Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise – Introduction
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I’ve always been fascinated by the amazing blue and green waters & the over-water bungalows in Bora Bora. But at the back of my mind, I always wondered “Can it really be as good as people say it is?““Our 2nd Honeymoon in Paradise” Trip Report Index:
- A Bad Start & a Few Hours in Los Angeles
- Air France Lounge – Los Angeles
- Air France Business Class – Los Angeles to Papeete
- Getting to Moorea
- Hilton Moorea, Panoramic Overwater Bungalow #87
- An ATV Tour in Moorea
- Whale & Dolphin Watching in Moorea
- Eating in Moorea
- Moorea to Bora Bora
- Bora Bora Airport To InterContinental Thalasso
- Emerald Overwater Bungalow #204 at the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora
- Jet-Skiing in Bora Bora
- A 9 Hour Bike Ride Around Bora Bora
- Eating in the InterContinental Thalasso
- InterContinental Thalasso Coral Garden Suite
- Around the InterContinental Thalasso
- Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort
- Royal Overwater Villa, Hilton Bora Bora Nui
- Dinner at Villa Mahana
- Eating in the Hilton Bora Bora
- Is Food Expensive in Bora Bora?
- A Day in Papeete
- Air Tahiti Nui and Southwest Flights Home
- Conclusion & Blog Giveaway!
Yes, it really is as good as people say it is! I’ll never forget the shimmering green and blue waters, the friendly islanders, and the wonderful time Emily and I had whale-watching, going on our 1st ATV tour, biking 8 hours around the island of Bora Bora, and just hanging out with each other in Paradise.
I would never pay the retail cost – ~$8,000 for two people in coach from Costco Travel or ~$12,000 in business class – but miles and points let us have Big Travel with Small Money!
So I planned a 2nd honeymoon to French Polynesia with the woman of my dreams!
I decided on 2 honeymoons of about 1 week each, instead of taking a longer honeymoon for 2 weeks. I planned our 1st honeymoon to Paris over the July 4th weekend and the 2nd honeymoon over the Labor Day weekend. That way we could take 10 days off work, but use only 8 vacation days!
This was supposed to be a surprise (I was looking forward to her squeals), but alas…Emily Jablon: This surprise was given away when I checked my “junk” email account – the one which Daraius uses to sign-me up for promotions etc. – and found hotel reservations and flight confirmations to French Polynesia!
However, I didn’t do any research to find out more about Bora Bora. Daraius plans excellent vacations and I trust his judgement. But I was excited!Daraius: I initially booked all 6 nights at the InterContinental Thalasso in Bora Bora. But I shortened our stay at the InterContinental Thalasso to only 3 nights and included 1 night at the Hilton in Moorea (only 30 minutes by ferry from Papeete) and 2 nights at the Hilton in Bora Bora. Emily Jablon: I would have preferred staying in only 1 or 2 locations to really relax and get a feel for the place. 3 hotels in 7 days was a lot! Daraius: Actually, I wanted to stay in a different hotel each night and check out the InterContinental in Tahiti and Moorea as well as the InterContinental La Moana in Bora Bora, but changing hotels every night would have been the opposite of a honeymoon for Emily!
I switched our reservations to the Hilton because we would save money with the free breakfast (~$30 per person) and free internet at the Hilton hotels because of our Hilton Gold status. You can get Hilton Gold status with a virtual move to Australia or with the Citi Hilton Reserve card.
We saved ~$80 per day (~$60 on breakfast and ~$20 on internet) at the Hiltons in French Polynesia because of the Hilton Gold status.
We used 150,000 Delta miles to fly in Air France business class from Los Angeles to Papeete and to fly back in Air Tahiti Nui business class. Delta miles are very useful for travel to French Polynesia because they partner with both Air France and Air Tahiti Nui for flights from the US to Tahiti.
However, you can also use:
- American Airline miles on Air Tahiti Nui (37,500 miles in coach or 62,500 in business class for a 1-way)
- American Express Membership Rewards points transferred to Delta (100,00 miles in coach or 150,000 miles in business class, round-trip) for flights on Air Tahiti Nui or Air France
- American Express Membership Rewards transferred to Air France (30,000 miles in coach or 60,000 in business class 1-way + ~$200 fuel surcharges for a 1-way),
- Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Korean Air (60,000 miles in coach or 90,000 in business class round-trip) for flights on Air France to French Polynesia.
To be clear – using miles and points to French Polynesia is tough and requires lots of planning. But over the next few weeks, I’ll review the flight and hotel options to French Polynesia and share our experience in Paradise with lots of detail and pictures so that you can get started planning your trip to Paradise!
French Polynesia is expensive, but it is possible to go there without breaking the bank. Please comment if there’s anything you want me to include in the posts!
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