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Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Ranked #1 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 November 2011

Went to Bora Bora and stayed here for our honeymoon. Fabulous, luxury resort. After about the 5th day we felt a little "trapped" as where to eat but that is just part of going to a small, remote island. All the food and drinks were fabulous but bring your check book. Spa was outstanding and customer service could not have been better!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Akseagal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 November 2011

The beauty is idyllic. The over the water bungalow we had was far away from the main area of dining, snorkeling beach, but the MOUNTAIN VIEW was well worth the walk! The concierge team is great. If you are waiting for a golf cart to pick you and your luggage up, you may want to stay on top of it. We waited over 20 minutes to be picked up and began stressing before we had to fly out. Beware of getting run over by the carts, this was ANNOYING! However, you are still in paradise so don't get too upset. ;) The pricing on the food is a bit crazy, but it's Four Seasons Bora Bora. The food is allright, but you can't beat the view. If you come here, bring snacks! Don't think about missing the hiking/anthropological tour with "Tama" Whalid. He was a serious highlight of our trip! We also immensely enjoyed ourselves on the jet skis.

This is a place to unwind, if you are the type that must be entertained 24/7 you will be disappointed, if you want a place for romance, nice strolls (minus the golf carts and bugs), this place is for you! The rooms are beautifully appointed. The beds are a bit too soft for my taste, but that's all I'd change about the bungalows.

Room Tip: ***Ask for a bungalow with a view of Bora Bora's mountain, anything less would be a real drag as...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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4  Thank HappyRascal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2011

Three-night stay in a beach-view bungalow, with service flaws that left us disappointed.

Good points: very nice resort, great work by the conciergerie team, efficiency and kindness of some staff members (including resort manager and assistant manager with whom we had a feedback talk after our stay), one excellent (Arii Moana) restaurant.

Average points: no great snorkeling at the resort itself (not much to be seen near the bungalow); have to take a boat to really enjoy Bora Bora sea life.

Some bad points:
- Bungalow was not ready when we arrived (not an issue in itself) but no transit room or convenient location was offered for us to change clothes and wait comfortably. Ending on all fours opening suitcases near reception is not a five-star experience; changing clothes in the toilets next to the swimming pool either, and leaving us stranded on the beach was the worst. We had been told that we would access our bungalow before 2 pm (which seems to be the check-in time) but nobody ever showed up. I had to use my cell phone to call reception twice after the deadline before someone finally came to the beach and took us to our bungalow well after check-in time. Entering your bungalow in wet swimsuits with a towel around you is not fine. Furthermore, no updates were provided while waiting at the beach, nor explanation given for the delay. (But resort assistant manager gave us compensation in the evening with a bottle of wine and some sweets).
- Many failures and mishaps in our room: one clogged sink, the living room TV set which was out of work on arrival (got repaired after 48 hours and numerous visits from staff / obviously a problem due to the new entertainment system), phone system that crashed making it impossible to place any call and made us walk to the reception any time we had something to ask (we even ended writing memos we dropped to the front desk staff), no slippers provided, missing beach bag, broken umbrella, and so on.
- During our stay, some staff gave us wrong information such as "Oliver the marine biologist is available any day during your stay" (he was actually on vacation).
- Toiletries in the bathroom are provided in large and open containers instead of the usual individual packages, which raises health issues. No information provided on the ingredients (allergies?), no expiration date either, and no guarantee on when the product offered was opened in the first place or on the way it is refilled (what about the risk that someone might have introduced something inside?).
- Finally some conception flaws in bungalow: the AC flows arrive right in the face of people laying in bed (bedroom) or sitting in the couch (living room). It is quite uncomfortable

To sum up, we did not experience the Four Seasons level of service we had been accustomed to in other resorts and we are supposed to get for the price paid.

Room Tip: To avoid walking a lot, choose bungalow close to the sea shore.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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15  Thank Eric_Beylon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2011

We stayed for 14 nights at the 4S Bora Bora in late October/early November. This was our fourth trip to French Polynesia and we decided to just pick one fabulous place to stay the entire time rather than island-hopping. We chose the 4S Bora Bora after reading various reviews on TripAdvisor.

