Planning a Trip To Paradise: An Economy Flight, 1 Country, 4 hotels…And Infinite Happiness?

“Bula! Vacava tiko?” Oh, don’t mind me. I’m just practicing my Fijian as my trips details have quickly fallen into place.

Recently, I posted an article about “purchasing” a ticket to Fiji. All of the pieces have come together so I thought I would share a small update on what we can expect from this trip.

THE FLIGHT

First, if you have not read the original article, you can do so HERE. The short story is that I found a great roundtrip fare from Los Angeles (LAX) to Nadi, Fiji (NAN).

screenshot via Google Flights

I “purchased” the roundtrip ticket by redeeming 31,630 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase UR Travel Portal
Chase UR Travel Portal

To be honest, that was an “ok” choice but not a phenomenal choice. I could have extracted a lot more value from my points by applying the 31,630 points for a future redemption, however, I was adamant about not spending any money. The silver lining here is that you get to learn from my mistakes.

THE HOTEL(S)

Perhaps, the most exciting part are the hotels that I booked. In no particular order, I will provide the details on how I booked each hotel below:

Hotel #1: I will be staying at the InterContinental Hotels Fiji Golf Resort & Spa for one night.
Retail Value: $289
Amount I Paid: Redeemed my “Anniversary Free Night Certificate”

Note: This looks dreamy!

The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card and IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (which have annual fees of $49 and $89, respectively) offer an anniversary free night certificate valid at a property retailing for up to 40,000 points per night.

Although the IHG Rewards Club Select Card is no longer available to new applications, I still own this card. Every year that I pay the annual fee ($49), a free night certificate is deposited into my account. As you can see, I’m obtaining a lot of value from the annual fee.

This strategy could easily be replicated by obtaining the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and paying the $89 annual fee. With a current welcome bonus of 80,000 points after spending $2000 in 3 months (from account opening), you’d have 3 free nights at this hotel.

Hotel #2: I will be staying at the The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji for two nights.
Retail Value: ~$103/night
Amount I Paid: I paid the cash rate.

Note: The hotel appears to incorporate Fijian simplicity but with a view like the photo below, I’m very excited.

Hotel #3: Located directly next door to the Westin is the Sheraton Fiji Resort (Denarau) where I will be staying for one night.
Retail Value: $108
Amount I Paid: I paid the cash rate.

Note: The hotel appears a bit dated but I’m conducting market research for you so I’ll take one for the team. 😉

Hotel #4: The last and final hotel is the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay where I will be spending one night.
Retail Value: $210/night
Amount I Paid: Redeemed 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points

Note: This resort has overwater villas but even the standard rooms look awesome!

HOTEL HONORABLE MENTION

I’ve been told by a few travel friends that the main island / island that you arrive on (Viti Levu) is nice but the outer islands “have the crystal clear water and true white sand beaches.”

Located on a nearby island, Marriott has another resort (Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki, Fiji) that looks AH-MAZING!

Unfortunately, I have limited time and I’ve heard the boat transportation between islands is rather expensive. I’ll stay there another time.

PLANNING OTHER EXCURSIONS

Look at that water…you know I have to go scuba diving!

FINAL STAMP

Again, with an average annual temperature of 77 degrees (24.9 Celcius), beaches lined with palm trees, amazing soft coral reefs, friendly faces, succulent tropical fruit, a healthy exposure to sunlight, a boost in serotonin, and Fijian music playing well into the night, I’m really looking forward to this trip.

Have you ever been to Fiji? If so, do you have any recommendations for my trip?

5 comments

  1. I have never been to fiji. I also have never stayed at multiple hotels in one trip (staying in the same country). Is there a reason you switch hotels so much? Especially the ones you paid out of pocket for..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great question. The purpose of my blog is show others how it is possible to afford luxury travel by doing what you are already doing…paying your cell phone bill, buying groceries, paying your car payment, putting gas in your car, etc. I want my site to be a one-stop-shop to answer questions like “Have you ever visited Fiji? What did you do in Fiji? Any recommendations on hotels? How did you get from the airport to the hotel? Have you ever flown [insert airline]? What was it like?” Typically, I don’t stay at 4 hotels in one city or visit 4 lounges in one airport. However, when you fly out of LAX on your way to Fiji, I want you to know some of my secrets and experiences to make your trip better. I want you to easily be able to read my reviews and determine which lounges / business class cabin / first class cabin / luxury hotel fits your preferences. Anyone (and I mean ANYONE) can replicate my template, improve their credit score, and travel like me. Yes, I paid out of pocket for these hotels but I am laying a foundation for more advanced topics later on. When I post the more advanced topics, this will all make sense. Trust me, it gets A LOT more complicated. #ThisIsTheAppetizer

    Liked by 1 person

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