Booked: Tropical Thailand with a Side of the City

koh samui island thailand featured image
  1. Booked: Tropical Thailand with a Side of the City
  2. Review: EVA Air Business Class (777-300ER)
  3. Review: Conrad Koh Samui
  4. Review: W Koh Samui
  5. Review: W Bangkok

Hello from Thailand!

After a few months of taking it relatively chill with a few domestic and transborder trips, I’m excited to get back on the road and be in Thailand for a few weeks. The majority of this redemption was booked back in April 2022 and I was able to snag some business class availability on EVA Air which has been high on my list for quite some time.

Let’s take a look at how I made this trip happen and what content you can expect to see on Frugal Flyer for reviews in the next while.


For this trip, most of my itinerary was booked on Aeroplan points. Aeroplan continues to be one of the top programs in Canada and it is incredibly easy to accrue points, so this redemption was a no-brainer for me.

Leaving out of Edmonton, we fly to Vancouver on Air Canada business class. From there, we connect to fly from Vancouver to Bangkok on EVA Air, with a brief connection in Taipei. I’m looking forward to flying EVA business class for the first time, and you can check out my EVA Air Business Class review for more.

edmonton to bangkok business class aeroplan redemption

The flights back to Canada are nearly identical, with a brief overnight stay in Vancouver. Looking forward to checking out the Fairmont Vancouver Airport as a newly minted Accor Gold member. All in all, I booked this round-trip itinerary with a cost of 158,000 Aeroplan points and $170 in taxes and fees per person.

Finally, I’ve booked a cheap cash fare for Bangkok to Koh Samui on Bangkok Airways and reduced the cost by redeeming a chunk of Scene+ Rewards points on my Scotiabank Gold American Express card. This 55-minute hop cost 5500 THB ($220 CAD) per person and should be uneventful but is the perfect way to quickly get to the island. Other options to get to the island include ferries but are obviously much slower than a direct flight.

Koh Samui

Shortly after we land in Bangkok, we are jumping on our next flight to the island of Koh Samui. Here, we plan on spending six nights between two resorts in two completely separate corners of the island.

Conrad Koh Samui

Conrad Koh Samui is nestled on the southwest corner of the island and is far away from many of the main tourist spots. Essentially, this looks to be a great resort if you just want to chill, relax, and take it all in. This redemption has been on my list for years, ever since I saw the striking image of the private villas on stilts.

hilton conrad koh samui villas

For this stay, I redeemed Hilton Honors points at a rate of 85,000 per night, with the fifth night free, for a total of 340,000 points. Cash rates for our dates are around $700 CAD per night, making a point redemption a great deal. This would also be a good property to redeem any Hilton free night certificates that you may have earned from the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card (US) or American Express Hilton Honors Aspire credit card (US).

Related: The Best Hotels to Redeem a Hilton Free Night Certificate

hilton conrad koh samui tropical pool villa

This is the hotel stay that I am most looking forward to on this trip, and can’t wait to share my experience here on Frugal Flyer.

W Koh Samui

Ever since our first stay at a W hotel, the W Maldives, my significant other has fallen in love with the W brand in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. The brand itself is definitely our vibe, and part of her request for this vacation was to include a few W hotels if possible. With that in mind, I booked a one-night stay at the W Koh Samui after our stay at the Conrad to compare the two resorts.

w koh samui marriott resort

Back in late 2022, I signed up for the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card (US) and the welcome bonus included a free night certificate worth up to 85,000 Bonvoy points. Tacking an additional night in Koh Samui looked to be the most logical option to get the most out of the certificate while also being able to experience another resort on the island.

The cash rate for our one-night stay is $660 CAD, so not a bad redemption by any means. We are booked into the base-level one-bedroom villa with a private pool. I’ve submitted a Nightly Upgrade Award request, and am optimistic we will get upgraded with it only being a one-night stay.


After six nights on Koh Samui, we are heading back to Bangkok for a brief three-night stay before returning to Canada.

W Bangkok

Sticking with the W theme, we booked three nights at the W Bangkok for the last part of our vacation. For this stay, I am paying cash rates at around $220 per night, which is relatively expensive when it comes to Bangkok standards but not outlandish. On the other hand, redemption rates were 58,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night which presents terrible value so paying the cash rate made sense.

We are booked into the Wonderful guest room, but I plan on reaching out to the property in advance to push for an upgrade.

w bangkok marriott hotel

We don’t have anything set in stone for our time in Bangkok but look forward to checking out a few temples and eating some amazing street food.


This trip was first booked for January 2021 and I am happy to finally be able to make it happen. This will be our first time in Thailand and we are looking forward to some unique experiences, a healthy amount of relaxation, and most importantly, the food. Keep an eye on Frugal Flyer in the coming month to see the recap of my flight and hotel experiences.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards


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