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“The Private Island, Private escape !”

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Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Rowland Heights, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“The Private Island, Private escape !”
Reviewed 13 August 2014

Location Location Location!

This place is like a private paradise!!!

Every single staff on this property always ALWAYS with smile. Every single staff knows your name and your room number!!! I was like wooow i feel like a VIP!

Pros:
1. Airport transfer to the resort is free!
2. Front desk agents are always willing to help you.
3. Try their Spa!!! You have to get a massage there! overlook towards the lagoon.
4. I have to give many many +++ Good review about house keeping department!!! these staffs are so sweet and they will clean your room / change your sheets everyday on time! Very friendly!
5. Many resorts will charge you for Kayak and snorkel for like some unreasonable fees. However at the private island, these are free!
6. Overwater Bungalow,!!! I loved it so much! it like unbelievable view looking forwards the motu!
7. The shower space is HUGE in the over water bungalows!!! You can do all sort of things in there I try to keep it PG on the forum, especially for the new couples ! this resort will not DISAPPOINTING YOU!!! There are absolutely no kids while i was there.
8. Best Snorkel Coral Garden!!! This is amazing thing around the private island. Wake up early eat some breakfast, get on the kayak about 5-10 mins you will arrive the coral garden, and snorkel! Make sure bring some food for the fish! the water is like pool water with thousands of fishes.

Cons:
1.Be prepare to buy alot anti mosquito repellent sprays !!! too much mosquito in bora bora!
2. Sister Hotel Sofitel Marara Staffs are rude, thats why it is cheaper to stay there. I guess you pay what you get. The bar attendant at the Sofitel Marara is so rude. I wish i could remember her name.
I do not have any negative about the Sofitel Private Island at all, just the staff over at the Sofitel Marara need some extra proper guest service training. ( Especially the bar service really disappointing) Please let your staff understand, we are there for relaxation, not for some random rude comments and extreme unwelcome facial expression on their face.
However, the Marara Front Desk is really nice !

The Hotel Manager at the private island (Anne) is really nice as well. She always greet guest with a smile and always ask me if i need anything from her. She is a very nice lady!!! Just because of their exceptional customer service at the private island. We are planning to go back again!

Room Tip: a good room. all rooms are based on availability. all rooms are random assign upon check in. I staye...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank XiaozhengYan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, 19 August 2014
Anne and her team join me to thank you for your great comments regarding your experience at Sofitel Private island.
I read carefully your comment regarding one of the bar "Ambassador" from the Marara side, and thank you for reporting it, this is absolutly not reflecting the "cousu main" service you must receive from all of our ambassadors from both Sofitel resorts.
We spray regulary the private island and Marara against all insects ans especially mosquitoes, difficult to erradicate all at all time but working on it! :-)
thank you for staying with us at Bora Bora!
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English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

This resort sits on it's own private island! There are only about 30 bungalows, so it's quiet and not as busy as other resorts! Went here for my 25th anniversary and it was above par! The staff were wonderful and always there to help. Our arrival was so wonderful and memorable.
The rooms have small fridges that are stocked every morning with 2 beers, 2 waters, Pepsi's and a few juices. The food at the resort is very good. We ate at the private island a few times and a few times at the sister resort, Marara. "Polynesian Night" offered a huge buffet of the Polynesian culture.
The location of this resort is perfect for all day "sunning". Due to the location of the Marara, they would lose sun on the beach around 12:30.
Sofitel Private Island is right next to the Coral garden. You can snorkel around to the other side or take one of the kayaks and paddle over.
WEAR WATER SHOES, not flip flops, ALL THE TIME YOU'RE IN THE WATER!! The coral hurts and there is A LOT of it! I actually cut my foot on a piece the first day I was there.
This actual resort does not have a pool and very small beach. For me that wasn't a problem, we had the deck on the bungalow to lay on, and steps to get into the water :). The Marara does have a pool and larger beach if you decide you want to hang out at the pool.
It's a short boat ride over to the main island, which makes this remote location more pleasurable and isolated. If you want to go to the main island, just let the staff know and the boat will be there within a couple of minutes.
They can set you up with an tours/excursions you would like to do. I recommend the Eco Tour with Didier and Sam! True Tahitian experience.
They offered free Wifi, however, you had to log in every time you opened your app. It didn't stay active, plus its a little slow compared to what you may be used to, BUT, it was available and helped tremendously to stay in touch back home.
If you would like to save a little on your alcohol and snack expenses, take the boat over to the Marara, walk out front to the road and turn left. About a 10 minute walk down the road is a small grocery store called Tiare Market. They close at 8pm. Take your own bags! If not, you will need to buy one and they charge about 80 francs/1.00 USD per bag.
There is a larger grocery store in Viatpe, however this little market had what we needed.
There is an Avis bike rental just a little further past the market, on the left. Rent bikes and ride to Bloody Marys or into Viatpe or all the way around the island. The locals are respective of bicyclists. Bicycles are one of the main modes of transpertation for many of the locals. The island is very safe, but you will want to lock up the bikes.
There are a lot of stray dogs, but none of them ever gave us any problems. In fact, they never paid any attention to me, even as I tried to speak to them. Maybe they don't understand English? :)
Most of the employees of the resorts and stores speak English or understand it enough to communicate. Knowing French is helpful.

