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“Great place to be” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort

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Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort
Ranked #11 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
sydney
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place to be”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2011

Great hotel , location is superb and good value , but a little tired in its look and fit out , really wouldn't say its true luxury !
So go if you want great value for money and location , but not if you expect true luxury .

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lloyd P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2011

We had a beach front bungalow here. It was great, king bed, nice large bathroom, no tub but huge shower. It was nice because we were close to the dock, bar, and beach. We opted to stay here because my husband didn't like the idea of being stuck at resort. The Marara Beach Resort is great because you can take the boat shuttle over to the private island, grab a kayak and take yourself over to the coral garden on the other side of the pirvate island to snorkel. It was very nice that you could walk to a grocery store and maybe 3-4 restaurants off the property. It was unusual that the key operates the electricity to the room, but we quickly adapted. The staff is extremely helpful. The booked two dinner reservations for us and an all day tour. The breakfast buffet is exceptional especially the homemade jams. My favorite was the coconut. They also have a shuttle to take you into town if you want to shop. This was exactly what we wanted for our hotel in Bora Bora.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hsmart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2011

We spent five nights here and were very happy with the overall stay. Nice accomodations, good food, great location, and a friendly staff. The only hiccup we had was upon checking in. I booked a "Garden view bungalow" that I thought was on the private isand. Turns out there aren't garden view bungalows on the island. They put us in a lagoon front unit at the beachside hotel. Nice, but not our thing. After looking at other rooms we asked for a received a garden view bungalow. Just what we were looking for in the first place. We like being among the palm trees. The sound of the tradewinds rustling the fronds is very relaxing. The restaurant served a buffet breakfast and dinner and was included in our package. We were really impresssed with the quality, variety, and abundace of food available. I was skeptical about getting the half board package but, with limited dinning options and high prices, I'm glad I went for it. A good lunch can be had at the bar and the view out over the lagoon is fantastic. Rooms were very nice but really not five star quality although I consider our experience here as five star. A beautiful white sand beach is lined with loungers. Kick back, pop a Hinano, read a book, go for a swim in the warm clear water, and forget about the real world. Fantastic snorkling can be had by taking the free shuttle boat over to the island. Walk around either side for a wonderful underwater experience. Not too deep, not much of a current, easy in and out make it a perfect place for just about any skill level if you know how to swim. Internet is available but costs around $15/hour, for those who can't be without. We probably won't return to Bora Bora as there are so many other places to see, but if we did, I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank StRafael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H0564GM, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 4, 2011
Dear friends

Thank you so much for your comments.

Kind regards and Nana (bye in Tahitian )

Philippe
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2011

Don't get me wrong - we had a great time - but there are some problems with hotel. We stayed on the motu (we were in 2 different rooms due to mis-steps by the travel agent or hotel). We absolutely loved being able to swim around the island and visit the reef. All other hotels brought their boats to our reef.

The rooms need maintenance (refrigerator, air-conditioning, faucets, sinks clogged, etc.). Housekeeping was not good. Every day was something different. The glasses were always terribly dirty. They didn't clean under things. We'd get soap one day and none the next. We'd get hand towels, wash clothes some days - others none.

The breakfast was fine but virtually everyone we met said to stay away from the restaurant on the mainland...which we did.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank astle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
115 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2011

We had an Oceanside bungalow, upgraded from a garden bungalow due to lack of rooms as there was a conference booking for the week. It had a hatched leaf roof, so you get quite o lot of bits falling from it. It had a nice large bed, soft towels and robes. The television reception was very poor, and minimum English speaking channels. However the hotel had a tendency to keep changing the channels order and sometimes the language settings so there would be no English speaking channels which took another 24 hrs for them to correct – which wasn’t a lot of help as it was raining with nothing else to do. It had a nice clean bathroom with the overhead showerhead or the option of hose with shower. It had a balcony to sit outside with chairs/table and a ladder leading into the water. The cleaners come fairly early (9-10) and the towels/toiletries left were pot luck – not very consistent. It service was poor and difficult to communicate with the French speakers. It didn’t have the best range of breakfast/dinner, dinner was often cold. Other guests complained about dinner and the watered down juices. The breakfast didn’t seem to get replaced after 9 if something had been finished even though breakfast was supposed to be until 10. The hotel providing free use of kayaks to goto their other private island (or could go by boat free). We had difficulty getting hold of life jackets although we were advised that each room should have them – we didn’t and neither did most of the other rooms. It is expensive but there was a shop about 5-10 minutes walk away. There was a poynesian show in the literature on Mon, Wed and Fri at 8pm – but this was incorrect – its Wed only at 8 – although it didn’t start till 8:30 when we were there. This was supposed to be luxury but it wasn’t the hassle free holiday stay we were expecting.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank _En__Kay1_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H0564GM, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2011
Dear Friends,

As you can see on tripadvisor site comments are not always on the same vision..
Please on behalf of the team at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara, I wish to present our most sincere apologies for the regrettable experience you incurred as a guest on our resort.

