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“8 Nights in Bungalow 122 = Heaven” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

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InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Bora Bora
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“8 Nights in Bungalow 122 = Heaven”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2013

My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon in Bora Bora. We spent 8 nights in bungalow 122 at the InterContinental Thalasso Resort & Spa and it was the most amazing trip either of us have ever taken. Much of the credit is due to the incredible staff and the amazing resort itself. From the initial greeting until the final send-off, the staff never ceased to offer top-notch service. They truly make you feel like royalty at all times, and I can't imagine staying at another resort.

ROOM

Let's start with the room. We stayed in Bungalow 122. Being a Diamond Overwater Junior Suite with Otemanu View, I think it's one of the more expensive room options, but it was well worth it. One of our main issues when booking was deciding where we wanted our bungalow to be. We originally thought that it would be nice to be at the end of the pontoon in order to have the most privacy and the best view of the mountain. But we did a TON of research online and even called the reception before booking to get their opinion. We were told that 121-123 (I believe?) had the best views of the mountain. They were correct. 122 was absolutely perfect for us. The back deck faces the mountain straight-on and you can stare at it while laying in bed. Even better, it's one of the first bungalows you get to when walking out onto the pontoon from the rest of the resort. The walk is extremely short, which can be a nice bonus when you take into account the sun and humidity. The room itself was very modernly furnished, the shower was huge, the bed was very comfortable, and everything was very clean. The housekeeping service did a great job. The bungalows are very large. We would have been fine with half the space.


STAFF

The waitstaff was incredibly friendly, the concierge staff will spend as much time with you as you need in order to book all of your excursions, and even the GM spent time with us on the beach discussing photography. Despite what a previous review said, they are more than adequately staffed and there is always someone around to happily assist you with whatever you need. Service was never too slow. We had problems twice with our in-room safe, but a manager came out to our bungalow very quickly and resolved the issues both times. Enough can't be said about the staff. They were truly half the reason we had such an amazing time at Thalasso.

FOOD

The food, for the most part, was wonderful. The breakfast buffet each morning was perfect. Lots of pastries and breads, plenty of fresh local fruit, crepes, pancakes, made-to-order omelets, etc. Lunch at the Sands was great too, although we sometimes didn't even have lunch because we filled up at breakfast, or were away on an excursion. For dinner, the Reef restaurant has a buffet every other night. Monday was French cuisine, Wednesday was Japanese, and Friday was "Around the World," although we unfortunately missed that night by accident. The Japanese buffet could use a little help. Being half-Japanese and a former sushi bar owner, some of the items could be a little more authentic, but then again... you're not in Japan, so it's really nothing to complain about. Yes, overall, the food is a little on the pricey side. But if you're going to fly to a remote island in the middle of the Pacific to a five-star resort in one of the most beautiful locations on Earth, and then complain about high prices.... well, maybe you should have gone to Florida. You can always leave the resort by boat, go to the InterContinental Le Moana, and have plenty of other options at more reasonable prices, but you'll still end up paying tourist prices. You're a tourist on a tourism-driven island. It's the nature of the beast. No complaints here.

Also, we ordered the canoe breakfast one morning, which is highly recommended! You'll choose what you want, just like normal room service, and at a chosen time the next morning, they'll send a canoe to your bungalow deck. While one server gets out and sets up your breakfast, you'll jump in the canoe with the other staff member and he'll take you around the lagoon for a few minutes on a quick tour. The breakfast itself is the same as the food you'll find at the buffet, but the experience makes it taste like the best breakfast you'll ever have. Highly, highly recommended!

LOCATION

The location of the resort was ideal, giving guests (what we think) is the best view of all the resorts of Bora Bora. The mountain (Otemanu) changes shape as you circle around it, offering a variety of views depending on your resort's location. Otemanu has a really distinct appearance from the location of Thalasso, and it's the one you see in many of the photos of Bora Bora. From Thalasso, Otemanu has a sharp point and is absolutely gorgeous. Perfect location for photos of Otemanu. It's also only 20 minutes by boat from the airport.

EXCURSIONS

The concierge staff (specifically, Margaux) was absolutely amazing. She spent a lot of time helping us decide which excursions were best for us, and she always seemed to be available at her desk, even at 8 or 9PM. When she wasn't there, the other concierges were just as friendly and helpful. We booked three excursions during our stay: a 4x4 jeep safari on the mainland, a 30 minute helicopter tour, and a four hour private snorkeling trip. All three were amazing. They have a huge variety of excursions available to choose from. Some are obviously a lot pricier than others, but you definitely get what you pay for. The tour guides were all incredible and we had a blast on all three trips.

ON-RESORT ACTIVITIES

You have your choice of many activities. They have paddle boards, one and two-person kayaks, snorkeling equipment, ping pong, billiards, and even a trail around the resort with stops at various exercise stations. They have stingray feeding every day at 2PM, and they have cultural activities (I think also every day at 12PM), which includes things like making purses or hats out of local palm fronds. Mario is one of the main activities staff members and he'll take great care of you. Go see him! (TIP: They have fish food available, so be sure to ask for a cup so you can feed the fish in the lagoon.) In short, the activities are plentiful and there's always something to do.

