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“Luxury and Service - Near Perfection” 5 of 5 stars
Review of InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora

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InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Motu Piti Aau, 98730, French Polynesia   |  
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Ranked #3 of 18 Hotels in Bora Bora
Indiana
Top Contributor
223 reviews 223 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
387 helpful votes 387 helpful votes
“Luxury and Service - Near Perfection”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2010

The Intercontinental Thalasso lives up to its billing as a five star resort with facilities and service to match. Bora Bora and the Thalasso have been described as heaven on earth. It is hard to imagine such a complimentary statement being contained within a review, but it is true. Other than some weak points in the food service area, everything else met and exceeded expectations. As has been said before, even at 100% capacity it seems like we had the resort all to ourselves.

Rooms – The rooms are huge and comfortable. You can easily fit 4 people (as we did). The living room has a rollout bed as well as a couch that easily converts to a bed. The king size bed overlooks the mountain (Diamond Room) is clean and comfortable, even in the warmest part of the year. The deck with personal dock is amazing.

Facilities – Despite the warnings to take bug spray, it was hard to find a bug. I think they spray the property at night, because we never opened the bug repellant. I am not a ‘hang around the pool guy,’ but the infinity pool was irresistible, as was the hammocks and beach amenities. The resort lagoon was great for snorkeling (tons of sea life) and every day at 2:00 the sting rays arrived on cue to the resort beach for feeding. If I could find a flaw with the facilities I would mention it, but I cannot.

Concierge - It is as if they could read my mind. I sent the concierge our itinerary prior to departure. Even though we booked all but one excursion directly, they were listed on the itinerary and the concierge double checked all our excursions. The head concierge, Laure, had a copy on her desk and made notes to double check EVERYTHING. She arranged for room pick-up, boat transfers, taxis, and even gave us tips for our outings. Not one single item was overlooked due to her attention to detail. Because of her verifying our details, every tour operator treated us like royalty when we showed up. (FYI – Book your excursions directly in advance on your own. While the concierge is awesome, the hotel has a mark-up of around 20% on excursions.)

Service – I have never seen such amazing responsiveness from all the various parts of the hotel. The spotlight under the bungalow glass floor did not work. I mentioned this to a maintenance guy I saw on our way back from lunch. Within 10 minutes there was a boat under our bungalow changing the bulb. A sink that drained slow and a burned out closet light were fixed within MINUTES of bringing it up. Turndown service was great, water was delivered every day, fresh towels were provided and the bathroom cleaned 24/7, whenever you want it. Pool service, beach service, transportation, front desk, golf cart rides, were all amazing. They know service is the key to it all and they do it great.

Food – The only weak spot was food. The breakfast was good and I recommend getting the breakfast meal plan. The dinner was standard French Cuisine (small portions and non-tasty), with very slow and not too polite service to match. The best meal was the Japanese Night buffet (made in front of you sushi, grilled to order prawns, desserts, and other food to die for). The Saturday night seafood buffet at the Le Moana was great! They grilled lobster to order. I recommend not getting a meal plan beyond the breakfast and selecting where to eat based on the menu. The free shuttle between the Thalasso and Le Moana makes this an easy arrangement if you wish to eat at Bloody Mary’s or The Bounty.

Summary – Truly paradise. It doesn’t get any better than this. Get an Ambassador membership ($150) before leaving and get some nice perks, such as room upgrade. While expensive, you definitely get what you pay for. This place is the ultimate in decadent luxury. Common travelers to the area said between the three top resorts (St. Regis, Four Seasons, and Thalasso), the IC Thalasso is the best (other than the food). It has everything you could ask for, or dream of. Have fun!!!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,328 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (269)
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English first
Conroe, Texas
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2010

Beatiful water, Water Bungalows are perfect. Absolutely loved it.

Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe, AZ
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2010

Unparalleled views of Ote Manu. Go for the service and the spa. Food was good but not great.

Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2010

Just got back from this resort and am still awestruck!! It truly was an AMAZING experience that both my wife and I will never forget. Some details:

- Accommodations - this is all-bungalow resort but don't think you're in some shabby hut, these babies are superbly decorated, VERY well kept and have all the amenities anyone could desire. The housekeeping staff did a wonderful job and kept us well stocked in beachtowels, soaps and everything else we needed. We stayed in room 218 and I truly believe it was the best room on the resort - it wasn't at the end but had a perfect view of the mountain! By not being at the end, we had MUCH more swimming area right from our deck - you can walk out a considerable distance, like a massive swimming pool except it's the crystal clear ocean!! You spend the night feeding the fish from inside your bungalow as the coffee table slides open to the water below!

Service - the best I've ever experience and I travel internationally for a living! You can tell the staff truly enjoys working there.

Spa - The missus and I had a couples massage - fan-freaking-tastic!!! It was our first day there and it was a great way to kick things off.

Overall resort - lots of great restaurants (we liked the food, contrary to some other reviews) and a really posh bar/ lounge. Great pool but honestly didn't use it that much as we couldn't tear ourselves away from our own bungalow and the "pool" it provided (see above)

Food & Drink - we really enjoyed the chow - got our breakfast included with our package (highly recommend CostCo travel!) and it was a superb buffet that kept us full almost until dinner.

Activities - sea kayaks, snorkeling gear, beach ping pong and plenty of hammocks are all free and tons of fun! Just don't forget to reapply the sunscreen like I did. I'm STILL peeling!!

Side tip - Another deal we got in our package was a "Romantic Dinner for Two" - served in our bungalow. It was a 3 course meal with wine, served at a pace we decided upon and was by far the best meal on our trip. I need to send CostCo a thank you letter!

Bottom line - this is a world class resort. It's not cheap but I truly feel like it's worth the money and would do it again in a minute.
NOTE - we also visited the Intercontinental La Moana, their sister property, and it is disrepair still. The common grounds seem nice but a lot of the bungalows had blue tarps on the roofs.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2010

This trip was everything we wanted out of our honeymoon...a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience where we were just in pure luxury. I joked about leaving, but it was the only place I've been that I was very sad to leave...most other times I'm ready to leave and go home, but not Bora Bora and especially not after staying at the IC Thalasso.

Some of the key distinctions that helped us choose the Thalasso were:
1. Being able to stay on the Motu --- it wasn't really a big deal until we experienced it, but being isolated to enjoy the OWB and the water was important to us. Looking back, had we stayed in the main island, I think we wouldn't have felt as isolated. Not to say that would've taken away from our trip, but we did notice that the IC Le Moana would get windy during the day or evening.

2. The overall deal for the room and breakfast was another strong sell --- our package had breakfast included everyday so it does add up. the other strong point of the Thalasso was that every room was very similar so it really helped in determining the price point for us. Basically if we were in an Emerald OWB we wouldn't feel like we missed out with the room amenities, it was just the location and view from your OWB. We actually stayed in 112 (a Diamond OWB) and it was great. We definitely had to walk to get to the main area of the resort, but for us that was very minor.

3. Flexibility to travel to the main island --- we totally took advantage of the free shuttle service to the IC's sister hotel on the main island. Most of the nights we went to dinner at places such as Bloody Marys, La Villa Mahana so the free shuttle was another selling point for us.

4. The ability to upgrade to a different OWB location --- for $150, you can purchase an Ambassador Club Membership so you can automatically get upgraded to the next room level. There is a risk you might not get the higher level, but we worked with our travel agent who was good at helping us out. If you do a cost analysis, then 150 to upgrade from a Sapphire to a Diamond was well worth it. None of the other resorts provided that flexibility.

5. Quality of food --- we actually didn't realize this until we arrived, the Thalasso had some awesome fresh food. As part of our package we had 1 free dinner at the hotel. I was skeptical thinking it would suck because they limited us to either a Monday or Friday dinner. So I thought they would be bring the lesser quality food...well, I was surprised at how wonderful the food at dinner was. It was definitely fresh, very enjoyable and tasty. I really had low expectations, but the hotel exceeded them. As for breakfast in bed, again the quality of the food was indeed wonderful because the food was fresh, delightful and tasty...one breakfast they served sushi and I kid-you-not, that sucker was fresh...i joked that they probably got it that morning!


