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“Disappointing!”

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Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort
Ranked #12 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Reviewed July 11, 2013

This was our third trip to Tahiti although our first to the island of Bora Bora where we spent six nights.
We first realized this maybe wasn't one of the better resorts when we were escorted to the boat which was to take us to The Sofitel resort. There were quite a few other boats taking people to various resorts, some of them large some small but all in good shape. However, the Sofitel boat was very run down and shabby as were the rest of their "fleet".
The bungalow we were given was in a good location, however the housekeeping left a lot to be desired. The shower in the bathroom needed a good clean as did the glass viewing panel in the floor. Our bed pillows smelled terribly and despite us requesting new pillows these were not forthcoming. We ended up wrapping the pillows in the terry toweling robes which were provided in the room. At no point in time did we detect the smell of any kind of cleaning fluid so not sure exactly what they cleaned the bathrooms with.
The ice making machine on our block of bungalows was not working and we reported this several times but alas nobody fixed it. So we had to trek to the bungalow block adjacent to ours to get our ice.
One morning (as usual) we walked down to the restaurant for breakfast which was served buffet style. Usually the restaurant was nice and quiet so we were quite surprised that morning to find the inside and outside full of families of local people and the atmosphere was very noisy. There were still some tables obviously saved for the paying guests so we sat down at one of those. But when we went inside the restaurant to get our food we found many of the food containers almost empty and the staff rushing around trying to keep the food stocked up. They did eventually catch up as the local families began vacating the restaurant and moving on to the swimming pool. The local children monopolized the pool and we even saw a couple of the younger ones standing on the edge peeing into the pool. We decided not to use the pool that day.
So we decided to sit on the beach instead and "horrors" there was a hug Blue inflatable water slide right on the beach. I won't go into further detail but needless to say our initial vision of beautiful Bora Bora was shattered at that point and we spent the rest of the day at our bungalow.
We later learned that management had opened the resort to underprivileged children and their families which of course was very generous of them. However management failed to tell the paying guests prior to this event and also it wasted one of our six precious (and expensive) days at this resort.
To summarize: The resort was very run down. The resort's boats were very run down. The food was average to say the least. The rooms needed to be thoroughly cleaned. The water around the over the water bungalows was murky, which we believe was due to boats constantly going in and out thus stirring up the bottom.
We would not recommend this resort to anyone.

Room Tip: Go to a different resort.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank 2Bailey3
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 July 20, 2013

Dear Guest

I acknowledge all your comments which are always very useful and important for us. We need to have all feed back from everyone.
I thank you for your stay with us, i understand we did not succeed as we may not be what you expected for your hollidays
It's always very desapointing for all of us, as well, but your comment will help us to always find the best way to give the best of ourselves and to try to please everyone coming in our property, this is our goal and our commitment.

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Reviewed July 3, 2013

We just returned from 3 nights here celebrating our honeymoon and the resort is quite run down and needing some TLC! There are several parts of the deck where hand rails are missing because they rotted away and the wood fell apart. I would not suggest leaning against any part of the rail throughout the resort unless you want to fall into the water, there is no way it could support the weight of a person without crumbling. There is a spot of the floor near the bar that is very spongy and you could step through it if you tried too. The chairs in the bar area are from the original hotel launch in the 1970's, along with much of the décor. The resort is in major need of TLC and repair, if you are expecting a resort that feels and seems clean/fresh, this is not the place.

When we arrived at 4pm, our luxury overwater bungalow wasn't ready, so they placed us in another luxury overwater bungalow to relax/change clothes if we wanted, however this room had no electricity so no way to cool off or relax. We finally moved to our actual bungalow and the A/C didn't work for 3 days and the bathroom had a horrible smell, finally after 2 days of requesting repair and cleaning/inspection, maintenance made the request to reception that we be move to another bungalow, which was much better (AC worked, bathroom didn't smell). Also, they have these fences around all of the bungalows, obviously for privacy, but you lose a lot of your view with them, not to mention they are rotting away and leaning everywhere.