SPA

I can't comment on the spa because we never visited it. We were just so busy doing other things and getting a massage was lower on our priority list than other activities, like snorkeling with sharks. But from what I could tell, it's a beautiful spa and if the service is on par with the rest of the resort, then it's probably a first class spa.

CONCLUSION

I could probably go on and on about how amazing this resort is. My wife and I are pretty well-traveled, so we've seen hotels/resorts on both ends of the spectrum from locations all over the world. This one is truly outstanding in all aspects and I'm incredibly glad we chose Thalasso over the other resorts in Bora Bora. We're not high maintenance people at all, so we usually ignore the small things that some people will complain about. But there really isn't one negative thing I can say about this resort. If I had to choose one thing, it would be the prices. But like I said before, if you can afford to fly to this tiny island and stay at one of the high-end resorts, then you should expect to pay high prices on everything from sun block lotion to cocktails to excursions. If budget is a huge concern, then you shouldn't be looking at these resorts, or maybe you should consider only staying two or three nights. Even that short of a stay at Thalasso would be worth it in my opinion. An absolutely perfect resort, and I'm 100% sure that we'll be coming back here in the future.

Room Tip: Bungalow 122. The perfect bungalow. It's on the north pontoon, so I can't say much about the...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank davidkosmos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Seoul, South Korea
Level Contributor
36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2013

We stayed at the InterContinental Thalasso last August for our honeymoon and it was amazing. My wife and I would sit out on the beach and listen to a live music while watching the sunset. The water was as clear as it is in the photos and the weather was spectacular. The rooms were very comfortable and clean. If you like television then I might pack some movies because the channel choices are limited, but I recommend jumping off you private dock and staying outside. I have been all over the world and truly this place is incredible!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jordan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

We were saving the "best for last" on our two week 30th anniversary trip of French Polynesia and we could not have been more wrong. We paid the highest price for a room at the very end of the pontoon, villa 230, believing by the map that we would have an unobstructed view of Mt. Again, wrong...we could not even see it without hanging over our balcony and practically breaking our necks to look around the privacy screen that is installed on the balcony. Several of the water activity items, I.e. the paddle boats and surf boards/paddles were unavailable due to being broken. Really??? For this amount of money they can't get this stuff fixed? The ice machine closest to our room was broken for days. Pretty resort but I suggest staying on the main island and coming over for a $22.00 drink special during happy hour if you want to take in a nice view of Mt. If you do come for the one hour happy hour you will have second round free and you can expect that it will take the full hour to get your two drinks. So do not be in a hurry. I know part of the service issue is the slower lifestyle but I truly believe some is due to inadequate staffing. We also found this at meals at the hotel as well. When checking in you will be given a card that explains the boat shuttles and bus transportation into town. However, they do not explain until you want to do it, is that the bus that will take you into town from their sister resort does not run on Sundays. So do not plan on shopping on Sundays in town as most shops are closed. There are several excursions that we enjoyed but those reviews are separate and highly recommended. I will definitely skip this hotel on our next trip.

Room Tip: Read the maps carefully. The most expensive room does NOT give you the best views.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank raja0000
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, May 4, 2013
Dear raja0000,

Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the inconveniences you encountered during your stay and for the amenities and facilities of our hotel that did not meet your expectations. Our goal is to provide clean and comfortable stay to all of our valued guest and make their stay a memorable one. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused in your stay. In order to meet the changing needs of the guests, we will constantly updated equipments and facilities to make better environment and relaxed atmosphere in the future. We hope that you will experience the changes in the near future.


Sincerely,

Janice A
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

We went here on our honeymoon, and couldn't have asked for anything better. We are both very well travelled and were both blown away with the resort and the views. The resort was spetacular, the over the water bungalows were large, luxurious, clean.

I would recommend to purchase the Ambassador membership (currently $200) which gives you free room upgrades, and some treats. A room/bungalow upgrade is about $100 a night, so if you stay 3 nights, you've already made your money back.

My only complaint is that although coffee table opened up so you can feed the fish, the area where Thalasso is located, doesn't have fish. We also stayed at the InterContinental Moana resort where there were lots of fish to feed from your bungalow

Room Tip: When selecting a bungalow, I would highly recommend to pick one with a view of the volcano.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Planethappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

We spent the the second week of our two week honeymoon at this wonderful resort. Our bungalow was very spacious and had an amazing view of the lagoon and mountain (#215 Diamond Category). The water depth by our pontoon was over 6 ft which was great for cannon balls into the water! We had the Half Board meal package (breakfast buffet and 3 course dinner). Every meal was fantastic. We booked a fun half day snorkeling trip. It was with Pure Snorkeling where we saw a manta ray, swam with stingrays, fed lots of hungry fish and got a close up view of a moray eel. We also took the 4x4 jeep safari tour which was a great way to see the island and the WWII cannons. Most of our time at the resort was spent snorkeling in the Coral Garden, relaxing on the beach lounge chairs, enjoying the beautiful pool, or just soaking up the beauty of this magical island from the comfort of our private deck. I look forward to the day that I can return to this beautiful place!

