasso. Also had a visit to Four Season during a dive trip, best service on island, although the location is kind of close to the airport IMO. Hilton/soon to be Conrad is in an off location that doesn’t face Mt. Otemanu, which might disappoint some people for the lack of that picturesque Volcano and lagoon view. I think the big three – Four Season, St Regis & IC Thalasso are really worth the extra to stay at in Bora Bora (all 3 are either water villas only or mainly water villas). Hilton’s location doesn’t offer that classic, famous Bora Bora view and feel.

  11. DCS Fact Check Alert:
    – Total number of HH Conrad / WA properties – 50
    – Total number of SPG StR / LC properties – 176

    The disparity only grows once you start adding in Curio (a rounding error at this point) vs. W. I’m sure there are some mildly aspirational Hilton properties, but I’m guessing that’s more than matched (and probably far exceeded) by equally strong Westins/LMs/Tribute/Design options.

    And of course, this doesn’t even start to include the aspirational properties on the Marriott side of the business.

    Since Hilton has almost 5,000 properties, basically 1% of them are luxury, and the rest is either budget lodging or standard full-service properties. Doesn’t seem like a program that any serious global / luxury traveler would give second thought to.

  12. Oh, and Fact Check II – even tiny little Hyatt has almost as many PH properties (~40 by my count) as the whopping WA/Conrad total…and of course GH and Andaz are a big step up from the next tier of Hiltons/Curios and the like.

    #FactsMatter

  13. I got lucky. I was able to book 5 nights in 2017 the very first day the rooms were available to book. I got really lucky. After I have been checking and no availability at the rate of 64k points per night (with 5th night free). Currently RT with Ait Tahiti Nuit is about $1,700 RT for 1 person from LAX to Bora Bora. There is a ferry from the hotel and airport that is additional cost. I have not booked my flights yet but have the hotels booked already. I will be coming from East Coast so I have a night in LAX before leaving to Bora Broa and a night arriving from Bora Bora just to break up travel time. I used my Hyatt points for those rooms. So basically my hotel stays are virtually free. I also am using miles to fly to and from LAX so that also helps cost. Can’t Wait!

  14. Hey,
    I was waiting for this hotel top open but i see they don’t give you the 5th night free if you have a basic membership. I was looking to buy 320.000 points with the 50% off offer to use them for the 5 nights 06.30 – 07.05. So the tricky question is:
    How I can I buy 320.000 points with this promotion and have the 5th night free in a standard points account? :)))
    I can’t seem to find a way beside trusting a person and using their account.

  15. Apply for one of the Hilton branded credit cards that give you automatic silver or gold status (Amex or Citi). Be careful as availability is very lean for some of these properties. I lucked out with the Bora Bora property and I am Diamond. Best of luck.

  16. I was able to book 5 nights for 320k points for my honeymoon next February. Weird thing is it is showing that in addition to 320k points, the fees are 452,300.00 XPF which is around $3900 USD. Anyone else running into that?

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