After almost a full month of researching and planning where to go for our honeymoon, we decided on Bora Bora - we live in Chicago and really wanted to go some place exotic,tropical, very relaxing and with beautiful water but not as overdone as Hawaii and the Caribbean, a place we would likely only go once, maybe twice in our lifetime. We also had only one week to spend so we wanted to feel as though we could take advantage of everything and not feel like we missed out on things. I am a huge beach critic (I grew up traveling to the Mediterranean yearly - parents are from Greece) no place was able to compare to the quality and beauty I found in the Mediterranean, however, having been to Bora Bora, I can honestly say that the most beautiful waters exist in Bora Bora. It was the perfect choice for a honeymoon and if we had to do it all over again, we definitely would.
We spent our honeymoon at the St. Regis for 7 days starting on May 20th; We were not disappointed, in fact the St. Regis surpassed all our expectations. The dream all began once our plane landed in Bora Bora; as you walk towards baggage claim, all the resort boats are waiting to pick you up on the dock. Before I even had a second to admire the beautiful view, a st. regis employee welcomed me and my wife by name and with a lei, they had all our luggage already waiting for us ready to board the Yacht (yes, the st regis has the nicest yacht - 2 level). Waters were waiting for us and it was such a nice warm welcome after traveling for so long - It was as if you were being welcomed home by family. Once we got to the resort, we were welcomed by more staff, given some good tropical ice tea beverage to cool off and cold damp towels that smelled like flowers to freshen up a bit. This was the beginning of the famous moviestar treatment each guest receives at the st regis.
The st regis is the complete package - the resort grounds were amazing, everything cleaned, trimmed, well layed out, beautiful views. - it really does feel like you are in heaven or at least the garden of eden! We never felt that it was overcrowded. There are so many areas to relax, and just hang out. Our favorite spot was the spa area which you can take advantage of even if you do not have a spa service scheduled (nice showers, outdoor jacuzzi, resting area, sauna and steam room. The lagoon is man made, but very beautiful and allows you to swim with so many beautiful fish. We also enjoyed the oasis pool which had private cabanas - they always seemed available which was nice, and with each cabana came a private section of a pool, very private and beautiful landscaping with palm trees, plants - I mean really unbelievable. The beach was very well maintained, definitely not your typical "sandals or Rui" type of man made beaches (I am not bashing on sandals or Rui but I want to make it clear that the st regis at Bora Bora is a complete "Wow" - no need to further elaborate. wow. Also, many of the beach activities were complimentary - bobbie cats, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boats, they had some much to do, and all complimentary. the beach boys were very nice and helped with everything, including always offering free ice water and some fruit throughout the day. Bikes were available everywhere if you wanted to take a bike ride - helped if you wanted to go to one end of the resort to the other - very relaxing.
The rooms were outstanding, we had an overwater bungalow (312) facing the beach, it was absolutely amazing, the most beautiful room we have ever seen. great large tubs, rain shower, very large room too, it felt clean, smelled great, nothing about it made you think twice. It was tastefully decorated, luxury everywhere, bed was comfortable. I don't feel that the mountain view is worth the extra cash, as soon as you jump off your deck, you can see the mountain. The room was the most amazing room we have ever been in. LUXURY
The service is why you go to the St. Regis. My wife and I felt that our every need or request was accommodated with a smile. We cannot say enough about our Butler Sebastian really made us feel welcomed and helped accommodate our every request; he helped with dinner reservations and recommendations, helped drive us from our OWB to different parts of the resort when we just didn't feel like walking (when you are on your honeymoon, I guess it just feels right to be just a bit lazy like that). He is a standup gentleman, great humor and professional in every sense of the word. My wife had a problem with her hair straightener, the converter was not strong enough to handle it - he knew it mean a lot that she have a hair straightener so he actually found a co-worker (server from Jean George who was so sweet) who was willing to let my wife borrow it for the week. This is how nice everyone is on the resort, they bend over backwards for your every request. Another example is a server named Matthew (spelling incorrect sorry), a very nice young man - after my wife mentioned she loved the smell of the towels, he mentioned they were soaked in a solution containing the smell of the frangipane flower - he went out of his way to find us and tell us that he had a small sample of the solution and wanted to give it to us so that we can remember our honeymoon when we get back home. Are you serious? ---> this is service, everyone was so thoughtful and sweet, everyone so respectful.
We cannot thank Sebastian enough for also keeping us in mind for reservations to La Villa Mahana. we did not have RSVP to that restaurant upon arrival and were told people were unable to get an RSVP after trying 3-4 months in advance - I was really disappointed BUT - Sebastian kept us in mind and while I was at the spa just before I was to have a couples massage, I was told that I had a phone call (I felt very important, lol) It was sebastian saying he had great news, somebody canceled and a spot opened up for RSVP at La Villa Mahana and immediately thought of us - you can't get any better than that! La Villa Mahana was the most romantic and delicious dinner we have had together - 5 course menu, absolutely delicious. Was pricey, but hey, it was the most romantic dinner we have ever had, ambiance was amazing, and on our honeymoon, very large portions; Sebastian thank you! if you are ever in chicago let us know.
the stingray and shark tour is a must - our guide was alex and he was great - he made the tour so much fun, even brought us to a little private part of the island, cracked open a coconut and gave it to us to drink the coconut water, cut up some fresh fruits for us and provided some home made fresh coconut bread that he made that morning (his mothers, famous recipe)- it was phenomenal. He helped us make a plate out of the coconut tree leaves which was neat. We really enjoyed spending time with him and felt we were able to experience some of the culture of the polynesian people by participating in that tour - it is a must.- thank you so much alex and hope you are doing well if you are reading this! We didn't do the jet ski tour, but wish we did, others really enjoyed it.
one major perk of the island is that there is complimentary boat transfers from the resort to the main island where many of the restaurants are - each night at about 6pm the boats leave and take you to the main island, then a cab takes you to a restaurant that you made RSVP for - all complimentary! This service alone is enough reason to book at the St. Regis, other places charged you a fee to leave the resort - sorry, but I don't want to feel locked in. I guess the more we traveled off the resort, the more we realized we were so lucky to be at the st regis, and didn't want to leave!
Restaurants off the resort worth going to include - st james - great meal, large portion and very reasonable prices, the drinks were really good too (this would be our choice to go twice if we had to), la villa mahana is worth going once as it is the most romantic meal you will have because of the intimate setting (only 7-8 tables) and ambiance, i felt as though I was in an Italian garden - candlelight everywhere and food is great. Yacht club was ok, nothing to write home about, felt more like a college bar than anything else.
Food at the resort was excellent too, breakfast had lots of options, i love sushi and they had an asian breakfast section which was great. the jean george restaurant was very nice, but the sauces seemed off a bit, otherwise, awesome view and ambiance. i rec. getting desert on the patio each night there. I enjoyed the pool bar area where food was always available, portions were large and you could definitely split most of the options - food in bora bora is expensive, its just the way it is, plan on spending about 100 bucks for breakfast, 150 on dinner each night and about 60 bucks for lunch easy, most days we skipped lunch. I am not a huge fan of french food, and the options are limited, but when you are in the middle of the south pacific, what do you expect. You come to the island and resort to experience pure luxury and beautiful waters - we really felt relaxed following this trip
Do yourself a favor and book at the st regis - heaven is waiting.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.