I thank you for your feedback, of which you concerns have been communicated to our staff.
I assure you that necessary action has been immediately taken.

Kind Regards

Philippe
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2011

Paradise:
We stayed in an ocean front cottage which was right on the beach, on a previous visit to Tahiti we had stayed in an over the water cottage, which was great (and expensive) this time we opted for a ocean front cottage, (would recommend numbers, 3,4,5 or 6) having experienced both types of cottages, our choice would be the ocean front one, it’s a lot cheaper and you are right on the beach, the only good thing about the over the water cottages is that you can dive off your balcony into the water. The cottages all have small fridges, there is a grocery store very close to the hotel, we stocked up our little fridge with beer & snacks, this will save you a ton of money, our rate included breakfast, so just had a beer and some snacks each day for lunch. The breakfast is really good. We never had dinner in the hotel, we did have some food at the bar, the burger was good, but the pizza was a frozen cheese one that they just threw some extra toppings on (Don’t order it).
Restaurants:
La villa Mahana, it only has 5 tables and we were told it was booked out for months, anyway we tried for a reservation and got one for the same day, it was probably the best meal we had in Bora Bora, I had the steak and my girlfriend had the Mahi mahi, we didn’t have a starter or desert, with 3 glasses of house wine, the bill came to $192 USD
Bloody Marys, Great decor, great atmosphere, great food & great service, they have been around for 30 years and they have it fine tuned to perfection. We shared one starter, had two fish main courses and one bottle of white wine, the bill came to $117 USD,
Kaina Hut, this was our third best choice restaurant, nice decor & great service, food was really great, we had two main fish dishes, no starters or desert, had 3 glasses of house wine, the bill came to $126 USD
La Bounty, this place is walking distance from the Sofitel hotel, Food was really good, but the decor could be spruced up a bit, our dinner bill came to $107 USD

Overall we had a fantastic time in Bora Bora and would stay at the Sofitel hotel again.
Our biggest complaint was the internet service, I own a few vacation rentals and have to check my emails every day, The internet service has got to be the worst I have ever encountered and the most expensive, $17 for 30 minutes or $24 USD for an hour, when you pay that kind of rip off price, you would expect it to work!!!
My laptop would connect to the Sofitel router, but the sign in page would never open, I thought it was a fault with my laptop and spent hours trying to make it work, I then signed in with my Iphone, which worked okay, but it would not let me sign out, so my $24 just expired, I complained to the reception staff and while they were really nice, they just passed the buck to the EOS internet provider, while I was complaining at the reception, another guest was also complaining that is laptop would also not open the sign in page. There are two desktops in the lobby that guests can use, but they both have French keyboards, which are so very hard to use, you will waste 20 minutes of your internet time just retyping words, anyway it was easier for me to buy 30 minute cards and use them on my Iphone, as I knew I could not log off from the Iphone, I would use the total 30 minutes each time.
The staff explained that the company EOS provided wifi for the whole island of Bora Bora and Sofitel just sold their internet cards for them.
We were clients of the Sofitel hotel not EOS and did not like Sofitel participating in EOS's rip off scheme.
(Apparently EOS has the same agreement with all the hotels on BORA BORA)
Sofitel should provide wifi service directly to its guests for free or at a reasonable cost,
During our wait for our flight home at PPT airport, I purchased one hour of internet service for only $6 and the log in page worked perfectly.

Sorry for ranting on and on about the internet service, but it really got to me!!

Paul & Debbie

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Paul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H0564GM, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 24, 2011
Dear Friends

Thank you so much for your comments.

Kind regards

Philippe
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2011

After reading some negative reviews on this site after we had made and paid for our booking I was a little trepidatious, but we stayed for nine nights in a lagoon front bungalow on the Marara Beach side of the resort and loved every minute of it.

The Room
Firstly, our bungalow was mostly overwater - a luxury we weren't expecting given we'd booked a "lagoon front" bungalow. These bungalows have large sunny decks with private entry into the lagoon. Inside the bungalow was large and clean, the bed was comfortable and the bathrooms quite nice with a rain shower.

The Hotel
The hotel facilities on the Marara Beach side are good - the pool is the infinite variety looking straight out over the lagoon with lots of sunloungers and very handy to the bar. The beach is about 50 metres long and is bordered on the other end by the Novotel. There are free transfers by boat to the private Motu which is stunning - a few small and private beaches, with Bora Bora's best snorkelling an easy swim around the other side of the island.

