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“What a fun and relaxing vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort

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Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   BP 6, Nunue, 98730, French Polynesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #16 of 18 Hotels in Bora Bora
Salisbury MD
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“What a fun and relaxing vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2009

I am surprised at how some rooms have roaches and others have none per some of the reviewers. Ours had no bugs whatsoever. I am not surprised that the air conditioning could not keep up. Though, to assist with this problem, keep the doors to the bathroom closed-the toilet closet and the shower. Go in and out of the room as little as possible. I was fully prepared for it to be very hot and it was and HUMID! It only rained for a few minutes for two or three days we were there. The feather bed was wonderful!

Meals-I was disappointed that only breakfast was available at the Motu (low season) but I did enjoy every meal. How could you not when you could have eggs, French toast or whatever with a simple request? I am not used to eating fish or vegetables at breakfast but they were tasty all the same. We had a meal plan (breakfast and dinner) which I highly recommend during the off season because even off the resort restaurants were not all open. If it’s already paid for, you can enjoy yourself more. Dinner was mostly the same with a slight variety in the main courses. Only once was dinner served in the Japanese restaurant. There may have been a language barrier with the wait staff at times. It is hard to get tap water at the restaurants when requested. The tap water in the bungalow was fine and I am sure it would have been too at the restaurants if I could get them understand what I was asking for. Everywhere we went to eat it was very warm so be forewarned. It is nice though to be able to cool off in the room or in the ocean though.

It was a little of a wait sometimes for the shuttle but it was beautiful going back and forth in the boat each time.

I can see why everything is expensive since a lot has to be imported. Did you know that electricity is provided to Bora Bora via diesel generators? They have the highest electricity rates of anywhere and the second to highest cost of living in the world if I recall correctly. If you want to get a bigger bang for your buck, you need to go elsewhere.

Flight-The Air Tahiti flight had comfortable amenities such as movies and games on the seat back in front of you and good meals; however, the seats I found to be uncomfortable, narrow, not much knee room and hard to sleep in.

The best part of the Sofitel Motu is PEACE and QUIET. Sitting out on the balcony all you could hear was the hum of our air conditioner besides an occasional bark or rooster crowing from across the water at the Sofitel Morara.

I had read about Monoi in a travel book and didn’t realize there were so many varieties of it but it is basically coconut oil used for skin softening, hair care, etc. It was only about $5 at the Tiara Market. Makes a nice souvenir but it does harden at room temperature (68 degrees) as the bottle warns (like fatty oils).

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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820 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Japanese first
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English first
Geneve
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2009

Was part of our dream, great result....
Nice location,nice food and great staff...special Thanks to Jean Philippe and all management..
We had a great time , Shark feeding is a must ....I got now a nice Tatoo on My shoulder
Very Good quality price but island a little bit expensive.

Dom

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2009

My wife and I stayed at the Sofitel Motu for a week in late January 2009. This was our second visit to Bora Bora. We chose the Sofitel Motu because we wanted a beautiful location, on a motu (and thus with the spectacular views of the main island -- FYI, resorts on the main island typically lack these staggering views). Having stayed at a different hotel on our first visit (Le Meridien, three years ago), we wanted to try something different in hopes of finding a better experience.

Sofitel Motu's greatest asset is its beautiful view of the main island. Its second greatest asset is that it has its own Coral Garden that makes for easy and wonderful snorkeling straight from the deck of your overwater bungalow. The resort's third and final asset is its privacy and size: the motu is available only to guests of the resort, and it has a small number of rooms. Unfortunately, this is the end of the list of assets, and everything else I have to say about the resort is negative. And since all three of the qualities I found worthwhile about Sofitel Motu can be found at other resorts, we recommend that you explore other options and stay elsewhere during your visit to Bora Bora.

Having read several reviews prior to our visit to Sofitel Motu, I am glad to say that we were not caught by surprise at the fact that the resort does not have a meaningful restaurant on site. There is a restaurant on the motu, but it only serves breakfast (and a rather poor breakfast at that). The restaurant DOES NOT serve lunch, dinner, snacks, or anything else (this also means no room service). If you want to eat any of these meals (and of course you will), you will be obliged to request and wait for a shuttle boat, which will transport you to the Sofitel's sister property directly across the lagoon on the main island. The boats are quick, but we found it to be an annoyance to request and wait for them so often. We rarely had to wait more than half an hour, but we always had to wait some amount of time, and since there are no real services available on the motu, it becomes tiresome repeating this process.

The staff at both Sofitel properties will make every effort to guide you to dinner at the restaurant at the sister property (and naturally, this is where the shuttle boat drops you off). BEWARE: THE RESTAURANT AT THE SISTER PROPERTY WAS CONSISTENTLY HORRENDOUS! I hate to be so harsh, but the food wasn't merely mediocre. It was terrible. And expensive. Mind you this wasn't our first trip to Bora Bora, and we are not shy about dropping a large sum at a nice dinner. But to pay $150-$200 per dinner (that's without wine), and for the food to be nearly inedible - - well, that's unforgivable. We'd like to chalk this up to a bad night by the kitchen staff, but we made the mistake of returning to the restaurant for dinner three more nights (total of 4 dinners), hoping it would improve, and if anything it actually got worse. So heed these words: DO NOT EAT AT THE SOFITEL BEACH RESORT'S RESTAURANT.

