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“Loved the private island, paradise in itself!”

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Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Loved the private island, paradise in itself!”
Reviewed April 3, 2013

We stayed for 3 nights on the private island in an over water bungalow in February 2013, with our toddler. Everything about this hotel was amazing, beautiful and a bit secluded which was even more amazing.

It's a neat 20 min boat ride from the airport, we were greeted with fresh coconut drinks, cool towels and music playing. In a way, you really felt like royalty. We were chauffeured to our OWB which was serene, quiet, clean, peaceful and overall just amazing. The bed was very comfortable, bathrooms clean, and we spent a majority of our time on the balcony soaking in this once in a lifetime experience.

The island provides you with snorkel, fins, little kayaks - all at no charge.

We had breakfast included in our stay which was a typical buffet breakfast.....breads, fruits, yogurts, jams, omelets, eggs etc. We often ate outside of the hotel for lunch/dinner and would take the shuttle boat back over to the main island, walk outside the main hotel to the left about 10 mins to a pizza place. For about $15 American dollars we could get a whole pizza that would feed all 3 of us with leftovers. The pizza is AMAZING! In fact a few times we would bring the pizza back to the room and we were stopped by about 10 different people asking where we got the pizza, how much, and if they could buy it off of us. Ha ha!
We only ate one time at the restaurant and it was expensive, and found there to be a bit of a language barrier with our servers in the restaurant. But overall, I think the cost is normal for restaurants at these hotels. Coming from the islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Huahine, the cost was typical, but the food not all that great.

My advice is to explore out and about with restaurants (the pizza place is within walking distance of the main hotel), bring back breads and cheeses from the market and snack on those IF and only IF you want to save on the food cost.

One of the hotel staff that cleaned our room brought my daughter balloons to play with and tied them all together and left them in her pack n play. This was such a cute touch, and it really made me smile. Although there was a bit of a language barrier there too, I talked to her and thanked her for the balloons....something so simple, but really made me smile and my daughter has a blast playing with all the balloons. I wish I could remember her name so the hotel would know that she made our stay there memorable with such simple actions.
The hotel does provide you with bottled water daily at no cost and every afternoon they would come by with little "treats", like cookies and mini muffins. It's a nice touch. Free bottled water and pastries.

The only downfall to this whole stay here was the checkout. Our plane wasn't leaving until later in the afternoon - around 6pm. We had to leave at 5pm, but we had to check out at 11am. So what were we going to do for 6 hours with a 2 year old? Hmmm....the hotel staff was persistent about checking out at 11am, and as long as I paid an additional 110,000 francs (around $120 US dollars) we could get a later check out BUT they would probably have to move us to a different room. I thought the whole process was a bit stressful since we already paid a good amount to stay there for 3 nights and we were only looking to stay another 6 hours or so. Luckily they were able to keep us in the same room which just made it easier, but still had to pay an additional $120 for the late check-out.

With that said, I would highly suggest that when you check in...IF you have a late checkout and a late departure ask in the beginning if you can have a late checkout so you’re not trying to pull strings on the last day. However, the hotel is fully aware of your departure time...so I felt they should have asked if we wanted a late checkout or not...and at least made it an option.
They do have what they call "transition rooms" which is a shower and a toilet. Period.

Overall it was just amazing. I don't really see the private island being a big "party island" either. Staying on the private island also means you can take the shuttle boat back and forth as many times as you want at no charge. Those who are staying on the main island have to pay - hence the reason they call it the private island, it keeps it private to those who are staying. We had no issues waiting for the boat and it's only a 2-3 min boat ride. Our OWB bungalow allowed us to jump in the water at any time and we snorkeled a lot. We saw all sorts of fish all the time, even saw a black tip reef shark. Again, just amazing. Beautiful. Our only issue was at check out, and a slight language barrier with the staff..but nothing that would ever keep me from coming back to this beautiful private island and hotel.

I would not hesitate to bring your kids, I was hesitant only because of what I've read on other websites that this is considered a place to stay for "Honeymooners" and families should stay on Moorea - but I found it to be quite opposite. We saw several families vacationing with children of all ages. Toddlers to teenagers and everyone we encountered was friendly, polite, and really went out of their way to talk to her.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank chead_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you to be so details and for sharing your experience in Both Sofitel Private island and Marara Beach Reasort. we wish to have the chance to welcome you back in our paradise!
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2013

You have probably noticed from other reviews how spectacular this places is however what it makes it even more exiting for me is the service you receive from every single staff that work in it, they really know what you want or need even before you ask or even before you arrived, and I am not talking about the over-confident service you can find in some staff in hotels around the world, these are very simple Tahitian and French people with a big smile and with enough charisma to make you feel welcome every single time. In other words this place has it all beauty, location, great rooms, easy and delicious food, great weather, good activities and excellent people that provide you with a great service. If someone tells you that is expensive, I don`t think so I think is really a good value for money.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Robertocmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
All my ambassadors working in the Private islands join me to thank you for highlingting our service "cousu main" coming from our heart, we want to stay genuine, authentic to make you feeling at home in Bora Bora! Maururu!!!
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Hoyt, Kansas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

