Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – Planning

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Don’t forget to follow me on  Facebook or Twitter!

In this post, I’ll explain how Emily and I visited Moorea and Bora Bora in French Polynesia using miles & points.  Later, I’ll post a more detailed account of the different airline, hotel, food, transport, and activity options so you can plan a fun trip to French Polynesia.

Keep in mind that the chart below covers only the cost for hotels and airfare, and not for dining, activities and other travel expenses.

Retail Cost
Our Cash Cost
Miles And Points Required
Sources of Miles & Points
2 Business Class return tickets from Los Angeles to Papeete~$4,000 per person or $8,000 total$80 per person ($160 total) in taxes and fees 150,000 Delta miles (300,000 miles total)- Delta Debit Card

- Transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta
2 tickets on Southwest from Kansas City to Los Angeles and back$388 per person or $776 total$10 in taxes and fees21,960 Southwest points + 1 Southwest Companion Pass- Southwest Credit Card

- Southwest Companion Pass
2 tickets on Air Tahiti from Moorea to Bora Bora$247 per person or $494 total$247 per person or $494 totalNoneNone
2 tickets on Air Tahiti from Bora Bora to Papeete$229 per person or $458 total$229 per person or $458 totalNoneNone
1 night in a Panoramic Overwater Bungalow at the Hilton in Moorea$800 per night for the Panoramic Overwater Bungalow$205 for a cash upgrade from the standard room to the Panoramic Overwater Bungalow50,000 Hilton nights for a standard award room- Various Hilton Credit Cards
3 nights in a Emerald Overwater Villa at the InterContinental Thalasso in Bora Bora$800 per night or $2,400 for 3 nights in the Emerald Overwater Villa$175 ($525 for 3 nights) for a cash upgrade from the Coral suite to the Emerald Overwater Villa- 2 free annual nights from the Chase Priority Club card

- 30,000 points (currently 50,000 points) for a Coral Suite
- Chase Priority Club card
2 nights in a Royal Overwater Villa at the Hilton in Bora Bora$1,159 per night or $2,318 for 2 nights in the Royal Overwater Villa$205 ($410 for 2 nights) for a cash upgrade from the standard room to the Royal Overwater Villa50,000 Hilton points per night (100,000 total) for a standard award room- Various Hilton Credit Cards
Total$15,246$2,262300,000 Delta miles + 21,960 Southwest points + 30,000 Priority Club points + 2 Free Priority Club Nights + 150,000 Hilton points

“Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise” Trip Report Index:


We used 150,000 Delta miles each to fly in Air France business class from Los Angeles to Papeete (the capital of Tahiti) and on Air Tahiti Nui back to Los Angeles.  I booked these tickets as soon as the booking window opened ~330 days in advance and paid $80 in taxes and fees.

Since both these flights were night flights, being in coach versus business class didn’t really matter.  But Air France business class was much more comfortable because the seat was almost 180 degrees flat.  Air Tahiti Nui seats reclined only 150 degrees, but these things don’t really bother me since I can sleep anywhere!

In fact, traveling over the Labor Day holiday and saving one vacation day, was more important to me than flying in business class, and I would have gladly flown in coach if there were no business class flights.

I tried to add a Delta low level flight from Kansas City to Los Angeles to my award, but couldn’t get it to price correctly.  Calling Delta didn’t help either.  I called back a few times, but the agents couldn’t add the low level flights without the price increasing.

So I asked Gary for suggestions.  He suggested calling back a few times, since Delta agents deal with broken systems, and to ask Troy.  Troy suggested calling back at least 15 to 20 times!  I didn’t mind taking a few minutes off work to duck into a conference room to make calls, but I couldn’t do 20 calls that day since I was busy at work!

So, after 7 unsuccessful calls, I just booked the award from Los Angeles to Papeete and back, and used our Southwest Companion Pass to fly from Kansas City to Los Angeles and back.

We took the ferry from Papeete to Moorea for ~$15 per person where we stayed at the Hilton Moorea.  After 1 night in Moorea, we flew from Moorea to Bora Bora on Air Tahiti for $247 per person where we stayed for 5 nights.  Finally, we flew from Bora Bora to Papeete, for $229 per person, to catch our return flight home.


