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“Paradise on earth”

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InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Paradise on earth”
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Have just returned from 5 days here. If you imagine Bora Bora and this resort to be paradise then you won't be far off. The resort was well maintained with lovely grounds and facilities. The staff were helpful and friendly. The location is stunning, the water incredible. Our over the water bungalow was well maintained with awesome views.
As Royal Ambassador members , we did know in advance that there was no club lounge facilites. However it was disappointing that we had no free mini bar and had to pay for internet usage. I think that the absence of a club lounge needs to be compensated in some way.
Another unwelcome little surprise at the end of our stay was the cost of the boat to get to the resort.....$130 each, rather steep considering there is no other way to get there.!
However, for a once in lifetime trip to paradise, this place will not let you down. Just be prepared to pay heftily for everything.!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank MsOrewa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

This place is everything you ever thought of in the perfect vacation. This was on our bucket list and it met all of our expectations.

Staff - fabulous, friendly and helpful
Food - excellent why leave to go somewhere else
Bungalow - OMG fabulous, best place I have ever stayed. The huts are huge, beautifully decorated, we were at the end overlooking the mountain, spectacular. The bed was so comfortable, you get to select your pillow from a menu.

The bathroom is gorgeous.

I have nothing more to say but book your vacation, pack your bags and stay here.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the Diamond rooms away from the taxi dock. Also if you go to the gym with your water bot...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Plains, New York
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Stay here for our honeymoon. The resort was amazing!!!! The staff was excellent, the breakfast and buffet dinner were great. The food was good (but like every other hotel $pricey$)! Easy transfers to the main island. Our room was Over Water about 3/4 of the way to the end of the walk way and was AMAZING!!!!! I believe this is probably the best value on Bora Bora.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 132andbush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2013

Previous reviewers have already described much of what we experienced during our stay. Rather than duplicating their remarks, here, in no particular order, are our top and bottom tens.

Top Ten:
1. Friendly and helpful personnel (shout outs to the pool guys, concierges, reception team, and restaurant staff)
2. Comfortable and well-equipped villas/bungalows – Accommodated our family of four well, with ample storage and changing space
3. Beautiful and serene spa with good selection of treatments
4. Spectacular views of Bora Bora’s iconic mountain and lagoon
5. Our kids enjoyed the sting ray feeding three of the four days we were at the resort. How about adding some turtles so guests don’t have to go to Le Meridien to see theirs?
6. Reliable Wi-Fi (though required password entry several times per day and privileges did not extend to Moana sister resort)
7. Lovely, well-kept grounds
8. Two life preservers on the shelf in the closet – how cool is that?
9. Spacious and interestingly-decorated public areas
10. Nice enough pool that it pulled some guests (I guess they’re just “pool people”) away from the beach and lagoon.

Bottom Ten:
1. Delayed housekeeping – Room should have been cleaned promptly when we went to breakfast (“invisible service”); instead, we had to call to request that it be done
2. Inoperative pontoon walkway lights made walking at night hazardous
3. Just sand under bungalows, so little or no aquatic life to be seen (we did have two visits by an eagle ray)
4. Airport shuttle boats – Spartan compared to competing resorts and incidents coming and going that could have been avoided (water splashing into cabin, rough ride, loose items scattered)
5. Configuration of bungalow roof and location of deck furniture resulted in perpetually wet chairs
6. Day room condition – Mold on ceiling and broken shower bracket
7. Service vehicle traffic (a necessary evil at sprawling resorts) – we seldom had a walk that wasn’t interrupted by one or more passing (always politely)
8. Pool condition – Several loose underwater lighting fixtures and missing tiles (is there a resort in French Polynesia that doesn’t feature these?)
9. Noise from the helipad – “whuppa, whuppa, whuppa” a couple of times each day interrupted the peaceful environment
10. Feeling the pinch – items in the resort’s shop were priced higher than identical items in the Moana’s shop; and the sticker on the Nespresso machine indicated a significantly higher price per pod than was listed in resort guidebook (350 CFP vs. 200 CFP) – we know Bora Bora is expensive, but there’s no reason to rub it in

Dishonorable mention:
Rude fellow guests – While thankfully few in number and not the resort’s fault per se, a gentle and timely reminder from the staff to guests talking loudly on a mobile phone at a pool or restaurant, puffing cigarettes where the smoke bothers others (and tossing butts/stubs on the ground!), hogging pool and beach chairs, and exhibiting drunken behavior could improve the experience for all

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Michigan_Chipshot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Michigan_Chipshot,

Thank you for leaving a comprehensive review, highlighting not only the bad but also the good. We are delighted that you have enjoyed your stay with us. However, I do apologize that your experience was not what you expected specifically with some aspects of your stay. kindly be assured that all your comments will be looked into and actions will be taken accordingly. We hope that you take the time to stop in for a visit soon to see how we have taken every comment very seriously in order to make your future stays with us as pleasant as possible. Thank you again for your review.

