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“The Best Family Trip Ever!”

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Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Ranked #1 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“The Best Family Trip Ever!”
Reviewed 21 June 2011

I took my wife and 4 kids to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora for our 20-year wedding anniversary.

An UNFORGETTABLE experience!

We had very high expectations going in. Friends had given the resort glowing reviews.
It was simply the best vacation we have ever taken.

To begin, I can't think of a more beautiful location than Bora Bora. Amazing views, wonderful people and the most spectacular water you have ever seen in your life.
So clear, blue-green and unspoiled. White sand that goes on and on...

From the moment we landed on the island, we knew that the trip was going to be special.
The kids were thrilled to see a big crab running past our luggage on the tarmac!
The attractive Four Seasons staff was there to greet us with a big smile and a beautiful old-fashioned wood boat.

The great thing about the resort is that it does not have a "big hotel" feel. It is a collection of small buildings that are spread out on the sprawling property. The floors and walkways are limestone and the attention to detail on all of the decor is a really nice touch.
(We went to dinner at the St. Regis next door, and the feeling was completely different. Very "big hotel" feeling, with a lot of fake looking decorations to cover up the polished marble that looked like it was brought in from any hotel in the US.)

We booked a 2 bedroom Villa on the beach.
Wow!
It was like visiting a multi-million dollar private home.
Everything was perfect.
Each morning, a delicious fruit platter was delivered (and devoured by the kids).
Every afternoon, a different treat was delivered around 4 or 5 o'clock.
Sometimes it was a collection of sweets. Other days it was homemade chips with different dips or guacamole.
Each day we looked forward to seeing what would arrive. It was always fantastic!

The pool and beach areas are all beautiful. I can't say enough about how spectacular the water is.
There is also a private lagoon at the resort with a French marine biologist named Oliver that taught the kids a lot about the fish in Bora Bora.
We swam with Oliver around the lagoon as he fed all of the different species, including puffer fish, parrot fish, a small octopus and even a moray eel. The thing was 9 feet long!

Definitely book the Waverunner tour around the main island.
It's the best way to view the breathtaking location, as well as all of the resorts, and reaffirms the fact that you made the right choice in staying at the Four Seasons.

I also highly recommend the Ray and Shark snorkel swim.
We went with a guide named Big Sky and he was so much fun. Very laid back and obviously loves what he does.
We swam with gigantic rays, thousands of colorful fish, and the shark swim was something we will never forget. There were dozens of black tip reef sharks swimming all around us. Minutes later, 6 foot lemon sharks swam along the bottom of the ocean, 35 feet below us.


I only have two negatives to relay:

1.) The dinner choices are not great.
The food is obviously high quality, but for those prices I expect more.
Very expensive and nothing that you looked forward to ordering again.
(For the record, the breakfast is wonderful and the restaurant staff could not be nicer or more attentive.)

2.) I was charged $150 for wi-fi internet service, which is available across the entire property. For the price that I paid for my Villa, this should have been included.
A ridiculous charge, but we had so much fun, and such a nice stay, that I didn't want to haggle over it at check-out.

As I said, it was the best vacation we have ever taken as a family and I can't say enough good things about the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.
Excellent location.
Wonderful staff and service.
Perfect trip.

Room Tip: You can't miss...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
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10 Thank ToastyJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Dallas, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2011

My husband and i went for our anniversary and had a wonderful trip! We travel quite often and this is the most beautiful place we had been to by far. This place far exceeded our expectations. The resort is stunning and the staff was wonderful! I would advise bringing a carry on with your toiletries and a change of clothes in case the airline loses your luggage like they did ours. We did not receive our luggage until the second day. The swimsuit in the gift shop i had to buy was $250 and i will never wear it again. The deoderant was $35. I would also advise buying a bottle of alcohol in the duty free shop at the airport or bringing in your checked luggage to keep in your room as drinks and food are very expensive. If you have the opportunity to travel here, GO! Just be aware that it is pricey but worth every penny. And the spa is a must! Shark and sting ray feeding is a must!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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5 Thank HalleyB88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sofia, Bulgaria
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 448 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2011

What I can say this is the first Four Seasons resort I do not rate with 5 stars.

And there is one main reason - Bad Food or let’s say it BAD for Four Seasons standards.

Having visited some of other Four Seasons flagship properties such as Four Seasons Seychelles (last October 2010) and also the new Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giravaru– I would say that we expected much more.