We stayed at the Hilton in Moorea for 1 night, the InterContinental Thalasso in Bora Bora for 3 nights, and in the Hilton in Bora Bora for our last 2 nights.  The InterContinental Thalasso was the nicest hotel, but also the most expensive since there is no way to get free breakfast like you can at the Hilton with Gold elite status.

Hotel award availability was great at the Hilton Moorea, pretty good at the InterContinental Thalasso, but poor at the Hilton in Bora Bora.  There is limited standard room availability for 50,000 points at the Hilton in Bora Bora, but in the end we managed to get 2 nights.

However, availability kept on changing and award rooms would open up a few days after the resort appeared completely sold out.

Hilton Moorea

We used 50,000 Hilton points for a 1 night stay, booked ~2 months in advance at the Hilton Moorea – a category 7 Hilton.  You can book 4 nights for 145,000 Hilton points using a Hilton AXON award if you have the Hilton American Express credit card.

However, this was a standard garden bungalow, and not an overwater bungalow.  I emailed the hotel about Emily’s fish allergy and to negotiate a cash payment for an upgrade to the Panoramic Overwater Bungalow.

Use Miles to Bora Bora - 1

At the Hilton Moorea

The hotel emailed me to acknowledge my Gold elite benefits of free breakfast, free internet, 2 free bottles of water on arrival and a complimentary upgrade from the regular garden bungalow to a deluxe garden bungalow.

  • Deluxe Garden bungalow – Complimentary as a gold elite member
  • Lagoon Bungalow – 11,398 XPF or ~$117
  • Overwater Bungalow – 15,958 XPF or ~ $164
  • Panoramic Overwater – 23,939 XPF or ~$245
  • Garden pool suite – 23,939 XPF or $245

I negotiated the upgrade to a Panoramic Overwater bungalow to XPF 20,000 or ~$205 per night including taxes and asked for Panoramic Overwater bungalow #87 which is the most private of the bungalows.

The retail price of the Panoramic Overwater bungalow is 78,000 XPF or ~$800 per night or a ridiculous 235,252 Hilton points!

We’ll post pictures of the different bungalows in a separate post on the Hilton in Moorea.

InterContinental Thalasso – Bora Bora

This was by far the nicest hotel we stayed in!  It was private, tranquil and modern and the staff were extremely polite and helpful.  However, we didn’t get free breakfast here.  But we did eat the welcome bowl of fruits as our breakfast!

Emily and I each used our 1 annual free night from the Chase Priority Club card for 2 nights at the InterContinental Thalasso which we booked ~2 months in advance.  We booked another night for 30,000 points a night when the rate had dropped earlier (a mistake) this year.

Use Miles to Bora Bora - 1 (3)

At the InterContinental Thalasso

The current rate is 50,000 Priority Club points per night in a Coral Suite which sells for ~$800 on the InterContinental website.  But the Coral suite is not an overwater bungalow, so I emailed the hotel to negotiate an upgrade to an overwater bungalow.

Here are the upgrade rates, per night, from the Coral Garden suite:

  • Emerald overwater villa – 15,000 XPF (~$154) + 14% taxes
  • Sapphire overwater villa – 25,000 XPF  (~$256) + 14% taxes
  • Diamond overwater villa – 35,000 XPF (~$308) + 14% taxes
  • Diamond Otemanu overwater villa –  45,000 XPF (~$461) + 14% taxes
  • Diamond End of Pontoon overwater villa – 55,000 XPF (~$564)+ 14% taxes

The hotel has 3 Coral Garden suites, but I checked them out and only 1 appeared to be used for hotel guests.  The other 2 had curtains blacking out the windows and a resident cat was in the 2nd Coral Garden suite.  However, I did see guests in 1 of the coral suites for all 3 days of our stay.

That said, folks in this FlyerTalk thread report a very good chance of being upgraded to an Emerald overwater villa if the hotel is not sold out, and especially if you are a member in InterContinental’s Ambassador program.  Technically the hotel doesn’t have to upgrade you on an award stay, but I suspect that elite status could be the tiebreaker in not getting the Coral Garden suite.

I initially planned on taking a chance with the upgrade, but after reader Corridor! emailed me a picture of his overwater bungalow, I didn’t want to take a chance to miss out on an overwater bungalow.  I also wanted to surprise Emily!

Paying the upgrade also lets you specify which room you want, and the hotel will do their best to accommodate your request.

So we paid the upgrade of ~$175 per night including tax and requested Emerald overwater bungalow 203 in the only wing which doesn’t face other bungalows on one side.