Returning to the Motu, we stayed in Horizon Overwater Bungalow, Room #114. This is reputed to be the best room at the resort, and we can attest that it probably does have the best view of all the rooms at the resort. Our room was tolerable, but generally disappointing given the price range of the room. The two greatest annoyances were: 1) air conditioning that barely worked (this is a problem on particularly hot and humid days/nights, and we had several of these); and 2) the roaches. We realize this is the tropics and a roach or two might be found at even the nicest of hotels. But even so, we view it as unacceptable to run across legions of them throughout a week-long stay (I probably killed between 4 and 6 roaches a day -- and most of those I found on our bed - - yeah, gross). Lower on our list of grievances was the inconsistent room cleaning habits of the staff. Sometimes they did a full clean; other days they didn't drop by at all; and on other days it seemed like a rushed job (and for some reason they never seemed to want to replace our dirty towels - - they kept hanging them back up, regardless of cleanliness).

I could spend more time writing this, but it isn't really worth it to me. I just felt it was important to warn fellow travelers regarding what to expect. Sofitel Motu does indeed have an absolutely fabulous view of the main island, and we really loved snorkeling off our deck in the Coral Garden. But in every other respect we found this resort to be woefully lacking. If it were a $300/night roach motel then we might be able to live with all of these drawbacks. But with rooms approaching and sometimes exceeding $1,000/night, the uncomfortable accommodations (outdated A/C and roaches everywhere), and the lack of services (no real restaurant on the motu, and TERRIBLE food at the restaurant at the sister resort) -- we found the Sofitel Motu to be a deeply disappointing experience.

Do yourself a favor and stay somewhere else. We love Bora Bora and will definitely return again in a year or two. But we've learned our lesson and will be staying elsewhere next time.

  • Liked — Fantastic view of the main island of Bora Bora
  • Disliked — Food & Services (or lack thereof); cleanliness; roaches; weak A/C
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2009

We stayed at the Sofitel in March 2008 for 5 nights as part of our Honeymoon. I must say, Bora Bora completely exceeded our expectations - is really is paradise. We loved the island.

We stayed in a beach bungalow (#11) and were very pleased with all aspects of our accommodation. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly and made us feel very welcome. The resort was very quiet and most times we were the only ones on the beach.

The pool is fantastic as is the view of the motu. We had a breakfast/dinner/room package. The breakfast was very nice, the dinner was a little so-so but still edible.

I would recommend staying at the Sofitel - we had a great time and didn't want to leave. Make sure you pay the extra for a beach bungalow - it really made our stay.

  • Liked — Our bungalow
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2009

We had a wonderful time at the Sofitel Motu Bora Bora. The room was very clean, we didn't see a mosquito the entire trip, there is a staircase that drops you right into the water from the bungalow, the motu is private, and the food was better here than on other islands we visited in French Polynesia.
Our recommendation is to bring your own snorkel gear. There are beautiful coral gardens on the opposite side of the motu that you can kayak over to. The gear at the hotel is limited, and make sure you reserve your kayak early in the morning...those go quickly too!

  • Liked — Location, cleanliness, beautiful views
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

We stayed at the Sofitel Motu for 5 nights on our honeymoon. The overwater bungalows are fabolous, even though the interior decor is not too innovative. The great thing about this resport is that it is located on a little motu just off the main island, so you have a view of the pittoresque mountains at the center of Bora Bora. The manager and the staff were very nice and welcoming and the place was not fully booked (and apparently, it rarely is), so we essentially had the entire island for ourselves. Another advantage is that the coral gardens, an excellent snorkeling ground, are within swimming distance from the overwater bungalows.

To sum up, the Sofitel Motu may be not quite as luxurious as some of the off-the-charts resorts in Bora Bora, but compared to those places, it offers an excellent value for money. We recommended it to friends who loved it as well.

  • Liked — Location and View
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2008

My husband & I had the most amazing honeymoon this past August at the Sofitel Bora Bora Motu. The staff was excellent & the rooms astounding. Someone else had posted that it felt like that had stayed on their rich Uncle's private island & I must agree. It was simply paradise!!!

  • Liked — It was beautifully appointed & was so private.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed August 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort

Address: BP 6, Nunue, 98730, French Polynesia
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
#10 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort is located on the island of Bora Bora in the heart of the exceptional Matira Bay. The island of Bora Bora is encircled by a protective necklace of coral. Breathtaking lush mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for the luminous turquoise, lapis and aquamarine of the sheltered lagoon. There is something truly unique about Bora Bora, with its sugary sands, rugged mountains, vivid blues, lush greens and soothing lagoon waters that make it the most romantic destination in the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach And Private Island Hotel Bora Bora
Sofitel Bora Motu Private Island
Accor Bora Motu Private Island
Bora Bora Sofitel
Sofitel Motu Bora Bora

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