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Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

Boise
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Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

We too are planning our honeymoon to Bora Bora for June 2007. Our travel agent recommended Hotel Sofitel Motu but photos from other hotels seem more our style.

We are members of Starwood so earning points is preferable but we are more interested in staying somewhere we are most comfortable.

We have a fairly modern taste and want to stay in an overwater Bungalow (at least part of the time if we can't afford a whole week). We're also pretty social and active so probably won't spend the whole honeymoon away in our room!

Can someone please take the time to give us a run down on the best hotel options considering the following?

1. Modern yet private bungalows

2. Active hotel (but don't want a bunch of kids running around)

3. Easy access to restaurants and day activities

Thank you!

santa barbara,CA
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1. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

Hi Kimberrolfe:

I'd be happy to help...

First, congratulations on your upcoming marriage! How exciting!

I have been to French Polynesia many many times and am quite familiar with most all the resort properties. I have lots and lots of photos of most of them along with my personal reviews. If you'd like to see them just email me at shully123 at hotmail dot com.

I can give you the following overview however as well...

Hotels in Bora Bora are situated on the island itself as well as on the motus (little islets) surrounding the lagoon/facing the island.

The new properties on motus are the Intercontinental Thalasso (quite modern decor with spacious gorgeous overwater bungalows)...the St Regis which is a Starwood property and truly five star...just opened in June of this year. The Pearl Resort (on a motu) is a beautiful resort with and a bit lower in cost than the St Regis and Thalasso...the Bora Bora Nui is on a motu and doesn't face the island...although a few of the overwaters have a view through the pass....the beach here is beautiful and expansive...also a Starwood property. The Bora Bora Lagoon Resort has some of the most reasonable rates for a motu property...

As your travel agent has recommended the Sofitel Motu I can say honestly this is not my favorite property......it is mostly on a hillside on a motu facing the island...granted it does have a beautiful view and the overwaters are nice...there are nicer properties as mentioned above.

ON the island is the iconic Hotel Bora Bora.....old world charm and class are found here......the best beach and snorkeling in all of Bora Bora....it is not the newest...as a matter of fact this resort has been here for quite some time so they got the best beach! It is now an Aman Resort property.

At any rate, I suggest you read back on this thread for tons of information and also maybe read the trip reports and hotel reviews...lots of people have just returned and have given some great reviews and let me know if you want me to send you the link to my personal photos. All the best to you!

sunny regards,

shully

santa barbara,CA
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2. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

As an aside to your other questions:

Most of the hotels will book your excursions for you, booking in advance doesn't save you money....the hotels and tour operators make pick up a breeze.....if you are on a motu they either come to you or you take the resort boat to the island...always a nice ride!

There aren't many hotels with alot of "action". Most are quiet places.....Bora Bora is a honeymoon dream. The Le Meridien does attract some families as they have the turtle refuge and a small lagoon on the property.

Restaurants on the island will pick you up at your hotel or the dock...you only need make a reservation with the concierge at your hotel...easy button. They take you back too. There is little to no night life in Bora Bora....just dinner out and a night cap.

sunny regards,

shully

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3. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

We stayed at the Sofitel Motu. I was told it had the best snorkeling on the Island. It was amazing. You could not just jump in the water and snorkel as there is not really a lot of coral by the bungalows, but between the islands and behind the Motu there are coral gardens and canyons with big fish, little fish, red fish, blue fish (do I sound like Dr Suess?). Several snorkeling boats come to the coral gardens every day, so when you get in the water the fish swarm you because they are so used to being fed. I literally had my finger nail polish nibbled off two of my fingers and I did not even have food. Some guests took a Kayak to the gardens; well we tried this one day and found it was much easier to walk along the rocks and then get in on the other side.