Sincerely,

Karen G.
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, South Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We visisted here for 3 short days before boarding a Paul Gauguin cruise of the Society Islands. Would love to go back and spend more time here - just relaxing! Everything about this resort was top notch! We had a sapphire villa over the water; very clean, comfortable and well maintained. The views of Mt. Otemanu were gorgeous and the lagoon was pristine. Seemed like you could walk for miles and never have water over your shoulders. Sitting on my deck I saw a starfish one day and an octopus on another day. The drinks and food were some of the best I have ever had. The grounds are manicured beautifully and there is plenty of room to walk around and explore. The staff is very friendly and helpful. My husband purchased a package for me at the spa and it was true heaven. Once I finished with my massage we went through the entire spa together. Very relaxing, very clean and you can't ask for a better setting!
We spent our days in the lagoon out side of our villa, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking or soaking up the sun. We did occasionally go up to the pool and swim or lounge there.
Nights were enjoyed with tropical drinks, dinner on the beach, cigars, maybe a show outside of the reef. One night while sitting on the beach we watched this "thing" come at us in the water and after getting up and taking a closer look it was a black fin shark just a few feet off in the shallow water - it was amazing!
Nothing EVER seemed crowded, you would see a few people at the pool and maybe a few people on a walk, a few at dinner. I think the most people I saw together at one time was at breakfast of the dance show one night after dinner. We had the spa completely to ourselves. Dinner on the beach all to ourselves (well except our shark friend). Pretty much had the lagoon all to ourselves. It was very private, very romantic, very peaceful and serene!
It was by far one of the most relaxing vacations I have ever been on. I would go back in a heart beat and stay right here!

Room Tip: we liked the villas on the left side of the lagoon. nice walk through the grounds and past the chap...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Intercontinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora beginning of October 2012 for our honeymoon for 6 nights.

Grounds: The grounds are beautifully groomed and well kept, and this resort really does have prime real estate in terms of the view and their spot on the lagoon. We travelled around the whole island and I felt that the view of Mt. Otemanu was the best. Along with the turqoise and calm waters. The beach is kept clean and beautiful and the infinity pool offers the best view of Mt. Otemanu (besides the beach of coarse). Get to the pool early if you want to get lounger.

Service: Hotel staff are friendly and always saying hello to patrons. They are there to accomodate your every need and often went out of their way to make our stay more than comfortable. I have absolutely no complaints about the level of service at this hotel. The front desk even gives you a ring to see if you would like to make any dinner reservations just in case you might have forgotten.
Definitley take advanatage of the shuttle boat to the main island and sister resort Le Moana which allows you to crab a bus into town and explore Vaitape.

Rooms: The villas are all the same and the only thing that changes is the view of Mt. Otemanu. I have to say that the Saphire and Diamond villas have the best views. I wouldn't say it's worth the money to upgrade to a diamond when a Saphire will do just fine. However, the only unobstructed view would be the diamond villas located at the end of the pontoons.
Our room was kept clean and we did not have any problems with any of the amenties. The only issue we had was our door clasp was broken, but we reported it and it was fixed immediately. Our room was cleaned and restocked every day we were there. We absolutely loved the glass window at the foot of the bed and waking up to those turqoise waters was a quite a delight. We also enjoyed the BOSE speakers. However, they can be very loud and we noted that some other guest had their music on way too loud which carries over the lagoon quite easily. This is not the fault of the hotel but uncourteous guests.
We swam off the small pontoon from our villa and the water was up to my neck (I'm 5'6) and up to my husbands chest who is 6ft. We definitley liked that we could touch the bottom because it our swim feel a bit safer. They do have life jackets in the closet if you require them.

Food: The food was amazing. There are lots of options at the breakfast buffet so you can try something different everyday. My husband and I did not have lunch at this resort because we brought our own food from home and just ate in our rooms on the patio -- this helped us cut back on costs a bit. Dinners were always amazing and the buffets were always well stocked with lots of options to choose from. If you like fish there is plenty of it here and it's always fresh and tasty. The fruit in Bora Bora is some of the best I've ever had. So juicy and sweet. I couldn't get enough. My husband and I also ordered the pizza's at the Sands restaurant and it was delicious! Also make sure to check out the beach lounge on a Saturday night because they have live entertainment under the stars, and servers there to take your drinks while you kick back and relax by the moonlight. It was very romantic...

