Use Points For An Overwater Bungalow At The InterContinental Thalasso In Bora Bora.
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On Monday, Jenny wrote in <a title="Reader Question: How to Book An Over Water Bungalow at the InterContinental Thalasso in B
ora/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>asking how to book an overwater bungalow at the InterContinental Thalasso in B
ore–> ArizonaGuy & Gary Leff explained that one of the biggest drawbacks of the Pri
ority Club reward program is that it does not allow members to redeem points f
ora higher room categ
ory. In addition, Pri
ority Club hotels are not obliged to hon
orelite status on award stays (when you likely want it the most), though some properties do hon
orelite status on award stays.
orexample, Hilton, Starwood Prefered Guest, and Hyatt not only allow members to redeem points f
ora regular room, but members can also redeem extra points f
ora higher room categ
ory such as club rooms
orsuites. Steve Schwartz suggested calling the hotel and asking the hotel what they could do.
I like this approach, but suggest doing it the way Gary explained in the comments.
And I also have another suggestion if that doesn’t get Jenny the overwater bungalow!
BTW, Gary wrote a great post on overwater bungalows which you should check out f
ore ideas on how to use your miles and points! Step 1 – Make an award booking
First reserve a few nights at the InterContinental Thalasso using points. This is <span style="text-dec
oration: underline;”>one of the best uses of 40,000 Pri
ority Club points, since 1 night at the InterContinental usually costs $1,144 in the entry-level Family Suite C
oral (I randomly checked the price f
orSeptember 2, 2011).
You can buy 40,000 Pri
ority Club points f
or$240 using the<a title="Use The Pri
ority Club “Points & Cash” Trick To Save 76% Off On Hotels” href=”https://millionmilesecrets.com/2011/06/07/use-the-pri
ority-club-cash-points-trick-to-get-upto-50-discount-on-hotels/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”> Cash & Points trick! If you do decide to buy points, check to make sure that there is award availability bef
ore you buy the points!
You can even get a 10% rebate on the points used f
orthis stay if you have the Chase Pri
ority Club credit card, so you can reduce the cost to 36,000 Pri
ority Club points a night
or$216 per night.
Yes, you could pay only $216 f
ora room in B
Gary explains that since most award bookings can be cancelled without penalty there is no real cost to making an award reservation. Having a reservation puts you on a m
ore solid footing with the hotel when it is time f
orthe next step. Step 2 – Contact the hotel
Reach out to the hotel and ask them if they will let you pay cash to upgrade your room from the basic Family Suite C
oral to the overwater bungalows. Gary mentions that this is very common in French Polynesia, though it is usually offered only at check-in.
If you do reach out to the hotel, I suggest emailing the hotel instead of calling them, because that way you have a written confirmation of the agreement in case something goes wrong. If you do call, be sure to get an email confirmation!
The cheapest overwater bungalow, the Sapphire Overwater Villa costs $1,284, and the entry level 2 Bedroom Family Suite C
oral costs $1,144 (I checked both rates f
or1 night on September 2, 2011)
The hotel may reply to your email with an offer to upgrade to an overwater bungalow.
The price f
orthe upgrade may be $140, the difference between the entry level bungalow and the cheapest overwater bungalow
orit may be m
ore. I suspect that it might be m
ore than $140.
If not, and you don’t want to risk flying to B
ora and having to spend your time by the beach (there are w
orse fates, you know!), instead of over the water, you can always cancel your award booking.
Or consider the options in step 3 and step 4.Step 3 – Buy InterContinental Ambassad
orMembership David wrote in to say that he has actually stayed at the InterContinental Thalasso f
orhis honeymoon and suggested buying InterContinental <a title="InterContinental Ambassad
or/join” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Ambassad
ormembership costs $200
ority Club points.
ormembership guarantees you a 1-level upgrade at InterContinental hotels, in addition to late check-out at 4:00 pm, plus a token gesture of “free fruit and water” & a free pay-per-view movie once during your stay. The 1-level upgrade is usually valid only on paid stays, since Pri
ority Club hotels don’t have to provide elite benefits on award stays.
ormembership also comes with a complimentary weekend night certificate valid f
or12 months which gives you a free 2nd night f
ora stay booked on a Friday, Saturday,
orexample, you will have to pay f
oronly 1 night if you book a paid 2-night stay on Friday and Saturday and used your complimentary weekend night certificate.
The complimentary night certificate has to be booked via the Ambassad
orat the <a title="AMB Weekend" href="https://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/ambassad
or/ambweekend?ratePreferences=IBAMB” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Ambassad
Now Jenny could book the cheapest c
oral suite and get upgraded to an over water suite as an Intercontinental Ambassad
or. However, to increase her odds of getting an overwater bungalow on her award stay, she may want to spend the extra $140 and book a room into the lowest overwater villa costing $1,284.
So by spending $1,284 f
or1 nights stay , Jenny will get a 2nd night free in B
ora in an overwater bungalow, when she uses the complimentary weekend night certificate!
Each night theref
ore costs $642 ($1,284 /2)
orabout three times what it would otherwise have cost Jenny if she had just bought points using the cash and points trick. This is still 50% off the regular rate!
But this way Jenny is guaranteed at least 2 nights in an overwater bungalow. And she increases her chances of getting to stay in an overwater bungalow on her award stay nights since she will start her stay at the hotel in an overwater bungalow.Step 4 – Make an award booking f
Jenny should consider making a separate award booking in her name (
orin the name of the person making the paid booking) f
orthe additional nights which she wants to stay in B
orexample, if Jenny uses the Ambassad
orcomplimentary weekend night certificate f
ora Friday and Saturday stay, she should then make a separate award booking f
or, say, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Now the hotel could ask Jenny to change rooms f
orher award stay from Sunday to Wednesday, but I suspect that the hotel will be reluctant to do that provided the hotel is not sold out.
Yes, this is a little risky, and I wouldn’t recommend this if you absolutely must have an overwater bungalow
Jenny could also reach out to the hotel bef
orehand and explain that she has a PAID reservation f
or2 nights in an overwater bungalow, and was curious if they would let her keep her overwater bunglalow f
orthe other 4 nights (which are on points).
Once again, the hotel may reply with a paid offer to upgrade her stay f
or4 nights to an overwater bungalow.
If the hotel does not reply to her, Jenny could contact the hotel again and suggest that she is open to a paying a reasonable price to upgrade her remaining 4 nights to an overwater bungalow.Bottom Line:
There is no surefire way to book an overwater bungalow at the InterContinental Thalasso, but Jenny can increase her chances of having Big Travel with Small Money by:
1) Reaching out to the hotel and asking them about how much it would cost to upgrade a points booking to an overwater booking.
2) Consider purchasing InterContinental Ambassad
ormembership and booking a 2 night stay in an overwater bungalow using the complimentary weekend night certificate.
She could then add on a separate booking f
oradditional nights after her paid stay and hope (
ornegotiate) with the hotel so that she doesn’t have to change rooms. Thanks to everyone who commented to help Jenny!
Have you been to B
ora? Tell us about it in the comments!
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