The lagoon by the Sofitel goes from 18 inches deep to very deep. It also goes from very cold to very warm and of course from light aqua to very deep royal blue. We stayed in unit 111. This is the very end unit, closest to the coral gardens. I requested this unit, but would not stay there again. There is another smaller Motu next to the Sofitel’s Motu and the wind whips though that pass and hits unit 111 head on. I think the best unit is 115. It has a better view of Mt Otemanu. Unit 111 has a view of the beach and the pass between the motus. I think the tree top bungalows are charming. They are situated on the side of the hill and surrounded by palm trees and laurels. The path to get to them is made of volcanic stones and rocks and it really adds to the authentic Polynesian charm of the Motu. This is a VERY private Island and also very romantic. I highly recommend this hotel for fish freaks on their honey moon. We rarely saw other guests even at breakfast. Breakfast was included in our package and I recommend the buffet. It was excellent and much more convenient then leaving the island to go to the main land. The staff was warm and very friendly and they arranged all excursions and dinner reservations perfectly. Upon arrival we were lei’d and serenaded by ukulele. They served us cold coconut milk in a real coconuts and we sat by the water fall while we registered and then we were escorted to our bungalow. On the day we left we had a spotted eagle ray swim by our bungalow. We were lucky enough to get a picture.

S.F.
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4. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

Kim, as Shully says the iconic Hotel Bora Bora is the oldest on the island. Don't let that turn you off. While it has existed since the 60's and for years was the only hotel there (Those were the days) it has been redone from the wonderful version I knew. The location on Point Raititi is incredible. It is now owned by uppity Amaan and should suit your needs. Also agree on the snorkeling. Best right off the beach conditions that I have ever seen. Do not expect any activity other than local entertainment in the hotel lounge, it's not what these isles are about. As for kids? I spent 80 days at hotel bora when it was affordable to a much wider range of incomes, it was also a vacation spot in those days, not the almost exclusive bastion of the honeymooner it is now. I can count on one hand the number of kids I saw over that vast time. There should be a high probablity that you will see not one. Pub

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5. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

The Hotel Bora Bora also has a beautiful sandy beach.

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

Ia Orana

Funny how the classic hotel Bora Bora Keeps on coming back on the forums despite the arrival of the new "mega resorts".

I have been privileged to be return very often to french Polynesia for the last 26 years. I felt so in love with the islands, the people and the culture that I decided to buy a home on Moorea. My travels takes me back often to the other islands for business. Bora Bora is a must visit with each time a new property or feature to be aware of.

The Hotel Bora Bora has now become my second home. The location is ideal. White sand beaches on three sides of the property, the lush tropical vegetation ( no freshly planted palm trees there) a profusion of chaise lounge and hammocks throughout will offer you your corner in paradise.

The layout of the hotel is such that at anytime you barely see other guests. The hotel offers a great value for your money program called honeymoon escape: daily breakfast, 1 romantic dinner with champagne on the beach, the sunset cruise aboard a sailing yacht, a massage treatment for 2.

Yet my absolute favorite activity is to go to the pier at night to watch the 6 and 9 Ft wide Manta rays feeding. the last trip offered a 5 speciment show.

The other special part of the Hotel Bora Bora is the staff ( at any level) Ia Orana come naturally with the greatest smile when you encounter any member of the crew working there. They trully know how to make a guest feel at home there.The champagne upon arrival is always the sign of a great host. the signing in in your room is yet another special attention ( lost by too many hotels). The other detail showing the hotel appreciation for your business is that they are considering you a guest from your time of arrival on Bora Bora at the airport with the free Shuttle boat to the Hotel ( most of the other properties will charge from 10 to 35 dollars each way per person.)

The best value and most private category of room is found at the pool fare. The 2 room villa with your own private plunge pool. for the squar footage offered a far better return on your investment than the overwater bungalow.

Money saving tip ( Any Where) Should you decide against any set program, Pay as You go for the meals, Always check the a la carte features of the menu, 2 cappucini,a plate of croissant with home made coconut Jam ran about $ 18.00 . A better value than any American breakfast theat averages $ 30 + per person per day.

The hotel is 5 minutes away from the Villa Mahana, the cafe vanille for your double shot cappuccino 1 sweet and low with vanilla ( for the Starbucks fans) To go.