This place was exactly what we were hoping for. If you are wanting a "night life", party atmosphere, this place is not for you. If you are wanting a place to relax, unwind, enjoy the best views of Bora Bora, enjoy the best snorkeling on the island, clean, well appointed rooms with all the amenities that you need, with great service, then this is your place. We were very pleased with our whole experience there and would highly recommend it to others.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Richtar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Sofitel Bora Bora Private island is the place for honeymooners, lovers, a real exclusive and genuine magnifique place , where people care about your well being at all time. Thank you for sharing. when you need to find again your paradise and to be out of time for a while you know where to come!!!
See you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Sofitel Motu in August 2011 on what was to be a once Ina lifetime trip. The experience was so memorable and extraordinary that despite a few minor issues, I have booked a return trip to Bora Bora in July 2013. It should say a lot given that we checked out most of the other properties and are staying at the same Sofitel Private Island in the same overwater bungalow.

First time we had one night in a lagoon view bungalow and four nights in our dream overwater bungalow, before heading back to Tahiti nui for the obligatory one night before the flight back to LAX. Tis time around we will have six nights overwater and one on the main island, I recommend this itinerary for a week stay. I like that you arrive in the morning and have the entire day on Bora Bora. The quick boat to the Motu from the main resort lets you know how private your stay will be. Only about 30 bungalows on the island which I would guess is one kilometer in circumfance.

The steep but very short walk to the main building with restaurant and bar gives you breathtaking views of the lagoon and Mt. Otemanu. This island is not appropriate for anyone with a disability that makes walking difficult, for everyone else, it's perfect. The staff is wonderful, the rooms were immaculate. Minor inconveniences have likely been taken care of since the island was remodeled. For example, you only get one towel per person and I found myself taking 3 showers a day given all the water activity they should have a half dozen large towels in each bungalow, just a minor issue that does not take anything away from the experience.

The breakfast feast was amazing and we ate like kings every morning before diving and snorkeling the day away. Lunch most days was the bar area by the pool which had great food. Dinner on the main island resort was two choices, I cannot remember the names but the fancy restaurant is one of the best on the island and we ate there three times with a perfect meal each night. The other restaurant is more casual buffet style with Polynesian entertainment and was good for that type of dining. We also ate one night at Bloody Mary's which is ten minutes away and they come pick you up in a bus and drop you off. Great fish, in a unique open walled, sand floor restaurant. Every visitor should try it at least one night.

We had Laurent from Diveasy come get us directly from the island for a private dive lesson. The first dive was on the back of the island as it is one of the best fish reefs in Bora Bora. We also snorkel end around the island every day as the resort provides all the equipment for free. We look forward to stand up paddleoarding this year as I read that they have added this.

Each bungalow has two decks, one covered with a railing and a table to get out of the sun and relax, the other two steps down, no railing with loung chairs was where we spent most of our time. You sit down and look over the lagoon at Mt. Otemanu and it seems as if you are floating. Every half hour or so we dive in off the bungalow for a swim and snorkel. Take a piece of baguette in the water (provided by staff) and 20 fish are instantly eating out of your hand under your own bungalow.

As I said at the start of the review, this was to be a once in a lifetime experience, which was so memorable, I had to find a way to return. If Bora Bora is in your budget, make the journey and stay at the Sofitel Motu (private island).

Room Tip: Stay at the far end of the resort for privacy, water depth for diving from bungalow.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank AndreasWeaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, April 6, 2013
Thank you for all your comment for your "life trip"!!! at Bora Bora! for all readers, i would like to say that we are committed with sustainable development and we follow-up Earthcheck programm where we have to reduce all gas emission and all sustainable action regarding people, environment and sustanability. Towels is part of it but we will be happy to provide more on demand.
Thank you for your stay with us and let us know before you come back again to paradise, we will arrange your habit through a "cousu main" service and get your perfered bungalow over water ready for you!!!
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Houston
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

Four years after getting married, my husband and I finally found the time to take our first vacation/belated honeymoon. We chose the Sofitel Private Island for our getaway, and it was spectacular! The boat from the airport (there is a charge) is about 30 minutes, and several employees greet you at the dock with cold drinks and leis. After signing some paperwork, you are taken to your room. We had overwater bungalow #128 and the views of the mountain were breathtaking.

Like other reviewers mentioned, the restaurant service is lacking. We waited two hours our first night for dinner. The salmon wasn't very good (I'm not convinced it was actually salmon) and the lamb was undercooked. It was also late at night, so they were probably shutting down for the night. We dined two more times and ordered the beef tournado, which was delicious.

We did find a couple small roaches in our bungalow.

