Resort news: InterContinental Moorea closes, whilst Maldives ponders strict entry rules

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InterContinental Moorea closes

InterContinental Moorea in French Polynesia has become a casualty of coronavirus.  The owners have decided that the remoteness of the resort, requiring a transfer from Tahiti, along with a 14-day quarantine requirement means that it would take far too long to return to profitable levels of occupancy.

Sister hotels (same owners) InterContinental Bora Bora and InterContinental Tahiti are not affected.  The full story is explained in a letter on the website here.

Intercontinental Moorea closes

InterContinental Danang becomes a bargain

There is far better news at InterContinental Danang Resort in Vietnam.

Vietnam has had virtually no cases of coronavirus and is now reopening to tourism.  InterContinental Danang Resort – website here – is usually 70,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night but can currently be booked for 40,000 points per night.  Cash rates start at around $400 including taxes so this a decent return at around 0.75p per point.

It isn’t clear if this is a special offer or if it is part of the move to dynamic pricing on reward nights.  Every night appears to be 40,000 points irrespective of the cash rate.

Maldives quarantine requirement

Maldives ponders 14-night minimum stays and coronavirus testing

Switching from Moorea to the Maldives doesn’t look like a viable option either.

According to a report in The Telegraph yesterday, the country is planning to brand itself as a ‘safe tourism’ destination and a ‘COVID-free country’.  Unfortunately, it is planning to do this in ways which mean you won’t want to visit:

a 14-day minimum stay requirement will be implemented

visas will be required for all visitors (UK citizens are currently exempt)

travel insurance will be compulsory

a negative COVID-19 antigen test or a positive antibody test must be submitted one week before your arrival

a further antigen test must be taken on arrival in Male

you will be quarantined in your villa or bungalow until the result of your test is known

To be fair, none of this is a dealbreaker EXCEPT for the 14-day minimum stay requirement.  Five days was enough for us when we went, and I doubt anyone would want to stay beyond seven days.  You also have the not-inconsiderable issue of paying for 14 nights, given the excessively high cost of rooms and food.

Your resort may well be coronavirus-free, but that is most likely to be down to the fact that you may be the only guest …..

Please note that these are only proposals at present and, given the international feedback, they may well be amended before they go live.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Phillip says:

    I think the IC DaNang is one of, if not my favourite hotel in the world! Stunning resort, spectacular room s, excellent staff… just cannot fault it. As much as I’d love it to remain at 40k I would say this is more of a special deal. It’s been hard to find reward nights there pre-COVID, while nights on Free Night certificates have been pretty much non existent!

    • NigelthePensioner says:

      +1

    • Yes, there are all sorts of great deals taking place at luxury hotels all over South East Asia at the moment. Would like to take advantage of one or two when (if) we make our usual winter trip but having lost our summer trip looks likely I’ll be visiting with the MIL for a month.

    • Craig says:

      We were there in February just after Vietnam closed its borders to Chinese tourists. The hotel was less than half full and as a Spire Ambassador we were very well looked after.

    • Archie Bob says:

      Very much agree with comments about the IC Danang. My wife and I have stayed there twice in the past 3 years (5 nights each trip) – it’s an incredible resort. Really can not fault the place; stunning rooms, superb food, extremely private even at full occupancy. Definitely go there if you can – my favourite hotel anywhere by some way.

      I did have a further 5 nights booked for late April, early May 2021 costing 350k points (5 x 70k). Just cancelled and rebooked the same dates for 205k. A real bargain against the cash price of £2,000 for the same stay.

      • Hi all good to hear the positive reports. How long would you recommend staying there? Also what’s the best time weather wise? Are there months with clear bright skies or is it always cloudy?

        • Archie Bob says:

          In previous years we’ve stayed there in Feb and early June. Both fine weather wise, but remember it being very hot & humid there in June. I’d say Feb-May best time for low rain fall and good temperatures. I’d say you’d want at least 3 days there – more if you can. Although the resort is tucked away on its own private peninsula, it’s only half an hour or so away from the town and just a little further to Hoi An. Taxis very cheap, plus hotel has free shuttle going back and forwards.

          • Thanks Archie I’ve got enough IHG points for 7 days there. We both like relaxing is luxury surroundings so it sounds perfect. Avios wise I guess the best routing is BA to Hong Kong (2-4-1 voucher) and then Cathay to Danang? I really wanted to fly Cathay F one way to Hong Kong but no availability is showing. Anyone know the likelihood of 2 seats opening up between now and then? Realise I’d forgo the 2-4-1 for one leg but I see it as worth it to try a proper F product.

          • ^ looking April – May time

          • Darren says:

            In normal times there’s a number of options to/from Bangkok and Hong Kong with LCC’s.

