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Old Apr 14, 14, 11:47 am   #1
 
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Over water bungalow ideas for honeymoon

Hey all,

I am looking to tap into the SPG experience and wisdom of this thread to get some ideas for the best value on nice over water bungalows at SPG properties for the purposes of a honeymoon. I would be looking for a luxury experience, but I am also looking for value (not looking to drop 140K per night at the St. Regis Bora Bora for example).

For context, I travel weekly and I am a Plat100, so I would be interested in places that have good treatment of elites. Thanks so much for any information!
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Old Apr 14, 14, 12:51 pm   #2
 
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SPG Overwater Bungalow != Value

Just get you check book out out if you need to stay in an SPG Overwater Bungalow. The most affordable property is the Sheraton in Maldives, but for a few hundred more you could be at W Maldives which is a whole lot nicer.
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Old Apr 14, 14, 12:56 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by YouGeeElWhy View Post
SPG Overwater Bungalow != Value

Just get you check book out out if you need to stay in an SPG Overwater Bungalow. The most affordable property is the Sheraton in Maldives, but for a few hundred more you could be at W Maldives which is a whole lot nicer.
Ah, sorry if it was not clear from the original post, but I am mostly looking for points redemption value. I have ~300K points in my account, so I would like to make use of that if possible before "getting out the checkbook".
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Old Apr 14, 14, 1:15 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by DCMN View Post
Ah, sorry if it was not clear from the original post, but I am mostly looking for points redemption value. I have ~300K points in my account, so I would like to make use of that if possible before "getting out the checkbook".
This isn't being smart, mean, rude or unhelpful, but there are some very good existing posts about "honeymoon" perhaps reading some of those and posting in those threads, will be of help.
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Old Apr 14, 14, 1:53 pm   #5
 
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This is an easy question.

1) There are no overwater SPG properties that provide a good value.
2) To use SPG points, transfer them to miles and fly somewhere you'd enjoy. Don't get too hung up on going to an SPG property for a free continental breakfast.
3) That said, St. Regis Bora Bora is nice. Go to a non SPG property in Maldives. Both places are pretty easy to get to with miles.
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Old Apr 14, 14, 9:18 pm   #6
 
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Was just at Taj Exotica in the Maldives..... Outstanding....
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Old Apr 14, 14, 9:46 pm   #7
 
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Wink

As a fellow SPG Plat / Marriott Plat who recently got married, I can feel your pain... There really isn't a great option. I'll give you some other options / advice, though, and I'm sure you'll end up having a wonderful honeymoon!

1) Overwater bungalows aren't as cool as they seem. Yes. They're awesome. But once you're in one, the "wow" factor goes away, and it's just a hotel room.

2) If you're set on an Overwater Bungalow and you're committed to SPG, The Le Meridien Bora Bora seems to offer the lowest rates, but low rates are like $500 / night if you're lucky, at least from what I've seen.

3) How far away is your honeymoon? I'm guessing that as you're a Plat100, you don't like the idea of pushing stays to other brands, but here's an option. Get the following three credit cards: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card + The Chase Ink Bold Plus Card + The Hyatt Chase Card... The Hyatt Chase card comes w/ 2 free resort nights at ANY property worldwide. Both of the other two chase cards come with 40,000 point bonuses. You can transfer those points to Hyatt. BOOM! Now you have two free nights + 80,000 Hyatt points to blow on the Park Hyatt Maldives: http://maldives.hadahaa.park.hyatt.c...otel/home.html ~ Look at that - I just got you a honeymoon in the Maldives for basically no money - who's the man? ~ that leaves all those SPG points for you to get value out of them w/ some first class travel via airline transfer.

4) Want to use those SPG points for a hotel that isn't Starwood? Hilton devalued their award chart pretty heavily, but even so, the Conrad Maldives (I stayed there on MY honeymoon!) is a world class resort w/ seaplanes, an underwater restaurant, overwater bungalows and prices so high you'll crap your pants. Hilton also has the Hilton Moorea, which looks quite nice as well, but I haven't stayed there. You can transfer your SPG points to Virgin Atlantic. You'll get the 5000 point bonus for every 20,000 you transfer. I.E. 20,000 SPG points turn into 25,000 Virgin Atlantic points. You can then transfer points at a 1:2 ratio from Virgin Atlantic into Hilton. I.E. 20,000 SPG points -> 50,000 Hilton HHonors points. That's actually not a terrible deal if you really have close to 300,000 SPG points. Check the chart for details, but even if the Conrad is 100,000 per night, that still comes out to only 40,000 SPG points per night. I believe the Hilton Moorea would be less too...

