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“Paradise FOUND!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

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The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Motu Ome'e, 98730 , French Polynesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 18 Hotels in Bora Bora
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Paradise FOUND!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

It took a long time for me to decide where to stay in Bora Bora - a place I've always wanted to go. I had narrowed it down to a few resorts and a travel agent helped me to decide that the St. Regis was the place to stay. Taking two girls - ages 14 and 5 - the resort needed to be kid-friendly but I didn't want to sacrifice luxury either. I have stayed at a few St. Regis properties before and always found them to be kid-friendly, yet also very upscale.

One of the main confusions for me was that I didn't realize ahead of time that there are resorts both on the "main" Bora Bora island, and the barrier islands which are only accessible by boat (no roads, or cars, or anything on those islands except the resorts). I am SO glad we didn't stay on main Bora Bora. We took a boat ride there one day from the St. Regis (which provides free boat shuttles for the 15 minute ride), and found it to be very poor and there is nothing in the downtown of interest except one small art gallery (where I did buy a beautiful painting by a local artist). I could see staying on main Bora Bora possibly to save money, but consider that you have to drive by very run-down looking homes and many stray dogs and cats, no that was assurance to me that we'd made the right choice.

That said, staying on the barrier island at the St. Regis, you are pretty much limited to the resort restaurants unless you do want to take the boat ride plus car shuttle to get to a restaurant on main Bora Bora. It's very quiet at night. I liked that, I wanted a trip that was very relaxing, with plenty of water activities. But I overheard some people asking the staff "where are the night clubs" and just giggled to myself. Don't come to Bora Bora for nightlife, there isn't any, you go there for the beauty and the unique experience of staying in an overwater bunglalow.

Not having anything to compare to except exterior views, I think the St. Regis bungalows are probably the BEST you can find! I saw other resorts on main Bora Bora where the bungalows looked small and run down. I knew in advance the bungalows were about 1300 sq ft, with a bedroom separate from the living space. The bathroom though was HUGE and much nicer than I had ever expected. You get what you pay for. The bungalow location I chose (actually the travel agent chose it on my behalf) was on the lagoon side with a mountain view. Best of both worlds! Every morning I put on my bathing suit and jumped into the water. And the water... it is different from anyplace I have ever been. Super clear to the point it you didn't even need to snorkel, just look down to see sting rays and other tropical fish. We also had glass flooring in the living space and other areas, which you could light up at night. But I saw most of the exotic fish under the bridge that connected our bungalow area to the rest of the resort.

The property itself is extremely beautiful and they have a huge staff to maintain it. The food was just so-so and very overpriced, but hey, you aren't there for the food. Foodies don't even bother critiquing the food because it won't hold a candle to other places. This is a very exotic and remote location - it's definitely not about the food. They did have a nice wine list though and I'm not a drinker but had at least one glass of wine every day at the pool bar.

The beach is very nice, probably the only thing that confused me was a lack of service sometimes on the beach. The lounge chairs were fine, but nothing special, and there was no cabana service to set up your chair - also, they had umbrellas but no individual awnings for the chairs. So in some cases you were in full sun when you didn't want to be. I think they could probably add some more services to the beach because most days, no one even came out to offer us a drink or lunch menu. Kind of odd. Yet on other days, they were all over us, even coming out to lend my 5 year old a whole bag of beach toys! It really depended on who was working the beach area I guess. Pool was about the same with regard to service.

Breakfast buffet was very good, but again, sometimes the wait staff just seemed to be in training or didn't speak English. A few times they forgot to bring my tea, very basic stuff like that. I got the impression that they have to hire a certain number of locals (and rightly so), and they probably try to train very fast but maybe there is turnover and they can't help it. You could tell the staff that was truly in the "hospitality industry" - the ones who are relocated every few years to other properties. Those are the ones who truly provide great service, know you by name, and are super friendly, happy to see you, and are very worldly, etc. I've traveled enough to be able to know this after a 2 minute interaction and very much appreciate that kind of staff.

I had absolutely NO major issues at all with this property, I think they do a fabulous job considering this is a remote island and probably very expensive to run and logistically complicated. The St. Regis took care of everything for us, as soon as we arrived at the airport they were there to collect our luggage and load it onto the boat, and also leaving I never touched a thing - they checked in our luggage at the airport after unloading it from the boat.

This was one of the most special experiences of my travel life so far. I can't help but laugh that every day multiple times a day, I was jumping into the water from the bungalow deck.

Since the restaurants were nothing special, most nights I opted to order room service so that it would arrive in time for sunset. Each bungalow has a full sized table on the deck so you have a perfect view while eating.

We were there for a full week, and that was perfect, I would say 5 days would have been fine too. Probably no longer than a week is what I would recommend. Also, being such a large property (it's on 60 acres), they lend you bikes to get around, or you can call for a golf cart ride anywhere, or you can walk like I did. I liked the exercise and walking around. My kids liked riding bikes so they did that. I think the bike idea is great though!

As a side note, they have free childcare, I only used it once. The person at the childcare center was not really too interactive with my child. Also, my child was always the only one there, so really it was not too exciting for her. I preferred to do things with my kids since it was to be that kind of vacation anyway.