Pros:
- The service is exactly what you would expect from a 4S property; the staff is mostly a blend of local Tahitians and French expats. Everyone was friendly and the concierge was extremely helpful in arranging our activities. Some other reviewers have stated that the 4S concierge adds a 20% upcharge to activity booking, but we did not see this on our activity charges when we compared the prices to those for direct booking. The one place the service suffered a few times was in the restaurant, but those were minor hiccups.

- The setting is absolutely stunning. I won't even try to describe it here... just look at the pictures and then try to mentally add another layer of beauty that doesn't come across in the pics. The beach chairs are nice and comfy; we didn't spend any time at poolside but saw many people going there day after day. The snorkeling in the inner lagoon is a nice diversion when you want to get out of your beach chair and move around a bit. We put on our fins one day and snorkeled all through the inner lagoons; there aren't a lot of fish to see beyond the main lagoon by "Teen Island" but it was a nice swim. The grounds are beautifully maintained in the main part of the resort, and you can walk beyond the spa to the back side of the motu to enjoy a more natural landscape and waves crashing on the rocky beach.

- On our last day, we booked a private excursion that included snorkeling stops and lunch on a private motu. This was by far the most expensive activity that we did, but it turned out to be our favorite and well worth the price. Billy, our guide and boat captain who was born and raised on Bora Bora, was friendly without being intrusive. He cooked us a lunch of grilled lobster, steak, fish, and chicken with amazing side dishes and coconut cake that was the standout meal of our entire trip.

- We booked several dive trips through the resort; the boats and equipment were clean and well-maintained. If you are planning to do several days of diving, be aware that they mostly visit the same 2 dive sites unless you request something different. On one of the dives, we were graced with the presence of 30+ enormous manta rays - I'm sure we counted the same ones multiple times as they were swimming all around us in big sweeping loops, but the entire time we were down (about 45 minutes) the mantas were with us.

- We also did the Reef Discovery excursion with Cristoff. It was a nice way to spend half a day, and one of the snorkeling sites we visited was a wonderfully shallow coral garden teeming with fish and macro life. Cristoff knows where all the good critters are hiding.

- The room was well-appointed and spacious. We stayed in room 228 (lagoon view overwater bungalow) toward the end of the first pier. We wanted to move to the 300-400 pier to get a little further away from the main resort, but due to the large business group who were there, the resort was full. But, in the end, we were happy with our room with the exception of the noise from the disgruntled neighbor (see below under "Cons"). Our bungalow faced west (on the "sunset" side); we had full sun on the deck by about 10:30 am and it stayed that way until the sun started setting around 5pm. The wind was pretty fierce on some days, and we did have 3 days of terrible rain, but the weather the rest of the time was OK. Since we were there for 2 weeks, we didn't have issues with the way you had to order mini-bar items in sets of 6, but I could see where that would be a problem if you were only staying for a couple of nights.

- Our room rate included breakfast, so we went to the buffet every morning. They have just about everything anyone would want, from fresh juices to made-to-order omlettes, cold cereal to sliced meats and salmon, and of course, pastries and breads. We found the lunch and dinner menus a bit limited, and wish they would either expand the menu or change it up every few days. The food was just OK, nothing to write home about. I've seen a lot of reviewers complain about the cost of food, but this is French Polynesia where most items have to be shipped in to the island. Yes, it's expensive, but you have to expect that.

- We had dinner at Bloody Mary's one evening; we had been there about 10 years ago and it hasn't changed a bit beyond the updates to the celebrity visitors board out front. It's definitely a place that you go more for the atmosphere more so than the food. There is something about sand beneath your feet while you're eating dinner that's just so appealing.

Cons:
- There is a disgruntled local living next to the resort who has posted three very large signs complaining about the resort construction and its impact on the lagoon. While you can ignore the signs by looking the other way, these folks were extremely loud on several mornings and blasted music that was so loud we couldn't really relax in our bungalow. If you stay on the 100-200 pier, you may be bothered by this; they were particularly loud on Sunday mornings (both Sundays that we were there).

