Please see my French Polynesia forum post with more detail.
Now to the St. Regis Bora Bora: Let me start off by saying we are already planning our return trip back here in the future. From the airport, we were picked up in a Miami Vice type of speedboat with seating for 4, very cool. It's a short 10 minute trip to the resort. The water in the lagoon is surreal, it literally looks like a giant swimming pool it is so clear and there are different shades of blue. You'll pass by the new Four Seasons resort, the bungalows did not seem as large as the St. Regis although it looked like they all had some sort of Jacuzzi. All of the islands (motus) surrounding Bora Bora is protected by coral creating this big lagoon.
Once you get to the St. Regis, the place is stunning, unlike Le Taha'a which uses a lot of natural beauty and landscape, at the St. Regis it looks like they pretty much cleared everything off the land and started from scratch, beautifully done. You'll be greeted by one of your 24-hour butlers (which we rarely used because we didn't really need much) and will have a quick check-in. From there, you'll get a quick tour of the resort via golf cart and will be taken to your room. The grounds are gorgeous, the beach lagoon, outdoor bar, pool, restaurants, bungalow docks. There is a private pool that you can rent a cabana for $200/day, the pool is small and would seem boring unless the main pool was overcrowded. The whole time at the resort we didn't see more than 12-15 other couples and saw 2 families total. At the pool, there are a limited amount of lounge chairs where they'll set up an umbrella for you, there are drink/food servers, and a swim up bar. At the beach, there are also about 30-40 lounge chairs with umbrellas if you'd like, a server will come by there as well. The beach lagoon water/sand is silky, not much snorkeling action though as there is very limited coral. The Regis does have it's own fenced in lagoonarium where you can snorkel with the fish and a turtle. This area is surrounded by the beach villas and the spa. Everything at the resort was open when I was there except for the sushi bar, a couple of shops, and the new kid's club they're building.
We had a deluxe overwater bungalow which is pretty much a standard bungalow. We were at the end of the docks far from the main area which gave us a lot of privacy. The negative is that our view was the new Four Seasons which was still under construction so you can see cranes in the water but it's far so we never heard any noise. You'll get a good view of the highest peak in Bora Bora (sorry can't remember what it's called). The other slight negative in terms of the view is that across from the St. Regis on the main island is where they burn the trash so you'll see constant smoke. Just wanted to point everything out but it's no big deal.
Inside the bungalow you'll have a large king size bed with canopy, huge bathroom with separate tub and elevevated shower, little walkin closet area with safe, separate living/dining area and huge outdoor patio with 2 lounge chairs, a covered dining area, and swimming platform with outdoor shower. In spots in the floor you can see underwater and there is a light you can turn on at night. You can dive into the lagoon as it's at least 10-12 feet deep. Like I said earlier though, the ocean floor is sandy with little coral so you won't see much fish. You can swim out from your bungalow as the bungalows are "roped off" so the speed boats don't go in the swimming area. The bungalow though overall is gorgeous and very comfortable, flat screens and bose radio with built in ceiling speakers and fans. You can request cds and dvds if you'd like.
We did a 2 hour jet skiing tour around the island which I highly recommend as well as the shark/stingray feeding. For those that are scared of the sharks as well as stingrays now because of the recent Steve Irwin death, don't be. My wife planned on staying in the boat for this excursion but I coaxed her into coming into the water. They take you out on the edge of the lagoon in about chin high water where you swim to this rope near the boat. From here you hold on the rope so you can keep steady snorkeling and watch the sharks/rays/fish come as the guide is feeding them bait. The sharks are blacktip and never really come more than about 3 feet from you. It almost seems like they know not to cross the "rope line" The stingrays however go where they please and there is a lot of them. There is also a morey eel that you'll see. After awhile the guide will go back near the boats with the bait and the stingrays will swarm you. This is where my wife was terrified and jumped on my back the whole time. They are friendly and I had a blast. They will then let you take some time to snorkel around the corals, it's beautiful. Make sure you have some kind of water shoes as it's really sharp. I do know of another couple we met staying at IC Thalasso that went on their own shark/ray excursion, big difference though is that they just jumped in the water and the guide fed the sharks right away, there was no rope. From here, the boat will take you to this beautiful private motu where they'll chop down some cocunuts/bananas and you'll eat here. The whole time a videographer is filming everyone and edited (we had the limit of 8 people on our boat) and you can buy it for $150. I think it's worth it as we were obviously in it a lot.
We also went to La Villa Mahana as I had requested a reservation directly with Damian about a week before we left. There were some people we had met at the St. Regis who had made reservations while they were there. We had actually wanted to cancel this reservation as we didn't feel like going that night but the concierge forced us to go saying we'd miss the experience and regret it. The St. Regis provides transportation around different points of the island including the main island at no charge. Briefly regarding the main island, you don't need more than 2 hours there, there is very little shopping and no disrepect but it's not the cleanest areas but i've heard they are refurbishing this area. As for the restaurant, the Regis will take you via boat to the Le Meridian dock where you'll have a taxi waiting for you (the Regis will take care of everything as long as they know you've got reservations there) to take you to the restaurant which is about a half-hour drive on a pothole filled road (the cost of the taxi is $10 round trip which is added on to your dining bill). The restaurant reminds me of a little Italian eatery. There are 6 tables in the main area and one upstairs (this one upstairs was booked 6 months in advance). I will say that this place is overhyped and not worth going imho. If anyone is afraid of gecko's, they are all over the place on the walls, this made my wife uncomfortable to some extent as she was kind of jumpy the whole meal especially when one fell on our table. There was a couple next to us that couldn't stand it, they left in the middle of their meal. Knowing this is a tropical area we accept this part of nature of course but it doesn't lessen the fact that some are not used to this type of stuff. I personally had no issues with it, there were also cats walking around the restaurant which i'm allergic too but didn't affect me at all. My wife being a non-seafood eater did not enjoy the food as much as me. I had the sampler dinner which had 5 diff. courses each very good but nothing mind blowing that I haven't had someplace else that was better. With the 2 meals, 2 glasses of wine and dessert, we spent about $300U.S. The two other couples that were there all staying at the St. Regis really enjoyed the restaurant though but didn't feel it was a must go if they came back to Bora Bora. In summary, a normal meal nothing special other than the fact it's in Bora Bora. At the Regis there is the gourmet dinner restaurant which we felt was good and the main restaurant open for any meal was also fine. Room service was nice except that the food was sort of cold when it got there. We had free breakfast for some promotion but make sure your travel agent requests it (join Starwood).
Overall regarding the St. Regis, the most beautiful place i've ever been to. Difference here than Le Taha'a, the people at the St. Regis come from all over and are mostly French (no disrepect), not many natives so although friendly, not naturally friendly like Taha'a. The Regis is more like a pampering resort, Taha'a a village that you live in temporarily. Lot's of different activities to do at the Regis (we heard the submarine trip was fun, also the jeep safari at the main island, let you ride bikes for free) and just the beach/pool/outdoor bar alone kept us busy most of the time. We didn't want to leave the Regis as much as we missed our kids that we did not bring, it is that nice. We will bring them the next time though, they would have loved it (2 and 5 years old). I would go back tomorrow if I could. I can't really think of any negatives regarding the Regis. Overall for Le Taha'a i'd give 4 stars and the St. Regis 5 stars.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.