            I’ve found first to HKG can open up quite frequently, rewardflightfinder or seatspy are your friends

          • Matt – try searching for Danang to London in first (or vice versa) – often Cathay first shows up if you add an extra hop on to somewhere else.
            If that doesn’t work (not every onward destination shows availability like that, despite the seats beng available on both legs), do you think it would be possible to book London to Singapore (which usually does show availability) and then phone and change it for a fee? That might be a bit of a risk though

          • Hey Matt, have had a bit of a look – you would need to fly back from Danang with Cathay (because the one-way 241 on BA needs to be departing the UK, not returning). There are loads of days with availability for first flights back from Danang (Danang to Hong Kong in Cathay Dragon business, then to London in Cathay Pacific first), but I couldn’t find 2 seats on the same flight.
            If you want to go for it, your options are to get one seat in first and one in business on the same flight, and then try for an upgrade (I’m not sure how to do this with Cathay and whether it’s possible using Avios or money, but I’m sure there are blog posts out there on this topic!). The other option is to get two seats in first, but on separate flights. If you left Danang on 04/05 or 07/05, you could be on the same business flight to Hong Kong, laze in the lounges together, and then depart on different first class flights back to Heathrow – one leaving at 23:55 and one at 00:25, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long in the arrivals lounge at Heathrow. If you then kept a very close eye on both flights, you have twice the chance that an extra first seat opens up on one of them. Again, not sure how easy it is to change flights.
            I hope that helps!

        • Darren says:

          We went in May and it was hot, high 30s to 40. The length of stay would depend on your preference as IC is a little way out from the town so a taxi/shuttle is needed.

          Hoi An is a definate must do, lovely place and I think there’s a Bonvoy option there if you want to stay on points. There was a review on here a few months ago.

          We stayed in a little independent La Siesta Hoi An, which I’d recommend. I’ve also stayed at Nam Hai which was a good mix of beach/town.

          • Archie Bob says:

            Go for it Matt – sounds like just the sort of place you’ll enjoy. Lots of direct flights to Danang from SE Asian cities served by BA – HKG, BKK, SIN, KUL. If you can get seats in F to HKG using your 241 and then on Cathay Dragon to DAD that’s the preferable routing I’d say. No F availability to HKG for the dates I’ve been looking at (late June – early May 2021) but was able to use my 241 for 2 seats in First out to Singapore and back in F from KUL. Really not a fan of BA CW so don’t mind the slightly longer routing to fly in First.

    • New Card says:

      How many nights would people spend at IC Danang? We’ve got 5 nights booked but wondering if we should extend given how positive the comments are?

      • Does anyone know what the cost of upgrading to a club room is if stay is booked on points?

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          $200 extra per night at the IC Bali. This might give you some direction.

        • Archie Bob says:

          RE upgrading to club room – I did this this for one night on my last trip to the IC Danang just to see how it was (all nights booked with points). Think it cost $175 USD for the 24h I got it for. It was decent (the breakfast is v good), with afternoon tea, evening cocktails & champagne (think it was Billecart Salmon from memory). Service level was full -on but atmosphere up in the club lounge was a bit non-existent though with just one other guest when we were there. Don’t think I’ll do it again though for that price.

          • Whats the normal price for breakfast if staying on points? For cash bookings on the dates I wanted they all state breakfast is included, but it is not mentioned for the points stays.

    • SHUEIN says:

      The hotel may be nice, but all of the places you could choose to go in Vietnam we found Da Nang to be a real sh… hole. Very synthetic, full of rowdy foreigners from a country who’s PM rhymes with Rasputin, awful beach and general bad vibes/food. Felt like a Costa del Sol in South East Asia.

      As part of our 2 week Vietnam stint we had booked a Sheraton there for 3 nights – after our first night and stroll around the city we changed flights and went to Saigon.

      Don’t waste any time there.

  2. Chris says:

    Looks like Danang is dynamic; had xmas-new year booked at 70k. Just cancelled and rebooked and what came out at 56k average. Did get 90k points back though so thanks for the tip 🙂

    Thu 24 Dec 2020 – Thu 24 Dec 2020 40000
    Fri 25 Dec 2020 – Fri 25 Dec 2020 47500
    Sat 26 Dec 2020 – Sat 26 Dec 2020 52500
    Sun 27 Dec 2020 – Sun 27 Dec 2020 47500
    Mon 28 Dec 2020 – Wed 30 Dec 2020 70000

  3. Boris says:

    How can I find out more about the uk class action and get involved

    • Jake Mc says:

      You don’t. A class action should be for those people who feel genuinely aggrieved/ upset/ displaced/ put off/ impacted by the actions of a company or organisation.