There were other small things that were not handled very well, but nothing is perfect and we don't expect to be. You can't control a lot of things, but you can control your customer service and maintenance of a property, they were lacking here and with that being said I would suggest another resort.

Room Tip: We had bungalow #50, smelled horrible and AC didn't work. Moved to bungalow #62, smelled better...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dustin M
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 July 20, 2013

Thank you for taking time to share your experience. Your comment are important and we take all your remarks very seriously.
"Maururu" for your honey moon trip with us and we wish you all the best in your future.

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Reviewed June 29, 2013

We came to the Sofitel for our honeymoon and it was truly magical!! I've read some reviews and I'm sorry but they're overwater bungalows so no they don't look brand new. My husband and I never noticed anything needing to be repaired while we were there but we were too infatuated by the amazing scenery and water to notice I guess. If we needed anything they were right there! I loved the pool but the ocean was amazing! We could jump off our balcony first thing in the morning and it was like warm bath water! We are divers and it was the best we've seen so far! The spotted eagle rays are majestic to watch under water! The coffee is still the best I've ever had and I can't wait to taste it again! We will always hold a special place in our heart for them because we conceived our baby boy here :) It was an amazing wedding gift and we will be bringing our son when he gets a little older! I will count the days until we get to come back and see you all!!! Mahalo!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Smiths2012
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 July 20, 2013

Congratulations for celebrating your honey moon with us and all my team join me to thanks you for your great comment coming from true lovers!
we are happy to be part of your souvenirs in such important time of your life
welcoming honeymooners is always someting important for all of us. Now we are waiting for you with your baby !
I wish you all the best for your magnifique future!

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Reviewed June 26, 2013

I have read some reviews that were not so good for the Sofitel. I am writing to say none of the complaints I read were true. First, we had plenty of hot water. Second the linens were changed every other day. Third it is humid in the tropics, get over it. We loved our stay at the Sofitel. The breakfast buffet offered plenty of choices for even the pickiest eater. The service was perfect. The manager, Jean-Louis Deguara, was a hard working go getter. He cares about his staff and all of the guests. The special events during the week were very enjoyable. Our half over the water bungalow was perfect. We had lovely breezes, great views, and saw many types of sea life from lots of areas of the resort at the Sofitel. We were We will always remember our wonderful vacation. We were there from 6/3//2013 to 6/13/2013

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MARY H
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 June 29, 2013

"Maururu roa" for sharing your experience at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara beach Resort, all the team join me to thank you for your geat comments which enpower their sense of service, their spirit and the happiness to share with all of you their culture in this little paradise.....
We all hope we will have the chance to welcome you back!

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Reviewed June 17, 2013

I wouldn't consider myself to be a complainer. However, I would not recommend this hotel to friends or family. We paid for a Luxury Overwater Bungalow to celebrate our anniversary. This resort seems very run down and in need of a lot of repair. Our room had many things needing repaired (deck boards on the verge of breaking under our feet, railing on deck was about to fall off, mold covering the ladder leading into the water, light fixtures broken leaving our room very dark in the evening/night, a comment box mounted on the wall of our bungalow was bottomless...the woman who showed us to our room even suggested that we leave comments in the box...a box that had no top or bottom, just four pieces of wood mounted to a wall. Also, the air conditioning unit was loud inside the room and ran constantly. I had to sleep with ear plugs. The compressor was located just outside the sliding door on the deck right where the deck chairs sit. So this loud machine ran constantly on the deck and took away from the tranquil peaceful area where we would normally sit and enjoy the outdoors.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Inahaze75
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 June 29, 2013

i read very carefully all your comment and i 'm really sorry we did not reach your level of expectation you are waiting for your luxury experience at Sofitel in Bora Bora at the Marara beach Resort.
You are unique and important for us, for our hotel and for our brand. So you can be sure that we are on a ongoing nenovation process at all time, we will continue to improve all our efforts in that direction for your satisfaction
Thank you for your stay with us at Bora Bora!

