What makes a trip to Koh Samui totally worthwhile…

Yesterday I shared my initial thoughts of the Conrad Koh Samui, where I’m staying for four nights using a Hilton AXON award. What I hadn’t yet experienced was my first sunset. This sure ranks as one of the top few sunsets I’ve ever experienced from my hotel room balcony, that’s for sure!

Life is good!

Filed Under: Hilton, Hotels
  1. Life is good indeed 🙂

    All the pain of collecting those points pays off with stays like these!

  2. If you have the time, rent a motorbike and get out and explore the island. Once you get out of Chaweng and Lamai, there isn’t a whole lot of traffic.

  3. Lucky,
    Maybe you posted somewhere on how you got to Kom Samui,(flight details, departure/arrival cities, airlines)? Interested in going, just wondering what the miles/fees out of pocket is, to get there.


  4. nice photos….

    about hilton – my booking at the Bentley in South Beach, Miami has this little tidbit

    “Cancellation Policy
    If you cancel for any reason, attempt to modify this reservation, or do not arrive on your specified check-in date, your payment is non-refundable.’

    I’ve never seen this on an award booking, thoughts.

  5. @Jay, that disclaimer is all over ALL of their properties advanced booking fares/sites.

    Has kept me from booking anything at all.

  6. @ Jacob — I booked a Cathay Pacific award using American miles into Singapore and out of Bangkok. Then I booked SilkAir from Singapore to Koh Samui, and Bangkok Airways from Koh Samui to Bangkok.

    The closest you can get to Koh Samui on OneWorld is Phuket, and from there it’s a short 150 mile flight to Koh Samui.

  7. @ Jay — That’s very strange. Have never seen that before, but seems like that hotel might be extremely restrictive.

    @ asar — You’ll want to check the terms for your bookings, but most bookings are refundable until closer to arrival.

  8. @ John — I think you’d be just as bored alone as you’d be at any other resort. I kind of like being alone and relaxing, so wouldn’t mind it. But if you’re the type of person that likes to be active while traveling alone it’s probably not the best destination.

  9. I also got the “non-refundable” disclaimer when I booked Hilton Bonaventure Montreal back in Feb. Maybe it’s new policy to not allow changes in awards?

  10. asar- I believe that the Conrad Maldives (as as well as the Conrad Koh Samui) has a 30 day cancellation policy.

  11. Steve- I booked for Jan. It says 30 day cancellation policy. I think in other months it may be less.

  12. I just locked in my HH points at the Bora Bora and Moorea properties with 2 Axon’s. Still have enough for a night or two somewhere else. Have you used all of yours? What will the 4 night Axon category 7 be at after tomorrow?

  13. I booked AXONs in Conrads in Hong Kong and Koh Samui. Then I booked 5 nights in the Conrad Bali. My point balance is ZERO!!

  14. @ Nick — The cost is staying the same for category seven AXONs. It’s just that many of the current category seven properties will become category ten properties, and there are no AXONs for that.

  15. Just book it for next year for only 2 nights. Not sure if I can stay at somewhere this seclusive for anything longer than 2 nights. My reservation has a 14 days cancellation policy

  16. @lucky @Nick I booked an AXON award at Conrad Hong Kong and while the correct number of points (145,000) were deducted from my account, on the actual reservation confirmation it says the cost was 4 nights at 42,500 each for total of 170,000. Maybe these higher level hotels are still bookable using AXON and these are the new rates?

  17. @ puck — That’s actually always how it has been. That’s the GLON rate it’s showing, even if it deducts the number of points needed for an AXON.

  18. Can you not book using pts today? I’m showing zero availability using pts at various Conrad Hotels. Are they just updating their systems?

  19. @ John — You should still be able to book using points. I suspect many of the better Conrads are just sold out given how many people redeemed points for them before the deadline. The Conrad Cairo, for example, has plenty of award availability.

  20. I think Hilton has shot itself in the foot somewhat, once I am finished with these Axon stays I’m done with the program – even earning credit card points. The sweet spots are now in places like the Hampton Inn in Chattanooga,TN. I have no interest in redeeming there. There is only mediocre value in the Axon Cat 7’s that remain, like the Waikoloa village, but hardly anything to get excited about.

  21. Nick- I tend to agree. I’m done doing paid stays at Hiltons. Hilton Honors has no respect or appreciation for its customers. Worst hotel loyalty program devaluation in history.

  22. When I log in and try to look up available dates using pts all hotels show no availability. When I try this without logging in it show lots of avail. using pts. Does anyone else have this problem?

  23. Nick & John: I tend to disagree somewhat. Certainly this is a (capital H) huge devaluation. However, with off season pricing, and the strongly rumored retention of at least the AXON discount, if not GLON as well, then it really isn’t all that bad. It’s tough to take all the variables into account in this type of forum, but let’s take Koh Samui for example: the off-season rate is now 80k/nt. For a 4 night award with AXON discount that would theoretically drop to 58k/nt. Plus you would get the 5th night free. So using that formula: it used to cost 190k (39kx5)for 5 AXON award, it now costs 232k (58kx4 + night 5 free). Obviously not all properties have off-season pricing, but in the microcosm of this example, I guess I just don’t see how it’s so horrible.

  24. Pardon the typo: It used to cost 195k (39kx5) for a 5 night AXON award, it now costs 232k (58kx4 + night 5 free).

  25. @ Thomas — Unless I’m missing something obvious, there are no AXON awards for category 10 properties. So I’m not sure where you came up with the 58,000 points per night figure.

    For the Conrad Koh Samui you’re looking at a minimum of 320,000 points off season for five nights, factoring in the fifth night free.

  26. I was hypothesizing based on what I had read, to date, about the potential retention of AXON discounts. I had read AXON discounts ‘probably’ would continueand had not seen anything about AXON discounts not being similarly applied to the 3 new hotel categries. Obviously if AXON won’t apply to new CAT 8, 9 or 10 properties, the point is moot.

  27. 58k was the result of applying a factor of 0.725 to the 80k offseason rate, as that was the factor used for the AXON discount for 4 nights at an old CAT 7.

  28. I just spoke to Hilton Honors regarding (post 28 above) not being able to see availability using pts when I’m logged in. I spent all my pts prior to this devaluation (Wed) and my pt balance is zero. The said that if you have a very low pt balance, you won’t be able to see award availabilty logged in. You should look up award availability without logging in.

  29. Thomas (& Nick)- AXON only applies to 4 night awards. Further, you could never combine AXON with another discount. Also, GLON is now gone. It is replaced by 5th nt free for elites.

    I just talked to the Diamond desk. AXON awards now only apply to category 6 & 7 Hotels! Confirmed!

  30. @ Thomas — Ah, got it. Yeah unfortunately I haven’t heard anything about AXON awards on category eight through ten properties, and I doubt we will either.

  31. Stunning pictures, it’s definitely worthwhile exploring the island, there are loads more views like this.

    Best wishes, Nick

  32. After spending over 20 years in Middle East (Kuwait & UAE), which includes most of Christmas spent there – one looks with real nostalgia at these photos. Brings memories of childhood, real Christmas with snow…

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