Let’s start with the good part.
This is for sure Four Seasons, the villas are great, the bed, the room service, the boat transfers, the honeymoon welcome package. Everything is perfect as expected. We had sunset lagoon view villa which was great. The Spa facilities were amazing, the complimentary steam rooms, and quiet Jacuzzi, great. The resort have everything you need. The Gym was a little bit disappointment, small – not so many weight lifting machines (especially compared to other Four Seasons).

The highlight of our stay was the diving with Bathys diving – great shark encounters many lemon sharks (at Tapu dive site), many grey reef sharks (Muri Muri dive site), black-tip reef sharks, schools of eagle rays, and of course the lovely and majestic Manta Rays. The Manta Ray dive site (Anau) is just so close to the hotel and the Manta’s are YEAR ROUND THERE. I dive close and personal with 4-5 manta’s every dive there.

Bathys diving is great dive operator and very highly recommended.


Now the bad news.

The Food in FS is average at best, no vegetables at all at breakfast which made my wife really disappointed as she eats vegetables a lot. The fish was very limited and not very tasty (only some mahi-mahi and some tuna and were not prepared well) Paying 300 USD for 2 without wine is what you can expect, but not the tasteless food. There was very limited room service menu, and honestly having your own overwater villa, what is best than having private meal on you veranda… We end-up eating only tuna (Nicoise style) because almost all other items were not good.

We come to Polynesia to eat fresh sea food and not burgers and pizzas ! Honestly for one week we had only one time great food at Ari Moana restaurant, where they serve some special lobster (special of the day outside of the menu). Some other European friends we met (Italians) also did not liked the food. And not that we are pretentious, we had absolutely GREAT FOOD in Four Seasons Maldives and Four Seasons Seychelles, both hotels highly recommended.

Don’t get me wrong it is beautiful place, but after you’ve been to Maldives (I’ve been 7 times) and you cannot compare it.

One of the legends for the paradise of Bora Bora should be told: Yes the fact is Bora Bora have NO beach, the most of the beaches incl. FS Bora Bora the beach ARE ARTIFICIAL. That’s how the overwater bungalows in French Polynesia were invented many years ago in the first place. There were simply no beach.

The other legend which must be exposed is : Yes there is crystal clear turquoise water which looks exactly like the brochures had promised, BUT YOU CANNOT SWIM in the lagoon, because of the so strong current and surge that you really going to end-up in the neighboring atoll.

I personally had to jump in the water with part of my diving equipment incl. my fins to save the nearby neighbors crying for help, which were in trouble (falling off from their kayaks) and after saving them it was good that my wife called the reception and help arrived with motorized jet . And please note we were there during the calmer “summer months” – May- July, which we were told are the calmest months. Please note that there are NO WAVES and still the swell was so strong.

Really, I’m a very good swimmer and very experienced scuba diver, and believe me you CAN NOT SWIM IN THE LAGOON WITHOUT VERY BIG RISK. Everywhere in the resort and on the villa have warnings of the strong currents and swells (good job by FS)

The Four Seasons in on a motu (island) and is only accessible by boat. The transfers from the Airport is a real rip-off (the same like the food prices)– it is a 15 minute boat ride for 200+ Euro…. The resort runs a shuttles to the main island twice a day, but is quite insistent that your visit there be limited to something like 3 hours. That this a little disappointing as an alternative you have to pay this crazy +200 Euro for the separate trip.

The last disappointment was on our departure date.
At that time the resort was only 50% full, and we had to check-out at 5pm. OK we did not get late check-out for free despite being on our honeymoon, something Four Season Seychelles done for free 7 months ago for us. Also when we paid 300 Euro for these few hours, we were surprised that the room was not serviced at all. In Four Seasons Seychelles we get free late check-out and the room was serviced properly in the morning.

All in all, maybe Bora Bora is nice for people living in California and the flight from LA is relatively short, but for us to fly from Europe there is so much trouble, that is not worth it.
Especially when we are so lucky with the Maldives – the best islands in the world. In the Maldives there is 10 times more fish, the food is better, the Maldives HAVE REAL BEACH, the diving is better, the prices are lower (still in USD), and the Maldivian people are some of the most friendly in the world (in line with Thai and Philipino people) and is so close to us in Europe. Also the beach and the nature of Seychelles is so much nicer than Bora Bora.

We will not be back in Bora Bora, it is not worth it ! I think we will come back to French Polynesia and we will visit Rangiroa (great new hotel Kia Ora will be open soon) and Fakarava which boast some of the best diving in the world, but not back to Bora Bora.

Room Tip: west ponton wings with sunset views
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank ivo_k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2011

When we decided on taking a trip to Bora Bora, we literally debated up until two days before leaving whether or not to take the plunge and upgrade from the Hilton to the Four Seasons. One we decided on the Four Seasons, it only made sense to go the extra mile and opt for the overwater bungalow. If you're going to do Bora Bora, do it right. Get the OWB.

