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“Beautiful but overrated” 3 of 5 stars
Review of La Villa Mahana

La Villa Mahana
B.P. 941 Amanahune, French Polynesia
689 675063
Website
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Ranked #1 of 40 Restaurants in Bora Bora
Price range: $101 - $252
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Dessert, Delivery, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Restaurant Gastronomique de renommee internationale
Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Beautiful but overrated”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

My travel advisor recommended this highly acclaimed restaurant and was able to secure for us the VIP table, located at the top of the villa with a beautiful view of the courtyard. After reading all of the raving reviews online, my husband and I were both looking forward to celebrating my birthday here. I’m sorry to say that in spite of all of the hype, we were really disappointed in our meal here.

After being taken to our table, the server disappeared and didn’t return with water for what seemed like a long time. There were two ladies that ended up serving our table but always with long periods of time between their return so that we stayed thirsty the entire meal. In addition, they generally seemed aloof to our needs. My husband and I began to wonder if our VIP table was so private and out of the way that we were being forgotten. In retrospect, I should have gotten up and gone to search for them when we needed them or complained to management but we just kept thinking that it would get better.

The food here is good, but at best average. My husband and I are both world traveled and appreciate well-prepared food. We search out good places to eat whenever we travel and make our diners an important part of our trip. Regardless of whether it’s a $500 meal or a $20 meal, we simply enjoy good food. Both of us really wanted to come away raving over La Villa Mahana as so many people do, however, we both agreed that in our experience, it just wasn’t all that.

With the costly prices of a meal here and taking into consideration the cost of a ferry from the resorts, I must say that La Villa Mahana just wasn’t worth it. If you’re planning a trip to Bora Bora and you’re trying to stay within a tight budget, don’t feel bad if you must leave this off of your list. If money is no option then by all means, give it a try, maybe you’ll agree with everyone else. The VIP table is very lovely and private, try to reserve it but be sure to stay on top of the service.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Propriétaire at La Villa Mahana, responded to this review, February 25, 2014
Dear Madam or Sir ,


I have been reading with attention your comment, and I deeply regret that your experience was that disappointing.
Out of a concern for improvement, I ensure you that your whole comment will be taken into consideration.
However, most of the points you highlighted could have been improved on the moment, giving us the opportunity to correct something.

Honestly, this would have been a win-win ending where you would have enjoyed your dinner rather than an anonymous opinion that do to my team and me a lot of unnecessary harm.

If the bill was the bottom line, I would like you to know that the prices of the products here in French Polynesia just keep increasing.

Please contact me at damien@villamahana.com to refund the amount of your bill .

Yours faithfully,

Damien
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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584 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Republic, Ohio
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

We had read the reviews on Trip Advisor so we were aware this was a little more expensive than the other restaurants available on the island. We set up the reservation via our resort and the transfer was waiting for us when we got off the boat. We were quickly taken to one of the most beautiful restaurants. It was so intimate and romantic that it was as if it was a movie set. Service was amazing. We were glad that we were able to order ala carte since neither of us can eat everything that is in a planned meal. We both enjoyed our meals... he ordered beef that was so tender and full of flavor it was unreal. I had a prawn and rock lobster chowder. The presentation was impeccable. I was so impressed with how they made the chowder look.. it was just perfect. I was full off of just eating the prawn and lobster. I felt bad leaving any behind but it was not because it was not delicious... the coconut bread they serve prior to the meal was so soft and would love to learn to make it. My fiancé is not a fan of coconut but really loved the bread.
As always we were finished eating before anyone else... majority of those who dine on the island always enjoy a few courses so they plan that you will be at dinner for at least 2 hours. We went outside and our taxi driver was waiting... he asked which hotel and we told him and he advised to get in. We got in and a few more people got in the van. They were going to a different resort but we assumed that since most restaurants are on outer islands we all ride boats. Long story short.. he did not take us to our boat and dropped us off at another spot. This is not good since you have to be at the docks at a certain time or you are stuck on the main land all night. Eventually our resort sent a boat for us and we spoke to our front desk. It was not our resort nor La Villa Mahan's fault.. it was a taxi driver who did not listen to us. But La Villa Mahan did try to contact us that night to apologize. At that point we were tired and done with it all. But was impressed that they were concerned and wanted to apologize.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Gérant at La Villa Mahana, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Ia Orana Sir :)

Thank you for your comment and i would like to apologize one more time about the trouble with our complementary taxi . The driver as been fired that nigh.

Thank you for being so understanding and hope to see you in a near future to make something special for you

Wish you all the best

Damien:)
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Los Gatos, California
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“The Pearl in the Oyster”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014 via mobile

We left our resort and travelled across to La Villa Mahana one night and it was worth every moment of time. The restaurant is tiny and all the better for it. We had the standard fixed menu and every course was delicious with the Mahi-Mahi cooked with bananas being exceptional. I could have eaten that course twice! Bananas were also used for dessert which could have been too much, but wasn't. Again, they were wonderful.

Service was impeccable and the wine selection very good. Honestly, none of us had very high expectations but I'm delighted to say that we could have done and still had them exceeded. Expensive but worth every penny.

Visited February 2014
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Chefdamien, Propriétaire at La Villa Mahana, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Ia Orana :)

Thank very much for that beautifull comment. Appreciate it!

Wish you all the best and to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future:)

Damien :)
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Chicago
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“An unparalleled dining experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2014

When I first learned of La Villa Mahana, I had a hard time believing that it could really be all that good, given that Bora Bora is not typically on the top of a gourmet diner's "must eat there" list. Boy, was I wrong! It was seriously one of my top 10 favorite meals of my life. And the service was impeccable. But if you're thinking of going, you may want to call the concierge at your hotel a few weeks in advance of your arrival to be sure you can get a reservation. It's a very small restaurant, so it would be a shame to miss it, because there were no openings during your stay in Bora Bora. Bon Appetit!!!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Owner at La Villa Mahana, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Ia Orana :)

Thank you very much for a "dream come true" comment !!!!!

Wish you all the best and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future:)

Take care

Damien:)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“I've Died and Gone to Foodie Heaven”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

We had the best meal of our life here and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. This place is just amazing and its not only about the food - the candle-lit courtyard of this villa sets the perfect mood, the soundtrack is pure pleasure, and the service is impeccable. This restaurant is a gem, and if you are lucky enough to visit Bora Bora you cannot leave without coming here. Every course was better than the previous, Chef Damien is a magician! Yes, its expensive, but the only regret you'll have is that you weren't able to eat more! I would strongly recommend the 5-course Epicurean tasting menu, which lets you sample many of the Chef's creations. Be warned, the portions are generous! Make sure that you make reservations well in advance, as there are only 6 tables, and request a table in the courtyard. For more details about our visit to La Villa Mahana, please visit my blog http://traveladdictions.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/the-villa-mahana/

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chefdamien, Owner at La Villa Mahana, responded to this review, February 21, 2014
Ia Orana :)

Thank you very much for a "dream come true" comment !!!!!

Wish you all the best and hope to see you back with us in Paradise in a near future:)

Take care

Damien:)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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