For many, a honeymoon is the trip of a lifetime, a trip in which no expense should be spared. But as upcoming nuptials start to run over budget, conversations might turn to cutting costs after the wedding, including that dreamy (eek!) Honeymoon. Fortunately, not all honeymoon plans require cash. Some exclusive honeymoon destinations are possible to visit using points and miles, including the biggest names in tropical travel: the Maldives, Seychelles and Bora Bora.
Here’s where (and how) to book your honeymoon with points and miles, without compromising your original fantasy of top-notch accommodation and comfortable flights.
Scattered across the Indian Ocean, the Maldives – and their jewel-toned aquatic world teeming with overwater bungalows – are exactly what honeymoon dreams are made of. International flights arrive at the capital island of Male, from where you will need to take a seaplane or speedboat to reach paradise. Each resort in the Maldives is on its own private island (yes, you read that right), which means privacy and social distancing are implicit in this luxury honeymoon experience.
How to book a honeymoon in the Maldives with points and miles
The Maldives is one of the most exclusive honeymoon destinations you can visit using travel points and miles, especially if you have a stack of Marriott Bonvoy points handy. There are three excellent Category 8 properties to choose from: The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort in Dhaalu atoll, West Maldives on the island of Fesdu in the North Ari Atoll and the recently launched The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands in the North Male Atoll.
Rates at Category 8 properties range from 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night to 100,000 points per night, depending on the time during off-peak, normal or peak hours. Our research in March 2021 showed that rooms are available at all three properties for stays, short and long (including those longer than five nights, a whole week, or even longer, which is what you would want for a honeymoon. ).
To book a long-haul flight from the United States to Male in business class, there are three main options for reasonably priced award seats with minimum taxes.
Consider using American Airlines AAdvantage miles on Qatar Airways for 70,000 miles.
Try using Alaska Airlines miles to reserve a seat with Emirates Airlines, where one-way costs 82,500 miles.
Consider redeeming United Airlines miles to book a ticket with a partner like Turkish Airlines, with business seats starting at 93,500 miles. And don’t forget that United is a Chase transfer partner if you need to increase your account balance.
Sandwiched between East Africa and the Maldives, the 115 islands that make up Africa’s smallest nation, the Seychelles, are a contrasting mix of low-lying coral islets and the only high-altitude granite islands. in the middle of the ocean. Most of the resorts can be found in the interior islands of the Seychelles, namely the capital island of Mahé, the heart and soul of the granite grandeur of the archipelago.
How to book a Seychelles honeymoon with points and miles
To get to Mahé in business class, use American Airlines points to book Qatar Airways at 75,000 miles one way. You can also use Alaska Airlines miles to reserve a seat with Emirates Airlines at the cost of 120,000 miles each way.
The island of Bora Bora in French Polynesia is a global honeymoon mainstay, revered for its turquoise waters and incredible overwater bungalows. The island is notoriously expensive, and not that long ago, using points and miles for a luxury honeymoon in Bora Bora was the ultimate travel hack, which included redeeming points and certificates earned with Hilton credit cards.
However, the word of standard reward space has spread like wildfire online in recent years, and these days it’s exceptionally difficult to plan a luxury honeymoon here on points. It can be difficult to find availability for multiple days, and in some cases only the super expensive premium stays are available. That said, the availability of points is constantly changing, so it’s always worth considering, and there is an IHG hotel option that may have better availability.
How to book a honeymoon in Bora Bora with points and miles
According to the Hilton Honors Points Explorer tool, the astonishing Conrad Bora Bora Nui must be bookable with Hilton Honors Points for 90,000 points per night for a standard room. However, in our most recent search (which stretched as far as the points calendar allowed), we couldn’t find a single room for this amount. The lowest point rate found was 193,000 per night in January 2022. Likewise, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa Hotel, theoretically bookable with IHG points program maximum of 100,000 points per night, had no inventory for award stays in our research.
A second older Intercontinental on Bora Bora, InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora, on the other hand, could accommodate up to six consecutive nights on a reward stay at rates of 70,000 points per night. If you want to go to Bora Bora, you might have to make this hotel your target.
To get to Bora Bora, you must first go to Tahiti, the capital of French Polynesia. You can fly to Tahiti for miles with American Airlines using Air Tahiti Nui; one-way business flights cost 80,000 between the United States and Tahiti. Flights from Tahiti to Bora Bora are not redeemable for points and must be booked on Air Tahiti.
The bottom line
Although it has become increasingly difficult to find rewards in Bora Bora, there are two equally exclusive honeymoon destinations that you can visit using travel points and miles: the Maldives and the Seychelles. You can still travel, hack your honeymoon, and land a five-star castaway fantasy without paying all cash.
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