Room Tip: Our room was right across from the main beach area, so our water was only waist deep. Plus, it was c...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank BoughFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, 19 August 2014
Thank you for your great comments and advices! it was great to be part of your 25th anniversary.
its is important to highlight that Sofitel Private island provide both a complete privacy and exclusivity and a easy way to join Sofitel Marara Beach located on the main island, complimentary and within 5 mn, all day long and on demand.
It was great to have you with us!
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Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
37 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014

When we planed for our french Polynesia trip we decided to stay a few days in Bora Bora at a nice hotel before going to some more deserted and simple places (amazing BTW) like fakarava and rangiroa. We decided for a over water bungalow but when we started searching for an hotel, we thought they all looked too big, with too many bungalows, too close to each other and no privacy. That´s when we found Sofitel Private Island, with the perfect mix of service and isolation. Luxury and Polynesian vibe. The lagoon view is amazing! Waking up at night and looking at the stars rise from the ocean was something I will never forget. It was the most amazing view from Venus I ever saw! Huge, bright and beautiful. There is so much sea life there and, just around the hotel´s island, you can do a really cool snorkel dive. Lots of fishes and an occasional friendly reef shark.The food was really good, but a bit too expensive. Breakfast was GREAT, with a breathtaking view. I would not suggest it if you are traveling wit very young kids, they might prefer the Sofitel across the lagoon, since this one is super peaceful and quiet. If I could choose a place to return RIGHT NOW, that would be where I would spend my day.

Room Tip: Go for the over water, this is the place to do it. Waking up and jumping in the lagoon is unforgetta...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Forattini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, 19 August 2014
Great sharing of experience at Sofitel Private Island, i love your "luxury and polynesian vibe" which speak by itself!
Thank you for your stay at our magnifique boutique hotel, to enjoy both freedom to come to the main island, (only 5 mn away on demand all day long) and to enjoy privacy of your private island!
Maururu!
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Millis, Massachusetts, United States
2 reviews
Reviewed 22 July 2014

My husband and I spent our honeymoon at the Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island. We started out in an over-water bungalow, and were later upgraded to The Villa (I'm still not sure why, but I'll take it!). The rooms are spacious and very nice, turn down service each night, and I don't think it's possible to have a blocked view anywhere on the island. During our stay the weather was gorgeous (end of June-Beginning July).

The staff are wonderful. Extremely courteous, and we were treated as if we were the only couple at the hotel. They are also extremely helpful with organizing and recommending various excursions, in the event that basking in the sun loses it's glamour, lol. Some of these included an Eco Tour (if you go, DO IT!), which allows you to snorkel, swim with sharks and stingrays; several hiking options; safari tours, etc.

The food is quite good as well. Nice breakfast buffet with plenty of options; lunch and dinner menus were also quite good.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Becki W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, 25 July 2014
Again congratulations for your wedding and we wish you all the hapiness of the world!
We are proud to be part of your "souvenirs for life" of your wedding trip!
Thank you for choosing us.
We will stay in your heart
Come back soon!
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New York City
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2014

A lovely private island. Just breathtaking and beautiful. Like no other. So here are the highlights:

When you land, even before you get your bags, they will "lei" you, which is a lovely tradition. They point out which is your boat that'll take you to the island. Then you go the side to get your bags. You'll have a few minutes to take pictures on the water and scenery. Never seen an airport location like this. Then hop onto the boat for about a 25 minute ride.

As you approach the dock, you will see a local (dressed in local attire) blow a conch as you approach. Then he'll start playing the ukulele. You'll be helped off the boat by staff and given coconuts filled with coconut water inside. The staff will help you take pictures (trust me, you'll want the view in the background while holding coconut drinks while wearing a lei. Besides, the lei will wilt by the end of the first day.)