Here are some of our observations from the trip that are just the reality of the situation:
1. The breakfast food was fine for the first couple of days, but eventually it does get old to have the same breakfast food.

2. Being in the Diamond OWB, you are definitely on the edges which means a lot of walking for breakfast and lunch and dinner (either at the hotel or if you had to take the free shuttle). If you don't want to walk so much, you'll probably want to go with the Emerald OWBs. Again, we didn't mind at all.

3. Schedules of the free shuttles. Even though they are free, there's a schedule that these shuttles run so when the last shuttle is leaving Thalasso then you better make sure you catch it. We definitely had to plan our schedule around the shuttles if we went to the main island. Sometimes these shuttles would run every 2 hours. Plus the trip usually took 30 mins from the Thalasso to Le Moana so that should be taken into consideration.

Overall, we debated over the IC Thalasso, Bora Bora Nui Resort and St. Regis Resort. During our planning, we went with value, price and experience and that's where the Thalasso made the cut. But it was even better than what we had imagined when we actually experienced it. In general, i would say if you're going to Bora Bora, no matter what resort you pick you will enjoy the experience...I don't think you'll go wrong at all!

Finally, we did have help from the folks on the TripAdvisor forums and our travel agent. I had done some research and found this blog: [---]

I did some more research on the person who created the blog to make sure it wasn't some sort of scam. Well I spoke with Lisa over the phone, constantly emailed her as we were deciding which resort and she helped provide all the different quotes for what we were looking for. in addition, she had some priceless advice on the FP islands. I think her expertise was definitely worth going with her as our travel agent. Don't get me wrong, I was very skeptical about using an agent because I had always done the planning myself; however, for my only honeymoon in my life, I thought it was worth investing the money for someone who knew more than me. If you need some advice on Bora Bora, I would suggest reaching out to Lisa Jones for an objective opinion: [--]

I hope this helps!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
youngstown ny
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2010

This place is perfection, even though the place was sold out, you always felt you had space and privacy. Tthe food was amazing. the landscaping phenominal, the ocean literally is glowing bright aqua. It is situated on a the coral reef that rings around the main island so you have an unbelievable view of Otemanu, the islands peak. This resort is of the highest quality in every category, service, rooms, and food. Our over-water bungalow was huge with a two-tiered deck taking you right down into your own little private part of the Pacific. I could go on for hours on how fantastic it is but everyone should just go there for themselves

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2010

The rooms, infinity pool, and overall beauty of the resort where the best part of this hotel. There is also a free shuttle to the sister resort on the mainland were you can go and either catch a bus into town (for a small fee) or walk/get picked up and go out to dinner. I would highly recommend only getting the breakfast as your meal plan and going out for dinner because there were so many that were good. These include Bloody Mary's (reserve and they will pick you up), La Bounty (take a right after the drive way from the sister resort and walk approx 10 min), and La Villa Mahana (must reserve 1-3 days in advance and they will pick you up, really worth the wait). There is also a grocery store downtown and just past La Bounty on the left hand side of the road.
As for the downside of the hotel, it is quite large so there is a lot of walking to do which is always in the blazing sun so bring your sunscreen. The staff is OK, they weren't as responsive as at our other hotels but I think they might have been a little understaffed since it was the off season. There is happy hour from 5-6pm everyday only on cocktails but be prepared to wait 30-60 minutes for you drinks.
Snorkeling is good especially by the over water wedding chapel and there is stingray feeding everyday at 2pm which is really fun.
I would definitely recommend paying the $150 to be part of the IC Ambassador club which gets you a free room upgrade, daily water and fruit in your room, and a late check out option (up to 4pm) which helps with those late flights back. Oh, I saw somewhere on the reviews that they had free wifi, they definitely have wifi available at the pool but it is expensive so might just put away the work stuff, its paradise after all!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora

Address: Motu Piti Aau, 98730, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora 5*
Number of rooms: 80
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

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