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French Polynesia - Bora Bora

French Polynesia - Bora Bora

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Old Jul 5, 18, 9:13 am
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French Polynesia - Bora Bora

Wondering if anyone has stayed at these recent places to provide some insight. Planning on going in May 2019. Unfortunately, the Brando is out of our price range this trip so we're thinking of doing Bora Bora instead.

Deciding between the FS mountain view or IC Thalasso Prem Pool Villas (including dinner). The rooms at St Regis seem too dated for my liking. Anyone been to either one recently?
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Old Jul 5, 18, 9:44 am
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I've seen both ... my impression is that Four Seasons more Polynesian in its decor, Thalasso a bit more contemporary.

If you go for IC Thalasso, I'd compare the Virtuoso vs. "Dream and Dine" package. Virtuoso costs less ($245 less per day for a random set of dates) and includes daily breakfast and complimentary dinner for two on one night of your stay. Definitely a better value for a short stay.
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Old Jul 5, 18, 10:59 am
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I stayed at the FS Bora Bora for my honeymoon. It is beautiful but we really found service and food lacking. That was four years ago though.
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Old Jul 5, 18, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by atojbk View Post
Wondering if anyone has stayed at these recent places to provide some insight. Planning on going in May 2019. Unfortunately, the Brando is out of our price range this trip so we're thinking of doing Bora Bora instead.

Deciding between the FS mountain view or IC Thalasso Prem Pool Villas (including dinner). The rooms at St Regis seem too dated for my liking. Anyone been to either one recently?
The StR is a lot newer and the villas far larger and fresher than those at the FS. We certainly didn’t find anything dated about the furnishing or decor of the StR villas.

The StR is also the best dining of any of the resorts at Bora Bora, as evidenced by the ridiculous number of FS guests coming over to the StR for dinner (and almost no one doing the reverse). I think your expectation may be off. The StR and the FS both are way nicer than the IC, too.

Feel free to check out my StR review from April 2016. We’d go back in a second.

https://www.flyertalk.com/hotel-revi...reat-food-1362

The newly renovated Conrad also may be worth a look (used to be a Hilton but they renovated and upgraded its amenities a bit) since you’re on a budget. The IC hasn’t been renovated in a while and has had all manner of air con and service issues for the last few years.
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Old Jul 5, 18, 11:53 am
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F&B has always been awful at FS Bora Bora, so I am not entirely surprised guests are still taking the boat to other resorts for dinner.

I wonder if service improved under Maria Jagla.
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Old Jul 5, 18, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post


The StR is a lot newer and the villas far larger and fresher than those at the FS. We certainly didn’t find anything dated about the furnishing or decor of the StR villas.

The StR is also the best dining of any of the resorts at Bora Bora, as evidenced by the ridiculous number of FS guests coming over to the StR for dinner (and almost no one doing the reverse). I think your expectation may be off. The StR and the FS both are way nicer than the IC, too.

Feel free to check out my StR review from April 2016. We’d go back in a second.

https://www.flyertalk.com/hotel-revi...reat-food-1362

The newly renovated Conrad also may be worth a look (used to be a Hilton but they renovated and upgraded its amenities a bit) since you’re on a budget. The IC hasn’t been renovated in a while and has had all manner of air con and service issues for the last few years.
thanks for the review link. I read that IC re-did 10 bungalows late 2017 which drew me to it.

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa Opens 10 New Pool Overwater Villas and 4 Brando Suites - Goway Agent
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Old Jul 5, 18, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by atojbk View Post
thanks for the review link. I read that IC re-did 10 bungalows late 2017 which drew me to it.

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa Opens 10 New Pool Overwater Villas and 4 Brando Suites - Goway Agent
Understood. But unless you’re sure to get a renovated villa, you’d be pretty unhappy, I think. And based on the number of reports of resort wide air con and service failures, as well in-villa air con fails, I’d avoid the IC. It isn’t to the same luxury standard.

Keep in mind also that this is the Luxury Forum. The standard and expectation here are quite a bit higher than average. My StR review is qualified by my stays at plenty of other Aman, Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, and the like. Most people staying at IC resorts don’t have that perspective or experience.
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Old Jul 5, 18, 12:44 pm
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I know Bora Bora very well. First visit back in the 1980s when it was truly paradise. The main thing here is the view across the lagoon to Mt Otemanhu. Without question the hotel with the best view is the Pearl Beach Resort. That has the absolute no-contest classic view. Next best view is probably the Four Seasons. Worst views are the Thalasso and the Meridien. None of the 'mainland' hotels like the IC and Marara have great views. The St Regis is only so-so.

The next thing to realise is that all the hotels are over-priced, under-achievers aimed 100 percent at honeymooners from Alabama and Idaho. So I don't think it's worth paying top dollar rates for the FS or the St Regis when you will spend every minute of every day getting angry about being ripped off.

So my advice is go to the Pearl. Best view. Nice beach. It's alone on its own motu and doesn't overlook other hotels which is another bug-bear of the FS etc. And the Pearl is realistically priced and also has some attractive packages linked to their other hotels, such as the one on Tikehau (they also own The Brando).

None of these are luxury hotels in the sense recognised by this Forum. These hotels are machines with a massive turnover of guests.

My other advice is Le Tahaa or Vahine Island. The best view of Bora Bora. And no need to go there, although I still think, despite the over-development of hotels, that Bora Bora is one of the most exquisitely beautiful landscapes on Earth.

