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!



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.


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!


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.


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


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.


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