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Reviewed June 13, 2013

We stayed at Sofitel marara beach resort, we were celebrating our 30 wedding anniversary and Wow Sofitel Bora Bora did not disappoint. Before we left I was worried because we were reading alot of not very good reviews, so on arriving it was just Wow, Wow our rooms were amazing, clean everything that you needed. Great access to the water from our deck. I agree with the review below us some people are just whingers, and you can never please them. We were so glad staying on the main island to explore it at ease, or as we did one day and hired bikes and rode around the island which was just another fantastic day, kayaking over to the private island was another memorable day. Over all one of the best holidays so don't listen to the negative reviews.

Room Tip: Any rooms at first disappointed not having bungalow further out over the water, ours was Third, but...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Debbie W
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 June 16, 2013

Thank you for your great feed back. Our goal and our pleasure is to give you a manifique and memorable experience for your hollidays. Thank you for having choosing us for your stay at Bora Bora.

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Reviewed June 2, 2013

My husband and I went to Bora Bora to celebrate our 10th anniversary and I have to say I was a little worried because I read some not so great reviews for Sofitel Marara on tripadvisor after I'd already booked our trip. While I'm sure some reviewers had legitimate concerns, having stayed at Sofitel Marara myself now I believe that most of the negative reviews are from 'whingers' - people who complain about everything... you could send them to heaven and they'd find something to complain about!
We stayed in an overwater bungalow (# 65) and it was great. The room was clean, there was plenty of soap/shampoo, the air conditioner worked fine and the hot water was just that - hot. We had a visit from a couple of geckos and small lizards - of course we did, we were holidaying in the tropics. They were our 'pets' for the 6 nights we were there - along with the fish we saw through the glass window in the floor of our bungalow.
Yes, food was expensive but that's to be expected. We were staying at a resort (always expensive, wherever you are) in the South Pacific (most things need to be imported, just adding to the expense). We were smart and organised full board for our stay at Sofitel Marara. Yes, our trip was more expensive initially, but once we were there we only had to worry about paying for our drinks. Another option would be 'half-board' - then you can try other places for lunch, or just walk five minutes down the road to the 'market' (a small general store, what Australians might call a 'Deli' or 'Milkbar').
We stayed long enough to see the dance troop on Saturday night as well as the 'Mamas' show on Tuesday. Yes, the dance troop was more exciting but we enjoyed both. Not all of the food at the buffet on these nights was to our taste but there was plenty that was. (Much better than a similar night at another hotel we stayed at in Papeete where hardly any of it was!)
The staff were all friendly and helpful. There was the occasional communication problem, but that was at least partly our fault as we don't speak any French. Anita the activities co-ordinator was great, really helpful and not at all pushy. She even talked us out of a couple of activites because they were too similar to others we had already done and gave me her cup of Vanilla tea when I commented on how nice it smelled! Pipi was also fantastic. On only our second morning she remembered I wanted coffee at breakfast and even made hot chocolate for my husband. G'day ladies!
I've read one review where the person was complaining about Sofitel Marara not having a fitness centre - why would you want one when you can swim, snorkel, kyak or just go for a walk?!
There are a variety of activities the lovely Anita can help organise for you. We did the eco-tour, 4WD safari and submarine tour. They were all fantastic. Catching the shuttle bus into Vitape is also worthwhile. There is a supermarket and various shops where you can pick up souvenirs, including a nice craft market.
There are 3 ATMS but the only one I could get money out on my Master Card travel money card was the one outside the post office. You will probably have more success with a Visa one. However, I used my card at a couple of souvenir shops with no problems.
There are newer and possibly fancier places to stay on Bora Bora, but most of those are on a motu, not the main island so you need to catch a shuttle boat if you want anything outside of your resort.
We had a great stay at Sofitel Marara and if you're planning a trip to Bora Bora its definitely worth considering. Don't let the whingers put you off.

Room Tip: Hang the expense and go for an overwater bungalow. I'm sure the garden rooms are nice, but they...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Diana A
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 June 12, 2013

Thank you for your great comment on our "ambassadors" and service you experienced at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara beach. Your comment are very useful for all of us and we really want to thank you for your stay with us in French Polynesia. Maururu !

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Additional Information about Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort

Address: BP 6, Nunue, 98730, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
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: $299 - $487 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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