Hilton Bora Bora

We used 50,000 Hilton points per night, for a 2 night stay (100,000 Hilton points in total).  We booked ~2 months in advance at the Hilton Bora Bora – a category 7 Hilton.  You can book 4 nights for 145,000 Hilton points using a Hilton AXON award if you have the Hilton American Express credit card.

But this was a standard bungalow, and not an overwater bungalow.  I emailed the hotel about Emily’s fish allergy and to negotiate a cash payment for an upgrade to the Panoramic Overwater Bungalow.

The hotel replied to say:

“Thanks to your Gold VIP status, we will be pleased to offer you a complimentary upgrade to the next category (overwater villa) upon availability at check in time.

If you would like to secure in advance one of our King Deluxe Overwater Villas, the upgrade fee will be 8,000cfp/night. If you are interested, please fill out and send it back the credit authorization.

I asked about an upgrade to the Royal Overwater bungalow which has a huge deck and its own jacuzzi and to the Presidential Suite which has 2 rooms, a swimming pool, a jacuzzi and more space than we would ever need.

Use Miles to Bora Bora - 1 (2)

At the Hilton Bora Bora

I was quoted 20,000 XPF or ~$205 for an upgrade to the Royal Overwater villa and a ridiculous 100,000 XPF or ~$1,025 for an upgrade to the Presidential Suite.  I upgraded to the Royal Overwater villa to get into Emily’s good books after making her pack and move every few nights!

The upgrade price of $205 was the same price as the upgrade in Moorea, except that the Royal Overwater villa in Bora Bora was much, much larger and nicer than our upgraded room in Moorea.

The retail price of the Royal Overwater villa is 113,000 XPF or ~$1,159 per night or a ridiculous 340,814 Hilton points!

The Hilton in Bora Bora isn’t as well maintained as the InterContinental Thalasso, but the large room and jacuzzi in our Royal Overwater bungalow and the free breakfast and internet made up for it.

I’ll post pictures of the different bungalows in  a separate post on the Hilton in Bora Bora.


Food is extremely expensive in French Polynesia.  I’ll post more detail later, but here’s the (somewhat) short summary.

It is possible to save money by stuffing up on the free breakfast with Hilton gold status if you stay at a Hilton.  The continental breakfast buffet costs ~$30 per person, so a couple can save $60 per day with the free breakfast.  If you want eggs and hot foods, you can pay an extra $10 supplement.

You can get Hilton Gold status with a virtual move to Australia or with the Citi Hilton Reserve card.

Another option to save money is to either bring your own food such as soups or noodles and make it in your room since there is an electric kettle in the hotel rooms.  Or you can visit the local supermarkets for a glimpse into what it is like to shop like a local, and bring food back to the hotel and store it in your minibar.  Our minibar was full, but we called to have it emptied out because of the automatic sensors.

Yet another option is to go outside the hotel for lunch or dinner.  The InterContinental Thalasso in Bora Bora has a free shuttle boat to the InterContinental La Moana which is on the main island of Bora Bora.  There are a few restaurants and grocery shops within walking distance of the InterContinental La Moana.

The Hilton charges 700 XPF (~$7), per person, for a roundtrip to the main dock, Viatape, in Bora Bora.  However, the 6 and 7:00 pm shuttles cost XPF 1,500 (~$15)  for a roundtrip, which I suppose is the hotel’s way of discouraging you from eating outside.

There are often Roulottes or trucks selling food outside the dock in Viatape and the InterContinental La Moana or you could visit a restaurant in Viatape for much less than eating in the hotel.

Bottom Line

You can visit Bora Bora and French Polynesia for much less than the regular price, but you will still have to pay cash for domestic flights, food and upgrades to an overwater bungalow.

This isn’t going to be a cheap trip, even after using miles and points, but it will cost much less than paying the retail cost!  I just can’t forget the gorgeous blue and green waters in Bora Bora.

* If you liked this post, why don’t you  sign-up to receive free blog posts in your email (only 1 email per day!) or in a  RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another trip report!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

82 responses to “Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – Planning

  1. Is is 40,000XPF per night for the royal. It is 20,000XPF for the deluxe. Since you spoon feed your readers you might want to let them know that.

