The Intercontinental Just Cancelled My $136 Overwater Villa In Bora Bora

Overwater Villa In Bora Bora

The Intercontinental Just Cancelled My $136 Overwater Villa In Bora Bora

Earlier this week, I wrote about a tremendous deal I got on an overwater villa at the Intercontinental Bora Bora & Thalassos Spa.  I made the booking through booking.com for six nights at a rate of only $136. This morning, I received word the hotel cancelled the booking.

Of course, I was excited about the prospect of getting to visit Bora Bora and stay in an overwater villa at that incredible rate.  But at the time of booking, I knew full well there was a good chance they would not honor this rate.  After all, a six-night stay at the same hotel was selling for nearly $10,000 the day after I got my amazing rate.  It did seem to good to be true, and in fact, it ended up being just that.

The Cancelled Booking

Intercontinental Bora Bora
Courtesy: IHG

I booked the Diamond Otemanu Overwater Village, which has beautiful views of both the blue waters and Otemanu Mountain.  The villa has about 700 square feet of inside space and over 300 square feet of outside space.  The room has direct access to the ocean.

The booking was for six nights, which means it cost me about $23 a night.  And that rate even included breakfast!

Intercontinental Bora Bora
Courtesy: IHG

Cancellation Email

This morning, I woke up to an email from Booking.com saying the Intercontinental Bora Bora had a technical issue that gave me an invalid rate.  Here’s part of the email I received from Booking.com:

We wanted to let you know that the hotel for which you have made a reservation recently experienced a technical issue. As a result, your reservation was made with an invalid rate.

On behalf of the hotel we unfortunately have to ask you to make a new reservation via our platform, for which you will be offered the correct rates. Your original reservation will be automatically cancelled.

Sure enough, right after this email I received an email from the hotel saying my reservation was cancelled.  They encouraged me to visit their website to rebook (of course, at a significantly higher rate!).

Cancellation Expectation

At the time of booking, I really had nothing to lose.  I wasn’t going to run and book a flight in the near future.  When you get something that resembles an error rate or fare, it’s good to hold off further planning to see if the company will honor the rate.

Of course, there is also the difficulty with international travel and the number of unknowns with coronavirus.  It’s hard to say what the traveling situation in Bora Bora will be at the end of December.

But I thought it was still good to get it booked.  It wouldn’t be the first time that a company honored an error rate, and there was always a possibility they would have honored it.  The room was cancellable up until 30 days before the stay, so I also had the option to cancel in the future.

Bora Bora is opening to tourists again on July 15, 2020.  The island is requiring a COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival.  They also require international health insurance.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, my great rate for a six-night stay at the Intercontinental Bora Bora & Thalassos Spa was cancelled this morning.  I expected that would be the likely outcome, but I was still holding out a little hope!

Image: IHG


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  1. Moral of the story, don’t publish something you haven’t got yet. So you will not look stupid and disappointed.

  2. Very true on the false advertisement! They would have kept your money if you would have canceled! Ugh double standards. So sorry 🙁 maybe one day you’ll get to go!

    1. That’s what happens when you book through a third party. It’s not the Intercontinental that messed up, it’s Booking.Com and if you had booked prepay, Booking.Com would have been forced to honor your rate and pay the difference to the hotel for their mistake on their very separate website/reservations system. Educate yourself before passing blame and writing bad articles.

      1. This could not be more false. You could not prepay the rate, as the reservation was explicitly a pay at check-in rate. They are also not required to honor it, even if I did pay, since there is no federal regulation that requires hotels to honor a rate if they cancel it. In addition, the email from Booking.com and the Intercontinental both said it was an error on the part of Intercontinental’s system. So this comment is just all around incorrect. Educate yourself before you comment on a post and spread incorrect information. 🙂

    2. Actually trying to cash in on an obviously erroneous rate is opportunistic, but not in a good way. C’mon now. You know this business can’t survive on a rate this low, including paying the people cleaning up after you. Also, it makes for a very boring story.

    1. Unfortunately, there are no federal regulations in the U.S. that require them to honor the price/booking.

  3. It does sound like this is a fake story written by the hotel itself. I guess any PR is good PR especially when you include beautiful pictures. I commend the PR agency of the hotel for a great job making up a story and getting it published on google newsfeed.

  4. You can ask for relocation and get relocated to a similar in room in a similar resort.

  5. As a former IHG employee, I can confirm that IHG locations ARE allowed to cancel third party bookings for pretty much any reason. Overbooking, problems are the hotel like burst pipes, broken water heaters, blah blah blah.

  6. Should have honoured it. You can bet your life when they’ve had a higher rate rate published in error booked they haven’t refunded the member the difference.
    How can anyone book with this resort in confidence ? Perhaps a £450 rate should have been £475;and get cancelled a week before arrival ?
    How can anyone book in confidence ?

  7. Who knows what the rate might be because of the pandemic? If they haven’t had any customers, they may have to book at lower rates to get people to travel. Would love to go back to Bora Bora and stay over the water, but not at crazy prices.

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