Our family two adults and two teens just returned from a dream vacation to Moorea and Bora Bora. We had read great reviews about the Four Seasons and Intercontinental Thalasso. While in Bora Bora, it is not easy to explore other resorts or restaurants off resort, so we decided to spend four evenings at Four Seasons and two at the Intercontinental Thalasso. While we enjoyed our stay at the Intercontinental, the Four Seasons experience is far superior. We booked the overwater bungalow including breakfast at both resorts at basically the same rate around $1,000 per night. Four Seasons delivered a most-incredible five star experience, while Intercontinental delivered the type of experience you might expect at a four star resort.
There are many examples where comparatively, the Four Seasons exceeded our expectations, here are a few highlights...
Arrival and Check-in The Four Seasons arrival experience immediately makes you feel welcome from the moment you arrive on your flight. The boat to hotel is gorgeous and comfortable and you are given a cold towel. The boat arrives at reception and you are greeted upon arrival and taken by golf cart directly to bungalow for in room check-in by welcoming lovely staff. Room had free fruit, unlimited free water, cookie with our daughter's name, stuffed animal rays on each of the kid's beds and the beds were ready and inviting. Our hostess made a dinner reservation for us and the restaurant greeted us by name when we arrived without need for us to even introduce ourselves.
Intercontinental check-in - mistakes on our reservation were corrected by us at check-in such as our address, room type, however it was not corrected by check-out. The bed set-up was not prepared for four people, and a roll-in later arrived upon our request.
Customer Service Four Seasons Staff strive to remember your name and family members, seem happy, always greet you, proactively offer golf cart rides if they see you walking and seek conversation with guests. The pool staff help you find a chair of your choice, bring cold water, and coconut. Plenty of free sunblock. If you need directions, staff will show you to your destination.
A few examples...
While we were playing volleyball my wife injured herself and got up gingerly, although there were no staff in the immediate area aside from a grounds worker in the distance, within moments several staff arrived in golf cart to offer her medical attention. The next day a receptionist in the lobby asked my wife how she was feeling from her injury.
When ordering a glass of wine at meals, we are poured a tasting first
At breakfast, a mosquito flew into my daughter's juice. Before my daughter could even put down her glass, a waitress saw it, took her glass from her and brought her a new one.
The evening before check-out the concierge called to suggest we remain in our room until 2pm the following day, which was the time we were scheduled to depart.
At the Intercontinental...pool boys were very nice, but generally not easy to find. Needed to track down someone to check-out snorkels and sports equipment. Were told only two tennis racquets, because others were broken.
Intercontinental restaurant staff were limited in numbers and would not come to table to remove plates or offer a coffee refill. Tables did not regularly have salt/pepper and would need to take it off of another table. Lots of flies circling table made eating breakfast unenjoyable. Breakfast buffet not well stocked timely. A gentleman waiting for scrambled eggs to arrive for 5 minutes, approached the asked the omelette chef to request she make him scrambled eggs, but she refused and said she will only make him an omelette. As a result, we noticed a the Four Seasons, more guests had a positive outlook and were happy. At the Intercontinental, guests would competing with each other for the last of an item at the buffet knowing there would be a substantial wait for replacement.
At the Intercontinental bar, when deciding whether to order the $25 vs the $15 wine per glass, I had requested the bar tender if I could taste one. I was the only customer at an otherwise empty bar. She was inconvenienced by the request and appeared to need to obtain approval of someone before she could come back with a taste.
Similar to Four Seasons, we were scheduled to depart at 2pm. As a result of our Four Seasons experience, we called the front desk to request a late check-out. We were not accommodated. The hotel does provide a day room with a shower. The room was very humid, moldy and only had two towels to accommodate the four of us following our showers. We requested additional towels, but they did not arrive in time.
The concierge at Four Seasons seemed more knowledgable about activities and excursions. and the Four Seasons regularly kept you up to date with your personal agenda of scheduled activities. The concierge was also very accommodating when we requested a change to the jet ski tour because we were concerned with the choppy condition. I did learn after the fact, that there are really only a few companies that provide these tours and if you are looking to save a few bucks, you can book them directly.
Pool and grounds
The Four Seasons grounds, facilities, rooms, pool and beach are stunning and immaculate. The pool and beach furniture is plentiful and comfortable. The exercise room has plenty of fresh fruit, cold towels, water bottles, and coffee service and a view of the ocean. The Intercontinental didn't have enough beach furniture. Some guests sat on towels. The Intercontinental exercise room had less equipment, a water cooler and one apple in a basket.
The Intercontinental did have a number of good activities by the pool, daily ray feeding, and in the evening a really great acoustic concert by two musicians on the beach that was very nice. Kudos also to Christophe, the manager of the Intercontinental for listening and seeking ways to continually improve.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is located between the two hearts of Motu Piti Aau, a coral island on the barrier reef. The Deep Ocean Spa is the centerpiece, but the resort offers lots of cultural and recreational activities to fill your days including canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, stargazing and handicraft demonstrations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora Hotel Bora Bora
- Intercontinental Thalasso Hotel Bora
- Intercontinental Thalasso Resort Bora
- Intercontinental Bora Bora