  2. Enjoying your detailed report. Looking forward to seeing how you economized on food. We refer to our Tahiti trip, 18 years ago long before I got into the miles game, as our Tahitian diet vacation. 🙂

  3. Is there a reason why you didn’t use miles for the Air Tahiti flights from island to island?

  4. Great post. A simple, direct, well thought out post about a complicated inspiring trip. Not easy to do.

  5. Why not take the ferry from Papeete to Moorea? I remember it was so much cheaper and a very enjoyable ride several years ago. Business must be good;-) Does the hotel food at the Hilton Moorea (former Sheraton) still suck?

    Yeah, food prices in these islands are ridiculous! I do remember one of the MOST enjoyable meals we had was when we stopped at the side of a road and bought a BBQ chicken from a vendor and ate it at the beach next to it…So tasty I can still smell it…or maybe we were just starving and refusing to pay the exorbitant prices on the island:-)

  6. Can you please elaborate on the word “negotiate”? Please tell us how the conversation to lower the add-on room rate went.

  7. Another question is why didn’t you buy Ambassador status for $200 or 32k points and get upgraded that way? Since it was shoulder season, they might have upgraded you more than 1 level.

  8. Wow, what an amazing write up! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and fantasizing about taking my new wife here as soon as possible!!

    One question, as I’m new to the game — you booked your reward flights almost 1 year in advance, but you didn’t get the hotel rooms until almost 2 months before your trip. Is that how it always goes? Did you run the risk of not having anywhere to stay?? I feel like my wife would be freaked out knowing that we’re going to such an amazing place and truly don’t have a room until the “last minute”.

  9. Great post! I am planning a similar trip for our upcoming honeymoon, so this is very helpful. Looking forward to additional details.

  10. I also am unsure why not take the ferry from Moorea to Papeete, so much cheaper and quite cheap. And I would like to know your approach to negotiating a better deal with for upgrade with Hilton Moorea. We do in Dec and I have 2 nights overwater and 1 on land. They sent me similar email to upgrade, but I have not responded. NOTE to those going: Hilton Moorea is renovating their pool from about 15 NOV to 10 Dec, so it will be closed. As an offset, they will take you by water to a private beach area for free during that time.
    I also wonder if you made air reserv. well ahead, why delay the Hilton point reservations. If rate drops, does not Hilton let you cancel and then you can re-book with fewer points?

    • @Price is wrong – I paid 20,000 XPF for the upgrade to the Royal, so that isn’t a mistake. I believe the upgrade rate varies based on your status.

      @Debbie Schroeder – It was hard to save money on food, and sometimes we would share a meal, skip a meal, or go out.

      @Steve – You can’t redeem miles for flights on Air Tahiti (the domestic airline).

      @E @Rilys – Thanks!

      @gpapadop – Actually we did take the ferry from Papeete to Moorea! “We took the ferry from Papeete to Moorea for ~$15 per person where we stayed at the Hilton Moorea.” An earlier version of the table had a typo where it read “2 tickets on Air Tahiti from Moorea (instead of Bora Bora) to Papeete” We didn’t eat much at the Hilton, but the Pizza was okay, and the breakfast better than the breakfast at the Hilton in Bora Bora.

      @bluecat @SAPMAN – I negotiated via email. I said something to the effect of “The panoramic bungalow looks wonderful, and I’d love to spoil my wife on our honeymoon. I don’t mind paying for an upgrade, but the price for the panoramic bungalow is a little out of my range. Is that the best price you can offer?”

      @Brandon Leong – I do have InterContinental Ambassador status, but you aren’t eligible for upgrades on award stays.

      @Jordan – I had booked all 6 nights at the InterContinental Thalasso as soon as we had our flights booked. But I cancelled most of those nights and re booked at the Hilton 2 months in advance and when we got our free night certificate from the Chase Priority Club card. I’d book sooner rather than later!

      @SAPMAN – There was a typo in the table – it was a flight from Bora Bora to Papeete. Did you use extra points for the overwater bungalow? If so, you could cancel and book a standard room if available and save your Hilton points. You’d then have to pay for an upgrade for 3 nights. You can mention how excited you are to visit, but were wondering if this was their best offer. Or you can ask them if they will accept your offer of a lower price.

  11. Great post, as always! I will one day have to try this trip!
    What does Emily’s food allergy have to do with requesting the upgrade to the over the water bungalow?
    ” However this was a garden bungalow and not an overwater bungalow. I emailed the hotel about Emily’s fish allergy and to negotiate” … for an over water bungalow.

