Introduction: Bula! Flying Economy To The Happiest Place On Earth

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Welcome to my latest trip report where I will be traveling to “the happiest place on earth.” And no, I’m not kidding.

I’ve written about some details in previous posts but I will condense them into this post.

So here is an overview…

  • I’ll be flying roundtrip Los Angeles (LAX) – Nadi (NAN) in economy
  • I’ll be reviewing 4 different hotels
  • I’ll be in paradise!

TRIP DETAILS

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’ll be staying at the InterContinental Hotels Fiji Golf Resort & Spa.
Retail Value: $289/night
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 140,000 points after spending $2000 in 3 months (from account opening), you’d have almost 4 free nights at this hotel.

Hotel #2: I’ll be staying at the The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, Fiji
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).
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.
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.”

Marriott has another resort located on a nearby island (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.

AGAIN, WELCOME TO MY NEXT TRIP REPORT!

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