Eating
Bora Bora is a very expensive place, but if you arrive on the island expecting this and having budgeted for it you'll find the food is very good. Remember - this island has little or no industry of it's own, excepting perhaps fishing, so all of the food on the island has to be brought in from somewhere else. The restaurant dinners at the hotel are the buffet variety and costs 6000 xpf per person plus drinks (on check in we received 20% off discount vouchers from the hotel to make this more affordable). Breakfasts at the hotel buffet are reasonable, but the service is poor and this is the one place I think the Sofitel needs to improve. Breakfast will set you back 3447 xpf per person. The bar is open from 10am and serves a wide range of snacks - expect to pay about 2500 xpf for a hamburger or similar.

The food at the hotel buffet is pretty good, but you may get bored after one or two nights eating this way and want to go out and explore the restaurants. The closest restaurant La Bounty is good value with a large selection of dishes to choose from and the food is pretty tasty - just avoid the pizza!

Another nearby restaurant with a more local flavour and atmosphere is Fare Manuia which also has a good menu, with tasty and larger servings. This was the cheapest restaurant we visited and seemed like the most authentic Tahitian experience.

We also tried the tourist hot spot Bloody Marys, which can best be described as the closest thing to the Bora Bora Hard Rock Cafe! The food was nice, although some slightly undercooked lobster left me with a bad tummy for a few days.

By far the best experience was at the Kaina Hut, which was a more intimate restaurant with a very French influenced menu. It is slightly more expensive than the other local restaurants, but if you want a nice romantic dinner this is the place.

Eating out will cost about 15,000 - 19,000 xpf for a couple eating 2 - 3 courses and sharing a good bottle of wine. Ask reception to book a table for you and the restaruants will provide a free return transfer.

Activities
We took the option of the full day "Eco Tour" which is run by the hotel. This includes a stop to feed the reef sharks and swim next to the boat while they are being fed in front of you and another stop to feed sting rays in a similar fashion - although the sting rays are very friendly and will definitely want to swim up and touch you - particularly if you get a spot near the man with the food! The canoe then circumnavigates the main island with a little commentary from the guide and we stopped for a polynesian barbecue and a relax on a private beach on a motu to the east of the island. This is followed by more snorkelling. I'd recommend this but I would have loved more time with the sharks and the sting rays - particularly I would have liked to be swimming in the open (rather than only between the outrigger and the canoe body). This activity was 11,500 xpf per person and I think was great value.

We also had the opportunity for a 300m parasail which was nothing short of stunning. If you are not afraid of heights and can afford to splurge this is the most incredible view you will get of Bora Bora. You take off and land back on the boat so you can take your camera and capture some of the amazing scenery and perhaps the shadows of the sting rays swimming around the lagoon. This activity was 32,000 xpf for the two of us and we went in the late afternoon which was perfect.

We hired a little tinny boat for four hours to do some self guided exploration of the lagoon which was great fun - there's no need for a boat licence or any previous boating experience and the boats can be picked up from the front of the Novotel (2 minute walk from the Sofitel). You can find some public beaches on the island or head to the coral garden and go snorkelling right off the back of the boat. The cost for the four hour hire was 14,000 xpf.

There are more activities than the ones we chose to take, so you can make your trip as active or as relaxing as you like. All activities are booked through the hotel and charged back to your room account.

In summary - the Sofitel is a great place to stay and was smaller and therefore more intimate than the 5 and 6 star options on Bora Bora and with a much reduced price tag. My Fiance and I loved our trip so much we are thinking about coming back and staying on the Motu in an overwater bungalow for our honeymoon and we would recommend this to anyone.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Liv8208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
H0564GM, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 10, 2011
Dear Friends

Happy new Year and thank you for your comments.

Kind Regards

Philippe
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort

Property: Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort
Address: BP 6, Nunue, 98730, French Polynesia
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
#9 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort is located on the island of Bora Bora in the heart of the exceptional Matira Bay. The island of Bora Bora is encircled by a protective necklace of coral. Breathtaking lush mountains provide a dramatic backdrop for the luminous turquoise, lapis and aquamarine of the sheltered lagoon. There is something truly unique about Bora Bora, with its sugary sands, rugged mountains, vivid blues, lush greens and soothing lagoon waters that make it the most romantic destination in the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach And Private Island Hotel Bora Bora
Sofitel Bora Motu Private Island
Accor Bora Motu Private Island
Bora Bora Sofitel
Sofitel Motu Bora Bora

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