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Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort
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Reviews (1,368)
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Reviewed December 17, 2012

From the airport it's a scenic boat ride along the coast of Bora Bora until you get to the resort, with beautiful views of the islands the entire time there. After arriving at the dock you're greeted with a conch shell horn sounding, a fruity beverage, and a cool scented cloth to wipe your face off with. The time to wait before my room was ready was a bit longer than I would have liked (~20 minutes), but the views of the lagoon and pool area easily helped pass the time. Staff memorized my name and addressed me personally each morning when I went to breakfast which was a nice personal touch.

When I was being walked to my room I was pleasantly surprised to find out I had been upgraded from a partial overwater bungalow, to a full overwater bungalow. If you're looking to save some money (Bora Bora is EXPENSIVE) the partial overwater ones are just fine as most are completely over the water anyway. Downside to the upgrade was a miscommunication regarding which room my bags were supposed to be delivered to. A call to the front desk and an hour later my bags were finally found and provided to me.

Resort was very quiet, other than at meal times or when exploring near the beach area I only ran into other guests twice. Lots of privacy on the main island, so again, no need to spend the extra money on the private island if budget is a concern. I actually found the private island a bit creepy as it was completely deserted. Had an encounter with an octopus while snorkeling just a few feet from the beach and no one was around at all to assist me if things went badly.

The bungalow I was in lacked a bit of privacy compared to some of the others as the staircase going down into the lagoon had an opening with no door looking out onto the boardwalk, whereas other bungalows had a privacy wall blocking the boardwalk area. I had 2 separate patios to lounge on, but didn't like the setup as I had to walk through my bungalow to go from one to the other.

Another downside was the security of the bungalow. There was no lock on the patio door from the boardwalk - only on the room itself. Meaning if I wanted to jump into the lagoon from my patio I felt I had to hide my room key and any valuables on the lounge chairs while I swam as anyone could have walked onto the patio and taken things. Not a major concern as there were very few other guests around, but it would have been nice to have a lock on the patio door.

Internet connection was SLOOOOOW, but that was everywhere within my trip to Tahiti and not unique to this one resort. Would have been nice if there were free computers available in the reception area for people to use so you don't have to spend half of your hour just waiting for a single page to load up to send an email back home.

The buffet breakfast was great, lots of variety and a good start to the morning as you view the beautiful lagoon while you eat. Having to pay $10 to travel to the motu was a downer, would have been nice to travel there more frequently for snorkeling but the price adds up quick. Water was fairly shallow and I ran into a very friendly octopus just a few feet from the beach who latched onto my legs. I was the only person swimming around the lagoon, complete privacy and great views of a school of barracuda's and beautiful coral reefs with fish.

Only other complaint was that my flight back home was late in the afternoon but I had to check out of my room by 11am. There was nothing to do after checking out aside from sitting at the bar and reading a book for 3 hours until the boat took me back to the airport. Since the resort was so empty it would have been nice if I could have had a later check out where I could swim in the lagoon one more day and relax in my own room before flying out.

Room Tip: Make sure you're in an overwater or at least partial overwater bungalow. It's on the opposite side of the resort from the beach so it's calmer and quieter, nice and private. No need to pay extra money to stay on the motu if you're on that side, plenty of privacy for cheaper prices.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Kyle N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2013

You gave us a important information so For all the readers, i really suggest to book a late check out from your travel agency if you want to keep your room until late when your flight back is at night. room in many categories may be fully booked and check in tile is 2 pm he latest that is the reason why the check out time is at 11 am. that will help to enjoy another full day with activities and your own room. a transit room are also available for a shower before leaving.
Thank you for choosing Sofitel for your holidays.

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Reviewed December 8, 2012

we just returned from a week stay at the sofitel private island. from the pick up till the arrival on the island we just marveled at the beautiful water and the views. we were greeted on the dock by the shell horn and given a flower lai. also a cold drink from a coconut shell and cold wash cloth to cool our faces. at check in they brought us a cake with a candle on to welcome us for our annivarsary (50) the check in was prompt and we were quickly escorted to our bungalow at the end of the dock, which was the one i had requested. we had a great view of the mt. from our porch. the room was really nice. if you want all the ambiance of the bigger hotels with the price and people to go with it then this is probably not the place for you. if you want a fantastic view, pleasant people, and relaxation try the sofitel. i could not find anything to complain about. the show on the main island was very nice,food at the private island was good especially the breakfasts. we mostly ate on the main island at the local resturants. we rented bikes and rode the island one day. we rented the electric ones. the rental place is right down the street, right past the bounty. we had gotten the wedding package for our vow renewal ceramony. all i can say is that it far exceeded my expections. jean louis took care of everything to make sure that from start to finish it would be something we would never forget/ THANKS JEAN LOUIS also TIM, the young man who did the video, turned out fantastic. also the photographer, great photos.we ate at bloody mary's, villa mahania, bounty, and the mai kai. all great in the different ways. check reviews on each site.all in all a great place to stay ,also did the shark feeding. too much to try to remember. any bad reviews that have been on this site must have gone in with a bad additude. the place was great. loved sitting on the porch watching the sun come up every morning. hated leaving, back to the real world. the people of bora bora are great and especially at the sofitel private island. hope you make it there someday. put it on the bucket list. wendy of fl