      Asking how to join 2 years after the event occurred because you read there might be a quick £500 or 10000 Avios is a money grab.
      Ultimately that money grab will be passed onto the consumer so likely not worth it.

      • Catalan says:

        +1

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Why do you assume none of your fictitious criteria apply to Boris?

        • Jake Mc says:

          Because it’s unlikely if any of the criteria did apply to such an extent this would not of been the first time that it has been considered.

          A simple google search of BA Class Action Data Breach brings up all the info needed to apply.

          My comment is not to say that it’s not technically allowable but if everyone who was affected joined, compared to those actually put-out (i.e. the stress of losing £££ compared to the £0.01 that they attempted on my card) eventually the whole cost would be passed to consumers.

          I don’t think it’s particularly valuable to claim 35000 avios as happened in the US and then only to see the cash “surcharges” rise even higher as they did when departing America.

          • Mr(s) Entitled says:

            Justice is available to all.

          • David says:

            But the impact of the action on prices will apply to Boris whether he joins in or not.

          • Chris Heyes says:

            Jake [email protected] But that is only your opinion an “Opinion” means absolutly “Nothing”
            now if you was stating facts that would be different
            if “Anyone” wants to money grab or points grab thats entilly up to them
            I’ve done it myself pet insurance, supl IT error, Tesco IT mistake loads of points ect
            You could say i shouldn’t “But i Did” lol

      • It takes 2 years to get these things together. The court hearings in the UK for the 2018 breach weren’t due to start until this Autumn and have probably now been pushed back.

        • Doug M says:

          I wonder when the class action against the unfair changes in the T&C’s prohibiting class actions begins.

      • Aliks says:

        err no – the money will ultimately be taken from shareholders as BA has a limited ability to raise prices at will.

        BA takes its price from what the market will bear.

    • Boris, I’m not taking sides on the debate that will likely develop from Jake’s comment but the info is out there for you to find anyway so here is HFP and the community on the subject.
      https://www.headforpoints.com/2019/10/07/british-airways-data-breach-compensation/

      • Jake Mc says:

        David is that correct?

        If there was no action the only cost would be the fine unless I am mistaken! Not a lawer though!

        Does the class action not add on further monies out the door as well as legal fees! It’s this additional cost that will be passed onto consumer – just as happened in the US

  4. So is BA putting pressure on it’s American and Canadian members to agree not to join a class action otherwise they loose their Executive membership?

    • Don’t think so. From what I can tell from the limited reading I did I think it is built into the booking process. So, the carrot/stick depending on your point of view I suppose is that if you want to make another booking with BA then you have to accept the new terms.

    • Yup …

  5. JP_MCO says:

    Re: extended stays in the Maldives
    It all depends on personal preference; our last stay in the Maldives was 4 weeks at One&Only Reethi Rah. The time flew by and before we knew it we were boarding the yacht to take us back to Male. We were supposed to be going again for a month in August but unfortunately that’s now cancelled. If you like sitting on the beach, swimming in the ocean, snorkelling, diving, water sports it’s very easy to spend that length of time in the Maldives and not get bored. The kids absolutely adore the kids club which means we all get a holiday!

    • +1, 14 days is about right somewhere like that where you have a long journey either side. We’ve been to the Caribbean for 3 weeks for the last few summers and still didn’t want to go home at the end!

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Agree Anna, why would anyone only want to stay in Paradise for 5x days? It’s a min 7x days and most suited to 10-14 days IMO.

        • Maldives isn’t the Caribbean though. In Barbados you have a whole island to explore with lots of small towns and places to visit. In the Maldives you are sat on one atoll for 14 days – same restaurants, no ‘days out’.

          • JP_MCO says:

            There are tonnes of opportunities for off island days in the Maldives. You can rent a private island, private sandbank, go on a jetski tour or charter a yacht. We did all these during our time there last summer. As for having the same restaurants to eat in – that’s true but there’s so much variety on an island like Reethi Rah that I didn’t eat the same dish twice. There’s also private dining where they will cook you anything you like.

          • But if you are happy with the restaurants and can happily spend 14 days or more with a stack of books and a daily snorkel/dive activity that’s heaven for some of us! We know GCM so well now, last year we really didn’t move very much from the resort apart from to do a couple of grocery shops and visit other beaches.

          • I can’t imagine ever getting tired of spending part of each day on a white sand beach with a good book, alternating between reading (or listening) and gazing at a turquoise sea. It’s an utterly zen experience for me, it’s the only time I feel absolutely in the moment with no cares about the past or the future!

          • JP_MCO says:

            I couldn’t agree more Anna. I’ve never been bored in the Maldives. It’s just heavenly! Our perfect family holiday destination.

          • Lady London says:

            plus you have to haul your suitcase with mini-stove and ready meals due to eye watering restaurant prices.