5) I'm sure you have a fiancÚ who is demanding to be in an OWB (I know NOTHING about that... ), but if you can convince her otherwise, try something like the St. Mauritius. It's a top notch resort, and it's brand new. Also, my wife and I have once stayed at the St. Regis Punta Mita, and while you may not consider Mexico as exotic as an overwater bungalow, the St. Regis Punta Mita is amazing. Would seriously make a great honeymoon destination...

6) I think everyone would probably agree that if you're looking for the best combo of luxury + value, go to Thailand. It's amazing there. The food is freaking delicious. The resorts are awesome. The people are friendly. Plenty of airline options for you transfer your SPG points to for first class travel, etc.

ENJOY!!!!!!!
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Old Apr 14, 14, 10:06 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post
As a fellow SPG Plat / Marriott Plat who recently got married, I can feel your pain... There really isn't a great option. I'll give you some other options / advice, though, and I'm sure you'll end up having a wonderful honeymoon!

1) Overwater bungalows aren't as cool as they seem. Yes. They're awesome. But once you're in one, the "wow" factor goes away, and it's just a hotel room.

2) If you're set on an Overwater Bungalow and you're committed to SPG, The Le Meridien Bora Bora seems to offer the lowest rates, but low rates are like $500 / night if you're lucky, at least from what I've seen.

3) How far away is your honeymoon? I'm guessing that as you're a Plat100, you don't like the idea of pushing stays to other brands, but here's an option. Get the following three credit cards: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card + The Chase Ink Bold Plus Card + The Hyatt Chase Card... The Hyatt Chase card comes w/ 2 free resort nights at ANY property worldwide. Both of the other two chase cards come with 40,000 point bonuses. You can transfer those points to Hyatt. BOOM! Now you have two free nights + 80,000 Hyatt points to blow on the Park Hyatt Maldives: http://maldives.hadahaa.park.hyatt.c...otel/home.html ~ Look at that - I just got you a honeymoon in the Maldives for basically no money - who's the man? ~ that leaves all those SPG points for you to get value out of them w/ some first class travel via airline transfer.

4) Want to use those SPG points for a hotel that isn't Starwood? Hilton devalued their award chart pretty heavily, but even so, the Conrad Maldives (I stayed there on MY honeymoon!) is a world class resort w/ seaplanes, an underwater restaurant, overwater bungalows and prices so high you'll crap your pants. Hilton also has the Hilton Moorea, which looks quite nice as well, but I haven't stayed there. You can transfer your SPG points to Virgin Atlantic. You'll get the 5000 point bonus for every 20,000 you transfer. I.E. 20,000 SPG points turn into 25,000 Virgin Atlantic points. You can then transfer points at a 1:2 ratio from Virgin Atlantic into Hilton. I.E. 20,000 SPG points -> 50,000 Hilton HHonors points. That's actually not a terrible deal if you really have close to 300,000 SPG points. Check the chart for details, but even if the Conrad is 100,000 per night, that still comes out to only 40,000 SPG points per night. I believe the Hilton Moorea would be less too...

5) I'm sure you have a fiancÚ who is demanding to be in an OWB (I know NOTHING about that... ), but if you can convince her otherwise, try something like the St. Mauritius. It's a top notch resort, and it's brand new. Also, my wife and I have once stayed at the St. Regis Punta Mita, and while you may not consider Mexico as exotic as an overwater bungalow, the St. Regis Punta Mita is amazing. Would seriously make a great honeymoon destination...

6) I think everyone would probably agree that if you're looking for the best combo of luxury + value, go to Thailand. It's amazing there. The food is freaking delicious. The resorts are awesome. The people are friendly. Plenty of airline options for you transfer your SPG points to for first class travel, etc.

ENJOY!!!!!!!
LOTS of great advice here, though I'll differ with #1: OWBs really are fantastic.

