We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
The entry level rooms which you can book with points at the InterContinental Thalasso in Bora Bora are not overwater bungalows, but are garden villas also called “motu” villas.
- 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
- 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!
But very few folks spend lots of time and money to go to Bora Bora only to stay in a garden bungalow. The essential Bora Bora experience looks like the picture below.
But if you book an entry level room on points and the hotel is sold-out, you could end up in one of the three garden villas.
There are three coral garden suites at the InterContinental Thalasso in Bora Bora, room 301, 302, and 303. Notice how far away they are from the overwater bungalows in the picture below.
Almost all the folks in this FlyerTalk thread claim to have received an upgrade to an overwater bungalow from the garden suite booked with points when visiting the InterContinental Thalasso.
However, there is a chance that the hotel will be sold out and you will have to stay in the garden suite. I saw folks staying in one of the garden suites when we visited, and Bart Lapers who is a top tier Royal Ambassador had to stay his first night in the garden suite.
Some folks will feel comfortable rolling the dice and hope to get upgrade, while others will pay the upgrade or negotiate to pay the upgrade (via email with the hotel) for only a few days of their stay and hope not to be moved into the garden suite.
Initially, I was going to take a chance and see if I got upgraded, but I chickened out and paid the $175 (including taxes) to upgrade to the Emerald overwater bungalows. I won’t be back in Bora Bora any time soon and didn’t want Emily to miss out on the overwater bungalow experience!
On the other hand, the garden suites appear to have a kitchen and will save you the cash cost of an upgrade.
Here’s a video review of the garden suites.
But I thought I’d have a peek at the garden bungalows while I was there. Room #301 seemed to be the only garden bungalow used by guests. Here’s the view from room #301.
There was a porch on the other side.
The porch faced a small garden.
The garden suites are quite secluded.
Room 302 had curtains blacking out the doorway, so I assumed that they were used by the hotel staff.
There was a resident cat on the porch of room #302.
Room 303 also had curtains blacking out the glass by the door, so I’m guessing it was used by the staff.
The InterContinental Thalasso does its best to upgrade folks on points to an overwater bungalow, but there are very few cases when that doesn’t happen. I paid the upgrade fee to guarantee an upgrade to an overwater bungalow.