To Paradise And Back – Part 1


OK, another long report. If you don’t have time to read the latest Schofs’ Travels epic, then just trust me on one thing; go to Bora Bora. Do it now. Quit your job, sell your kidneys, and take out any savings that you’d put away for a rainy day. Bora Bora is quite the most beautiful paradise in the world, and if there’s any way you can get there, do it. You can always read the rest of this report on the plane over…

Part 1 – Planning The Trip (this one)
Part 2 – Tokyo-bound
Part 3 – Bora Bora
Part 4 – Tahiti
Part 5 – Back in Tokyo
Part 6 – Home

Planning The Trip

Back in January I spent a fair bit of time planning how to get to Bora Bora… it wasn’t the easiest booking in the world, but I eventually managed to book London-Tokyo-Tahiti-Bora Bora-Tahiti-Tokyo-London, with the London-Tokyo and Tokyo-London legs in British Airways FIRST, the Tokyo-Tahiti and Tahiti-Tokyo legs in Air Tahiti Nui’s Business Class, and the short Tahiti-Bora Bora-Tahiti legs on Air Tahiti’s small propeller planes.

The fun I had trying to book all of that is in the following posts:

Trip Planning: Bora Bora
Trip Planning: Bora Bora’s Booked!
Trip Planning: Bora Bora Saga Continues…

Incidentally, the two shortest flights between Tahiti and Bora Bora were more than the price of the other flights put together! OK, so I was only paying for the taxes on the long haul flights as I was redeeming miles, but at £400 for the two 50 minute return flights, it was a bit steep! Still, Air Tahiti are the only option for getting to Bora Bora (other than a 24 hour boat trip!) so we didn’t have much choice.

As for hotels, I booked 6 nights on Bora Bora at the InterContinental Thalasso Spa, and then as we had an early flight from Tahiti back to Tokyo, I booked 1 night in the InterContinental Tahiti Resort which is spitting distance from the airport. I used my Priority Club points to reserve both of these hotels at 30,000 points per night (210,000 points total).

For my 2 stays in Tokyo, I decided to spend the first at the InterContinental Tokyo Bay for 3 nights on the way out (paying with cold hard cash) and the second at the Conrad Tokyo for 2 nights using 80,000 Hilton HHonors points.

The great thing about using points at hotels is that, unlike flights, you don’t have to pay any taxes. The only downside is that if you’ve got status, the hotels tend to water down the benefits (such as upgrades and free mini bars). Still… it’s a free stay, so I’m not complaining!