Pic: Conrad Koh Samui entrance on top of the hill (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Private Pool at Oceanview villa (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui One Bedroom Oceanview Pool Villa (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breathtaking Sea View from Villa 311 (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Pool Villa 311 Oceanview (July 2012)
Each year in the April/May time frame, the U.S. Travel Association organizes a five week sale of (mainly) hotel loyalty points called “Daily Getaways”. The aim of the Daily Getaways campaign is to encourage domestic US summer travel and thus intended for US citizens, nevertheless both in 2011 and 2012, I managed to buy several point packages. As these points are being sold at steep discounts, the sale has become incredibly popular and the better offers tend to sell-out in seconds. My best ‘catch’ in 2011 was a package of 24,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for $250 (€175,43) This year, I scored two great offers: I bought 98,000 Wyndham Rewards points for $308 (€237,85) and 150,000 Hilton HHonors points for $825 (€633,46) I had never heard of Wyndham hotels before and wasn’t planning to stay at any of their properties either. Still, buying those 98K points was an incredible deal as you could convert them to a lot of partner airline miles. In my case, I converted the 98K Wyndham Rewards points to a whopping 39,200 United MileagePlus miles. The icing on the cake came two weeks ago, when Singapore Airlines accidentally released all reward inventory to Star Alliance partners. An ideal opportunity to convert those cheap United miles into something very valuable… Yes, I booked a Singapore Airlines First Class flight for Jan 2013! 🙂 More on that later.
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Villa Keycard (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Bedroom of Oceanview Pool Villa 311 (July 2012)
Back to the subject of this post, Conrad Koh Samui in Thailand. A property with 66 villa’s located on a west facing hill in the Southern tip of the Koh Samui island. Opened in September 2011, with an average room rate well above THB20,000 (€500) per night, not particularly fitting the average travel budget. Except if you collected and/or bought Hilton HHonors points. The hotel is ranked Category 7 in the HHonors program, meaning 50K points are required for a free night. HHonors Elite Members (Silver, Gold and Diamond) get discounts on the number of points required for extended stays. As I obtained HHonors Gold status for free last year, I was eligible for a 15% points discount on a four night stay: 42500 points per night (4 nights = 170K) instead of 50,000 (4 nights = 200K). Before my 150K points purchase, I had 16,565 HHonors points in my account. The missing 3435 points to total the 170K were offered during the booking process for $34,35 (€28). That brought the total for 4 nights at Conrad Koh Samui to €661,46 (€633,46 (150K) + €28 (3K) +16K points which were in my account) A paid stay at my one bedroom Oceanview Pool Villa using the cheapest non-refundable rate would have cost me THB78,523 (€2020)!
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Bathroom Oceanview Pool Villa 311 (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Hilton HHonors Gold Welcome Amenity (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui HHonors Gold Welcome Amenity (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Zest Restaurant Entrance (July 2012)
The downside of exclusive resorts like Conrad Koh Samui is their remote location. Without own transportation means, it’s quite hard to leave the resort and the nearest restaurants and shops are not at walking distance. This works in the advantage of the resorts who tend to charge much higher prices for food and drinks compared to the local market value. Fortunately, my free Hilton HHonors Gold status comes with complimentary breakfast for up to two room guests. This allowed us to take an extensive daily ‘brunch’ covering both breakfast and lunch. As HHonors Gold, we could order anything from the menu (except the Sparkling Breakfast option) and/or we could serve ourselves at the buffet.
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Zest Restaurant Interior (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breakfast Meat Selection (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breakfast Freshly Baked Pastries Selection (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breakfast Fresh Honey (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breakfast Fresh Juices (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breakfast with a view at Zest (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breakfast Freshly Baked Pastries (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breakfast Egg Royal (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Breakfast French Toast (July 2012)
For in depth reviews of the resort, I would like to refer to colleague bloggers Garry Leff (View From The Wing, part 1, part 2) John Ollila (LoyaltyLobby.com) and the thread on Flyertalk. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below. Thanks!
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Main Pool (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Main Pool Infinity Edge (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Main Pool Underwater View (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Beach Hammock and Chairs (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Beach Lounge Chairs (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Azure Pool Bar and Gril Restaurant (July 2012)
Pic: Conrad Koh Samui Azure Delicious Pizza (July 2012)
Pic: Travel blogger Bart Lapers at Conrad Koh Samui (July 2012)
Video: One Bedroom Ocean View Villa at Conrad Koh Samui
I checked the US Travel association and i read you have to pay to become a member ($ 195). Is this correct? The sales start on June 10 unti July 12.
Thanks for a answer
You don’t need to be a member to participate in the sale.
seeing how far away this resort was from the rest of the island, how much does it cost to rent a car in Koh Samui?
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@Tom Minimum stay is 4 nights for GLON discount (also called VIP discount). See TPG post http://thepointsguy.com/2012/07/maximizing-hilton-hhonors-glon-and-axon-redemptions/ under “GLON or VIP-only” Check also this post at Flyertalk http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hilton-hhonors/1225861-making-sense-hilton-reward-options-axon-glon-everything-else.html
Awesome picture and awesome points deal.
What’s the minimum nights required to get the 15% discount for hhonors gold members? I booked 3 nights at a Conrad recently and didn’t get it offered.
Beatiful pictures and inspiring use of points!
Have you been at the beach? Is the ocean okay to swim in?
@M. The beach is ‘rocky’ and not swimmable. I visited some other beaches at Koh Samui and none of them were really appealing to me. Koh Samui seems to be more a resort destination instead of a beach destination. There are much nicer islands in Thailand like nearby Koh Tao (highly recommended for diving too!), Koh Chang, Koh Samet, etc…
Nice report and excellent pictures. Which camera/s do you use?
@Phil I use a Canon 5D MII DSLR camera with 24-70 f2.8 L lens. Picture post processing in Adobe Lightroom. Video was done with iPhone 4S. Planning to buy better compact video camera, but not sure yet which one to pick.
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