(We stayed in September, sorry for the late review. It appears from some other reviews that people snorkeled with fish on the Four Season's property? We weren't able to do that in September...)
The only word is WOW! So, we stayed at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora. We were totally pampered. I highly recommend this resort. I’ll make a quick list here and then expand below so one might read on a topic that interests.
The OWBs are very Four Seasons, nicely appointed, tasteful.
The Staff is attentive.
The lagoon is stunning, and basically dead. No reef, barely a fish. Very strong current. The prettiest color blue I’ve ever laid eyes upon.
The Beach service is fantastic. The beach itself is lovely but has issues that would not prevent us from returning.
The Pool appears pretty as we walked by, we’re not pool people.
Restaurants… I’m gluten free and have other food allergies. Amazing attention was given to this, overall very shocking how attentive and lovely the staff was regarding this situation. Btw- without asking them, they started the conversation most times. The food was delicious.
Workout facilities. This is the only REAL disappointment at the resort. This is a new Four Seasons and the gym is tiny compared to the number of rooms. The floor was very slippery and not a gym floor.
The spa is also tiny and requires appointments well in advance. Massage was heavenly and professional.
Concierge: Eric is amazing. Trust him
Grounds are lovely with places to walk and explore.
Transportation was easy with transfers to and from the airport. The boats to and from Vaitape are only twice a day. It’s possible to arrange $$ private transfers, but the hotel is a tad reluctant.
Diving: My husband went on a private dive with Bathys. DH is a dive master and he had a good time. Snorkeling: We went on a private snorkel with Christophe Poch, the only word is GO! Reef Discovery 689 76 43 43 He made a cd for us with photos and a small video. He found rays and explained the fish in the coral garden. What a delight! www.reefdiscovery.pf
Bloody Mary’s, Perfect Perfect fish, the rest, is kitschy. Great service. A must go, and would go back in a heartbeat.
Kaina Hut, every bite is delicious! Fabulous service.
Bora Bora Home. They’re representing Bora Bora artists and have a well edited selection. Nice people, and great taste. Truly a gem.
Robert Wan… If you’re buying and running behind, they will shuttle you to your hotel on their boat. Yay
Yeves the taxi driver is wonderful
It’s not for me. It seemed kind of seedy. We overnighted at the Intercontinental which is mediocre with really scratchy sheets. Very tired hotel actually. The service is really slow. If you need a luggage pick up at 8:30, tell them 7:55, seriously! And the restaurant service is exceptionally slow. Like molasses. The taxi driver was a bright spot.
Okay, the expanded version… You know a lot of this will seem picky, but if you’re a control freak, you’ll appreciate knowing what to bring. It’s a very small place. Just running out to buy something isn’t possible.
The Four Seasons OWBs… They’re quite comfortable. The bed is cozy, the bath is in the right spot for views. There are small cutouts in the floor for viewing.. The walls have some strange cement windows. Didn’t get that one. I think it’s for privacy, but it just came across as a cemented window. Plenty of closet space. The bath products are L’Occitaine. Not sure about the Shampoo and Conditioner as they’re in charming ceramic jugs. I noticed what was not included compared to other Four Seasons beach resorts. No Woolite, no sewing kit, no shower caps, no after sun lotion, just the regular lemon body lotion. I generally use all these items. I poached a shower cap from the spa. And was prepared with the other items. Also, I didn’t check the guests laundry area as I was on vacation and didn’t want to get too heavily involved in chores. Maybe there was Woolite there? Anyway, I write about this mundane #($! as it’s important to know what to bring. The Four Seasons does not have laundry lines in their rooms. We had wet bathing suits and had to improvise as to how to dry them. On Maui they have little stands for the lanai. I’m sure this is to prevent people from swinging their suits over the railing, but still, lovely if Bora Bora could do the same. We received some wonderful fruit upon arrival and that’s it. No extra fruit, no flowers, orchids, ginger, etc. in the room. It’s a very expensive resort, so I was a little surprised. I’m grateful that the room was not sprinkled with flowers on every surface, but I miss the orchids in a bud vase on the bath counters. There is a hot water kettle for tea, so I was in heaven. Snacks, well, what did you bring with you? BRING SNACKS! I packed Justin’s Peanut Butter packets, sunflower seeds, Gluten free crackers, glad I did. I love hotels that have the empty fridge these days. But there is not a store unless you want to go to Vaitape and spend boat loads of $$ for tiny bag of Doritos. The hotel will happily bring snacks, but again, sometimes it’s just nice to have what you want when you want it.
