Okay, I’m going to admit here that I did not sufficiently research resorts and places to stay before jumping on the Costco Travel deal that we saw. I was pretty much lazy and didn’t call right when the dates to sign up started and waited two weeks thinking “la dee da, who the heck spends this much money on a vacation anyway–I have time.”
Then when I called just to get more information, the lady goes, “Oh, you might want to hurry up…the diamond-end-of-the-pontoon-horizon-view-aka-best-view-deluxe-overwater-bungalow suites included in the package have completely booked out. But we can give you the junior one (I HEARD: closest to the beach) and there’s only like…one left. Or you can pay more to upgrade!” Wait, what?! In a panic, I rushed and booked it because hell, I wanted to go to Bora Bora and any room in Bora Bora is better than no room in Bora Bora, right?? Well, kinda!
But we super lucked out with our Costco package (I will tell you why in due time), and the Intercontinental was wonderful in both Moorea and Bora Bora! The only real thing I researched was the difference between the two Intercontinentals in Bora Bora, which I’ll share in the next post. Here’s some basics to get you started on trying to decide where to stay.
The good thing is there aren’t a whole ton of resorts in Bora Bora, so researching them is a lot easier than say, the Maldives, where there are a ton of atolls and the weather can apparently vary drastically in the North vs. the South. We tried to plan a honeymoon to the Maldives right after our wedding, but the sheer number of resorts and astronomical costs getting there from North America just overwhelmed us that we decided to postpone it for future travels and settled on a cruise. (Easiest thing to do right after a wedding, I kid you not.)
To find a place to stay in Bora Bora? Much simpler! There are 10 resorts on the island that I found when pooling lists and resources, and 5 of them are 5-star resorts. I’ve linked all the resorts here and added number of stars in parentheses and included the little map again from my prior post, which I find very helpful to see where the airport is and basic geography so I can orient myself.
- Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora (5)
- St. Regis Bora Bora (5)
- Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa (5)
- Le Meridien Bora Bora (5)
- Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach (4)
- Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island (4)
- Le Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora (3)
- Conrad Bora Bora Nui –Previously Hilton (5)
- Intercontinental Le Moana Resort Bora Bora (4)
- Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort (4)
But what I REALLY find more valuable is actually the tahiti.com website, which feels more like a one-stop shop to your research on each resort. Click on the little gold arrows for each resort to load way more details. I found this site to be very helpful for their review on each hotel, and the website is very clean, user friendly, and easy to read. You can get an overview of each hotel simply from just this one site, and they detail everything from amenities to types of rooms to dining! You can even find some vacation packages from their website. I wish I had perused this more before my travels, but no regrets at all!
What kind of room should you get? I highly recommend doing overwater bungalows if you can. I mean…you already paid a freaking buttload of money to get there, so you might as well experience what Bora Bora is known for–those luxurious and quaint thatched-roofed bungalows over the amazing blue waters where you can step right out into the water from your room! Even if you split your stay into one or two nights overwater and some in a different room, I think it would be worth the experience 🙂
TRAVEL PEARL: Besides for costs, I’d also consider the type of view you’d enjoy seeing at your resort and outside your window when you wake up every morning. The first 4 on the list have fantastic views of the iconic Mt. Otemanu, with IC Thalasso and Le Meridien having a more direct view of the mountain piercing the sky, and Four Seasons and St. Regis getting more of a side view, but strikingly beautiful in a different way. If you prefer more just open waters, IC Le Moana is situated on the mainland near Matira Beach and faces the water, as does the Conrad (Hilton). Peruse the hotel sites and bungalows you want to book carefully to get a better idea!
And what if you’re on a tighter budget and don’t want to stay at a resort? I actually found about 40 AirBnB spots on the AirBnB website! I have actually never used AirBnB before because my husband likes nice hotels (okay fine, I do too… I can’t put the blame all on him :P), but those who are experienced can take a look! Some look a little…ehhhh…but there are some decent ones too. I guess I didn’t think they would have AirBnB in a remote little island, but hey, if they can get internet there, then why not?
I also saw at least 2 full-blown houses for rental that you could share with about 5 couples (5 bedrooms) if you wanted! You get a private beach and pool all to yourself too. The cost, which was a little under 10k a night, comes out to about the same as staying at a 5-star resort, but you may save some money on food costs which can be pretty exorbitant at the 5-star resorts!
Wherever you stay will likely be gorgeous, since you can do no wrong here. But I do believe your experience can be elevated more at a good resort too, since you will be spending more of your time there! A lot of excursions do pick ups from the large resorts too. Read on next about the Intercontinentals and why I think the Intercontinental was a pretty good choice of stay!