The Hotel is a few minutes away from the Pago Pago base forthe helicopters for the must do 15 minute flight around Bora Bora or better yet transfer to Taha'a for that super combination Transfer-Whale watching(in season) and sightseing trip.

The other thing to consider is wether you will want to go out of the resort to dine out. Most of the properties located on the Motus ( Pearl, Lagoon, Motu, Meridien, Thalasso, St Regis, Nui) will put you at the mercy of the schedule of the shuttle boat to go to the "Main Land). I consider this a major inconvenience ( should you just miss the boat to have to "kill" another 30-60 minutes. The last boat is often another subject of added stress and pressure. My neighbors at the villa mahana hurried their last minutes at the restaurant nervous about their 09:45 Pm boat to the Nui.

For any prospective guests to French Polynesia, you already have found one of the best source of information for FP ( the other source of information is Jan Princew's "Tahiti and french Polynesia Guide" published at Open roads publishing)

Always take each trip report ( great or lousy ) in perpective among other reports for the same property. Each guest taste is different too for what " the best bungalow" is at any hotel. The fact that the most requested bungalow with the best view of otemanu is now at a premium price at Le Motu shows that the hotels have found a way to satisfy both the guest with the specific category and the bottom line.

Most Tahiti specialists would have some level of connection with the management odf a property to place a request for you for a Bungalow (or a similar location, private side, etc... ) You can also ask when was the last time they visited such or such property. There the choice of Tahiti Specialist ( check the tahiti tourism board's list for your local Tiare Agents ) or tour operators specializing only with FP.

I have compiled a great selection of my photos at:

http://photos.yahoo.com/flytahiti

open Bora Hotel, Travels, and of course please feel free to visit virtually the other islands.

A fresh batch of pthtos for the Hotel Bora and te tiare on Huahine will be posted within shortly.

I hope this helps you to decide for the best trip to french Polynesia

Mauru uru roa

Meherio

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7. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

Meherio, I miss my home away from home the Hotel Bora Bora though I know it has vastly changed. Do you know Rosa and Purotu? how about Sugar Doom? Let me know. Cheers, Pub

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

Does the Hotel Bora Bora not have a pool???

I know it's Bora Bora and the lagoon is your pool but I am a pool lover so this was a turn off for me. Just wanted to point that out so the original poster knows while it's a great and famous hotel...I believe (not positive - Pub can answer for us as he's been many times) there is no pool.

Who knows maybe after my first visit to Bora Bora I will understand what all of you say - that no pool is just not an issue there. Sometimes I just love a dip in the pool!

All the hotels seem lovely - I wanted to go all out in Bora Bora so we chose the new Thalasso. It's our honeymoon though so we are splurging. If I ever go back I probably won't be looking to spend as much as we are on our honeymoon - I think the Pearl looks nice if you are looking for something more reasonably priced!

Congrats to you!

PS - I leave for FP in just 2 months! 2 mos from yesterday to be exact...I can't even wait!

santa barbara,CA
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9. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

There is no big pool at the Hotel Bora Bora BUT there are bungalows that have small plunge pools....they are lovely! My personal favorite catagory at this hotel....Really the beach there is the best for snorkeling and the hotel itself oozzes class and style. Truly a Tahitian paradise, the Hotel Bora Bora is beautiful.

There are so many choices these days in Bora Bora....from the ultra modern Thalasso to the authentic decor at Hotel BOB. Something for everyone.

sunny regards,

shully

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10. Re: Bora Bora Hotels, how do decide?

Chick, In my opiniion a pool at Hotel Bora Bora is a joke considering the quality of the lagoon right in front of you. There was not a pool during my tenure. However, you are now in luck. When HBB ws redone they put in some rooms with private pools. If you are interested I imagine the majority of these are on the beautiful and more open South side of the property. I highly recommend that side and I stayed on it the entire time I spent on Bora. It's breezier and just more comfortable. Beautiful lawns as well. Raiatea is on the horizon and Matira beach is in view. Cheers, Pub