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelham, New Hampshire, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 4, 2013

My husband and I spent out honeymoon at the Intercontinental and it was positively amazing, 9 days of pure bliss. Not only was our room spacious and beautiful, but it was cleaned 3 times a day! Flowers were on our bed everyday when we got back from whatever activity we were doing. I never had any complaints about the food, except for price, but that's what one would expect when traveling to Bora Bora. The concierge was wonderful with booking excursions and anything else we would need. Our favorite excursion was the 3 hour jet ski tour. It was well worth it! We knew alcohol was extremely expensive so we packed 2L of alcohol each in our suitcases (the limit) to bring with us and just bought a carton of pineapple juice from the hotel restaurant. The Polynesian dance show was great to watch and I even got to go up on stage and join in with the fun. We booked an hour and a half couples Tahitian massage at the spa and it was wonderful. The facilities at the spa were not 5 star, especially the jacuzzi's but the massage was definitely top notch. We took a trip into town by using the complimentary boat service to the other intercontinental on the main island and then took the free bus to town. The bus driver Ebu will tell you anything you want to know and even how to book excursions through town so you do not have to pay the hotel their fee they add on or where to go for the best Tahitian Pearls. We were having so much fun in town that Ebu told us to enjoy and he would do a special pick up for us in an hour. Everyone we spoke with was a pleasure from either town or the hotel. We did go out to dinner one night to the famous Bloody Marys and it was a great experience as well. You get to pick what you want to eat based on what they have displayed when you arrive so its fresh! For food at the hotel I do highly recommend you get the meal plan of breakfast and dinner. To give you an idea lunch cost about 100$ just for two sandwhiches and two beers if you were paying. We were also given a complimentary canoe breakfast because of the length of our stay and what a joy that was. While they set up a HUGE breakfast on our deck, we got to go for a ride around in the canoe. All in all the hotel and staff here were absolutely wonderful, our experience was by far the best I have ever had at a hotel (even top of the line hotels) and the landscape was just amazing. We plan to return for our 10th anniversary and you better believe I am holding my husband to that bargain!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jacqueleen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fontana, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

My husband and I had the privilege to stay at this beautiful resort last week (Mar 22-27, 2013). Right when we approached the entrance dock, we were greeted with a horn and concierge. They took our luggage and loaded it on the golf cart and away we go on our tour of the resort. Before checking in, they drive you around the property to show you where everything is located. It seems overwhelming at first but you'll learn your way around quickly.

Then, they bring you to the reception area which has a beautiful view of the lagoon (then again, this view is everywhere you look =)). They have a very unique way to check you in. This isn't a typical hotel where you check in at a counter. They have you sit and they bring you juice and a cold towel. They also take the time to explain to you everything that's included in your package/stay and everything that's extra.

After you sign off on a couple papers, they give you a ride to your villa on the golf cart. We were in 236 which was absolutely perfect for us. We had a view of Mt Otemanu right off our deck. It was located in the middle of one of the claws so the walk wasn't that far but we still felt a lot of privacy. The water below our villa was about 5'2" (I'm 5' so it was perfect for me to still touch the floor and float). This was perfect for jumping off the deck.

BEWARE of geckos! Even though they spray the property for bugs, geckos can be found in the villas. They don't really bother you and they stay in one place most of the time. It's just startling to find them lol. We had no problems with bugs at the resort however we used Buggspray so that may have helped as well.

Everyone is so friendly and helpful here. They make you feel welcome and they seem to love their jobs.

The food was amazing! Breakfast buffet consisted of mostly the same items with an exception of different kinds of potatoes (hash, roasted, wedges, etc.). The chocolate croissants are sooo GOOD! I had at least 1 every morning. We ate lunch at Sands everyday but one (our excursion provided lunch). We had the cheeseburger, mahi mahi sandwich, tuna sandwich, and pizza va'a. They were all very very yummy! We drank Hinano and Tabu beers and a daquiri-like blended cocktail called the Miami Vice. The buffet dinners at the Reef was excellent. There's always plenty of fresh food and lots of choices. The 3-course dinner we had at the Reef one night was absolutely delicious.

The pool is gorgeous and I didn't think I'd want to swim in a swimming pool since we could swim right off our deck but we had a lot of fun at the pool. The pool guys are awesome. So friendly and you could really tell they love what they do.

The spa was so relaxing and the couples massage suites are so romantic and unique. The glass floor panel was soothing to watch as we had our massages. The whole spa facility was perfect.

I cannot say enough good things about this place. While we were still there, we were already talking about our next visit back to Bora Bora and how much we wanted to stay here again.

Thank you IC Thalasso!! This is a great way to start our marriage!! =)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank L-Si18
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:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Bora Bora
#2 Luxury Hotel in Bora Bora
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Bora Bora
#2 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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