One thing i want to point out is that no matter what time of day you get there, the experience is the same. They still blow a conch, and they still give you a coconut drink even for nighttime arrivals. The only downside is that if you arrive after sunset, you might not be able to see the how beautiful the view truly is.

Anyways, the staff welcomes you and there is small chit-chat (where are you from, how long are staying, etc. etc.) Then while the staff takes care of your bags, you're given a brief tour. Eventually you're taken to your room. We had an over water bungalow and it's just amazing. My only complaint is that i thought the hole in the floor (to watch fish) was too small (maybe 18 inches in diameter?).

When we got in to the room, there were flowers on the bed, and my wife got a nice complimentary sari, and i got a t-shirt. There was also a complimentary bag of 3 lil treats. There's a fridge that is stocked with local beer, soda and water. Apparently, it's refilled at night by the turn-down service.

The closet has a safe and complimentary his & hers snorkel gear. There was an outside personal patio where there is a small coffee table, two chairs, (under a covered straw awning) and two chaise lunges (not under the awning) for you to lay down and enjoy the sun. You have your own personal lil ladder to climb into the water (which is about 4 feet deep?). There's also a shower there to rinse off the salt (not an actual shower since there are no curtains...unless you're into that kind of thing.) Depending on which side your bungalow faces, if it faces the ocean and AWAY from the resort, if you get up early enough, you can sit on the patio outside and watch the sunrise (usually at 6:30am).

At night time, sometimes you can hear the waves crashing against the poles/masts. It's very soothing. The bathroom shower has a rainshower head (hanging from the ceiling) and the type where it's like a hose.

The restaurant on the island is nice. The breakfast buffet is good, lots of fruit, and there is an omelet station (although i felt it was slim pickings in terms of toppings) Considering the French love their breads and baguettes, EVERY meal comes with complimentary bread. But this is no cheap bread. It's great and delicious. See a tip at the bottom of this review.

We ate basically all our meals there. Lunch and dinner are great. And they are surprisingly fast. But they do NOT sacrifice quality. It's very good and delicious. We liked the stuffed chicken as it was very tender.

As you might have read from reviews about the island, the prices are a bit steep (at least compared with the $USD.) Also, they charge for water, so if you can remember, take a bottle from your room before heading to eat.

Also in the restaurant is a billiards table, and local outfits on display. Apparently, you can ask to take pictures in them.

There is a free shuttle to take you to the Sofitel Marara in case you want to visit the other resort or the mainland. Also, the Marara is where they appear to hold events. From there, you can visit the gift shop, or take a local taxi to downtown Vaitape. Just remember to get a voucher from the front desk. The boat shuttle runs from 5:30am to 11:30 at night. They run on an as-needed basis. So if you don't see the shuttle, just go to the front desk and ask them to call it over. It's about a 3-4 minutes boat ride and the waters are always calm.

Sunrise is generally at 6:30 am. After you first arrive, the staff will point out the "View Point" where you can walk up some steps to, to go see the morning sunrise, and evening sunset (usually at about 5:30-5:45).

There are canoes, and 1 paddle boat you can take out to explore around, or even paddle to your own over water bungalow.

Lastly, the Private Island is KIDS-FREE-ZONE. No yelling, or screaming or crying. It was blissfully peaceful.

This is key: the CORAL GARDENS REEF, is extremely near by the private Island. You have to choices, you can walk along the rocky/sandy shore, or you can swim/canoe/paddle boat it to the area. It's hard to explain where it is as there is no sign that says "Coral Gardens here." But if you go in the morning, there are generally excursion boats that will take their customers to the area. Just go where they are. You'll know you're in the right spot if you see in the sand "i <3 BORA" spelled out in coral on the sandy bottom about 20 feet below water.

If you decide to walk it, you'll have to go PAST the View Point (do NOT go up the stairs), when you get to the last bungalow, go to the LEFT and around it. Walk the "path" avoiding branches etc. You'll pass some rock steps. It's a little past that, maybe another 90 seconds?). There is no definitive land marking, or sign. You just have to take your best guess, swim out there, and look for the dark patches or reef. You're going to look for the "I <3 BORA" sign that is about maybe 20 feet on the bottom, spelled out in coral.


TIPS:
(1) SAVE some BREAD. Take it to your room and feed the fish. Once you can get one or two, eventually one of the fish will leave and seemingly tell his buddies as eventually a nice school of fish arrives. Or, take it the dock and feed fish there. We have seen a small sting ray around the resort, and a baby shark (no more than 1 1/2 feet long). But this was early July. So depending on when you go, they might not be there anymore. Also, neither the shark, no sting ray like bread as they just pass over it.

