United is discounting coach awards booked to Tahiti today only for travel March 26 – May 30. Actual cost depends on whether you have MileagePlus elite status and whether you’re a UnitedSM Explorer Card cardmember (or other Chase United card cardholder).
This definitely isn’t for high season travel — Americans most frequently want to visit French Polynesia in the winter time. It’s also popular as a honeymoon destination which drives summer traffic. It’s popular with the French in summer corresponding with their long vacations as well.
United flies three days a week San Francisco – Papeete, and you’ll find that economy award space for two passengers is available pretty much all the time during the promotion period for these flights.
Of course once you reach Papeete, you’ll want to get off of the island of Tahiti just about as fast as you can. The picturesque destinations you think of as “Tahiti” are really Bora Bora and the other islands. You’ll have to pay to fly to those (or take a boat to Moorea).
Hilton, Marriott, and IHG all have plenty of redemption options in French Polynesia to consider. I spent part of my own honeymoon at Bora Bora Nui when it was part of Starwood, it’s now with Hilton. While Bora Bora is quiet and peaceful, you’re not entirely ‘trapped’ at the resort the way you are in the Maldives. In addition to accessing other resort properties, there’s the town of Vaitape with restaurants where many go out to dinner during their stay.