- Boat transfer to the main island is inconveniently timed during the day, and expensive in the evenings. Most of the other resorts offer a more flexible transfer arrangement that is complimentary. 4S should rethink its approach to the boat transfers.

- The first week we were there, there was a large group of people conducting a business convention. At first, we were looking forward to them leaving so that the resort would be less crowded... but we didn't realize that when they did leave, only one of the restaurants would be open for dinner on a given evening. It was very annoying that we could not go to the ala carte restaurant on nights that only the buffet restaurant was open; we ended up ordering room service on those nights.

- As many other reviewers have noted, the food is not stellar and not what you would expect from a four- or five-star resort. It wasn't awful, just not very good. Since we had read the reviews on Trip Advisor, we knew what to expect so we weren't terribly disappointed.

- Being there for 2 weeks, we did laundry a couple of times. None of the dryers we tried worked very well (maybe because of the high humidity??) and we had a tough time getting our clothes dry.


Although I've listed some "cons" above, we were happy with our stay at the 4S Bora Bora and would stay there again.

Room Tip: OWB's on the 100-200 pier are closer to the main resort, but also get some noise from the neighb...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MS-214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2011

This resort is perfect in every aspect. Attentive friendly service. Beautiful manicured property. Amazing dining on the resort. Relaxing exotic spa. I can't wait to return to Four Seasons Bora Bora!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank liza_loves_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2011

We stayed here in October 2011 and loved every minute of it! We had booked with Lisa at Santa Barbara Travel and were extremely pleased with the entire experience. Shortly after booking, she had called to notify us that when she'd spoken to the 4S, they had mentioned that a large group would be on the property at the same time as the dates we had requested so she wanted to make sure we wouldn't be bothered if the resort was full. We said it wasn't an issue and then secretly hoped we'd get an upgrade from the Beach View water villa to at least the Lagoon or Mountain view.

When we arrived at the 4S, our hostess was extremely helpful in pointing out the different areas in the resort, then pulled into a secluded pathway and asked if someone had told us that we'd been upgraded to a garden villa. We were a little bit confused when she threw open the doors and started showing us around the incredibly large and beautiful 2-bedroom villa. It was amazing!!! There were 2 huge bedrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, a large living/dining area, 3 full bathrooms, an spacious outdoor plunge pool, an outdoor jacuzzi, plenty of chaise lounges in the sun and shade, an indoor/outdoor jacuzzi off the master bath, hammock and a private beach/chaise lounges. We were in villa 502 which was set far enough back from the beach to provide total privacy (unlike the other villas that we could see while we were out paddle boarding). Since we'd had the overwater experience prior to Bora Bora in Moorea, as well as in the Maldives a few years ago, we weren't bothered with not having an overwater villa. This was the best upgrade that we've ever received in our travels.