Only thing I'd add is check the monthly weather (especially precipitation) for any places you'd consider going. You don't want your honeymoon to be in the middle of a rainy season. Here's one of several good sites that provide such info: http://www.worldclimateguide.co.uk/

Happy trails!
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Old Apr 14, 14, 10:27 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hungarianhc View Post
As a fellow SPG Plat / Marriott Plat who recently got married, I can feel your pain... There really isn't a great option. I'll give you some other options / advice, though, and I'm sure you'll end up having a wonderful honeymoon!

1) Overwater bungalows aren't as cool as they seem. Yes. They're awesome. But once you're in one, the "wow" factor goes away, and it's just a hotel room.

2) If you're set on an Overwater Bungalow and you're committed to SPG, The Le Meridien Bora Bora seems to offer the lowest rates, but low rates are like $500 / night if you're lucky, at least from what I've seen.

3) How far away is your honeymoon? I'm guessing that as you're a Plat100, you don't like the idea of pushing stays to other brands, but here's an option. Get the following three credit cards: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card + The Chase Ink Bold Plus Card + The Hyatt Chase Card... The Hyatt Chase card comes w/ 2 free resort nights at ANY property worldwide. Both of the other two chase cards come with 40,000 point bonuses. You can transfer those points to Hyatt. BOOM! Now you have two free nights + 80,000 Hyatt points to blow on the Park Hyatt Maldives: http://maldives.hadahaa.park.hyatt.c...otel/home.html ~ Look at that - I just got you a honeymoon in the Maldives for basically no money - who's the man? ~ that leaves all those SPG points for you to get value out of them w/ some first class travel via airline transfer.

4) Want to use those SPG points for a hotel that isn't Starwood? Hilton devalued their award chart pretty heavily, but even so, the Conrad Maldives (I stayed there on MY honeymoon!) is a world class resort w/ seaplanes, an underwater restaurant, overwater bungalows and prices so high you'll crap your pants. Hilton also has the Hilton Moorea, which looks quite nice as well, but I haven't stayed there. You can transfer your SPG points to Virgin Atlantic. You'll get the 5000 point bonus for every 20,000 you transfer. I.E. 20,000 SPG points turn into 25,000 Virgin Atlantic points. You can then transfer points at a 1:2 ratio from Virgin Atlantic into Hilton. I.E. 20,000 SPG points -> 50,000 Hilton HHonors points. That's actually not a terrible deal if you really have close to 300,000 SPG points. Check the chart for details, but even if the Conrad is 100,000 per night, that still comes out to only 40,000 SPG points per night. I believe the Hilton Moorea would be less too...

5) I'm sure you have a fiancÚ who is demanding to be in an OWB (I know NOTHING about that... ), but if you can convince her otherwise, try something like the St. Mauritius. It's a top notch resort, and it's brand new. Also, my wife and I have once stayed at the St. Regis Punta Mita, and while you may not consider Mexico as exotic as an overwater bungalow, the St. Regis Punta Mita is amazing. Would seriously make a great honeymoon destination...

6) I think everyone would probably agree that if you're looking for the best combo of luxury + value, go to Thailand. It's amazing there. The food is freaking delicious. The resorts are awesome. The people are friendly. Plenty of airline options for you transfer your SPG points to for first class travel, etc.

ENJOY!!!!!!!
Thanks for the great, detailed, helpful, response. I had never considered the Hilton 2-step transfer option, that is a clever idea and I will look into it further.

Good call on Thailand too. I have been looking at that and Bali if I end up giving up on the bungalow idea.

Interestingly, the SO and I just checked out of the St. Regis Punta Mita yesterday from a long weekend getaway. We really enjoyed our stay and I will agree with you that that could have been a great honeymoon choice. St Mauritius also looks quite nice, especially if I am able to get another 35% off redemption voucher before then

Also, Hyatt is a good idea as well. Unfortunately I already have their Chase card and have used the free nights, but I do also have ~110K Hyatt points already that I can put to use. I will spend some time weighing these options! Thanks!
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Old Apr 15, 14, 2:56 am   #10
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Overwater bungalows are fantastic.

But they are lousy points value.

Your best bet currently is the SPG50PRO 50% off Rack Rate promotion which is valid throughout Hawaii and French Polynesia.

Overwater bungalows are an Earn opportunity, not a Burn opportunity.

And with this promotion you can get Le Meridien Bora Bora for around $550 per night and St Regis Bora Bora for around $850 per night.