Those are the only complaints I have, and they are very minor. Everything else was perfect. The staff was generally on top of things. The best reef in Bora Bora is a 10 minute kayak ride away. The kayaks and snorkeling gear are free to guests, so we spent hours snorkeling around in the reef. They even set out bread to take and feed the fish. They will swarm you! All the tour groups take their guests to that reef, it's that good!

There is a boat that will take you from the Sofitel Private Island to the Sofitel Marara on the main island. They have more food choices available than the private island. We did the Polynesian Feast on Tuesday, which was delicious. Suckling pig, fish, chicken, and vegetables all cooked in the Polynesian Oven (underground and covered with banana leaves), as well as other food and a dozen different desserts.

We went on an excursion that took us to the Hilton and the main boat launch at Vaitape, and I honestly was not impressed with the view from the Hilton. I could not see Mt.Otemanu. And the water is roped off a couple feet from the OWB because of passing boats. The service was probably better, but the Sofitel definitely has a better location. There's a lot of room to kayak, paddleboard, and snorkel.

I would book the Sofitel again if I were traveling to Bora Bora. Best vacation ever! Thank you Andre, Celeste, and Laurence!!

Room Tip: Get an Overwater Bungalow! #128 has gorgeous views
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jenny2429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Like every review, i read carefully all what you mentionned about your experience in Sofitel Bora Bora Private island. Thank you for taking your time to share it on tripadvisor. your comments are very useful to continue to improve what have to be improved as we really want Sofitel private island to be perfect place to be for the best holidays in life!
Maururu for having choosing us for your stay and we really hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back soon in paradise!!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

When the words Luxury, Private Island and Sofitel are all used to describe a hotel in a great location, you expect something special. Unfortunately Sofitel does not quite make the grade at Bora Bora. We have stayed in many hotels around the world and the bora Bora Sofitel let us down a little. The rooms were Okay but nothing spectacular. It is great to jump out of bed and straight into the water but if this hotel has been recently refurbished then the rooms still look a bit tired. We stayed nine nights and found we were killing about one cockroach a day in our room. Also we spotted a cockroach in the breakfast area. The staff were lovely and quite friendly but lacked the sophistication that you expect at Sofitel. The meals were Okay but nothing special. The steak was great but only came with chips, no vegetables. So in summary, Sofitel is not the most expensive hotel on the island but it is still not cheap. It you want a luxurious holiday and can afford it, then stay at the Hilton.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Accorhotels.com

Helpful?
3 Thank AusyAlan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Responsable relations publiques at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, April 5, 2013
Thank you for your comments, they are very important for us.i thank you for your stay at Sofitel Private island and we will continue to make this magnifique private island the most beautiful place for all people loving being in paradise!
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

I never take time to write reviews but I felt I had to to set the record straight. My husband and I stayed here from Feb 27-March 5, for my 30th birthday. It was amazing. ALL of the staff was so kind, accommodating, and very pleasant. We didn't catch all their names, but some we did were Celeste, Laurence, Jean-Louis, and Maire. I feel so bad that I do not know more names.
This place is beautiful, the rooms are amazing, and the water is the water you dream of when you think Bora Bora. The views are indescribable. The food is delicious, the french press coffee was addicting, and the place was just great. They have access to free stand up paddle,( all i wanted to do when i got here, so it being free was amazing), kayaks, and snorkel equipment.

The overwater bungalows were amazing. They were clean and well tended to; we didn't have one problem with anything. The electrical outlet worked fine, and the housekeeping was on top of everything. The shuttle to and from the main island was great, never a problem to get one and the captain was always kind and arrived with a smile.

I was nervous about the weather with it being early March, but there was one rainy/completely gray day-otherwise sunny/warm and partly cloudy . There were mini rain showers most days, but I must emphasize the "mini". i didn't mind

Going all the way to Bora Bora I had high expectations and they were met/exceeded by this place.

Do not believe all the bad press, b/c it was starting to worry me that I made the wrong choice and we definitely made the right one. I know everyone has different perceptions, but we had a fantastic time and I would stay there again in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: Choose an overwater bungalow. We were in 125 and had great views. I think they all did, though.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank Robyn3610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Didier L, Directeur général at Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
All my team really want to join me to thank you for all what you wrote regarding your Sofitel experience at Sofitel Bora Bora Private island. this is the best reward that you could give to us!
i would like to say that in addition of this you will also get free wifi and free mini bar starting April 1st at Sofitel Private island.
Our unique goal is to make you feeling unique and "magnifiquement "Happy, let us know in advance when you will come back! we are all waiting for you!
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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 Private Island

Property: Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
Address: BP 516, 98730, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island 4.5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world, Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island is located in the heart of the exceptional Matira Bay, nestled on a private islet facing the main island of Bora Bora. A secret hideaway where you can enjoy a peaceful and romantic retreat, regenerate yourself and savour the exquisite feeling of being at home on your own private island. This boutique hotel is emphasizing privacy and intimacy to create a unique experience in the heart of native vegetation surrounded by turquoise water and beautiful coral gardens. ... more   less 
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