  12. I have said this earlier and will say it again. I completely understand that points are cheaper but there is an opportunity cost of not converting those points into basic cash.

    Dont you think you should add that into your out of pocket cost?

    i.e. when i used 145,000 chase rewards points for my honey room, i basically said the honey moon costed in 1,450 instead of the 8k that it would have cost me retail.

  13. Hey guys.. I have a question.. If we get the Priority club Visa., How soon can we get the free nights? Do we have to wait for the annual in order to get it? Planning to have a long layover at either SIN (Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Hotel) or ICN (Hyatt Regency Incheon) airport. Or should I get the Hyatt… I perfer applying for the PC Visa ($49 annual fee) vs the Hyatt annual fee. Any advise? Our trip is in Feb

  14. Very nice! Looking forward to using all the tips you are sharing for our future trip.

  15. @Daruis – Any reason why you didn’t use Korean Air Miles (perhaps through Chase UR transfer) at 60K economy or 90 K Business to fly using Air France from the US to PPT?

  16. So Air Tahiti partnership with US alliances is only good for international award tickets?
    I thought that domestic awards could be had (but they’re difficult)

  17. @Darius, just wondering if Hilton Moorea would be good for four nights??? In this case, we don’t have to go to different places. Or is Bora Bora much better ?

  18. quick question..
    did you make delta award booking online or you have to go through calling them? I’m asking because it seems like no more AF tickets can be booked on delta website, not even the coach tickets.

    • @Pointsandtravel – Emily’s allergy has nothing to do with the upgrade. I just emailed the hotel about both at the same time, instead of sending separate emails.

      @Nitin – If the heading on the table was “My opportunity cost” I would include the value of the points.

      @Tommy – You get the 80,000 points after your 1st purchase which you can use for award stays, but get the free night after keeping the card for 1 year.

      @Jimmy @TravelByPoints – When do you and TravelWhimsy plan on going?

      @MillionMiler – I had just booked 5 nights at the Park Hyatt Vendome, so I didn’t have that many UR points. I also wanted to use my Delta points first, since I wasn’t going to use them elsewhere.

      @Steve – There are 2 airlines – Air Tahiti Nui which flies internationally and has partnerships with Delta and American Airlines. Air Tahiti flies domestically, but doesn’t have a partnership with other airlines.

      @Nguyen – 4 nights in Moorea would be more than sufficient. Bora Bora is prettier, but it does cost more to get there.

      @chiyu – I called them because I was trying to add a low level award from Kansas City to LA to my flights.

  19. Since when is the Hilton Bora Bora offering upgrades to King Deluxe Overwater Villas for only 8,000XPF, let alone complimentary upgrades to Overwater Villas to Gold members booked in Twin Lagoon View Suites (the 50k room) if they are available at check-in? The next higher category is the King Garden or Hillside Villas.

    Every other Gold and Diamond member is being quoted 20,000XPF for King Deluxe Overwater. If the standard Overwater Villa is available at check-in then it is 11,000XPF per night.

    I’m thinking you got special blogger treatment (not that you don’t deserve it). But now I seriously feel like I got ripped off by paying 2.5x as much for the exact same dates!

  20. It is possible to use Citi Thank You points for the inter island flights. That could have saved $950 off your total. May be possible with Sapphire points as well!

  21. by no means did i mean any dis-respect.

    in fact, i owe the whole learning of points to you. because of YOU i was able to give my wife the honey moon of her dreams (we went to the Hyatt Maldives due to your post over 1 years ago). I would have never know about conversion my UR points to Hyatt Points.

    Your the only site I still visit on a daily basis to get my travel updates 🙂

    • @Elizabeth – It didn’t feel like special blogger treatment when I didn’t get my requested room #107 at the Hilton Bora Bora or when they wanted ~$100 for a boat ride back to airport (we took the airport boat instead)! The room was booked from Emily’s account (different last name from mine), but I emailed the hotel from my personal email account so they could have googled me. Or it could have been a mistake, since the next category up isn’t an over water bungalow!

      @David – Of course it is possible to use Thank You Points, Ultimate Rewards points, or AMEX Membership Rewards points using the pay with points option. But – what I was trying to say – is that you can’t use airline miles for the flights within French Polynesia.