            It’s Butlin’s for rich people really.

          • JP_MCO says:

            @Lady London I’ve heard of that happening at Maldives resorts that offer point stays – thankfully it doesn’t happen at the ones that don’t! We always have a half board meal plan at O&O Reethi Rah and it’s very comprehensive. Lunch is pricey and good wine is eye watering but we still enjoy it.

    • We did 5 nights at Reethi Rah and it was enough! We don’t dive though and we didn’t have the kids then.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        [email protected] lol did kids come along 9 months later lol

      • Michael C says:

        That would be my max. for a similar place.
        I remember many friends going when I lived in SIN and coming back and saying “It was cloudy for the week…so we read…”.

        Apart, of course, from the Maldives’ horrific,horrific religious freedom/gay rights record.
        My brother goes to Malé every six weeks or so for work and says it’s a nightmare in every sense.

        • Aston100 says:

          What’s it to you?
          If you don’t like their laws then don’t bother going.

      • JP_MCO says:

        I would give it another go if I were you. We’ve done the Maldives with and without children and both experiences though each different are really great. I think you have to like that kind of holiday though and for some people a beach holiday for 2 weeks is their idea of hell. Reethi Rah (like all O&O properties) is particularly good for kids. Our children made many friends, had movie nights on the beach, made pizzas, did painting, went on snorkelling trips, did pottery, made jewellery, played sports, went on bike rides and that was on top of all the beach stuff. They just loved it and they talk about it all the time. The hard part was getting them to spend time with us!

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Lots of excursions available which doesn’t involve diving!

    • Optimus Prime says:

      4 weeks? I wish I could afford one there! X-D

  6. Marcw says:

    How are those resorts in isolated places (Maldives, French Polynesia) going to survive anyway?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      There very expensive places to book. Some rooms at the Conrad Maldives next Jan-Feb are already sold out.

  7. JP_MCO says:

    Also, just regarding the Telegraph article about the Maldives – it popped up back around the middle of May and was quickly taken down. It was an initial draft as a basis for discussion with the tourism industry and is not Maldivian Government policy. Not surprisingly it was met with a lot of fierce resistance and I don’t think the entry requirements will ultimately end up looking like this.

  8. Re The Maldives news (which would be disastrous), take this as you wish but a chap called Thomas Chambers has made this comment BTL:

    “This ‘news’ has been lifted from a draft guideline that was sent out for comment to partners and stakeholders in the Maldivian tourism industry. The feedback from all parties was similar to the Telegraph’s; that many of the ideas were unworkable. Namely paying for a visa/test on arrival, quarantining in your room, arriving with an antibody test and staying for a minimum of 14 nights. They have, therefore, been omitted from the actual guidelines. As a result, sensible policies remain to safeguard guests, without causing them extra stress or costing more money. As a multi-island nation, Maldives is naturally equipped to deal with such a pandemic.

    Fake news as D. Trump would say. Please now publish the real (non-draft) guidelines so people have the correct information.”

  9. Mr. AC says:

    Trying to figure out if in makes sense going to Vietnam (Danang) in October-November, which is monsoon season. Is that a deal breaker or what they say about rain coming in short bursts is right?

    • We were in southern Vietnam in October. There were short heavy rains every evening, but the rest of the day was nice

  10. Matty says:

    Nice resort but you’re really paying to sit on a fancy beach, which could be anywhere. The country has so much more to offer and you’re really missing out if you’ve made all that effort to get there just to mince around in a westernised hotel chain.

    • Fred (my comments always get removed!) says:

      This.

      But then so many people want to sit around in soulless hotels in the likes of Dubai etc.

    • Lady London says:

      Love your comment @Matty.

      I always feel lucky to have grown up in an island paradise when I see how much people are prepared to pay to holiday on one. It’s “horses for courses” though everyone has different tastes.

      For instance @Rob doesnt like the boredom of these island places. And yet he likes Dubai, which I personally can’t stand. What’s nice to see is posters here mentioning where kids are particularly well looked after and entertained – really useful to know so Mum / Dad gets a holiday too!

      • Agreed Matty – it’s an incredible country to explore (as are the neighbouring countries). I might be tempted to fly into Danang and have a couple of nights there to decompress before and/or after exploring the rest of Vietnam.

        Lady London – ooh which island paradise?

    • Andrew MS says:

      Well said

  11. Saw that restriction on the Maldives.

    Before CV19 blew up I was considering a 16 night trip back to Rangali next Spring. (Prev visits were 10 and 12 nights)

    For those familiar, I did wonder about breakfast at the Conrad, rather than buffet it could be cooked to order at Vilu and served to your outdoor table?

    I have BA CW redemption booked for the outbound, but sadly still considering cancelling it.

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