What are all the Overwater Bungalows that can be booked with points? How can you earn the points? How much does it cost to upgrade? And, how can I get status to increase the chance of a freebee upgrade?
This infographic shows it all (including what the room looks like). These might be the most “aspirational” hotel redemptions on earth.
An infographic by Drew and Caroline at Travel is Free
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The key here is to 1) get status, and 2) email about upgrades.
However, the infographic doesn’t show a complete list of ways to get status. With Hilton, you can spend your way to Diamond status, or sometimes there are just links to get Gold status. Anything helps and people do commonly get upgrades at certain hotels with status when there is availability.
But for many people, guaranteeing that upgrade to an overwater bungalow is the point of going to a place like the Maldives or French Polynesia. This is why emailing ahead is so important. There are threads on flyertalk for each of these hotels and people post their barterings for overwater bungalows.
Personally, I can’t imagine paying $300+ a night for an upgrade… I’ve never paid that much for a single hotel. However, I get the incredible appeal! Therefore I would try to book into a room, or only book with confirmation of an upgrade. As an IHG Ambassador you get a one category upgrade, and the IC Bora Bora books into an OWB or one category away from it.