My husband and I stayed at 3 different hotels on our honeymoon in French Polynesia, and our experience here was completely unique and irreplaceable. Yes, I enjoyed the Sofitel in Moorea, but I think I would have enjoyed the Hilton as well; I loved the luxurious OWBs at IC Thalasso in Bora Bora, but I think Four Seasons and St. Regis would have been just as nice.
But the Sofitel Private Island? I don't think any place else can offer what this place offers. I get such warm and fuzzy feelings when I think about our stay here!
First off, the beauty and serenity of the private island was evident when we first arrived by boat; the beautiful sound of the ukulele greeted us at the dock. The hotel staff welcomed us warmly, and gave us a quick tour of the grounds and our room. We really appreciated the sincerity and the personal attention of the staff.
The room was a bit dark and the furnishings seemed worn, but the deck offered such breathtaking, unobstructed views of Bora Bora that we barely stayed in our rooms. We were lucky to get one of the end OWBs (room 114) because it was relatively private and I felt comfortable enough to sunbathe au naturel. ;) The water in the lagoon was gorgeous and varied in color depending on the depth. The snorkeling on the other side of the island at the Coral Gardens was phenomenal....we were surrounded by fish galore! Contrast this to our stay at IC Thalasso where the water was a bit murky, there was very limited coral and sea life, and there were tons of OWBs. IC Thalasso also felt a bit desolate because we didn't see many people in the common areas - and the space was made to accommodate a lot more people. At the Sofitel motu, even though we also hardly saw anyone else, it felt charming instead and as if this entire island was built for us.
We stayed here for 3 nights. Everyday, we woke up early, ate at the breakfast buffet, did excursions or snorkeled/sunbathed all day until sunset, and then showered and got ready to go to the main island for dinner. I loved how you can get to and from the main island by on-demand boat--only a few minutes' ride away. At other hotels, transportation to the main island is either limited (only a few rides a day) or you're charged $50-$75 roundtrip for the ride. At the Sofitel Motu, it was free because it was a necessary service (the restaurant is not open for lunch or dinner). You can eat at Sofitel Marara Beach, or opt to dine at local restaurants with free pick-up service like we did. We went to Bloody Mary's, Kaina Hut and La Villa Mahana. We highly recommend Kaina Hut...the food was innovative and delicious!
Even though we loved this hotel, we recognize that it does has its negatives and it's not for everyone. The place is not luxurious...so if that's very important to you, you may be disappointed if this is the only place you're staying at. The service/amenities are limited, which is somewhat to be expected because you are on a small island which only houses a few guests comparatively speaking. Also, there were several issues with the room (fridge didn't get cold, light wasn't working, mattress was horrible, etc). Most of these things they addressed in a timely manner, so it wasn't a huge deal. The only thing that still gets to me is the mattress...it has long since passed its prime, and was sagging so much in the middle that I didn't even need a pillow because my head was already elevated compared to my body. In addition, there was no comforter provided...just a thin sheet and a heavy blanket in the closet....so I can't say that I slept all that well. Somehow I managed to overlook all this though, simply due to the peaceful feeling I obtained when I was there - where nothing existed except me, my new partner in life, and the beautiful nature surrounding us. That feeling is priceless!
I think Sofitel Private Island is a hidden gem!
- 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