So, things we particularly liked about the 4S included:
- The Sunset Bar was really great. Our first night there we went for a drink and then decided to order some food as well. My husband had the Sweet and Sour Mahi Mahi and I had the Beef Waygu, both were delicious. I was full after eating only half the dish but someone managed to finish the entire plate!
- There was ample food at breakfast and definitely something that would have appealed to everyone. Hot foods, cheeses, meats, cereal, baked goods, yogurt, muesli, fruit. Really great food and the service was excellent.
- There were a number of watersports activities available free of charge. We used the paddle boards and kayaks a few times, then also went to the 2pm session with the marine biologist. It was very interesting and he pointed out some of the different types of fish and coral in the lagoon. A pleasant afternoon although I did get a bit chilly in the water towards the end.
- Service overall was fantastic. We thought it was great how they provided us with details of our activities the night before and found all the staff - housekeeping, front desk, concierge, watersports, restaurant - to be helpful and pleasant. We were very pleased with the small things they did such as: noting the bottle of champagne we had brought with us and setting it on ice, bringing us sweets the night before we left, the great turn down service and fruit baskets every day. One morning, a fly got stuck in my juice while I was at the buffet. After I sat down but before I could turn around to ask for more juice, a new glass appeared and the old one was taken away. Also, on the ride back to the airport, a woman on the boat had been admiring the hostess's flower hair piece. After we said our goodbyes to the hostess, she came back to the couple with a flower hair piece for the woman. Another thing - although there were many many golf carts on the pathways at night, we noticed that when they passed us, they'd turn their lights off so it wasnt too bright. It's these small touches that really made us appreciate the service at the 4S.
- Lastly, during our stay we had booked dinner on the island and so had booked the boat across with the 4S. On the way to the harbor, we suddenly swerved and side-swiped a fishing boat that had been out in the lagoon without its lights on. It was definitely enough of an impact to be initially concerned. After going back and forth with the drivers, we realized that our boat was fine but they were trying to communicate with the fisherman to see if they were okay (they were). After some of the passengers on our boat demanded to be brought to the mainland, the drivers dropped us off then went back to the fisherman and notified the authorities. We were very pleased with the conduct of the drivers and of the fact that they had noticed the boat and been able to swerve and miss hitting it full on. Apparently, these night fishermen are a bit of a problem as some of them don't realize or don't care to have lights on their boat. This could have been a far worse situation but we strongly believe that the 4S drivers did everything that should have in a given situation.

And on that note, the one thing that we were unhappy with at the 4S was the timing for the boats. We realize it takes awhile to get from the 4S to the harbor but would have preferred more time on the mainland for dinner. We had dinner reservations at Villa Mahana and had decided to take the 5-course menu. Unfortunately, dinner was so rushed that we didn't have as much time to enjoy it as we would have liked. The food was great (and I've already posted my review) but the courses were timed in such a way as to get us back to the harbor and on the boat back to the 4S. It's also challenging because some couples decide to take the 5-course and others decide for ala carte. Obviously the timings on these dinner will be very different and it would have been nice to have the option of returning to the resort earlier or later in the evening.

Overall, amazing trip. Yes of course it's expensive but we really thought the trip was worth the every penny we spent. We didn't get to try the spa but the location between the lagoon and the ocean was beautiful. We also didn't snorkel much in the open lagoon by the water villas but we did see an eagle ray and sting ray at separate times while we were paddle boarding. It's a beautiful resort with great service - if you're thinking about it, you should definitely book here!!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank DB129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2011

This property is a lovely example of 4Seasons gracious service. The property itself is stunning. Views are better than the pictures. It's the kind of property people save for a most special trip, & it delivers. But yes, it is expensive. It's an island nation in the middle of nowhere & it's the dream of many people...yep, it's not cheap. But it's not a letdown either. It's why we all want to go there. Turquoise waters, gracious service, warm nights & laid back chill. This property was wonderful even with kids! The honeymooners were abundant but the property is easily big enough for all needs. The Spa was fabulous & the meals were excellent. The food is truly incredible, yes it's not cheap, but if you have to pay top prices...it should be excellent. We never left the property to eat; splitting our time between room service & dinners in each restaurant. We made the most of our time on the free daily ferry a couple times, so we got a little sightseeing in & shopping, but this vacation was about relaxing in a beautiful destination. If we wanted a more active destination Langkawi 4S or Maui 4S or Hualalai were those choices. This was just time in paradise...sigh... The staff at this property were wonderful. And having a washer & dryer by our over water bungalow was a great way to help reduce the suitcases needed. Our only bummer was the cost for internet in the rooms. Hope they are able to change that. Overall, it was a wonderful vacation destination!

Room Tip: The overwater bungalows are simply fabulous. Rooms closer to office are nice, but if you want to wa...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Sassypants01
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

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: £877 - £2,044 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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:
4 Seasons Resort Bora Bora
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora Hotel Bora Bora
Four Seasons Bora
Four Seasons Hotel Bora
Bora Bora Four Seasons

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