I can't give it less than 5 stars, the trip was expensive but the location, the bungalows, and the services they provided to make us comfortable were totally worth it.

Room Tip: Ask for the lagoon side with a mountain view. I had bungalow 208, and it was really great!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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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1,247 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (376)
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English first
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

Everything about the resort is absolutely amazing!!! It is probably the most special, luxurious, fantastic place I've ever stayed! I recently went for my honeymoon- and could not imagine a more perfect place to celebrate a special occasion!! The hotel grounds and rooms are truly phenomenal! Definitely stay in an overwater bungalow- you have the most amazing view of the beautiful water! Relax on your private deck and jump right in. Complete privacy and relaxation! The St. Regis also offers several fantastic restaurants so you don't feel pressured to ever leave the resort! The sushi place was excellent, along with Lagoon (by Jean Georges), and the beach restaurant was also delicious with a lot of variety. The BEST part of this resort though is the truly exceptional service!!! The entire staff really goes out of their way to make your trip special, and to accommodate any request you may have!! Cannot say enough amazing things about my experience here!!

  • Stayed May 2013, 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.
Milton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

We arrived at the St. Regis by helicopter from La Tahaa. From the moment we stepped on the property Constaine our Butler made us feel incredibly welcome and gave us a tour of the resort and took us to our room. The resort is big but very well laid out and it always makes you feel like you are on your private island paradise because you rarely see other guests. Pool and beach chairs are always available no matter what time of day and the staff always goes out of their way to look after your needs. The service was excellent - on many occasions they went above and beyond. Our waiter at dinner one night heard that tomorrow was my wife's birthday and they surprised us with a cake the next day. We were at dinner and Antonin our waiter and I were chatting and he had the chef make one of the appetizers into a main as a special request for me. Make sure you visit the Marina restaurant the tasting menu there is awesome and a highlight of the visit as well. Many thanks to everyone at the St. Regis for making our stay so perfect and Pacific for Less for recommending us this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2013

We were very excited to go to Bora Bora and the St. Regis made our honeymoon even better than we imagined. The resort is huge and beautiful and the service is outstanding... definitely worth 5 stars.

Bungalows: We stayed 4 nights in a Deluxe Overwater Bungalow, which was fantastic. Every morning we would wake up and jump in the water, which was a perfect way to start the day. Then we stayed 2 nights in a Beach Bungalow which was also excellent. Both bungalows were huge, clean, comfortable and in excellent condition. They both had amazing views. The beach bungalow also had a hammock and a private soaking pool. We highly recommend breaking up your trip and experiencing both types of bungalows... it felt like going on two vacations.

Service: The service at the St. Regis was outstanding. Everyone we met was so friendly and polite. From the very beginning when they welcome you after you get off the plane, the staff works incredibly hard to make sure you're having the time of your life. On our last day, when we had a late flight, they arranged to let us stay in our bungalow until 5:00p which was incredibly nice! They offered to help pack our bags. Some of the staff even found us to say goodbye... including a few people that weren't working that day. We felt grateful to meet them and really appreciated their hospitality.

Restaurants: We tried all of the St. Regis restaurants and liked them all. The Lagoon was gorgeous, had a fantastic tasting menu and it was fun to watch the sharks swimming below the table. The breakfast buffet had a wide variety of great food, plus the servers were happy to bring made-to-order crepes, eggs and espresso. The resort has two bars and the bartenders were very friendly, fast and fun to talk with (especially Olivier and Steven). The sushi restaurant was also really fresh and had great service.

Spa: The spa was very clean, relaxing and had a beautiful view of the lagoon. We had a fantastic deep-tissue massage and went a few more times just to enjoy the sauna and soaking pool, which they welcome you to use often as you like for no additional charge.

The resort is huge. Many people rode the free bikes or golf carts to get around... we loved walking so we could enjoy the grounds and stop to see all the fish. While they had a lot of guests we felt like we had the place to ourselves. We never had a problem getting a reservation for dinner, the spa or island activities... Butler Thierry arranged everything and was so great about making sure we were comfortable and happy. The paddle boards, snorkel gear, kayaks and other equipment were all free to use (except the jet-skis). The pools were really nice, although we spent more time swimming in the lagoon and bay.

For us, the St. Regis was perfect and worth every penny. It was an experience we'll never forget and we look forward to going back.

Room Tip: Arrange to stay in an overwater bungalow for a few nights and a beach bungalow for a few nights. It...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gorokan, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

We chose the St Regis for our wedding/honeymoon and we weren't disappointed..We arrived at St Regis on the 28th July 2013 to a warm welcome. We had an amazing week, Karine the wedding planner set up everything and made our special day a breeze. We have some beautiful memories of our day with some spectacular photos thanks to Helene. There were many special moments at St Regis but here are my not to be missed highlights:
* Shark and Ray feeding was an amazing experience.
* Reef discovery tour was wonderful and Reynald our guide made it even more fun..(Swam with Manta rays and seen the biggest Moray eel in my life and some spectacular coral and fish.
* Te Pahu restaurant was great even better than Jean-George's restaurant.
* Lagoonarium
* The Spa for a total rejuvenation.
* Go for a bike ride it made me feel like a kid again.