      @Nitin – No offense taken. I love hearing different viewpoints!

  22. So between Maldives and Tahiti, which place did you enjoy more? Pluses and minuses please. By the way great post as usual!

  23. Pingback: What Airlines Can You Fly With American Express Points | The Points Guide

  24. Daruis – Impressive numbers there! I love how you broke down the cost and your cost. Its amazing how much you can do with a few hundred thousand airline miles and rewards points! Whenever I fly more than 5 hours I usually try to get First Class.. it increases the value of your points as well since the price of Business Class/First Class is always $2,000 or more.

    PS. Maybe its time for me to plan a trip to the Maldives for my wife and I.. time to get out of Alaska as winter is rapidly approaching! 🙂

  25. Ah. I get it. NUI.

    I missed that.

  26. So you spent $1140 on room upgrades and then –
    ” It was hard to save money on food, and sometimes we would share a meal, skip a meal, or go out. ”

    That makes no sense at all. If you can’t afford (or are complaining about the cost of the food) spending over $1000 on room upgrades is pretty dumb IMO.

    • @MillionMiler – I’ve not yet been to the Maldives, but I hear that it is more expensive than Tahiti.

      @Derek – ThePointsGuide – The Maldives is on my list of places to visit. Have a great trip!

      @rich (arizona) – I expect to pay ~$200 for a nice hotel room. I don’t expect (and don’t like) paying $30 for a breakfast buffet or $25 for a burger!

      @Sam – You got it!

  27. Dear

    Could you gimme the order of staying?
    I see MCI-LAX-Papeete-Moorea-Bora-Papeete-LAX-MCI, is it right?…


  28. Darius, it was your honeymoon. Live a little and dont skip meals because it’s too “expensive”. After all, it was your honeymoon. Loosen your pockets a bit…. Geez man. lol.

  29. Pingback: Air France Lounge – Los Angeles | Million Mile Secrets

  30. @nguyen I would go to Bora Bora way better than Moorea. I was there
    March 2012. 4 nights @ intercontenental Moorea OWB and 4 night @ Intercontinental Bora Bora OWB. You will never forget Bora Bora while you see it. Most beautiful place I’ve seen so far. I will definitely be back maybe in 10 years but only in Bora Bora. I will try hilton or st. Regis this time.

  31. Pingback: Air France Business Class | Million Mile Secrets

  32. Thanks for providing such details on how you used miles and points to get to Bora Bora. I look forward to the rest of your trip report.

  33. Hi Darius,

    Thanks for your great write up on your honeymoon to Bora Bora, it looks like you & Emily had a wonderful time.

    I’d like to plan a similar trip to Bora Bora (from Seattle) for 7-8 days in 1-2 years with my wife, and these are my current accounts: (120K AA (2x Citi cards), 30K Alaska, 60K UR (dont have CSP yet)

    What are your thoughts on the cards (the both of us) we can pick in the next year to make this trip as affordable as possible?

    • @Matt – I’ll write a detailed post later, but you’ll need Hilton and Priority Club points. The Citi Hilton Reserve also gets you free Gold status (free breakfast and internet), but the 2 free weekend nights from that card expire in 12 months, so get it 12 months before you visit. I’d start with the Chase Priority Club card for 80K, and next year you will get an annual night which you can use in Bora Bora. There are other cards to rack up Hilton points as well. For air, it is 75K AA miles in coach or 125K in business, so you may need to get some more AA points. You can get 2 Citi AA cards for 50K each if you apply for both at the same time.

  34. Pingback: Ferry to Moorea | Million Mile Secrets

  35. Pingback: Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise | Million Mile Secrets

  36. Pingback: A Few Hours In LA | Million Mile Secrets

  37. Pingback: Hilton Moorea Points | Million Mile Secrets

  38. Pingback: ATV Tour – Moorea | Million Mile Secrets

  39. Pingback: Michael Poole Moorea | Million Mile Secrets

  40. Darius, eagerly anticipating the rest of your bora bora write up

  41. Pingback: Hilton Moorea Rooms | Million Mile Secrets

  42. Pingback: InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora | Million Mile Secrets

  43. Pingback: Bora Bora Jet Ski | Million Mile Secrets

  44. Pingback: Bora Bora Bike Ride | Million Mile Secrets

  45. Pingback: Churning App-O-Rama | Million Mile Secrets

  46. Hi Darius,
    I read a separate post on the Hilton in Bora Bora. But I can’t find it anymore and nor even search it though your provided google engine. Can you post the link here?
    Thanks !