As if landing at an airport in the middle of a lit-from below lagoon was not enough, our hotel had the most beautiful yacht and welcome staff. From the moment we stepped foot on the yacht until the moment we stepped off a week later, service was extraordinary, amazing, otherworldly and every other adjective out there.

Simply said, when we first walked into our bungalow, two things where said: 1) me: I think this place just destroyed me for all other hotels and 2) husband: if there's a Four Seasons anywhere else we go, we're staying there. We have visited and dined at Four Seasons all over the world and the one thing that was always consistent was the top notch service. For our first stay, the Four Seasons Bora Bora hit it out of the park for us and we're now happily converted.

Great memories: the entire staff knowing us by name, Gilles the Concierge who sent fresh coconuts to our room everyday after finding out, in passing, that I love fresh coconut, the handwritten note and welcome basket, the turn down service with strategically place slippers and, of course, that glorious, glorious water--which made the Caribbean/Hawaii/Cancun/Phuket and from what I hear, The Maldives, look pitiful.

Room Tip: Get the OWB and you will never regret it
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  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank templebar8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2011

Bora Bora is idyllic and Four Seasons Hotel has captured the beauty of the island in every detail. The overwater bungalows are very spacious and beautifully decorated - relaxed but stylish. We had a mountain view bungalow which I thoroughly recommend - I think the sunset view option is the more expensive but for the 4 nights we were there the sunsets weren't particularly impressive. At least the mountain is beautiful to look at no matter what the weather, or the sun, are doing. Food in all 3 restaurants is great....we went for the food plan that offered breakfast and lunch. This was good as it meant we could ignore the horrendous prices (Tahiti is very expensive!) and just enjoy the excellent food. Really couldn't fault the hotel - treat yourselves!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kiwi062
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviewed 10 June 2011

We have never been to Bora Bora, and booking from Atlanta was a little confusing at times. We were more than happy with our choice to stay at the Four Seasons. It was perfect in every way. Bora Bora is a pricey vacation, so it is great to know it was money very well spent. Thank you Four Seasons for an amazing honeymoon.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BethandJustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2011

The turquoise water and blue skies were everything the brochures had promised.

On arrival we were met at the airport by 'welcoming committee' from the hotel. They took care of our luggage and directed us to the hotel's private launch for the spectacular trip across the lagoon to the resort.

At the resort we were greeted by smiling faces and complimentary drinks. Check-in was quick and hassle-free followed by a ride to our room our bungalow in an electric cart.

We chose the basic over-water bungalow, and were pleasantly surprised at how large and well appointed it was! What must the top-of-the-line ones be like?

Everywhere we went in the resort we were met by smiling faces and the Tahitian greeting 'Ia Orana'. The staff are both friendly and professional and nothing is too much trouble for them.

There are a number restaurants to choose from ranging from buffets to fine dining. We mostly ate dinner in the fine dining 'Arii Moana' restaurant. This establishment features tasty, creative dishes and an extensive wine list. Be aware that this restaurant is closed on Saturdays.

We tried the Sunset Bar one evening Arii Orana was closed. The location was great - right on the lagoon with an excellent view of the settings sun. However, the quality of the food did not match the location. The Asian-themed dishes we ordered did not impress, with overcooked, dry chicken in one dish and another arriving at our table cold. To their credit, the staff took back the dishes without question and they did not appear on our bill.

Like most resorts in Bora Bora the Four Seasons in on a motu (island) and is only accessible by boat. The resort runs a launch to the main island twice a day, but is quite insistent that your visit there be limited to 2 hours. We found this a little disappointing as it didn't really give us enough time to explore. More frequent transport to the main island and the option for longer stays would be appreciated by many.

The resort can arrange various water-based activities including snorkeling and jet ski tours of the surrounding lagoon. These activities are arranged by the resort, but conducted by local operators. After some research we opted to arrange these activities directly with the operators as the resort adds a hefty surcharge for making the arrangements.

The resort itself is clean and well maintained. The beach and adjacent pool are attended by friendly staff who frequently delivered us goodies like frozen lychees, fresh fruit and cold water at not cost.

While not the cheapest vacation we have had, our week-long stay at the Four Seasons was thoroughly enjoyable, and we would visit there again given the chance.

Room Tip: The most basic over-water bungalow is superb.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Street_Smart_Tourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Property: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Address: Motu Tehotu BP 547, 98730, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Region: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
#1 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#1 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora 5*
Number of rooms: 107
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

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