That is as good as it's going to get. And neither property significantly upgrades elites as all rooms are suites in the first place.
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Old Apr 15, 14, 8:39 am   #11
 
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if you haven't been to an OWB before than what is the difference of great and outstanding? If you want value the OWB for Sheraton Maldives is the only way to go. My last time there I was with friends and I used cash and points for a regular room and they allowed me to pay $225 more a night to upgrade to a OWB. If you have never been this will be a very nice experience, regardless of how you fund it (points, cash, upgrade etc.).

If it was my honeymoon I would not try and optimize my elite recognition benefits, this is a honeymoon and I'm single so when I want memorable before savings. Why hold back? I like the guy who proposed Hyatt CC and transferring to use hyatt points. You may have the CC already but does your fiance? Get her to sign up and boom 2 more nights!
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Old Apr 15, 14, 9:54 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad View Post
LOTS of great advice here, though I'll differ with #1: OWBs really are fantastic.

Only thing I'd add is check the monthly weather (especially precipitation) for any places you'd consider going. You don't want your honeymoon to be in the middle of a rainy season. Here's one of several good sites that provide such info: http://www.worldclimateguide.co.uk/

Happy trails!
I agree lots of good advice--except the part about exchanging 20k SPG points for 50k HH points... That's not an exchange I would ever make.

And the Conrad Maldives was very overrated in our experience... even with the over water upgrade. Service was extremely spotty, food was meh, and the price of everything was absolutely obscene. I get that it's a remote island, but not remote enough to charge $35+ for meat-less soup--it's not on the int'l space station. Yes, the setting was absolutely outerworldly gorgeous, but we probably wouldn't go back.

You want an amazing way to spend a boat load of SPG points? Go to St. Regis Bali. I can't wait to go back...
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Old Apr 15, 14, 10:35 pm   #13
 
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I agree lots of good advice--except the part about exchanging 20k SPG points for 50k HH points... That's not an exchange I would ever make.
Well of course none of us would ever make that blind exchange, but if the OP has LOTS of SPG points and his goal is to get an OWB, this isn't insane at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC777Fan View Post
And the Conrad Maldives was very overrated in our experience... even with the over water upgrade. Service was extremely spotty, food was meh, and the price of everything was absolutely obscene. I get that it's a remote island, but not remote enough to charge $35+ for meat-less soup--it's not on the int'l space station. Yes, the setting was absolutely outerworldly gorgeous, but we probably wouldn't go back.
+1 ~ We blew my wife's "life savings" of Hilton points on this property, and it probably ended up being an order of magnitude more expensive than any hotel stay we have ever had, by the time we were finished. And like you said, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. To the OP, if you decide to go the Hilton route, check out the Hilton Moorea - looks fantastic.

And I also agree that the St. Regis in Bali would be a great place - you could do something fun like St. Regis Bali, a stopover in Dubai for a few days, and then St. Regis Mauritius.
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Old Apr 16, 14, 12:58 pm   #14
 
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I've seen lots of vacation/honeymoon deals on Tahiti Air that tie in stays for OWB's for a very reasonable price (IMO), $3,000/pp or so for airfare and a week's stay in a OWB. I know there were some Hilton Properties - the Moorea if memory serves, not sure on the SPG's but something to consider.
If they have an SPG property you'll still benefit from the elite benefits.
I'm sure the price is for Coach airfare, but you can look into upgrading with points or $$$.
Staying in an OWB is on my list for a romantic getaway, but for the points redemption cost I'm leaning to something like this and keeping my SPG points for a better value.

Good luck and Congrats!
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Old Apr 16, 14, 2:00 pm   #15
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fwiw, Virgin Atlantic devalued its points to Hilton points redemption a couple months back. It went from 1:2 to 1:1.5.

We went to the Moorea property under the Starwood banner and then under the Hilton banner. We loved it. We've also stayed at the Conrad Maldives and at the Hilton Bora Bora. We've had OWB at 2 of the 3 properties. There's something very special about sitting on your deck over the water, able to get in and out as you like. Points get you the base room, on land, and then you pay an up charge for the OWB.

And I agree that the Hyatt Maldives is exceptional value. We sent someone there on his honeymoon. There's an up charge from the basic suite to the OWB. I think it was $400/night at that time.
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