Room Tip: we stayed in 128 on the very end for best view of the main island of bora bora
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wendyLakeland_fl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2013

MAURURU ROA (thank you very much in Tahitian langage) for having choosing us for your wow renewal.
it is great for all the team to see how happy you are with your experience at the Sofitel Private island.
we rally hope to have the pleasure to provide a new experience in our paradise!

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Reviewed December 1, 2012

Really beautiful resort one of the oldest on island itch a history but bit old...the location is great , the bungalows as well but from outside thy need to be updated..they should change the wood at one part of resort..you have a feeling that will fall apart..it is pity because location is really nice ..so magnifique cold be even better..th services were great , you could tell that hospitality is sincere...breakfast was simply the highlights are it is always is in Sofitel..I had to lev resort early bu will come back again ....

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank lonij
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2013

The location resort was choosen by Dino de Laurentis for his movie "Hurricane" with Mia Farrow because it is the best spot and he build the bungalow for the movie star, then he became a Sofitel.
Plan a re on for renovation and we will keep the traditional archistecture with a french touch and all we go around a movie thematic.
Thank you for you stay with us and for your great comments regarding our service. We wait for you to come back

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Reviewed November 21, 2012

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2013

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Reviewed November 17, 2012

We just returned from a trip celebrating our anniversary, November 2012. First, the negative attributes.The bungalows were nice, but a bit dated. The bed was extremely hard. The electrical outlets did not work well in our room. I could not muster enough power to use my curling iron, and the fuse kept blowing when we tried to plug the converter the hotel gave us into the outlet. The first 2 days they were doing construction on a boat right outside our bungalow which was very annoying and loud. We complained, and they offered to move us, but did not follow through with the offer. We were told we could only go to the private island part of the hotel if we made reservations for lunch, and were only allowed on the coral gardens area. I found this unacceptable considering the website advertises you may use the facilities on the private island if you pay for the boat shuttle ride to get there. They also advertise that use of boats and equipment are included with your stay. The only free thing was an old outrigger canoe, everything else cost a fee to use. The food was very expensive, on average 50.00 for 2 cold sandwiches and fries for lunch, and over 100.00 for 2 dinner entrees. Now for the positives. The welcome was very nice complete with A cool washcloth and cold juice. we arrived at 9 am and were allowed to check into our room right away. every night they brought free bottles of water and a small snack to our room.The hotel was in a very good location. Within walking distance was a small market where you could buy bread, cheese, and fruit to make a less expensive lunch. The restaurant La Bounty and Pizza and Crepes were also walking distance. Both restaurants were very good, especially La Bounty. We also ate at Bloody Mary's which was a fun atmosphere, but the food was overrated. The romantic dinner put on by the Sofitel on the private island was very pricey, but worth the splurge. It started with champaign and snacks watching the sunset from the top of the island, and culminated with a private table setting on the beach. The pool and snorkeling at the hotel was very nice. We had a beachfront bungalow, which was situated directly on the beach. The activities coordinator named Anita was very helpful and sweet along with the young girl working with her. We rented a motorized assisted bike and rode around the perimeter road of the island. I highly recommend this as it gets you away from the hotel area and you can experience the island at your own pace. The trip around is 20 miles, and takes you half the day with stops included. Overall we accomplished our goal of the trip which was relaxation and enjoying the beautiful island. Just a note, if you want activity, nightlife, and lots of options for activities, Bora Bora is not the place for you. If you want to experience a laid back, completely relaxing vacation with a gorgeous view, this is just the ticket.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sue F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2013

Thank you for taking time to write your comments regarding your experience at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara beach, at the time you stayed with us we just restaured a typical old traditional ouitrigger canoe with a sail to provide great authentic and environment friendly sunset cruise. we put the boat at the limit of the hotel and i apologize if you could hear some noice during the day time. for information sandwiches prices start from 9 usd, and we garantee the best value for money available at Bora bOra if we compare prices available. Thank you for your great comments related to the romantic dinner which is a "incontournable" if you come to Bora Bora.
We hope to have the pleasure to host you back in 2013.

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