One man’s tale of a week on points at a luxury resort whilst spending no money
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My article on the new Waldorf Astoria Maldives yesterday sparked a lot of reader interest.
One issue, of course, is that even if you can get a $2,000 + tax per night Beach Villa With Pool for free using your Hilton Honors points, you’re still on the hook for your flights, meals and, it turns out, the $370 + taxes return boat transfer from Male.
Most of our readers would be happy with that. The focus of HFP is on maximising your travel experience for a moderate cost, not trying to get a low level travel experience for zero cost. Of course, there is always one ….
My friend Nick reminded me of a classic article which I published way back in 2012. If you ever find yourself thinking like this person, take a step back …..
Perhaps you’ve been in this situation. You have enough points to stay in a luxury hotel, but you are worried about the cost of food, drink and other extras once you are there. One FlyerTalker had it all worked out ….
After she [my wife] saw the video of the room, she was happy to stay in the Coral suite [of the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora, clearly not a cheap place]. The main reason she would have liked to stay in the Coral is because of the kitchen. When we first planned this trip, we had to figure out a way to make it affordable. The best way to do this was to stay in the coral suite for the kitchen.
I contacted the hotel and asked if those rooms had a kitchen. I was told yes but they didn’t have any utensils in the kitchen. I asked for specifics and they said they don’t carry anything in the kitchen. So we decided to pay for the extra luggage on the Tahiti domestic flight. The $100 we spent on extra luggage for one of our fares went from 44 lbs. to 110 lbs.
As time got closer, I decided that I wasn’t ok with staying in the Coral suite. I wanted to stay in the OWB [over-water bungalow] [with no kitchen]. So here is what we did.
We purchased an electric burner from Best Buy. We brought:
- the burner
- drink packets
- a voltage converter, and
- 50 lbs of food
- box meals
- canned chicken/ham
- peanut butter
- English muffins
- rice packets
- turkey sausage links
- hot sauce
- vegetarian food
- protein powder
and other various items to be able to eat on the cheap while we there.
We ended up eating in for every meal except three while being there a week. (Honey is not allowed) We did purchase limes, cheese and loafs of bread from Tiare Market. We spent less than $150 on food while we were there. That includes the market and the few times we ate out.
I do have pictures of the outside of the Coral Suites but not the inside. I also have a picture of all the food we were able to bring with us. Feel free to PM me and I will send them to you.
Mind is well and truly boggled.
IHG One Rewards update – April 2023:
Get bonus points: Click here for our article on IHG’s ‘2k Every 2 Nights’ promotion, which runs from 9th February 2023 to 14th April 2023. You can register here.
New to IHG One Rewards? Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.
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