Fun aspects: We definitely enjoyed the sting ray feeding every day at the beach at 2pm. They are such gentle and calm creatures and that was a definite highlight. The pool boys are super attentive and always a lot of fun and have something different planned everyday at 12pm. We also took advantage of the coral workshop offered by a marine biologist who visits the coral garden located by the chapel once or twice a week. We also enjoyed snorkelling in this area as well and saw a variety of fish and a moray eel. If you are looking for the convenience of having amazing snorkelling while on the resort then this may not be the place for you -- just something to consider.
On our last night we were also fortunate enough to have a visitor come to our villa looking for a bite to eat -- Spotted Eagle Ray. What a sight!
My husband and I also took one of the kayaks over to the neighbouring resort Le Meridien to visit the turtle sancutuary which was worth the 10 minute paddle. Just make sure you let the concierge know before you go so they can advise the Le Meridien you are on your way so security doesn't have to worry about intruders on their property. This is also a very nice property with their own manmade lagoon for snorkelling -- we didn't try it but it looked inviting. The villas are not of the same class as the Thalasso. So if the room is important to you then stay at the Thalasso and visit the Le Meriden...

Excursions: We only did one excursion while at this resort and it was the Shark Observer tour with the picnic lunch on a motu. This was a great excursion. They take you out on a boat ride, you swim in a coral garden, you get to watch black tip sharks being fed and then swim with them, head over to a picturesque motu for an authentic polynesian picnic (I thought it was delicious but definitely different so picky eaters be aware), take a boat tour of the island, and then swim with sting rays.
My husband and I also visited a public beach across the street from the front entrance of the Le Moana. This is where we witnessed one of the most beautiful unobstructed sunsets before we went to eat at the local restaurant next door (the name escapes me now). The food hear was AMAZING!!! Absolutely no complaints and it was cheaper than eating at the resort.

SPA: We booked one of the packages in the spa booklet which gave us access to the facilities, and provided us with a full body massage, foot reflexology, and access to our own personal jacuzzi with a beautiful view and bottle of champagne. Very relaxing and romantic and I would do it again. The massage was great and the masseuse will adjust the pressure based on your needs. Watching the fish swim through the glass floor while being massaged was very therapeutic. My husband's only complaint was that there was some issues with the showers in the men's changeroom with water pressure. Women's changerooms were fine.

Overall this was the best honeymoon I could have asked for. I felt like I was staying in luxrious resort. When I come back I'll be staying here again.

Room Tip: Any Saphire or Diamond room gives you an amazing view Mt. Otemanu. The villas furthest out have very...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank linda_princessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Tough to describe how wonderful this resort is. Attention to detail was the order of the day (with one exception). From the pick-up at the airport, the welcome at the dock, the check-in process, everything about our initial impressions was fantastic. The room blew away all expectations. Very spacious, great view, cleanliness is every aspect. Even has a Bose Wave music system! Our stay was way too short at only 4 nights.

The food was fantastic at both on-property restaurants, the Reef and the Sands. The one exception to great service was that received at the Sands. bungled reservations and orders along with long waits for food seemed to be the order of the day. The Reef was entirely different however. Good thing that was where breakfast was served. There were daily activities which we took part in when we had no off-property activity planned. My son and I loved the pool table - just right for relaxing after a day full of swimming, paddling, etc. While check-out is at 11am, they do have day rooms you can use (and we did) that allowed us to play all day on our last day, clean-up, and get a boat ride to the airport in plenty of time for our departing flight at 6:30pm.

During our stay I commented a couple of times to my wife about how things didn't feel at all crowded. There was never a problem finding a chair at the pool or on the beach. The restaurants were never packed. I pondered what it would like if the resort was full. I asked this question when checking out and was pleasantly surprised when informed they were fully-booked!

We will return to Bora Bora and will stay at this property - no question about it.

Our entire trip, Tahiti -> Moorea -> Bora Bora was arranged through a wonderful group, Tahiti Travel Planners (TTP). They arranged everything for us, flights, airport transfers, resorts, etc. Not a problem with anything. They were very patient with all the questions we had up front and the numerous itinerary changes we made - never any pressure.

Room Tip: We stayed in villa 218, it had an excellent view of the island and no direct look at any other villa...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CooperFitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Property: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Address: | Motu Piti Aau, 98730, French Polynesia
Phone Number:
Location: French Polynesia > Society Islands > Bora Bora
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
#3 Spa Hotel in Bora Bora
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is located between the two hearts of Motu Piti Aau, a coral island on the barrier reef. The Deep Ocean Spa is the centerpiece, but the resort offers lots of cultural and recreational activities to fill your days including canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, stargazing and handicraft demonstrations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora Hotel Bora Bora
Intercontinental Thalasso Hotel Bora
Intercontinental Thalasso Resort Bora
Intercontinental Bora Bora

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