The small island of Bora Bora is often called “the most beautiful island in the world” or “Pearl of the Pacific”. It is the dream location for an island vacation with luxurious resorts, sunny blue skies, and water activities. The catch is that it is very expensive. Using your points for flights and accommodation is a much better alternative than money.
With the alert feature on maxmypoint.com, I managed to book a 5-night stay at the end of June 2022 for 380K Hilton Honor Points at Conrad Bora Bora Nui before Hilton increased the standard reward redemption rate from 95K to 120K on March 10th, 2022.
My wife and I have been planning an island vacation for years. This year, I wanted to make it special for our wedding anniversary. I contacted the hotel a month before our arrival, wanting to upgrade our room to an overwater villa using cash. Unfortunately, there was no overwater villa available. I had to check other options.
I was able to find overwater villa at St. Regis Bora Bora Resort using points combined with cash. The 5-night stay cost 444K points and 578,500 XPF (about $5,090 US Dollars). As a Marriot Ambassador member, I contacted Ambassador Service to request an upgrade. A few days before our trip, I was notified via email that our room was upgraded to Overwater Royal Otemanu Villa.
Costs and Point Value
Marriott Bonvoy Point is valued in the range of 0.94 – 3.64¢/Point when redeemed for standard rooms at St. Regis Bora Bora.
With the free upgrade to Overwater Royal Otemanu Villa, the point value of our stay skyrocketed to 8.84¢/Point.
|Room||Point Rate||Cash Rate||Point Value|
|Overwater Superior, Villa, 1 King, Lagoon view, Lagoon access||444,000+$5,090||$20,042.69||3.37¢/Point|
|Overwater Royal Otemanu Villa||444,000+$5,090||approx. $44,335||8.84¢/Point|
There are no flights available with American Airlines from Faa’a International Airport (PPT) to Bora Bora Airport (BOB). The flight cost almost $500 per person with 1 free check-in bag and 2 carry-on items. The weight limit for a carry-on bag is 5 kg (11 lbs). Seats were not pre-assigned. You will get the best views from the seats on the left side.
Bora Bora Airport is a very small airport. The representatives from the hotel were ready to meet us at the exit. It cost 14,000 XPF ($123) per person for a round-trip boat transfer from the airport to St. Regis. The view on this trip was stunning.
We were greeted by a St. Regis butler when we arrived at the dock. The Check-in process was easy and fast. Afterward, the butler gave us a tour around the property and drove us to our room with a golf cart.
The Overwater Royal Otemanu Villa has two king beds, a private pool, and view of Mount Otemanu. The villa is a bit dated and we did spot some trace of termite. Overall, it is well above our expectations.
There are three main restaurants for dinner and one restaurant for breakfast at St. Regis Bora Bora. The butler recommended making dinner reservations in advance.
St. Regis Bora Bora offers free breakfast for two (valued at 5500 XPF or $55 per person) to platinum and above members. Breakfast includes a buffet and items from the menu.
If you don’t have time to sit down for breakfast (e.g. due to a tour booking), you can request a takeaway breakfast.
We purchased dinner meal plan for 13,000 XPF (US$130) per person per day. It turned out to be a bad deal as dinner for two cost around 10,000-15,000 XPF off the menu or lunch for two 80,000 XPF (alcohol not included). So do check the restaurant menu before you make a decision about meal plans.
We highly recommend the Indian night set menu.
St. Regis has a huge list of activities for guests to choose from. They are very easy to book and some staff members will gladly provide instructions for activities that you don’t have any experience with.
Here are some complimentary activities:
- Outrigger Canoes
- Stand-up Paddle Boards
- Hobie Cat Sailboats
We also booked a full-day snorkeling tour (6 hours) with the excursion desk. The service was outstanding. The night before our tour, we received a note about the pickup time and things that we should know. The tour was amazing and only cost $140 per person. Lunch was included and surprisingly good.
St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is a perfect place to burn your Marriott points. Its redemption availability is normally 20 – 30% for the next 12 months, which is relatively lower than other luxury Marriott properties (much higher than Conrad Bora Bora).
You can cancel your reservation for no charge 30 days before arrival. So do book early or set up alerts to get reward rooms when they are released by the hotel.