We were not expecting great things from this resort having stayed at Four Seasons & St Regis Bora Bora, but we were pleasantly surprised. We chose to start our trip here for 3 nights, then work our way up to St Regis. We just booked a beach bungalow to keep costs down.
The renovations are amazing! The interior of the bungalow is absolutely beautiful - they have done a great job. They are not huge bungalows however the decor makes up for that in my opinion.
Being in a beach bungalow (although beautiful with a great view, and direct access to lagoon) didn't make us feel that we were in Tahiti. Tahiti to us is "overwater bungalows"!
Luckily on day 2 we got upgraded to an overwater bungalow due to our SPG status. Our whole experience changed immediately. There is something really special about being over the water. The interior of the bungalow was exactly the same - except for the huge panels of glass on the floor (Four Seasons & St Regis only have tiny panels!).
I'm probably the first reviewer to say this, but we didn't find the food/drinks to be overly expensive. It was ok (much better than the other 2 resorts above). A-la-carte dinner at the restaurant was a stand-out for us on this trip. We ate there twice and were really impressed. It is certainly 5 star.
Unfortunately, the lunch restaurant on the beach was horrible. Firstly, the decor is quite ugly (timber rocking chairs in hideous colours), and our meals were not edible. One of the salads consisted of tinned vegetables - awful. Room service in the bungalow is definately the way to go for lunch. The food delivered was wonderful.
The staff here are friendly however I've noticed at all 3 resorts that most staff are on "Tahiti time" and it is not uncommon for them to forget requests, and take a long time to make drinks etc. It is frustrating, but we just ended up putting up with it. Out of the 3 resorts however, the Le Merid staff were the best. Alain is so friendly and made our stay special.
The water in front of the bungalows is quite deep so if you don't feel comfortable swimming there, perhaps choose a beach bungalow. It seems that most Bora Bora accomodation is on deep water unfortunately. Moorea has shallow water.
The deck of the bungalow wasn't very private but that didn't bother us. You are quite close to the bungalows next door, but it's actually quite nice seeing guests chat to each other. Our section was very social! But you certainly need to wear full bathing suit whilst sun baking!
Overall, we enjoyed our time here more than the other 2 more expensive resorts, and we are very fussy. This place has a lovely small "boutique" feeling about it. It is clean and well maintained, and the scenery is just spectacular. We also loved the fact that the pools were on the beach with infinity edges & views of the water. This is how it should be! St Regis pools don't have this.
There is really no day spa - just one of the overwater bungalows with 2 massage beds, and they call in a therapist when you want an appointment. I wouldn't bother with this - its not overly exciting.
Be sure to get one of the two picnic baskets! We got the second one and couldn't believe how much food was in it! And it was so cheap! The leftovers lasted us for 2 days!
A previous reviewer complained about the fitness centre - I have no idea what they are talking about! The gym is lovely! We were pleasantly surprised and the equipment was great.
As for the turtles in the lagoon - WOW! What a wonderful experience. This alone makes this resort stand out. It is very special.