Pitfalls...
* The price of everything if you want a holiday on a budget then forget coming here.

But if you want luxury then I recommend this as the place for you...We will be back x

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Huntington Beach, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

Dream vacation come true! Would have given 5 stars if they communicated a little better upon arrival that our room wouldn't be ready until 3 when we arrived @ 9 a.m.They did provide a nice welcoming though making all amenities available including the spa where you could shower if needed as well as pastries, fruit and espresso in the lounge. They did give us a room upgrade as well so that didn't hurt. It is dead quiet and when you're leaving an 8 and 10 year old at home you truly get the quiet time you deserve.
They provide bikes between the pool and beach available to ride anywhere you like which is nice since the property is very spacious. get adventurous (you wont be disappointed). Each turn more breath taking than the next.
Lagoon restaurant was the best (most romantic tables are outside on the deck, a must) with black tip sharks swimming beneath you. Really cool! The breakfast buffet is great! so be sure to get it included on your meal plan. The other nice thing is paddle boarding, kayaks, even hobies are available at the beach to use for no additional charge. Big tip, use the lagoon!! no one uses it and is unbelievable! The best snorkeling and it didn't hurt we were practically the only ones every time we went. AMAZING!

Room Tip: If you are a starwood gold member be sure to tell them so that you can get upgrades!! One perk is fr...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

We stayed 5 days at the St Regis in July. Twenty years ago, I think that we would have loved this type of resort. Unfortunately (or fortunately for us) we have been spoilt with fairly exclusive vacation around the world since then and our feeling at the St Regis was that there was a lack of charm and authenticity. From the huge bungalows over the water to the "lagoonarium" where a coral garden has been prepared, we had a predominant feel of artificiality. To our taste, the St Regis is also too large a resort with more than 100 bungalows spread over more than 40 acres of garden and of course over the water. From the beach or the restaurant, the view of the line of bungalows over the water was of little enjoyment to us.
To move around the resort, it is common to have to call a golf cart or to take a bike as walking from your room to the spa may take a good 10 to 15 minutes. Unfortunately the bikes are forbidden after 5 pm, supposedly for safety reason. If they were equipped with lights and proper brakes (not this strange retro pedal system), I guess there would be no issue. We have been to 2 resorts in the Maldives where the bikes were assigned to the bungalows 24hrs a day and there was no safety issue there.
We found the staff at the St Regis very attentive and really pleasant, both at the reception and at the bar and restaurants. The rooms are very large, clean and well appointed. The Wi-Fi connection is excellent too. The villas facing the island of Bora-Bora benefit from the sunset view and seem less exposed to the wind (see weather comment below). Although we had such a room, the large windows in the bathroom let the strong wind slip through and we had to fill huge gaps with towels to avoid being cold when showering. Not nice nor normal in a hotel which charges over US$1000 per night. By the way, we also had the feeling that everything was largely overpriced at the hotel. It is a fact that Polynesia is very expensive but is particularly true at the St Regis!

Try to escape to the island with the hotel shuttle boat to experience something different. One day we went for lunch at the Matira Beach restaurant and later had a swim at the beach by the restaurant. The place is simple but the food is good, the lady owner extremely kind and the color of the sea there truly unforgettable. If food is important to you, everyone mentioned that THE place to have dinner was the villa Mahana. However it is unlikely that you will get a table if you try to book it once you arrive in Bora-Bora as it is always full. Ask the concierge to take care of this a few weeks in advance if you can.

In a word, we were fairly disappointed with our stay in the St Regis. Although it is not perfect either, we enjoyed more the Relais & Chateaux in Tahaa. I respect that it is a matter of taste but check it out as the place appeared to us a lot more authentic and the view of Bora Bora in the background truly beautiful.

A word about the weather to finish. In July it was fairly sunny but we had winds of over 20 mph during 4 days which was obviously a huge limitation for all water sports. It was too windy for jet ski and parasailing for example. Actually, we were told by locals that July should be avoided as it is quite cool and generally very windy. The windy season apparently extends till september but July is supposed to be the worst (apart from the tornado season of course...). Obviously not the best for a honeymoon unless you deliberately want to spend a lot of time indoor! We could not get an unanimous opinion as to when the best time to visit Bora Bora is, but April and November got a lot of votes. Tahaa and Raiatea, which are close-by, have the same weather conditions.

Room Tip: The villas facing the island of Bora-Bora benefit from the sunset view and seem less exposed to the...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort

Address: Motu Ome'e, 98730 , French Polynesia
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 ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
#2 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 91
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The exclusive St. Regis Bora Bora is 44-acre island resort located in Polynesian paradise. Our elite accommodation features the 13,000 sq ft Miri Miri spa and Lagoon Restaurant by Jean Georges. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The St. Regis Bora Bora Hotel Bora Bora
St Regis Hotel Bora
St Regis Bora Bora
St Regis Resort Bora Bora

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