The bungalows are set out over the water on piers. Regarding the views, some bungalows will have views of the bungalows across the lagoon, others will have views of the private beach set aside for the big private villas, and some will have views of the mountain and the sea. So, do you want it expensive, really expensive, or super expensive? We enjoyed our views of the mountain and it was well worth the extra pennies.
Jumping into the lagoon is fun for a real swim. Not for lounging! That current is strong. But wonderful to have the shower on the deck. OH! And the room numbers, thanks for that. The bungalows are all the same. Ha ha. There is ample room outside for dining and sunning. Perfection!
The lagoon at this resort is completely barren. Knowing this before we went staved off any disappointments. Taking a swim off the deck in the am instead of working out is a benefit! Despite this lack of sea life, I had a lot of fun in the lagoon! It’s the prettiest color and kind of a relief after snorkeling with so many fish.
The swimming off the beach is a bit simpler. There is still a current, but it’s mild. The water is shallow, but deep enough to get some swimming in. We loved it.
The beach service is AMAZING! Totally pampered. We took to the thatched roof lounging area and could stay there the rest of our lives. The staff will happily bring you samples of virgin drinks, coconut milkshakes? OMG! Pineapple, kiwi things, I don’t know what it all was, but it was heavenly. Lunch on the beach? A roof for the rain? The coziest beach lounger? Friendly happy staff? All heaven. Now if we could get rid of the smokers, we’d be set! Strive for a hut away from the bar. It’s 1995 calling, they want the cigar back!
The bar was fun. Our bartender was happy to replicate A Virgin Coconut Mint Refresher from Mama’s Fish House in Paia. I have the ingredients memorized. Yum
The beach itself is tranquil. The water is so pretty to take in, there is a small step into the water. And, OH! The sand doesn’t get hot. Yay. The floor of the lagoon is kind of gushy and coraly. The water was chilly in September. There is a little island out in the water. It was a popular photo op.
We went kayaking one day. Or, one minute I should say. I’m totally lame as a kayak captain, so instead of getting an individual, get the double and tell your husband what a great paddler he is! The current is really really strong. I’m much better at steering the beach lounger.
Gluten Free Bora Bora. Okay, if you don’t have food allergies, this is going to get more boring than above. I’m not celiac. I’m allergic to wheat. So, I can’t tell you if I’m cross contaminated or “glutened” I can taste wheat, but if there is a smidge of hidden wheat, I won’t know for a day or so. Okay, given that. The hotel was absolutely amazing. I communicated with the Food and Bev Manager prior to arrival. He placed in my profile that I’m gluten free. After giving the staff our room number they would always discuss or double check our order for gluten. They even bothered to mention their fries were fried in oil that had fried wheat. Luckily for me, it’s not an issue. It was so sweet! I felt like they really cared and were extremely attentive to my needs. If you suffer from celiac, you know how special this is. They were able to modify the menu. They had a yummy gluten free bread available at any time. They were just wonderful about it and it made the trip fun. The 4 Seasons is fabulous at preparing food at odd times. We like green veggies in the AM. “My pleasure” was the response. Lovely! The food at the resort is tasty. We enjoyed the fine dining restaurant two nights. It was lovely.
Vaitape Restaurants… I would just ask a lot of questions. “Is it grilled, are there marinades? Soy Sauce?” and adjust what I ordered without trying to educated with language barriers, etc. I feel great and had so much to eat. There is so much fruit and white rice around. I don’t expect to eat as healthy as I do at home. Finding a whole grain could prove challenging. But trust me, no one makes better French Fries than the French! I gained 6 pounds, all worth it.
After all that nitpicking about the bungalow… I actually loved it. It’s the gym I’m sad about… in a word? Sucks. The floor is so slippery it’s dangerous. It’s billed as open air, which will depend on how much politicking one wants to do with honeymooners enjoying 65 degree air conditioning with the doors closed. (I love a warm gym). The equipment might be fine for some, but I’m not a fan of most cardio equipment. I’m used to ARC trainers, bosu balls, step (not machine), and doing lunges in place. The slippery floor and lack of equipment nixed my plan. They have a jump rope which is not typical and a saving grace. Okay, and, one bench for a gym full of 15+ people? No room at all. I’m really surprised because the crowd is quite young and fit and although I’m not likely to do the 2 ½ hours a day I will at home, an hour first thing in the morning is key to a happy wife.