(2) Bring WATER SHOES. These are very helpful. We bought extremely cheap ones from Target before we left and they safeguard your feet as you step over rocks and unfortunately, if you step on the coral, it'll guard against that.

(3) When possible, try to bring the WATER BOTTLES FROM YOUR ROOM. As EVERYWHERE charges for water (except if you do excursions where the crew generally supplies them complimentary).

(4) Invest in an UNDERWATER CAMERA, extra batteries, and extra memory cards.

Room Tip: (1) SAVE some BREAD. Take it to your room and feed the fish. Once you can get one or two, eventual...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank jay_holla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, 25 July 2014
Thank you for all details regarding your magnifique stay at Sofitel Private island. all the ambassadors of the hotel join me to tell you how enjoyable it was to host you for your holidays at Bora Bora!
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Singapore
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

Booked this way in advance for my honeymoon. Stayed in room 130. Its an over water bungalow.

Bora Bora is a place to die for. Views were amazing and staff in the hotel was great.
Since its a small hotel. By the end of the second day, we were known to many of the staff already and everyone waves cheerfully. I guess the place helped to keep spirits high.

Room was nice but it could do with some extras to make it awesome.

1. No 24hr room service. No fault of theirs as its small and no point keeping a chef to cook. But since its my honeymoon, we had wine/beer till the wee hours and some hot food on order would have been great.
2. Housekeeping was not very consistent. Sometimes beach towels were not replaced and tea bags were not topped up. Otherwise they did a good job.
3. Most luxury beach hotels will provide beach slippers and day-totes for the day trips/beach jaunts. This was not provided and could be looked into to improve the experience.
4. Food at Sofitel Marara was better! Remember i ate there more than at the Private Island. Anyway free shuttle available so not much of an issue.

Special mention to the GM Mr Lamoot and to the Sarah and her colleagues. Even though many of you were interns, u went out of your way to make our stay comfortable and felt truly welcome.
What can i say... even the boatman was friendly.

BTW, we finished almost all the alcohol we brought....

Room Tip: Most rooms are nice.. 128 is the best...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CHUNGYEH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, 25 July 2014
Thank you so much for sharing! being on a private island in the Lagoon of Bora Bora is such a experinece, all details must be 100% and thank you for your comments. We hope to welcome you back in our paradise!
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Florida
Level Contributor
76 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2014

One note to start; you are in a truly unique location so "couples" put the cell phones down and look up and at your partner and the nature. It was sad to see many couples at dinner with both of them looking down at their cell phones (i.e. yes the wifi signal was good). Anyway, I digress; the Sofitel people, from your personalized greeting to the wave goodbye, strive to make your stay a special event. The bungalows were nicely decorated but not immaculate regarding cleanliness. The bungalow amenities such as wifi, mini fridge stock and snorkel gear was nice. Our bed was not that comfortable as each side was a valley with the Mountain in the middle. When you select a bungalow, if that is possible, 128-130 might be the best and then the lower numbers.The wind, as some people have mentioned, does come in strong. Think car wash wind tunnel and you will get the feeling. It does become bothersome.
The food was really good and the dinner was professionally presented. You will not be disappointed. The bar is lacking and we went to the main island hotel for drinks as they have a greater selection. The happy hour offers a selection at half price. If you want to save a little money select and book your tours in advance as they are slightly higher (as you might have guessed) when booked through the hotel. We did the 4x4 and the obligatory snorkel tour with sharks etc. Both of these tours were fun. The boat, between the island and main hotel, was always available.
The island you are on is small and one paddle board (why not two?) along with kayaks are complimentary and available on a first come basis.
Is this the pick of the crop on Bora Bora for sheer glamor; probably not. Trust tripadvisor in the ranking of resorts. However, as they say price is what you pay and value is what you get. This Resort delivered on the value and thus it gets my high five.

Room Tip: Stay away from the middle number 127 - 118 - wind tunnel. 128-131 have best view of Mt.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank wrmomxg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, 25 July 2014
Thank you for your "look up" advice, the Private island, it's ambassadors and it's environment desserve it!
Call again!!!
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Additional Information about Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island

Property: Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
Address: BP 516, 98730, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Region: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island 4.5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world, Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is located in the heart of the exceptional Matira Bay, nestled on a private islet facing the main island of Bora Bora. A secret hideaway where you can enjoy a peaceful and romantic retreat, regenerate yourself and savour the exquisite feeling of being at home on your own private island. This boutique hotel is emphasizing privacy and intimacy to create a unique experience in the heart of native vegetation surrounded by turquoise water and beautiful coral gardens. ... more   less 
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