  47. Pingback: Hilton Bora Bora Nui | Million Mile Secrets

  48. Good article and breakdown of points and fee’s & costs. The rename of the article
    should be “Anantomy of a Free Vacation”

  49. Pingback: Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort | Million Mile Secrets

  50. Pingback: Hilton Moorea Food | Million Mile Secrets

  51. Pingback: Billion Mile Secrets | Million Mile Secrets

  52. What did you use to check availability on the AF LAX-PPT flight? I am looking 330 days out and delta.com shows Economy only (when it does not hang) and flyingblue shows Premium Economy only.

    Also, can we use flightstats.com to check Air Tahiti Nui availability and if so, what is the business class award class?

  53. Pingback: Food in Bora Bora | Million Mile Secrets

  54. Pingback: Papeete Roulottes | Million Mile Secrets

  55. Hi Darius,

    My fiance has ~60,000 priority club points, and I have a lot more. I was wondering if I could book 5 nights at the Thalasso with my points, and use her points for a 6th night? Do they allow for use of two different members’ points for a stay? Or, would I have to transfer her points to my account (which would stink, because it’s $5 per 1,000 points).

    Also, is there any deal that if I book 5 nights there (with points) that I get a 6th night free? That’d be nice!

    • @Billy – If you find availability, you can book 5 nights and have your fiance book the other 1 night, and then email the hotel and ask them to not make you change rooms. Don’t transfer the points because it is a poor value.

  56. Pingback: Our Second Honeymoon in Paradise – Conclusion & Blog Giveaway! | Million Mile Secrets

  57. Pingback: InterContinental Thalasso Dining | Million Mile Secrets

  58. Pingback: InterContinental Thalasso Coral Garden Suite | Million Mile Secrets

  59. Pingback: Villa Mahana | Million Mile Secrets

  60. Pingback: Hilton Bora Bora Dining | Million Mile Secrets

  61. Pingback: Air Tahiti Nui Business Class | Million Mile Secrets

  62. Thanks for a great resource! I was just curious how you managed to get 2 business class awards from LAX to PPT on Air France when from the looks of it, it’s hard enough to just find 1 available. Were you able to do this just because you started 330 days out right when they hit? I’m trying to get 2 business class awards on Air France round trip but looks like it will be very difficult. Thanks!

    • @Larry – I suspect I got lucky by searching for awards right when the schedule opened and they are hard to find. You may have better luck using Air France miles (you can transfer them from American Express Membership Rewards) but don’t transfer unless you can find availability.

  63. Pingback: Kansas City to Chicago | Million Mile Secrets

  64. Pingback: Hotel General Manager Email | Million Mile Secrets

  65. That move to Australia has been over for quite awhile hasn’t it?

  66. Good day, Trying to plan trip to Hilton Moorea and Bora bora. Have Hilton gold status but only have 90K Hilton points. Dont want transfer balance from Ultimate rewards as I dont think this a good exchange. Do you know if I pay cash for basic room will I be offered discounted upgrade to overwater unit if contact hotel? Flying business on American miles Air Tahiti.

  67. Pingback: Moorea to Bora Bora | Million Mile Secrets

  68. Would these be possible anymore? I tried randomly trying a Delta flight like yours and got no results (nothing with AA or UA either)
    Also, Hilton had a points inflation right? How many points would it be now or would it be best to just get the Hilton card that offers 2 free nights?
    As for Intercontinental, could the overwater villas be had with the annual free night you get from the IHG card/free nights from Into the Nights promo etc? Also, can points be used for that hotel and how many max?


  69. Thank you for the detail info. It helps a lot. but I have a question about booking IC thalasso with 2 free annual night and 30000(50000) points.

    I want to know how it is possible to use all 2 different account benefit and points at the same time. did you book all separately, and email them to ask combine all reservations?

  70. Any chance you can update with current amounts needed for a similar trip? I tried pricing out the Hilton property and it’s costing 70k minimum for a non-overwater room and about 182k for an overwater! Any idea what the best rate the Hilton overwater bungalow can be acquired at now? Is IHG still 50k but just really hard to find an available date? Also, is Delta’s lowest for LAX–>PPT now 100k? What would be the best option for this flight now?