Last edited by Pausanias; Jul 5, 18 at 12:58 pm
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Old Jul 5, 18, 12:48 pm
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Here’s a map of all the Bora Bora resorts. Might help in evaluating the differences between views.

https://www.google.com/search?q=map+of+bora+bora+resorts&rlz=1C9BKJA_enUS 788US789&oq=map+of+bora+bora&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j5j 0l2.4097j0j7&hl=en-US&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#imgrc=jUeDVZBljZ8S6M:

There are differences in view between different lodging categories at all the resorts. But there are amazing views from many of the public areas at all of the nearby resorts, too...including from both the FS and StR, which are almost adjacent. You can swim between the FS and StR if you’re a decent swimmer.
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Old Jul 5, 18, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Pausanias View Post
I know Bora Bora very well. First visit back in the 1980s when it was truly paradise. The main thing here is the view across the lagoon to Mt Otemanhu. Without question the hotel with the best view is the Pearl Beach Resort. That has the absolute no-contest classic view. Next best view is probably the Four Seasons. Worst views are the Thalasso and the Meridien. None of the 'mainland' hotels like the IC and Marara have great views. The St Regis is only so-so.

The next thing to realise is that all the hotels are over-priced, under-achievers aimed 100 percent at honeymooners from Alabama and Idaho. So I don't think it's worth paying top dollar rates for the FS or the St Regis when you will spend every minute of every day getting angry about being ripped off.

So my advice is go to the Pearl. Best view. Nice beach. It's alone on its own motu and doesn't overlook other hotels which is another bug-bear of the FS etc. And the Pearl is realistically priced and also has some attractive packages linked to their other hotels, such as the one on Tikehau (they also own The Brando).

None of these are luxury hotels in the sense recognised by this Forum. These hotels are machines with a massive turnover of guests.

My other advice is Le Tahaa or Vahine Island. The best view of Bora Bora. And no need to go there, although I still think, despite the over-development of hotels, that Bora Bora is one of the most exquisitely beautiful landscapes on Earth.
Thanks, will look into the Pearl. I can definitely tell all the resorts in Bora are not up to the typical luxury standards. My wife insists of going unfortunately. She's obsessed with that bloody mountain hence why we're not considering Vahine or Tahaa.

I figured I could cut the bleeding with Thalasso since it would be a pretty new room and included daily dinner..
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Old Jul 5, 18, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by atojbk View Post
Thanks, will look into the Pearl. I can definitely tell all the resorts in Bora are not up to the typical luxury standards. My wife insists of going unfortunately. She's obsessed with that bloody mountain hence why we're not considering Vahine or Tahaa.

I figured I could cut the bleeding with Thalasso since it would be a pretty new room and included daily dinner..
Sounds like you may find more assistance and guidance at the IC Thalasso thread:

IC Thalasso Bora Bora Master Thread [merged]
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Old Jul 5, 18, 4:07 pm
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Originally Posted by atojbk View Post
Thanks, will look into the Pearl. I can definitely tell all the resorts in Bora are not up to the typical luxury standards. My wife insists of going unfortunately. She's obsessed with that bloody mountain hence why we're not considering Vahine or Tahaa.

I figured I could cut the bleeding with Thalasso since it would be a pretty new room and included daily dinner..
tahaa, meh.... don’t worry the view and the lagoon will make up for the ubiquituous bad food. Onlythe sushi restaurant at the st Regis or bloody Mary’s for its atmosphere are good or fun. We stayed at the st Regis in one of their better suites but the le meredian would’ve been just fine
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Old Jul 6, 18, 11:43 am
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I stayed at Thalasso for a week over New Year's Eve last year. We absolutely loved it. The OWB's are 1000 square feet, very well laid out, with a large walk in closet (which is nice to stay organized when there for a week). The views of the Mountain are the best, in my opinion. Food was decent, nothing to write home about. I just can't speak highly enough about the hard product. We really enjoyed it!
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Old Feb 8, 19, 7:10 pm
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Curious if there are any updated thoughts about hotel options in Bora Bora? We're in the early stages of planning a 4 night stay in Bora after a 4 night stay at the Brando. I actually worry about there being too much overlap between the two (Moorea or Rangiroa would bring a different vibe), but am not willing to sacrifice on either bucket list item on my first visit to French Polynesia.

Leaning toward the FS Bora since it's actually the cheapest by far for a OWB but want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for a huge letdown. The F&B consistently shows up in the negative reviews but I'm not too worried since I'll have about 10 pounds of extra fat stored after the all-inclusive stay at Brando and won't be looking for fine dining. Also the website is pretty up front about construction right now so would be interested in hearing any first-hand reports about the inconvenience.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 8:18 pm
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Originally Posted by sfoactuary View Post
Curious if there are any updated thoughts about hotel options in Bora Bora? We're in the early stages of planning a 4 night stay in Bora after a 4 night stay at the Brando. I actually worry about there being too much overlap between the two (Moorea or Rangiroa would bring a different vibe), but am not willing to sacrifice on either bucket list item on my first visit to French Polynesia.

Leaning toward the FS Bora since it's actually the cheapest by far for a OWB but want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for a huge letdown. The F&B consistently shows up in the negative reviews but I'm not too worried since I'll have about 10 pounds of extra fat stored after the all-inclusive stay at Brando and won't be looking for fine dining. Also the website is pretty up front about construction right now so would be interested in hearing any first-hand reports about the inconvenience.
Brando should be last !

Reread thread especially Pausanias ‘

My first visit to French Polynesia was in ‘ 72 & last was last March
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