The Spa is teeny tiny (one toilet) and it’s advisable to book a few months in advance. I was able to squeak in a massage. The Polynesian technique was wonderful. My therapist was professional, talented, and very sweet.
The grounds are conducive to a lovely walk. We walked the resort frequently. We walked all the pontoons, the grounds with the lots for sale, etc. It’s pretty and full of beautiful views and trees. Easy to get around with signs and such. The only complaint someone might have is how long of a walk one might experience if they’re in the 300-400 wing of pontoons. I think the views are better there? Not too sure. We were on the other pontoon, 100 wing. We still had a walk, but were happy about it as we’re cardio junkies. We noticed a lot of other guests calling for rides. There is so much to do there. Badminton, Tennis, or sneak into the Teen Island Lounge and play with their video games, ha ha!
Transportation is what it is. Okay, upon arrival at the airport we met the Four Seasons staff at their booth who gave us a lei greeting and helped with luggage and then we boarded a boat full of other guests. The boat ride is beautiful. Then we were met at the lobby and whisked away on a golf cart with another couple. We waited while they were checked in to their room. Then we were taken to ours. The check-in procedure is strange. They actually write down the entire credit card number. I really don’t appreciate this. It’s a huge weak point in security. I’m sure they “Do their utmost to…” bla bla bla. But seriously, it’s 2010, they need a better way to keep track of things. This handwriting or imprinting must stop. I would rather the check-in procedure be at the front desk and with a swipe so the staff cannot view the numbers. We’ve had our credit card numbers stolen and used so much after big trips like this where they “do their utmost to ensure our security…” . We’ll see what happens this time. Nothing so far!
We took a scheduled boat to Vaitape. We had a sashimi lunch at Bloody Mary’s and then decided to go shopping when we realized we were going to miss our boat if the store didn’t hurry up and finish the mountains of paperwork required for taxes. The store offered to give us a ride back in their boat. (Smart jewelry store) and we stayed in town another hour and went to Bora Bora Home. YOU MUST SHOP THERE! (A word about shopping in Polynesia. If you do duty free, they all handwrite the credit card number down in case you didn’t file the papers correctly at the airport. This credit card number thing drives me crazy. We have a spare card we use for public reasons, ready to cancel at a moments notice. But, it’s unnerving to have to keep replacing credit cards once they’re compromised. I will say, we’ve had good luck so far, no calls. )
We then took the public boat again from 4 Seasons to Vaitape to town for dinner. We scheduled a private boat back because 6:45 to 9:45… what the heck were we going to do for all that time? There’s nothing to do in Vaitape, and we’re early risers, and we don’t drink. ? Soooo glad we did. The gentleman who took us back were both great! Then took us again a few nights later. Lovely Polynesian guys, can’t remember their names. Super nice and professional. It was very romantic to be on our private boat whisked away at sunset. My husband mentioned that there was some confusion about our asking for private transfers. We are happy to pay for such a service, but for some reason the bookings had to go through management and our regular concierge, Eric, wasn’t making the booking. So, I think there may have been some confusion or language barrier? Not sure what happened there. However, in the end the Four Seasons of course came through for us and we were totally thrilled.
Wow did you really read all that? So, all in all, If my big problems in life are being bothered by a small slippery gym, a missing sewing kit, and having to trust people with my credit card number while on a trip of al lifetime to Bora Bora in the sun, the wonderful sea, the super friendly people, the best fish in the world… Life’s pretty darn good! We’re looking forward to next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is a South Pacific paradise, combining the highest standards of service with ultramodern comforts and the natural ease and gracious hospitality of the Polynesian culture. Set upon Bora Bora's surrounding coral atoll, the Resort is a vast tropical grove, replete with coconut palms and pandanus trees. Meandering channels of pure turquoise lead to the main beach or to smaller lagoons, waiting to be discovered. Every vista is breathtaking. The Resort offers 100 overwater bungalow suites and seven beachfront villa estates, all designed with thatched roofs and decorated with indigenous artwork. Four restaurants offer a vast selection of creative culinary experiences, while the full-service spa is balanced by the powerful rhythms of the Pacific Ocean and the tranquility of the island's lagoon - offering an unmatched combination of relaxation and exhilaration. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora Hotel Bora Bora
- 4 Seasons Resort Bora Bora
- Four Seasons Bora
- Four Seasons Hotel Bora
- Bora Bora Four Seasons